Elder Scrolls Online Playthrough
By Raymond Johnson. (www.raysnet.com).
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Throughout the game there are merchants wandering about. Some have stalls in the market squares while some simply travel the streets making me wonder where they keep their vast collection of items for trade. They sell all kinds of items including clothing. Some items however can only be purchased as a download and cost real money totally separate from the in-game merchants.
I've seen a huge variety of outfits people have been wearing within the game. I've seen skeletons, jesters and all kinds of armour. You can also purchase horses which too come in a vast variety of skins including big cats. I've no urge to purchase any of these but if the outfits were more over the top perhaps then I'd be tempted. Playing as a skeleton is just a novelty but playing as say, Lara Croft, would be fun.
A lot of characters in this game often look alike. I guess there's only a certain number of faces and body styles there can be before characters end up looking the same. I saw the dead body of a main NPC (Non Playable Character) only to find her alive and well later, the dead body just being someone of similar appearance.
As for my own character though I felt I had made her unique but today I discovered another player, named Spacecake1981, playing as a character with very similar traits as mine. She even jumped up and down acknowledging me as I jumped my response. Jumping is far quicker than going through the menus and selecting wave.
I happen to be wearing my armour and helmet in this pic because we had just been in battle fighting a common foe. I usually wear something far more casual.
My quest is to collect a vial of vampire blood in order to create medicine to aid the king, but to be honest the vampires are certainly not what I expected. Instead of a battle they appear to require my help.
The story arc when it comes to vampires is clever in that there are essentially two factions led by father and son. The father wants the vampires to live the old way and kill for nourishment whenever they feel like it, hunting people for food, whereas the son wants to find a cure. Your character is caught up in the middle and has to decide the best course of action knowing that if the cure fails the vampires' blood hungry lusts may be far stronger than before. The son means well but he could make things a whole lot worse.
I met up with a character named Rala, She told me she was originally a Dark Elf slave who was discarded and left to die. She succumbed to the cold and died from exposure only to wake with a vampire standing above her. She had been turned. She then told me, "Just because I'm not attempting to rip you open and feast on your blood doesn't mean I'm not thinking about it." She's a very polite vampire. She misses not being able to go out in the beautiful sunshine as her flesh would explode if she did. Her eyes look very creepy but she doesn't have the fangs of a conventional vampire.
During my quest I met up with Rala again who momentarily couldn't control her vampiric urges. I had a conversation with her and forgave her for what she had done and persuaded her to continue to control her lust. I managed to calm her down.
Incidentally the voice actress of Rala sounds very familiar and I've a feeling she voiced Aerona Berendas from earlier in the game. She has a relaxed calm voice and doesn't sound like a vampire at all, but then again I'm unsure what a real vampire would sound like.
A dark anchor is featured so predominately in the Elder Scrolls trailer yet they are fairly rare within the game itself and are totally outside the quests of the story. If you intentionally try to seek them out you'll likely not find a single one, it's just a case of luck if one appears as you pass nearby.
I still haven't figured out where dark anchors fit within the story other than it's followers of the Worm Cult than summon them. They chant and speak of sacrifice as the anchors drop from the sky.
You can tell when one appears due to the unmistakable humming sound from above, like a giant flying saucer coming in to land. It drops three anchors to the ground which you have to destroy while wave after wave of bad guys and monsters are unleashed against you. If you're alone then you'll have no chance, there are far too many enemies attacking you simultaneously, whereas if other players assist it's far easier. If you wish you can simply flee and the enemies will not give chase, but if you do stay and defeat the enemies thus destroying the dark anchor you'll boost your skills greatly. It's a good way to level up.
Dammit, it's always the way. If something's easy then something always comes along to complicate things for no reason whatsoever. It's not even a bug or glitch, it's intentional and serves no purpose than to annoy people.
Taking screenshots and game clips on the PS4 has always been very easy. There's a Share button to upload a screenshot or game clip to Facebook, Youtube, Twitter, etc, and there's even an option to store the screenshot or clip, and copy it onto memory stick if you so wish. The only drawback is the screenshot or game clip tends to be a little darker than the original.
