Luck and Mini Bosses

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At this point we are up to 41 blogs signed up for Blaugust in one form or another, with a significant number of folks hanging out in the Discord just for the sake of fun that we may be able to sway one way or another.  I am super happy with this early participation, and in side conversations there are a bunch of folks on the fence trying to determine just how much they can afford to participate themselves this year.  In that always be plugging style of conversation…  if you are at all interested in starting up a blog now is the time to do it.  Pop on by the sign up form and let us know your information and we will do our best to support you through that early blogging experience.  This is of course also an open offer as well to folks who are currently blogging and just want to up their frequency of posting…  or really want to help mentor the next crew of bloggers.

Since I last posted updates there have been a few new entries and you can see the entire list in an easy to use google sheet that I have been maintaining.

New Mentors

New Participants

The official pre-week starts on July 25th so there is still plenty of time to get a blog up and running before the official August 1st start.

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There are times where I have the sort of luck that pisses my friends off.  For example I have pulled a couple of those ultra rare chase cards from Battle for Zenndikar and Kaladesh, just buying random single packs here and there.  Magic the Gathering just released its return to core sets with M19 and there are a bunch of interesting cards in it… namely a much needed reprint of Crucible of Worlds and brand new version of the classic legends era dragons.  Ultimately I would like to have a copy of each for eventual EDH brewing purposes, and as a result I picked up a fat pack on Friday in my post funeral travels.  Now a fat pack has 10 packs and seems to be for lack of a better term a partial piece of what would have normally been a full box.

They tend to be feast or famine, either you get the good end of the rare/mythic sheet or you don’t.  In this case I managed to pull 4 mythics out of those ten packs.  I took the above photo to show off everything that came out of that box, with the last two on the left side being just a couple of cool looking common foils.  I found it weird that I got a duplicate rare out of the batch so maybe they are doing the fat packs different than they have done before.  I was extremely excited that I managed to pull a Crucible of Worlds and at least two of the three color dragons.  Unfortunately I did not pull the big daddy of them all…  Nicol Bolas, the Ravager.  I still consider this an insanely lucky box, and walked away mighty happy with it.

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As far as the rest of the weekend… it was largely spent hanging out and playing some Elder Scrolls Online.  I have now officially finished the Orsinium content and wow… I am exceedingly impressed with the quality.  If that is at all representative of what I have to expect from the follow up releases, then I am going to be a very happy boy.  I’ve since started on the Thieves Guild which is the next content release in order…  having largely skipped Imperial City due to its PvEvP nature.  I did however spent a chunk of last night running around and collecting Skyshards out in Cyrodil..  I am sure frustrating someone who was there to try and take keeps and mile forts.  The only actual PVP I got into was being found by a roaming murderball of Ebonheart Pact players…  at which point my screen froze and I crashed out of the game only to come back very dead.

The most fun however was prior to that when I was roaming around in Coldharbor with Ashgar and Tamrielo doing the public dungeon there.  It all started simple enough…  the three of us on Voice Chat when Ash mentioned mostly to himself that he was going to ignore the Public Dungeon for now until he could come back with a group.  I said that I had not done the public dungeon there for the same reason and Tam chimed in that he had largely been avoiding any group content.  Before long the three of us were converging upon Ash’s location and doing the public dungeon which had two quests inside of it.  Additionally we realized that there were a bunch of optional bosses in various corners of the place and we set forth to take each and every one down earning us a conqueror achievement.

I kinda love that this game does not care at all about where a player is in the progression, and that you can pretty much just group in for whatever happens to be going on.  I abused this power to help Void get some crafting materials by porting myself to Windhelm and then letting him piggy back in on that to get the shrine there.  I love that this game has decided that horizontal progression is the way to go because it has allowed me to invest resources in a really nice set of gear knowing I won’t be upgrading it anytime soon.  I love that I can just do whatever happens to cross my path and still feel like I am moving towards a goal in the form of Champion points…  knowing that I am also adding progression to every single character as I go.  I am very happy with the current state of Elder Scrolls Online.

Farewell to Coldharbor

Cleaning Day

Good morning you happy people…  I am being forcibly cheery because my body doesn’t seem to want to fully function this morning and I am falling back on the whole “fake it until you make it” methodology.  May is a horrible time for me for so many reasons.  Firstly the world seems to come alive and fill the air full of pollen and seed pods and all the wonderful things that make life happen.  As a result my body tries to kill me as my allergies come into full swing.  Additionally with our constant regiment of walking… you would think that at some point I would stop being sore, however that doesn’t seem to be the case.  I hit 10,000 steps again yesterday and this morning it feels like every inch of my body hurts.  Being fat sucks, but at least I am a much healthier fat that I used to be.

