Tag Archives: Elder Scrolls

Tips for New Elder Scrolls Online Players

Hurray! Elder Scrolls Online has finally released (at least for PC). It is a MMORPG (a massively multiplayer online role-playing game) set in the Elder Scrolls universe (which released games like Daggerfall, Morrowind, Oblivion, and Skyrim). At first I had mixed feelings…I was upset that Elder Scrolls was turning into a MMORPG instead of another solo game (because they are so fantastic). However, I got put into the Long-Term Beta Testing, so I got to play for a good few months. They happened to change my mind. I absolutely love it. Sure, it’s not the exact same as the other Elder Scrolls with the whole MMO element, but it still allows me to get lost in the world as the others do. I haven’t felt this excited about a game in a while and it feels good! 

Character I'm playing right now...pretty badass

Character I’m playing right now…pretty badass

From being in beta for a few months and playing live now, I believe I have a firm grasp on how to play the game or at least how to help beginners at this game. Those who have just bought it and started to play can certainly benefit from the advice below: 

1. Loot Coldharbour. This is the place where you start. There are baskets, trunks, chests everywhere! These contain lots of crafting materials and more. Don’t rush through this beginning zone, take the time to explore and you will have a head start on crafting and making money. It is worthwhile to loot everywhere!

2. Be flexible at first. This is like no other MMO in the way of classes and abilities. It is Elder Scrolls; where you can decide what character you want to be. Sure, there are the foundation classes of Dragonknight, Templar, Nightblade, and Sorcerer, but it’s up to you who your character will be. You can use any weapon no matter what class. Play with each weapon for a level or so, see what comes natural to you and what fits your playing style best. Your knowledge of this will help you further in the game as you know you chose the best type of weapon for your playing style. It also helps to know when you can switch out weapons at level 15. But that’s a little far away, right now.

Character creation

Character creation

3. Decide what role you want to play. This means deciding which class you want to play as to which race to which skill lines you are going to focus on. For me, I’m all about the story, so I don’t always make the most efficient character (I pick the race I personally want, despite if it has the bonuses that is going to go best with my class or role). However, since it is an MMO, I still want to be useful in a group whether that means tanking, healing, or being the damage dealer. 

4. Immerse yourself. This is a big one, but it is an easy one, at least for me. Tamriel (the Elder Scrolls continent) has always been a favorite place of mine, rich with history with a plethora of adventures at your disposal. It’s very easy to lose myself in this world, in the quests, the people, the fighting. Allow yourself to do so (despite it being an MMO). Don’t just spam click the quests, read them, listen to them, know why you’re doing them. It will actually benefit you in the long run with some quests when you’re required to recall information. Lose yourself in the game!

5. Pick up everything. Yes, everything! Unlike other MMOs, you aren’t limited to one or two crafting abilities. You can do all of them. Yes, that may be a little overwhelming, but it is so exciting! Unlike the other Elder Scrolls games, ingredients are a little bit tougher to pick out in the scenery. Look out for flowers, runes, ore, and so forth. Always check all the baskets, trunks, crates, etc, you never know what you could find. It’s always exciting to find new recipes and new materials to work with. And even if you don’t use them, you could always sell them in bulk. 

searching

6. Learn how to craft right away. From the very first moment you get to your starter area, start crafting! If you’ve already followed the advice of this post, then you will have a good amount of ingredients in your inventory. Go to each crafting station, read the tutorial, and understand it. Try each one out, even if you don’t have all required ingredients. Don’t forge to “deconstruct” things. That means armor, weapons, glyphs, and so forth. This is how you can get more materials to craft more things. The ESO crafting system is probably the most amazing and complex one I’ve ever seen from an MMO. I love it! 

Tons of different crafting options!

Tons of different crafting options!

7. Use that bank! Going along with crafting, you’re going to need to take advantage of your bank. Ingredients take up a large part of your inventory, but they invented something beautiful to help you with that. I’m sure you’re familiar with depositing items in your bank from other MMOs, but Elder Scrolls does it differently. This trick can save you time, money, and the heart-wrenching choice of destroying inventory. You can deposit any and all crafting items in your bank (up until it hits its capacity) and you can still use those items while you go to a crafting station. So even if they aren’t in your pocket, your ingredients and crafting items are readily available any time you go to actually craft. Pretty nifty, huh?

bank

8. Hold off on weapon skills. This is going to be a controversial one. First off, I certainly don’t mean don’t choose any weapon skills, that would be absurd. But in light of #2 and #3, don’t throw all your eggs in one basket. Once you hit near 10, you should know which weapon you want to focus on. I think that’s a good time to start piling points there. Before that, if you’re still playing around with a few, you should just hold off until you know for sure. That way, you won’t be wasting any skill points! 

