Letters From Tamriel

An epistolary gaming blog

Archive for the category “housing”

Earthtear Cavern / housing plans

@Zells - sepia stone - smallWhen making player-house mods for the solo games, I sometimes start from scratch and drop a new building into the environment, but usually not. My favorite kind of housing mod is when the character finds a place they like while adventuring and “moves in” after they’ve cleared the place. I find the exact cell and make the changes; once installed the mod removes enemy spawn spots, cleans up any bad-guy messes, and adds in the character-specific furnishings.

Sometimes those mods are in proper houses or other structures, but just as often I retro-fit cool environments I find into living spaces, as though the character had renovated them. My thief will bust a smuggling operation and then take over their cave system with its little cove and boats and tricked-out Smuggler Boss Bedroom of Stolen Luxury Items. My city-hating Bosmer finds a beautiful wilderness cave with trees and water and sun pouring in from a break in the cave’s ceiling, and I mod out the bears and skeevers and mod in a treehouse. And my mage Zellfire finds herself some Ayleid ruins with a majestic view and makes herself a library, lab, treasure vault, trophy room, and a bedroom worthy of an Emperor.

The first time I walked into Earthtear Cavern, I got chills. It’s so much like a place I once mod’d that it’s a little creepy, tbh. Except Earthtear is so, so much better than mine – the way the view extends out of the cave structure at the far end is glorious, and I’ve never made an Ayleid-ruins house with waterfalls, which just seems like a huge oversight now, because waterfalls make everything better, always. D’uh, Zells.

I always knew I was going to buy Earthtear, it was just a matter of time. But Earthtear’s a challenge – the open space requires a plan; a lot of big, expensive furnishings; and will take a mountain of gold and raw materials. There was no point in buying it when it was first offered. I couldn’t have done anything with it.

A year after I saw first saw it: it is finally time.

In the solo games I only run one mage, Zellfire, and I only build one magey house for her. In ESO I have a couple of mages I play a lot, and almost interchangeably – Fire & Umbra – they pass gear back and forth so much I decided they were friends. For the last couple of months I’ve been wanting to start work on a house for Fire, and as I was thinking about what kinds of spaces she would use, I realized: a) putting together a proper library with massive amounts of books, papers, and library flotsam is going to be an expensive, time-consuming pain in the butt*, and b) Umbra also wants a library in her house, and there’s no way I’m doing all that twice. At that point they went from being friends to deciding to share a home.

*(It’s possible I am still traumatized from the Morrowind library I mod’d more than ten years ago, with Every. Single. Book. in the TES3 game present and organized by subject matter (yeah, really), then alphabetized (oh yeah, I’m nuts) and perfectly aligned on three dozen bookshelves in 2 different rooms, all with no working snap-to-edge feature in the mod’ing software. (Seriously: nuts.) But it looked great when I was done. :p )

So I started re-evaluating all the houses, looking for a place that fit both Fire & Umbra. Was more of a challenge than I expected, tho’ – they want to share a library and lab, and they both want a trophy space and a serious vault w/treasures, but Umbra also wants an Azura shrine (and Sithis shrine) and Fire is not a huge fan of religious devotion, so it needs to be out of the way. Fire, who is my main crafter, wants big, well-laid out crafting areas, but Umbra doesn’t craft and doesn’t care, so that also needs a somewhat-segregated space.

Neither of these characters would consider an Argonian or Bosmer house, and the Nord/Orc houses were also too… “rustic” for them. The Amaya Lake Lodge could have worked, but I really hate loading doors, and that place is full of them. Quondam Indorilia is… okay, but I don’t like the garden. The Velothi Reverie house has a great backyard where the Azura shrine could have gone, but it was too small overall, and the backyard is behind a loading door, so I wouldn’t have gone back there much (or at all) anyway.

Then I went back to look at Earthtear again for the first time in months, and pretty immediately it all fell together in my head. Umbra’s bed here, Azura shrine there, Fire’s clothing crafting area in that spot, shooting range on that side, here’s the library area…

It’s going to take me weeks, possibly months, and tens of millions of gold. Earthtear can only be purchased with Crowns, so I’m going to hold off until Crowns go on sale again, then pick up enough to get both Earthtear and the Crown-store-only items I’ll need. I’ll also be buying patterns in-game – many Ayleid, Dwemer, and Clockwork – and those will be tens or hundreds of thousands of gold each.

If I spend 300K on a pattern, make the thing, and then find it doesn’t fit in the space I need it to go, I will be a sad, sad Zells. Double my potential disappointment if I spend Crowns to buy furnishings and find they don’t fit. And I can’t move in right away anyhow, because I’m waiting on a Crown sale.

