Letters From Tamriel

An epistolary gaming blog

Archive for the category “Zellfire”

Excuses, Midyear Mayhem, and a Screencap

@Zells - sepia stone - smallIt’s very nearly August; I have no idea how that happened.  Time is a concept I don’t fully understand.

Excuses
Lately the time I usually spend on posts has been soaked up by a couple of things:

1) I am still obsessively doing research to fine-tune Zellfire’s build and have learned a ton about meta building along the way.  I might do a post on meta builds, because even though I’m far from an expert, and there’s a lot of information already out there, most of it is that “give a man a fish” type of advice – “here’s a build, do it this way”.  And that’s a good place to start, but when I hear people discussing how they can’t get past this or that threshold, it’s because they don’t understand how the meta information fits together and/or are doing something they were told to do that doesn’t work for them.

2) My other distraction is that I have an IRL friend who will hopefully be joining ESO soon, and I’ve been emailing them “Beginner’s Guide to ESO” information.  I may do a series of linked posts with those write-ups.  There were so many things I learned eventually but would have loved to have known sooner: stable training, crafting research, how zone sets drop….  I’d like to provide a source of basic starter information for someone who doesn’t yet know how to ask Google for specific things.

Midyear Mayhem is underway!
Midyear Mayhem is the latest holiday event, and it’s PvP themed.  I kind of have a love/hate relationship with PvP.  I do enjoy it once I’m in Cyro – even when I’m dying – but most of the time when I think of going it sounds… stressful.  I’ve also heard complaints about the purely code-driven aspects of the event – achievements not recording, servers crashing, queues in the hundreds, various other things.  I’ve experienced most of that myself.  I have started doing the event achievements, but for the first time I don’t know that I’ll finish them all, even on one character.

Having said all that, I think it’s a well-designed event, for the most part.  Part of the devs job is to get people to try content they’re avoiding, and I like that they’re giving incentives to give PvP a try.  And I really do want that laurel crown.  So I guess this weekend I’ll take a deep breath and give Battlegrounds a try even though I find the idea super intimidating and have been putting it off.  Way to go, devs, ya got me.

If you see me in Cyrodil or in a Battleground this weekend, wave hi before you kill me.  🙂

(Just being friendly!  Not at all an opportunity for me to get another couple of seconds to run!)

Screencaps
This week I sorted through a bunch of my screencaps and added new ones to my computer’s slideshow.  Here’s one of my favorites.  Happy Friday!

Screenshot_20170708_202243

DPS Build Tweaking

@Zells - sepia stone - smallFor the last few months I’ve been working on getting my dps game up to the next level.  Or, to be honest, any level at all.  I originally made all my skill choices for RP reasons – Zellfire has been a fire mage for twenty years; she’s part fire atronach, she uses fire.  I was a little disappointed that the mage skill lines include a shock-based line (Storm Calling) but no fire-based skills.

In the solo games, the choice of element was purely aesthetic, but what I’ve found in ESO is that Zellfire just isn’t effective using only fire-based Inferno Staff skills – the Storm Calling line has serious advantages, and not using it really hamstrung me in terms of end-game performance.  The first time I tested my dps numbers against a training dummy, I was under 6K.  Which did get me through solo/PvE content, but in end-game… sucks.  I couldn’t pull my weight in group-play, and that was not acceptable.

It took me quite a while to fix the build, because in addition to farming gear, I also had to put Storm Calling on my bar and raise it first – when I started this merry up-my-game adventure, my Storm Calling skill was 3, even though ‘Fire was at the CP cap.  I had literally never used it and couldn’t even buy most of the spells.  I had to raise the skill line, level the spells themselves, learn how to use them, respec her skill points, her CP, and completely change her gear…

Finally got the build to a point where I felt like I might be approaching “competent”.  So I installed the combat metrix add-on and went out to farm dolmens and see where my numbers were.  Most of my dolmen-boss fights ended up in the 17-28K range, which actually is mostly-sort-of-competent, go me.

But also – this happened, and I’m still giggling about it:

DPS 60K 2

60K DPS!  This is what statisticians call an “outlier”.

