ESO – Many Chars

I’m the proud (?) owner of 6 level 50 chars in Elder Scrolls Online, one of each class. And a 7th char is level 48 so very soon I’ll have 7. This seemed near impossible a year ago, and I don’t mention this as a brag – it’s actually relatively easy to do.

The secret is: the random dungeon queue. Well, plus the double xp buff during festivals. That festival xp buff takes the form of some themed drink/food (New Life Mead, Jubilee Cake, Witch’s Brew, etc) and also stacks with xp scrolls, which you can get from daily rewards.

Level up fast by group dungeons. You know, the main reason for playing an MMO. ๐Ÿ˜‰

In ESO, each character can get a huge xp bonus and 10 transmute crystals for a daily random dungeon. Figure the queue time is 10-15 mins for DPS, the dungeon is 15-30 more (yes, this will vary wildly depending on what you get and the rest of the group), so ~45 mins per char for a huge xp chunk and 10 transmute crystals.

It was turbo mode compared to my usual leveling pace.

I found my two favorite classes are Templar and Dragonknight, so I’m focusing on them. But still doing the random queue on as many as time permits, for the transmute crystals (more on those in another post).

I went the healing route for dungeons on my Templar, and am enjoying that. For everyone else I enter as DPS. I’d be willing to tank but I’d like to be more familiar with every dungeon first… and ideally start tanking in the base game dungeons. Except there isn’t really a way to select that from the random queue – other than the workaround of taking a lower level character along (dungeon access unlocks as you level so taking a lowbie along limits what dungeons you will get). Or of course tanking for my friends, which is where the bulk of my experience comes from.

Tales from the Random Queue

Most groups are just fine, players just want to enjoy the content.

  • Many groups try to avoid fighting as must as possible, mostly by running at the edge of the map and skipping “trash” mobs. Various rooms in Castle Thorn, jungle areas in Ruins of Mazzatun, the initial area of Falkreath Hold – consistently avoided. Even in one of the first dungeons you can access, Fungal Grotto, it is possible to jump off a waterfall and skip about 40% of the dungeon to beeline the final boss. And players do this – Fungal Grotto 1 on normal has got to be the fastest dungeon to complete.

Players are optimizers – the good loot drops off the bosses, not the trash mobs, so skipping the trash makes the run faster without sacrificing goodies.

It’s rough if you want to do the quest, you really can’t read the text or anything. Save that for friend groups.

  • One controversial practice is the “fake tank” or “fake healer”. That is a player that queues for the tank or heal role, but actually isn’t one. Typically they are DPS, and do it because the queue times for tanks are extremely short (instant) and the one for healers is as well (not as fast as tanks but definitely shorter than the DPS queue).

Since the 4-man dungeon party is 1 tank, 1 healer, 2 DPS, the group winds up 3 DPS and tank or healer, or possibly 4 DPS.

To be honest, a full on tank and healer really isn’t necessary for regular base game dungeons. The thinking is 4 DPS will burn down all the bosses before most mechanics come into play. Or even 3 DPS will. In fact, sentiment online (reddit) is a player that is fully healing is a bit of a detriment.

And that’s probably true. Most healing builds I’ve seen have some damage skills, typically on the backbar (frontbar is for healing) even if you only do 25% the damage of a DPS player, that’s something.

A tank might not do a lot of damage, but if they can group the enemies up, DPS AoE can finish them off faster so having a tank can speed the run.

But for harder content, veteran mode dungeons or DLC dungeon, or veteran DLC dungeons, having a real tank and real healer become more necessary.

There’s some overlap of course, base game veteran dungeons are harder but not ridiculously so. Some end bosses in regular DLC dungeons can be tough unless everyone is playing well.

I’ve had fake tanks and fake healers and it gets ugly in some of the harder dungeons. Two come to mind: one time in Red Petal Bastion, the tank couldn’t take 2 hits without dying. They kept taunt on bosses never. The healer didn’t appear to slot any group heals at all, or energy orbs. Most large fights to this point were rez juggling – the tank or healer was down, so one surviving player stopped to try to rez them. We were fighting half strength most of the time, due to this.

At the final boss after trying a few times, I typed that I was leaving, and did. I think there is a requeue time penalty, but I just switched to another char and didn’t see it.

Another time in The Cauldron, we slugged it out to the final boss. Same deal, tank and healer just couldn’t do the job (different players than the other time). After a handful of tries, they both ported out and dropped group! Leadership passed to me so I requeued, we got another tank and healer, and were able to complete. Which felt really good.

