Enderal first time, impressions

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dyslexicfaser
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This mod got me to come back to Skyrim for the first time in years and I'm firing up a new game to try it out, so I thought it might be fun to mark down some discussion points I had as I played it. I'm a couple hours in now, so here's the first batch:
[+] index
part 1, this thread, archived
MQ up to "A New Beginning"
Riverville
"The Voice from the Water" and "Bad Vibrations"
MQ "The Void" 1
MQ "The Void" 2
MQ "The Void" 3, off to Ark
MQ "First Steps" and "The Sole Place"
MQ "Taming the Waves"
MQ "Part of Something Momentous, Part I" and "Divide and Conquer"
MQ "Part of Something Momentous, Part II"
exploring
CQ "Every Day Like the Last, Part II", more exploring, MQ "Part of Something Momentous, Part II"
MQ "The Word of the Dead" 1
MQ "The Word of the Dead" 2
Ark
"The Brotherhood of the Kor"
MQ "Deus Ex Machina", CQ "Two Souls, Part II"
even more exploring
The Crypt
MQ "Into the Deep" 1
MQ "Into the Deep" 2, exploring
MQ "Into the Deep" 3, exploring
MQ "Into the Deep" 4
MQs "Into the Deep" 5 and "The Lion's Den" 1
MQ "The Lion's Den" 2
more exploring
MQ "Part of Something Momentous, Part IV"
MQ "Black Light, Part I" 1
"Apotheosis, Part I"
that's not the way to Agnod
"Apotheosis, Part I"
MQ "Black Light, Part I" 2
MQ "Angel" 1
MQ "Angel" 2
MQ "Angel" 3
MQ "All the Dead Souls" 1
MQ "All the Dead Souls" 2, some exploring
MQ "All the Dead Souls" 3
MQ "All the Dead Souls" 4
CQs "Two Souls, Part IV", "Every Day Like the Last, Part IV"
MQ "A Song in the Silence" 1
MQ "A Song in the Silence" 2
MQ "Black Light, Part II" 1
MQ "Black Light, Part II" 2
MQ "Black Light, Part III"
MQ "Forgotten Homeland, Part I" 1, exploring
MQ "Forgotten Homeland, Part I" 2
MQ "Forgotten Homeland, Part I" 3
MQ "Forgotten Homeland, Part I" 4, CQs "Two Souls, Part V", "Every Day Like the Last, Part V"
CQ "Every Day Like the Last, Part V" (again), MQ "Forgotten Homeland, Part II"
MQ "Forgotten Homeland, Part III" 1
MQ "Forgotten Homeland, Part III" 2, exploring
MQ "For the Greater Good" 1, CQ "Every Day Like the Last, Part VI"
exploring, "A Touching Effigy" 1
"A Touching Effigy" 2
MQ "For the Greater Good" 2
MQ "The Shards of Order, Part I"
MQ "The Shards of Order, Part II" 1
MQ "The Shards of Order, Part II" 2
MQ "Fleshless" 1

part 2, thread over there
MQ "Fleshless" 2, Ending
The Takeaway: Endings 1
The Takeaway: Endings 2
The Wrap-up
- Enderal is absolutely beautiful. I'm sure everyone says this, but it's true, and the SureAI guys should be proud. I think it being a tighter narrative arc than Skyrim helps with this; at least in the dream and the opening bit with the tower, it's mostly obvious where to go and that probably helps set up beautiful vistas.
The flora is more attractive than in the base game, although not good for my obsessive compulsive need to click on all the plants and then eat them, on the grounds that that is what I did in Skyrim. I don't even intend to go into alchemy. I just do this. It's... a thing I do.

- Strong opening. The dream is well done; juxtaposing beautiful visuals with a slow sense of creeping dread. That old childhood terror of coming home one day and everybody being gone. Then, uh... then I wished Dad was gone, because he's scaring me.
Good background hook that's obviously going to be explored later; I apparently murdered my family while in the grip of madness and maybe burned down my house.

- Turns out I'm on a boat. With a buddy, a starry eyed fellow slave or peasant or something. We're going to a new life in Enderal! This will definitely not end poorly.
The boat thing harkens back to Oblivion's opening, which is cool. I'm a little sad I can't mouth off to this pirate captain when she discovers us, or beg for my life like poor what's-his-face. Instead I get bundled up with my dead companion and tossed into the ocean. Screw you too, lady.
Maybe less immediately exciting than Skyrim's 'execution interrupted by dragons' prologue, but it feels more personally engaging, and that's good. Give me a street-level narrative any day.

