I’ve been playing Elder Scrolls Online for a while, albeit not as much as I’d like to due to time constraints, and recently completed the initial leveling up to level 50. I’d like to share my thoughts on this part of the game as this should be a turning point in the game.
You start the game off as a Soul Shriven, captured in a dungeon in Coldharbour, a realm controlled by Molag Bal of Elder Scrolls fame. You then escape through help of Varen Aquilerios. You then proceed to move through an alliance’s controlled realm and help various people and towns with what problems they have. You do this depending on what alliance you picked (Daggerfall Covenant, Aldmeri Dominion & Ebonheart Pact).
Meanwhile the threat of Molag Bal is becoming bigger and you end up calling in favors of the different leaders and uniting the fighter and mage guilds to fight off Molag Bal. You then go to Coldharbour and here you first have to explore and find the members who travelled in there. As you do that you can help them out and send them to the town in Coldharbour. This is the first time it was really noticable going through a zone where you don’t have a nearby town that you can go to to sell your items or repair etc.
The quests in Coldharbour were also more interesting because of the deadra that were there, they would have interesting interpretations of certain events or actions. I liked that change of pace as some of the quests become more involved and you had different choices. What I liked even more is that some of the choices would have an impact in future quests in the zone and in the final encounter.
After finding all the people you need, you will start to mount an assault on Molag Bal’s fort and you will be fighting many stronger and bigger enemies, which was very cool. The design of the encounters was very grand and impressive looking. Especially during the final encounter you can see Molag Bal standing and cursing at you, while he’s throwing fireballs at you. All in all this encounter was quite difficult and felt new. I died several times, but it felt great to go through it and kick Molag’s ass. During this there are also some plot twists during it, which I won’t spoil as I really liked them.
After you complete the main story line you become Veteran Rank 1 (out of a maximum of VR14 currently) and you can go through the other alliance’s territory while facing Veteran Rank enemies. This is from what I’ve heard the longest section of the game as leveling will take much longer compared to level from level 1 to 50. I’m looking forward to it, as there will be more tough dungeons, trials and other new zones to do. I am very much looking forward to all the current and upcoming content!
Last sunday a band I’ve wanted to see for a long time finally came to Europe, it was Troldhaugen. In fact they were the first band to grace the stage of a new big (~1200) venue about 5 minutes away from my home. The sound was surprisingly amazing, which is rather required for Troldhaugen’s sound. It’s complex, it’s nutty and it’s enormous mountains of fun. Everybody around couldn’t stop smiling during all of it.
After they played I went to the merchandise stand and talked to the vocalist and later 2 other band members came around (and also signed their new album, so I have 3 out of 4 signatures). Of course I had to get a photo with the singer, awesome guy to talk to!
We talked through Crimson Shadow’s show, so next up was Brainstorm. They’re a good power metal band and the singer had a really technically good voice. I didn’t know them really, but I had heard some of their songs before, it was a good performance, but a bit too typical for me. Then to close the evening came Alestorm. Luckily Chris and co weren’t too drunk to play properly and they played a good 2 hours!
All the usual antics were there; lots of jumping, pits and copious amounts of beer flying among the singing crowd. Of course as recent tradition shows the people sat down and started rowing on the floor:
It certainly makes for an entertaining sight, doesn’t it?
Alestorm’s show was good, a little bit mad and technically largely sound. The songs from their latest album were also incredibly well-received by the crowd, some of them were sung even louder than their older songs!
I met some Brazilian people at Wacken festival this summer and they gave me some Carachas to make caipirinha with. So today I ended up doing this. One with white sugar, one with brown sugar.
I ended up liking the one with white sugar more, with some extra lime. It really has a nice kick to it!
I may be a little bit behind, but I recently got around to watching the Quakecon presentation on Elder Scrolls Online and what they’re working on. First and foremost I have to say that I thoroughly enjoy the game, the universe and the world of Tamriel. I do have the map that came with the collector’s edition on the wall, next to my Middle Earth one, to give you an indication.