  • Sometimes, typically in a long DLC dungeon that isn’t as popular (i.e. it doesn’t have desirable gear sets), the tank will drop nearly immediately. This has happened a few times and I think it is for one of two reasons: 1) they were actually a fake tank and realized they weren’t at all equipped to deal with the dungeon the random queue gave them, or 2) they were a real tank that didn’t want to spend the time in the dungeon. There is a penalty for dropping, but tank queue times are short anyway, and sometimes it is faster to get a different shorter dungeon, if the only goal is getting the daily transmute crystals.
  • I play my Templar as a healer in group content. I’m considering making my Sorcerer a healer as well, because I’m not liking them as DPS. That’s only if I can cobble together enough healing gear, without spending my precious transmute crystals, to outfit the char. I think I can do it.

I need to do a massive inventory clearing/consolidation anyway.

  • Players generally don’t talk much in a PUG. It boils down to three main interactions:
  1. At the start, if somebody is looking for gear available in the dungeon, they’ll say so. Usually abbreviated like “looking for EC” (so if you were in Stone Garden, they meant Elemental Catalyst gear).
  2. In the middle sometimes they’ll say “HS” or “Chest”. HS is a Heavy Sack, an item everybody can loot. Chests can also be looted by everyone, after somebody picks them open.
  3. At the end, “TYFG” (thank you for group) or something similar. Here is where someone looking for specific drops will again ask. Players are generally receptive to trading gear somebody needs that they don’t.

EDIT: My 7th char reached level 50, from just starting level 48. I had a scroll going for double XP and also did the quest in the dungeon. After setting up their new level 50/160 gear I decided to apply a motif at the outfit station. This is Medium Glass Armor. Hm… I remember Glass Armor in Morrowind being a LOT more green. Maybe I need to dye the armor too!

EDIT again: ugh the in-game pics come out so dark. I suppose it was nighttime. The character load screen has better light at least.

ESO – Armory

Well it’s been a while. I’ve been playing ESO and FF14 of course, more ESO than FF14, but I’ve mostly been taking a break from blogging.

ESO

Things are going well in ESO.

My two friends and I decided to try our first Veteran Dungeon – Fungal Grotto 1. There’s a symmetry there; one friend and I tried when we were newbies – as I recall I was level 40 and she was just over 45 (high enough to get the Undaunted Pledge which is why we picked Fungal Grotto 1 in the first place) – and it was rough. We were attempting to duo and while we did finish we died a lot. Still it was extremely satisfying to beat the dungeon.

We thought it would be fitting to make our first Veteran Dungeon Fungal Grotto 1 as well. So we convinced our mutual friend and dove in. It went pretty well minus a few deaths at the boss – in Vet mode the boss AoE attack does a huge amount of damage, and my friends didn’t always dodge roll. I was a tank and had twice their health, but also moved out of the way. We did finish up and it went reasonably smooth overall.

We also tried a few DLC dungeons – Moongrave Fane and Lair of Maarselok. I picked those because I wanted the 3rd wing to my Hall of the Lunar Champion. ๐Ÿ™‚ One thing nice about tanking is I survived essentially everything and that meant the group did too. Even if I was the only at various times and had to combat res if I could get ~6 seconds away from fighting.

This could also mean I need to practice tanking more, haha.

Armory

ESO introduced a quality-of-life item, the Armory. This lets you save and reload a build, which is really handy. While you could always change up your char by a respec of attributes, skills/morphs, and champion points, the Armory lets you save the results and quickly switch back and forth… without spending in game gold.

It saves your current attributes, skills/morphs, champion points, gear, “disease” (i.e. vampire or werewolf), quick slots… but oddly enough not the mundus stone.

Still, the Armory is fantastic. Loading an empty build clears everything out, which let me more efficiently spend my skill points. And the save/load function makes it easy to add a second build to characters, so my main can now heal and tank (OK I bought a 3rd slot), my tank can have a dps build and quest a bit faster, etc.

FF14

So what about FF14? Well I’m still pursuing that ideal balance of (attempting to) play multiple MMOs. I have not bought Endwalker, mostly because I’m not there in the main story yet! But I will.

In the meantime while I sort that playtime balance issue, I’m considering transferring to Cactuar, to be able to join the Super Dungeon Friends (advertised here again).

I know that cross-DC play is coming to FF14, but the timeline seems murky/vague. So I’ll see what it takes (how much it costs) and if it is even possible given crowds and queues due to Endwalker.

