Trying again

Well.. it’s been almost a year I haven’t done anything with this.  I had all kinds of things I wanted to say; I even had a few posts typed up in Word but I just never get around to finally putting them up.

I really don’t know why, other than that it perpetually becomes something to work on “later” and.. well, here we are.  Another thing may be that while I have a lot to say on games, ultimately they’re still games and other things in life just come first – particularly, playing the games themselves.

Nevertheless I want to have another go at it.

So, let’s start off with a few words on Elder Scrolls Online, which has also suffered from not getting played a lot this past year – until about 6 weeks ago.

My oldest daughter, who will be 23 pretty soon was home for 3 weeks over Christmas.  Since she’s been in college and started working her own job and paying her own rent we only see her about 5 weeks out of the year, so for me, my wife, and our three younger daughters this is a time of immense joy.  I love the holidays, and especially Christmas, and I’m sad when the decorations come down and it all ends and my eldest goes back to college.

But, while she was home we revived an activity we used to partake of together – World of Warcraft.  Although I haven’t played in years and getting back into the game was fun for a bit, once she left my enthusiasm dimmed again.  It was fun to re-visit, but my days of serious WoW dedication are long gone.

Still, it was great fun and it gave me a needed EVE-break.  I was the top participator in fleets in my corp this year, and hit the fleets hard in November and December and the ratting almost as hard or harder.  Then, rather suddenly, I lost 3 strategic cruisers inside a week.  One to my own stupidity and two on fleets.  While I avoided the skill loss for one of them, having to do 2 level V skill retrains back to back plus the sheer weight of so much EVE last year finally did it to me.  I had barely logged into EVE for a month, and only managed 5 fleets in January and only 1 this month.  I need to catch up before the end of February.

I am not done with EVE but this year I am going to enjoy my other games and not try to be the participation winner again.  While I got a nice cash award, it feels like it wasn’t worth it – doctrine changes turned around and ate that money right back up again.

More on that later – the upshot was that after my oldest left I still was not ready to fully get my EVE on again, which had the positive side effect of me deciding to play Elder Scrolls Online some more.

It’s been fun – more fun than my last few forays.  I’m actually getting groups now – not as readily as in WoW but enough that I don’t feel like I’m playing the game solo any more.  Crime is implemented and we now have the Imperial City and Orsinium.  The Thieves’ Guild is imminent and the Dark Brotherhood on the horizon behind that.

I really enjoy pledges, in a large part because the veteran pledges in particular, are hard.  It’s actually cool failing them sometime at VR16 because completing them is then so much better.

I have 8 characters now, and in a way it bothers me because I like making new characters.  However, I’m happy with the 8 I have.  Right now, my goals are to have one at VR 16, have the 3 item-making tradeskills at 50, and have all my characters at least level 15 for their second action bar.

This is who I have:

Kiryen, my Breton Nightblade is a fairly stereotypical assassin, built around stamina and using dual wield and a bow in medium with a light armor hood, since the breton light hood gives the facemask I want.  She’s a female version of the black-and-gold-wearing assassin from the “sign up for beta” trailer.  She has blacksmithing and clothier maxxed completely out.  She is also my main and presently at VR11.

Diamondeye, named for my old EQ character is my Nord Dragonknight, is my woodworker and rapidly approaching maximum in that.  She’s my “ranger” like her predecessor although it’s surprisingly hard to make a convincing Ranger in TESO – Dragonknight was selected more by process of elimination than anything else.  She wears medium with a little heavy and uses a big nordic 2-hander and bow – I’ve always preferred Rangers with 2handers.

Caelei, my high elf sorcerer, is a medium-wearer as well.  She’s a lightning tornado/critical hit build based on the critical surge/steel tornado/lightning form synergy.  I did modify her to use axes though, just because I wanted a melee character that didn’t use swords or daggers.  She’ll eventually probably become a prime PVP character.

Sir Rothgar is my Nord Templar and one of my two healers.  He’s a paladin, using a 2 hander, full heavy armor, and eventually will add Restoration Staff once he gets a 2nd weapon.  He also will eventually take on a tertiary roll as a tank.

Lord Beld Demonblade is my Redguard Nightblade, and is Sir Rothgar’s evil counterpart.  He’s a heavy armor nightblade, probably with a piece or two of medium eventually for stealth and is a Shadowknight, modeled on the EQ class.  He uses 2-handers and sword-and-board and also happens to be my enchanter, at which is barely starting.

Rayya is my dedicated healer, another Redguard and a Templar, in light armor, who will use both types of staves.  She’s my cook, and also is a dedicated purpose roleplaying character so her eventual advancement is something of a question mark.

Countess Astra is a dark elven sorceresss in heavy armor with sword and shield.  She is based on a Pathfinder character of mine in a semi-regular campaign I’m involved in, and is built here as essentially a battlemage; her second weapon will be destruction staves.  She’s a source of immense frustration for me because the Pathfinder Astra is a cold-magic enthusiast (think Queen Elsa only in heavy armor with a sword and much more willing to fucking kill you) and cold magic is fairly hard to come by in TESO – there’s Destruction Staves, weapon enchants and the morph for the Mage’s Guild ultimate and that’s about it.  She also functions as my alchemist

Finally there is Master Echo Ravenblood, who is actually a girl.  I like girl characters, sue me.  She’s a light-armor Dragonknight with a touch of medium and uses 2-handers at the moment; eventually to be combined with dual-wield, although it’s possible the 2-handers will be replaced with restoration staves.  The reason is 2-fold; I have 3 other characters that use 2-handers, and she’s supposed to be a “monk” (hence “master” not “mistress) – Dragonknight was picked so I have 2 of each class but also so that I have Take Flight which is much like a flying kick.  Restoration staff feels more monkly than TESO’s 2-handers which so far are not really the katana-substitute I want.  She is based off a D&D 5e character in another campaign I play in, and is an Imperial.

Other than Kiryen, I am having some trouble picking a second favorite.  Diamondeye has a history with me, but I’m not as excited about a Ranger here in TESO as in many other games, even though Nords are one of my favorite races.  Echo and Astra have connections to other games that make them interesting, and Beld has that black knight appeal to him.. I just don’t know.

I’m also looking at getting into Black Desert just for something a bit different, and I’m keeping my eye on Crowfall.  I guess we’ll see where this goes.