- The beach and the tower are mostly good.
It introduced all the necessary game mechanics, though it helped that I already half knew what to do from Skyrim in years past. Stab, bow, sneak, magic, watch out for traps.
I couldn't manage to get the troll to trigger the trap like SureAI obviously wanted (I ended up getting stabbed by it same as him).
The room with the gyroscope-looking ruin thing confused me on where to go next, it took me three trips around the room to find the lower exit. I felt like I was playing Myst again.
I get a quest to find 5 pumpkins and 3 mana mushrooms to gain extra health or something. Are the pumpkins around here special? Is my character some kind of pumpkin fiend looking for her next fix like a khajit with moon sugar?

- Meeting the alchemists for the first time, I immediately bought the light magic book from him for some 70 gold - then found an identical book sitting on his bedroll I could take for free. That was kind of annoying.
I am sick with fever, and also I have a bad case of Future Vision. It comes with awesome fireworks in strange colors.
Finn's a nice guy, though. Shame the highwaymen around here seem to come packing bombs attached to their arrows, and that they don't like squatters.

- This will now begin the trend of everything in this entire country trying (and often succeeding) to murder me.

- I like... well, let's just call him Dal for now since I can't remember his name. The voice acting in this game is rock solid. He's a cynical fellow, and kind of an anarchist for someone employed by the Big Religion. He makes a nice contrast to the content, life-satisfied alchemist guy immediately before.

- I have now died to a wild dog (coastal deerstalker), a large-ish spider, a highwayman and a waterfall, before I've even finished getting down from this switchback mountain with Dal. Endaral is much harder than Skyrim, and that's with wearing all the heavy armor I can find.

- Despite me starting down the Keeper path, I can't figure out shield bashing. I'm much more survivable keeping a sword in one hand and the basic fire spell in the other. So I attack a given monster with my bow from stealth. Then I switch back to sword and fire immediately, and burn the monster when it runs up to attack me. I hit it with a power attack (which burns up over half my stamina), then frantically run backwards shooting more fire until it is dead or I am.
I want to use the light magic spell that hurts it to heal myself because Endaral seems to have no health regen, but the damage is too low and enemy damage too high. Better to burn everything despite my desire to be a light mage.

- Finding a merchant first thing after leaving Dal is nice. She has a nice selection of skill books, so I buy up all I can find (2 heavy armor, 2 one handed weapon, 1 light magic). It's kind of weird I find her sleeping on the ground instead of in a sleeping bag or something, but whatever, it's a game. I help her out by murdering something like a satyr crossed with a cave troll, and she gives me some weeds. Thanks.

- I notice either fast travel isn't a thing in this game, or I can't figure out how to do it. This is inconvenient, because I'm running out of bread to heal between fights and I can't warp back to the merchant (really wish I checked her consumables at the time). Dal's campsite and its bedroll is even further away.
Am at the point where I'm more excited to find bread and cheese than potions, since potions contribute to the sword of damocles hanging over my head: 100% arcane fever equals death. Healing magic also worsens the fever, which is the final nail in the coffin of my light mage career.

- I have now found:
1) a cart with highwaymen (my first experience with mobs using shields. Inconvenient, but fire works as it always does).
2) a mine filled with undead, rats and workbenches (I don't know how schematics work, but I upgrade my iron armor to (superior)).
3) a house with an angry mage in it (I actually wandered around and picked up a bunch of things, then got an icicle in the back. Then we ran out into the yard and frantically threw fire and ice at each other until one of us died. For once, it wasn't me!).
4) a circle of stones and four undead with bows (I also died here, then came back and frantically zigzagged around dodging arrows and very occasionally shooting fire or hitting somebody with my new mace I took off a highwayman. It was fun).
5) a mine filled with cave trolls (I also died twice here; that bottom-most troll seems much harder than the other ones, and the reward of three stamina potions for its death was... a little low).

I am not even halfway to my first quest objective, Some Guy Named Alfred. I tried running there without engaging anything, aggroed a cave troll (not sitting in a cave, but rather out in the open; I feel like the victim of false advertising), then 5 highwaymen, then the game crashed. I took that as the game's way of saying 'go to bed idiot, it's 2 am.'


