Questing in ESO. Making sense of nearly 5 years of content

ESO has been out since April 2014 and there’s a lot of content in the base game and more has been added through DLCs and Chapters over the years.

As a new player coming into the world it’s been a bit daunting trying to work out the best way to see the content, and do the quests in an order that makes sense. ESO has level scaling which means I can quest anywhere I choose at any level, so I wanted to make a plan to work through the zones and stories in a way so they aren’t a jumbled mess by the end.

After having a bit of a read around the internet, I’ve come up with a plan that should show me the zones mostly in they order the released in, as well as making the most sense story-wise.

The Grand Questing Plan.

Aldmeri Dominion.  My Warden’s an Altmer so she’s automatically part of the Aldmeri Dominion so that’s where she started. Their questing zones are: Khenarthi’s Roost, Auridon, Grahtwood, Greenshade, Malabal Tor, and Reaper’s Marsh.

Fighters Guild and Mage’s Guild quests concurrently with the Aldmeri zones as they take part in the same zones.

Main Story Quest. This one runs concurrently as well, as you get offered quests to progress the main story as you level up.

Coldharbor. The first DLC all about the Daedric Prince, Molag Bal trying to pull  Tamriel down into his demonic realm in an event called the Planemeld. The Main story finishes in Coldharbor.

Cadwell’s silver – Ebonheart Pact. After you finish the Main Story, Cadwell (an NPC you meet in Coldharbor) offers you the chance to go back and see the other faction’s quests. You don’t loose any of your levels or skills, you just get to go and do all the other quests that you would have seen if you choose a different faction.
The Ebonheart Faction zones are: Bleakrock Isle, Bal Foyen, Stonefalls, Deshaan, Shadowfen, Eastmarch, The Rift.

Cadwell’s gold – Daggerfall Covenant –  The final faction’s quests. Daggerfall Covenant’s zones are: Stros M’Kai, Betnikh, Glenumbra, Stormhaven, Rivenspire, Alik’r Desert, Bangkorai.

Orsinium – The 2nd DLC. The zone events are set after the Planemeld but before the events of next set of DLC’s which cover an event called the Daedric Wars. One of the guides I read said to do this DLC after you complete the Daggerfall Covenant Zones, which is why I decided to put Cadwell’s Silver and Gold in first.

Dark Brotherhood. The Dark Brotherhood are the assassins of the game and is a DLC set in Hew’s Bane zones. It has recurring characters that come into it from the 3 factions. I’ve put it after Cadwell’s so I know all the characters that come into it.

Thieves Guild. The Thieves Guild quests are in a DLC that is set  in the Hews Bane Zone.  It’s also set after the Planemeld but with stand alone characters.

Morrowind.  This is a chapter, which has more content than a DLC and starts the Daedric Wars storyline.

Clockwork City. A DLC that continues the Daedric Wars story

Summerset Isles. A chapter that continues the Daedric Wars Story

Murkmire. Another DLC that seems to be a standalone story arc. It happens after the Planemeld as there aren’t references to it, and you meet some of the people from Morrowind in it so I’ve decided to place it last in the questing order.

And hopefully I’ll have worked through all of the above quests before June and just in time for the next chapter, Elsewyr (All about the home of the Khajiits) to release.

Whee, That’s a pretty ambitious list. So far I’ve completed the Aldmeri’s quests, Mages/Fighters Guild, Main Story and Coldharbor and just started on Ebonheart Pact. It’s going to take me a very long while to work through all the rest.

Can’t Wait!!

 

Quest and Flavour Text in ESO

I’m utterly lovely questing through ESO mostly due to the quest text and voice acting each quest has. Some of the lines are really awesome and delivered in just the right way to tickle my funny bone.

I love the word ‘lollygagging’. Having a grumpy, pompous elf use it at me was great.

Cadwell is voiced by John Cleese. I know him best from Monty Python. Anything and everything that he says in-game is perfect! ‘Knickers in a twist’ is such a great phrase when he says it.

The flavour text on objects can be really funny too. The Khajiit are the playable cat race in Tamerial; finding someone has taken the time to make rules for kicking them seems a bit harsh.

The world is full of books you can click on and read. A lot of them are lore stories or give insights into people or cities in the world, but then some of them are just a little bit naughty.

I love the below story, the double talk and risqué topic was great to sit and read. I’ve not been having any luck finding Volume 1 or 3 though which is sad. I’d love to know more.

 

Dragonray asked where are the bloggers? I’m here, just being quiet.

