Different game, same problem…

The last thing I wrote about Elder Scrolls Online was the complaint about the importance of race when choosing a class. I have gotten used to it now – I am still not a big fan of that system, though. But now the next problem emerges: I was happily playing my orc stamina sorcerer and it was entertaining. The game is beautiful, the stories in the quests are interesting, the voice over is great and I have also finally found the subtitles setting (first thing in “Audio” while I was looking for subtitles in “Interface”). Not because I don’t understand English well enough, but because I enjoy watching a stream or a film when gaming in the evening after a long day at work.

And then I made the mistake to remind myself that there are more classes than the sorcerer. It ended up being: Do I want to play the sorcerer or rather the dragonknight?

As bookahnerk made his first steps in ESO (we had both gotten the game when it released, but never really got into playing it), I decided to accompany him with the dark elf (dunmer) dragonknight I had created.

Elder Scrolls Online Dragonknight Lava Whip

My sorcerer was nice. Combat was good. But look at this picture! My Dragonknight has some spiky armor coming out of her body and uses a lava whip to attack! How cool is that? It’s always amazing how such little simple things can change the way I look at a game and my enjoyment.

After taking her out for a few quests, I am pretty certain that I want to play her instead of the sorcerer! Well, for now, at least… My track record in Guild Wars 2 doesn’t exactly prove my determination… (mesmer in April 2012, after a brief switch to the warrior, mesmer again in February 2013, warrior in August 2013, mesmer in August 2015 – and currently, I am almost exclusively playing my warrior again).

Paeroka’s Ponderings: Racial skills?

Paeroka's Ponderings featured image for columnI have recently tried hopping into Elder Scrolls Online again and as I want a fresh start, I looked up guides and possible builds for the classes, to get a feeling for which class I may want to play. While I did that, I noticed that several posts about builds (e.g., this one or this one) come with suggestions which race you should pick as they have different advantages and disadvantages when combined with a certain class or in some cases, with a certain playstyle of a certain class.

I like racial skills in general as they give a little bit of flavour for your character, but I also know that in the grand scheme of “balance”, they are very difficult to implement.

Guild Wars 2 has racial skills, but they cannot be used in structured PvP! Every race has several skills they can use. I know that at some point, I used one of the elite skills to call a golem, but I have not used any in quite some time. With the game’s restriction to just a limited amount of skills, you tend to use the best ones available for your build and these are usually not the race-specific ones – there is even a recent discussion about these skills in the forums. Personally, I do not even notice the skills exist most of the time, because I focus on my class’s skills instead. So yeah, being able to call a golem as an asura is fun, but both my warrior and my mesmer have more important skills to use than these and it’s just this little bit of flavour. I could call a golem if I wanted to, you know?

GW2 Asura with golem

Rift has racial abilities, too. The linked list is not up-to-date for dwarves, though. At some point, Trion removed damage from falling, so their racial ability was changed to give them the “Dwarven Breakfast“. This one saves me a bit of gold as I need to buy less food to regenerate health between fights. Of course, if you’re a better player than me and know how to avoid damage from simple mobs in the world outside, you may see this as even less important. The other races’ skills are mostly about increased movement speed, but none of them can be used in combat. The second set of racial abilities is an increased resistance towards one of the elements. E. g., a dwarf gets +20 water resistance. My level 70 dwarf cleric currently has 5631 water resist, so this +20 seems negligible. It may have been more impactful when the game first released. But it is only for defense, so nothing that ever affected your offensive power.

I remember years ago, in World of Warcraft, the Undead had a racial skill that was considered very handy in PvP: Will of the Forsaken. Getting out of Fear (you cannot use any skills for a few seconds except for skills that remove this effect) is just a really cool and important thing in PvP fights and it used to give immunity to such effects for a few seconds on top of breaking the current spell on your character. Blizzard has nerfed this racial skill, but it’s still nice to have! In general, I remember there being lots of heated discussions about the racial skills, mostly for PvP environments, but some were also quite useful in PvE. In PvE, it was mostly relevant if you were looking to min/max your character – still, not a lot of people chose dwarf even if the racial skills were nice to have. :p Since I haven’t been actively playing in any competitive way, I do not know how important racial skills are in World of Warcraft, but I did also find a more recent discussion about them and it looks like most players are not influenced by these skills when creating a new character, but a few actually are. Which lets me to conclude that the way Blizzard is still handling the racial abilities is worse than how Trion and ArenaNet implemented them in their games. If you ask me, racial abilities should never be more than just flavour and it should not be mandatory to choose a certain race if you want to maximize your damage output!