My skill tree

My skill tree

9. Pick up a book. No, really! If you know Elder Scrolls, you know that some books can give you bonus skill points. Trust me, it’s worth it to look at every bookshelf. Plus, that’s how you level up in the Mage’s Guild AND there’s some pretty cool lore out there. 

10. You can join up to 5 guilds. I’m not talking about the Fighter’s Guild or anything similar to that, I’m talking about player guilds. Guilds that fight for certain alliances that players create and recruit for. You can name it what you want (within reason) and make it what you want. Some guilds are for trading, PVP, PVE, RP, and so forth. In most MMOs, you can only join one guild. I thought it was pretty cool to be able to be a part of 5. Plus, they go cross-characters, so all your characters will be in said player guilds if you join them.

11. Get lost. Again, this is an Elder Scrolls game. You will always be rewarded for exploring off the beaten path of quests. Explore every nook and cranny. You could find new quests, crafting materials, treasure maps, locked chests, cool new areas, and awesome items. Although it is “zoned” like other MMOs, it is unlike others because you are encouraged to run off the trail and towards the beach, fight some mudcrabs, and come upon a barnacle-encrusted chest filled with treasure. This is your world–explore it! 

Walking around

Walking around

With that, I leave you to it. I don’t want to spoil anything for you, but I am always here as a source if need be. I will be continually playing with my brother (and eventually Chris when it comes out for PS4) under “Ewoky.” Please let me know if you have any other questions, I would love love to help! And as always…stay hungry and fit!

Welcome to the Family…. Dovah!

Ever since I was a little kid, I wanted a pet snake. There are few animals, if any, that I do not like. I’ve never had a fear of snakes and it’s hard for me to understand how other people do. If they are massive and/or venomous it’s easier to understand, but how can you say someone like Dovah is scary? After years of failing to convince my mother, who is petrified of snakes (not turned to stone), I finally convinced Alana.

After a hunt on Craigslist and some promises that people couldn’t keep (don’t expect anything from Craigslist), we ended up going to our local Petsmart. Petco had a baby ball python but it wasn’t quite as cute as the one at Petsmart. We bought a basic starter kit for desert reptiles, some extra caves and logs for climbing and basking, and some frozen baby mice. (Sorry everyone, I don’t enjoy feeding it but it has to be done.)

photo 5 (8)

We asked if they knew what the snake’s age and gender was but they weren’t sure. They estimated him to be under a year old but since gender testing in snakes is so mean and inhumane, we decided it would be best just not to know and we took him to be a boy. Since we are going to be getting a female dog and we already have a balance of males and females in-house, we decided to keep that ratio.

We had to decide a name for our new buddy and our typical method is think of a character from something “nerdy” that fits well. For a snake, for us, that means anything related to snakes or dragons in mythology, video games, books, etc. I thought of some Japanese words and some Naruto characters, but our quest ended shortly when I suggested a unisex name that was a no-brainer.

Hi!

Hi!

The Elder Scrolls video (first computer) game series moved into the mainstream this year when Skyrim was released. Most people just didn’t know about the series before this game and really no one knew about it before Morrowind was released for the PC and XBOX. However, Alana and I can both remember playing these games (Arena, Daggerfall, Morrowind, Oblivion, and Skyrim) since we were little. There was also Battlespire, Redguard, and a bunch of mobile games as well, but these were not as good as the major releases. Let me save you from our love for the series for now (It has been a pyramid effect… with Morrowind at the top. They really screwed up with Skyrim, in my opinion… which includes over 800 hours on Morrowind and 400 on Skyrim… before January of 2012.) (Editor’s Note: also check out the soundtrack…Jeremy Soule is brilliant. I actually use his ambient music for my meditations!)

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In the world of Tamriel exists the land of Skyrim, which was and is heavily populated by dragons. The native word for dragon in their tongue is dovah. What a perfect name for our little dragon. Dovah. It reminds us of a series that we have been attached to since 1994! A series that we have thousands of hours of gameplay and tens of thousands of more hours of thought. It’s a cute name but a powerful name. It was perfect. He just hasn’t learned it yet.

