Valorous Vindication

Bathed in purifying light.

Unholy creatures shy away from her dazzling radiance, stunned by her zealous assault, while those who stray too close only harm themselves, as her faith pierces their blasphemous flesh. Following the full release of Chronicon, and after much deliberation, I settled on a lightning Berserker build, and most recently I’ve built a holy Templar. Hence the flowery exposition above. Originally I’d intended for it to be a fairly typical holy Templar build, but the acquisition of a legendary shield, Vindicator, fundamentally redefined the build and encouraged its reliance on thorns damage.

Which then encouraged the use of multiple auras.

Reprisal (despite being in a different skill tree) is arguably the most beneficial, as it massively increases her thorns damage, while the damage multiplication (and radial burst) afforded by Vindicator allows Salvation (also in a different skill tree) to consistently regenerate health and mana.

It’s a somewhat unconventional- but surprisingly effective- build that doesn’t have the raw damage of the aforementioned lightning Berserker build, but does have heightened survivability. Heightened survivability that ensures that she can inflict excessive damage to those around her. Prior to this I’d never been entirely sure what thorns damage was, and believed it to function as damage reflection, when it’s actually retaliation damage, which is only slightly less absurd. Were you able to reflect damage on the higher Mythic difficulty levels the challenge would be lessened greatly. Unfortunately, by relying on thorns damage this build has low direct damage potential, as Holy Bolt and Holy Nova are her only direct damage skills. But she can deal ludicrous amounts of retaliation damage when surrounded.

Blood soaks the scorching desert sands.

Her direct damage skills were slightly bolstered by shuffling the gems in Vindicator to guarantee critical hits, but continued investment into various Mastery trees is required to improve her meagre offensive capabilities. It’s a wholly defensive build. One that, through Grace, and her multiple auras, is impressively hard to kill. But it feels unusually slow. Which is understandable as I’m basically relying on enemies to hit her for her to be able to damage them. But I’m glad that I built around thorns damage, as I’ve never done so before and every new experience is appreciated.

They’re exceedingly rare nowadays.

Chronicon has always been outstanding because of the diversity (and creativity) of its character classes and resulting builds. Regardless of whether they’re viable at the highest Mythic difficulty levels or not, the opportunity exists to build towards something that best suits your intentions.

I’ve enjoyed building this character and consider the experience to be a pleasant one, which I hope to repeat in the coming months when I inevitably revisit Chronicon to build a Warden. I’ve not built one of those before. I’d also like to build another Warlock, as I’m curious about how they’ve changed (if at all) since Early Access. I’ll likely build another Templar, too. One that relies on direct damage more than this build did. I’ve got far too many ideas and not nearly enough time left to do them all. Which is exactly the kind of existential commentary that you’ve come to expect from my posts, as I begin to question my sincerity towards things. That and chocolate gateaux analogies. These posts are sprinkled with moments of wisdom much like sesame seeds on a burger bun. Delicious and nutty. Just like me.

Have a nice week, all!

Moggie

TESO: Trekking in Tamriel (Pt. 6)

To the Hollow City of Coldharbour.

Adding to the list of unexpected occurrences, it turns out that Coldharbour is more than just a branching series of main story quest locations- it’s a whole area. With Public Dungeons, Delves, crafting locations, world bosses, and interesting enemies. It’s a pleasant surprise as I was expecting the last of the main story quests to be another short adventure, but instead I’ve got to rebuild the last bastion of hope in Coldharbour. It seems fitting seeing as I’ve amassed nothing short of an army at this point.

Access to Coldharbour doesn’t seem restricted, either.

Which is perhaps the most surprising part of this revelation. As I would expect that you wouldn’t be allowed to leave at your convenience, but I suppose that, as it’s an MMORPG, they didn’t want you to be locked in an inescapable area. As is the usual custom for single player adventures. It also possibly means that my other characters can travel to Coldharbour if they so wish.

With the main story drawing to a close I’m reflecting on my favourite moments in this adventure. Notably, the crafting and skill systems have afforded me a surprising amount of freedom and flexibility. I’m also fond of the questing structure. This isn’t the end of The Elder Scrolls Online for me, either. It’s just the end of this series of posts for now. It felt like the right time to take a break, given that my Imperial Templar has finished the main story and he’s been the focal point of these posts. That said, if I venture out to Morrowind at some point in the future I’ll likely revisit the series briefly. The Elder Scrolls Online has grown on me over the last month and there’s every chance I’ll be investing more into it in the future.

To defy the will of Molag Bal.

I’m most interested in exploring the build possibilities of the Sorcerer. I originally avoided building around pets, but I’m starting to see some amount of potential there. Especially if I can use the second weapon set to wield the same Destruction Staff but with summon and buff abilities. I’m still not entirely sure if pets and the like which are activated from the second weapon set can be used with the first, and vice versa, but I hope that’s the case. I could have a rather proficient minion master if it were.

