Monday, September 29, 2014

ArcheAge building a clipper


Building your first boat in ArcheAge is pretty exciting.  Not as exciting as bu8ilding/watching the huge galleon being built, but your first clipper is pretty cool to have!  As I didn't build one in Alpha, I was determined that would be short listed at launch (well after the house and farms were going!).

To build a Harpoon Clipper you need:

  1. The plans (50 gilda stars) purchased on Mirage Island (you can find them listed on the auction house for 35-100g)
  2. 10 gold, 10 iron bricks and 10 lumber for the dry dock
  3. One lumber pack (100 lumber), one iron pack (100 ore) and one fabric pack (100 fabric)  don't make these ahead, you have to add them one at a time in a specific order. Important to place your dry dock close to crafting stations (metal, stone and fabric).  
The dry dock is protected for three days, so you have plenty of time to complete construction.  I found it easier to have everything ready to go and just run the three packs out.  You can have trusted friends/guildmates help carry packs too.

 Early in the game (or for a low level poor character!), the hardest part of getting your clipper is collecting the materials.  Three hundred logs, three hundred iron and depending on if you use wool (3 to 1) or cotton (10 to 1) takes some time or deep pockets or generous friends!  People that really focus or have friends/guilds helping can achieve this relatively quickly.

So, after my house was up and the 16x16 farm pumping out logs, and wool regularly (sheep 16-19 a clip), I set about getting the gilda together for the Harpoon Clipper.  I'd really like the fishing boat, but at 250 gilda stars that will be down the road!  Fortunately with the dailies and the story quest line collecting 50 doesn't take that long.


  First pack of lumber off to the dry dock.

Most people build their ships along the coast or at one of the ports like Ezna in Two Crowns. But, you also get harassed by the various "I'm working on being a pirate" guilds, "red" players, etc., jumping around and blocking your way, so as I'm a chicken and novice boat captain, I decided to be very safe and set up my dry dock in the river outside Marianople.  It took some maneuvering to find a deep enough spot, but I did succeed.  Some people build in the lake in Two Crowns as well.  For my needs, Marianople worked as crafting stations were close and a short swim on the donkey.


As you add each pack, more of the boat is revealed.  It does cost labor points (LP) to build the boat so make sure you aren't running on empty!


Completed boat, launching with fireworks going off!

The boat launched, I jumped on, looked at the commands and promptly despawned it!

My first practice run, was north of Crescent Throne (there is a dock off the royal palace that isn't used much), and I practiced turning, spawning/despawning there.

Sailing a ship in ArcheAge is one of the many fun activities.  XL Games/Trion have done a wonderful job with the weather, water and sea creatures (watch out for sea bugs and giant jelly fish!).


** Be sure to set up your keybinds if you haven't (the same ones you use for the rowboat/glider), for left turn, right turn, back, forward, etc.


Sunday, September 21, 2014

ArcheAge - The 2,000 queue week

ArcheAge (AA) launched on September 16th, a Tuesday, after a four day Head Start for pre-order Patron's of the game.

HeadStart and Launch have been less than ideal with numerous bugs, glitches, potential DDOS attacks, etc., along with the endless queues.

Since launch, with the addition of the F2P (Free to Play) players to the already over-populated servers, Trion began adding servers.  Today, Sunday night (almost Midnight EST).  ALL eleven USA servers are in major queues with the original servers - Tahyang, Aranzeb, Naima, Kyrios, Ollo and Salphira - no additional characters can be made of any race at all.

Queue times are hours and I'm not sure how bad F2P people are faring but Patrons, we in queues of 1500-2500 that take upwards of two-three hours (when lucky) to get to the character select.  Europe is rumored to have queues in the 25,000 range. I don't even know what that means!  Queue for a few days?  Servers don't even hold that many people!

The number of angry and irate threads on the AA forum is overwhelming I'd think for Trion to even keep civil; let alone Twitter, Reddit and other social media burning up with AA's launch.