Screenshot or it didn’t happen, right?  Totally a freak moment, but for a little over a second there, I was a serious badass. 🙂

In real terms, I’m still not quite where I could be / want to be, but after studying the numbers, I’m pretty sure I know what needs to be adjusted.  I need to farm Burning SpellWeave gear (because I’m not letting go of fire damage without a fight, dammit), so I’ve spent some time this week watching YouTube vids of City of Ash runs.  There were several “solo run” vids, and those players were running various kinds of combat-stats add-ons, so I could see their numbers.  Their dps was better than mine, but not by a huge margin.  I decided to try it myself and see how it went.
First solo
This is ‘Fire, standing over the body of the final boss in City of Ash.  I totally did it, my first solo run through a group dungeon.  I burned through about 20 soul gems on the Warden mini-boss, but Razor Master Erthas went down the first attempt.  Don’t know if you can see the HP, but I was down to 5.6% when he fell.  I was also on fire and was so excited I didn’t realize it.  All the mobs were down, so it didn’t really matter, but by the time I figured out I was still taking damage and jumped into the water, I was at .2%.

I can still say I cleared the end boss without dying, though. 🙂

I need a full set of BSW gear.  I need practice in the dungeons with groups so I know where to stand and when to run and where to run and which enemy to attack and how to better coordinate with the tanks and healers.  But I’m getting there.

Before I wrap this up, I have to say: I ❤ my Grothdarr set.  The first time it proc’d and the lava pool erupted around ‘Fire’s feet, I was so happy and caught up in how cool it was I quit paying attention to the fight and got ‘Fire killed.  Poor Zellfire, she tries so hard, but her player has the attention span of a squir – oh, look, something shiny!

 

Happy Friday, everyone, and happy hunting!

Quotes from Tamriel

“Have you heard the one about the Telvanni chef?  Her idea of a hot meal was burning down the tower!”
– Guard at Kragenmoor, Stonefalls

“Sheesh, you forget one plate of Fishy Sticks in the oven, burn down one mushroom tower, you hear about it for years.  This is why I don’t cook.” – Zellfire

Zellfire’s ritual journal notes

Screenshot_20160404_190121 - faceI expected the Khajiit in Reaper’s March to be more concerned about my shadow-cat mount, given how strongly they react to their corrupted Dro-m’Atha kin, but no one seems to care – they seem to recognize their enemy Namira is not part of it.  The level of nuance in their understanding has surprised me several times, and not just in this.  It is possible that I have underestimated the strength and complexity of Khajiit magic.

I certainly did not expect them to ask me to help complete an extensive ritual to choose the new Mane.  Winning over Ayrenn and gaining access to the Altmer royal court was the largest coup I anticipated.  Nonetheless, the new Mane now considers me a friend and owes me a debt.  I’m sure Divayth would be pleased, if I told him.

And I find I’m missing the arrogant bastard, but when I think about contacting him, all I want to do is yell and argue.  Have to wait longer until that passes.

Apologizing is in neither of our natures, but I still do not understand why he reacted so badly – looking back, it seems it was the Dro-m’Atha mount that set him off.  Makes no sense; has to be something else going on in Tel Fyr – why should it bother him more than it does the Khajiit?

They are calling me “Hallowed” now, as a title.  It is… oddly touching.  As aware as I am that having the new Mane indebted to me will no doubt be useful in the future, I must admit, here if nowhere else, that’s not why I did it.  It was enough in the moment to follow the path to its end, and enjoy the satisfaction of fulfilling that purpose.  I do not generally put much stock into prophecies and sacred titles or duties – they are constructs – but… well.  I will repeat that there is more to the Khajiit magic and beliefs than I first suspected.  What I used to see as an obsession with the moons is actually a rich and powerful system.

Another surprise: I am nearly certain that Azura has become involved in my affairs.  I’ve suspected the Prince’s presence a couple of times since I summoned the Dro-m’Atha mount, but I am certain I felt it during the Moon Hallowed ritual, even though I have no proof.  It is interesting that I have caught “her” interest; we have not had many dealings in the past, though I know Divayth sometimes does.  I have never thought much about Azura, but given what I’ve seen, I can imagine it would be… interesting, at least.

