Friday, February 28, 2014

Siege of Chalman Keep - ESO PvP

It's time that the Ebonheart Pact went on the offensive for once.  In this video we try and take back Chalman Keep from the Aldmeri Dominion.  Taking a keep in ESO is a bit like you would expect.  First you need to breach the outer walls.  This can be done by either taking down the door, or breaking down a wall.  Then you do the same for the inner.  Once in, you need to capture two flags.

One thing I found to be really neat was that you could move the ram from the outer door to the inner by 'pushing' it.  So long as you have 3 or more players near the ram it will start to move.  That is pretty awesome.  No need for a second ram, unless they destroy your first one.

The AD were able to push us back from the keep, which resulted in a pretty crazy battle near our Forward Camp.  We eventually won the day and laid siege to the keep again.  In the end, we failed to take the keep (at least I don't think we did, I had to log off).  It was a fun battle though, the kind that keeps me wanting to log in.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Two ESO Beta Keys to Giveaway

I've got two ESO beta keys to give out.  On the off chance that you don't already have one,  I'm going to hold a little giveaway.  All you have to do is comment on this post, and Friday morning I'll pick two folks at random.  Be sure to check back to see if you won, I'll reply in a comment.

Already have a key?  Grab one for a friend.  I won't be using them, so don't be shy :)

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Class Choice in Elder Scrolls Online

Corpse Run has a good post about classes in ESO.  There are only 4 classes to choose from, which sounds like a small amount.  It really isn't though, as a class in ESO is not like one in other games.  Basically, a class is a just set of 3 skill lines to pick and choose from.  Things like armor type and weapons are independent of the class you choose.

In addition to those 3 skill lines, you have all of the other ones that the game has to offer.  Each weapon type has a skill line, as does armor, Guilds, Alliance War, racial and more.  You can only use 5 (plus an ultimate) active skills at a time, so the real customization is picking what to use from all of those skill lines.  Don't forget there are a lot of passive skills to spend points on too.

My Archer is actually a Templar.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Chalmans Keep Defense - ESO PvP

During a recent session of Elder Scrolls Online, I logged into Cyrodiil to find a battle going on near Chalmans Keep.  When there is a fight, an indicator will appear on the map.  I wish I had gotten a screenshot of it to show you.  I'm also not really sure what size of fight is needed to show up on the map.

Anyways,  I saw the fight and transported to the keep directly.  Luckily the fight was near the keep, not at it.  If the keep is under siege (defined by attacking the door/walls for some percentage) you cannot transport to it.  So I was able to get to the fight quickly.

As usual, it was the Aldmeri Dominion causing trouble.  There was some back and forth, but the AD kept coming.  That indicated there was probably a Forward Camp deployed nearby (which lets them respawn at its location). Eventually we took the fight to the camp and destroyed it.  Since we had some momentum,  we decided to try and take the nearby Outpost.  This proved to be a bad decision as the AD were able to regroup faster than we thought.

They started to siege the keep, thanks to some already weakened fortifications.  Our defense was spread out and not organized, allowing them to breach both the outer and inner walls. In the end, we were defeated and the keep was taken by the AD.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Bolster in Elder Scrolls Online

One of the major activities in ESO is PvP in Cyrodiil.  However, it is not restricted to just end game players.  The game features a bolster system which raises the stats of anyone sub-level 50.  Currently, I am level 10, but able to compete thanks to being bolstered.  You will still be at a disadvantage to 50's though, as they can increase their stats beyond the bolster level.

Your items, when below level 50, don't really matter.  You could strip down to your underwear and have the same stats as you did with armor.  It is important to note that Skill Points do still make a difference.  For example,  I increased the Resolve passive in the Heavy Armor skill line which increases armor and spell resistance by a percentage.  These values affected the bolstered values, so how you spend your skill points does matter.