It's understandable not wanting to start with too many servers as AA because of the non-instanced housing will be difficult at best to merge low population servers later, but the frustration many are feeling at NOT being able to play even for a half-hour per day is substantial.

 So, is this a brilliant marketing plan in the "no publicity is bad publicity" way of thinking?  Or a severe "miss-guess" on Trion's part?


I thought it was a major Trion cock-up, but I'm wondering maybe they did know and are taking advantage of all the hype driving more people to want to see what all the talk is about. I know a few people that went ahead and paid a sub this week, hoping it would alleviate the long queues (F2P are queueing for 6-10 hours).  I'd hate to think they did this to their paying client base, but ??

As for me, my latest three hour queue (fourth time today getting bounced for various reasons) is down to 484, and it's getting about log out time for many of the EST players.


So, I just might get to log on today.....


ArcheAge Trade Pack Running

Trade pack runs are a good source of gold, gilda starts and/or rare crafting materials, as they are an intregral part of playing ArcheAge.  The first few trade pack runs are required to get your 16 x 16 Scarecrow Farm (west walkthru), which isn't a requirement, but definitely is a necessity if you craft or want to do trade runs without spending a fortune on the auction house.

Taking a pack to Solzreed turn in on my donkey using 'carrot on a stick' speed buff

If you're going to do trade pack runs, plan you're route once you're past the first required ones.  The different travel options available - AA Map - can save time or increase your return per pack.  Sometimes it's quicker on the donkey or farm wagon; sometimes public transport or an airbus (cross your fingers you didn't just miss one) ride saves time or a quick boat ride up the coast.

The biggest reward is generally the furthest away, overseas definitely, but crossing several zones is can be worth more than delivering a pack one zone away.  But, it also depends on how many other people are delivering packs to the same Trader as what you receive.

During peace time you will notice many people make packs in those zones.  It will be up to you to deliver them right away or store them on your farm for later delivery.

West (Nuia) delivery locations
Solzreed Pennisula (docks)
Gweonid Forest (under airbus)
Marianople (docks)
Two Crown (Ezna dock)
Cinderstone Moor
Sanddeep (dock)

East (Haranya) delivery locations
Solis Headlands (dock)
Mahadevi
Villanelle
Falcorth Plains
Arcus Iris
Ynystere (dock)

** Freedrich Island (3-4 gilda stars) lots of pirates, so beware

 You will only receive gold for continental deliveries, whereas overseas you can chose gold, gild stars or rare materials (need these for crafting) from the resource trader.  Whatever you choose will be delivered in less than 24 hours.

You can check the current return on a delivery to a specific area on the vocation tab under "Trade Info".  There is also an independent website Trade Profit Calculator. (I use the ingame tab under Vocation.)



Two Crown dock. West can only sell to Gold Trader, East can choose.  It's reversed on Haranya.

 What you need for Trade Packs
As the crafting in AA has been simplified as well, many common ingredients are repeated in different combinations for the packs, versus a specific plant or meat product that was required in the past.  So check your tooltip as to what the finished product is for each item.

A couple of examples:

Dried Flowers for example can be processed from a variety of flower/plant material - azalea and roses are often the easiest to grow/harvest in the wild, but there are other options.  Some will give more Dried Flowers, but may take longer to harvest.  That's where you need to decide which is better for you - quick harvest/small reward versus long harvest/more reward.  Processing will cost 5 LP (labor points) regardless.

Medicinal Powder: processing 10 mushrooms will result in 15 Medicinal Powder versus Thistle (23 powder) or Clubhead Fungus (77 powder).  It's a trade off time to grow versus quantity.  If you play every couple of days a longer growing plant may be better than one that's ready in two hours, that you won't need or use for 48 hours.  Again, all processing costs 5 LP (labor points).

You also must have ten of the same material (mushroom, duck meat, whatever), along with Blue Salt Knife (buy a stack they're cheap) to process. So don't grow just one bean! I gather lots of materials when I have excess LP, so stick the odds and ends in the bank to process when I have ten, or sell on the AH.  To process, just click on the product and it will process (costing labor!).  Be careful if you're splitting an unprocessed stack too.  I've hit the wrong key and processed an ingredient that I didn't mean to.

