Letters From Tamriel

An epistolary gaming blog

Archive for the category “Zellspeak”

mystery motif

Hey, folks! I keep seeing this motif, but I can’t figure out what it is. Has wings, but definitely NOT Ra Gada. Looks Nocturnal-esque, but it’s also not Ebonshadow. Has similar details to Scalecaller, but Scalecaller doesn’t have wings… unless it’s a variant? I’ve heard they’re doing that now. Let me know if you recognize it!

mystery wings

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Summerset How-To post errata, pt 2

@Zells - sepia stone - smallAnother few small updates have been made to the Summerset How-To post:

  1. I said 2 dailies were available; there are actually 3. The third is available from the Battlereeve standing between the crafting area and the Justiciars who give dailies. She sends you out to take down 3 Abyssal Geysers, however, her reward bag will not drop any Sapiarch motif pages.
  2. The Fang Lair and Scalecaller motifs were delayed and are just now dropping in-game. However, as of June 29 there is a bug preventing some players from learning the motifs.
  3. The Golden Gryphon Inn room is available for free to some players… I’d originally guessed that it was free if the character was under CP, but that is not correct. Current guess is that is given for free only if none of your characters have ever previously acquired any of the Inn rooms.
  4. No word yet on the price, but the Colossal Aldmeri Grotto player home will be available for sale from the Crown store from July 5-16.
  5. I have seen the (gold quality) grandfather clock for sale in guild traders, so I believe the pattern is now available from Rolis, but have not looked yet. But it is definitely available in-game now.

TES6 Speculation

E3 has come and gone, but the shock waves are still rolling from the announcement that Bethesda is, yes, working on Elder Scrolls VI. We are years away; the game is only in pre-production at this point, but… it IS in pre-production. 🙂 We’re looking at a release date of 2021 or 2022.

I’ve watched a few reaction videos, and my favorite is Scott on the FudgeMuppet channel at YouTube. He looks at the promo vid, then compares the geography to Tamriel, as well as considering lore, to figure out the setting of the game. Lots of good info in this vid, and his logic is solid, given what we know. Check it out:

I think his guesses are good guesses, and I don’t really disagree with his conclusions – High Rock and/or Hammerfell seems most likely. But I thought I’d take a look at some of the foundation assumptions he makes at the beginning of his argument.

Spoiler warning: I discuss the endings of previous TES solo games in this post. Click the Read More tag at your own peril. 🙂
Read more…

Summerset How-To post errata

@Zells - sepia stone - small I have made two small updates/corrections to the Summerset How-To post:

1) The recipe that affects fishing (I believe it’s called Lure Allure) no longer causes you to receive x2 drops with each cast. That was a glitch, not the intended effect of the food, and it has since been patched. Darnit. The actual intended effect, currently in play, gives a solo fisher the same increased chance at rare fishing drops that would be received if two people were fishing together.

2) Jewelry with the Swift trait is a possible drop from jewelry crafting writs as previously stated, but I missed one thing – the trait mat for Swift, Gilding Wax, is available from the masterwrit vendor Rolis Hlaalu. The cost is 20 vouchers.

And on a related note – I’ll also be updating my how-to guide for Thieves Guild Heists and Dark Brotherhood Sacraments to include the Swift trait and jewelry crafting. It’s now possible to make Night’s Silence jewelry, and also possible to transmute your current Night Terror jewelry so it has the Swift trait, which will be a godsend for those runs.

Crown Sale! Earthtear! Whee!

@Zells - sepia stone - small

Have been super busy lately (sorry about the silence!), but I almost posted yesterday just to whine about the fact that it had been 19 weeks since the last Crown sale. I’ve been waiting since February to buy Crowns for Earthtear Cavern, and I was beginning to drum my fingers impatiently on the desk. There may have been some frowning.

But lo! Today begins a Crown sale! Huzzah! Much rejoicing! Earthtear shall be mine!

(!!!All Teh Exclamation points!!!)

And yes, I’ve seen the Aldmeri Grotto, and yes, it’s… all-the-superlatives. Truly magnificent. Outclasses Earthtear by a solid mile. So much so that it was a bit overwhelming – I’d actually rather try and talk my favorite guild into getting it than have it myself. Also… I have plans for Earthtear; I’ve been playing in it for months, I will not be side-tracked. Gimme. :p

Summerset Isle as a whole is a spectacularly beautiful zone, in that super-manicured-lawn-way of the Altmer. I’ll put up some screenshots next week. I also have a couple of posts mostly-finished about alt builds – speed/harvester build, thief build, etc. – and hopefully will get those up next week. Also planning a farming guide for the new motifs. Oh, and I’ve been doing research on the Psijic Order and Altmer history/mythology.

Hm. Perhaps another reason I haven’t posted lately is because I’ve started a half-dozen things I haven’t finished, lol.

But for now I’m basking in the glow reflected off my new shiny stack of Crowns, and looking forward to logging in tonight. 🙂 wooooooooooot

Morrowind access changes!