Hey, it’s a good problem for a game to have!

ESO – Quasigriff Mount

Well I’ve been slacking since Blaugust. Sometimes I only have time to play games rather than write about playing games, you know?

I finally got my Dagonic Quasigriff mount, so I can ride around in style. Probably like thousands of other players, who also will obtain the mount… but I don’t care, I like the looks of it.

This mount is obtained by participating in various celebrations/events this year – collect event tickets, trade into the Impresario for one item towards the mount.

First you need to get the Unstable Morpholith, which in turn required Deadlands Flint, Rune-etched Striker, and Smoldering Bloodgrass Tinder. Then since I wanted the mount, I obtained Black Iron Bit and Bridle, Black Iron Stirrups, and Smoke-Wreathed Gryphon Feather. Combine, and voilร , there’s your new heavyweight mount.

This might sound tedious but it really wasn’t. It made you play a bit every day (during the various events), doing daily quests to get the ticket rewards. The dailies were generally: do a delve, fight a world boss. Since you could only get two tickets a day, you couldn’t obsessively farm… I suppose on the other side are players that for whatever reason couldn’t play enough each time. However I think ESO has them covered since there are supposed to be two more events with more chances to get tickets, etc.

ESO – Another Friend Playing

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.

Monday

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 ๐Ÿ˜‰ 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.

Wednesday

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.

Thursday

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.

ESO – Molag Bal Quotes

You can’t be an evil overlord without dramatic quotes. Here are some that Molag Bal says before/after the final encounter at a dolmen.

I decided to collect them, so here is a non-exhaustive list. Also, whoever does the voice acting sounds great!

  • A mortal for you to feast upon, Rhagothan. You may feed now.
  • Destroy the body, and the animus is cast into darkness. But the animus returns.
  • Destroy this anchor, and scores more will take its place!
  • Dogs! Filth! You anger a powerful enemy.
  • Drink in your victory. It won’t last long.
  • Fool! Did you think Molag Bal, the Lord of Domination, would be defeated so easily?
  • I admire your tenacity, mortals.
  • I am patient. But not that patient, fool.
  • I don’t want revenge. I want your submission.
  • I will dominate this world and all others in time. The strong should always command the weak.
  • I will ensure no tales are told of your valor.
  • Kill my minions and you only remove the weaklings from my service.
  • Like all worldly things, you will in time wear and be used up.
  • Man is mortal, and doomed to death and failure and loss.
  • May your soul burn.
  • My minions will gnaw the flesh from your bones.
  • My minions will gnaw the flesh from your corpse.
  • My subjects failed me. They deserve to be destroyed.
  • Nothing you can do will end this.
  • Pointless. Ten anchors drop for each that is destroyed!
  • Sometimes the prey turns and nips us. It’s a small thing.
  • Submit, and become mine! Fight, and be destroyed!
  • The daedra. The anchors. You destroy them in vain.
  • The end of Nirn is at hand. Come forth and destroy!
  • The plan is in place. You are but an inconvenience.
  • The planemeld will go on as planned. You cannot stop it!
  • The skins of those you love will fly as my banners.
  • The soulless one thinks I can be defeated. Not so, fool.
  • These mortals are strong, but not strong enough.
  • They serve by choice. They serve the strong. They serve me.
  • This will not finish me!
  • Thrashing you thoroughly will please me, mortal.
  • Unexpected. I will call forth someone more worthy of your strength.
  • We sometimes admire our prey, and secretly applaud when it cheats our snares.
  • Weakling. Pathetic piece of filth. Leave while yet you can.
  • When Nirn and Coldharbour are one, all will serve my will!
  • When you are destroyed, the flies will pick your bones clean.
  • When you destroy the next, this one will have returned.
  • Wretches! All my servants are wretches! Perhaps these will do the job!
  • Wretched mortals. Worms.
  • Wretched things, mortals. May a storm wash you into Coldharbour.
  • Yes. Sacrifice those servants in my name. Let’s give you something worthy to sacrifice!
  • You are unworthy to kiss my feet! Begone with you!
  • You do not yet know fear? I shall make you afraid!
  • You will now be a gift to my most favored pet, Menta Na.
  • Your death will mean nothing to me. You are but a minor distraction.
  • You’ve done nothing, mortal.
  • You’ve only destroyed my whelps. These minions will not be so easily defeated!
  • Your soul is mine. I own you! Come. Let us play.

ESO – Birth of a Tank

I reached level 50 on my tank, a health Dragonknight. This is great timing because another friend of mine, also a mutual friend with my friend that currently plays, is joining the game!

