Posted in Gaming, MMORPGs

ESO: Little Nook in Tamriel

I’m a big fan of housing in MMOs, so when I heard that housing was coming to ESO, and that it was fairly attractive and well-done, I decided to check it out. Or, at least, check out the free house I heard you get.

Now, to give you some context, I have exactly two characters in ESO, level 5 and level 6, both rolled before One Tamriel came out, and both still in Khenarthi’s Roost. So my knowledge of the game and its areas are extremely limited.

I chose the higher level of the two, a kitty Templar whom I still have no idea how to develop as a solo player, and logged in. The first thing I got was a pop-up that looked like it was from within the ESO store, but it was hard to tell. It prompted me to “purchase” a free quest, which I assumed was the start of the housing quest.

Long and Winding Road

This was correct. The quest instructed me to meet Canthion, and the hint said he’s located in Auridon. I had no idea where that was… having only a working knowledge of Khenarthi’s Roost. So I hit up some online maps and discovered I could take a boat to the place I needed to go.

I did that, and managed to find the guy. However, the key and the deed to the place were in the hands of someone of lesser esteem, whom I then had to track down. To find out where she fled, I had to “talk” to another ruffian, whom I found hiding out in an underground outlaw refuge in the city.

Law enforcement does know about this little manhole hideout, right?

I bribed the guy and he spilled the info I needed. Seems my target fled to Greenshade. Wherever that is.

So I started following the quest icons. I still think this system is fairly confusing without a mini-map. I’m not a huge fan of spinning around and around to try and make sense of quest markers on my compass. But, I figured it out.

greenshade

The path lead me through several very large zones(!), and I started to get a sense of roughly how expansive the world of ESO is. At least, from a newcomer’s point of view.

I ignored all the quest markers and unlocked all the Wayshrines I found. That was a lucky thing, since I didn’t realize until in the end of the quest, how useful Wayshrines actually are. I did have one death, when I stuck my head in what seemed to be a nice city called Haven, but turned out to be not-so-haven.

Anyhow, this quest led me on and on and on, until I finally found some sort of hideout. When I got inside, I quickly noted there were aggroing NPCs there. Bummer. I did my best to avoid fights, especially after the experience in Haven. But when I was pressed to attack, that’s when I realized I hadn’t actually put any points into any of my skills yet. Oops. Fixed that, kinda.

Eventually, I survived to locate my target and was given the option to kill her and take what I wanted or let her live, by which she’d peacefully give me what I was looking for. Of course, I let her live, since I wasn’t sure if I’d survive the fight! 😀

All that was left to do was get out of that place, which I did in one piece, and return the stuff to the guy who was several zones away. Ugh. Thankfully, I then realized that Wayshrines offer fast travel for free, and utilized this to complete the quest.

Finally!

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Or… not.

Really? 

Free “House”

Alright. So I had to go find furniture for this house. I’m not a part of any guild, and had never crafted a thing in the game, so naturally, I had to find the housing merchant. Which… wasn’t located anywhere in the town I was in.

Once more, I followed the quest markers, which took me to another city. Seems I’d forgotten to open the Wayshrine there for fast travel earlier. Ah, well.

The housing merchant really didn’t have much of a selection. Not that I had much gold to spend. I picked up a rough little stool and headed back, eager to finally see my new abode.

This pleased my quest giver, and the housing was mine!

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That’s when I discovered the place was a little room in a tavern. Alright. That’s fine…

But, by little, I mean… very little!

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Even my character was a bit surprised.

So, I’m not going to knock it or anything, because the windows are nice and all, but the size of this place makes the starter inn room in EQ2 look like a mansion. Granted, you don’t have to pay upkeep and all, but still. Couldn’t they afford to give you a little bit more space? There’s hardly room for much more than a bed. …If the merchant had a bed for sale.

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At least they gave me a free candle, right?

Housing Features

I placed the stool in my room, taking note of the placement system. It seems pretty in-depth in the way you can rotate and move items. This is good, a lot better than some hook system.

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It also looks like there’s a full permissions system in place already.

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Not to mention, there was a direct window to purchasing furniture from the cash shop. Wink wink, nudge nudge. 

From what I’m reading in comments and feedback around the net, it seems crafting housing items requires a bucket-load of materials to the point it’s just silly. So, while crafting is an option, it’s pretty obvious that ESO would prefer you to spend Crowns in their shop.

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Funny how there’s a much, MUCH wider selection here.

I will hand it to the team, though, I could sit on the stool I put in my house. You might think that should be a given, but in some games, that’s just not so.

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I also like how you can travel to each house and run around in it before choosing to drop cash on it. That’s a nice preview system.