Are the bolster values enough?  It is too early for me to tell.  I die awful quickly, but I'm will to chalk that up to my own ignorance of how PvP works in ESO.  Plus, it is beta.  I am really happy that they have a bolster system though, I love to PvP as early as possible.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Outpost Scuffle - ESO PvP

I made a concerted effort to reach level 10 in The Elder Scrolls Online beta.  At level 10, you can join the battle in Cyrodiil which is where the games PvP takes place.  I have been searching for something to replace the hole in my life, known as WAR.  Knowing that one of the guys responsible for DAoC was involved with ESO gave me hope of finally filling that hole.  Of course, it is too early to tell if ESO is that game.

Cyrodiil is big, very big.  This is even more true when you don't have a mount, which is my current problem.  I have to walk/run everywhere.  So I went out for a stroll.  Someone in zone chat was putting together a group to retake an outpost from those Daggerfall Covenant dogs.  We took out the guards, deployed a ram at the door and then things started to get interesting.

An Aldmeri Dominion scout dropped in and was quickly dispatched.  Next came a tank for the DC, who was pretty much unkillable with our small group.  I don't know enough to speak as to why yet.  Eventually an AD force came and took over the siege.  We attempted to dispatch them, but failed due to poor decisions.  Sadly, that group disbanded.

The AD eventually took the outpost, but a different group of Ebonheart players joined me by the outpost.  We harassed them for a while, getting kills here and there.  Eventually they acted together and defeated us.  It was a fun time overall, check out the video, with commentary!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Blacksmith Crafting in ESO

Yesterday, the folks over at Zenimax released a new video which discusses crafting.  More specifically, Blacksmithing.  During my time in beta, I have been also been toying around with this crafting line.  I'm a sucker for mining and making stuff.

My initial impressions are it is an ok system.  I hold SWG's crafting system up as the best example of MMO crafting and ESO doesn't really compare.  However, it is also better than the standard WoW crafting where you just grind recipes.  Other crafting professions make use of a matching system where you need to 'discover' the recipe.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

ESO First Impressions

To be honest,  leading up to the beta my interest in the Elder Scrolls Online was not that great. It just looked very average from the outside.  So when I got into the beta,  I was not expecting very much.  My very first impressions of the game seemed to back up my pre-beta thoughts.

The tutorial area is nothing special.  The only thing I noticed was a little phasing.  There was also a fun little bug where you would fall to your death when trying to leave the prison.  They fixed that thankfully.  After leaving the tutorial area, you are sent to the starting area for your alliance.

I chose the Ebonheart alliance for my beta experience, which means I won't be playing them when the game goes live.  The Ebonheart starting area was also not very exciting.  Again, the only thing that stood out to me was the use of phasing.  I stopped playing after completing the starting area.  At this point I was not even sure I was going to pre-order the standard edition.

Fast forward a bit to the next beta and the dropping of the press NDA.  A number of outlets posts PvP info about the game and my interest was rekindled. I decided to give the game another shot and try to get myself to level 10 so I could participate in the Alliance War.

So I started over, and again chose the Ebonheart.  This time everything seemed a good bit more polished.  The initial areas are still a bit slow.  However,  I continued to play when reaching Morrowind.  I'm sure glad I did.

Graphics.  While I have seen complaints about the textures, the world that Zenimax has crafted is simply amazing.  I was blown away by what I saw in Morrowind.  It is much improved over the initial areas.  It really does remind me of a single player game's quality.

Combat.  I'm not totally sold on the combat yet.  Once I started to rack up the skill points, it improved a good amount.  I'm using a bow in combination with Templar healing skills.  It seems ok in PvE, I'm really concerned about the PvP combat though.  I'm not very good at aiming, so we'll see how it goes.

Skills.  ESO limits you to 5 skills plus an Ultimate at a time.  As it stands right now, I have access to 6 skills lines with active abilities.  That's not including a few Guild skill lines, or other special ones.  It allows for a lot of mix and matching.  I am really pleased with this system.  There are also a lot of passive skills in each line for you to spend skill points on too.