The Nightblade has interesting potential, too.

They have a surprising number of survival abilities for what you would usually expect from someone built around pure damage capability. Which makes me wonder if it’s possible for them to fill a tanking role. I’ve been wondering whether medium armour is suitable for a tanking role, too. It lacks the durability of heavy armour but does have impressive Stamina perks which could be useful.

Those are the reasons that I reconsidered The Elder Scrolls Online in the first place. I love character building and character development mechanics. They’re one of the reasons why I find RPGs to be so enjoyable. However, they’re sadly becoming obsolete with many systems now not requiring you to build anything at all. Which is less satisfying and less enjoyable, as the character never really feels developed or interesting. Just mildly different from other characters with the same class. Which is also the reason I could see myself being drawn back into The Elder Scrolls Online. In any case, I hope you’ve enjoyed the series so far and are as excited as I am to see it continue in the future.

Have a nice weekend, all!

Moggie

TESO: Trekking in Tamriel (Pt. 5)

It’s patch week!

One of the most exciting times for anyone who plays MMORPGs especially when it’s close to a major expansion release. Or the most dreaded. It really depends on how much you love your class and how much they could change it. But for those who play The Elder Scrolls Online that doesn’t seem to be much of a concern. There are changes to the classes and they vary from tweaking values to balancing abilities, but they mostly leave the original heart of the class intact. From my limited experience with them at least.

There’s good news if you’ve got an ESO Plus subscription and love banks, though.

You now get double the bank space you would normally get if you maintain an active subscription. For those who already have access to the crafting bank, it seems to work in the same way that for as long as the subscription is active so are the bonuses. But if the subscription becomes inactive the bonuses are withdrawn but you can still take from the banks. Just not deposit to them.

Or, at least, for the standard bank, you can deposit to it as long as you’re under the limit you have without the subscription. Whereas crafting banks you can’t deposit to at all without a subscription. Naturally, the largest and most expansive changes in this patch are all about the adventures you’ll be undertaking in Vvardenfell. Of which, I do believe, there is an early access period if you’ve pre-ordered the expansion. Which more than likely includes access to the Warden class as I’m sure I’ve met one or two already. Either that or someone else can summon spiritual bears. There seem to be a whole host of new dungeons, titles, cosmetic items, trophies, and other oddities for those who will be travelling out to Seyda Neen as well.

Glorious buffs and debuffs!

Character progression has been somewhat rebalanced, too. The experience curve has changed ever so slightly, there are now soft requirements for unlocking skill trees, and Champion Points have been reset. They too have been rebalanced to make the earlier levels more meaningful. I’ve not actually reached Lvl 50 yet so this is something that I’ll learn about at a later date. You can also have additional character slots via the Crown Store now. I don’t think you get any additional slots simply for buying the expansion, though.

Of all the changes my favourite is the buff and debuff bar.

I always found it slightly weird that it wasn’t included from the very beginning. It’s kind of an essential part of understanding whether things are actually activating (like bleeds), or checking something is still active (like Soul Trap), or knowing how long you’re going to be debilitated or weakened. It’s a little odd but functional and definitely better than nothing.

I’ll admit that I haven’t been as active as usual recently. Mostly due to researching and making sure that I’ve got a steady stream of Traits being unlocked, which, with some pieces of equipment, now incurs a seven day wait period before I can continue. I was rather hoping that the next rank of Metallurgy (and equivalent skills) would unlock a third research slot. But it doesn’t. Sadly. In any case, I’m currently working through a suitable amount of content with my Imperial Templar before I finish his main story. I’ll still have the main stories for the numerous locations that I’ll be visiting as well. So the content won’t dry up. But, until then, I hope that your adventures in The Elder Scrolls Online are fruitful!

Have a nice weekend, all!

Moggie

TESO: Trekking in Tamriel (Pt. 4)

Wherein we research many things.

Researching has always been a priority as it affords me the opportunity to create more advanced equipment. It’s now a significantly higher priority as I’ve recently discovered it’s the key to creating set equipment, which, rather surprisingly, has no other requirements. I’d seen the various crafting locations before but I’d never attempted to use them as I assumed they required unique style materials or training. The considerable boost to different parameters is certainly worth the investment in researching, though.

Even if it means my bank will be filled with equipment for some time to come.

I’d prefer being able to destroy the equipment immediately to add it to the list of research and then invest the time as usual. But, sadly, I have to carry each of these pieces around in one inventory or another while the timer ticks away. I don’t even really care that much about the significant investment of time as that ticks away while I’m not actively logged in.