The Takeaway:
Overall, it's a fun experience, even given my constant deaths. A prettier experience than Skyrim, though that game also had some fantastic vistas, and certainly more challenging. What Skyrim did better than Enderal basically boils down to... Riverwood. Somewhere to resupply and take a breath, to engage in a bit of a chat and maybe do some sidequests, to use a workbench that isn't covered in rat corpses and bone dust, to hawk the crap I find off highwaymen. I haven't seen a friendly face in hours, and it's starting to grind on me. Skyrim's main experience was in wandering around and finding trouble to get into, but we always had Riverwood (and shortly after, Whiterun) to come back to, and I find myself missing that starter town way more than I ever expected.
Zuletzt geändert von dyslexicfaser am 18.05.2017 19:28, insgesamt 3-mal geändert.
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- Finally made it to Alfred's place, and have found Enderal's first town. Praise be!
I listen with half an ear to Alfred's story of Yero's tragedy and loss, but what I really want to find is the good old RPG mainstays: shops and sidequests.

- The first building in town appears to contain a bigot who compliments the size of my weapon and then tells me that I should get the hell out and stop being a filthy foreigner and also a darkie.
I consider testing how good the local village guards' ears are with a little light murder, but decide to rob her blind and leave, instead. Nothing like living down to stereotypes, I find.

- There's a sort of main square near Alfred's house with a handful of shops selling produce, leather goods, and the General Store, plus a board with quests. Radiant quests that reset, possibly? Unsure. Good city planning, anyway. The General Store has all the skillbooks I could ever need.
Until I leave and return, in which case his Rhetoric and Handicrafts books disappear. Shame, that. Haven't seen another trader selling them. I can still learn how to murder real good and protect my vital bits with sheets of metal, so whatever. Pretty much everyone and everything outside this one town seems to hate me in this game, and trying to talk down a bear when it's trying to eat my face sounds ill-advised anyway.

- There's a leatherworker type and a tanning ... skin? Booth? Probably not a tanning booth. Whatever, it turns animal skins into leather. Not sure what I'd use that for, in all honesty, unless it turns out heavy armor needs leather straps or something.
I'm not sure, since the town doesn't appear to have a blacksmith. Schematics continue to be mysterious items which I have no practical use for.

- The local herb woman is apparently a powerful wizard, and stocks a variety of potent spells. She also appears to be crazy as a shithouse rat, claiming I have 'bad vibes.' She has a quest for me though, so even though 'an invisible trickster spirit stole my beauty potion and the potion told me it's being held in Clearwater Cave' sounds stupid, mama needs money for skillbooks.

- The mayor's wife is having seizures, and that's a bummer. Probably being haunted, possibly by an innocent man she may have framed for treason and/or had sex with. There was a vision and stuff.

- I put that on the backburner though and decide to go find this local highwayman the quest board says is a totally bad dude and I should kill 'im. He is living in a cellar harmoniously with giant rats the size of the wild dogs. Perhaps he has domesticated them and feasts on ROUS milk and cheese every night. The first rat just about bites my face off, but enough fire sorts things out. Likewise, the bandits.
I found a spellbook that teaches me to summon a magic ghostwolf somewhere or other, and try it out for the first time. It immediately runs off and solos two highwaymen and two of the giant rats.
Forget light magic and that armor-boosting mentalism spell I found in a bear den on the way here, this is my go-to spell from now on. I get in there and start throwing fire in the hopes of not being upstaged by my own magic wolf, but frankly this thing is a murder machine and I am outclassed. I can only thank the dead gods that he's on my side.
I hear a 'bing!' and discover that my magic wolf has killed the highwayman boss I was here to find. I decide that this was a team effort and will claim all the credit later as the magic wolf disappears into a tidy pile of ectoplasm.

- I swing by this Clearwater Cave, thinking maybe I'll have to clear out a few bandits picking on the poor old herb woman and stealing her stuff. I forgot that this woman is a mighty wizard and she still outsourced this little task to me.
I and my wolf (mostly my wolf) fight our way through dozens of undead, occasionally stepping in bear traps and getting boulders dropped on us along the way. A couple fights into the cave I run into a fellow who still has his skin (more or less; it's red and black and kinda scary) named Belosh the Searcher. Presumably he searches for my death. I almost die for the first time in at least ten minutes when he ignores my wolf gnawing on his ass in order to stab me repeatedly while I do the usual thing (power attack, retreat, fire) until he is dead.
He had a magical fire sword on his bedside table that would have completely turned the tables in our little fight a minute ago. I toss my trusty mace away like the garbage it is and equip the new hotness right away. Watching it light up fleshless skeletons like the fourth of July warms my heart, and I finally feel like I'm contributing to this partnership (me and the ghostwolf, natch).
When I find her innocuous bottle of beauty potion sitting in a dead end, I immediately grab it. I'm given the option to drink the potion and smash the bottle like a savage, but I'm a good little foreigner and put it in my bag. This causes the invisible trickster spirit (called an 'Aura-thief') to manifest itself. Somehow I didn't expect this even after the last twenty minutes, and stand there staring like an idiot while he lightning bolts my wolf and starts in on me. Then it turns out ghosts catch on fire like everything else when you stick 'em with a magic sword, and everything is copacetic.

