Main action here: proceeding on the Aldmeri Dominion quest line, which let me get in some intrigue and infiltration! And finding out the identity of the Veiled Queen! And somebody is super cranky that I broke into her organization’s secret hideout, too. Muahaha.
Play by play
- Play dates: 1/11-1/13/2023
- Session numbers in this run: 93-95
- Writs weren’t ready and I didn’t feel like actually adventuring, so boinged off to Deshaan to run a couple of surveys
- Hit an enchanter site up in the northeastern corner of Deshaan, in an area near a fortess that I hadn’t been to yet
- Then hit a blacksmith survey just north of Mournhold, again an area I hadn’t really explored yet
- Picked up enough skyshards while hunting around that I got another skill point
- Dropped that on alchemy to bump up the level of potions I can make
- Then boinged down to Shadowfen to do two surveys there
- Alchemist survey not far from a player house called the Ample Domicile
- Then another enchanter survey right by Hissmir
- Overheard conversation between NPCs there about a “Dominion scum” who’d apparently shown up recently and whose arrival coincided with pilgrims disappearing
- Boinged back to Alinor then and did a little inventory management and crafting
- Boinged to Moonmirth to drop a couple of furnishings there
- Logged off for the night
- Ran writs
- Went to the Alik’r desert for woodworker survey
- Then went to Glenumbra to fulfill an alchemy survey, and also surveyed an antiquity
- Went back to Alinor for inventory management and assorted side crafting
- Logged off for night
- Ran writs
- Activated the invite from the Undaunted and got quest to find their enclave in Elden Root
- For now though boinged to Skywatch
- Reported to Captain Tendil who sent me off to find Razum-dar
- On the way, hailed by representative of the Fighters Guild again, so finally stopped to see what she wanted; she told me to report to the guildmaster in Vulkhel Guard, big contract, all hands on deck
- Hold that thought, though, got action for the Queen I gotta deal with
- Raz turned out to be wearing a magic ring that disguised him as a male Altmer
- He gave me that ring, and sent me off to uncover where the Veiled Heritance were hiding
- Talked to an agent in the nearby inn and gave him a code phrase, which got him to instruct me to acquire a sword from a guard
- Found a random guard and talked to her, and persuaded her to give me her sword by telling her I was undercover for the Queen
- Returned to the agent in the inn and gave him the sword, which got him to take me as officer material
- He hijacked me off to a nearby island, Errirnorne Isle, where they do training for the Heritance recruits
- Ran the intelligence, stamina, and strength trials and passed them
- Told to report to the Veiled Keep
- Got in there only to hear Estre, via projection, bitching about one of Ayrenn’s agents infiltrating the place–ah well cat’s out of the bag 😉
- Killed a bunch of Heritance goons
- Killed once by the three leaders, took out two of them but the third got me; resurrected, then killed him too
- Returned to Skywatch to report to Raz; he and I went to clue in the Queen
- Estre went BYYYYYYE and bailed via portal
- Ayrenn ordered me to report to Dawnbreak to speak to the Canonreeve there
- Paused at that point until next time
Some thoughts about houses and furnishing
I got to thinking I should probably really put more furnishings in Moonmirth House. But here’s the thing: I’ve been dragging my feet on acquiring any other houses, or even furnishing the one I’ve got. What stops me is that as near as I can tell, houses in ESO are almost entirely decorative. They serve as a location where you can put your chests, sure. But that’s about it in terms of practical use.
In Skyrim, what houses I acquire serve the active useful purpose of being places where I can store–and more importantly, display–loot. A lot of the fun I get out of building out an armory wing in a house in Skyrim is so that I can come back to it and go “I shall now put my other sets of armor I am no longer using here! And I have eight cool weapons that I shall also put here, since I’m using this ninth weapon, but hey, my housecarls might need these other ones to defend the place, too! And I shall display all of these things because they are cool.”
And I like building a library wing to have a place to actually store books I pick up, too.
And speaking of housecarls, I like having my various major residences in Skyrim, since my housecarls will usually guard all those places for me, and I can assign stewards as well. And eventually I’ll pick up a spouse and children, and they will also need somewhere to live. So in general, houses in Skyrim serve various fun purposes for me.
I’m having a hard time feeling as engaged with houses in ESO, though. Part of it is that they’re a lot more expensive in terms of in-game gold, which is why I’ve only gotten a small house so far. But part of it is also that by and large, aside from serving as places to put the limited number of storage chests I can acquire, they are almost entirely decorative. The fun of displaying my loot in Skyrim can’t apply in ESO, just because of the constraints on how many objects any given player can have, and how you can’t actually drop anything; it has to be in your inventory, or your bank, or in a storage chest. So even if you get a cool set of armor that you don’t want to wear right now, you can’t put it on display to be reminded that “I have this cool armor as a souvenir of this adventure I had!” You have to stash it somewhere. And if you’re me, that means you may actually forget you have it.
