Letters From Tamriel

An epistolary gaming blog

Archive for the tag “Zellfire”

The Alts, specifics

@Zells - sepia stone - smallLast post I babbled about the generalities of my alt line-up; this time I’ll go through the specifics of what they each do.

Someone once commented, “so when do you stop messing around with all that and start playing the game?” Just to be clear: this is me playing the game. I actually do like grinding, it amuses the same part of my brain that likes to knit or make chain jewelry – small, repetitive actions towards a goal are soothing to me – and when I’m in the right mood I can farm a circuit for 6 hours w/o blinking. At the same time, the instant I do get bored, I’m done. My characters are set up the way they are so I never feel stuck, or like I’m in a rut; I do whatever is fun until it isn’t fun anymore, then I jump characters and do something else. I go down the list approximately in the order I have it below, skipping any character if I don’t feel like doing their thing, or if I’m pressed for time.

All of my characters now have 50 in all crafting skills, but until a couple of weeks ago, one character in the rotation would be doing decon as part of their log-in. And I’m down to only 3 characters who need the stable, but a stable trip also used to be part of the deal.

Aaaaaaaaaand: cut.
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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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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!

DPS Build Tweaking

@Zells - sepia stone - smallFor the last few months I’ve been working on getting my dps game up to the next level.  Or, to be honest, any level at all.  I originally made all my skill choices for RP reasons – Zellfire has been a fire mage for twenty years; she’s part fire atronach, she uses fire.  I was a little disappointed that the mage skill lines include a shock-based line (Storm Calling) but no fire-based skills.

In the solo games, the choice of element was purely aesthetic, but what I’ve found in ESO is that Zellfire just isn’t effective using only fire-based Inferno Staff skills – the Storm Calling line has serious advantages, and not using it really hamstrung me in terms of end-game performance.  The first time I tested my dps numbers against a training dummy, I was under 6K.  Which did get me through solo/PvE content, but in end-game… sucks.  I couldn’t pull my weight in group-play, and that was not acceptable.

It took me quite a while to fix the build, because in addition to farming gear, I also had to put Storm Calling on my bar and raise it first – when I started this merry up-my-game adventure, my Storm Calling skill was 3, even though ‘Fire was at the CP cap.  I had literally never used it and couldn’t even buy most of the spells.  I had to raise the skill line, level the spells themselves, learn how to use them, respec her skill points, her CP, and completely change her gear…

Finally got the build to a point where I felt like I might be approaching “competent”.  So I installed the combat metrix add-on and went out to farm dolmens and see where my numbers were.  Most of my dolmen-boss fights ended up in the 17-28K range, which actually is mostly-sort-of-competent, go me.

But also – this happened, and I’m still giggling about it:

DPS 60K 2

60K DPS!  This is what statisticians call an “outlier”.

Screenshot or it didn’t happen, right?  Totally a freak moment, but for a little over a second there, I was a serious badass. 🙂

In real terms, I’m still not quite where I could be / want to be, but after studying the numbers, I’m pretty sure I know what needs to be adjusted.  I need to farm Burning SpellWeave gear (because I’m not letting go of fire damage without a fight, dammit), so I’ve spent some time this week watching YouTube vids of City of Ash runs.  There were several “solo run” vids, and those players were running various kinds of combat-stats add-ons, so I could see their numbers.  Their dps was better than mine, but not by a huge margin.  I decided to try it myself and see how it went.
First solo
This is ‘Fire, standing over the body of the final boss in City of Ash.  I totally did it, my first solo run through a group dungeon.  I burned through about 20 soul gems on the Warden mini-boss, but Razor Master Erthas went down the first attempt.  Don’t know if you can see the HP, but I was down to 5.6% when he fell.  I was also on fire and was so excited I didn’t realize it.  All the mobs were down, so it didn’t really matter, but by the time I figured out I was still taking damage and jumped into the water, I was at .2%.

I can still say I cleared the end boss without dying, though. 🙂

I need a full set of BSW gear.  I need practice in the dungeons with groups so I know where to stand and when to run and where to run and which enemy to attack and how to better coordinate with the tanks and healers.  But I’m getting there.

Before I wrap this up, I have to say: I ❤ my Grothdarr set.  The first time it proc’d and the lava pool erupted around ‘Fire’s feet, I was so happy and caught up in how cool it was I quit paying attention to the fight and got ‘Fire killed.  Poor Zellfire, she tries so hard, but her player has the attention span of a squir – oh, look, something shiny!

