Starting Over Already

I’ve been enjoying my time in Elder Scrolls Online the past few weeks. High Isle is such a pretty zone; I’m constantly stopping to take screenshots. It hasn’t been too bad starting out in the latest chapter either. The story seems pretty self contained so far. I’m sure prior knowledge might enchance it somewhat but I’m having no issue following along. So then why did I decide to roll another character and start in the base game?

My general rule of thumb is my first character in any MMO is going to be a practice child. It’s the one I’ll use to figure out the game and when I think I have basics down, roll a new character. I wasn’t 100% sold on the Dragonknight class after the first few levels. A melee range mage is a cool concept but after 18 levels it just wasn’t clicking for me. As I did some research around the class I found it was a very good DPS and tank but one of the worst healers. If I’m going to eventually venture out to group content I’m going to want to heal. With all that in mind the urge to re-roll got stronger and stronger.

ESO seems like the kind of game you’ll only want to run one character through in it’s entirety. I’m enjoying the quests and exploration the most right now but that’s because it’s new to me. I don’t think I’d have the same excitement retreading quests and zones I’ve already done before. I set out to make a character I could play for the long term.

I did some more research on classes this time around. After running through a good chunk of High Ilse I became enamored with the High Isle Druids and their lore. I wanted to make one of my own so I made a Breton Warden. Now me and my bear companion can roam around Tamriel and have a much better healing kit for when I eventually want to try dungeons.

My first character made it far enough in to High Isle that restarting there wasn’t appealing. High Isle aslo seemed more geared toward later game characters with dailies, world bosses, and a substantial card game which screams I’ve done everything in this game already and now I just want to play cards.. It makes sense though seeing as this is the latest expansion for the game. With that in mind I elected to experience things from the beginning and chose to start in Stros M’Kai. By the time I get back to High Isle the story won’t be as fresh.

I met Captain Kaleen and Jakarn here, two prominent characters in High Isle. I knew I’d seen them somewhere before!

Stros M’Kai is a much smaller zone than High Isle was which was probably to be expected now that I think about it. One of the things that struck me though was how much the quest structure differed here than in High Isle. In High Isle, every side quest felt like it’s own adventure with multiple quests in the chain. Here in Stros M’Kai the side quests are one off “go here, do the thing, come back” type of quests but there are more of them scattered around. I much preffer the side quest structure from High Isle. I do wonder if this will come back in the base game or if that structure will return once I’m in to Morrowind.

I’m also surprised to see that this base game started zone is just as pretty as High Isle was. I think it’s the lighting

While the zone is smaller I’m not trying to complete each zone before I move on. Finding all of the Sky Shards and Wayshrines is enough for me right now. I’m very much in to the seeing the story and doing quests and don’t want to kill my enthusiasm by trying to complete zones right now. I completed the main quest in Stros M’Kai and am off to the Orc island of Betnikh.

I Guess I’m Playing Elder Scrolls Online Now?

I’ve been searching for a new game to play for a whilenow. So much so that I was going to write a whole post about the few games I was deciding between. Then Friday happened and I had to make some decisions about what I really wanted to play.

ESO was alreading on the list of games I was leaning towards. . I’ve kept it perpetually installed because it’s giant (98 GB). It stares at me from my desktop waiting patiently to be played again. Over the years, I have tried over and over to get in to it but never made it too far. The classes confuse me and the combat is weird. But I love the story teliing and the world exploration so every once and a while I will boot it up to see if this time is the time it sticks.

The ongoing Quakecon Sale on Steam cemented my decision. The Elder Scrolls Online Collection: High Isle, which includes the latest expansion and all of the previous ones, was 35% off. Sure I could have just played the base game, which I already own, but I figured it wasn’t that expensive to pick the whole game up all at once.

This also solves one of the issues I have with MMOs I’ve repeatedly tried to get into: doing the same starter zones over again. With High Isle, and the Complete Collection in general, I can start somewhere I’ve never been before. In this case, creating a new character and skipping the tutorial, something I’ve also done a few times over the years, plops you right in to the latest expansion.