He likes to hug

He likes to hug

So Dovah is a “male” ball python. He is about a year old and weighs a few pounds. Dovah is about two feet tall but you’ll always find him in his cave wrapped in a ball. He is a picky eater and usually misses the pray and ends up snipping at my thumb. We’ll work on developing his senses. Ball pythons can live for up to 30 years and can grow anywhere from 4-5 feet typically, depending on how much you feed them. We will keep him on the small side and far away from the cats. The cats would eat him now but he might have the upper hand in a few years.

I don’t want to say too much now because we don’t know very much about him and haven’t spent a ton of time together, but we will keep you updated! It might seem like a strange thought but becoming more familiar with nature and animals can help you understand new ways to use energy, and energy utilization is a great way to stay hungry and fit!

Cute lil guy

Cute lil guy

The Invasion of MMORPGs

Nerd alert post–no cooking or working out in this one. What is a MMORPG? It is a massively-multiplayer online role-playing game. Think World of Warcraft–the most popular and successful of them all. There have always been some: EVE, EverQuest, and so on. But now, big companies and big game lines have really started throwing themselves into this genre. Don’t get me wrong, I used to play WoW a lot, it’s a lot of fun, but my feelings start to get mixed once my beloved game series get involved.

This post is inspired by my playing Skyrim yesterday. I love the Elder Scrolls series, with them choosing different homelands of each of the playable races and being able to experience each one. Skyrim, which is pretty much all snow, is for the Nords. I usually either play as a Khajiit or a Wood Elf. I started thinking how cool it would be when Elder Scrolls finally got to their homelands. The desert land of the Khajiits with endless sand, or the forest-cities of the Wood Elves. How awesome it would be to explore it, especially now with such improved graphics and the ever-present attention to detail Bethesda offers.

My Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim character

My Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim character

And then I remember. Oh yeah, they’re making an MMO. That might mean that there will never be another Elder Scrolls game after that. And that kinda breaks my heart. I know they’re trying to make it as Elder Scrolls-y as possible, but it will still be an MMO. It will never be the same. I find myself wishing that they would choose not to jump on the bandwagon and instead, work on Elder Scrolls VI. Perhaps they still will, but that will be a lot to take on.

ScreenShot3 (2)

Star Wars: The Old Republic by BioWare (probably in competition with Bethesda for my favorite company ever) jumped at a huge MMO project like this as well. Of course I was excited–one of my most favorite series by one of my most favorite companies, it had to be good. And while I do enjoy playing SWTOR, it’s just not the same as Knights of the Old Republic. I would much rather have another single-player sequel to that amazing series with all its tough choices, exploration, and story than the impressive huge universe BioWare created. But KOTOR is a lot smaller than the Elder Scrolls games, so I doubt there will be another since TOR is out.

naiya avatar sokan

I’m not sure why MMOs are trending so much–perhaps because of the big money gains, the success, and fame? World of Warcraft certainly made its mark on gaming history and will continue to do so. But just because it was wildly successful doesn’t mean that every big awesome gaming company needs to do it. For me, the Elder Scrolls series is truly unique and I love the worlds they create, the attention to detail, and the openness of gameplay that is hard to recreate in an MMO. I hope the MMO format doesn’t kill it, but it probably will.

What are your feelings about the increasing number of MMOs? Cheers!

Holiday Movie Review: Rise of the Guardians

I know we’re called Hungry and Fit. I know. But take this as a metaphor. We are Hungry and Fit. All the time. But there’s more to life than eating and obsessing with fitness, it’s called fun and relaxing. So here’s another movie review, presented warmly by yours truly. 😉

Rise of the Guardians. A nice holiday movie for the kids (and the rest of us). It was Black Friday Night and we were strolling the beautiful outside 29th Street Mall with family. We all got big cups of hot cocoa and enjoyed the sparkling lights on the tree and light poles. After some last-minute relaxing Black Friday shopping in an empty Macy’s (new boots, thank you very much!), the elder generation of the family decided to hit the sack, but us youngsters wanted to see a movie. Well, really just Chris and I did, but we dragged my brother, Kai, along anyhow.

Passing by the quiet ice skating rink, we slipped into the Century Boulder Theatre (which we had never attended) and saw a 9:30 showing. We were one of three other groups watching the movie–guess it’s not a real popular time or day to watch a kid’s movie. Anyhow, onto the movie! Tell me to stop story telling.

