Letters From Tamriel

An epistolary gaming blog

Archive for the tag “housing”

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!
XOXO,
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!

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‘Fire’s Workshop (Black Vine Villa tour) part 2: Interior

@Zells - sepia stone - smallI had everything perfectly under control as of Thanksgiving.  Then December happened.  Now it’s mid-January, almost 2 months since my last post, and I honestly feel like it been simultaneously 6 years and about a week. Whew.

I was in the middle of a two-part post giving a tour of one of my houses.  Let’s finish that.  The tour of Zellfire’s Black Vine Villa workshop begins with part 1: the Garden.

Post begins after the cut.
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‘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.
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Training Dummies: why they’re cool

@Zells - sepia stone - smallFor some reason I’ve been hearing a lot of people bashing training dummies in zone chat lately, and I feel like most of them are completely missing the point.

Here are some statements I’ve heard repeatedly:

1.”It’s a false number, actual combat is different.”

Yes, actual combat produces radically different DPS data than the training dummy due to a variety of factors.  However, the DPS stat conveyed by attacking a training dummy consistently gives your top-end DPS under perfect personal conditions – it’s a control number.  That means the environmental variables are reduced, and we can compare apples-to-apples.

If you tell me you just did 25K on a certain boss, that number doesn’t mean anything to me – was it higher because that boss was susceptible to your attack type, or because you had a perfect storm of crits and procs?  Or is that number much lower than your usual because you had to do a lot of evasion?  By contrast, if I tell you I can do 21K DPS on a training dummy, you know precisely where I am, and have a much better chance to gauge how effective I’ll be in a party.  That’s what a control number is.

2.”They don’t actually help with anything.”

Zells: Well, maybe they don’t help YOU, but…

If you want to test a particular kind of attack to see if it triggers a proc or special ability, it can be really difficult to find the right conditions “in the field” to accurately assess that, particularly if you need a large sample size for extensive testing of meta-data.  And it can take time to wander around and find the right kinds of mobs.  But with a training dummy in your back yard, all you have to do is go try the attack and see.

3.”They don’t actually help with anything”, part 2

Smoothing out your rotation is a big part of raising your DPS.  You’ll switch abilities around your bar a lot when you’re trying to improve, and having a way to simply practice going through the motions is hugely helpful in terms of developing the muscle memory for real combat.  For real.

4.”You just like it ‘cuz it’s pretty.”

Okay, not JUST because it’s pretty, see above.

But also: y’r damn right I like it ‘cuz it’s pretty.  Aesthetics and visual appeal are a big deal to me, and so is the role-play and personality aspect of my characters.  Being able to have a combat dummy in some of my character’s houses enriches the game experience for me.  If aesthetics weren’t important, we wouldn’t have dozens of armor motifs.  If the community didn’t enjoy having custom-made, personality-driven spaces in the world, we wouldn’t have player housing.  Just because something doesn’t have value for some players doesn’t mean it isn’t providing value to the rest of the community.

Lastly – you are correct, my combat dummy IS pretty, thanks. 🙂fight club

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.
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Hunding’s Oasis: Pt 5, Back Patio

Zells note – This will be the last post of the house tour for Hunding’s Oasis. This is an especially challenging area to screencap because I deliberately placed the pieces so not everything can be seen at the same time – I wanted to give the sense that there was always something cool right around the corner to pull people along.  Also, I wanted to make good use of the huge space, so many the pieces are large, and often require a long shot to be seen properly.  Really, the best way to see the area is to port in – if you’ve read this far, consider yourself invited, it’s my primary residence. 🙂

Previous posts in the tour can be found via these links:
Part 0: Prologue
Part 1: Entryway
Part 2: Courtyard
Part 3: Interior Downstairs
Part 4: Interior Upstairs

Thanks for everyone who has read and commented on this indulgent series of posts!  (In game, I mean, but fyi, you are allowed to comment on the posts themselves. 🙂 )  I will now turn things over to your tour guide, Zellur’ra, except for the picture captions. Read more…

Hunding’s Oasis: pt 4, Interior Upstairs

Zells note: The house tour begins with Part 0: Prologue, and continues in Part 1: Entryway, Part 2: Courtyard, Part 3: Interior Downstairs, and Part 5: Back Patio. I will now turn things over to your tour guide, Zellur’ra, except for the picture captions.

Although guests are never allowed upstairs without an escort, you are most fortunate to have come at a time when our lady Nyx is away from the Oasis, which means this one is able to show you the master suite. Follow me upstairs and we’ll explore. Read more…

Hunding’s Oasis: pt 3, Interior Downstairs

Zells note: The house tour begins with Part 0: Prologue and continues in Part 1: Entryway, and Part 2: Courtyard. It continues in Part 4: Interior Upstairs and Part 5: Back Patio. I will now turn things over to Zellur’ra, your tour guide, except for the captions on the pictures.

You must be sun-dazzled and road-weary from your journey to Hunding’s Oasis.  Come! Let us step into the cool shade of the house and enjoy its delights. Read more…

Hunding’s Oasis: pt 2, Courtyard

Zells note: The house tour begins with the post “part 0: Prologue” and in Part 1: Entryway. From here it continues in Part 3: Interior Downstairs, Part 4: Interior Upstairs, and concludes in Part 5: Back Patio.  I will now turn things over to Zellur’ra, your tour guide, except for the captions on the pictures where I’ll identify special furnishings and explain any game-mechanics behind the RP.

We are ready to proceed with our tour of Hunding’s Oasis, yes?  Zellur’ra is pleased.  Come, follow her to the courtyard, the jewel of the Oasis.

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Hunding’s Oasis: pt 1, Entryway

Zells note: The house tour begins with the post “part 0: Prologue“, and continues in Part 2: Courtyard , Part 3: Interior Downstairs, Part 4: Interior Upstairs, and Part 5: Back Patio. As I continue, I will update all posts to include links to the others.  (I’m anticipating 5-6 posts, each fairly short but picture-heavy.  I have to do it in pieces because it isn’t all finished yet.)  I will now turn things over to Zellur’ra, your tour guide, except for the captions on the pictures where I’ll identify special furnishings and explain any game-mechanics behind the RP.

Greetings, and welcome to Hunding’s Oasis!  This one is called Zellur’ra, and she is honored to be the House Steward for the Oasis, home of our lady Zellusia Nyxian Cosades.  Today Zellur’ra has the additional honor of being your personal tour guide, which pleases her greatly.  Come, come! Shake the road dust from your boots and relax in our shade.

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