Dragonray asked the other day where have all the bloggers gone as she’s noticed that her feed has gone a little quiet and wasn’t sure if people were still playing or moved onto different things.

I’ve been really guilty of not blogging that much lately and it’s mostly because I’m not playing WoW at all at the moment and that’s what I’d normally blog about. Something about BFA just hasn’t grabbed me, (being deliberately generic there because if I started listing all the things in BFA that didn’t grab me we’d be here all night).  Instead I’m playing a lot of ESO (remember that post where I wished ESO would be the game that pulled me away from WoW?), and just not talking about it as most of everyone that reads here has come because I’ve been talking about WoW so I don’t really feel I have a huge list of people interested in ESO chatter.

On top of that too though, the start of 2019 has been a particularly shitty one. My mum had her leg amputated on my birthday in the 2nd week of January which wasn’t a great start to the year. Silver linings though, I got to spend my birthday with her which I haven’t had the chance to do for many years and Dragonray bought me a gorgeous birthday cake at our next D&D meetup so I got 2 birthdays!

Then to keep the bad times rolling, I got laid off last week. There’s been a big downturn in the industry I work in, and I worked in a company where I was the only employee so when the boss had to tighten his belt due to reduced work, first up to go was my wages.. and me. So I’m job hunting a lot at the moment and freaking out a little in case my savings don’t get me through to a next job, my rent is pretty expensive and no income coming in is not a great thing.  I had already suspended my WoW sub for a brief break but tightening my own belt means I won’t be resubbing until I have a job. $15 a month isn’t much but it’s a luxury I don’t want to cover for at the moment. Luckily ESO is perfectly playable with no sub, so I’ll still be playing over there.

So that’s where I’ve been this year.. how are you all going?

BTW, Happy Saint Patrick’s Day.. my Altmer had a pretty green dye job just for the day!

Cooking up a storm in Elder Scrolls Online

Elder Scrolls Online has a really robust crafting system with the best feature being you don’t have to choose which ones  you want to specialise in on your toon as you can take them all. My favourite so far is provisioning.

My toon spends quite bit of time choosing which meal she’ll make for her daily food buff. I’m sure there’s optimal ones I should be using but while I’m exploring and questing I pick the ones that sound the tastiest.

You can cook over most camp fires or stoves that you come across using recipes that you find as lootables  or on a vendor.

 

I’m certainly not above being an utter thief if it means I’ve found a new recipe to grab  and  try.

The recipes themselves sound absolutely divine. The cooking book is arranged in  different categories for the different types of food buffs they give. Meats, vegetables and  fruits for the food dishes.

A few of the speciality  dishes don’t sound that appealing though.

There are drinks to make as well, ranging from beers, ales, hard liquors, teas and tonics.

Each dish has a unique icon and they look delicious!

I’m only about a quarter through the profession so plenty of cooking and recipe hunting ahead still!

Where has January gone?

Opps, I meant to post in Mid-Jan so it wouldn’t be over a full month from my last post and then real life caught up with me and here we are, January nearly over and it’s a month and a half since a post.  With lots of holidays and time off over Christmas, I always think I’ll get a ton of gaming in, but this time of year is so hectic catching up with friends and family that it just never really seems to happen.

What have I been up to in the past month or so.. We got a VR headset for the Playstation and that has taken up a quite a bit of my time with me being immersed in Skyrim. Actually getting to walk around and explore the world has been so far above and beyond how good I thought it would actually be. The scenery is simply gorgeous and it feels like I’m right there in it. My screenshot folder is filling up and I have to figure out a way to get the photos from my PS and onto the PC so I can post them.

I’m also playing a fair bit of Super Hot which is awesome dodging bullets matrix-style, and trying to shoot badguys before they take me out. I tend to move around too much playing it and have accidentally punched the TV once because I got way too close without realising. I need to set myself up a little cage or something to stand in. I’m eyeing off Beat Saber a lot in the play store because each time I’ve had a try of it that game has seemed so fun, I really think I’d play the heck of that game if I buy it.

I’ve been joining in with some friends from WoW for some real life D&D gaming. It’s something I’ve always wanted to try but never had friends that were interested in playing who actually live close. Now I’ve finally found some friends who not only love D&D but who are close enough for us to regularly play . Each month 7 of us gather together; our DM lives interstate and joins us via skype but did amazingly make it down in person for our Christmas session! We’re steadily exploring our way though the waterdeep heist campaign. I’m playing as a little elf Wizard. She’s level 3 and we’re about a 1/3 of the way through the campaign so a lot of adventures for her to work though still if she doesn’t get killed along the way.