I get that a whole lot of players enjoy the hell out of furnishing their houses in various unique and creative ways. And that’s great!
But for me as a player right now, that’s feeling like too much work. I like the level of building I can do in Skyrim, where I show up at a crafting station with the right kinds of materials, hit the command on the station that says “build me a bookshelf”, and boom, I have a bookshelf. It’s already placed. And I can put books in it. But in ESO, I gotta figure out where the hell in the room the bookshelf is supposed to be. I gotta screw around with it to get the placement exactly right. And when I’m done… I can’t even put books on it.
Not to mention that I find the furnishing system of building really unnecessarily complicated. It seems very weird to me that depending on what kind of furnishing I want, I have to go to different kinds of crafting stations. Now, some of those kind of make sense. But not all of them. I have to strain my sense of disbelief to accept that I could be making furnishings at a cooking fire, for example.
And then I have to make sure that not only do I have the blueprint, or pattern, or praxis, or design, or formula, or whatever (depending on what crafting station I have to go to), I also have to have the relevant skills set high enough to make the thing to begin with.
Or, if I don’t have the skill to make the thing myself, I have to hunt around at the various Guild traders to see if anybody is selling the kind of thing I’d like to use. Which is likely going to be really frigging expensive.
All of which is a long-winded way of saying, right now I am not feeling motivated to try to furnish the small house I’ve got, much less get any larger one. It feels like too much work for not enough payoff. I have no housecarl in this game, and from what I see about the companions you can get, there doesn’t appear to be any functionality for letting them stay at your houses. Nor can you get NPCs spouses.
So the chances of anybody seeing a living space I have are pretty damn small.
It’s also vexing to me that if you want to get a house that’s already furnished, you have to buy it with crowns. I.e., you have to put out real money for that.
Now all that said: I am still thinking of getting Cliffshade. I do kind of like the idea of having at least a medium-tier house, somewhere where I can get close to the same idea of what I like about the Skyrim Hearthfire houses. Like, say, “here is my alchemy wing, here is my enchanter wing, here’s the kitchen where the provisioning station goes, here’s the basement for the forge area.” Right now I have a total of four crafting stations, three of which still parked in my inn room in Alinor; the provisioning station is currently riding around in my inventory. I’d like to have them all in the same place, and Moonmirth doesn’t really feel big enough for that.
But I gotta build up enough money to get Cliffshade. So we’ll see how that goes, and how much patience I muster for actually furnishing the place.
On Wednesday, running that survey near Hissmir, I admit to a little bit of alarm when I overheard NPCs talking about a “Dominion scum”! I figure Gyllerah was all “Who? What? Me? No no, hands all clean! I mean I know I’m a Dominion agent and all, but whatever that other elf did, I swear I wasn’t involved! Seriously you guys, I’m just here to harvest these runestones, byyyyyye!” 😆
And speaking of “byyyyyye!”, there was a lot of that in the plot I ran in Skywatch, too, where I got to enjoy some intrigue and infiltration!
I quite liked the magic ring Razum-dar had, which disguised him as a male Altmer, and which he handed off to me for my mission. It even changed my voice, which I found simultaneously fun and a little distracting! Because while I was running the trials on the Veiled Heritance island that were supposedly going to let me be an officer, I kept making male noises in fights.
I had a bit of cognitive dissonance though in regards to a couple of the Heritance NPCs running the trials. One of them had the same general physical type as the priestess Colaste I’d talked to, clearing the Torinaan ruins. And another one looked like the same general physical type as Valsirenn! Which just goes to show that even in ESO, there appears to be only so many different ways NPCs of various types can be rendered. And if you play long enough, you’re bound to see duplication of general physical archetypes.
Unfortunately for me, somebody must have blown the whistle on me. Because as soon as I passed that set of trials and reported as instructed to the Veiled Keep, I saw Estre projecting in from elsewhere, and bitching about one of Ayrenn’s agents having infiltrated the place.
Oooooops. I blame the guard whose sword I had to borrow. 😉
Also: shocker! The Queen’s brother’s wife is the Veiled Queen! So since Estre is Ayrenn’s sister-in-law, this shoots down my earlier theory about the Twin Sisters set being explicitly named for this plot, I think. Unless they’re trying to be more metaphorical about Estre being a “twin” of Ayrenn?
Gonna be real interested to see how Naemon plays into all of this, moving forward.
I have only a couple more hops of the Main Quest to do, apparently? So I’m kinda feeling like working on the Aldmeril Dominion plotline some more, and/or the Fighters and Mages Guild stuff.