Letters From Tamriel

An epistolary gaming blog

Archive for the tag “housing”

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

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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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Hunding’s Oasis: pt 0, Prologue

@Zells - sepia stone - smallLet the house tour begin!

The place is huge and I will be uploading a ton of pictures, so this will be a series of posts covering the house a section at a time.  They’ll all be titled in the same format and will have tags for easy searching.  I’ll create a new category for houses, but I’ll also flag the posts with the Nyx category since the house belongs to her and is part of her story.

This post is Part 0: Prologue because we’re going to start with the “backstory” of the house.  After this, the house tour posts will be in the voice of a new character, Zellur’ra – with next month’s crowns I’ll buy a new character slot just so this new alt can hold all the housing items when I’m not decorating.  Furnishings are giving me bank-space-problems like in pre-craft-bag days.  Hopefully ZOS will make a furnishings bag, but until then, Zellur’ra will be the House Steward of Hunding’s Oasis, and Official Holder of Things.

(I once saw a Khajiit character named This One Holds Stuff; cracked me up.  I’ve been tempted to name mine This One Keeps House, but the gimmick names get less funny the more you look at them, so I won’t.)

The story of Hunding’s Oasis begins after the cut.  It’s a mix of actual game lore and stuff I made up.  Feel free to ask if you have questions about any particular detail.

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Luxury Furnishings

@Zells - sepia stone - smallBoy, have I been goin’ through the gold.   Theoretically I’m saving money for the Sleek Creek house in Rawl’kha, but the achievement furnishings are so cool that it’s hard not to buy them.  I’m farming more, auctioning more, finishing up achievements I’ve put off… what a huge boost Homestead has been w/r/t to player activity.

What’s really kicking my bank account’s ass, however, is the luxury items.  I have no regrets – those glow-y flowers are glow-y… how can I be expected to resist that?  Also, drapes and the gazebo…

My screensaver at work is an ESO slideshow of ‘caps I take as I play.  Yesterday, this popped up:

Screenshot_20160603_220605

This was taken in Hew’s Bane, during a Thieves Guild quest where you attend, yes, a wedding.  There’s the wedding gazebo, and the huge hanging drapes.  The rose trellis is also part of this cell.  That’s why those pieces are called “wedding drapes”, etc.

I’m weirdly excited about this, because I often see cool objects in special quest areas, and now that we have housing I’m looking at the world with a modder’s eye again – “how could I reuse that piece?  would it work in that one spot if I turned it on its side?”.  I’m hoping that the luxury vendor continues to pull cool set pieces from quest events like this.

Btw – I am continuing to farm Remains Silent with both my DB characters, and I got another rare furnishings drop the other night that’s not one of the three I shared before.  It’s a set of candles stuck in and dripping down wine bottles.  So there are definitely more than the 3 I mentioned before.  I will post a screencap soon and update that other post.

Enjoy your farming!

Farming in Alik’r: don’t bother

@Zells - sepia stone - smallWhenever my bank alt in Daggerfall steals furnishing patterns from the bank containers, they are usually Breton patterns.  When Issa the Blacksmith pulls patterns out of Deshaan backpacks, they are almost always Dunmer ones.  So I got it into my head that if I wanted Redguard patterns (which I do, so much) I should farm containers in Alik’r.

Uh, yeah.  I don’t know if Redguards are allergic to end tables, or if there’s a local superstition about backpacks being evil.  But for whatever reason, there are hardly any recipe-possible containers in Alik’r.  I spent hours last night looking and came up empty, pretty literally.

I started in the west and moved east across the zone, went into each building and scavenged through all the camps and settlements.  My usual standard for whether or not a building is worth stealing from is a minimum of 5 containers.  (Recipe-possible, not crates.)  I did not find a single building in Sentinel that had 5, even the Inns.  Many buildings had none.  Even the public dungeon only had 2 backpacks, no lootable urns.  I got 3 patterns out of the whole zone – two Khajiit, one Redguard.  The Redguard pattern was a “bin, sealed”.  Wah-wah.

The only single place in Alik’r I found worth checking out is in Leki’s Blade, the settlement mid-zone, north of Bergama.  On LB’s west side, just inside the wall, there’s a collection of tents in a training area, and each tent has three backpacks and an assortment of trash gear; 12-15 backpacks total.  But b/c they aren’t inside an instance, I believe they’re only lootable by one person until they respawn, like harvest nodes.

Still can’t say for certain that there’s a better chance of getting race-specific patterns in different zones, or it’s just been a weird RNG quirk with the Breton and Dunmer ones.  But I can verify that Alik’r is crap for farming them. If you know of a good place, please tell me.  Meanwhile, I’m moving up to southern Bangkor’ai and will report if I have better luck there.

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