Recently there was an update for Elder Scrolls Online and now if I take a screenshot there is a black border around the picture, which I have to remove using an editor. If I upload directly from the PS4 to Twitter it looks terrible. The PS4 Share button still works perfectly normally for other games just not on Elder Scrolls. This is going to put a lot of people off from sharing pictures.
Help From Others.
My mission was to seek out the cave in which goblins and giant spiders hid themselves then smash the spider eggs and kill the goblins and spiders within. I've no idea how and why goblins were able to join forces with giant spiders it was never explained, but they were attacking the nearby village, encasing the residents in cocoons, and I needed to stop them.
Along with an NPC (non-playable character), I entered the cave. As luck would have it another real life player named Badara entered the cave at the same moment and it was an easy task for all three of us to kill the goblins and spiders. It's also odd to witness another real life player speaking with their version of the NPC because on my screen it appears that they are standing still talking to nothing, while my NPC stands beside me. So were there four of us or three of us within that cave? It's a little confusing.
We then headed back to the village and informed the elders of what we had done and collected our reward. There were also other giant spiders along the way that we both disposed of very easily with our combined skills. Myself and Badara never exchanged a single word or gesture yet helped one another upon our shared quest.
Lore books and other reading material is a good way to follow the story of the game and feel more involved with the action taking place. Lore books are often scattered around randomly, even sometimes on the ground, while others are on book shelves. Generally speaking it's one book per shelf. The game rewards you too for simply looking at a book and certain abilities associated with the book can be increased.
Reading a book about armour may increase your metal working skills for instance. When I first started playing the game I read each book I found but soon realised the game doesn't pause while you read and I was often struck in the back by the enemy who had re-spawned behind me. I'm a little embarrassed to admit that I don't even bother reading them at all now, so long as I examine the bookshelf and discover the book my abilities still increase slightly, I don't have to actually read it.
Chests And Lockpicks.
It seems every single chest in this game is locked and there's never a key to be found, luckily there are plenty of lockpicks available which can be purchased from merchants. However every attempt to pick a lock, successful or otherwise, results in the lockpick breaking so it's good to keep plenty at hand.
Personally I'm not very good at lockpicking and it tends to be luck on whether I'm successful or not. I'm not even fully sure of what you're supposed to do. Hold the button until the PlayStation controller vibrates then let go before the in-game lockpick breaks is my usual method. This was especially annoying when having to break into a home as part of a quest.
If you're grouped with others though you can share the contents of a chest, by share I mean everyone can take all the items, yet only one person needs to successfully unlock it. It's silly oddities like this that's part of the over all enjoyment of the game.
I had a strange experience today which I can only put down to how "realistic" the game is and how it feels as though you're playing with real people, even when you are. I know that makes no sense but let me explain.
Most of the game involves running around performing quests some of which are part of the main story while others are less important side quests. It's pretty much a single player game yet with it being online you can see others playing the same quests that you may be carrying out. Often you'll be fighting a monster alongside other people and the game allows for your team effort in defeating bad guys, but the main crust of the quest still has to be done individually so sometimes you may see another player standing still speaking to an NPC, (Non Playable Character), that you may have spoken to some time ago. In some cases the NPC has changed location and you can see players standing still essentially talking to themselves.
You can also group up which is similar to playing alongside others but it keeps track of where everyone is. Grouping is essential to certain parts of the game but generally speaking quests don't require grouping.
Today I met a female Wizard and a male Nord. The Wizard had amazing powers, I think she was maxed out with her abilities. They asked me to group up so I did but rather than attack a loot cave they attacked NPC guards in the village who were on our side. The game does allow for that and anyone you kill will respawn anyway. I don't like to play as a bad person, my Dark Elf is honourable. There was a loot cave nearby which was essential to attack as a group but they didn't appear interested. I un-grouped myself then ran away and they followed me asking to group up again. They also wanted to trade items but I only carry what I need, selling other items with Merchants. I was kind of frightened, it was like being stalked by a Wizard and a Warrior who both out-classed my character. They even followed me on horses while I ran up the hills. Ironically they stopped following once I reached the loot cave, I would have been happy to team up for that, I was low on gold.
Same Sex Marriage.