- On the way back to town I find an abandoned apiary; a bee farm. I go inside because why not?
Why not is because this is Skyrim (sort of), and there's never just a nice, abandoned building with nothing important in it. I am immediately bumrushed by a Vatyr, one of those satyr/cave troll crossbreed fellows. Conveniently this is a narrow hallway, and he can't easily get past my wolf defender. I light up the hallway until he dies. On the stairs I find another one of those largeish spiders, clearly upset at the Vatyr's death and looking to take it out on my hide.
That's it; the entire living contents of the honey farm. I can only imagine that these two were like some odd couple, living a peaceful life together where society couldn't judge them, until some jackass bumbles in looking for loot.
Strangely for a honey farm, the place is absolutely plastered with schematics on every bare surface and upstairs is a magical shock axe. Perhaps the beekeeper was planning an insurrection against the local mayor, or always secretly wanted to be a blacksmith or something.


The Takeaway:
Now things are finally rolling. I have a magic sword in one hand and a portal to infinite murderous wolves in the other, and really, what else do you need to succeed in life? I've worked out all my revenge fantasies on the local wildlife, and am ready to pick back up with something a little more main quest-y. I figure I'll head back to town and check up on the mayor's probably-haunted, possibly-evil wife, and then get back to the main quest, which would seem to involve dredging the entire coastline looking for something Yemo dropped off a cliff into the water. That sounds... exciting.
Zuletzt geändert von dyslexicfaser am 16.05.2017 21:57, insgesamt 1-mal geändert.
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:thumbsup:
I really enjoyed your "walkthrough" of the Enderal early stage. I hope you keep it up. Reminds me a bit of the humor in "Zenith."
By the way, there is a blacksmith in Riverville, just not in the center of town. Just a couple of comments -- the bounty "wanted" board is not radiant, once you've done them all that's it. The tanning rack is for crafting leather armor.
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Thanks for the heads up! I did finally track down the blacksmith.

- Still not sure how crafting schematics work. It seems like maybe I just leave them in my inventory and they let me make that stuff at the forge? Of course, I only have schematics to basic iron stuff I've already covered my body with.
I make myself a new bow, because that's the only advanced schematic I have. I haven't used a bow since I got my magic wolf; even with the x15 bonus from shooting a guy from stealth/cover, it's not even worth the time it takes to switch weapons. But I want to get SOME use out of this Handicraft skill, so I make a bow.

-Apparently Riverville has a rather curious policy in regards to closing time. If you're still in the shop come nightfall, rather than eject you they lock the doors with you inside. I'm not some kind of fancy rogue that can pick locks, so I'm trapped inside until morning. I worried that the two ladies inside were going to start braiding my hair and talking about cute boys, but their reactions were mostly relegated to complaining about my 'Sublime-like' airs for walking in and sleeping in their bed to pass the time.
Their one bed, for two business ladies. Hey, I don't judge. I'm from Qyran, which includes 9-person harems (4 men, 5 women) - or so I claim to this wide-eyed country yokel manning the counter. Am I lying? I have no idea. I don't think this character has ever been to Qyran.

- No matter. I've had enough of killing things (standing back while my wolf kills things, whatever), time to play detective. I visit the murdered fisherman's house and meet a ghost. Seriously, ghosts everywhere in this bitch. She lets me inside, I have some spirit visions about a mercenary and the mayor's brother coming by and murdering the shit out of that poor fisherman. Incidentally the vision namedrops a guy named Jaer, a city guard who watched the whole thing go down. I assumed that the mayor's brother and his bloodthirsty hireling would have silenced him; I'd heard that the fisherman had killed a man, so obviously...
No? Because I'm pretty sure I ran into that guy on the way out of town, still wearing his guard uniform. Is he ALSO a ghost? Or did he just never talk about that miscarriage of justice he watched? I'm starting to feel like maybe the brother is less master criminal and more inept stooge.

