(as in, yes the game is completely free but there is an option to buy nifty things you might not be able to get in-game, or might not be able to afford in-game)
Having reached a lofty enough level I snagged my cash and started a faction called Privateer. Mostly so other factions would leave me alone about joining but also because I will likely never find a faction laid back enough that I could join them and not be miserable. Anyway, I have set up the faction site with info and members pages. I'll be working on links between here and the site today so if it looks odd, it is not broken.
In other gaming news:
Perfect World is running a Bonus Zen special today. They are adding an additional 15% to any you buy. From the website:
PWE is having a huge blowout ZEN Sale!
This Thursday, Friday, and Saturday only, when you charge your ZEN for ANY of our games:
Perfect World International, Ether Saga Online, Jade Dynasty, or Battle of the Immortals,
you will get an extra 15% ZEN absolutely free!
If you have been a little 'meh' about buying Zen this could be a cheaper way to get some. It would be great if we saw a corresponding drop with in-game prices but I seriously doubt that will happen. I know it isn't a popular view but most of what you can buy from other players in game is way overpriced.
Bringing me to my next point. if you are newbie-ish and working on the crafting quests I have the base Mats (materials) needed to complete the first level of quests for a very low price. The mats run 250 each and I'll sell any given player enough to complete the quests. My shop is Tap and Dye and I can usually be found near the Apothecary in Plume and near the Teleport Master in Etherblade and the City of the Lost. I'll be also be adding a link to article with the quest requirements and mat locations sometime this weekend if you would prefer to gather your own mats.
See ya in-game,
or Kit's Guide to Oblivion 4:The Elder Scrolls for the Video Game Challenged- part one
I have been playing Oblivion 4 and although there are tons of help files and guides for people who are actually good at playing video/computer games, there are very few for those of us that
suck are not proficient at gaming. Since I am already working on a series of articles on the locations of potion ingredients for the novice player I decided a beginner's guide would fit along side nicely.
1) Once you get through the scripted intro set your difficulty bar to the lowest setting. You will find it under 'options' 'gameplay'. Under 'options' 'video' you will find a brightness bar. Set it about three quarters of the way on. Most of the tutorial is underground and it can be hard to see objects in the darkness.
2) Pick up EVERYTHING. You can always dump equipment later if you become encumbered. I dump equipment I will not be using first and hang on to things like arrows, potion ingredients, jewelry and potions. It may seen like the big weapons and heavy armor would yield more gold, but at beginning and lower levels the lighter stuff always brings in more money. Do keep any weapons and armor you want to use later and DO remember to take the goblin shaman staff.
3) Hang on to your lockpicks. There is a good tutorial on lockpicking at OblivioWiki. If you really hate lockpicking you can use spells once you are out of the tutorial but there are a few locks in the game that can only be opened by lockpicks so keeping a supply is a good idea.
4) Sneak is your very best friend. Seriously, if you can shoot the critters before they even see you or tiptoe around them unseen it is a huge advantage.
5) You have to pick a class with Baurus but don't panic. You will have another chance to set all your skills before leaving the sewers.
6) After the Emperor's death you set off on your own. Try to use your bow to pick off the goblins and rats from a distance. And pick up your arrows as you go. If you are still feeling a little overwhelmed just take each room slowly and save often.
7) When you reach the sewer gate you can change all your information. Race, appearance, class and birthsign can all be switched around to your liking. There are three ways to approach your class. You can pick a preformed class from the list, you can chose the skills that make sense for the characater you want to play or you can pick skills that don't autolevel and that you don't use often to slow the advancement of your character. This is called efficient leveling and it makes for a more powerful character in the long run but it also slows your leveling down to a crawl. For new players I recommend choosing a pre-determined class. They are fairly well balanced and you level at a decent pace.
Before you exit the sewers save your game. Do not save over this file! If you want to restart or try out a different character you can start from this point, rather than going through the tutorial again.
Extra points of interest.
Alteration gives you spells like ease burden and water breathing, as well as the pick lock spells. Restoration has healing and spells like fortify strength and absorb health. I would recommend choosing at least one of these as a primary skill. Starting out with one of these at apprentice level gives a newbie player a big advantage.
Remember, we are not going for strict role play realism here...we just want to stay alive long enough to get some experience playing the game.
For an explanation of each school of magic and info on the various spells check out the Spells page and links on OblivioWiki.