So that’s a thing I’m doing now. I’ve made good use of the various sets, too. With these I can definitely see that crafting is an investment which is worth making as you can essentially build anything you need to suit your character, then improve the quality, add enchantments, and even create it with inherent Traits. It’s a pretty extensive set of mechanics which are surprisingly more flexible than you’d assume. It also means I’ve made good choices with my characters. Which is always nice. The Guild Stores also open up the potential to purchase anything you might need. With all the joy of running to different locations, checking prices, checking more prices, and generally looking to get the best deal you possibly can.

We’ll cleanse this corruption or we’ll die trying.

I’ve also been working through the main story which is shorter than I’d anticipated. I know that’s hardly new for The Elder Scrolls, but in this case it almost feels a little anti-climactic as I’ll be able to finish the main story before I even reach Lvl 50. I know I could always go and level up to Lvl 50 and then finish it but there scarcely seems any point to do so. That’s the less appealing aspect of having the content scale with your character rather than be at a set level. I was rather hoping that the main story would take me through to Lvl 50.

There’s always the main story for the Daggerfall Convenant if I want more content, though.

I’ve been exploring the opening areas for the Ebonheart Pact, too. That’s an interesting diversion as their main opposing Alliance seems to be the Daggerfall Convenant. Which kind of sort of means he’s fighting his own people, but in my defence he is an Imperial and therefore chose to join the Daggerfall Convenant as they don’t have any Alliance of their own.

That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. I’m most interested in their story as I don’t currently have a character with the Ebonheart Pact. I’m already experiencing what the Daggerfall Convenant have to offer, while I’ll be heading off with the Aldmeri Dominion soon. That and they’ve got giant mushrooms out in Davon’s Watch. I love giant mushrooms! Almost as much as I love giant trees and random assortments of colourful foliage. I’m looking forward to exploring more dungeons, delves, and the like out there. They’ll have some interesting ones for sure. I’m rather surprised to find that many of the Mundus Stones are repeated out there, too. I thought that they would be placed across the entire world and you’d have to travel across Alliances for them.

Have a nice week, all!

Moggie

TESO: Trekking in Tamriel (Pt. 3)

Wherein the vast crafting empire begins.

The Elder Scrolls Online has one of the most enjoyable crafting systems I’ve encountered in any MMORPG. It doesn’t require an excessive list of raw materials, all of the different components are pretty intuitive, the strength of crafted equipment is comparable to that which you find in dungeons, and there are many different ways to improve your crafting talents (most of which are free). It’s nice to think that I haven’t invested this time erroneously or for reasons which are no longer as attractive as they once were.

I’m actually quite excited to reach Lvl 50 now.

That’s when I’ll likely be building my first completely strengthened set of equipment. Though, due to overflowing Fire Opals, I do invest in Sharpened on any of my weapons as the extra armour penetration is very attractive. I’m not sure if I want a Crushing rune on it, though. Or whether it’s better to have health steal or a damage shield. I’ve certainly got enough options.

I’ve been exploring the different crafting options available in Blacksmithing (on my Imperial Templar), Woodworking (on my Orc Dragonknight), and Clothing (on my Altmer Sorcerer) as they all follow similar rules and so it’s easy to advance them together. Even if I’m not playing the other characters as much. That said, I’ve been steadily pushing my Sorcerer towards Lvl 10 while my Templar has now surpassed Lvl 20. My Khajiit Nightblade has Alchemy and Provisioning. One of which is almost exclusively useful to him, while the other, Provisioning, doesn’t really hold much of my attention as I’m not too interested in housing. Nor am I particularly thrilled with the prospect of carrying around hundreds of ingredients.

It’s been a while since we’ve been back here.

Which, unlike Enchanting, or even Alchemy, I can’t experiment with and so I need recipes to actually cook food. I’m sure that cooked meals will one day be very important to my progression for some reason or another, but at the moment it’s something I think I’ll leave until I better understand it. Whereas the other crafting options are all covered and I’m constantly researching new things. I’m prioritising things I think I’ll need on my equipment first as the research duration increases dramatically after a few Traits are unlocked.

I’ve explored the depths of public and group dungeons now, too.

The group dungeon was an attempt to solo a boss and get a better understanding of how things work. The boss was pretty tough, sporting a two phase engagement that had a combined total of 2.5m health which took some patience. I defeated it, but, sadly, the rest of the dungeon seems a little outside of my soloing capability at the moment. But one day. Maybe.

The public dungeons are quite interesting and are (as I understand it) more extensive and more difficult versions of delves. Delves being miniature dungeons often housing a Skyshard and a boss to clear the event. Whereas public dungeons have multiple bosses, more loot, and quests. It’s nice to be able to engage in group content outside of an actual group, though. Keeps you busy. As if exploring the many areas you have to visit over the course of your personal story wouldn’t do that already. Or the endless number of diversions set to side track you into next Tuesday. In either case, I’m enjoying the available content much more than I anticipated I would. I’m particularly enjoying the close combat style of the Templar.

Have a nice week, all!

Moggie