It was incredibly satisfying to kill Javad Tharn; such a delight to find he was behind the attacks in Reaper’s March and the Mane.  I had to work with Abnur last week, and his continual, petty insults get under my skin.  I should have killed him when I had the chance, despite what Divayth wanted.

writing myself into various corners

@Zells - sepia stone - smallWhen I started this blog, I assumed I’d be writing regular story-line updates for my mains as I did the quests.  What actually happened is that I binge-played through a whole bunch of story very quickly during my downtime on the weekends, but didn’t have time to update the blog as much as I wanted during the week due to grad school.  So story-line-wise, the blog is way behind where the characters are.  That dampened my enthusiasm for writing the blog for a while, but lately I’ve been mostly farming motifs, so there’s been no real “story” for my characters, and I’m working on catching up with the threads I started.

On that note, however – couple of story issues have also been giving me trouble.  Generally speaking, TES world is well-realized and makes internal sense.  When I see things that exist solely because it’s a video game, I have to fan-wank it until I can smooth out the edges and make it fit. I saw the Dro-m’Atha mount and immediately wanted it, but I’m at a loss to explain how my reasonably-good-aligned characters are okay with riding a creature made by Namira specifically to bring corruption to the world.  (Both the Maw of Lorkhaj and the Reaper’s March zone quests directly involve fighting the Dro-m’Atha; they’re bad guys.)  Nyx wouldn’t touch anything of Namira’s with a ten-foot pole.  Zellfire is more morally flexible, but being a creature of fire she’s metaphysically opposed to Namira, as fire is traditionally what is used to cleanse corruption.

So my fan-wank was to decide the Dro-m’Atha also exist in Azura’s Twilight Realm, that there’s “overlap” of the spheres in Oblivion, and the “tame” mounts we’re all riding are Azura’s, not Namira’s.  That works fine in my head and soothes the “but whyyyyy” itch, but it’s also not canon, and as I proceed forward with Zellfire’s story, it includes more Azura and gets less canon.  I’ve been disinclined to write it here for fear the “what the hell is she on about?” quotient just gets too high, since it doesn’t exactly jibe with what’s in the game.

I didn’t intend for ‘Fire’s argument with Divayth to stretch out for weeks of real time, but I had to figure out if I wanted to resolve it in the way that I’d originally conceived, or if I wanted to change the approach and write-out Azura.  I don’t, though.  So I’m going to keep proceeding forward, and I’ll flag the non-canon bits as I can.

(“Nobody cares this much but you, Zells.”  Yeah, I’ve heard that before.)

Related note: before we lost “baby maw runs” to OneTamriel, I finished collecting all the motif pieces for the Dro-m’Atha armor and weapons, and they are awesome-looking.  Nyx is a night-themed character (“Nyx” in mythology is the Greek goddess of night) and she looks gorgeous in her Dro-m’Atha armor.  I’m looking forward to posting pictures. 🙂

Zellfire, to Divayth

Screenshot_20160404_190121 - faceDivayth,

Your courier caught up with me; I burned the letter unopened.  I told you I would let you know when my temper had cooled.  It hasn’t, yet.

Incidentally – you asked me not to attack Abnur Tharn unless he attacked me first.  He has not, but I did enjoy killing his nephew Javad, who did attack me.  I hope that is not “inconvenient” for you.

Seraphiira

 

Zellfire, to Divayth

Screenshot_20160404_190121 - faceDivayth,

I have received your messages.  Or rather, I received the first eleven of them, decided I had seen all I needed to see for a while and that eleven was a fortuitous number at which to stop.  I have instructed the Mage’s Guild to destroy any further communications from you until I give them different instructions.  They balked at first, but I told them they could charge your account three times the usual fee as compensation for the extra service and that resolved the matter quite nicely.

At this point you are already ranting aloud at me in your study, but honestly, if you wanted an obedient minion, you should not have crossed your own DNA with a fire atronach.  I have a difficult time feeling sorry for you regarding the “trials” I am putting on you – I mean that, as you should know, quite literally: sympathy is not an emotion that comes easily to me.  By your own design, as you might recall.