Before beginning this blog entry I need to point out that my character is a female Dark Elf so whenever I meet another character who flirts with me they are flirting with a female. So far, possibly by coincidence but maybe by design, it's only ever been other female Dark Elves that have done so. There's been no other race and no males who have flirted with me so far. In fact it's mainly been Naryu Virian that's been very flirty, I think she has a thing for me. I wonder how this is going to play out later in the game. Maybe there's marriage within the game, yet so far I've never seen one take place.
I met another character upon my travels named Hadril Diina. She was hiding from ghost-like creatures but became separated from her wife. I used an aura spell on her so she could leave safely. She was also a Dark Elf so I wonder if same sex marriage is normal for that race. I'd happily accept a marriage proposal from Naryu Virian if the opportunity arises.
Selfies With Vampires.
There's been a number of updates for this game recently and it may be my imagination but it appears more difficult. One of the updates reset the binding of buttons for magic so I had to add them all again and I appear to have lost one of my spells. Basically I would press the R1 button to steal some of the enemy's energy and add it to my own but I don't appear to have that spell anymore. I've got quite a list of unfinished quests now that involve doing battle yet I appear to totally suck all of a sudden. It's now a matter of playing at the weekend so there are more players to group with and assist. Some of the trolls kill me without me even making a dent in their energy levels.
My character is still a standard Dark Elf but she's a member of the Mages Guild and the Fighters Guild so she's pretty apt using magic as well as doing battle with a sword. Her melee attacks aren't as good however and doesn't stand a chance in hand to hand combat. She can use her shield as a weapon however which is fun. I've dressed her in a green robe while she carries a sword and shield looking somewhat like Link from the game Zelda, but I change into armour when in battle.
I've noticed some of the other characters have 'turned' having succumbed to the temptation of being a vampire. I'm not sure what extra powers they gain but I'm certainly tempted to join them. Here are some selfies below of me posing with vampires. These are all real players not in-game characters.
Some time ago whilst playing Elder Scrolls a ghost character ran up to me, her name was Tovisa, and she simply stood still and I wasn't able to interact with her. When I'd walk away she would vanish only to re-materialise and run towards me when I made my way down the same road. I couldn't tell if it was a game glitch or simply an intentional ghost to make the game more mystical.
After about a week or so I played again and could hear a voice speaking to me while I browsed through the Crown Store menu of the game. I returned to the play screen and to my surprise it was Tovisa and she was asking for my help. She wanted me to follow so I ran behind her then in a flash she was no longer a transparent ghost but someone with solid form. I thought it was a special power she possessed like an invisibility cloak for instance.
She gave me my quest which was essentially to don a disguise and collect items then free prisoners, which is a common task in this game. But then she herself gets taken prisoner and she's... I won't go into detail but she's mutilated and tortured in a gruesome way. Even though you're not a witness to the actual event taking place it's difficult to hear about due to the gradual build up with an affection and concern for the character.
The voice actress is brilliant when she describes what happened to her, with actual fear and anger in her voice, but then she suddenly speaks with a different voice spoiling the entire ending of the quest. Often this game uses different voice actors for the same character which can often be very noticeable.
Tovisa is then assisted by another character and taken to a town known as Shore's Stone. I have yet to return to that town due to so many other quests I have to perform but I'll be sure to remember to check up on her.
Incidentally I looked up online as to why Tovisa appeared as a ghostly character when we first met. Apparently it's a common game glitch and she was never supposed to be a ghost to begin with. I think it was because of her unusual first appearance that I felt more emotion toward her.
There is some inconsistency in this game around how swimming works but for the most part if you wish to swim anywhere, including the sea, it's just a matter of jumping in and pressing the directional buttons that you would normally use. Your clothing doesn't get wet and you cannot drown. Even if you lay down underwater you cannot drown. NPC (Non Playable Characters) tend not to be able to swim, so you can avoid bad guys, guards and animals by jumping into water. Fountains are a good place to have a paddle especially in town squares as it usually attracts other players to join in.
The inconsistency lies when you swim large distances within the sea. I've swam to an island which took a fair amount of time to reach yet the game allowed me to swim to it with no problem whatsoever. While another time I swam around a ship to see if there was a back entrance to board it then in an instant I died by sinking into the water.
Taking A Break.