I normally buy myself a WoW Mount or a pet as a christmas present but there has been such little WoW time happening that I decided to sink the real life gold into buying a house in Elder Scrolls Online.

It’s been the best present ever as I have a little home to call my own and have ben spending a lot of time learning furnishing patterns, gathering the materials and crafting and decorating away to my heart’s content.

I’ve popped back onto WoW for the new raid and went with my guild into it for a look around. It has grabbed me a little more than Uldir did and I like the fights I’ve seen so far. While it’s cool seeing Zee as a Night Elf for part of it,  I have to admit I’d much prefer a raid where I’m only attacking the opposite factions bosses. In my more uncharitable moments I feel this is very lazy design.
I’ve been testing out which toy’s will override the standard Alliance armor and let me see Zee’s night elf face.

I’m still finding it very hard to get enthused about the whole expac in general.. The story and expac systems are working in tandem to make WoW less enjoyable than it has been in the past. I’m still playing, but in very small doses.

Well, dear friends, I hope you’re all having a happy fun time in your games and adventures. I’ll try not to be a stranger and find more things to chat about more often!

 

Best dressed Zee

Dragonray was running a transmog comp a few weeks ago so I took a small ESO break to pop over to WoW and play dress ups.

I wanted to do mostly Druid Tier outfits but given Trolls have ugly feet, I used my Nelf Druid as model for all outfits. There were 3 tiers I didn’t really like for Druid so Lich King was Mage tier and MoP and BFA are Priest items.

I ended up being the winner by default, as no one else felt like playing dress ups. A far cry from previous transmog comps Dragon has run. I felt guilty for accepting the prize seeing there was no way for me to lose but dragon insisted rules are rules and so I now own a very cute Whomper pet, named after the giver 🙂

Thank you Dragon xoxo

 

 

 

Zee in Tamriel, Elder Scrolls Online time

No game has ever been able to pull me away from WoW for that long but if any can, I wish it could be this one.

As a massive Skyrim fan, seeing more of the world in the mmo version, Elder Scrolls Online, is just amazing. In Skyrim I spent hours wandering around reading books and collecting and making furniture for my house and ESO gives me all that along with really interesting quests, I haven’t  come across a single mindless go kill x mobs yet. The quests are all voice acted and if you take the time to listen/read the dialogue  they are really engaging. With other people running around the world it’s like having extra npcs spicing up my single player game.

As a mmo, I havent played long enough to know if the systems in place to keep players logging in suck long-term or not or what end game content is like, but in these early days it’s awesome. I get a gift if I log in daily, this is such a cool novelty.

The little blue patterned bear is a mid month reward for logging in. He has an animation of trying to catch butterlies and is so cute.

Theres 3 factions, each with 3 races and a swinger race which I think can be any faction. The only time the factions are really divided is in the PvP zone, other than that, you can talk, group and quest with any member of any faction. The devs  of this game can overlook the historical lore of division between the factions for better game play for their players. Being able to not have to worry about faction choice and still get to play the race I like with my friends is awesome.

Classes are really fun. I’ve been spending most of my time levelling a High Elf Warden;  she’s a magic user who runs around with a bear pet to help tank mobs out in the world. It seems to be a smart UI because it doesn’t seem to try to tank in dgns with a real player tank, despite there being no on/off taunt.  I’m also liking my Sorcerer who’s a more typical mage class.

I’m really slowly questing my way through the zones. There’s no rep to grind but there are achievements for exploring and questing and the rewards are dyes so you can colour your clothes!!

An achievement for accidentally killing a sheep.. Opps

ESO has multiple houses you can save up and buy, and then decorate to your heart’s content. The prices range from what seems  moderately reasonable to downright ‘Omg how will I ever make that much?’ The game gives you a room in each of the factions starting town which all your toons can use, so I’m starting with the decorating there as I figure out how to save up for the High Elf mansion.

Expect more ESO posts when I can tear myself away long enough to write about the game.

A lull at 3 months.. is it me or you?

My blog’s been quiet because I’ve been struggling to find positive things to say about WoW. My draft folder is full of posts with catchy titles such as ” WoW,  a negative psychological experiment?”, “Can repetitive ever be fun?” and “How are the devs so out of touch with today’s player”, but I haven’t wanted to hit publish on any of them. If you can’t say something positive, don’t say it at all, you know.

There have been positives in the last couple of weeks,  so lets see. Zee’s done enough quests here and there that all the apart from Magni, adore her. Magni’s not far from being won over to her charms and I’m waiting for the next emissary for him to realise we’re great friends after all.