Now let’s take a look The Elder Scrolls Online again: I have found this reddit thread from about a year ago where some say that race is a stronger factor in PvP while others say it’s more important in PvE and somebody says it doesn’t matter because fights are too easy anyway. :p This thread from May 2015, this thread from July 2016 and also this thread from December 2016, have players discuss back and forth whether it makes a big difference or whether choosing what you like should be more important when creating a character, but as I mentioned above: Guides for certain class builds actually list recommended races!

I thought about playing an Argonian sorcerer, but when I read that I will miss out on 10 % max magicka, it sounds like a lot. Or when people say something to the effect of “well, you can play an Argonian, but…”, it just makes me not want to do that. If I turn out to be just a mediocre player and chose a less-than-optimal race, I would feel bad playing with others. So, a possible mediocre skill level should probably at least be paired with an optimal race (for me personally, not saying others should do that as well). Apparently, making an Argonian sorcerer is not a good choice. In fact, if you want a meleeish sorcerer, go with Redguard, if you want a caster sorcerer, go with high elf. If you want a healer sorcerer, go with Breton. So you better make your choice – not just about class and race, but also about how you want to play said class – before creating your character!

Elder Scrolls Online Breton Sorcerer

Needless to say, I am still torn and have created several characters, but I am not sure which one to try now. I love melee characters that have some utility/spells to use and my favourite races in Elder Scrolls Online are Argonian and Orc… But I also don’t want to be laughed at by other players for choosing the worst possible combination. Even if it turns out not to be a big deal at all, I greatly dislike feeling this insecure and if you ask me, racial skills should never even have such an impact on players in the first place!

P.S: Orc as stamina sorceress is what I am going to try. It did come up as suggestions when I researched for orc-class combinations and it is one of my two favourite races, so it seems “safe” to choose.

I regularly have rants and ramblings in my mind, but never really know if I should post them, so “Paeroka’s Ponderings” is where I will try to give these rants a place. Sometimes they will make sense, sometimes they won’t.

Rift: Waiting for the expansion with the primalist

Starfall Prophecy, the next expansion in Rift, will launch on November 16. That’s not too far away now! So whenever I log in with my main character, my cleric, I just don’t feel too motivated playing her. Since I bought the primalist last month, I thought I should probably play her a bit more. She is now level 18 which is basically nothing, as you can level really fast below level 60 by just doing “instant adventures”. These are open world quests that you do with whoever else signed up for instant adventures (if such a group passes you in the open world, the game even suggests joining them if you like). In between these quests, you get teleported to wherever you need to get to, so you don’t need to worry about travelling or anything. In theory, this sounds great. In reality, it is a boring grind-fest with no challenge except for some bosses which appear. Not that they themselves are too challenging, but if your group lacks a healer, they are. :p

Still, I like doing them once in a while because it’s easy and doesn’t require too much thinking. My primalist had a melee build, but I soon switched to ranged (Maelstrom as primary soul which is a single target ranged DPS), because the mobs die too fast and it’s just frustrating having to run to mobs all the time just to see them get killed right in front of your eyes by everybody who isn’t melee.

rift primalist in instant adventures

The primalist has a special class feature. Certain skills move the class bar to either Cunning or Fury. Some skills get boosted when you’re in Cunning or in Fury. So I guess I will have to watch that bar at some point… at the moment, I don’t notice it, but with level 18, I only have a few of the skills and abilities unlocked anyway. It reminds me of the Runekeeper in Lord of the Rings Online which has a similar mechanic called attunement. I played Runekeeper before I switched to my little hobbit warden as I liked playing a tank more than playing an elf healer. But back to the primalist: She’s okay. Maybe even fun, but I’ll have to see what it’s like in a higher level. It could also be a bit annoying having to watch that fury-cunning-meter all the time and having to memorize which skills move the meter into which direction.