- The ghost woman points me in the direction of what turns out to be that same mercenary, who was chilling on his own private island off the coast. Why am I doing this quest instead of the ghost woman? I would literally have no idea where to go and what to do without her.
Also, while there are at least six boats nearby I have to swim because what am I, a sailor?
The mercenary brought an axe to this wolf fight, and reaped the consequences. Conveniently - since I assume mystic visions don't hold up in court - he was holding onto a journal of his past jobs that included the mayor's wife putting out the hit.

- While I'm on the island, I walk about 6 steps and wander into a cave. I accidentally interrupt three 'glimmerdust smugglers' in the midst of one telling the other that his girlfriend would sooner fuck- what? Fuck what? I'll never know, because they spotted me and stopped their scintillating conversation.
Nevermind. We fight, I steal their stuff, which seems to be mostly made of mushroom; this is not surprising, the Sun Coast seems to have at least 10 varieties of the things and they pop up everywhere. I may have just solved a drug problem I wasn't aware the Sun Coast had.
I tried to alchemize myself some of this product on the grounds that smuggling sounds kind of badass, but have no idea what I'm doing. I fail a bunch of compounds and wind up with nothing. I eat a mushroom to console myself and watch the weird colors for a minute.

- On the way back I see another cairn of stones on the beach. I figure, well, I can (have my wolf) kill some undead that usually infest these places. Instead, it turns out to contain two skeletons posed beautifully on the rocks looking like I interrupted them in the midst of a spirited debate. I very carefully put away my wolf and go on my way without disturbing them.
It reminds me of finding two skeletons laying in a bed together in the midst of a ruined room in a bombed out town in Fallout 3. Very atmospheric.

- Conveniently, the guilty brother is walking around the fisherman's house like he's worried I'm going to find evidence of his misdeeds in the beach sand and he's hoping to wipe it clean before I get there. If he was this worried, possibly he should have cleaned up the knocked over furniture and blood splatter in the house sometime in the last few months, but what do I know?
J'accuse! He claims that he's young and in love (also stupid), and things were never supposed to be this way. I kind of feel bad because he is clearly so very stupid, so I allow him to pack his shit and GTFO.
Regrettably for him, I forgot that I'm basically being haunted, and the ghost shows up. He violently explodes into a shower of.. purple.. chunks? Weird.
Then she gives me a 'Tonight, you' look and leaves. This actually worked out very well for me, since I recall the brother is an arcanist and can therefore probably set me on fire. I return to the mayor and spin some story about his brother being eaten by wolves. Hopefully he doesn't send anyone to check and finds the very un-wolf-like splatter pattern, plus whatever material his gibblets are made of; it looks not of this earth. Also, his wife died while I was gone.
He rewards me for some reason, but who am I to argue with a grieving man? I take my payment and make tracks. I have a main quest to get back to.

- But not before checking in with my favorite crazy person, the alchemist lady. I still have her reward from the last quest, the 'Master Skull.' Apparently if I put it on my head while standing on top of a particular cairn of stones probably containing multiple dead guys I will gain enlightenment or something like that.
Now, this might sound crazy, but she WAS right about her potion being stolen by invisible fairies so whatever. I hike out to the cairn to try out that dashing skull hat, and score a couple of learning points. I'm a little disappointed the skull didn't actually talk to me, but skills are skills. I'll take 'em.

- More importantly, she has a spell for sale that summons a bear. Also an 'ancestor' but why would I want to summon a human when I can summon a goddamn bear? Goodbye wolfie, you've been replaced.
To give you some idea of the relative power levels involved, if I take my magic fire-sword and stab one of the wild dogs that are everywhere around here, it'll take off about 1/10th of its health. Then my bear companion will tear its face off with one casual swipe, killing it the rest of the way.


The Takeaway:
God bless this completely overpowered monster that any hillbilly can buy from an herb woman in the town square. I still get in there and stab things when it's fightin' time, but mostly for something to do and so my self-esteem doesn't completely hit rock bottom.
Between the ghost telling me what to do and the bear doing all my fighting for me, I'm starting to wonder if I'm not the third wheel here.
Next time, I'll get around to actually doing the main quest. Hopefully that's not time sensitive or something. Sure, Jespar says I might be dying, but it's probably no biggie.
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Love your style, keep it up!
Re crafting, you craft leather items (and Pyrean armor) at the tanning rack, craft metal items at the forge/anvil. If you have a blueprint in your inventory and click on the appropriate crafting site, if you have all the necessary components the name will show up in white and you can craft it. If you lack some components, the name is grayed out and on the right it will show you what you need and what you lack.