I was originally planning on starting in the base game once again but, like I said, skipping the tutorial doesn’t give you a choice. I was curious about starting other places so I did go back and play the tutorial on another character. It’s completely changed since the last time I played it. For the better, I might add. At the end, you can pick to start in any of the Chapters but the character I wanted to play was already in High Isle.

That’s where my journey begins this time around. I’m helping Lady Arabell Davaux find the missing delegates to a peace conference that’s being held on High Isle. Thanks to the few times I’ve run the base game starting zones I know what the Three Banners War is which, so far, seems to be the only prerequsit to follow the story.

Starting at the end may seem like an odd choice. I was going to jump back to the base game to get the whole story but High Isle is so pretty. I wanted to get out there and see more of it as soon as I arrived.

The plan is to push through and see if I can get used to the combat enough to really get in to the game (as long as I’m having fun of course). I have a habit of jumping ship when things are too different. Sometimes I want to play a new game without having to learn something new you know? But I have also found that sticking things out for just a little bit, even if their weird, can help get me over that hump and find enjoyment. Which is where I’m heading with ESO right now. The classes and combat are starting to make more sense now that I’ve been playing for a few days.

We shall see how this goes, I could be playing for a few more days or it could become my new game. only time will tell.

Exploring The Elder Scrolls Online

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I’ve been wanting to try out ESO for a while. For one, it’s on PS4 which means it’ll look pretty and two I’ve heard a lot of good things about it. I’ve been putting off actually buying it though. I rented it when it first came out and couldn’t get into it. The combat felt weak, the story was ok, and the character models looked kinda ugly. I returned it after a day and forgot about it. Lately it’s been creeping up in the news and I’ve met some people over PS4 that have had nothing but good things to say about it. Plus they just released a new DLC.

I found a copy of the game for $5 dollars at a local used store and fired it up. A friend of mine wanted to play together so we made some new characters and started our adventure. We ran around the starting city for a while racing through quest he had already done. I got acclimated to the combat and the skill system. It was nice to play with someone who was so knowledgeable in Elder Scrolls lore, as I have barely played more than 20 hours in Skyrim. I was having a bit more fun with it playing together. It really wasn’t until I sat down and played by myself for a couple hours to get my bearings that I started to click with the game.

My one dilemma so far is choosing a class. I’ve created 8 different characters trying out a lot of the different classes and skills. This is the one time I’m glad there aren’t a ton of classes to choose from, it’s hard enough with four. And then you have to decide between magika and stamina, and then what kind of weapon you want to use, and then what kind of armor there’s a lot of choice. Once I figure out the class I’ll have to figure out what race I want to play…so many decisions.Speaking of the character creator, I can’t remember the last time I was able to make a character with a beer gut.

The friend I’ve been playing with has his characters in the Ebonheart Pact faction and after restarting so many times, I’ve become very familiar with Bleakrock Isle. I really like the sturcture of the main quest there, gathering all the villagers in town before evacuating. And each villager only goes back to town after you complete their side quest. After the 8th time doing it all I’m so ready to move on.

After a lot of testing I’ve at least figured out the class I want to play formy first time around Tamerial, a magika nightblade. At first I was sure I wanted to be a bow and dual weilding stamina night blade but I liked the idea of a nightblade healer so much I just started over.I;m glad there are restats in this game if I ever want to try something different.

Even though I’m playing on PS4 there seems to be a ton of people in the starting zones even before Dark Brotherhood launched. I was actually surprised considering the game is about 1.5 years old on consoles now.One of my only complaint so far is that there is only voice chat, which I quickly opted out of while exploring. It wouldn’t be so bad if there weren’t people constantly blaring music, eating, or screaming for no apparent reason. Of course I’ll opt back in for group content but while I’m out in the world alone, silence is golden.