They are interested in the Dragonknight as far as melee DPS. My friend that plays currently is also a DPS Dragonknight (stamina build). With my tank Dragonknight we’ll make an unconventional group of 3 Dragonknights! Haha.

My first order of business was to equip all the level 50/cp 160 gear I had saved away for my tank. That consists of Ebon gear, Tormentor gear, Radiant Bastion gear, with a smattering of miscellaneous pieces. I mostly wore Ebon and Radiant Bastion gear, and got the red swirlies from the Ebon set bonus.

But then I did some research, late I know, but better than never. And I’m going to re-equip with the “beginning tank” gear recommended by the ESO Tank Club. That means obtaining Armor of the Seducer and Akaviri Dragonguard equipment.

Good thing is Armor of the Seducer is a crafted set. So, easy to get, right? After all, I have a crafter…

Let this be a lesson to everyone else, I screwed up crafting this 2 times before getting it right. So the 3rd set I finally made it without basic errors.

First error was leaving off the Sturdy trait. I took Mayzib, my crafter, to the crafting location in Deshaan, selected CP 160 gear, sturdy trait, went to craft… and got a warning message along the lines of “warning: you are crafting Rubedite armor which won’t have the set bonus available at this crafting station”.

Basically, there are extra tabs for a crafting location set, and you need to be on the correct tab. So I shifted over to the set tab and cranked out 5 pieces, upgraded them all to epic (purple).

It was then I noticed, mistake #1, the study trait was missing. What happened was when I moved from the regular set tab to the location set tab, the default moved back to “no trait”.

Argh! Oh well, deconstruct all the stuff to recover some materials, and try again.

I did all that stuff, crafted 5 pieces, upgraded to epic, and then recalled to Rimmen to craft glyphs. The recommended glyphs for the Seducer pieces are 2 stamina, and 3 magicka. So I made epic glyphs, and applied them to the armor…

That was mistake #2. See, applying glyphs binds the armor to the character.

Noooooooo!

Dammit.

Deconstruct all the stuff to recover some materials… grrr.

On attempt 3, I made the armor with the trait, made the glyphs and didn’t apply them, and then stuck them all into the bank for Wayness (my tank) to collect and perform final assembly on.

That was a painful lesson in crafting. Fortunately it was for myself, if somebody had paid me to craft for them (or supplied the materials) I’d have lost 2x the raw materials and felt pretty dumb. Wait, the feeling dumb part still happened.

The other armor set, Akaviri Dragonguard, is an overland set from Eastmarch, so I’ll be questing along there as well as doing delves and dolmens looking for weapons and jewelry. Until I get the pieces, I’ll wear Ebon armor in those slots.

Soon I’ll try queuing for normal dungeons and trying my hand at tanking. And of course tanking for my friends. We had great success 2-manning several dungeons, 3-manning may let us work through DLC dungeons and the ones that were problematic for duos.

ESO – Housing

Housing in ESO is very functional. For one, each house is a free recall point. So the more houses you buy the more locations around the game you can freely recall to. You can build up a secondary portal network for yourself. And yes, that’s expensive. But a few houses here and there are cheap and extremely handy.

Travel

First would be Mara’s Kiss Public House in Auridon. This house is the absolute closest to a Wayshrine of any (affordable) house I’ve seen. Just recall outside the house, which puts you steps from the inn door, which is steps from the wayshrine.

Another handy house is Snugpod in Grahtwood. This house is already outside, so if you recall outside the house, you are good to go. The Undaunted Enclave is just up the road, guild traders nearby, all sorts of stuff in Elden Root. Even if it is annoying to navigate that city.

Up there in usefulness is Flaming Nix Deluxe Garret, in Mournhold, because Mournhold offers an Undaunted Enclave, Fighter’s and Mage’s guilds, Master Writ turn ins, and the usual other stuff.

My friend is more familiar with Wayrest, but there isn’t a cheap house for sale there – the one in the city is Gardner House for a cool 1 million gold. The other capital with nice services is Elden Root and the zoning around is annoying. So all my chars visit Mournhold for Undaunted/Fighter/Mage stuff. Well OK, Elden Root is fine if all I need to do is Undaunted. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Saint Delyn Penthouse in Vivec City is nice to have also, because Vivec has a fantastic crafting/writ layout. All the stations are in a circle around 2 banks!

For a larger home, I recommend doing the Northern Elsweyr zone quests in order to get the Hall of the Lunar Champion, plus the first wing. No cost, gigantic, and Rimmen is a good city for to base out of as well.