Re main quest, take your time and explore, there are dozens of side quests, the bounties, and hundreds of places to discover. Once I made it to the sun temple in Ark, I held off on the main quest until I had explored practically everywhere. That being said, the early parts of the main quest have some rewards and aren't too hard. Enjoy!

You also mentioned fast travel. There are 2 types, Myrad towers (big flying creatures, but the one in Riverside isn't active until later but you can see their locations on your world map). There are also teleport scrolls you can find or buy from many merchants, as well as the standard mark/recall spells.
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- I actually picked up the lockbox Yero threw off a cliff on the way while doing the fisherman quest. Luckily for me this is a game and not real life so I don't have to dredge the entire coast or have the plot item dragged out to sea by the tide. Just follow the minimap markers. It's about 5 feet off a pier in water about ten feet deep.
It's a lockbox, and inside is Yero's diary. Pristine condition still, natch. Probably magic.
This Yero guy sounds pretty cool. Ambitious, but noble. The only question is whether he had all his dreams crash down around his ears before he exploded and killed thirty people, or if somebody did it to him because he was onto something. Now I'm heading on to Yero's house to meet Jerspar. Jespar.
Dal, I'm going to keep calling him Dal.

- Oh, so it's that first one. There's a book in his house that basically goes, 'You know, entropy magic isn't so bad. Necromancy's super illegal, but there's these bone shamans that do it all the time. They think they can talk to the dead.' Combine that with him being sickeningly in love with his sweetheart from the village, and you can see where the narrative is going with this. Mr. Freezeville.

- Okay, now let's be real, here. It's really impressive that Dal managed to enter Yero's cellar and NOT set off every single trap in the place like I just did. But I have been stabbed by spears and shot by arrows and had a spiky ball on a rope hit me in the face, so I'm not feeling real charitable towards the guy. He made me do two errands to his one, and he couldn't even be bothered to disarm the place by the time I showed up!
Why would you even trap your cellar like this, what if you needed to come down and grab some potatoes for dinner and got stabbed to death by a wall-spear? There's a highwayman corpse hiding the pressure plate for the wall-spear trap, so obviously Yero's death-cellar is working.

- There's also a book with a Memory Point in it on the table where Dal is hanging out. Obviously a bit of carrot for people to do the main story quests, but it's a little... out of place? Like, it's just a book that... unlocks your old memories? Gives you somebody else's old memories? It's doing something, anyway.
Dal never mentions it. Maybe he didn't leave it there, maybe he didn't even know it was there.

- Dal leads me on a fun little jaunt through Yero's madness. By which I mean, this cellar is big. Dug out into natural caverns or something. There are empty wine bottles on every available surface, but Yero was clearly still smart enough to come up with a fiendish locked door, or steal one from an ancient ruin or something. For a minute I worry that we're going to have to trek across the lands finding the five-to-seven pieces of the key only to learn that the real key was inside you all along or something like that. But no, Dal's got the trick for this lock.
The trick is wooden sticks. He has wooden sticks. Does he just have wooden sticks in case he runs into this one esoteric locked door, or is this the in thing for fancy arcanists to put in their secret dungeon-cellars and I'm going to have to do this multiple times?
I have to run around the room like a madwoman shoving sticks into the locking mechanisms. Something like clicking five locks in ten seconds. Dal, meanwhile, stands on the pressure plate and shouts encouraging things at me like an asshole. The game also recommends I strip out of my armor because it makes me run slower.
So now I'm running back and forth hitting buttons in my undies while this jerk watches. This is my life now.

- After the lock puzzle there's basically a mini-boss: a fire elemental. It's okay, though, I have a bear.
The fire elemental was guarding a little shrine thing with Yero's lover's mummified remains. Dal tells me that cremation is the done thing around here except for the rich and elite who have mausoleums, so maybe Yero wasn't quite clear on how this 'burial' thing is supposed to work.
Generally, you box up your loved one and put them in the ground. NOT set the coffin upright and settle your lover's corpse in it to stare at you while you do... whatever you do down here. Wizard things, I guess.