(Mushrooms, trees and pumpkins growing on a 16x16)

These are the finished products you'll work with for the trade packs and crafting.

Trimmed Meat (chicken and beef).  Other meat can work such as turkey/duck, etc. Chicken is the quickest, and also gives you eggs if you feed your chickens.

Orchard Puree (grapes and apples).  Other fruit will work too, but grapes are probably the easiest to get.

Dried Flowers (azalea and roses).  Azalea are the easiest/quickest to grow but there are a variety of others that will become dried flowers.  Lotus/cornflower give more per harvest.  Always read the tooltip, sometimes long and slow works if you won't be on, etc.

Ground Grain (barley/rice/beans/wheat).  Barley and rice are the fastest, beans give more per harvest.  Barley ready in 30-40 min., is pretty quick.

Ground Spices. (iris/mint).  Lots of herbs/plants will grind for spices.  Check the harvest time though! (Lots of choices here just remember you need 10 of the same kind to process!)

Medicinal Powder. (mushrooms).  Mushrooms are the most common, but cultivated ginseng, thistle, clubhead fungus will work.

Chopped Produce. (potato/carrot/cucumber).  Cucumber/potato have the fastest harvest time 8-10 minutes, so good if you're leveling the profession too. Strawberries will become produce too.

The second column ingredients are the specific one.  Many are used in the first column as well - grapes and apples for orchard puree or mushrooms for medicinal powder - others such as milk, require raising a calf to maturity and milking it.

Trade packs require the below components along with a Quality Certificate purchased from a General Merchant at the Specialty Workbench in each zone.   (below info is in your commerce section of your skills window.) AND labor points (LP!)

 All specialty workbenches look the same and can be marked on your map.



+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

   ZONE                                 ITEM   / QUANTITY       SECOND ITEM / Quantity


Solzreed Braised Meat Trimmed Meat 50 Egg 30

(chicken/beef)

Solzreed Dried Food Trimmed Meat 50 Grape 35

(chicken/beef)


Gweonid Dyed Feathers Orchard Puree 15 Goose Down 15

(grapes/apples)

Gweonid Apple Pies Dried Flowers 50 Apples 15

(azalea/roses)


Lilyut Hills Milk Soap Ground Spices 50 Milk 20

(iris/mint)

Lilyut Cooking Oil Dried Flowers 50 Olives 12

(azalea/roses)


Dwestone Fine Thread Ground Grain 50 Goat Wool 30

(barley/rice/beans)

Dewstone Distilled Liquor Medicinal Powder 50 Narcissus 190

(Mushrooms)


White Arden Trail Mix Chopped Produce 50 Milk 15

(potatoes/carrots)

White Arden Figgy Pudding Ground Grain 50 Fig 40

(barley/rice/beans)


Marianople Duck Down Dried Flowers 50 Duck Down 30

(azalea/roses)

Marianople Sweeteners Ground Spices 50 Cherry 8

(iris/mint)


Two Crowns Cream Medicinal Powder 50 Milk 20

(Mushrooms)

Two Crowns Pomme Cakes Ground Grain 50 Pomegranate 10

(barley/rice/beans)


Cinderstone Tart Mead Dried Flowers 50 Lemon 20

(azalea/roses)

Cinderstone Sacred Candles Ground Spices 50 Bay Leaf 40

(iris/mint)


Halcyona  Wheat Biscuit Ground Grain 50 Eggs 35

(barley/rice/beans)

Halcyona Yam Pasta Dried Flowers 50 Yams 90

(azalea/roses)


Hellswamp Spicy Meat Trimmed Meat 50 Banana 12

(chicken/beef)

Hellswamp Mushroom Pot Pies Orchard Puree 15 Mushrooms 100

(grapes/apples)


Sanddeep Medicinal Poltice Medicinal Powder 15 Avacado 45

(Mushrooms)

Sanddeep Preserved Meat Trimmed Meat 50 Rosemary 100

(chicken/beef)






Friday, September 19, 2014

ArcheAge Launch

Soooo, AA (ArcheAge) officially launched today. 