So after more than two years of playing, Earthtear is going to be the thing that gets me to finally log into the Play-Test Server, where I can get everything cheap & easy and figure out a shopping list. Until Crowns go on sale, I’ll be hanging out a lot in PTS!Earthtear, obsessively moving statues and Ayleid bookshelves around, figuring out exactly how many Jester’s trees and Gargoyles and which Clockwork patterns and trying desperately to precisely itemize the pricey pieces.

Drifted off to sleep last night thinking about which objects I can use to simulate magickal wards on the treasure vault. 🙂

Dear ZOS –
I need some environmental-special-furnishings like the Hag Fen fog, but of spell effects like the glowing sigils that appear in some AoE areas, and large, glowing, red/blue Daedric script that can be placed on walls & floors. Beams of flickering, colored light would also be nifty. Could you please add those within the next few weeks so they’ll be available when I’m ready? 

Kisses,
Zells

I will, of course, post pics when I have them, but we’re a long, long ways off from that. I have been poking away at a couple of smaller homes – the Mournhold Flaming Nix apartment, mostly – and I’ll probably get that done and have those screencaps up first. Have also been amusing myself with Sleek Creek, but I’ve decided I want a Dwemer airship tied at an air dock on that house, so I need more Dwemer & Clockwork patterns and that means that’s another long-term project.

Once I start developing a shopping list, I’ll be pestering everyone I know to find if they can make this thing or that thing, and what mats are needed. So y’all can look forward to that – thanks in advance. 🙂

Advertisements

‘Fire’s Workshop (Black Vine Villa tour) part 2: Interior

@Zells - sepia stone - smallI had everything perfectly under control as of Thanksgiving.  Then December happened.  Now it’s mid-January, almost 2 months since my last post, and I honestly feel like it been simultaneously 6 years and about a week. Whew.

I was in the middle of a two-part post giving a tour of one of my houses.  Let’s finish that.  The tour of Zellfire’s Black Vine Villa workshop begins with part 1: the Garden.

Post begins after the cut.
Read more…

‘Fire’s Workshop (Black Vine Villa tour) pt. 1: The Garden

@Zells - sepia stone - smallBlack Vine was actually the first player home I bought – it’s relatively cheap, has indoor & outdoor space, and it allowed me to jump in and start playing with the housing editor.  But it took me months to figure out how I wanted to use it, and months more to find the right ways to do it after I knew what I wanted.  Then additional weeks to pick away at the list of expensive, shiny achievement furnishings.  And then Icy put up her preview of the Clockwork City furnishings, and I waited a couple more weeks until CWC hit so I could include those shinies.

Black Vine Villa is Zellfire’s magical workshop.  It isn’t her home; it’s the secluded place where she tinkers with things that might explode or create portals or gain sentience and start eating people.  Which is really exceptionally considerate of her, given that she’s a product of Divayth Fyr and Telvanni ethics. 🙂

(Y’know, now that I think about it, she probably just moved there to keep nosey people from poking through her stuff.  Yeah… that sounds more Telvanni.)

It’s also the place where ‘Fire stores shiny things she picks up while adventuring.  If you’ve ever had an art studio, or builder’s shop, or if you do any kind of crafts, then you know how items that “might be useful some day” end up shoved into corners.  That’s how ‘Fire uses Black Vine – she sees something that might be useful (or just strikes her fancy) and has it shipped back to the workshop to play with later.

Because of that, I wanted the place to be half storage area / half mad scientist studio, packed to bursting with bits and bobbles shoved into every corner, but I also wanted it to be ridiculously pretty, with aesthetically-pleasing clutter.

This post’s pictures (after the cut) are of the garden; interior shots will be in part 2.
Read more…

Hunding’s Oasis – Updates

@Zells - sepia stone - smallI got the Hunding’s Palatial Hall house back in March, and chose it partly because I had a very clear vision of how the spaces would be “used” by the characters, and how I wanted them to look.  But a number of things I wanted weren’t available when housing first came out.  For example, I really wanted the wall in the front room covered with monster heads mounted on plaques – I used to make those in mods and then install them in the player home after that character defeated that boss.  About 2 months after I wished for them, mounted trophy heads were introduced with the Morrowind patch.  ❤  And they are spectacular, just what I’d imagined.

Now, after five months of learning patterns, gathering mats, trading with other players, running dungeons, and spending literally millions of gold, my “Hunding’s Oasis” home is almost exactly like I pictured it when I first walked in.  I’m super pleased.  I could do with twice as many item slots as I have, but within this limit, it’s good.  New patterns and objects will continue to be released, and I’m sure I’ll still replace some items; I’m at 600/600, no adding anything else without subtracting.  But I’m as “done” with the Oasis as I ever will be.  And I love it.

