ESO – Champion Points

Well, I finally did it. Got to level 50 in ESO!

Now I switch over from gaining levels to gaining Champion Points instead. I’ve read about this system, and the UESP link has a lot of info, but there is nothing like experiencing it first hand. Next goal: CP 160. ๐Ÿ™‚

I also got together with my friend – thanks to Stadia we could game together in-person – and we did a bunch of stuff on a dreary rainy day.

First, we did 3 Undaunted delve dailies. You can get one each day, but we found out that you can share them. We each had one from yesterday, so we did them one at a time (I shared my quest, my friend shared her quest) and then both got the current daily and did that too.

Then we did 3 more dungeons: City of Ash, Wayrest Sewers, and Spindleclutch. All went well and we got lots of loot and experience.

We went slowly and had a few deaths, but for us this is super fun just adventuring with each other and not adding others to the group. This accounts for some of the challenge – we are basically 2-manning this content which is set for a group of 4. So while we mostly had no problems, sometimes a particular boss or named NPC was surprisingly tough (but again, we’re a half-sized group).

I’m not opposed to pugging, I do that plenty in FF14, but it takes a bit to get comfortable playing a certain role (e.g. healing) and the first few times is a leap of faith and not-insignificant anxiety.

We found a list of dungeons in order of difficulty from Together We Delve, and started using this list to check them off. We’ll also check the Undaunted quest givers and look for dailies that look doable. This will obviously be challenging as we are a duo, but there’s some good room for gearing up our characters: I’m not CP 160 so I’m missing some power from the champion tree, and all my gear could be better!

LoTRO – A Bit of Evendim

Vol 1 Book 4 of the epic storyline is a level 37 quest, so after finishing up Book 3 in the North Downs, I journeyed west to Evendim. My plan was to adventure there and go to the Trollshaws for Book 4 once I reached level 37.

I’ve done Evendim before, and I figured it wouldn’t take too long. Plus, I was already level 35, so I didn’t need many levels at all. After helping the rangers at Tinnudir, helping (on behalf of the rangers) the people at Ost Forod, I was nearly level 37. It only took one sweep through the ruins on Rantost (i.e. doing the initial quests there) to level up!

I feel like I should press on and do the Rantost wrap-up quest instance, Thief-Taker’s Bane, rather than bail out on them. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Until now I’ve been taking my time through each zone, stopping to work on kill-deeds. That was fine in the beginning area, where the numbers were something like 30/60… now in Evendim it is more like 90/180, and that makes for a lot of time just to get a bit of virtue xp plus a deed finished (which generally grants you a title). I fell off finishing kill deeds in the North Downs, since many of them are higher level and to the east of Esteldin. and I know from previous playthroughs that I’ll be back soon enough.

I can get accelerator scrolls, and it is decent xp since the fights are on-level… but I’m leaning towards advancing the storyline over doing the kill-deeds right now. Maybe compromise and make an effort to finish the quest-deeds and the exploration-deeds but defer the kill-deeds to another time. I do want to keep my virtues decently leveled so that’s the big dilemma.

I may switch up crafting. By and large the only kind of crafting I really think is worthwhile is making consumables. In LoTRO that’s mainly hope tokens, scrolls, and food… but I know from my other characters that food is really the only one I use in any kind of volume. Sure, for group content, tokens and scrolls are commonly used, but food is also commonly use solo too (although due to revamps of content over time, these days you don’t even need that since landscape fights are balanced on the easy side).

However, as a Beorning, I get a racial skill to bake honey cakes (!) so I can take the super lazy way out and just use that. In which case maybe Historian for Scholar would be more useful – I could make my own scrolls (battle lore, warding lore). My racial food buff doesn’t last long so if I eat it would only be preparing for a big fight. But it is free, quick (only a skill induction to create the food; no materials or cooking fire needed) and doesn’t take any time or money to grow/cook.

Right now I’m a Woodsman, which includes Forester and Woodworker (i.e. gathering wood and crafting wood). That felt thematic and appropriate for a Beorning… but I’m not using any of the stuff I’m crafting. It’s basically gather, gather, gather, then craft into the trash (i.e. sell everything). I just craft to raise a number, rather than actually use any of it.