I will say the HeadStart post about Saturday afternoon was very smooth and fairly queue/bug free.

Tonight, the queue's are back, but that's to be expected.  The downside has been the somewhat controversial release today of the new "starter" packs, that many feel are giving a tad more than the Patron's did.  There's a few threads on the forum about this as well as an un-official poll.

After a dismal first day of HeadStart, including having to completed uninstall AA and Glyph, and reinstall overnight, I wasn't a happy camper.  I border a friends PC that is playing AA too, and ran around to find a place to plunk down my house. Not where I wanted it, but it was put down.  I kind of feel Trion/XL Games, made it too easy to get that initial house.  It didn't feel like an achievement at all.  We all knew it was going to be a land rush on Friday, but with 50-75% of the people crashing, queue nightmares, the land grab wasn't pretty for many of us.

Saturday looked bright as the game patched and loaded, well server issues, DDOS attacks? and queues, I didn't get on until late on Saturday.  After that it's ran fairly smoothly.  Random character selection black screens, that require reloading the game, some lag spikes randomly, but otherwise it's been great!

As for my journey, I did get my character made, an Elf.  We blew through the initial quests to get the small scarecrow farm and donkey trade pack completed and started working on the materials for the 16x16 farm.  (I should say thank you to Trion for being so generous with ingame gold, it made buying many of the low level mats much, much easier.)

Sunday, I was fortunate to get the 16x16 farm quest out of the way as well.  After not finding housing, I didn't think I'd find anywhere to put the 16x16 down, but finally did, out in Karkasse Ridge under the bones of a giant dragon tail.  It's a fairly desolate looking area, but quiet.  I have an alt toon parked out there to manage the farming, so I can work on getting the Elf to 50.

Right now she's 26, (waiting to get back in after a black screen d/c, queue of 600+/52 minutes) we're questing in Two Crowns heading towards Cinderstone.  That should be fun, I've never been in Cinderstone at all and will be my first time in a contested zone, so a new place to explore and quests I haven't touched and likely much PvP death!

Here's a fun blog I found today - Killadrix.com - love his AA Headstart review.


Friday, September 12, 2014

ArcheAge Headstart Launch

A flood of Patron's trying to log in, dropped the servers at 10 am PST.  They were back up but lots of issues getting online. 

Finally past the character creation screen and in queue - 850 players ahead of me and a 23 min wait.  Argh!

Dang, the less people in queue in front of me the longer the time - 583 and 47 minutes - I hope that is a gross miscalculation!!!

So, while I'm waiting, (I wish we could set our key binds while in queue!), I made an Elf.  I was going to go with Occultism, but ended up going Archery, which I'm likely to combine with Vitalism and Shadowplay, then see what else looks interesting as I progress.

555 and 45 minutes.....

"The Plan" is to level through the green story quests as quickly as possible, while picking up the scarecrow (8x8), donkey and large scarecrow (16x16) quests.  That way we can get the stuff planted with the longest maturity harvest times.  It was a scramble last night relearning all those trade quests as I haven't played since patch 1.2 - no more strawberries - boo!  I had those amounts, routes, etc.  My spreadsheet for that is useless too.

506 and 20 minutes...

As I'm working with another player on this we're going to drop one house with our guild and one on the coast.  One will be the 16x16 small house, the other the larger 24x24.

I did download the iPhone app for timing harvests - Farming Timer.

37 and 1 minutes.... w00t!

Oh Trion what a tease.  22 and 2 minutes.... /sigh

Yeah I'm in.  Well for awhile.  Every half hour or so, I guess Trion wants me to take a break so I get d/cd and have another 1/2 hour queue to get back in game.  