Encumbered is just a fancy way of saying your character is carrying too much stuff to move. ;)
Graphics courtesy of Gamespy and used according to the IGN User Agreement.
This is the first in a series of posts detailing the locations of various potion ingredients in the game The Elder Scrolls:Oblivion IV. This is not a tutorial on gameplay or a walkthrough. If you need one of those check out OblivioWiki.
Alchemy is a magic skill under the attribute Intelligence. This means your intelligence affects how powerful your potions are and also means when you raise your alchemy level you are also potentually raising your intelligence attribute.
Alchemy is a great way to make money, especially at low level when you can't carry much loot. Alchemical ingredients are small and light weight so you can carry large amounts of them without becoming encumbered.
You can start gathering ingredients during the tutorial. Along the cave and tunnel floors you will find Cairn Bolate, Wisp Stalk and Stinkhorn mushrooms. You get rat meat from the rats you kill and a mort flesh from the zombie. I also picked up tomatoes, lettuce and cheese wedges off the floor. There is a goblin in the tunnels with a mortar and pestle. Pick the mortar and pestle up as you can't make potions without it.
Check the kegs, chests and goblins in the latter half of the tutorial. I picked up flour, some cheese wheels and a garlic but it seems to be random.
Once you are outside the sewers you can pick up Clouded Funnel Cap and Green Stain Cap mushrooms just to the left of the sewer entrance. You can also pick off a few mud crabs for crab meat. Unless you took Alchemy as a major skill, all you will be able to see is one potion effect. Go ahead and make some potions. Most of them will be damage fatigue or restore fatigue but don't worry about it. The merchants will buy them whatever they are. Don't worry about saving any ingredients, with the exception of garlic all of them are fairly easy to find.
(I always save my garlic. If you catch porphyric hemophilia (vampirism) and can't reach a temple or take a cure disease potion in time you may need the garlic for a quest to de-vamp yourself.)
If you reach level twenty five while potion making you get two effects available for each ingredient. This enables you to make detect life, damage and restore health, night eye and a few other potions handy at the lower levels. If you still haven't, don't worry. It should only take a few more potions before you gain apprentice.
After you make your potions, (and do the gear checking-weapon/spell choosing thing) head off into the water toward the large ruins or visible glow of campfires. (depending on time of day) Watch out for slaughterfish (yay scales - good for waterbreathing) and crabs. You will need to defeat the bandits camping outside the ruin but once you do you can search the area for ingredients.
The bandits have an assortment of food and some garlic. They also have quite a few arrows and fur armor if you missed picking those up during the tutorial. Scattered aound the area are broken casks with food and a little bit of searching will turn up Foxglove, Monkshood and Bergamot. On the west side of the ruins is a small dock. After you gleefully loot the chests, step off and hunt around the rocks at the water's edge. You should find a big glowing plant. This is Nirnroot and you will need a lot of them for a quest later in the game. You can also pick off a few more crabs for the meat.
This is the point in my games where I start to get close to my max carry abilities so I usually cross the water back to the sewer entrance, then climb up the eastern side of the hill to the city bridge. This leads to the Market District and that is a subject for another post.
So I am looking over the journal and it really needs some tweaking.
My first tweak was to go ahead and get a paid account. Since I checked in last many, many new styles have been added and I want to look over a few of them. I like my graphics but I get tired of looking at them after a while.
I am working on a series of posts focusing on where to find the various potion ingredients in Oblivion:4. There are several tutorials that list what effects each plant or food possess but I haven't found one detailing 'where' you find the ingredients.
(like - search the woods and fields outside Chorrol to find Viper's Bugloss)
I am breaking it down by area and following an rp route rather than a 'strictly on the map' route. This means I'll cover sections of the Imperial City as the character wanders through instead of covering the whole city in one article. The same for the rest of the map. I may eventually toss it all up as a pdf but for now I am just posting sections.
Okay, off to tweak.
Okay, so maybe Dawn of Time is not the best code base choice. I have been looking for muds running it and I can't find any running a skill-based system instead of level and/or class based system. If I have to rip the level code out (okay, it isn't actually ripping, more like changing some stuff around) I might as well go with Smaug since I know it is easy to make that change to the base code. Kahuna says as long as he doesn't have to admin or (sigh) play, he would be happy to do a little coding for me.
