Easy Targets

Heartfelt Thanks

I want to lead off this morning by thanking everyone that responded yesterday to wish me well on my five year blogoversary.  It still seems a bit strange that I have been doing this that long, well technically I have been doing “this” the whole daily blogging thing only a year.  All the support you guys have given me has been awesome.  I greatly appreciate you all in so many ways.  I still feel like I don’t know what I am doing, but I just keep doing it anyways.  At this point the blogging thing is so ingrained in me that I think I would continue to post daily even if I had nothing to talk about.  Thankfully I always seem to be able to at least incoherently ramble, and that tends to fill a page faster than anything.

While we are on the topic of blogging and thanks, I wanted to take a quick moment to talk about the Newbie Blogger Initiative.  I have touched on this a few times over the last few weeks, but it is approaching quickly.  May First is the official launch of the 2014 edition of the Newbie Blogger initiative, whether you are a veteran blogger or someone who has always wanted to create a blog… we need you.  This year proves to be a really interesting run as things are changing up quite a bit.  There are awards with prizes attached to them for various things.  Additionally we will have a return of the Syl’s ever fun NBI Poetry slam, as well as some event nights.  Right now a massive hearthstone battle royale has been confirmed, and you can check up the sign up information here.  There is also a great idea for a League of Legends night, that I hope gets enough support to make as well.

The thing about blogging is for every one of us that are blogging daily, there are another batch that have either abandoned their blog or are sitting by the sidelines trying to muster the nerve to start blogging.  I was one of those people five years ago, and a similar community got me started.  I implore you to embrace this opportunity and either reignite your blogging passion or light a brand new spark.  Folks are constantly saying that blogging is dead as a medium, but each of us that do so regularly are thumbing our noses at this concept.  We need fresh blood to keep this gaming blogosphere alive and healthy and events like NBI shine a bright light on new talent.  This will be my third year supporting the effort, and I look forward to seeing a new crop of bloggers step up and do a better job than I ever could do.

Lost in the Desert

Since I had not streamed on twitch in a few days I decided last night I would fire it up while I wandered around in the desert.  Alik’r is an interesting zone and almost feels like two zones.  There was a series of frenetic feeling quests in the town of Sentinel as you saved it from a zombie invasion.  All the while doing so there was a call to purpose, a feeling that you had to keep moving or something horrible would happen.  Now that I am out in the desert proper, the feeling of the zone has changed again.  Now as I sift through the dunes looking for various points of interest, the feeling seems to be much more relaxed and similar to the way Stros M’kai felt.  This is good and bad, good in that I feel like I can take my time through the content… and bad in that I am horribly prone to completely lose focus.

One of the things I am really loving are the creatures out here.  The game does a really good job of disguising the fact that you are often fighting the same damned creatures over and over.  The first time I really noticed this was in beta and playing the different starter zone experiences.  In Ebonheart you had the fiery Shalk, Aldmeri you had Thunderbugs, and in Daggerfall you had Assassin Bugs.  They were all essentially the same mob, but each performed slightly differently in the kinds of attacks they would do.  In the desert of Alik’r I noticed that Dunerippers were essentially crocodiles but vastly different in appearance.  They shared quite a bit of similarity in the base model and the sweep attacks, but also incorporated the mudcrab dig attack and a model swap.  Noticed the same thing happening with the Jackals, that look extremely different from wolves but behave almost exactly the same.

All of this give a feeling that the world is related, and that the various creatures of Tamriel evolved from the same core at some point.  I think that is the thing I love more than anything else, that everything in Elder Scrolls Online has a certain “sameness” to it.  It all feels like it is part of the same world.  While a Dwemer ruin in Skyrim might look vastly different from one in the Alik’r desert… they all feel like they were from the same race.  This adherence to a “racial stylebook” makes the game feel amazing.  One of my big fears with Elder Scrolls Online and the announcement of the three factions is that they would somehow destroy the natural diversity of the Elder Scrolls setting.  However thankfully you are just as likely to find a Dunmer or Argonian NPC in the desert as you are to find a Redguard in Riften.  The game has managed to maintain the jumbled mess that is the Elder Scrolls setting.

Easy Targets

After awhile hanging out in mumble by myself I was joined by the illustrious Zelibeli and Jabberant, who decided they were on their way out to Cyrodil.  This was to be Zeli’s first foray into the frontiers, so I decided to halt my questing and tag along.  I warned them that I sucked horribly at PVP, but still managed to love Cyrodil.  In every conceivable way it is the Dark Age of Camelot frontiers.  You have three different realms that border the region, with lots of objectives scattered around the map.  Just like Dark Age of Camelot there are also numerous other things to do out there than just PVP.  We attempted to meet up with one of the bigger conflicts at first, but ended up getting completely rolled by a veteran three player a few times.  One of the interesting things about Cyrodil is that it instant levels you to 50 for the purpose of the content.  The only problem is it bolsters you to the BASE stats of a 50… not a 50 with full gear.  This means that a bolstered character will always be significantly weaker than a true 50… and even weaker still than a veteran rank player.

In large scale siege warfare this really doesn’t matter much since it is mostly a numbers game.  In one on one combat… the difference is extremely noticeable.  I felt like I simply could not deal enough damage to the veteran rank 3 player.  While I out survived both Zeli and Jabb this was simply to my tanky nature more than anything else, and still even after having fought two other players the guy completely wrecked me.  As a result we ended up varying our goals and we set our sights on a skyshard.  One of the add-ons I have apparently shows the locations of all of the skyshards in Cyrodil, so I figured this would be a valuable excursion.  So we made our way to this tower guarded by goblins, with the skyshard very clearly at the top.  It took a few tries to finally reach the goal, as the moment we reached the tower initially we got attacked by several folks from Ebonheart also after the same goal.

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One of the cool things is there at the tower we picked up a quest to deliver a doctors bag to a town there in Cyrodil.  We did not do this however as the town in question was deep within currently Ebonheart held territory.  That seems like a grand mission for another night.  After a lot of faffing about we ended up picking up another guildie, Barose and heading to a dungeon.  I think it is really awesome that there are full dungeons scattered around the map in Cyrodil.  This one was a really nifty vampire dungeon and I ended up getting so much loot that I had to “mail bank” a ton of it to Rae.  Apparently I ended up sending her 9 emails full of it before the night was up.  The PVP dungeons seem to drop loot as though they were a group dungeon, but overall seemed easier in scale.  I am guessing they are rewarding us for the risk of doing PVE content in a PVP zone, where any group of players could hop into the dungeon and slaughter us in the process.

Overall it was a really great night and there is talk of trying to create some sort of formalized guild Cyrodil night.  If nothing else last night proved that there is plenty to do in Cyrodil even if you do not necessarily engage in siege warfare.  While I am not opposed to defending a keep or claiming one for our guild, I also want to explore all of the other dungeons out there and collect more skyshards.  For the longest time I had a point where I simply did not know where to spend points, but having leveled up a lot of abilities I seem to once again have more opportunities to spend them than points to spend.  I had a great time and I hope Zeli and Jabb both did as well.  Was really fun just hanging out and being horrible at PVP together.  You should totally join us the next time.

#ESO #ElderScrollsOnline #Cyrodil #PVP #NewbieBloggerInitiative