So now that some of the items have been swapped out for what I really wanted, and the trophies have been added, it’s time for an update on the pictures.  I’m going to post the new pics here, after the cut, but I’m also going to go back to the original posts and replace/update those images and descriptions.  Links to the original posts will be at the bottom of this post.
Read more…

Hunding’s Oasis: Pt 5, Back Patio

Zells note – This will be the last post of the house tour for Hunding’s Oasis. This is an especially challenging area to screencap because I deliberately placed the pieces so not everything can be seen at the same time – I wanted to give the sense that there was always something cool right around the corner to pull people along.  Also, I wanted to make good use of the huge space, so many the pieces are large, and often require a long shot to be seen properly.  Really, the best way to see the area is to port in – if you’ve read this far, consider yourself invited, it’s my primary residence. 🙂

Previous posts in the tour can be found via these links:
Part 0: Prologue
Part 1: Entryway
Part 2: Courtyard
Part 3: Interior Downstairs
Part 4: Interior Upstairs

Thanks for everyone who has read and commented on this indulgent series of posts!  (In game, I mean, but fyi, you are allowed to comment on the posts themselves. 🙂 )  I will now turn things over to your tour guide, Zellur’ra, except for the picture captions. Read more…

Hunding’s Oasis: pt 4, Interior Upstairs

Zells note: The house tour begins with Part 0: Prologue, and continues in Part 1: Entryway, Part 2: Courtyard, Part 3: Interior Downstairs, and Part 5: Back Patio. I will now turn things over to your tour guide, Zellur’ra, except for the picture captions.

Although guests are never allowed upstairs without an escort, you are most fortunate to have come at a time when our lady Nyx is away from the Oasis, which means this one is able to show you the master suite. Follow me upstairs and we’ll explore. Read more…

Hunding’s Oasis: pt 3, Interior Downstairs

Zells note: The house tour begins with Part 0: Prologue and continues in Part 1: Entryway, and Part 2: Courtyard. It continues in Part 4: Interior Upstairs and Part 5: Back Patio. I will now turn things over to Zellur’ra, your tour guide, except for the captions on the pictures.

You must be sun-dazzled and road-weary from your journey to Hunding’s Oasis.  Come! Let us step into the cool shade of the house and enjoy its delights. Read more…

Hunding’s Oasis: pt 2, Courtyard

Zells note: The house tour begins with the post “part 0: Prologue” and in Part 1: Entryway. From here it continues in Part 3: Interior Downstairs, Part 4: Interior Upstairs, and concludes in Part 5: Back Patio.  I will now turn things over to Zellur’ra, your tour guide, except for the captions on the pictures where I’ll identify special furnishings and explain any game-mechanics behind the RP.

We are ready to proceed with our tour of Hunding’s Oasis, yes?  Zellur’ra is pleased.  Come, follow her to the courtyard, the jewel of the Oasis.

Read more…

Hunding’s Oasis: pt 1, Entryway

Zells note: The house tour begins with the post “part 0: Prologue“, and continues in Part 2: Courtyard , Part 3: Interior Downstairs, Part 4: Interior Upstairs, and Part 5: Back Patio. As I continue, I will update all posts to include links to the others.  (I’m anticipating 5-6 posts, each fairly short but picture-heavy.  I have to do it in pieces because it isn’t all finished yet.)  I will now turn things over to Zellur’ra, your tour guide, except for the captions on the pictures where I’ll identify special furnishings and explain any game-mechanics behind the RP.

Greetings, and welcome to Hunding’s Oasis!  This one is called Zellur’ra, and she is honored to be the House Steward for the Oasis, home of our lady Zellusia Nyxian Cosades.  Today Zellur’ra has the additional honor of being your personal tour guide, which pleases her greatly.  Come, come! Shake the road dust from your boots and relax in our shade.

Read more…

Hunding’s Oasis: pt 0, Prologue

@Zells - sepia stone - smallLet the house tour begin!

The place is huge and I will be uploading a ton of pictures, so this will be a series of posts covering the house a section at a time.  They’ll all be titled in the same format and will have tags for easy searching.  I’ll create a new category for houses, but I’ll also flag the posts with the Nyx category since the house belongs to her and is part of her story.

This post is Part 0: Prologue because we’re going to start with the “backstory” of the house.  After this, the house tour posts will be in the voice of a new character, Zellur’ra – with next month’s crowns I’ll buy a new character slot just so this new alt can hold all the housing items when I’m not decorating.  Furnishings are giving me bank-space-problems like in pre-craft-bag days.  Hopefully ZOS will make a furnishings bag, but until then, Zellur’ra will be the House Steward of Hunding’s Oasis, and Official Holder of Things.

(I once saw a Khajiit character named This One Holds Stuff; cracked me up.  I’ve been tempted to name mine This One Keeps House, but the gimmick names get less funny the more you look at them, so I won’t.)

The story of Hunding’s Oasis begins after the cut.  It’s a mix of actual game lore and stuff I made up.  Feel free to ask if you have questions about any particular detail.

Read more…

Post Navigation