Decoration

OK, this is essentially expected. A housing system that doesn’t let you decorate? The playerbase would just ignore the entire system.

Decorations come from many sources: crafting, dungeon trophies, the antiquities system, purchases.

I’ve devoted one corner to the boss trophies from doing dungeons with my friend. Outside houses the larger items, mostly antiquities. It’s fun to display these items.

Services

So ESO housing offers lots of decorating possibilities, and a free travel network with locations sprinkled all around the world. But what elevates ESO housing above other games I’ve played, as far as housing usefulness, are services furnishings.

Disclaimer: I’m not rich enough in FF14 to try out what is available there. But I get the idea items are mostly along the decorating and visual appearance side of things.

Services Furnishings are things like:

  • Mundus Stones – those buffs available from rock pillars on the landscape. Got a few you switch between? Install them in your home and don’t spend time riding out to them.
  • Crafting stations – are you a hardcore crafter and get tired of someone’s pet blocking the crafting station? Install one in your house!
  • Training dummies – want to test your DPS? Practice a new combat rotation? Get a damage sponge that doesn’t fight back, pair with an Aetherial Well to recover faster in between bouts.
  • Storage chest – keep things here to separate them from appearing at crafting stations.
  • Assistants – you can have your own merchant, banker, and fence for convenience!

I don’t have any of this stuff, other than the merchant and banker, and I’m very close to unlocking the fence. Some of these items (training dummies, perhaps a key mundus stone or two) are almost expected for a guild house.

Speaking of guild housing… I don’t think there is any specially designated guild house. It’s just a house that a guild member owns where they have set the permissions to allow visitors. Typically that would be the guild leader, but I don’t think it has to be. If you want to visit, find that player in the roster and “travel to house”.

In LoTRO, if the kinship has a kin house, you get a special recall ability to it. In FF14, your Free Company Estate House will appear in your teleport menu.

EDIT: as Sylow notes in the comments, ESO’s housing system allows a guild to split various functions between multiple homes. I had not thought of this advantage!

Guilds

I’ve been pretty lucky with guilds in various games. I’ve never researched or pursued one, I either respond in chat to a general recruitment pitch, or accept a blind invite, or actually know somebody in real life and they add me to their guild (this is the preferred method but obviously is not always available). And it has worked out well.

In LoTRO on Anor, one of the earlier Legendary Servers, I saw a guild recruiting in world chat and joined up. I am embarrassed but I can’t remember the name of the guild, I think it was Council of the North, but I didn’t wind up playing on Anor much and I have been since kicked out. Which is fair, guilds need active players, not ghosts.

Way back in Guild Wars, I was blind invited to a guild named The Helpful Guild (THG). Maybe not the most threatening sounding guild, but the players were indeed chatty and helpful. Recruitment went well and we had a core of half a dozen who were frequently on (including me) and loved to run the missions. Over time the leader of THG got busy with real life and stepped back but it was fine because by then we had an allied guild, Sacred Forge Knights (SFK), that was double our size so as I remember it, we basically were absorbed. And continued in the same vein except with twice as many players. Good times until GW2 released and we sort of dissolved with players split between the games and so forth.

In WoW Retail around the Warlords of Draenor time, four coworkers played (!!) so I subbed and joined their guild, The Honor Guard, which was funny because it also had the initials THG. The playerbase may have hated WoD but it was the high point for me in WoW because I played a healer (mistweaver monk) and had a raid spot. It was a ton of fun because the guild was chilled out, we weren’t pursuing world firsts or any of that stuff, just having fun trying to beat the content and having decent success. Good times but unfortunately, real life conflicts cropped up and I had to stop raiding.

In LoTRO in the 2007-2009 era, the heydey I suppose, I joined the Keepers of Ayrshire. I had a friend I knew from Guild Wars and she joined Keepers of Aryshire, and then suggested I joined. We played together in GW but were never in the same guild until Keepers of Aryshire, which we found amusing. This was great, lots of groups to try out dungeons, guild events (I wrote a quiz where the answers were taken from the deed log), raiding. After 2010 the guild started to thin out mostly because players wanted to try out some different games. And in that era of 2010-2012 there was stuff coming out constantly or already launched. I remember players talking about Age of Conan, Secret World, Rift, Guild Wars 2, etc. Nobody’s fault but I think we were a good example of the recruitment adage: if you aren’t growing, you’re dying.