Finally made it to Windshade, but still two levels too low for the scarecrow quest that now has to be started at level 10.  Time to go do some sidequests.

D/C again and now HackShield doesn't work.  Is it time for a /golfclap for Trion for putting out this game?  4 1/2 hours since launch and I've been in game less than two.  Yeah I know QQ launch day, right?  Well, I remember how smooth RIFT launch was and this is the polar opposite.  If I have to redownload the whole damn thing AGAIN, not going to be a happy camper!

Oh Joy!  Back in queue again.  In five hours since launch I've spent the majority of the time waiting to play.   Headstart...grumble, grumble, grumble. 

And booted again at the queue loading screen.  I guess it's not in my stars to play ArcheAge today.



Sunday, June 22, 2014

ArcheAge Alpha

ArcheAge has been on my radar for a few years now, so I hesitantly bought into the Alpha. (Very mixed feelings on the whole buy to try thing, but the buy in has some decent rewards including three months Patron status)

City of Towers (East/Haranya)


Marianople (West/Nuia)


So, in my usual way, I've been exploring all races, crafting and the gorgeous world XLGames created and TRION is publishing in North America. I'm not overly keen on the anime/manga art style, but figure I could get past it like any other MMO.  Running in high heels though does grind my nerves a bit!

I started with an Elf (Ranger of course), and have added a Nuian, Harani and Firran as well.  Firran and Harani are the East, Elves and Nuians are the West (I still don't know enough about the lore as to why they're fighting). 

Character creation is fairly robust with a variety of choices, all except the ginormous jello boobs on the female toons. Those weapons are a bit disconcerting. Seriously? There is a plethora of types of eyebrow/eye sliders and nothing for the super jiggle twins? /sigh

Character creation aside, AA has been fun so far.  As there aren't a hundred 'how to' guides out there yet (at least not in English), there is a learning curve, but in the past two months much information has been accumulated, but much is still trial and error, or combing the 'Net for information.  My usual game spreadsheet is taking on larger and larger proportions for AA with copious 'how to' notes for launch.


ArcheAge is sand-boxy in some respect, but has a theme park element like most MMO's with the questing.  Considering it's not all translated from Korean yet, I find the questing is a bit of a yawn.  One innovation to questing that I like is the ability to turn in quests early for less XP or overachieve for more.  So, if you're suppose to collect 10 berries, you can go up 150% over for more XP, or less if it's something with a slowrespawn, etc.
Trade run to Marianople

Leveling is fairly quick, as you receive XP from almost everything - questing, all gathering/crafting, PvP, trade pack runs, etc.  So, if you really want to only craft you can level, but will need a steady supply of materials from a higher up (or deep pockets for the AH!).


I do enjoy the 'leveling' required for your mounts and battle pets, although it can be annoying when they get in your way kiting mobs, there is no insta-awesome battle pet.  So far I've leveled the racial mount for each, the donkey (a trade pack must) to 20 and have a couple of battle pets (wolf and cat) as well as the Lilyut Horse from Mirage Island (faster speed mount).  The Lilyut mount is still leveling as I just bought it the other day, so still in it's teens.


If you LOVE to craft.  AA may very well be your game.

It's very deep and very specialized as you advance.  All of the crafting is interdependent for different parts. So you'll have to cooperate with others; have a ton of alts; or use the auction house or have lots of alts to cover all the professions.
 Page 1 & 2 of Alchemy recipes

Crafting professions are: Alchemy, Metalwork, Cooking, Leatherworking, Weaponry, Tailoring, Handicrafts, Carpentry, Construction, Machining, Husbandry, Farming, Masonry, Gathering, Logging, Mining, Printing, Fishing, Larceny, Composition and Commerce.

There are five levels to master a specific craft: Basic to 10,000 skill > Novice to 20,000 skill >  Veteran 30,000 skill > Expert to 40,000 skill > Master to 50,000 skill.  It works in a type of pyramid as you can start with all but as you advance in skill it narrows down to only two at Master skill level.

