In Which Gyllerah Investigates a Time Loop and a Daedra Invasion
My notes for this session are sparser than the actual level of play would have warranted–but see previous posts’ commentary re: not as much time to write notes when I’m playing ESO! In this session, at any rate, Paul and I officially ran the first round of the “blow up the geysers” quest. Then we ran a time loop plot at Ebon Stadmont, and last but not least, arrived at the College of Sapiarchs only to find it under Daedra attack. All in all, eventful session!
- Play date: 10/29/2022
- Session number in this run: 28
- Ran writs
- Paul and I lucked out and ran not one but two different geysers
- Hit the one down by Sunhold while I was out gathering ingredients, and Paul boinged in to join me there
- Then re-did the one by Alinor since I happened to hit it at exactly the right time for it to go off
- That let us resolve the “do three geysers” quest and get a recurrence of same
- But then we decided to do more actual adventuring
- First visited Ebon Stadmont to investigate the weird portal there and got a quest to help a scholar research the place; turned out to be an extremely timey-wimey plot
- Then we went to Lillandril to report to the portal master there–only to discover that OHNOEZ the College of Sapiarchs has been attacked by Daedra
- Also got some backstory out of Valsirenn who was angsting about her husband–who, as it happens, turned out to join the Court of Bedlam
- So sorry your husband is a dickweed, Valsirenn, want us to kill him for you? No? You sure?
- So all all that got us acres of loot
Sinking Summerset quest, round 1 of ?
I think the geysers plot on Summerset definitely falls into another of those things that I don’t find quite as enjoyable on an MMO as I would have done in a single-player game–just because the geyser plot is open-ended. We found out after destroying three geysers and reporting back to the Battlereeve that our reward for this was basically leveled gold and an opportunity to destroy more geysers.
I get, intellectually, that the geyser thing has to be open-ended so that all players get to have the fun of destroying them, and the rewards of good loot. But the lack of closure kind of bugs me.
Only belatedly did I also realize that Paul and I never actually took out the boss K’Garza in Karnwasten, who is supposedly the Sea Sload responsible for the creation of the geysers. So at least for closure purposes, not to mention getting whatever achievement is to be gotten for taking out K’Garza, I’ll need to swing back to Karnwasten for that.
I think you can deliberately stop taking geyser quests, that you’d just have to back out of conversation with the Battlereeve so as to not get a new round of them. Given that last I checked the game limits you on how many active quests you can have at one time, not having that quest lingering over us once Paul and I move on from Summerset seems called for. I do have one more geyser I haven’t successfully hit yet, so again for purposes of closure, I’ll need to do that.
The Ebon Sanctum quest
Not entirely sure what I thought of this one. It started off simply enough, with the idea that we were to escort the scholar Andewen through a temple and help her find inscriptions to study. And there were a tasty number of Daedra to fight.
But then a couple members of the House of Reveries showed up, and Andewen started being confused about why Grand Maestro Forte was claiming to be only a Maestro, and we quickly realized the plot was in some kind of a weird time loop.
Which might have been interesting except for the part where it really wasn’t clear as to why exactly the House of Reveries characters were involved. We wound up first healing a character called Fletch, and then fighting him later, thereby making it evident that we’d been the ones who wounded him to begin with. And whose bones we also apparently found at some point in the loop?
So I was legit uncertain whether Fletch was supposed to be a bad guy here, or what. In general the plot seemed like it was trying to be more clever than it actually was, and instead of being clever, it wound up being kind of muddled instead.
The Tower Sentinels quest
This one, on the other hand, was a lot more like it. Paul and I blipped up to Lillandril to move the main Summerset quest along a little further, which first required us to clear our entrance into the College of Sapiarchs with the portal master. An NPC who, like many of those on Summerset, was a haughty Altmer not impressed with newcomers coming to disrupt her usual routine.
But it was a damn good thing we did, because, well, the college was under attack by Daedra.
Valsirenn showed up to provide us backup as we went in. And despite her protestations that she was only a scholar, she did actually provide good backup.
She also provided a bit of personal angsty backstory, which was arguably either very poorly or very properly timed, given how the plot worked out: i.e., she angsted at us about her husband being missing.
So naturally, as we ran through the college taking out Daedra, we eventually found out that her missing husband was in fact now a member of the Court of Bedlam. And leading the attack on the college.
We did not get an opportunity to kill the guy for her. Probably because he’s going to continue to be significant in this plot. Heh. We’ll have to see whether he becomes less of an asshole later, and what happens with his relationship with Valsirenn. (Deliberately not reading ahead on the wiki about this, just to preserve some surprise!)
We did however clear the college, and got a directive to proceed from there to the Illumination Academy. So okay, that place is going to have another plot purpose, good! It seemed awfully large to be just a side plot locale.
In another solo run, I went back to Auridon to do some exploring, and to try to spend some of the survey and treasure maps I’ve been accumulating as part of running writs!
I have been distracted by the Witches Festival, so I thought you had gotten ahead of Emmy Noether Chain, who is also currently running the Summerset zone quests. So she rushed over to perform the Ebon Stadmont quest. But that quest is a side quest rather than a zone quest. That Ebon Stadment quest is confusing not just because it is a paradoxical time loop but also because it intertwines with a later zone quest, Lost in Translation, so it had a hidden context. You spurning Emmy to action was a benefit, because it added flavor to Lost in Translation.