First of all, here’s the presentation I’m going to be writing about:
The points that I’m most excited about are the Imperial City, new dungeons, veteran system improvements, spell crafting and new zones. These are very big changes which will add a lot of value to the game. One of the points which I haven’t noted is the fact that they’re adding good facial animations to all characters of all races. It’ll make all NPC’s much more emotive, which I think is a great feature. The voice-work is already really good, adding better facial animations to that will make the quests much more interesting. It’s truly impressive to behold.
They’re also going to re-balance veteran content and changing the way experience for that works, which from what I’ve heard seems like a good move. Currently as far as I’m aware (i’m not maximum level yet) there’s certain actions such as killing dungeon bosses which give you Veteran Points. But not everything you do will get you those, such as it worked while leveling up from level 1 to 50. This always sounded quite silly to me, why not continue gaining experience the way you previously did? That’s exactly what they’re doing. I’m happy about that.
They’re also adding another veteran dungeon (City of Ash) which continues a story from a regular dungeon. I think this is a really cool concept. You do a dungeon with a story while leveling up, and at maximum level you go into the dungeon again to continue the story of that dungeon, which was previously left open. I love continuing stories such as these, and having played the dungeon in question; I’m genuinely curious how it continues.
Another huge point is spell crafting, you’ll be able to find components throughout the world from which you’ll be able to create spells, which you can morph in certain ways. This sounds like one of those systems which is going to be amazing. It also worries me a little bit on how they’re going to balance these options they’re handing players. I hope it’s going to be hard to acquire and properly balanced somehow. It would be very cool to summon a flame atronarch or create other awesome spells. The problem with this is going to be finding the balance between current skills and the new spells. you are still limited to the same amount of skills, so you’ll have to really think about what skills you’ll want to have ready.
PS: I really should share some of the art and pages of the lore book that came with the game, it’s truly fantastic!
Hopefully this second card isn’t DOA (dead on arrival).
Update: it isn’t. It’s working fine, though I expected some more direct improvement from it, but I haven’t done much testing yet at all!
My Graphics card has been serving me very well over the years, I’m definitely happy with the HD 5870 card. It has proven to be a very decent card, capable of running even games such as battlefield 3 and 4 on my machine on a playable level, among other games. However over the last year the card has been showing it’s age. The performance isn’t decreasing, but it has been showing bright green instead of black or causing some screen tearing and even randomly crashing at times.
Crashing GPU’s obviously is not good, so it’s time to start looking into a new GPU. This then lets me think of the state of my system in general. There is an i7 CPU in there which is no problem whatsoever. The motherboard is a P6T Deluxe V2, which is acceptable, but dated. The real problem lies in the memory used by the system which is currently only 6GB. This was due to the fact that the machine wouldn’t start up with 8GB or more memory in place.
The motherboard is very picky about memory, which has caused problems before. As such I’m not sure I want to mess with it for now. It technically supports up to 24GB of DD3 ram, but there’s a lot of posts out there about people having problems with 8GB or more. So I’m thinking for now I’ll be upgrading just the graphics card and keeping it at that. This is also a financial question, of course.
Later I can switch up to 12GB or 24GB of 4GB memory sticks as an intermediate step. First things first; select a new graphics card for when the current card really dies out on me.
I did a little bit of reading and looking around and comparing to the hd 5870, and i quite seems to like the MSI R9 270. It seems like a good performing card which will give a significant boost from the current card, while being within my price range that I could spend on it.
I recently got nostalgic for the old times of World of Warcraft, and am curious what they did to it with the Cataclysm expansion, changing all the starting zones. This was caused by me playing some Hearthstone after hearing very good things about it and thinking it looked interesting when it released. And man, is Hearthstone some fun!
I have to make a note that the first time you start up Hearthstone, it’ll throw you right into a tutorial, which has delightful voice-over. It’s an extremely friendly way to explain the mechanics of the game, although I thought it took a little bit too long. But the game is very intuitive, and the cards themselves are explained in very little words, which makes them easy to understand, even if you’re unfamiliar with them.
After several hours I’ve played through the first “wing” of Naxxramas (while giving me a nostalgia-trip to when Naxxramas released in vanilla World of Warcraft), and done the first Class Challenge. I also played 2 Ranked games after I got used to the deck I was playing as a Paladin and managed to win both matches, which was very satisfying!
