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Tuesday, November 11, 2014

The State of Tamriel

[caption id="attachment_3973" align="aligncenter" width="1400"]Selfie - Loving Armor Dye Selfie - Loving Armor Dye[/caption]

Today I thought I'd be telling everyone about Assassin's Creed: Unity, but when I went to purchase it via Steam yesterday there was a big red thumbs down on the store page. I had to check that our first, of course. It seems the PC version of the game is having some issues. I don't know if this is a campaign by all those upset because the game specifications are so high, or if the PC version of the game is as poorly optimized and full of bugs as reported. Either way, I'm not going to drop that sort of money until I know for certain. I love Assassin's Creed, but that means I love to play Assassin's Creed. If it's not playable, what's the point? So for those PC gamers out there who haven't purchased yet, wait until the dust settles.

That said, let me fill you in on what The Elder Scrolls Online (TESO) is like these days. Because I wanted to finish Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag before Unity released, and because Civilization: Beyond Earth, I hadn't played TESO since the middle of July. I was starting to ask myself if I should keep the subscription if I wasn't going to play it. So, since I took an extra long 5-day weekend (yes, I really took the day off last Friday ;) ,) I decided I'd finish Rivenspire and see what life in Tamriel was like these days. Eight levels later here's what I discovered.

My last gameplay post about the goings on in Rivenspire was on July 15th. I had just finished Sanguine Barrows, and thought I was about half way through Rivenspire events. I could not have been more wrong. Or perhaps it was just that the second half of things just took longer than the first half of things. No, that's not true, because I finished Rivenspire Saturday night. Maybe it was because I was working on my Explorer, Pathfinder and other achievements at the same time so it simply seemed like the second half took more time. I was taking every side trail and every secondary quest I came upon. Yeah, that's got to be it. No, that's not it either. Okay, here's the deal. I was having so much fun I don't really know what took so long. It may very well be that I'm living an entirely different life in-game so it merely seems like a lot of extra time.

The simple fact is I was having a blast running through public dungeons and pretty much killing everything in sight for fat loot. Sometimes I'd be alone, and sometimes I'd have an impromptu group of which I was a part. These groups were never formally made. It was just ad hoc groups of players in the same dungeon at the same time. Killing Osgrikh during Foul Deeps in the Deep in Obsidian Scar was especially satisfying. I'd tried solo killing the SOB twice and couldn't quite do it. I left and repaired armor damage then returned. On the third try, I had the assistance of a Battle Mage who was having more trouble with him than I was it looked like. Between the two of us we beat the jerk down handily. It's that sort of impromptu cooperation that I've come to love about TESO, and it happened every day over the past few days I've played.

But you know what hasn't happened? Bots, that's what. I didn't see a single bot all five days, and I put in over 24 hours game play in those five days. Hallelujah! There were no crafting bots. There were no bots waiting for bosses to spawn. In fact, one time I had to get up and do something around the house but didn't log out. Mabrick stood idle too long and the server logged me out automatically. Oops... but, HELL YEAH! There were times right after launch I couldn't even get close to bosses in order to finish a dungeon. I left several unfinished because of bots. So of course I went back to Glenumbra, Stros M'Kai and Betnikh and got the achievements for those places I couldn't get before because bots. It was a little odd being a 30+ level Templar and taking out Bad Man, but I did it anyway - after I let all the noobs do it first of course.

That's the other thing I didn't see any more - kill stealing. It used to be a fairly regular thing, but no one stole any kills from me all weekend. I think this is likely due to two reasons. One, without all the bots it isn't really necessary any more. Two, there were not as many "characters" online so the spawn rate is more appropriate: that was at least my experience. There were still plenty of characters, but there were not the insane number TESO had just after launch. Hell, if this is profitable and keeps the franchise going I'm all for the lower character population. It makes the world seem larger, and when you do run into another adventurer it's more likely to be a friendly greeting than a "piss off, this is our spawn."

So overall I am pleased to report The Elder Scrolls Online is actually very pleasant to play these days. I freed North Point, I killed Baron Montclair and I put Countess Tamrith on the throne. Baron Dorell just pisses me off. He's such a hard head. I decided he couldn't be king when he... wait, that'd be a spoiler. I shouldn't talk about it. XD But it's a damn shame about Count Ravenwatch... :twisted:


  1. thanks for this article mabrick! i am a regular eve player, but i liked teso, except for the damn bots. couldn't stand them. what i want to ask is what about BUGS? did they finally get the bugginess out of teso?

  2. Over the course of my 5 days of play I encountered no bugs whatsoever. Nor was there any lag even when the screen was full of bosses, monsters and fire. I finished Rivenspire, and I also hit level 30 so I rescued Sai Sahan from the Halls of Torment. After that I ran through the first two major events in the Alik'r Desert (up to getting the first ward back.) It was all good. :)

  3. well, it sounds like i will be going back to TESO then. i have been missing it. with the expansions they've added i imagine the game to be much better. my main character had been a shadow blade? i think that's what it was called. i know those character were buggy beyond belief. well, thanx. i hope to see ya in tamriel.

  4. […] SW:TOR out myself if TESO didn’t get rid of the bots and glitches. They did as I reported last post. So I guess I’ll stick with TESO for a while, at least until I get to level 50. I might even […]


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