Letters From Tamriel

An epistolary gaming blog

Archive for the tag “Crafting”

‘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…

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9/9!! (almost)

Zellfire profile pic - face onlyTonight when I log in, I will start research on the last trait Zellfire needs for blacksmithing.  And with that, I will be a mere 28 days away from being 9 of 9 on all crafting skills.

I don’t regret splitting the crafting skills up over 5 alts in the beginning – it allowed me to focus skill points and max out the skills faster.  If I had to do it over again I would do the same thing, except I would have started ‘Fire’s research simultaneously.  As it was, I didn’t start her research until I learned how rare motifs work, so she got a really late start on wood-working and blacksmithing.

But now it’s finally at an end.  After almost 2 years I can throw away the sticky note I’ve had in my calendar that I’ve been using to track when the next research starts.  Yay. 🙂

In other exciting news, the Witches’ Festival will be beginning next week, really looking forward to that.  They’re re-releasing the Grim Harlequin motif and the Scarecrow and Pumpkin costumes are back. I like that new people are getting a shot at those items, but I’m also hoping there’s something new in the mix.  And Clockwork City will be dropping on the 23rd, which…

::babbles incoherently for 20 minutes before stopping to take a breath::

I’m looking forward to seeing it, let’s leave it at that. 🙂  It’s a good month for Tamriel.

One other update: I am still working on the YouTube channel and hope to have my first video up next week.  It’s been a learning curve – had to find and learn recording software, editing software, figure out the voice-over recording, etc.  But I think the technical aspects are mostly beaten into shape.  I’ll do another post with an announcement once there is content on the channel.

Happy Fredas, everyone!

Trait switching! zomg!

@Zells - sepia stone - smallI was excited about the Clockwork City DLC from go, because – well, you’ve met me.  The huge TES: Morrowind geek is excited about getting to see more of Sotha Sil’s clockwork city, what a shock, right?  To be fair, if you’ve been inside the Halls of Fabrication trial, or finished the Morrowind chapter’s main quest, then you know how potentially cool this is.

But let’s set aside the fun of getting to hang with Divayth Fyr and kill fabricants again, and talk for a second about this other upcoming change mentioned in the press release: trait switching.

Yeah, that’s right, you heard me.  Switching traits on gear that’s already made.  Cue the choir of angels bursting into song…

The Clockwork City DLC game pack and Update 16 also introduce the all-new Transmutation system, allowing you to change the traits on your gear, including weapons and armors.

In order to Transmute an item, you must locate a Transmutation station and have the item trait researched in your crafting Skill Line. This means if you’d like to add the Sharpened trait to your dagger, you must first ensure you have the ability to craft daggers with that trait. You’ll be able to find a Transmutation station in the heart of the Brass Fortress within the Clockwork City or acquire one for your home from a certain Master Writ merchant.

In addition to the crafting skill requirement, Transmutation requires a special new resource called Transmutation Crystals that you’ll need to collect and save. You’ll be able to earn Transmutation Crystals by completing veteran level content (such as Veteran Mode Dungeons or Trials).

That changes the end-game grind entirely.  I never expected to see this, not at all.  The devs have said in live stream chats they intend to implement jewelry crafting at some point.  I’ve wished for that, but I wasn’t sure we’d ever get the ability to improve dropped jewelry, and sort of assumed it wouldn’t happen, since it would change/diminish the end-game grind.  But being able to switch traits on gear has an even greater impact on that than improving jewelry would.

I’m a happy, happy Zells.  Now lets hope those “Transmutation Crystals” aren’t harder to get than, say, a sharpened vMA Inferno staff. :p  I know the TCs are not going to be easy, and it almost certainly will be true that they’ll come in fragments that have to be assembled into a full crystal.  Or possibly they’ll be rare drops in vet mode.  But some vet dungeons are way easier than others, and some I really find fun.  I’m okay with running a dungeon multiple times to get the crystals, if it’s one my friends and I can enjoy and not, say, vCoA2.  As a purely random example.

Sweet Divines, the gear I’ve decon’d and now wish I had back.  Not sure how to approach grinding at this point.  Do I just keep one of everything until CWC drops?  Decisions, decisions.

No release date yet; all announcements say Fall. <fidgets impatiently>

Housing reaction: yay

@Zells - sepia stone - small

I won’t bury the lede: I’m just as happy about housing as I hoped I would be.  Yay, ZOS.  Cookies all around.  The housing patch represents an immense amount of work on the devs part, really staggering.  The system has a ton of options that make it extraordinarily customizable and yet the overall set-up is still very accessible to casual players.  I’m really impressed. Specific comments after the cut. Read more…

Crafting & Hirelings

@Zells - sepia stone - smallIf you’re a crafter you might have heard about building crafting skills on alts in order to get hirelings.  If you haven’t heard about setting that up, Deltia’s Gaming has an excellent vid on the system.  All the YouTube vids on hirelings are a bit out-of-date, though (including that one), so I thought I’d clarify some of the changes and report on how it’s worked for me.

Many will say hirelings have been nerfed and are no longer worth developing on alts.  It’s certainly not as easy as it was, and I absolutely agree with Deltia’s Gaming that not everyone has the time or inclination for all this, but for me it was well worth it.

Here’s some details: Read more…

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