- I was SO sure Yero was going the 'revive girlfriend as undying lich' route, but apparently he just wanted to have her with him. He planned to kill himself and see where he ends up after, and in a fine show of apathy and selfishness decided to take as many people with him as feasible.

- Dal also has this thing about idealists that goes like this: Don't. He wasn't surprised at all to see Yero's scary bat cave/corpse shrine, figures idealists all tend to fall hard and swan dive into necromancy or whatever.
He didn't like me pointing out that the world needs idealists. Like, not me personally, but it's good to have some rubes out there working to make the world better while I'm over here stealing gold pennies from old grave-crypts, you know?

- Now Dal hands me one of those teleport scrolls badgesarius was talking about, and after spending a few minutes trying to figure out how to use it like an idiot (and Z-ing into the Hero Place a few times), away we go. Time to head for Ark, I guess.


The Takeaway
Yero's arc was handled pretty well. The narrative wasn't unique or anything, but the writing in the diary entries was good. There's more investigation and cutscenes sprinkled in than I remember from Skyrim, and that's probably not to everybody's tastes but I like it.
I do still feel like the starter town was farther away than it needed to be, but it was a solid prologue-type place with all the necessities.
It does make me wonder where the main villain in all this is, though.
Like, was Yero just a red herring? I thought it would turn out that El Protagonist was some kind of test case for the Crazy Shithouse Rat Plague, but now I'm not sure if Red Madness is even a thing or if it's all suicidal idealists like Yero. Usually there's a clue or a hint or something at the end of the first big section to give a taste of what's coming in Act 3, but right now it's just 'head to Ark, Dal knows a guy. Get that magic fever looked at or whatever.'
badgesareus
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Just a suggestion, you might want to use the name "Jespar" as you will encounter others with "Dal" as part of the name -- must be something like the German "von" -- and it could get confusing if you have the wherewithal to continue your narrative. I hope so, I'm enjoying it!.
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"Hey Manyson. Still racist?"
"Why don't you ask your thousand husbands, coalwoman whore?"
"Shine on, you crazy diamond."

Yeah, I'm done with Riverville.

- I kind of love that Enderal has its own bards and songs in the taverns. Lovely.
The songs and the books go a long way towards selling the world, just like other Elder Scrolls games. No Lusty Argonian Maid novels as yet, but Jespar did say he was picking up racy reading material for the long nights ahead when he bought me a few skill books.

- Jespar seems to have better pathing than my bear, but I also can't cast a spell to drop him directly on my enemies either, so I guess it works out pretty evenly.
Of note is that he refuses to leave the path towards the mission objective, waiting for you to finish your business if you leave the path to tinkle or slay bandits or whatever. I kind of like this, it makes sense even if it does make him seem like a bit of a bastard.

- Speaking of bandits, there's a homey looking inn on the road ahead, I wonder what kind of nice p-
It's bandits, of course. Presumably the guards don't have far-ranging patrols, so you might as well set up a toll directly on the road to the capital to shake down travelers? Except they don't ask for gold and proceed directly with the murder. S'okay, though. We're better at it.

- Between my bear and Jespar, I feel as safe as if I'd taken a merchant convoy to the capital. It would be nice to take a wagon to the capital and rest the old dogs a bit, but speaking as someone who died at least a dozen times just getting to Riverville, this is definitely a step up.

- We reach what would presumably a scenic vista if it wasn't midnight and snowing. Jespar takes me over and shows me the wondrous (?) sight and drops some background on me, about trade and laws and stuff.
This snowy motif we're suddenly in the midst of as we trek up the mountain IS really nice, although I'm a little uncertain about just how structurally sound these bridges are when they're at least 50% ice instead of wood.

- There's a dead caravaneer and a trio of hungry wolves ahead. The dead man has a journal handily laying next to him. Let's see what...

- "I used to be an adventurer, then I took an arrow to the knee."
You cheeky fuckers.
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- On the way down from the mountain I run into a fellow watching the road. Given how the last hour has gone, I pull out my sword and my bear, but this one actually wants to talk. He has a particular... vocal performance. I call him Lenny. He tells me he's cold, and that I should get his brother to come relieve him on watch. Well, I guess I have a spare minute.
His brother, who I will call George, tells me in his incongruous but very nice accent to call Lenny a drunk for him and tell him that George is not moving from the fire for love or money.
I go back three or four times, faithfully repeating the invective these two are spewing at each other, until Lenny can't stands it no more. He draws his sword and runs over to George's campfire where he proceeds to very ineptly try to murder his brother. George bashes him in the head with a mace a few times until he settles down into his bedroll for the night.