I am also having trouble finding a host. I don't mind paying, but I really don't want to pay more than around five bucks a month. I just don't want to sink huge amounts of money in at the 'oh wow, you have ten rooms' stage. All I really need is the shell, one background process, some actual space and bandwidth (smaug is not a big eater) and a few connections. If anyone has any host recs that might work please let me know.
While searching for Mud related info I found a couple of cool tabletop-oriented sites:
Newbie DM shares a couple of free (and amazingly cool) mapping tools he found .
RPG Bloggers is a network of game blogs. Sort of a blog listing other blog entries. Lots of articles and posts on tabletop gaming.
And Gaming Brouhaha lists and discusses RPGs designed for busy adults. There is a followup post on the subject HERE that includes links to several indie presses.
Then I woke up.
I think I stayed up wayyyy too late playing Oblivion:The Elder Scrolls.
I was really having a blast until my sneak improved enough that I started moving at a good pace. Then I got lost in a cave and kept going in circles. Literally - I was circling rooms looking for an exit. Then the 'Quake' factor kicked in and I had to log off and go to bed before I got sick.
(I can't play games like Quake and Doom because they make me queasy. It is very annoying)
Oblivion was also the only game play we did this weekend. Everyone had conflicting plans so we postponed the game session till next weekend. (or possibly one night next week.)
crossposted to Words...Music...and sometimes Baseball
(I already have a blog that my family-oriented stuff shows up on)
I have been trying out muds. (I considered reviewing them but since many of them are still in beta it seemed a little unfair) I found one with the theme I want to build but the head guys are never around. No one is ever around. Nine in the morning, two in the afternoon or one in the morning, never anyone on. I thought about leaving an email but the code is ROM, nothing is non-stock and doors are a...er...pain...to build.
Hmmm...non-game, non-game. Oh, the baby fell asleep in the one room I need to clean while she is sleeping. There has to be a term for that. I usually cook part of dinner ahead while she naps and that is a bust as well since she fell asleep in the kitchen.
(It isn't like she just flopped on floor or anything. It is the only room with AC and her playpen is in there.)
I was going to make fried chicken but it is 95 already and if I make it the kitchen will be too hot to actually eat it.
I think pizza is the way to go.
*goes to check out more muds*
I am also looking for one that has a lot of builder-friendly features already coded in. I have no desire to reinvent the wheel. If someone else has done the work I am fine with using it.
At the same time I am also considering just going off to build for someone. Except we get into issues of time and also theme. I have several areas I want to build but don't know how to go about finding a mud they will fit on. I have been checking out some muds that need builders but so far the themes are not exactly what I am looking for. I am also not sure how many bites I would get with the "er, sometimes I can build daily, but othertimes it might be a week or more between log ins' ad. I would love to build for the right mud, but I can't lie and promise them the moon. Not when my schedule is so unpredictable.
I plan to spend a couple a days looking over more muds. And maybe going over Dawn of Time to see if it would work. We'll see.
So we played the first session in Kahuna's new campaign Saturday afternoon. As usual, he can't DM by any known rules so he makes up his own. He has been playing Oblivion and that heavily influenced the game mechanics.
We started as 0 level characters (hey, it could have been worse. He once ran a campaign where I was playing a wizard but had no memory of who I was. Lots of accidental damage to myself and everything around me ensued. He likes doing stuff like that.)
His campaign is set up so any char can learn any skill. I like this kind of play but it does make it hard to decide where you want to take your char. Since there are no (well, very few) boundaries, knowing what to try and learn is more complicated. One player is having a lot of trouble with this so she and I spent yesterday morning chatting and trying to put some definition in so she had a better framework to play from.
As for the game itself, there was plague...nasty slayers of all who have the plague...forced deportation of those that survive or are immune to the plague...sand...more sand...goblins...and hands down the most frustrating locks in all the history of locks. I would do a log but a good portion of the time was spent rolling up characters and getting a tiny bit of background. The rest was spent trying to get those blasted wagons open to hopefully find some water. We didn't. One player blew up a wagon (it was an accident) and in doing so blew up the only tool we had found capable of breaking the locks on the other wagons. And I really can't complain since I temporarily blinded myself trying to cast a spell.
In spite of all this, or maybe because of it, we all had a great time.
Next Week : A daring rescue is plotted and hopefully performed. Also, some of us learn how to wear armor!