Considering the amount of LP (labor points) and materials you use, two will take some diligence to achieve!

I've been testing different professions but I'm still in the Basic to Novice levels with all but Printing and Composition (haven't tried those), and have picked up some Larceny points harvesting trees out in the wilds planted by others. Fishing is one I still want to try, and have made the basic pole so far.

I'll add more info about other aspects of ArcheAge in another post.



Here are some of the links I've collected so far (also listed on favorite gaming links).

 ArcheAge
ArcheAge.com - XLGames
ArcheAge Furniture - Housing info
ArcheAge Online.com
ArcheAge Forum
ArcheAge Wikipedia
ArcheAge Wiki (Curse site)
ArcheAge Wiki (Wikia)
ArcheAage - Unofficial Tech Support (forum thread)
ArcheAge Database (english)
ArcheAgeSource.com
ArcheAge Reddit
ArcheBase (ArcheAge Builder)
ArcheAegis (news/guides - fishing)
ArcheAgeScene (fan site)
ArcheAge Roleplay
ArcheAge Archive (forum info, patch notes)
ArcheAge Farming (blog about farming)
ArcheAge Fishing



Saturday, June 21, 2014

ArcheAge Farming

There are a number of options for those interested in farming in ArcheAge.  Free to Play players will be restricted to the Public Farms, while Patron players can utilize the Public Farms, as well as their own private Scarecrow, Pumpkinhead (16x16 scarecrow) or Aqua farm.

Multiple farms is one way to tackle growing all you need for trade packs and crafting, but taxes rise sharply the more you own, and like Labor Points, it's shared across your account (assuming by server once AA is live ??).

  
Public Farms

If you need some extra growing room, Public Farms are available (and will be used by F2P players after launch).  Just be aware that what you plant will only be protected for 24 hours. After that it's public property.

 Farm - up to 10 items  (Solzreed, Gweonid, Lilyut) (Falcorth Plains, Arcum Iris, Tigerspine Mtns)
 
Ranch - up to 5 items  (Dewstsone Plains, Cinderstone Moor) (??)


Nursery - up to 5 items  (White Arden) (Solis Headlands)

Stable - up to 5 items  (Solzreed Pennisula, Gwenoid Forest) (Arcum Iris, Falcorth Plains)

Battle Pets (Marianople ) (Mahadevi) - you need the milk from the cows there for the quest reward pet and/or purchased (Mirage Island) battle pets.




8x8 Scarecrow Farm
Quest Reward.
Quest start Windshade in Lilyut / Anvilton, Tigerspine

These are the starter farmers, readily available to anyone.  There 'appears' to be quite a bit of land, but as anyone in Alpha can attest, some areas it's hard to find an 8x8 let alone a 16x16.  There are temporary farms available in all of the start zones.  These last a week and are tax free.


What can you grow?
All 'seed' plants, all animals and some trees can be grown on the 8x8 scarecrow farm.  All plants/animals are a circular footprints, so pay attention to how you lay them out, especially for long maturing plants or animals you plan to keep (sheep for wool, etc.).

Here's a well planned cactus farm farm.  You can fit 36 of the smaller plants/seeds, if you lay them out correctly.
Water is used for the 'seed' plants, but costs some labor points (LP) to use. It's readily available near the seed merchants.  I usually carry a stack of 30, just so I don't run out.  Fertilizer is available from the merchant to, if your plants 'wilt'. 

Animals will require their own feed (barley for chickens/turkeys, beans for ducks/geese and combined feed for all others) and it's good to have livestock supplement on hand (sick/diseased animals take a long time to die!).  Combined feed and livestock supplement are crafted with a farmers workstation (you need the 16x16 farm for that), but is readily available on the auction house.

The trees I've grown on an 8x8 are Aspen, Avocado, Bamboo, Fig, Grapes, Juniper, Maple, and Willow (have not verified the rest yet).


