Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Trading in Ascent

Ascent starts you off with some tutorial missions.  You'll learn the ropes, like how to move your ship and how to navigate the map and stations.  Eventually, you will reach a point where you'll need to earn some coin in order to advance.  There are a couple ways to go about this.  You can play taxi/delivery man and drop off passengers/packages.  Or you can trade.

There are 8 primary star systems which you have access to without a Hyperdrive.  Each one of these produces a resource, and buys the rest.  There are 9 resources available for trade.  Trade in these systems is primarily with NPC's, as you advance in the game you will get more into the player based economy.  Normal trade rule applies: buy low, sell high.  Below are what each station trades in.

Vestra - Aluminium
Sol Invictus - Carbon
Apollo - Meat
Veritas - Titanium
Vulcan - Iron
Ceres - Grain
Ubertas - Vegetables
Pamona - Fruit

There is not really any supply and demand factors at work in the Apollo (starter) sector.  It's meant for new players, so there should always be a way for them to make money.  You can often find profitable trades between systems right next to each other.  I have a nice little trade route between Sol Invictus (Carbon) and Vestra (Aluminium).

My goal is currently to save up enough money to buy a Hyperdrive, which runs about 800,000 on the Galactic Market.  It's not cheap, but it is certainly attainable.   Getting to that point in the starter ship would be brutal.  I've upgraded my ship twice already.  I started out with a Ladybug (10 ton cargo), then bought a Sparrow (20 ton cargo).  I recently purchased my third ship, a Unicorn, which has a 40 ton cargo bay.

So buy goods, take them to another system, sell them.  Rinse and repeat.  It's not the most exciting activity, but it goes pretty quick as travelling does not take very long and the interface is easy to use.

Next up, starting up my grain farm!

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

$20 Steam Gift Card Giveaway

Do you like games?  Do you like Steam?  Do you like free stuff?  If you answered yes to any of these, head on over to  They are giving away a $20 Steam Gift card as a part of their Ascent promotion.  All you have to do is click on the animated gift box on the right, sign in, and do as many missions as you want.

Also, check out the interview they did with the creators of Ascent, a new Indie Space MMO of epic proportions!

I've been playing the game a bit and have been enjoying myself.  More posts about it on the way :)

Monday, April 28, 2014

Ascent: Indie Space MMO

I'm a sucker for space games, especially ones that have a focus on exploration.  A few days ago, a Massively post about a game called Ascent appeared in my Twitter feed.  I was not sure whether to click on it, but I am glad I did.  I found out about a new(ish) game called Ascent.

Ascent is a MMO developed by two intrepid and motivated gentlemen.  Unlike many games these days, this was not a post about a Kickstarter for some project in the future.  Instead, it was about a game I could play right now and was also free.

"Werit, I don't have time to read these paragraphs so just tell me what the game is all about in bullet point form."  You got it!
  • You start with your choice of ship, combat or trading.
  • Trade, Combat, Manufacturing, Research.
  • 270 Billion Star Systems.  Yes, you read that right.
  • Procedural Generated Star Systems and Planets. Real Exploration.
  • Build on these planets
  • Asteroid Mining, Gas Collection from Gas Giants
  • PvE Focused.
  • Build your own Star Base.

You can go play the game, for free, at:

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Skill Point Paralysis

I can be a rather indecisive person.  This applies both in real life and in my MMO gaming.  Luckily my wife is more decisive, so it helps balance things out.  Of course, she can't really help me in game.  That's where ESO's skill point system really causes me trouble.

Skill Points are a limited commodity at my lower level.  The fact I am leveling at a glacial pace does not help either.  So when I do get a skill point, I often stare at my screen for long stretches of time unsure of what to do.  This last skill point caused a particular dilemma.

Do I gain another combat ability or put the skill point into crafting?  Using a new ability would be fun, plus I could start progressing it.  On the other hand, I'm not really having trouble killing stuff at my level.  As a guildmate said, there is plenty of time to put points into crafting too.

But I do love crafting.  I'm getting loot all the time which I end up deconstructing.  The Extraction (Metal Extraction in this case) would allow me to get more out of every Blacksmith item.  Without it, who knows how many improvement items I am not getting.

