ESO: progress report

Since my last post we’ve played a few more decent sessions of Elder Scrolls Online – so far it’s proving to be a very suitable game for a leveling trio. Each session is a mix of questing, exploring, the occasional Dark Anchor event and a lot of “loot everything that doesn’t involve stealing”.

So many cooking ingredients...

So many cooking ingredients…

Inventory management and dealing with the plethora of items lying around in the wilder parts of Tamriel is a mini-game all to itself. I bought a 10-slot inventory upgrade from a vendor in the town of Khenarthi’s Roost, at 400 gold it seemed good value. The equivalent vault upgrade is rather pricey in comparison and any further inventory upgrades will have to wait until we’ve all earned a decent amount more gold.

Not right now, thank you...

Not right now, thank you…

The vault is shared bank space between all the characters on my account, having a shared bank is pretty useful, and playing with a couple of friends means I can save on inventory and bank space by dividing up items by class of armour and crafting profession to avoid having to carry all these different types of loot.

It seems for the most part that the beta-test problems with group questing have been resolved, we’ve played a good number of quests already by our current level (8) and not seen any problems with bugs or phasing. The challenge level is on the low side, hardly a surprise for such early game content or for us playing as a full trinity group as we normally do.There are occasional forced-solo quests, the main storyline it seems features these, but I’m used to this enough with other MMORPGs (e.g. TSW, LOTRO) that it’s not a big issue for me.

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There are a lot of other players active around us, always an encouraging sign to see so many other players running around and questing. The Dark Anchor events are swamped with players in the starter zone we’re in (Auridon) so they complete very, very quickly – it’s hard to reach them before they complete unless we happen to be nearby. I do hope they get a bit more complex or challenging as I enjoy them but all is over far too quickly – they seem to lack the measured pace that Rift’s titular rift events have.

Dark Anchor event underway

Dark Anchor event underway

I’m dabbling again in crafting, Blacksmithing on this new alt, plus I aim to develop my solo Dragonknights Alchemy and Provisioning some more as materials permit. Selling items is a real task in ESO since there’s no auction house system. I guess if I want to pursue crafting properly I’ll have to join at least one character to a trading guild to be able to access a network of potential buyers and to buy rarer materials. Being limited to what I can gather myself did limit my attempts at Alchemy in the past – leveling the crafting professions seems to be quite a substantial time and materials investment from what I’ve seen so far.

Making a start on crafting

Making a start on crafting

Overall I’m impressed with the game’s current state and feel it’s a good match for our group play sessions. I’ve other priorities for my solo gaming time so I doubt ESO will become my main MMO anytime soon but I do find the world immersive and so far at least I’m enjoying the character customisation and combat dynamics.

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4 Responses to ESO: progress report

  1. I was able to fully level my crafting without joining a trading guild (as you can hear about from my blog post today), so it’s definitely doable. Just takes a bit of effort. At least for gear crafting (haven’t done alchemy, enchanting, or provisioning), the best thing to do is just collect all the gear you can find and deconstruct it. Don’t vendor anything unless it has the Ornate trait (increased vendor value). And try to do writs (crafting dailies) whenever you have the mats to spare.

    Also keep in mind you can buy from guild vendors without joining a guild. You just can’t sell through them.

    Dark anchors are pretty much the same mechanically no matter where you go, but the overall experience will vary a little, since crowd size tends to be depend on the zone. Auridon is always one of the busiest, as are Malabal Tor and Alik’r Desert, and probably the other starting zones.

    Inventory management is always going to be an uphill battle in ESO. Buy bag upgrades whenever you can, visit vendors frequently, and figure out what you do and don’t need to have. I stopped looting provisioning mats since they don’t vendor for anything.

  2. Shintar says:

    I actually also installed ESO the other week. I liked what I saw back in the beta but didn’t really have time for another MMO back then. I then bought the box at some point once it had dropped in price, but then I didn’t have the disk space for it. Now I finally installed it and fancied giving it another go… but now I haven’t logged in again since redoing that blasted underworld starter zone. I don’t know how people can juggle so many different MMOs. 😄 I’m sure I’ll get back to it at some point though…

    • Telwyn says:

      It’s clicking with me at the moment, really like the storytelling style – reminds me of Neverwinter actually in that regard: mostly voiced but with some text still to read. Not sure I’ll play it much on my solo character mind as time is always an issue, but for small group play it seems pretty good.

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