Either way, come next week I will be playing my cleric in the new regions, so it’ll be a while before I get to find out more.

Before and after: My Tamer

If you know me, you are probably not surprised to hear that I spent most of my time creating my characters in Black Desert Online. I was a bit disappointed that the classes are mostly gender-locked and I still am disappointed, since it’s an MMO and not an RPG where a specific character comes with a specific story attached. Alas, complaining and whining doesn’t help and the game seems to be really great otherwise.

My bigger issue was with the tamer. I saw the character on the character creation screen and all I saw was this cute little Asian-looking girl. Awwww. Definitely not of age yet, but out there to conquer the world. The class itself seemed interesting, but while I like playing both male and female characters, I just cannot stand playing a character that looks like a little girl.

BDO Default Tamer

So, my first try was to randomly switch a few buttons around. The result was… well, not too good. But I had only wanted to give the class a try, after all. Then I deleted her again – and found out that character deletion takes 24 hours in Black Desert Online.

BDO_Tamer first choice

And tonight, I could finally get to maybe creating the final Tenddra. IF I managed to create one that looked a bit older. I don’t know how much time I spent in the character creation now, but I’ve got to say, I am more than just a little happy about the result!

BDO_New Tenddra_TamerAnd with that, I take back my previous statement. She doesn’t look like she could be my mother, but she certainly lost that “little girl” look. I have also become a fan of bright orange-y hair. I wonder if that has anything to do with the way I have been dyeing my hair lately… :p

Now I just hope I actually enjoy playing her or I’ll have to wait 24 hours again before I can create another character.

GW2: Buffing my playstyle by 100 %

Guild Wars 2 is getting another balance patch this Tuesday and it looks like this one was made especially for me! :D

While I have every profession at level 80, the ones I’ve played the most are warrior, mesmer and thief – and all three get buffs to the weapons that belong to my favourites!

I know that rifle on warrior is bad and doesn’t do enough damage, but the longbow and I just don’t get along. Whenever I have to get into ranged combat with my warrior, I still take out my rifle. I also just really prefer the style of a rifle over a bow. When I saw the notes for the skill balance changes this morning, I squealed a little as the rifle will be getting a “bit of a damage buff”. The main question, of course, is whether it’ll be enough to get this weapon back to a competitive level compared with other weapons. However, as I said, I just really like this weapon and I love reading that it will get a much-needed buff!

GW2 Asura Mesmer

The moment my first mesmer got a sword in her hand was the moment I knew I had to play this profession! This was back during a beta weekend event where we were only allowed to play humans (ugh…). But this weapon still made it fun! Of course, I switched to asura as fast as I could which made the sword even more fun to play. Some of the asura combat animations are just too cute. I was surprised to read that the sword (main hand only) is getting its damage buffed as I hadn’t even known this was necessary. I have been playing with a scepter lately, though, so I did not pay attention to where the sword stands. And well, what do you expect from a person who plays her warrior with a rifle, eh? ;) Still, I take that buff and I’ll definitely try it out again after the patch.

GW2 Skkia asura thiefLast but not least, the thief. I had originally not even considered playing a thief, because I don’t much like relying on stealth or positional combat. But then I realized that neither is really necessary. What I really liked was the pistols (in any way and form: main hand, off-hand as well as dual-wielding). I don’t know what it is with rifles and pistols and me in fantasy games. Again, I think it’s so much more fun than the bow! And it is a lot more stylish with the thief, after all.

Thankfully, when I’m talking about weapons here, I’m talking strictly about games. ;) My love for rifles and pistols stops right at the “exit game” button.

Anyway, three weapons I love, three weapons that are getting buffed! Additionally, being able to see how much time I have left to put down the exit portal with my mesmer is priceless! Something I’ve been wanting to get for so long (3 years, to be precise… :p)! So far, I’m very happy with the balancing. Then again, I use a rifle with my warrior… what do I know? :p