I had elaborate plans to advance in FF14… ok not that fancy, just keep following the MSQ… but on Mon my other friend did indeed buy ESO on the Steam sale, and messaged, asking if I wanted to play. Well heck yes!
We actually played Mon, a little bit Wed, and Thu as well. My friend plays tons of single player games but was leery of trying an MMO due to concerns about forced grouping.
I decided to roll a new character, with the plan to group as early as possible. I already had a named picked out: Amanita Phalloidies, that being the botanical name of the deadly White Cap Mushroom. Unfortunately, some other genius 😉 had the same idea so the name was already taken. I had to spell the name Falloidies instead. I thought this was a great name for an Imperial Necromancer, Imperial because it is Latin, and Necromancer for obvious reasons. I joined the Ebonheart Pact since my friend made a Nord Dragonknight.
We called on discord and started in. I was interested in seeing the new tutorial especially with the finals room of portals to all the various starter zones.
While the tutorial isn’t a private instance, it wasn’t possible to join up. We grouped and I tried to “travel to player” several times at various points, and always got an error. It was fine, we had discord and I kept asking what point in the tutorial she was up to.
One point she said “oh no, I’m out of inventory space”. There’s a room in the tutorial where you can choose weapons and armor… and my friend apparently took everything. Haha!
When I got to the portal room I found the Bleakrock Isle portal and told my friend that was the one she wanted. I just wanted to make sure we started the correct faction storyline. My other friend that played bought a combo package that included Morrowind, so their starter zone was Vvardenfell. Which is fine, but then had no idea at all what faction they were and wound up doing zone stories in essentially random order.
Once on Bleakrock Isle, she was able to travel to me and we finally could play together. Our other friend soon joined us and we worked on a few quests together.
I pointed out aspects of the game as we went long. Skyshards for example, I explained that discovering 3 skyshards granted 1 skill point. ESO’s tutorials and help popups are pretty good but having somebody answer questions is even better.
As we ran across Bleakrock Isle, I stopped at various harvest nodes (wood, ore, plants, enchanting) and gave a quick description. I showed the slightly different icons of zone quests and side quests; the zone quests tell an extended story while the side quests are shorter and more local. I advised that if given the choice, do the zone quests first since those grant better gear and sometimes skill points, etc.
Some other key tips were wayshrine usage – at a wayshrine, clicking on it lets you travel for free to any other wayshrine already discovered; clicking on a wayshrine from the map costs money to travel.
We wrapped up the first evening still on Bleakrock Isle. With great progress though!
Later, I dug around my setting and passed on some changes to make:
- options -> nameplates -> nameplates on options -> nameplates -> friendly npcs (show) -> always
- options -> gameplay -> prevent attacking innocents -> on
- options -> combat -> (display ability bars, timers, stats, etc)
- options -> social -> auto-decline duels -> on
- options -> audio -> (subtitles for NPCs and videos)
- options -> gameplay -> quick cast ground abilities -> on
I think my friend absorbed everything and said she had fun.
The second session was short as I got on late Wed evening. My friend quested on her own and finished a few more quests on Bleakrock Isle. My only further advice was on spending attribute and skill points. She wants to play a stamina dragonknight (loves wielding dual weapons) but wasn’t sure how to allocate.
Fortunately I got her to spend all points into stamina, explaining that unlike many other RPGs where you try to balance stats a bit, ESO rewards full blown concentration into one stat. Mostly because how damage is calculated.
As far as skill points, she had already spent a few in the skills that the in-game skill advisor suggested. The skills advisor defaults to an “Initiate” build which is magicka-based. I told her how to change that and she selected the Venomous Dragon build, which is stamina-based. Now the game will suggest skills that build towards the playstyle she wants.
My friend crafted my newly-playing friend some gear – a level 10 Hunding’s Rage armor set. Due to level scaling, your armor level being at your character level makes you equivalent to a level 50/CP 160 character, other than skills and champion points. So we’ll try to keep our friend in reasonably current gear.
We exited Bleakrock Isle to Bal Foyen and continued questing. Since Bal Foyen is even smaller than Bleakrock Isle we finished that and moved onto Davon’s Watch in Stonefalls. At this point, we leveled up to 10 and my friend could equip her armor.
In Davon’s Watch we took a break from questing to tour the city a bit. I got us to join the Fighter’s Guild, Mage’s Guild, Undaunted (my friend thought the initiation ceremony was funny). Since finishing the Undaunted initiation quest involved visiting – not finishing, just visiting – a group Dungeon, which in our case was Fungal Grotto, our other friend ported over there so that we could “travel to player” and save the run across Stonefalls. It isn’t much, but both of our lowbie characters have basically zero speed mounts, and no wayshrines along the way, so it would have taken a while, especially with stopping for fights.
Before logging off I pointed out another critical town service – the Outlaws Refuge. We explained this was where to go to sell or launder stolen items, and often sneak out of a city bypassing guards. This was handy because right before, at the bank, there was a safebox (which I managed to steal from when the NPC wandered away!) so I had some stolen loot to launder.
Later I checked and my level ~11 newly-join-Undaunted character is able to get delve dailies from Bolgrul. Excellent!
This is super cool. I haven’t had more than 1 real-life friend play the same game as me since… Asheron’s Call. Back then we used to stay late at work, conference call each other, and play for a few hours in the evening. Good times.
I’m glad I rolled a new character to play with my friend through the low levels. That way I can see the quests and objectives too. I could have used my warden or dragonknight since they haven’t done those quests but I figured I’d transition to those characters eventually, might as well try out a new character for a bit.
Speaking of that, I did stamina necro. I have a magicka necro that has terrible sustain problems (runs low on magicka all the time). Maybe I’m doing it wrong or it gets better with various passives, skills, etc. But the stamina necro plays solid right from the start, I like it more.
So I crafted myself a set of Night Mother’s Gaze and Mechanical Acuity gear, in the Daedric style because I have a ton of the materials needed for that motif. For a level 12 character, hehe, what the heck that’s the benefit of having your own crafter.