Rise of the Guardians has a great cast: Alec Baldwin, Hugh Jackman, Chris Pine, Jude Law, and Isla Fisher. All of them do an absolutely incredible job at the voice acting, they really get into it, making it that much more enjoyable for the audience. We actually couldn’t believe Alec Baldwin played Santa so we had to watch this of him live-action doing it to believe. And for any Elder Scrolls fans, Santa totally sounds like a Nord so I spent the night annoying Chris and Kai with Nord-accented Skyrim quotes. I’m sure they enjoyed it.

With top notch actors, DreamWorks did a lovely job with making it beautiful and fun CGI. Definitely visually-pleasing and enjoyable to watch. I especially loved Sandy’s effects. The imagination of the creators was what was really the best part of the show…the story, the powers, the “guardians“…all of it. I found myself leaning forward into the movie, getting really into it, it was quite captivating as any magical holiday movie should be. Probably the funniest parts of the movies was whenever the yetis were in the scene. We definitely cracked up every time they were there.

It wasn’t excellent. But it was good and we left feeling happy. A good holiday movie that gets you in the spirit for the upcoming holidays. Go see it on a winter night and don’t forget the hot cocoa.

Hot Cocoa

Hot Cocoa (Photo credit: wine me up)

Two Games: Pixel vs. Turf

So, I am nowhere near as eloquent as Alana the Poet, but I will try to remember how to write so that it is enjoyable for the reader to get through the text. Recently, very recently in fact, I had the pleasure of playing (in) and finishing two games. One was more physically challenging and naturally, the other stimulated the mind. For anyone who thinks that video games cannot be a learning experience in a beneficial way, I think you might be wrong. Granted, some games encourage illegal and unhealthy activity, but how often are those issues raised with a Nintendo Game; let alone one that was worked on by Koji Kondo and Shigeru Miyamoto.

Shigeru Miyamoto

A Video Gaming Legend

The game that I just completed for the first time in a long time, was The Legend of Zelda Link’s Awakening, which was released in 1993, re-released for the DX in 1998 and re-re-released on the Nintendo E-Store for 3DS very recently, somewhat in commemoration of the 25th anniversary of arguably the greatest video game franchise of all time. (My favorite Nintendo based franchise, but Final Fantasy and the Elder Scrolls put up some serious competition.)

The version, which is six dollars, is well worth it. The graphics and game-play were cutting edge at the time, the music was nostalgic to the previous three major releases, and the story was clever and captivating. The replay value was still there, especially on the new handheld. I didn’t upgrade my sword to level 2 by collecting enough secret seashells or max out my health (13/14 hearts) but it was a relatively complete and smooth run.

Now, for the not so smooth run, which was more or less a series of short sprints tied with wheezing and a burning chest as the result of either altitude (no) or my being very much so out of shape (yes). We stopped by the Boulder Indoor Soccer “arena” last week to watch Ben Powell play in a very physical 6 v 6 game of indoor soccer. It is not too different from your typical soccer game but it is very fast paced with hockey substitutions. I am so grateful for those substitutions because this week, actually a few hours ago, Ben asked me to help fill out the roster. I came completely unprepared, with no indoor shoes, no shin guards, and no cardio based endurance. The third was the most painful. I had no idea there were two 22 minute and 30 second halves, but I am so happy there were not four.

Indoor soccer fields, Starfire Sports Complex,...

Indoor Soccer Arena

It was physical, I was slipping, my legs were filling with lactic acid, and my chest was about to burst, but my technique was there and I played smart enough to not make any mistakes. In all of my sporting experience, which is pretty extensive for someone my age, my best piece of advice and the lesson learned from this post for anyone who is still reading, is that the most important role players in a team sport (and an essential quality for individual sports) and the players that determine whether you win or lose do not make mistakes.

Indoor soccer at the Phanzone in Hampstead, NH

Bam!

Now, let me make it clear that I am not saying that Lebron is the worst player in the NBA because of his turnovers; all I am saying is that there is a +/- way of looking at competition, and if you do not make ANY – moves, then you are in good shape to help yourself or your team. Honestly, you do not need the raw talent of Michael Jordan, you do not need the brute force of Babe Ruth, and you do not need any gift from whoever you believe in, all you really need is knowledge and composure. Your goal is to use your knowledge of the game to make the smart safe moves, and prevent the opponent from capitalizing on your mistakes, so that you can capitalize on their mistakes. 1-0 is a win. No real competition between two great opponents should ever be a blowout.

The first person to comment on what two pieces of advice I’m trying to give out in this post will receive…a random special give-away! It can be anywhere in the world, just leave your email address.