Jespar briefly indulges in Enderal's most popular pastime, hateful xenophobia, by snorting something derogatory about 'Endraleans' under his breath.
That's it. That's the quest.

- The Ark is that fancy place you see on the title screen, it appears. With the big statue holding up the cliff face. It's nice. SureAI has added a lot of stables, farms, goat herds, stray hay and carts containing vegetables to the outskirts of Ark that makes it feel like a real bustling town.
I already like the place more than Whiterun.
If I was that one youtube critic who always wonders 'But what do they eat?' in games when talking about immersion, I would be well satisfied by this.

- On the road I meet an elvish sort of fellow (the game calls them Starlings) who likes to refer to himself as 'he' and wants me to find bird eggs for purposes unknown. Something about finding a flying city, I don't know.
It seems like a neat little quest where you follow the birds riding the thermals near the town until they land back at their nests, then steal their eggs. Unfortunately it also seems like an enormous waste of my time, so I confidently claim that I'll help him out and then never give him another thought.
Later. I notice the merchants are selling hammerbird eggs, so I'm confident if I ever care enough to come back to this guy the power of money will solve my problem.

- Shortly thereafter, I run into a quest I decide to do immediately. Rather than collecting eggs for a nebulous reward, I’m to go down to the beach and kill a troll, and in return I get a free mount. Well, a donkey. Are donkeys the ‘in’ animal to ride around here? I choose to believe that they are.
So I wander on down to the beach at midnight looking for some strange grunting troll and find… a normal-ish man grunting down on the seashore. When I ask him what is up with his troll impersonation, he huffily informs me that he is praying, not that he expects me to understand.
If this is all a ploy to get me punked by this guy or to get me to commit to secondhand racism, then bravo, lady.

- But no, then a troll does show up, and I do that thing I do. Behold my majesty:

Bild

- Five minutes after entering the town's Foreign Quarter, my journal is filling up with quests of varying severity and curiosity.
A snooty accountant wants me to brave ancient ruins for a gewgaw. Some guy is pouting because some other guy stole something or his.
The guy with all the skillbooks wants me to track down his druggie sister and get a key to their shared family vault from her before she drinks away the money stored there. She's apparently located in something called the Undercity, which sounds positively squalid.
This is going to take a while.

- There's also a genuinely massive yard for handicrafts projects. Multiple forges, smelters, tanning racks. The dulcet sounds scraping leather and hissing molten metal and of a blacksmith berating some apprentice for taking a foreigner's filthy money. A dozen NPCs. But... all of them are marked 'Laborer.' There isn't a single merchant in the entire zone after, the skillbook guy as far as I can tell.
Well played, game.

- I head into the Merchant Quarter, thinking I just need silver and steel ingots and I can make a fine new steel breastplate for myself.
Then the second merchant I check is selling steel breastplates for 200 gold pennies. I think it might be superior to the thing I can make myself, since it says 'Fine' in front of it. Mine doesn't say 'Fine.'
... Well played, game.

- Most importantly, I find the best store pertaining to my interests:

Bild

That, my friends, is a bakery. It has sweetrolls. It has cakes. It has honey buns. It has pretzels. It has my old standby, Endralean Crusty Bread. Let me tell you, Endralean Crusty Bread saw me through some hard times.
It has Sublime Breead! Which is presumably so delectable it demands an extra 'E.'

Finally. Finally, I have reached civilization. And it smells like sweetrolls.


The Takeaway:
Another long hike between towns, but I'm much better equipped to handle it now (Jespar and my bear are much better equipped to handle it now), so it's more of a leisurely stroll through various biomes while trampling the occasional wolf or troll.
And now I'm in the Big City. Lots to do and to see. I do kind of worry that having four zones in the same city will be problematic, even Whiterun with its two zones was kind of annoying in Skyrim. On the upside, the street signs being teleport items should help a lot. Guess we'll see.
Zuletzt geändert von dyslexicfaser am 17.12.2017 19:14, insgesamt 1-mal geändert.
badgesareus
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That, my friends, is a bakery.
I don't see your images so I assume this is the bakery in the merchant quarter. If so, be sure to visit the "bread lady" in the foreign quarter, whose conversation shouldn't be missed!
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