16x16 Pumpkinhead Farm
Quest Reward. 
Quest Start Dewstone to Solis Headlands or Mahadevi to Solzreed

Walk thru of these quests available on ArcheageFurniture.com

16 x 16 farm you can grow anything, but for the larger trees with long maturity times, pay attention to layout as they can tie up your useable space for a day or two, such as Oaks, Ash, etc.




Aquafarm (Marine)
Purchase plans Mirage Island.
This will 'use' your 8x8 scarecrow farm.
Coral's and Kelp are grown here, as well as trapping fish.

* Nuia/West  Haranya/East

Monday, April 21, 2014

Mounts in Elder Scrolls

I'm a pet/mount aficionado in any game I play, so knew that ESO would likely be no different.  I purchased the Imperial Edition to get the free (technically 1 gold) mount at launch as I assumed I'd want/need to be mounted out the gate, like other MMOs.

Playing so far (level 27 is the highest), as I'm a gatherer, I spend less time on my mount than not, but I do like the extra bag slots I've gained with the Draft build of the Imperial horse. 

 The extra storage (I'm up to 110 with bag upgrades too), makes life much easier for longer questing/gathering sessions as I have an abundance of crafting toons and I don't pass up a crate/bag or crafting node!

At launch when I found out about the feeding element, I wasn't sure which way to go, speed, stamina or more storage, so finally settled on buying two mounts to start for the four class characters I'll be leveling. A speed (light) and a carrying (draft) horse.  The intent is the speed horse will be used in PvP or opening a map traveling when I know I'm not gathering/questing out in the world and the draft horse is the regular mount for the extra storage. 


With the Imperial mount, the cost was 1g for each mount, plus 10g for the extra stable slot.  Feeding is on a 20 hour timer, and costs 250g for either apples (speed), hay (stamina), oats (carrying capacity).  So, I'm paying 2000g a day to (250x2x4) to keep the horses fed for the four main characters I'm planning to level.  It takes 41 days (every 20 hours if you don't miss a day), to max out your horse skill points.

You can also rename your mount, although I don't think you ever see the name except when you visit the stable to feed them.  I used one name for all the speed horses (Dash) and one for all the carrying (Ringo), two of my real life horses, just to keep track of which is getting fed what.

There is a 'normal' mount that can be purchased for 17,200g while the other mounts in the game cost 42,700 gold and start with better base stats, so will have a slight edge IF you feed them up.  The extra run speed on the Light Horse will be handy in PvP, and I'll likely buy one closer to max level for that purpose. But I couldn't see being mount-less during the leveling time.  So the set up I have works fine for me, even if it may short me a tad later on.

Here are some pics of the changes at level 20 compared to the base horse.


Level 1 Imperial Horse

Level 20 Imperial Horse (Light/speed) 36% run speed

Level 20 Imperial Horse (Draft/carrying capacity) 20 extra bag slots



This does confuse me, as I'm not sure if my horses are getting bigger or they have their size adjusted to the different races.  The High Elf I'm playing in these pics is on the smallest setting, and the Wood Elf next to me, well his mount is substantially shorter and smaller!



Tamriel Journal has a wonderful overview of the mount system in ESO that goes into great detail how the mounts work and the variety of the ones available ingame.


The only two things I do have issue with in ESO, as a real life horse owner, one if I had a horse with back legs like that, it would likely be unable to walk let alone run from being crippled. Two, whichever researcher worked on this, 99.9% of the time you mount a horse from the left side, not the right!  Small detail!






Sunday, April 20, 2014

Elder Scrolls Online - ESO

ESO (Elder Scrolls Online) has been live a little over two weeks.  Yes it has some bugs, lag and unexpected server downtime, but overall, it's been a fairly good launch.  The Imperial (Digital Imperial Edition) gave five days headstart, which was still busy, but worthwhile to save names, characters set up, etc., but not necessarily a gamebreak either.