The Elder Scrolls Online is one of those games that can really draw you in, in terms of the storyline, the lore, and the interaction of others during gameplay. I've learnt that the game is far more fun to play at the weekend for instance, when there's a lot of other people playing. Grouping up, or simply playing alongside others is all part of how the game plays. It's often the case that a difficult enemy can only be defeated if you group up with other players.
What's been frustrating me however is the flow of the story. My quest was to unite two kings and a queen, and get them to trust one another so all three of their armies can be sent into battle. We then used a portal to travel to an island known as Coldharbour. Once arriving however the vast amount of soldiers that would have fought alongside me had vanished and it turns out they've been fragmented all over the island with the portal not working as it should. I had to find three people, I've no idea who, their location doesn't appear on the map. Those three people are then to help me rescue someone from a tower, I've no idea who, but before that I have to team up with the Lamia snake people or the Wood Elves. I like the Wood Elves so I chose to team with them. But before I can rescue the unknown person in the tower in order to rescue the three people not appearing on my map, I have to gain my trust with the Wood Elves. In order to gain their trust I have to kill the Lamia queen, and their eggs if I choose to do so.
The excitement and thrill of an upcoming battle. surrounded by soldiers, and epic background music, has been totally left flat with a nonsensical plot. The quest I'm on will automatically open another quest dragging it on and on seemingly never reaching a conclusion. Even Faraniel the Wood Elf battling the Lamia snake alongside me vanished.
When I played recently I travelled too far from the Lamia quest and it simply said "Quest Failed" on the screen or words to that effect. When I do play again I'll make sure to play at the weekends so I have lots of assistance and also pay no attention to the actual storyline. I've got about six unfinished quests already on my quest list, a few more won't hurt.
I love the Wood Elves and I love the accent of the voice actress who plays Faraniel. I only wish they could have been better incorporated into the story or at least after the epic battle that fizzled away before it began.
I Came Back.
After a long break, a very long break in fact, I finally came back and returned to the game. There's been an update since so some of it plays a little differently than before but I continued exactly where I left off and still had the same things as usual in my inventory.
Incidentally what I have noticed is that I can't make Winged Twilight vanish with a button press anymore and have to resort to using the menus. Also when I use the Blackfeather whistle the animations of feathers don't appear. Often updates change things that didn't need to be changed.
I purchased I new outfit known as Graht-Climbers Active Wear. It counts as a costume purchased outside of the main game so it can't be altered, dyed or mixed with an existing outfit. In fact the menu still thinks my character is wearing the same outfit as before when the new one is selected. It is a little odd the way it works but it is a nice outfit and shows off her cute belly button.
Luckily there were others playing alongside me so I was able to team up and finally defeat the Lamia Queen without too much difficulty. I also found Faraniel hiding or stuck behind a rock who was also able to assist. She's very brave and will attack pretty much every creature along the way so if she's running alongside it's a good idea to make sure she's not busy fighting someone else when meeting the Lamia Queen.
I've vowed to myself to play only at weekends when there are plenty of other players to assist. Because while my character has reached level 34 I'm still very much a noob at this game.
I eventually stopped playing altogether having lost track of the story long ago. It later updated itself into The Elder Scrolls Online Featuring Morrowind, but the title on the PlayStation referred to it as The Elder Scrolls Online Tamriel Unlimited, yet the in-game title was the Elder Scrolls Online Elsweyr.
I played it from the beginning and to my surprise it was a totally different story. Naryu Virian made an appearance at the start and a lot of the quests involved her in some way. But eventually, just as before, the more I got into the game the more difficult it became but there were so few others playing it that it became all the more difficult to team up with anyone.
This could have proved to be a wonderful game if it was consistent and if each update didn't change the name of the game. I was even asked for payment when I tried to play a game mode that I hadn't purchased even though the update was automatic. It took a number of menu changes to select the classic version of the game.
In many ways it's a wonderful way to spend time, meeting other players and exploring the locations whilst totally ignoring the quests, but it's the quests that make the game and they felt disjointed with no consistent story. With the game containing no ending as such I felt I was being offered new add-ons before I finished the first with them being downloaded automatically in the background whether I wanted them or not. It was like having an unending supply of chocolates and being handed one after the other whilst I had yet to eat the first.
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