The Dragon Knight Comes

The morning after

Screenshot_20140330_182433 Yesterday was a really exciting day, and today I am in somewhat of a stupor from all the festivities.  As I talked about in my last couple of posts, yesterday was the beginning of the Elder Scrolls Online five day headstart.  Thing is this is definitely not my first game launch, in fact there is rarely a game launch that I do not participate in…  but this one just feels more personal.  I’ve known various people that have worked for various game companies, but this one is just different.  Elder Scrolls is a monumental franchise for me, and I started my fandom back with Daggerfall.  However never before has one of the people who I hang out with on an almost nightly basis…  part of the creation of something I love.

So more than anything I wanted this launch to go smoothly, for the health of the guild and the health of the game in general.  The launch of a new guild in a new game is an extremely stressful time for me.  Trying to get all the people going in the right direction is a challenge but more or less things seem to have gone extremely smoothly.  We’ve only had a few people who did not heed my bajillion posts about faction, and ended up rolling the wrong one.  I feel bad that they essentially have to start over now, but by being the wrong faction they will never be able to group with the rest of the guild.  This is one of the few confusing points, in that characters can live in multiple guilds… but functionally you can only group with your own faction.

The Dragon Knight Comes

Screenshot_20140330_200220 It’s odd for me to try and be objective about a game launch, when I have been playing the game in one form of another for over a year now.  The fact that I have played as much of it as I have, and that I still want to participate says as much as anything I could.  I’ve spent a lot of time in the “3 month mmo club”, but for whatever reason this is different.  Since I have reported so many things and watched them get fixed in subsequent builds, it feels as though I have more at stake here than I have in the past.  As of logging out last night I was just a little shy of dinging 11.  Honestly getting to level 8 or so is really easy, but from there on it slows down considerably.  Additionally for most of the day yesterday I was trying to stay in lock step with my friend Audrae.

The problem is I am fundamentally bad at questing as a group.  I am all about doing hard objectives with friends, but the piddly little things, it is rough to stay in step.  At one point yesterday I had to take an extended break, and I laid down for a bit.  When I came back we had no Rae, so I am guessing she fell asleep as well.  I piddled around after that, did a few things, grouped a bit and killed a world named mob as well as ran some other friends through Bad Mans Hollow.  At this point I am feeling very tanky, and my survival is probably as good as it has ever been in ESO.

Once I leave Glenumbra I will finally set out into mostly untested territory.  The characters that I have made it past the first real zone on were all Ebonheart, so for the most part Daggerfall Covenant will be fresh.  Towards the end of beta I purposefully tried to test only the early content, as to keep the later stuff fresh for me.  It was wierd, that so many people struggled to figure out what path they were going to take, or how they would create their character.  For the most part i have created “Belghast Sternblade” the Dragon Knight over a dozen times scattered among various beta tests.  It was the one character that really spoke to me, so I kept returning to playing it over and over… never tiring of the game play.

Guild is Hopping

Screenshot_20140331_061118 I will admit, when the betas opened up a bit more and folks started breaking out some negativity regarding the game… I was a bit concerned to say the least.  There is a fairly significant threshold of 50 members of the guild in order to open up the Guild Store.  There was a time where I wondered if we would actually be able to hit that in House Stalwart, but apparently those fears were completely unfounded.  As of this morning I am looking at the guild roster and we have 65 accounts in the guild.  The place is absolutely hopping and at this hour of the morning there are already a half dozen people in and playing.  Apparently all the work trying to make sure this was happening paid off, and I am starting to think about the various things we will be able to do if we even maintain half of these members at veteran levels.

Thing is… this is just the Imperial Edition and folks who ordered direction through Zenimax.  There will be another batch of players starting Tuesday, and another batch starting on the 4th again that didn’t pre-order for whatever reason.  As a result I still expect the guild to grow significantly.  When all is said and done we might be sitting around 100 members, which would make this one of our largest game launches in House Stalwart history.  The thing that is helping this time around is the Alliance of Awesome.  This has helped to funnel so many new and good people into Stalwart for the beginning of this game.  At this point I am going to have to start figuring out what the final guild infrastructure is going to look like, and who I will tag to be officers.  I tend to treat each game as a unique animal, and just because someone is an officer in one game does not immediately mean they will be in another.

Since we have a blended “family” going on right now, I also feel it is crucial to reach out and tag people from all the various camps, as well as the traditional stalwart folk.  So far I have to say everything seems to be blending nicely.  I was talking yesterday that while a lot of us know each other from twitter, this was the first time we had really been in the same guild.  I am thankful that everything has gone so smoothly.  For at time yesterday we had a dozen or more people hanging out in the “Bel is streaming” channel on mumble, and later today I should be posting the various stream segments up on youtube and adding them to the Elder Scrolls Online playlist.  However in the mean time you can go to my twitch streams past broadcasts tab to see them all.  All in all I think it was a very successful launch day, and one of the more successful ones I have experienced.  The real tests will be as they start adding more players.