You will run into another time loop later, an accidental one, because the Golden Knight is an old friend from Shornhelm in Rivenspire who teamed up with the protagonist on the main quest. (I apologize for the spoiler that Gyllerah will see the Golden Knight again, but that is predictable.) He just grumbled to Emmy, who has not run the main quest, during the Lost in Translation quest about time flows because the world has not yet had the events in his personal past where he is a great hero. The Unofficial Elder Scrolls Pages gives two different dialogs: one if the protagonist knows the Golden Knight from the main quest and one if she never met him before, but Emmy participated in a third dialog, where Emmy had met him in Rivenspire but not on the main quest.
For added paradox, I had Emmy equip the Fighters Guild ultimate skill, Merida’s iconic sword Dawnbreaker. Thus, both Emmy and the Golden Knight wield Dawnbreaker. You should remember Dawnbreaker from Kilkreath Ruins in Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.
Fear not, you’re not spoiling anything i don’t already know. 😉 I try not to read up on things in depth on the wiki where major plots are involved, but yes, I do know the Golden Knight shows up again later in the main Summerset plot.
And given that Dawnbreaker is in fact one of my favorite early parts of a Skyrim run, of course I remember Dawnbreaker. And I’d seen it mentioned in the abilities for the Fighters Guild when I looked them up, yes.
(And for the record I actually raised my eyebrows a bit at Dawnbreaker only showing up in this game as part of a Fighters Guild ult. It feels narratively awkward to me to have the game go “okay so you get to wield this badassed Daedric weapon but only SOMETIMES, and then only because you dropped a skill point on the right thing on the Fighters Guild skill line”. As opposed to “you get to wield this badassed Daedric weapon because you did the work of battling your way through the dungeon to win it”. I frankly prefer Skyrim’s way of giving you Dawnbreaker. I suppose this is another of those things that ESO set up the way they did because it’s an MMO and they have to keep everybody from overusing the Daedric artifacts. But still.
This would be, at any rate, why I have not yet actually invested enough skill points in the Fighters Guild skill line to turn Dawnbreaker on. I may eventually, once I get tired of dropping skill points on crafting, but I dunno yet.)
ESO does not give the PCs powerful artifacts, such as Dawnbreaker or Chillrend, for real, due to MMO reasons. The designers don’t want a mandatory quest to properly equip your player with the best gear. Those are great in single-player games, but break the immersion of being a group of companions in a multiplayer game. But Zenimax wants to incorporate the legendary artifacts from the other Elder Scrolls games. In ESO, Dawnbreaker is represented as an ultimate skill, Volendrung randomly spawns in Cyrodiil and will disappear after a while, the Amulet of Kings is a McGuffin on the main quest, and Hermaeus Mora offers the Oghma Infinium as a prize but never gives it.
Progress in a skill line does not depend on spending skill points on the skill. For a weapon or armor skill, some of the character’s experience points go to the skill ranks so long as the weapon or armor is equipped. For a class skill, some of the character;s experience points go to the skill rank so long as one of the skills from the line is equipped in the active skill bar. That does require spending one skill point to activate an active skill to put it on the skill bar, but only one. For the crafting skills, blacksmithing, clothing, enchanting, jewelry, and woodworking progress by deconstructing items and alchemy and provisioning progress by making items. And for the guild skills, such as Fighters Guild, Mages Guild, Thieves Guild, and Undaunted, they have specific tasks that advance ranks in the skill line.
My argonian warden Squares-the-Circle is rank 50 in blacksmthing from years of deconstructing heavy armor, but he still can forge only iron weapons and armor, because he is not interested in blacksmithing. Erinlar and Eranwen are my dedicated crafters.
Thus, a character could advance to rank 10 in the Fighters Guild without having every spent a skill point on that skill line by fighting undead, daedra, and dolmens and then put their very first Fighters Guild skill point into the ultimate skill for Dawnbreaker. Except that ntimidating Presence skill is handy for questing, so that will probably be first.
I pretend that Emmy earned Dawnbreaker by running the quest line for the Fighters Guild, because the cult of Meridia is the mysterious patron of the Fighters Guild daily quests to stop the dolmen incursions. Meridia seriously hates Molag Bal.
I made the very point about artifacts not showing up in ESO because MMO reasons, in the very comment you’re replying to, yes.
I get that it’s because this is an MMO. I’m just sayin’, I prefer how Skyrim does it. I feel like saying “oh you can have access to Dawnbreaker but only as an ult if you happen to be in the Fighters Guild” is kind of a half-assed solution to the problem. And it’s still a situation where multiple people are going to have access to Dawnbreaker, perhaps even multiple people in the same group.
If the point here is to limit player access to artifacts so that they only show up under the rarest of circumstances, then I feel like “every time a Fighters Guild player throws an ult” is not adequately rare. You get four Fighters Guild players running a dungeon together and they could theoretically ALL wield Dawnbreaker at various points during the run.
Honestly, Volendrung popping in and out as you describe makes more sense to me in this context. Many of the franchise artifacts explicitly have that tendency as part of their backstory. Likewise, having Mora offer but not deliver the Oghma Infinium is good because it’s absolutely a thing Mora would do, I feel.
But I kind of have a hard time seeing how Meridia would just let Dawnbreaker bounce around from player to player like that. Particularly given that the game already has Dawnbreaker showing up in connection with the Golden Knight, anyway. In this context I feel like “only have the artifacts show up in the hands of plot-relevant NPCs” is acceptable.