Skills also improve with use.  At certain points you can 'morph' abilities which is basically choosing between new effects.  So it adds even more customization.  Also, you get attribute points to spend...  so much customization.

Phasing.  ESO makes use of phasing quite a lot.  I was pretty impressed with how it worked, as it really made it feel like a single player game while questing.  I never grouped up, so I can't speak to how well it worked in that case.  Overall, it felt very seamless.

PvP.  Not level 10 yet, but it looks pretty cool.

PvE.  Once you get past the initial areas it really comes into its own.  First game I've played that really gets close to matching a single player game.

So I've gone from not being sure about pre-ordering to deciding whether or not I want the Imperial edition.  I really want to try out the PvP before making my final decision though.  The game starts off slow,  but really improves.

Monday, February 17, 2014

My First PvP Kill in ESO

I was able to power through and reach level 10 in ESO.  That opens up the PvP area, Cyrodiil.  It's in the center of the map, but to get there you via magic transport.  So when I hit 10, I immediately jumped over.  I could do a bunch of posts on the subject, so lets not get off track.  On to my glorious battle!
I made my way up to a keep that looked like there would be action.  We (Ebonheart Pact) had taken the 3 resources around the keep.  The Aldmeri Dominion were retaking the objectives, so I went to the farm and just waited for them to get to me.

As you can see, I was targeting a friendly NPC to start with.  That didn't really work out, luckily I found a player and was able to take them down.  What, you say the NPC's did most of the work? Psssssh.  It was also dark, yeah that's it!

After the kill, their friends finished me off very quickly.   Since it was my first, well, anything in Cyrodiil I got a bunch of notices from it too.  You do get XP from kills too, which is always nice. 

Sunday, February 16, 2014

ESO Alliance Choice: Hint, No Elves

In Elder Scrolls Online there are 3 alliances to choose from: Ebonheart Pact, Daggerfall Covenant, and the Aldmeri Dominion.  Each alliance has 3 separate race choices, plus the Imperial race if you order that edition.

I'm actually not very familiar with the ESO back story, so I am pretty neutral to start with.  However,  when looking at the races, I can't help but notice that Ebonheart and the Aldmeri have Elf races.  That immediately drops them down a notch.  Also, I've been playing Ebonheart in the beta, so I don't want to repeat that content at launch.

So that leaves me with the Daggerfall Covenant, which is elf free.  I am seriously considering getting the Imperial edition, so I would play as one of them.  How about you, which alliance are you considering and why?

Friday, February 14, 2014

Sometimes it is all bad

One of the big pieces of MMO news this week was that Turbine had layoffs.  Sadly, I am no stranger to this depressing event.  I did play WAR for years.  Often times I felt as Syp did, that Mythic should follow up their bad news with something positive.  Some message of reassurance would have gone a long way.

Looking back on it, I now realize there was no good news to be had.  WAR was in a downward spiral.  Is this the case for LoTRO?  I don't know, I'm not nearly knowledgeable enough.  Sometimes there is just no good news, positive spin or reassurance to give.  Then we end up with silence which is toxic for a MMO.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

I've lost that loving feeling

Yes, I still do exist!  I just have not had much motivation to post lately.  It's strange as I went 5 years posting pretty regularly.  So what have I been up to?  Work, family, and snow mostly.  I'm really not playing all that much right now.  The only game I've been playing this month is WoW, go figure.  I was looking for a game I didn't have to think too much to play and that fits the bill.  Plus there is an expansion coming.

Ever since WAR was started the shut down process, I've lost my passion for games.  Without passion I find it hard to work up the will to post on here.  None of the current crop of games are really grabbing me.

GW2: don't like the combat.
Rift: just feels bland.
STO:  Hate lockboxes.
SWTOR:  I am horrible at Galactic Starfighter, and I don't feel like dealing with all the dialog.
Landmark:  Alpha and the claims seem too small.
Strategy games:  Too much work.
Eve Online: Too much work.

Will ESO, WildStar, Camelot Unchained, The Repopulation or something else get me passionate about games again?  We will see.