I’m very much looking forward to playing more Hearthstone, it would be great to play with some friends as well.
Now I’ll have to see if I can maybe play through some of World of Warcraft and re-visit the zones I remember and see what’s changed since all those years. This will obviously get in the way of me playing through Baldur’s Gate though, so I’ll have to see about this.
I’d heard good things about The Grand Budapest Hotel, and as such we gave it a shot. First of all; it’s a movie that wants to stand out and it does this by using rich colors in it’s visuals, a pace which is out of the norm and really charming dialog. From the first minute you’re interested in what’s going to be happening next, or at the very least you’re curious about the coming visuals that’re going to get conjured up on your screen.
The story tells a story about a bell boy and a legendary concierge who form a bond, and go through some ludicrous moments together. It’s a simple but elegant story, which luckily isn’t the major focus of the movie. You’ll largely be enjoying the show of colors and happenings, while the plot is happening. Which brings me to another point; the movie’s got a tempo to it, things keep happening and it has a great flow, you simply won’t want to miss even a minute of it.
I really enjoyed watching the movie, it being at least one of the best movies I’ve seen in recent years. Go check it out if you haven’t already!
After we watched The Grand Budapest Hotel, I looked into some other movies Wes Anderson directed and saw some interesting ones which I felt like watching. The first of those being Fantastic Mr. Fox.
Fantastic Mr Fox is a movie based on a novel by Roald Dahl, which I’ve personally not read. It’s also a stop-motion movie, which is a niche that I really appreciate if done well.
The movie tells a story of a fox and his family as he strives to do better for his family, but also he yearns for a challenge. He’s a great athlete and a bit of a fool, but an utterly charming character.
His plan is to movie to a better place in a tree, instead of a hole they’d been living in, and to pay for this bigger place he’d rob some farmers in the vicinity. These robberies are the main focus of the whole movie due to all the shenanigans that happen. But there’s also the part of his family life, with his son and a nephew. The thing about the family side of the story is that every subject touched upon will have a good reason and meaning behind it. It will touch upon kids feeling unwanted, a father’s favoritism for his nephew and the suspicions of his wife.
It’s a good movie, which will have you laugh and amused. It’s also kid-friendly and the look of it is adorable for all ages. Recommended viewing.
We went to Leeuwarden (2 hour’ish drive up north), there was a festival mostly comprised of volunteers, which had a ridiculously cheap entry-fee because of that. I think it’s really cool to have a festival really made by fans, for fans of the metal genre.
It was a really nice day, in-between bands you could go into the town centre and shop, have a drink at a bar next to the canals or whatever you please. It made for a really relaxing atmosphere.
Though the bands themselves were nothing to scoff at either:
- Gorguts (replaced by Schirenc Plays Pungent Stench)
- Flotsam & Jetsam
With an afterparty by Mors Principium Est & Grand Exit at a nightclub around the corner.
As a bonus they announced a band for 2015 already: Sepultura, with the tickets starting at 6,66 euro. We immediately bought 2 for us.
Last week it was time for one of the biggest metal festivals in the world, and easily the most renowned: Wacken Open Air, the 25th anniversary edition. It’s one of the festivals I’ve always wanted to go to and it was a great time for sure. I ended up seeing a lot of bands, some of which I never saw before, some of which I hadn’t seen in several years.
- Crying Steel
- John Diva and the rockets of love
- Soar Patrol
- Red Hot Chili Pipers
Stand-outs: Vogelfrey & John Diva and the rockets of love
- Saxon (half)
- Steel Panther
- In Mute
Stand-out: Accept, In Mute
Bummer: totally forgot Fiddler’s Green played that day.
- Children of Bodom
- Five Finger Death Punch
- Apocalyptica (with orchestra)
- Nailed to Obscurity
- A Pale Horse Named Death
Stand-out: A Pale Horse Named Death, Five Finger Death Punch
- Arch Enemy
- Van Canto
- Devin Townsend Project
- Amon Amarth
- Fleshgod Apocalypse
Stand-out: Dordeduh, Behemoth
It was all-together a great experience. It’s a good festival, and I might go back there, but there’s other good festivals too!