One of the other huge negatives about May is the fact that it is also when the end of the school year happens.  Any spouses of educators will agree with me that the two worst times of the year to be their spouse…  is the beginning and end of the school year.  My wife no matter how much I love her… has been an spastic little monkey in a frantic rush to finish all the things that have to be finished.  As a result she is prone to fits of irrationality at 10 pm at night when things are not going like she wants them to, and not much help in taking care of the household chores.  Also as a result, I’ve kind of said screw it myself… and our house is a pit right now.  So today will be devoted to the cleaning of all the things and trying to get more domicile into a more livable state.  Mostly it has been my inner sanctum that has been bothering me…  I have been stepping over Amazon boxes for weeks that need to be broken down and taken to the recycling bin.  We are considering joining in with a neighbor in a few weeks for a garage sale so some consideration needs to be made about what to actually sell.

Farewell to Coldharbor

eso 2014-05-23 18-39-52-795 Last night my wife was working late yet again, which has been a regular occurrence for most of the month on Friday nights.  She had intended to get home earlyish and we had planned to go for our nightly walk and then walk over to Taco Bueno on the way home.  At some point during the evening she messaged me saying that she would be working late and to go ahead and eat without her, but at that point I was so heavily into the storyline of Coldharbor that I figured I would just wait.  I’ve been Veteran Rank 1 for most of a week now, and have simply not spent enough time in game to push through the main storyline in Cold Harbor which supposedly unlocked access to moving into the Aldmeri Dominion content.  Last night I did just that, by finishing not only the end of the main Cold Harbor story but also finishing up the level 50 harborage quest that gets unlocked immediately after that.

eso 2014-05-23 19-34-45-037 I have to say the “end of the game” is equal parts beautiful and epic, and I am trying really hard not to give any unintentional spoilers for those who have not arrived there yet.  I figure Coldharbor screenshots all look blue and brutal, so I am trying to pick ones that don’t exactly give away major plot points.  There are some interesting choices that happen as you play through the zone, and the game seems to revel in making you choose between bad options.  There is a point where you have to pick between a rogues gallery of formerly vanquished enemies, and I am guessing your options are limited if you did not actually finish the quests in the zones they are involved with.  I feel like I made the right choice…  but you never really know.  I still was dealing with a bad bad person, but overall it did not come back to bite me in the butt like I thought it might.

eso 2014-05-23 17-07-31-593 While I have finished the story, I will still be spending quite a bit more time in Coldharbor as I finish the parts of it I skipped while rushing through the storyline.  After a point you get tired of everything being blue, purple and grey.  I needed to have the ability to move on, especially since I wasn’t really seeing much veteran experience before the Craglorn patch.  It seems as though they shifted things around so you could get veteran experience in Coldharbor.  I have technically been to Craglorn, but only long enough to zone in and get the wayshrine.  I saw mostly Veteran Rank 10 players there, so I figure I have a very long time to go before I am adequate to kill much of anything there.  At this point I have a purple VR1 sword and shield, and a full VR1 blue set of armor, so I am doing okay in the Aldmeri Dominion content.  Though even with all of that, getting jumped by too many mobs at once becomes a fight for my life in a way that never happened in Coldharbor.  I approve of the ratcheting up of difficulty, and it should be fun experiencing the Aldmeri content.

#ElderScrollsOnline #ESO #ColdHarbor #Daggerfall #Aldmeri

Coming Home

Protect the Nest

As a rule my two favorite times of the year as Spring and Fall, in part because I love how alive the world is during these times of transition.  This morning I got up, threw on some clothes and a beanie to disguise my cowlick and get breakfast.  On the way back I stopped in the drive way for a bit as I listened to something on NPR wind down.  I noticed out in the lawn there were a couple of bunnies and two robin parents out foraging.  Our house has an external shell of rock that has been painted white over the years.  This leaves huge shelves and little nooks, and apparently this year a pair or robin parents have decided to nest there.  Were a proper home owner… I would probably be concerned about this, but for me… I think it is pretty awesome.  Robins have always been one of my favorite birds, so the fact that I get to see them on a daily basis makes me happy.