There’s been a bit of raiding. I’ve been friends with fellow blogger Dragonray for a few years now and I popped along with her and her guild for a few raid nights. They are the most welcoming friendliest guild you can imagine. They made me feel at home instantly and offered my toon a place if I wanted to server change to be on their realm but I haven’t taken them up yet because I didn’t want to reward Blizz with more of my money.

Btw, Dragon is running an awesome transmog comp, come along and get transmogging!

I went to their guild meetup which was awesome and found that  most of the guild live in my city! One of the guildies lives in the same suburb as me!! Dragon and Moryrt, her lovely hubby, don’t live too far away either which is all shades of awesome.


Orville is one talented guy. I love this pic of all us that were there. He’s placed us all in a scene that was pretty close to the real photo we had taken of us all.

A couple of friends, originally from Deadline though we’re all spread out now, grabbed me to come heal a mythic 10.

I had almost forgotten how much fun harder content is and how I like pushing Zee but it was short-lived. I don’t want to pug keys and I don’t want to log in enough to find a dedicated group and I don’t want to bug my friends to join me if and when I feel like doing keys. I feel like I need to be logged in a lot more to expect them to come along with me

I dropped Zee into a friend’s guild on Barthilas as Deadline has no-one logging in anymore and went along with their heroic team and we cleared G’huun so I got my Ahead of the Curve achievement.

I was hoping raiding there and with Dragons guild would be enough to grab my interest but it really hasn’t.

Now for the negative nelly part.

For me personally  BFA at the moment is outright boring. Content in the current patch consists of Raiding, Dgns or Questing, whether it be world quests for rep and azerite or questing through the old world to level up the allied races. Repetitive questing is not engaging content. I miss the different  class hall campaigns and class hall mount stories from Legion which gave reasons to play and level alts.

MMOs might be designed to be grindy but the Azerite grind in BFA is beyond the pale. I had enough of the endless AP slog in Legion and I do not want to  face yet another expansion with another never-ending grind.. Azerite feels endless.. any gear upgrade brings a need to have a higher and higher Azerite level so there’s no end in sight until the very last raid and there’s no higher Azerite pieces to collect.

Terror on Darkshore shows the story will progress in 8.1 with Night Elfs exacting revenge but I’m  so sick of seeing the Horde and Alliance pitted against each other that Tyrande’s dark-eyed model upgrade and Malfurion’s rage fills me with sadness rather than interest.

I’m more interested in 8.2 which at least might see us working together against a common foe again. Given how closely we worked together in Legion, I was hoping we’d see closer ties between the factions and I know I wasn’t alone from reactions on social media when faction based war was revealed to be central in the BFA story.. I feel like the current storywriters don’t understand their player’s motivations anymore. Have gamers changed over the years and Blizz hasn’t realised?

The Diablo Immortal mobile fiasco at Blizzcon is another sign to me that Blizz can’t judge its current audience very well. The game may well be fun and is most likely going to make them a fortune from its targeted audience where mobile games with micro transactions are accepted and welcomed. But to launch it at Blizzcon, where the majority of fans are  predominately PC gamers looking for a long wanted expansion/new game reveal,  was so ill-judged. Released at another time or place and the reaction may have been favourable. The resulting fall out had immediate, even if temporary,  real repercussions for the company. The Immortal cinematic ended up with over 400,000 dislikes to only 16,000 likes as well as an actual negative effect on their share price. I don’t remember anything quite so extreme in Blizz’s past.

I said in my goal list for BFA I didn’t want to take another break from WoW, but I think I really need to for a little while, I’m becoming a little too bitter and jaded about the developers and direction of a game I adored once and want to love again. Maybe immersing myself in a world away from Azeroth might be a nice holiday.

I’ve subbed to Elder Scrolls Online and I’m going to Tamriel for a bit. 

It’s nice to feel like there’s an enormous world to explore that I haven’t seen before. I might be questing, but it’s all new!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Azerite Armor “improvements”… who thinks this shit up?

Lore  put a very long blue post up on the forums saying the devs have been listening to the feedback about how painful getting Azerite armor is through M+ and they want to try to fix it in 8.1. At the same time, it should help solve the RNG shitstorm that comes with trying to make sure you can farm specific  Azerite traits as not all traits are created equal.

After reading through it, and the gushing ‘ty’ posts immediately after it, it’s pretty clear the majority of readers went the TLDR route and missed some important points that make this seemingly nice change, not so great.

The post from Lore is long, so I’m going to try to bring it back down to size and combine a few paragraphs.  Ignore the ilvls mentioned, this is a change coming in 8.1, and it was clarified the ilvls would reflect the new higher ilvls in 8.1; the current ones just give a better comparison at the moment.

