Letters From Tamriel

An epistolary gaming blog

Archive for the tag “customization”

Update 17 review

@Zells - sepia stone - small


I realize the game devs don’t make changes to the game based on what I personally want – I’m merely dead center in their target demographic.  Nonetheless, I do continually feel the updates are personal love notes just to me.

Dearest Zells,
Of our millions of players, we want you, personally, to be happy, so have some segregated housing storage and a new way to completely customize the appearance of your gear no matter what drop-set you’re wearing. Also: leveling rewards! And did we mention there’s new dye colors, and you can dye weapons now?
Happy Valentine’s Day!
Game Devs

I ❤ you, too, Devs!  ~makes little heart shape with hands~

~pauses, looks at all the patient faces in the audience~

Uh…. so that’s not a “review” in the strictest sense of the word, huh? Yeah, okay, valid response on your part.

I’m going to try and talk my usual Thursday night group into doing the new dungeons this week (shouldn’t have to twist their arms much), and hopefully by Friday I’ll have something to say that’s more coherent than the high-pitched dolphin noises I’m making now and was making last night when I was cleaning furnishings out of my banker and putting them into my new storage containers. Because there’s segregated housing storage now, have I mentioned that already at any point? 🙂

Have a great week!

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: DB exclusives

@Zells - sepia stone - smallZOS indicated the Shadowy Supplier skill in the Dark Brotherhood skill line would have a rare chance of dropping special housing furnishings.  I knew about one item, but didn’t know details, so I went looking for the how and what of that, and the info was not available in one place.  So here you go!

Remains Silent, your local Shadowy Supplier, gives you three options to choose from each day.  Each option has the (rare) possibility of dropping one item.  To get all three items, you have to farm each option.  Because it’s a rare drop you might have to farm a long time, and you only get one shot each day (per character).  RNG is a fickle friend, be patient.

(None of the following pics are my screencaps, and are used without permission.  My thanks to the ESO community.)

Choosing the Potions/Poisons option gives a chance of getting a Vial of Poisoned Blood.


Two Vials of Poisoned Blood in an empty pie dish.

Choosing the Stealthy option gives you a chance of getting a Light-and-Shadows candle.


Light and Shadows candle

And choosing “Gear” gives you a chance to get the Sacrificial Heart.


Sacrificial Heart

As far as I can find, those are the only three items available from Remains Silent, at least for now.  Good luck!

And I’m closing with a random YouTube video, just because it amused me.  I’m more than a little afraid of heights in real life, so much so that jumping and climbing in video games gives me vertigo and makes my stomach lurch.  I am very, very bad at jumping puzzles, it was always a problem when I played Tomb Raider.  When I learned that the ESO housing editor allowed objects to be permanently placed in the air, I knew immediately there would be people who would construct elaborate jumping obstacle courses.  I came across this vid today, which is a “climbing map” for Kilnerdyne’s house.  I don’t know Kilnerdyne, but I’m impressed with the hours that went in to making this crazy death-trap.  Kudos. 🙂

“ESO Climbing Map – Kilnerdyne’s House,” posted by Eddie Banks

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…

Housing: OMG

@Zells - sepia stone - small

Hi, and welcome back from winter break!  Or maybe that’s just me.  At any rate, welcome to 2017. 🙂

Housing is coming to ESO in February.  Right now it’s on the PTS, and I considered diving in to the PTS to try it, but I decided to wait.  I don’t want to hassle with downloading the game all over again to get PTS access, but more importantly, I don’t want to “re-do” any work I put into housing – don’t want to decorate one on the PTS and then decorate it again when Homestead goes live for real.  But the preview vids are hitting YouTube and I am drooling.  The rest of this post is a verbal rendition of that drool, and my personal history with TES. 🙂  It’s extremely TL;DR. Read more…

Shadows of the Hist upgrades

@Zells - sepia stone - smallIs there anything more certain than the phrase “Imma post more” followed by weeks of not posting?  It’s like a blog trope all on its own.

So the Shadows of the Hist went live on Aug 1 and there’s new dungeons.  I haven’t been to any of them; I actually don’t run group dungeons all that much, yet.  I used to in WoW, and I will in ESO, eventually.  But right now I’m mostly soloing, and the exciting part of this patch for me is all the new aesthetic options available.  I build “theme” characters with a specific look in mind, and I hate it when the clothes/hair don’t reflect the character.  Pretty much no matter how many hairstyles are available, I want more – I always end up putting new hair/clothing mods into the solo games.

So naturally I’m delighted about the Style Shop hair additions, and I think buying the pack with Crowns is not a bad option.  They also added the ability to dye costumes, and that’s super cool.  Never expected to see that; I figured they would always be static.  It made the costumes much less appealing to me, because a) of all possible costumes, only 1-2 would work for any particular character of mine, and b) that exact same costume is worn by a lot of characters.  My little noble Breton chef is simply beside herself every time there’s someone else in the bank wearing her dress.  Quelle horreur!  But honestly, that dress is everywhere, which makes it less interesting to me.  It isn’t “customization” if every tenth person is wearing it.

With the addition of costume dying, the ability to truly customize drastically increases.  I never used the Shrouded Armor or Thieves Guild leathers, b/c one is overwashed-red and the other is meh-brown.  But they are great-looking sets when dyed, full of interesting detail.

Related note: on the whole, I’m really impressed with the clothing in ESO.  I love that low level clothing is rough, cracked, full of seams, and doesn’t take dye well – the raw material itself is coarse – while the higher-level armor is smooth, detailed fabric with fine seams that dyes richly.  I like that the disguises and costumes can be worn over armor so it’s easy to appear to wear “clothes” in town without losing your armor buffs and protection.  (I don’t know how many times in Skyrim I’ve forgotten to change out of street clothes and got killed by  skeevers the second I walked out of town.)  And I really love the dye system itself, where colors are unlocked by achievements.  I’ve done a lot of questing the game specifically to get this or that color.

I finally got a character to vet level last week – Zellfire – and at the Champion 20 level there’s a Golden Saint costume reward.  It’s a great mesh, but I never would have worn it because the “gold” colors it comes in are weirdly bland.  I can dye it now, though, and in dark red, gold, and black, it looks stunning on Zellfire.  Since her backstory is that she’s part fire atronach, it’s wonderfully thematic.  And dyed black, Covenant blue, and silver, it looks fantastic on Nyx, too.  I’ve gone through and dyed each costume for each character I have, and now each of them have several great options that I can switch on a whim.

I know – I’m such a girl, right?  But look, if I’m going to spend literally hundreds of hours staring at a character, I want lots of attractive options I can easily switch out, because otherwise I’m visually bored.

600 words to say: COSTUME DYING, Y’ALL!  PRETTY!  What can I say – I’m easily amused.

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