I’ve noticed they have a little chick beak sticking up from the nest so it is going to be awesome to watch the little guy pop out at some point.  For having lived around birds all my life… I really don’t know much about them.  I am just happy to start seeing songbirds again in the neighborhood.  There was a time where I tried to put up a feeder in the backyard and no one seem to notice it.  Maybe I will make another attempt at that, because I’ve noticed a little cardinal poking around the bush on the other side of the house.  I am also sure someone in the neighborhood is probably cursing our bunnies, but seeing them scamper about the yard makes me happy.  I just fear what is going to happen when we open our pool.  There was one long hot summer that I had to fish a half dozen of them out of the pool… because they kept trying to get a drink and falling in.  Hopefully that won’t be the case this summer.

Coming Home

eso 2014-05-09 18-41-57-458 So first off I want to preface this with that I really did enjoy playing ArcheAge and if I get time this weekend I will completely play some more of it.  However last night logging into Elder Scrolls Online after playing quite a bit of SWTOR and ArcheAge, felt like coming home.  Everything felt so comfy as I moved around the world.  It is funny how in such a short period of time I have gotten used to the way that world feels and controls, and I guess have come to prefer it.  The world just feels right to me, and I guess that is a good sign.  I know for a lot of my friends the non-traditionally MMO control scheme was a deal breaker.  They were looking for something they could control with WASD, Mouselook and the traditional hotbar combat.  However as a long time FPS and Elder Scrolls player it was more a shift in mindset than anything else.  I was so used to MMOs controlling a certain way, that I just had to shift the abilities that I picked up from other single player games and adapt them to the multiplayer space.

There are so many reasons why people wanted ESO to control differently.  Some people mentioned that it was impossible to play the game while holding a child, or doing this or that… and that is totally correct.  The reason why I had been playing SWTOR and ArcheAge is that they didn’t require the precision and focus that ESO did.  Over the course of this last week my allergies have been horrible, and as a result I have come home after work completely drained and “out of it”.  I knew if I booted up ESO, I would die often and die horribly.  I love everything about the game, but there are times it just takes too many of my already limited mental resources.  My fear was that after being away for awhile that I would get back into the traditional MMO control scheme… and the game would feel odd to me.  Thankfully however everything about it still felt right.

Finishing Bangkorai

eso 2014-05-09 19-29-43-214 The last time I played I accidentally followed a quest chain into Coldharbor, so at the beginning of the evening I worked through my backlog of items to deconstruct and then set off for Bangkorai again.  I wanted to at the very least finish out collecting the Skyshards and getting zone exploration achievement.  At the best I had hoped to make everything black on my map turn white showing that I can completed it.  There were still a few issues with some of the world bosses however, so I realized early on that I would not be getting close to 100%ing the zone last night.  What I did however do is explore every nook and cranny and find a number of really slick things.  The picture in the section above is from this little hidden area that turned out to be a crafting shrine.  You have to push through this disguised tunnel in a rock wall, and along a little river, past a waterfall and over a rickety rope bridge…. and then finally you are at the crafting shrine.  The whole experience felt very “Raiders of the Lost Ark” to me.

The above image is from some Dwemer ruins that I stumbled into.  It ended up that this was the public dungeon for Bangkorai and as I was seven levels over the content… I was able to solo most of it.  That said it was still really damned challenging, and for the boss battles especially I had to hang back and wait for another player to get to the same area I was.  Thankfully the dungeon is still very well trodden and I was able to complete both of the quests inside.  Awesome thing about this dungeon is that at the end of the quest chain, you get awarded a really awesome Dwemer spider cosmetic pet.  So if you were wondering where those come from… it is the public dungeon in Bangkorai (and I am sure the other equivalent factions).  I managed to collect all of the skyshards and got my achievement for exploring the zone, so I can be happy enough with moving on.  At some point I will pop back into the zone when the bugs have been worked out and complete the last few dots.

You can watch the entire adventure in the video above.  Shockingly this is the 31st video I have recorded on twitch/youtube for The Elder Scrolls Online.  While I would never suggest watching all of them… you can literally see most of my leveling process on the Dragonknight.  Having MOSTLY finished Bangkorai I feel okay about moving on into Coldharbor.  At this point I am about halfway into 47, so I feel like the journey to 50 is going to go extremely quickly in the higher level content.  So far the quests I have done in Cold Harbor seem to be significantly more involved than the ones from the previous zones.  Everything about the zone feels epic, as I lead this fight against Molag Bal and his forces.  I am going to be really thankful that I have my faction up with the Fighters Guild I feel, because everything I see… is a Daedra.  Additionally I am super happy I have my prismatic weapon… that does insane amounts of damage to Daedra and Undead.

#ESO #ElderScrollsOnline #Bangkorai #Coldharbor