  • A new ‘un-named” currency will be implemented which is obtainable as a one off drop from the M+ cache you open once a week.   The amount from the cache scales, so if you did a 10, your weekly cache has more than your cache if you did a 7
  • You can also scrap Azerite pieces to give the new currency, the amount you receive based on the ilvl of the piece you scrapped
  • Azerite armor no longer can drop from the mythic+ weekly cache at all

So it was already hard to get Azerite armor from Mythic+ dgns as it didn’t drop from the chest at the end and you had a only had a once a week chance to get it from the weekly cache. This new system removes that chance altogether and puts it behind currency, which knowing Blizzard is going to be time gated too. More on that below.

And the big point  I took away from this is.. where is the incentive to trade unwanted Azerite armor pieces to people who really need them, post 8.1? Azerite armor just became immensely invaluable even if you can’t use it. It’s going to take a very generous person to want to hand over a piece of gear to someone who really needs it, because scrapping it instead will get them closer to their next piece.  Why even make Azerite gear tradeable if they now want you to hoard it?

  • Thaumaturge Vashreen will be back to let you spend your currency in one of 2 ways. You can spend it on a random dgn Azerite piece in a box (ilvl 335, 370 and 385). The higher ilvl boxes will cost more currency. To allow targeting, he will also sell specific 385 versions at a premium.
  • The timing is that you should have enough currency to buy a piece of gear that lines up with the ilvl of the dgn gear you’re currently doing, every 2 or 3 weeks and the 385 pieces are for long term goals for top players.

The higher ilvl costing more isn’t an issue as they’ve mentioned you’ll get more if you do higher content so this helps keep the ilvl pieces in line with what you’re upgrade I guess. What I really have the issue with is it’s only the 385 pieces that will be specifically targetable.

Why are the targetable pieces only for the highest ilvl of the high at extra inflated prices? So if you’re not running the highest content, you’re not considered a worthy candidate to be trusted to select your own piece. As a ‘punishment’ for not doing the highest content, you can stick with RNG.

The noting of expected timings that they think you should be getting a piece in is also interesting. Dgn pieces of Azerite armor are hard to come by already as you only had a once a week possibility to get them from your weekly cache and now under this new system, that weekly chance is completely gone as they no longer drop and you now have a 2-3 weekly chance if you gather enough currency.

Which leads me to wonder, is that 2-3 weekly chance just from opening your cache or are you now going to be spending time running all sources of azerite armor drops in order to be able to scrap it for currency?

  • Overall, we believe that this change will improve things in a lot of different ways:  Mythic+ players of all skill levels will now have a clear path to upgrading their Azerite slots   and High-end Mythic+ players will have a way to target specific Azerite pieces to optimize their setups

Holy elitist batman, it’s right back to, only the best of the best really need or want to target because everyone else will be fine with the RNG loot fest that is so prevalent in WoW nowadays.

I don’t think I get the direction this game is going in at all. It has become a RNG fest on top of a RNG fest and 8.0 for a non raider is an empty shell of an expansion with ‘improvements’ with holes that even a more casual player can pick apart. I’m starting to feel that the team that is working on WoW really have lost touch with what used to make it great, or maybe it’s me that’s changed.

 

 

 

Real Life Chatter – could I run 21km again.. should I?

October 2016 will always be the month I ran my first half marathon and it was going to be my only because it’s a freaking long time to run for a slow ass runner like me and I was soooo sick of the training runs by the end of it.

I came in at 2hr 42min for 21.2km (13mile) which I was fine with. I hadn’t gone into it with any real timeframe or pacing goal apart from “please dont be over 3 hours and just finish dammit”

After staggering over the finish line and finding my running buddy as we had split up over the course I promised her never again and promptly stopped running long distance.. and then slowly in the last year stopped running at all.

But it was the Melbourne half marathon weekend just gone and,  like the pain of childbirth, the pain of the marathon has faded to a rosy glow and I find myself wondering if I could actually do it again but faster.

But here’s the kicker, in the past year my total runs added together come to  less than a marathon and I’ve, for want of a nice way to put it.. got chubby. I was slow when I was fit, but I’m at a snail pace now with extra weight.

So here’s my goal for the next 360 days, learn to run again and lose the excess jiggles. Seeing I’m thinking about paying a stupid sum of money to go run a long way.. I better make it count. To be accountable, monthly blogs. You get to read the adventures of Zee the wanna-be returning runner.

Jeez I’m freaking insane irl.