Letters From Tamriel

An epistolary gaming blog

Archive for the tag “review”

Scalecaller Peak – review/boss tips

@Zells - sepia stone - smallI was able to twist my group’s collective arms and get them to run Scalecaller last Thursday (by which I mean I said “hey, let’s…” and they said “YES”). I also did Fang Lair Keep this weekend, too.

Fun dungeons, both. Challenging, but that’s good. The DLC dungeons have been harder than base-game, and that’s true in this case. But it’s been long enough since I’ve been in any of the DLC dungeons that I can’t really compare this one to any previous – Scalecaller seems easier than Cradle of Shadows, for example, but the last time I ran CoS my DPS was at least 10K lower, maybe 15…

(Wow, hadn’t realized it, but that’s true. I suddenly want to re-run every hard dungeon that’s ever kicked my ass. Suppose my boss would understand if I told him I needed to take today off, go home immediately, and run DLC dungeons all day?)

We got hung up a couple of the fights and looked around online for walkthroughs detailing those mechanics, but couldn’t find any with the info we needed, so we wiped and watched and wiped and experimented and wiped and eventually figured them out. A couple of those wipes were frustrating, but I’d much rather have battles in the game I can’t walk through the first time.

(Alcast now has an excellent walkthrough guide with all boss mechanics detailed at his site, this Reddit user posted some good tips, and I have some brief notes after the cut.)

The story for Scalecaller Peak: a group of Peryite cultists found a Dragon Priest lair and is using it as a base of operations to concoct a powerful new disease to ravage Tamriel. All the previous lair-dwellers are now infected w/the disease – skeevers, ogres, leimenids, etc. Someone in your group needs Purge slotted on their weapon bar.

Peryite is the Daedric Prince of pestilence, and he is depicted as a wyrm (skinny dragon) as a sort of insult to Akatosh; when you get to the final battle you can see statues of him the cultists have erected. I mention this because it confused me – they’re obviously not statues of proper TES dragons and just as obviously not part of the original Dragon Priest construction, and I forgot Peryite is depicted that way. My group asked me about them; I rolled and failed my Daedra-Lore check. How embarrassing. Hopefully doing the follow-up research will redeem me. 🙂

Peryite Shrine - Oblivion

This is where you’ve seen that statue before – Peryite shrine, Oblivion

It was nice to see the Dragon Priest trappings again. (For a value of “nice” that includes enemies trying to melt your face off, natch.) The “interior” of the dungeon is very reminiscent of Skyrim – after the entrance the path leads up the mountain, taking you outside for beautiful vistas of snow-and-ice-covered ravines and peaks before leading you back to disease-filled cave corridors and then ultimately up to the mountain’s summit overlook for the final battle. Really beautiful work.

In summary: tough, fun, pretty, fun, slot Purge!, fun.

Armor sets and boss tips are after the cut.
Read more…

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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!

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…

Witches Festival review

@Zells - sepia stone - smallThe Witches Festival ended this morning; here are my thoughts.  It’s hard to imagine that anyone reading this doesn’t know what the event was, but I’ll start with a quick recap.

To participate in the Festival, players “bought” (for free) a Crow Caller from the Crown Store, which then put a crow caller item (a whistle) into their inventory.  Using the Crow Caller summoned a witch who gave a quest to kill a boss.  The boss dropped a Plunder Skull – a container with a random assortment of loot: 1-5 “creepy” mats (spider eggs, worms, etc.); 1-3 Amber Marbles (the style mat for the Hollowjack motif); and lastly, a HJ motif page / creepy recipe / special rare mask.  The quest reward was a Momento (witch whistle) that caused a 2-hour skeleton polymorph – wearing the skelly polymorph doubled player experience pts and caused bosses to drop Plunder Skulls.

There were achievements for doing the original quest, learning all the Hollowjack motifs, and collecting 100 Plunder Skulls.  There were also limited-edition items available from the Crown Store (a “Grim Harlequin” motif, scarecrow & pumpkin polymorphs, and a zombie horse).  That’s the recap; review is after the cut. Read more…

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