After a bunch of play sessions with that skill point sitting there, I went with Metal Extraction.  It just made more sense for how I spend my time in the game.  Luckily, I'll be gaining another point soon as I am almost level 8.  Now where to put it...

Monday, April 21, 2014

ESO Routine

I am a very routine oriented person.  I do things at certain times each day and have a process for just about all of my activities.  Spontaneous is not a word that has ever been used to describe me.  This personality trait crosses into my MMO time as well.  This blog post is a part of my Sunday morning routine.

As I have been playing ESO more, I've noticed I have started to develop a routine.  It goes like this:  I log in, do a quest or two in a certain area of the map, explore the area, farm resource nodes, head back to town and craft.  Depending on my time, I may skip the questing and just farm resource nodes.  I love finding a nice spot that has a lot of spawns.

This makes for a very slow rate of progression.  I may do quests only once or twice a week, the rest of the time is spent exploring and hunting those dangerous resource nodes.  I am currently only level 7 but that's ok as I am having fun.  The world design in ESO is extremely compelling so I don't mind exploring it as much as possible.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Guild Banks and Cheating

As many of you probably know, I play MMO's mostly solo.  I do like to join a guild, or in ESO's case, multiple guilds.  I do it mostly for chatting, but I will very occasionally group up.  Sometimes I'll also do some crafting, but not very often.  I pretty much avoid using guild banks, or the help of higher level guild members.

Using the guild bank feels like cheating to me.  In the case of House Stalwart, it is packed to the brim with resources and assorted items.  I know they are there for anyone to use, but it just doesn't feel right to me.  I have no problems putting stuff into the bank, but I can't bring myself to take things out.

I feel that I should advance solely on my efforts and not take help from the guild.  That's not to say that I think other people are cheating by using the opportunities available, it's a valid part of the game.  I guess it's just a personal choice that I should be able to do things on my own.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

My ESO Crafting Choices

The Elder Scrolls Online has a pretty robust crafting system.  It's not SWG, but it is also not WoW either.  I think it is somewhere between the two.  In ESO you are not forced to choose which crafting skills you want to take.  The only limit is how many Skill Points you want to spend.

The downside to having access to all crafting and gathering skill lines is that it is just a lot to manage.  I've decided to only concentrate on a few of the options:  Blacksmithing,Woodworking, and Enchanting.  I like to where Heavy Armor, so Blacksmithing is a given.  Plus, I eventually want to use a one handed weapon too.

Woodworking allows me to craft staves, as well shields for when I can swap weapons.  Finally, there is Enchanting which lets you make, wait for it, enchantments!  I just like how you combine the ingredients to make your effect.  I see a lot of these when I am out farming nodes and it's fun to translate them.

Provisioning and Alchemy are pretty neat and useful too.  However, I just can't fit those in to my game time.  Same goes for Light Armor which I just don't see myself wearing.  I do gather a lot of Jute though, not sure why.  I never did take to the experimenting nature of Alchemy in any of the previous ES games.


Monday, April 14, 2014

Mixed Feelings about Craglorn

Recently, Zenimax announced the first content patch for ESO.  It is what they call an adventure zone, named Craglorn.  If you have not seen the video below, it pretty much tells you all about it.  Craglorn is a zone made for 4 person groups, but also includes instanced boss fights and a 12 man trial which is like a raid but timed.

So why the mixed feelings?  Mainly because it is all group content.  I certainly understand the need for it.  There should be group content for the 'end game' players.  It sounds pretty cool if I look at it from that point of view.  The problem is, this content offers nothing for me.  Never mind that I am mostly a solo player, by the time I reach the end game this content will be old and I may not be able to find any takers.

Craglorn also sets precedent for the kind of content Zenimax might release in the future.  If adventure zones are group focused, what kind of content can solo players expect?  It really comes down to adding new quests and story lines.  They could use old areas, ala The Secret World, but it'd be cool to see them in these new zones.  So I will be a little worried until I see what they have planned for us solo types.

Friday, April 11, 2014

8 Hours

I managed to get a little time in with ESO this week.  Not as much as I would have liked, but something is better than nothing.  I am still on the starter island of Stros M'Kai.  I've clocked in around 8 hours of time there, and I am still not sure I'm ready to leave.