 

Happy Friday, everyone, and happy hunting!

Quotes from Tamriel

“Have you heard the one about the Telvanni chef?  Her idea of a hot meal was burning down the tower!”
– Guard at Kragenmoor, Stonefalls

“Sheesh, you forget one plate of Fishy Sticks in the oven, burn down one mushroom tower, you hear about it for years.  This is why I don’t cook.” – Zellfire

Zellfire’s ritual journal notes

Screenshot_20160404_190121 - faceI expected the Khajiit in Reaper’s March to be more concerned about my shadow-cat mount, given how strongly they react to their corrupted Dro-m’Atha kin, but no one seems to care – they seem to recognize their enemy Namira is not part of it.  The level of nuance in their understanding has surprised me several times, and not just in this.  It is possible that I have underestimated the strength and complexity of Khajiit magic.

I certainly did not expect them to ask me to help complete an extensive ritual to choose the new Mane.  Winning over Ayrenn and gaining access to the Altmer royal court was the largest coup I anticipated.  Nonetheless, the new Mane now considers me a friend and owes me a debt.  I’m sure Divayth would be pleased, if I told him.

And I find I’m missing the arrogant bastard, but when I think about contacting him, all I want to do is yell and argue.  Have to wait longer until that passes.

Apologizing is in neither of our natures, but I still do not understand why he reacted so badly – looking back, it seems it was the Dro-m’Atha mount that set him off.  Makes no sense; has to be something else going on in Tel Fyr – why should it bother him more than it does the Khajiit?

They are calling me “Hallowed” now, as a title.  It is… oddly touching.  As aware as I am that having the new Mane indebted to me will no doubt be useful in the future, I must admit, here if nowhere else, that’s not why I did it.  It was enough in the moment to follow the path to its end, and enjoy the satisfaction of fulfilling that purpose.  I do not generally put much stock into prophecies and sacred titles or duties – they are constructs – but… well.  I will repeat that there is more to the Khajiit magic and beliefs than I first suspected.  What I used to see as an obsession with the moons is actually a rich and powerful system.

Another surprise: I am nearly certain that Azura has become involved in my affairs.  I’ve suspected the Prince’s presence a couple of times since I summoned the Dro-m’Atha mount, but I am certain I felt it during the Moon Hallowed ritual, even though I have no proof.  It is interesting that I have caught “her” interest; we have not had many dealings in the past, though I know Divayth sometimes does.  I have never thought much about Azura, but given what I’ve seen, I can imagine it would be… interesting, at least.

It was incredibly satisfying to kill Javad Tharn; such a delight to find he was behind the attacks in Reaper’s March and the Mane.  I had to work with Abnur last week, and his continual, petty insults get under my skin.  I should have killed him when I had the chance, despite what Divayth wanted.

Zellfire, to Divayth

Screenshot_20160404_190121 - faceDivayth,

Your courier caught up with me; I burned the letter unopened.  I told you I would let you know when my temper had cooled.  It hasn’t, yet.

Incidentally – you asked me not to attack Abnur Tharn unless he attacked me first.  He has not, but I did enjoy killing his nephew Javad, who did attack me.  I hope that is not “inconvenient” for you.

Seraphiira

 

Quotes from Tamriel

Zellfire: Are you insane?

“Sane? That’s in the North, isn’t it?  I don’t believe I’ve had the pleasure.”
-Caldwell

@Zells: I feel ya, Caldwell.  I keep meaning to make the trip myself, but things keep coming up, and — oh, look! A squirrel!

Zellfire, to Divayth

Screenshot_20160404_190121 - faceDivayth,

I have received your messages.  Or rather, I received the first eleven of them, decided I had seen all I needed to see for a while and that eleven was a fortuitous number at which to stop.  I have instructed the Mage’s Guild to destroy any further communications from you until I give them different instructions.  They balked at first, but I told them they could charge your account three times the usual fee as compensation for the extra service and that resolved the matter quite nicely.

At this point you are already ranting aloud at me in your study, but honestly, if you wanted an obedient minion, you should not have crossed your own DNA with a fire atronach.  I have a difficult time feeling sorry for you regarding the “trials” I am putting on you – I mean that, as you should know, quite literally: sympathy is not an emotion that comes easily to me.  By your own design, as you might recall.

I am not normally inclined to justifying or defending my actions.  As you are not.  But out of respect and affection, I will address your concerns. Read more…

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