Now, for folks who have a stash of gold and Crowns, I can see this being a nice housing system. It seems functional enough. Getting a tiny, but free, room to mess around with is a nice gesture to us F2P folks, too. So, I can’t really complain. It was just quite the adventure for a little level 6 (now 7) Templar who had never traveled so far before!

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It’s somewhat limited in other ways, too.

Anyone else have any experiences with the new housing system in ESO? 

Posted in Gaming, MMORPGs

ESO: Morrowind Expansion Thoughts

The truth is, the Elder Scrolls have always been a missed opportunity for me as a fan of fantasy RPGs. Since I was introduced to RPGs on the SNES, and didn’t migrate to the PC as a main gaming platform for many years, early PC RPGs were tough for me to get into. They just seemed so overwhelming, and often darker and more gritty than their brightly-colored JRPG counterparts.

I dabbled around with Daggerfall and later Oblivion back in the day, but Elder Scrolls never really took me by storm. I don’t know if I ever owned Morrowind, to be honest… *goes to check GoG account* Nope. Doesn’t look like it.

Funny thing is that I do own Skyrim and all the DLC, so much that I was able to get the new HD version for free. But, still yet, I try to play it and end up falling out of the game right after I slay my first dragon. Every time.

Gah! And I really, really tried to keep going with this! I still want to play Skyrim!

Reflection on ESO

So, I’m pretty much a noob to all things Elder Scrolls. Maybe that’s part of the reason ESO could never strongly hook me, even though it has a lot of elements I really should enjoy. Unlike FFXIV, there’s no nostalgia for ESO to fascinate me with. And the lore that’s there seems so vast and overwhelming, I can hardly wrap my head around it.

I’ve rolled several characters over the years in ESO, including during beta testing. So I’ve played the same starting area for the Aldmeri Dominion over and over and over again to the point that it’s hard for me to keep interest. Yeah, I guess I could roll on the other side (whatever it is – lore noob), but the races of the Aldmeri Dominion appeal to me more.

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An old beta character

I currently have two characters that I kick around with every now and then. And they are both stuck in what I consider the tutorial island area. I’ve gotten past this point once, but it was so long ago and I don’t have that character anymore. Maybe it was a beta character that was deleted.

While I find the game more enjoyable than I did back in beta (my first impressions weren’t so hot), I still just have so much trouble sticking with it. Especially when FFXIV has its hooks into me and demands most of my time.

So, Morrowind

Oh yeah. This was supposed to be my thoughts on Morrowind, the new “chapter” (expansion) announced for ESO. Seems like it’s drummed up a lot of excitement, and I’m honestly very happy for ESO players who are getting expansion content. I know the road has been rocky for ESO, and seeing an expansion is always a good sign that the game is doing well.

ESO has caught my attention several times recently with their housing announcements, One Tamriel, and now Morrowind. What I like about this expansion is, of course, the new pet class. That will always get my attention.

But also, it sounds as if you can roll a new Warden and perhaps start somewhere new to begin your game. It’s really hard to tell, though. Nothing actually states specifically “new starting zone.”

It’s more like:

New Players: New players can jump into The Elder Scrolls Online: Morrowind and start a new character without having to complete any previous ESO content.

Does that say “new starting zone” more or less? It seems to. If so, that has my attention.

The price is acceptable and comparable to other expansions. So I don’t have any issue with the cost.

If it has plenty of positive points that interest me, why am I not jumping on the pre-order?

Unfortunate Timing

It’s all about the release date: June 6.

That’s ten days before the expected early access for FFXIV Stormblood, which is June 16.

I’ve already pre-ordered the collector’s edition for Stormblood, and am asking time off from work to enjoy it. So, yeah.

Those expansion dates are way, way too close for me. Had Morrowind come a month earlier, I might have dropped some time and money on it. I just can’t justify it when I know Stormblood is going to consume all my free time once it’s released a few days later.

morrowindvsstormblood

This is probably a good thing, as I can hear a bit about what other players thought of Morrowind before I pick it up on down the line. Depending on how engaged I am with Stormblood, I may just wait to see if I can get Morrowind on sale later.

Anyway, it sounds like a lot of nice things are coming to ESO. I hope everyone who picks up the expansion finds it all that you hope it to be!

Posted in Gaming

Elder Scrolls Online Mega Sale

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While I doubt I’m going to be playing it anytime soon, it was hard to pass up the $14.99 deal ($12.00 if you use the 20% off voucher code, which is: ENCORE-ENCORE-ENCORE) for ESO at Green Man Gaming today.

FFXIV Heavensward is taking up way too much of my time for me to play another MMO, but this was one of those just in case purchases. Especially since the game is now B2P.