@Zells - sepia stone - smallSuper big news just hit, and I want to help spread the word. The official press release from ZOS is at this link.

In a nutshell: when Summerset drops on June 5, the patch update will change Morrowind access – it will become a DLC. That means all ESO+ subscribers will have it. Additionally, the Battlegrounds will become part of the base game, available to everyone. The Warden class will not be fully unlocked, but it will be available for purchase in the Crown store, and there will also be a Crown store pack that will contain the digital extras currently available by purchasing Morrowind.

When Morrowind was first announced, there was a collective uproar from the community because the ESO+ description says subscribers have access to all DLCs, yet to get around that, ZOS deliberately defined Morrowind as a “chapter” instead. It’s still a point of contention, and I get why. But I was in retail a long, long time, so I also understand profit margins, and the pros and cons of living in a capitalist society. I didn’t like ZOS’s decision, but I understood it. There’s a reason pay-to-play expansions are a standard in the MMO world.

No decision is going to please every single person in the community, but this feels like a great compromise, and if it’s the new model, I approve.

Happy Birthday, ESO!

ESO is 4 years old this month, but there were no holiday events the first year, so we are heading into the 3rd birthday party. Official announcement release is at this link.

The birthday event may be my favorite. Possibly because it was the first event – they have holidays in WoW and I missed them in ESO, so I was excited they’d been introduced, and I like that they started with a birthday celebration.

But I also like the event because the rewards are linked to dailies & weeklies, which means a wide variety in activities you can do to participate. My biggest single issue w/the the events (which I think is everyone’s issue) is that repeating the same activities for the rewards gets boring. Not an issue during the birthday fest.

Also: rare motif pages can drop in the reward boxes, and as a craftaholic, I’ve been looking forward to those reward boxes for months. 🙂

It amuses me that the cakes get a new tier each year; that’s going to be a biiiiig cake in a decade.

Chef and Jubilee Cake - ESO 2nd yr birthday

Last year’s two-tier cake.

In addition to announcing the event, the promo article also listed a bunch of fun stats, which I’m copying below… and congrats to my EP buddies, I feel I should add. 🙂


ESO Turns Four!

In these four years, we’ve been proud to hit some big-time milestones, including 10 million players last year. That said, the ESO community has hit some pretty amazing milestones of their own. Check out these incredible in-game statistics from PC/Mac launch until today:

  • Total number of monsters killed: 15,881,472,493
  • Total number of players killed: 1,346,033,201
  • Total number of Soul Gems used: 1,183,836,570
  • Total number of quests completed: 2,064,266,404
  • Total number of items crafted: 7,415,834,454
  • Total number of achievements earned: 1,145,234,018

And, finally, here’s some additional numbers that might surprise:

  • Most popular race: High Elf (14.98% of all characters)
  • Most popular Alliance: Ebonheart Pact (36.33% of all characters)
  • Most PvP Kills by Alliance: Ebonheart Pact (122,490,253 kills)
  • Highest unpaid bounty: 248,655,731 gold
  • Highest paid bounty: 362,324 gold

Chapter 2: Summerset Isle

@Zells - sepia stone - smallBack in this post I speculated on the content of the next chapter, and at that point I had my fingers crossed that it wouldn’t be Summerset. Not that I hate the idea, but there are just so many other areas I’d have liked to seen them add first.

Not too proud to admit when I’m wrong, however, and I was. As y’all know by now, we’re heading to Summerset. There was foreshadowing galore, it makes sense… my denial had more to do with how much I want to see Azura’s realm of Moonshadow more than, y’know, logic. Maybe next year. 🙂

The Altmer are interesting, and I’ll do a lore post or two about them before the chapter hits. And I’m certainly not going to argue about how beautiful the promo footage looks. But there’s one thing in the new chapter I didn’t anticipate at all, and hadn’t heard anyone speak of in rumor: the Psijic Order.

The Psijic Order is mysterious but super cool, and I’ve wanted to know more about them for years. Excited to finally meet them, and even more excited that we get to join. This is a much bigger deal to me than Summerset itself. The new skill line sounds… game-changing, in many ways. I love the idea of the Do Over ability as time manipulation, since that’s their thing. I’ll probably also be doing a lore post on the Order – there’s not a whole lot we know about them, and I think they’ve flown under the radar of a lot of players. Entirely possible for a TES player to not know of them at all if they haven’t played Skyrim. And even then, you know of them, but not necessarily about them.

And, of course, the biggest news to hit the game for a while: jewelry-crafting is coming. We don’t know a lot right now, but in the stream Rich specifically mentioned Hunding’s Rage jewelry, so we’ll definitely be able to craft jewelry for currently-craftable sets. That will make a huge difference in building set combinations – to date it’s been impossible to wear two crafted sets unless you were wearing the Endurance/Willpower/Agility jewelry, which beginning players – or those who don’t do PvP or group content – won’t have. It eliminates some of the jigsaw-puzzle aspect of set-building, and, of course, it will mean a drastic change in how much folks have to farm to complete an end-game set.