Quest wise, I think I have done them all.  There is still a jumping puzzle (I think) on the North West side of the area.  I hate jumping puzzles, but I wonder if there is a chest waiting at the end of it.  A chest would likely mean some gold and items I could deconstruct and possibly research.

I think it is a testament to the games world that I am in no rush to leave the starting area.  The downside is most people in the guild have outleveled me by quite a bit.  That will make grouping, if I ever do, a bit more difficult.  That's not a big deal though, as I like to play at my own pace anyway.  No screenshot today as ESO is down at the moment.

How is your /played looking?  Are you clocking in a lot of hours but progressing more slowly?

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Guild Store

One of the interesting choices that the ESO team made was to include a Guild Store instead of an Auction House.  Once a guild reaches 50 members, the store unlocks.  You can access it at the same place you find your bank.  I've also heard you can make a public store at controlled keeps in Cyrodiil.

This sparked an interesting discussion on Twitter by guild leader, Belghast.  The question was something like, how do you feel about making money off of fellow guild members?  I was at work and could not really participate, so I figure this is the next best thing.

I'm a little torn on the subject.  I do love making money, especially playing the Auction House.  Buying low, selling high; Cornering a market, it's all a lot of fun for me.  That's not really an option in ESO.  Actually, it is probably still possible, but requires a heck of a lot more work.

When it comes to guilds, my attitude is a bit different.  In real life, I never charge friends and family anything.  My only requirement is that they come get whatever I am giving away.  The same goes for the guild, as I consider them friends.  Although, the guild is pretty big and I don't know many of the people in it.

I was recently considering putting up Blacksmith items for people to deconstruct.  I was thinking of charging 15 gold per item, which covers the cost of the style component. I don't really intend to profit off of the guild, but being close to breaking even would be nice.

So where do you stand on making money off of your guild?

Monday, April 7, 2014

Crafting and Stros M'Kai

Don't worry, no spoilers here.  I had a bachelor weekend, so I was able to get a decent amount of ESO in.  I was still on the Daggerfall Covenant starter island of Stros M'Kai, so I figured it was time to finish it up.  I believe I did all of the quests, but it is hard to be sure in ESO.

Overall, I thought it was a good experience.  I really enjoyed the environment, desert with some tropic touches.  The story was pretty good too with some memorable quests.  I ended up being level 6 by the time I was ready to head for the mainland.

I continued to get sidetracked by resource nodes.  I made some nice progress with enchanting, adding Disease damage to my frost staff.  I also worked on Blacksmithing.  Thanks to some helpful advice, I traded some Iron Daggers with a guildmate and deconstructed them.  I also deconstructed some of the loot I found, getting myself a good ways into level 3.

I spent a skill point to get Keen Eye: Ore.  I am tempted to do this for other resource gathering, as I do love me some nodes.  Speaking of which, I got an achievement, Node Harvester III, for using 100 nodes.  I am torn though,  crafting does not seem to be the best way to go about leveling when compared to deconstructing items gotten from combat.  That makes me question the value of large scale harvesting.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Guilds and Crafting

Finally, I can blog again.  This has been a bit of a busy week in the Werit household which has prevented me from blogging and actually playing anything.  Luckily, that is about to change.  I have free time ahead of me which will be spent developing and playing ESO.

I managed to join up with my guildmates from WAR, Silent Reign.  Sadly, they chose the Ebonheart Pact as their alliance.  Foolish decision, as the Daggerfall Covenant will reign supreme.  It's still neat I can be in chat with them though. The guild system does seem ripe for cross-realm abuse in PvP though.  I know people can just talk out of game, but this just makes the barrier even lower.

I was moving along nicely on my Imperial Templar, but then I started to find resource nodes.  That led to me finding a nice route to collect them and me camping said route.  I gathered about 160 Iron Ore before I finally made my way to a city so I could craft.

I don't know if I am doing crafting wrong, but it seems incredibly slow to level.  My Blacksmith bar moves ever so slightly when I make something and then subsequently break it back down.  It's also not cheap, as I have to by Nickle for each item I want to craft.  Is there a trick to raising your crafting skill level?

The first items I crafted was Iron armor for my Templar.  I do like having a matching set.  The style system is pretty neat in this regard.  Add in the ability to convert almost any item to the Imperial style and you end up looking decent and not like a clown.