Back on Landroval I had every class so I could use every craft. For woodworker I could make carvings for a warden and instruments for a minstrel. On Arkenstone I just want to stick to playing one character > 90% of the time! So the question is what crafting vocation would be most useful to a single character, and I think the answer is Yeoman – except for Beornings since that class can make morale/power regen food for free. So for Beornings I think it would be Historian (Scholar) to make offense/defense scrolls, and that’s what I’m going to change to.

ESO – Molag Bal

Rest easy, for I have defeated Molag Bal and ensured peaceful times in Tamriel. At least until I start the next storyline quest and a new threat is revealed… ๐Ÿ˜‰

I put in extra time this week because the end of the original main quest, Soul Shriven in Coldharbour, was in sight. It felt good to finish up, even though years have passed since launch. Kind of like how I didn’t finish up the Guild Wars 2 original storyline until several years after launch. It’s never too late!

The final fight was long but very reasonable/fair. It mostly involved dodging and the right time, and periodic heavy attacks to help restore resources. I had a tougher time battling Molag Grunda, his daughter, than I did against Molag Bal – however the fight with Molag Grunda took a fraction of the time. Part of the reason, lorewise, was receiving Akatosh’s Blessing before fighting Molag Bal, through deeds performed in earlier quests.

Now I’m onto Cadwell’s Silver… but rather than immediately start up the zone quests for other alliances, I’ll work on some other DLC starter quests in my journal. For instance, Craglorn.

I also reached level 45, so I’m eligible for the Undaunted Pledges which I can do with my friend!

Before departing Hollow City to the north, I decided to revamp my build. I had been following the in-game “Templar Initiate” suggestions, subbing in new skills for ones that maxed out, and my build felt decent but I wanted to mix it up and see if it could be better. I found Hack the Minotaur has some great approachable builds and decided to try out his Magicka Templar Beginner build. It works… really well and I’m missing ~5 skill points (to complete the build) and don’t have the suggested armor set!

It took a bit of getting used to but soon enough I was cruising along. My previous build had several AoE attacks but not as much healing, so I would often have to back up and/or run a bit and frantically heal. This one flows better and offers a bump in survivability. Since I am missing a few skills, I replaced their spots with some other recommended buffs mentioned in an earlier post.

Hack the Minotaur recommends Winter’s Respite, an overland set available in Western Skyrim (i.e. Greymoor chapter). But I’m not going to rush over to work on attaining it, because I’m not level 50/CP 160 yet. So right now, any gear I get will be scaled down and ultimately be replaced, and that set looks like one I’d like to use long term, so I should wait to get it, rather than get it right now and wind up with downscaled pieces.

ESO – Friends and Wayshrines

Time was short this week but my friend and I did get together again, this time at her place. I packed up my Chromebook, brought my Stadia controller, and we played a few hours. The promise of cloud gaming might seem pie-in-the-sky or a bit abstract for most people, but for me… the ability to couch co-op game like this is awesome.

My friend was stuck on a Summerset zone story quest, one that I remember from the PS4. However, on PC/Steam/Stadia, I only opened up the very first quest in Summerset which plops you down on the island near Shimmerene. I was not at the same zone quest, had yet to open up Artaeum so I wasn’t sure I could help. I figured worst case I could advance to the same point in the zone story.

But, we found a nice work around. Even though the portal to Artaeum would not appear for me, if my friend took it and traveled there, I could find her character in my friends list and join them! Boom, travel to an area I haven’t yet opened up via questing.

Once we met up, I followed along. I noticed that I couldn’t use any doors/portals until my friend took it first. I think this is a fair mechanic to allow grouping and helping on a quest when one person doesn’t even have it. I can’t exactly wander freely into instanced/zoned content, but can get there if someone else in my party goes in.

Anyway, we were easily able to defeat the boss she was stuck on.

Then I was able to do her the same favor. My character is at Coldharbour, nearing the end of the original main story quest. My friend is not near Coldharbour, but has some treasure maps and so on for that zone. So I traveled to the Hollow City wayshrine, and then my friend traveled to me… and voila, now she has access to Hollow City without getting there via questing.

I warned her that Hollow City is a bit unusual – as you complete Coldharbour zone story quests, the city fills in. As in, the Fighter’s Guild opens after questing to save them, the marketplace and crafting becomes available after more questing, etc.

I’m level 42 now, so just 3 more levels from being able to take Undaunted Pledges, so my friend and I can do those too!