ESO has been a game that has grown on me over the past six months as the first beta I was in, I thought it was horrible and uninstalled it the first day.  I had it firmly crossed off my play list until a friend talked me into trying it back in early March.  I was pleasantly surprised that it wasn't still 'horrible', so really kicked the tires by trying all the start zones, class/race combos, etc.  After that I decided to go ahead and buy the Imperial Edition, but still was at the, 'I'll play it for 30 days, but it's not worth a sub' thought.  Right now, I think I'll likely sub, but it's going to be month to month for now.  I'm not sure how much of a die-off we'll see once that first 30 days of free time is over, but as with most MMO's it's pretty repetative as you level, fun but not OMG this is innovative and oh so different.

Personally, I find it entertaining, not the best game ever, but definitely holding my interest and it's different enough from my main games (WoW, The Secret World and Planetside 2), to have a slot in the gaming lineup for awhile at least!

I will say, going into ESO, I had little to know information regarding the game mechanics, style of play, etc.,  as I was sure I wasn't going to play until less than a month ago.  Much of the lore I'm somewhat familiar with from their other titles (Morrowind, Oblivion, Skyrim), but the combat, all the hidden caves, public dungeons, chests has been rather novel for an MMO.  I have since did more 'research', but have avoided as many spoilers as possible (other than skyshards, once I'm ready to leave a zone, well I want my skill points!), and have been happily leveling and likely distributing my points incorrectly to a min/max type, but I'm having fun!

While researching/absorbing info on ESO, there is a myriad of opinions from reviewers; some I do agree with and others totally disagreed. 

Combat
I've a mixed view on that.  I do like it, and the choices you have to make on which abilities to invest points in and which make it to our action bar, but I'd like to be able to store builds, (like The Secret World has) without using an addon. So if I want to switch from a bow/2hander to a dual wield/resto staff I can without, stopping on the side of the road and changing every ability/weapon.  The actual combat, I think is fine, but then again combat mechanics, animations don't bother me alot in games anyway.  I've mostly tried bow, staves, two-hander and dual wield. The sword and board toon is the last to get leveled.

I do like that there isn't an over-abundance of spell effects, some games you can't see what you're hitting because of them.  Keeping your reticule on target while fighting does take some getting use to for those use to tab target fighting, but I find it much easier in some ways switching targets for multiple mobs.


Trade and no AH
Many people complain about the lack of global auction house (AH).  I don't see that as a downside to the game.  You can be in up to five guilds (trading associations), and if you choose large active ones, listed goods sell within 24-48 hours.  Is that the same as having unlimited potential clients no, and as the game a matures I'm sure some of the Trade Guilds will be better known for their higher end goods.  There is also the more interaction in chat with people hawking their wares (would love a separate trade channel for that at times!)
 
What I do love is the listings last 30 days! No more babysitting the AH (insert happy dance) every 24-48 hours.  The downside, you can only have 30 listings per trade guild.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Not Game related - Scribd.com

A non-gaming post, about a month ago, I heard about Scribd.com so had to check it out.

Here's what Scribd says about themselves:

Scribd is the world's largest digital library, where readers can discover books and written works of all kinds on the Web or any mobile device and publishers and authors can find a voracious audience for their work. Launched in March of 2007 and based in San Francisco California, more than 40 million books and documents have been contributed to Scribd by the community. Scribd content reaches an audience of 80 million people around the world every month.

It's kind of like Netflix for books and articles, in a way.  You can read unlimited books with their subscription or they also have an avenue to publish your own work.

The monthly sub is $8.99, which if you are downloading more than one book a month is well worth it.  I opted for annual sub which was available for a short time only, considering I just finished up a 10+ novel series downloaded to the iPad, the sub is reasonable to me.  Scribd does offer a one month trial as well.

Scribd has a limited number of publishing houses in their inventory at this point, but this still adds up to well over 100,000 books available.  I've definitely had no problem keeping a variety of books in my library.

Scribd works wonderfully via any web browser or Apple devices running OS7.  My first gen iPad doesn't work (my main e-reader device), but it does work on the iPhone, PC and laptop.

If you're a reader, might be worth a look-see.