So when I see guilds constantly recruiting… I understand. You have to in order to stay healthy, active, viable.

ESO – Lots of Quests

ESO has a lot of stories to tell.

There is the base game main quest (starts with “Soulshriven in Coldharbour”). Each zone in the base game has a storyline, where you are generally saving the population from some threat, and as you progress you convince various races to join an alliance.

Each DLC has a storyline. Each guild has a storyline (and skill line too) – except the Undaunted with no real storyline. But they do have 4 NPCs happy to give you daily quests. My favorite is Maj al-Ragath who occasionally makes fun of you.

She is, of course, taunting you to motivate you to be the fierce warrior she knows you are.

Each dungeon has a quest associated with it, as far as I’ve seen. Same thing with each delve, and each public dungeon. And then are the dozens and dozens of side quests in each zone.

So if you enjoy the content, you will not be bored. There is a massive amount available!

I’m going for completionist – sort of – on my main, Mayzib the Magicka Templar. I’ve done the Fighter’s Guild, Mage’s Guild, and am working on Psijic Order. My alt Sarroc the Stamina Warden, also my criminal character, is advancing Thieves Guild and Dark Brotherhood, and has completed Dark Brotherhood but not the last quest for Thieves Guild (need higher reputation to get it).

My main has finished the main quest and is currently working on Cadwell’s Silver. What’s that one? Well once you finish the main quest you get the option of doing the zone quests (and some side quests) of 2nd alliance (Cadwell’s Silver) and then the 3rd alliance (Cadwell’s Gold). Since I’m a Dark Elf in the Ebonheart Pact, Cadwell’s Silver sends me out to the Daggerfall Covenant where I’ve finished what is required in Glenumbra and Stormhaven, and am at Riverspire. Yes I’m just going in the listed order.

You don’t need to do all the zone quests for Cadwell’s Silver/Gold, but I am because I like to grab the extra skill points available. For instance, in Rivenspire I just need to find/complete what is listed… for me the easiest way to do that is just play the zone storyline and then search for the side quests (if any) to complete the Almanac entry.

For various reasons I jumped out of order and have completed the Craglorn storyline, Western Skyrim zone storyline (because I wanted Winter’s Respite gear), and the Northern Elsweyr zone storyline (because I wanted my Hall of Lunar Champions and first wing). However my plan it to largely do the DLCs in order. Except once again I might jump Southern Elsweyr to the top because I want the second wing of my mansion. ๐Ÿ™‚

For a while I was also doing zone completion, but that adds a lot of time. It’s fun time, but I decided to expedite my travels through the game and concentrate on zone storylines before side quests. However, I am achievement driven and plan to circle back to get completion on zones.

There’s always exceptions to be made, and gear is one of them. If an overland gear set has pieces available from side quests, I’ll do those. E.g. Mother’s Sorrow gear from Deshaan; Briarheart gear from Wrothgar. On the other hand, those can usually be purchased at guild traders.

I find the zone guide very useful – I like looking at it and see it all filled in.

Storylines

I like having a storyline to follow in an MMO.

The first one I played, Asheron’s Call, didn’t have that. In contrast, the second one I played, Guild Wars, did and I really enjoyed it. I liked advancing the plot, I enjoyed the missions; same with the expansions Factions, Nightfall, and Eye of the North.

Fast forward a bit to LoTRO and it’s lengthy storyline. I love that. In fact I’m looking forward to starting on a new server and progressing through Vol 1 Book 1 to …checks wiki… The Legacy of Durin and the Trials of the Dwarves.

ESO also has a storyline, multiple storylines actually. There’s the original main quest of the base game (starts with Soulshriven in Coldharbour), a storyline for each zone, a storyline for each guild… plus the usual boatloads of side quests.

FF14 has a very long MSQ (main sequence quests) that leads you through the game. In fact you need to go through it to unlock feature like mounts, airship travel between cities, the ability to return to an aetheryte crystal, joining a Grand Company, the ability to swap classes/jobs… Heck entire zones are unlocked as I found out. I tried to run across the Dravanian Hinterlands to get into Idyllshire early to buy some armor, but that doesn’t work because you can’t get in until you, you guessed it, advance the MSQ.

Another MMO with a great storyline that I’m not currently trying to juggle into my rotation is Secret World, oops I mean Secret World Legends. I got stuck and couldn’t pass a mission to advance the plot and rage quit after trying a half-dozen times. Well partly rage quit – I didn’t delete my characters and then rant on the forums. I just stopped playing. Maybe I’ll try again…