Honestly, I’m impressed with how much effort they’ve put into eliminating the worst of the grinding – between transmutation and jewelry crafting, it will no longer be necessary to run the same dungeon a jillion times to get a gear set. IMO, it’s a bit of a risky move for an MMO – the standard model across most MMO platforms is for end-game content to suck up player time with forced-grinding situations. It’s why a lot of players leave MMOs, get bored, or don’t play them to begin with. So I applaud the shift, and also the guts it took to step away from the standard formula.

On the off chance that you haven’t seen the official announcements, here’s the link to the article on the ESO website, and if you missed the original announcement interview, here’s the Twitch link. Rich is wearing pants this time. 🙂

The Skooma Bubbler Conspiracy

If you got to this blog post from a “Skooma Bubbler” search, you’re probably looking for this information: the Bubblers and the pattern can still be gotten in-game, but only by pickpocketing npcs with the “Drunkard” designation. The Bubbler itself is a rare drop; the pattern is a very rare drop, but it’s possible. The best places to try are Inns, or towns with celebrations going on, like Skywatch or Windhelm. Good luck!

Now on to the Actual Post…

Khajiit-Skooma-BubblerIt’s the little things that keep me up at night, like the fact that we harvest honeycomb from wasps during the New Life Festival. What’s up with that ZOS? And this has bugged me from the first time I saw it. The picture on the left is a “Khajiit Skooma Bubbler”.

Look at the color of the glass and the curved shape of those weird pointy bits. I don’t know how much time you’ve spent looking at furnishing items, but I have an hour or two invested, and I call shenanigans.

Let’s take a look at some Dunmer furnishings:

Dark Elf furnishings side-by-side

And for comparison, here’s a few actually-Khajiit items:

Khajiit furnishings side-by-side

The shape of the pointy bits is different, the color of the gold metal is different, and no other Khajiit item is that green color.

That’s not a Khajiit Skooma Bubbler, y’all – that’s a Dark Elf Skooma Bubbler.

I’m imagining the dude who invented it was in the process of manufacturing and shipping out a few hundred of them when he got busted by Ordinators. He immediately pointed at his Khajiit slaves, shouted “All theirs!”, pocketed the gold in the confusion, and ran. The Ordinators said, “Sure, that tracks,” and killed all the Khajiit on site, because: Ordinators. They then labelled all the boxes “Khajiit Skooma Bubblers” and sent them to the evidence locker in Vivec City. Where, of course, they promptly went missing.

The Dunmer know darn well those things were designed with Vvardenfell glass by a Vvardenfell artisan, but as a people they excel at both self-deception and blame-shifting. Meanwhile, the Khajiit are like, “Meh, whatever, add the accusation to the list of injustices, just quit Bogarting.”

Conversations with Sotha Sil

This is what the inside of my head sounds like when I’m playing in Clockwork City. Happy Friday!

Screenshot_20171105_202049

People say life is the product of our choices, but I’ve never found that to be the case.
– Sotha Sil, at the culmination of Clockwork City’s main quest

Zells: Okay, but… the “Dancing Spider” fabricants: those were a choice, right? They didn’t exist, and you decided to make them, and now they’re everywhere, jumping on me, making that snickity-snackity sound with their pruning shear pincers as they try and sever my body parts… leaping clockwork spider-bots, Sil. You did that. On purpose. Choices matter.

Sil: Life is such a mystery; who among us can precisely define causality?

Zells: And hey, about that mega-processed “nutrient paste” everyone trapped in your Clockwork City eats to survive… I’ve noticed there are no graveyards here, no bodies. Have you ever considered that your choices are not the choices others would make, if they had the chance?

Sil: “Choice” and “chance” are both illusions, of course. The flow of time does not alter its course for the wishes of individuals, regardless of their nobility of purpose.

Zells: Riiiiight. Speaking of that no-graveyards issue – I also notice you encourage your apostles to be curious about all things, except information about the process by which you create your factotum servants is behind a hard firewall. And I’ve noticed the factotums say “By Seht’s Will I am bound” quite frequently. Would it be wrong to assume those factotums are powered by soul gems containing the souls of your former citizens? Perhaps that’s why so many of them end up “defective” and prone to attacking everyone? Since being trapped in a soul gem in a metal body is an unbearable existence that drives souls mad?

~cough~Asylum Sanctorum~cough~

Sil: Existential boundaries are always in flux, a continuum rather than a clear divide as we all like to fool ourselves into believing. From the long view, who of us can say what “life” even is?

Zells: Yeah, that’s what I thought. So glad we had this talk. You’re the worst, buddy.

Sil: I don’t disagree; I anticipate paying quite dearly for my many transgressions. If only I could have altered my behavior at some point and prevented any of this from happening.

Zells: If only.

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