Letters From Tamriel

An epistolary gaming blog

Quote of the Day

“(cursing redacted)”

“(cursing redacted)”

“(cursing redacted)”

-Zells, Tales from the City of Ash, special Multiple Party Wipe edition

Next time on Tales from the City of Ash: Will our heroic underdogs defy all mathematical odds, defeat the mighty Ash Titan, and move on to conquer Valkyn Skoria?  Is it possible to fully recover from the Sanity Point loss caused by this level of frustration?  And most importantly: does Zells get her light/divines Skoria hat?!  Stay tuned and find out!

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Quote of the Day

Zells: Look, I don’t want to be Debbie Downer, but I know this dungeon, I’ve run it a half-dozen times today, and vCoA2 is a DPS race.  As the person doing 60+ percent of the boss damage, I’m telling you: we don’t have the firepower for this.  I don’t have the firepower for this.

Crown: But we were so close that time!

Zells: Dude.  He was still at 36% when we wiped.  That’s not ‘close’, that’s not even under a third.

Crown: But that was so much better!

God help us, it actually was better.  For a value of ‘better’ that still includes a total party wipe.  Or ten.

Quote of the Day

“Wait, hold on – you’re not only still on that same run in vCoA2, you’re still on the Ash Titan? It’s been over half an hour!” <audible snicker>
-Amused Bystander

Spoiler: It was actually way more than half an hour.

Quote of the Day

“You do zero points of damage per second when you’re dead.”

-Deltia, Deltia’s Gaming, Veteran City of Ash 2 walkthrough

Can confirm this is true via extensive testing last weekend.

Related note: damn you, Ash Titan.

YouTube information request

@Zells - sepia stone - smallFor the past several months I have been trying to find a particular kind of ESO resource online, and I have finally come to the conclusion that it doesn’t exist.

Clearly, then, I need to make it, and just as clearly, what I want to do needs to be a video resource and not done in this blog.  But I know nothing about YouTube video creation, and I have a ton of questions.  I’m doing research (there’s an Inception sort of feel to asking YT to give me vids of how to do YT vids), but I’d love to talk to someone who has done it.  So if you know anything about the software & hardware needed, send me a message in game so I can pick your brain.

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…

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!

ESO Community Spotlight: Naryu cosplay

@Zells - sepia stone - smallThe Elder Scrolls Online website is going to be doing a series called “Community Spotlight” where they highlight fan art.  The first in the series focuses on a Naryu Virian cosplay that is amazing.  Really stunning craftsmanship.  If you haven’t seen the article, I highly recommend you go take a look:
ESO Community Spotlight – Valara Atran’s Naryu Cosplay  

In other news, this is the point where I say “wow, I haven’t posted in a while, how does ‘time’ work again?”.  <puts ‘Letters post’ on to-do list>

my toy arrived

In every character house I’ve mod’d, there has always been a miniature Centurion sitting on a shelf or display somewhere, about a one-foot scale, if it’s sitting on a bookshelf.

Now there’s a one-foot scale Centurion sitting on MY real-life bookshelf.  I am way too old to be this deeply happy about a toy, but here we are. 🙂

Morrowind unboxing pic

There are many Centurions like it, but this one is mine.

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