I am not normally inclined to justifying or defending my actions.  As you are not.  But out of respect and affection, I will address your concerns. Read more…

Zellfire, to Divayth

Screenshot_20160404_190121 - faceSer Paatr,

Have you ever met or had dealings with Abnur Tharn?  Is he a necessary contact or source of information?  Is he useful to you?

Am fantasizing about setting him on fire.  Please advise.

Your flame,
Seraphiira

Zellfire’s ritual journal notes

Screenshot_20160404_190121 - face*Zells note: Most of the entries I do for the characters function at least partly as role-play explanations of things that happen in the game, but that’s especially true of this post, which is my version of how my characters got access to the Dro-m’Atha Senche limited edition mount.  (Besides “it was in the Crown Store” and “I’m a sucker”, I mean.)  There’s a little bit of in-game explanation, in that the people-shaped Dro-m’Athra are corrupted Khajiit, probably Namira’s doing originally, but the information’s a bit sketchy.  I took some liberties, and loosely tied the Dro-m’Atha Senche to Azura, given that she is also worshipped by the Khajiit (as Azurah), and the Dro-m’Atha Senche has twilight associations.  YMMV, as they say, but I’m not claiming this is canon, just my fan-wank.


new page4 DAYS LEFT!
Twilight-Senche summoning

Overheard this afternoon a pair of Bosmer and Khajiit mages discussing an unusual astrological conflux .  Apparently for a span of about 5 days, it will be possible to summon and form a bond with a senche mount made of twilight, using an adapted form of the ritual used to summon Azura’s winged twilight servants.  Must investigate.

rest of page filled with astrological glyphs and alignment configurations
Read more…

Zellfire, to Divayth

Screenshot_20160404_190121 - faceSer Paatr,

While the tree canopy still feels oppressive and continuously wet, and I cannot say that I’ve grown fond of Bosmer, I must concede that their spiritual practices are not entirely intolerable or without merit.  I had an experience with one of their holy men a few weeks ago that – although moving at the time – I did not expect to have lasting impact.  Nonetheless, it appears that it has.  I feel foolish bringing it up, but since the effects seem to keep making themselves known, I feel I should mention it to you.

There is a cult in Grahtwood who call themselves the Brackenleaf Briars.  As a side-effect of being a known associate and unofficial representative of Queen Ayrenn, the Briars offered to initiate me into their cult.  Under normal circumstances I would have declined, but under normal circumstances, they would not have offered.  However, Ayrenn requested I do everything I could to foment convivial relationships between the peoples of the Dominion whenever possible, so I acquiesced to the initiation.

I did not, as I said, expect to feel touched by the ceremony, but I was.  After proving myself to the cult, the initiation ritual connected me to a being they refer to as a “spirit animal”.  I have heard the expression before, and always assumed such a binding ritual would be bloody and horrific.  On the contrary, it was remarkably… it is difficult to describe.  Suffice to say, I was joined by the spirit of the Senche who live in the forest, and it was a profound and even beautiful experience.  Still, it was a memory I expected to enjoy and then let fade – yet that is not what has happened.  The Senche seem to have become a permanent part of my life in some way.  A spirit Senche helped me during a recent mission, and a group of them came to peacefully rest near me while I was crafting a new robe near the Belarata ruins in Malabal Tor.

A few nights ago I overheard a group of Bosmer mages discussing a quirk in the astrological alignments which will briefly allow the conjuring of a Senche-shaped twilight beast to use as a mount.  It’s apparently an adaptation of a ritual used to summon one of Azura’s winged minions – they inhabit similar shadow realms – but it can only be performed under certain conditions and within a very narrow timeframe.  I believe I will return to the Brackenleaf camp during the summoning window and see if I can conjure this Dro-m’Atha Senche; my spiritual connection to the Senche should be enough to help the beast manifest.

There is probably little relevance to this set of events, but since it appears to be a permanent effect, I felt I should make you aware in case it affects your own attunements.

Your Flame,
Seraphiira

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