Monday, October 22, 2018

Reacquainting Myself with My Inner Min/Maxer

I suppose it doesn't come as much of a surprise that I've been focusing my attention on The Elder Scrolls Online a lot lately. I'm still working my way through the main questline, and dying quite a bit in the process.* The enemies aren't exactly that difficult per se, but I'm typically a "set the rotation and forget it" sort of player, and being forced to swap in and out different attacks in the slots is still a new thing for me to handle. Prior to ESO, the most I'd do for weapon/ability swapping would be to switch between a bow and melee on Age of Conan, and that was mainly done to aggro the mob I want to take down rather than engage close in and have several mobs jump me at once.**

After loading up on shards --and getting the skill that allows you a low percentage chance to fill empty soul shards after zapping an enemy-- I'm happily out questing for a much longer time than what'd be normal for someone who does tend to die an annoying amount of times. And that's a good thing, because it prevents all those deaths from disrupting the flow of the storyline.

I'm still not completely sold on the personal storyline, but I will give props to several of the side quests and zone quests. And I'll also give major props to what Zenimax did in The Rift --the Pact storyline, anyway-- with one of the NPCs from an earlier zone. I wasn't expecting that questline at all, to be sure, and I thought Zenimax did a good job of working that questline.***
And Sheogorath is as mad as a hatter.
But you knew that, right?

One thing I am having trouble with is the number of skill points I have. I'm trying to avoid spending the skill points in areas that don't directly affect my combat abilities, but I'm currently sitting on 7 unused skill points and frequently that goes over 10 until I find a few slots to use them. I'm not exactly sure where I got this embarrassment of riches, but were I not busy working on quest progression, these skill points would have found their way into non-essential slots, such as crafting.

I think I'm going to have to slow down my playing and start reading up on skill slot optimization, something I've not had to do for an MMO in, well, years. ("Hel-lo, Elitist Jerks!! I hear one of your people is now on staff at Blizzard. I guess that makes your work all the more legit, I suppose.")

Now, if you'll excuse me, I've some reading to do....

*Action oriented combat isn't my forte, especially when you play enough and your hands and wrists start to ache.

**AoC is still the only MMO I've played where I have to worry about being overwhelmed by more than one mob at once. Most other MMOs I've played may have that in spurts, particularly if you're undergeared or underleveled for the area, but you can be at the right level/gear in AoC and simply be overwhelmed by two mobs of three enemies each. And even if you manage to survive that, it's also likely that a third mob will wander in due to the overlap of aggro areas, and that's definitely the end for you. AoC was definitely designed for a lot of players in a single zone at once.

***Sorry, I'm not putting up details, because spoilers.

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