Enderal first time, impressions

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Nicolas Samuel
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Hey Dyslexicfaser,

I just wanted to let you know that I greatly appreciate your impressions! They are both very entertaining and highly insightful from a writer's point of view. :-)
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17.06.2017 05:23dyslexicfaser hat geschrieben:
...
I’m probably with badgesus on this one: I’d give this sidequest three stars out of five....
just to let you know, the stars rating badgesareus referred to could also be the difficulty.
if you take a look in your log you'll see that some quests are rated with stars,
with one being easiest, five stars being late game.

I'm obviously not saying he definately meant that, just that there's this rating as well :)
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17.06.2017 14:32Nicolas Samuel hat geschrieben:
Hey Dyslexicfaser,

I just wanted to let you know that I greatly appreciate your impressions! They are both very entertaining and highly insightful from a writer's point of view. :-)
Thanks for dropping by to let me know, then! Can't ask for more than that when doing a run through of a game.
17.06.2017 14:49urst hat geschrieben:
just to let you know, the stars rating badgesareus referred to could also be the difficulty.
if you take a look in your log you'll see that some quests are rated with stars,
with one being easiest, five stars being late game.

I'm obviously not saying he definately meant that, just that there's this rating as well :)
I can honestly say I never noticed, but then, I don't actually read my journal much. Huh. Good to know.
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There’s a fancy feast inside, primarily roast horse. Why did they even have those things? The island takes about a minute to cross on foot.
I think they had the meat flown in by myrad. I'd be more interested to know where the bonerippers and spider queen came from. Spidey reminds me of your earlier remarks concerning the pet (?) pus beetle in the Undercity.

I never really thought about the religious affiliation of elementals. Maybe it's just simple arachnophobia. Maybe you go barging in through locked doors with no idea what's on the other side, but hey, that elemental is thinking "I wasn't born yesterday." He probably read your bear's diary. :wink:
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Very nice write-up, such a treat to read, esp. for a quest that I did not do.
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First off, bug report time. Darius Floorhammer's second line of dialogue is in german, in the captions. Okay? Okay, moving on.


- So funny story. Before I got on with the main quest I dropped by the Ark bank. Some of these sidequests (including the last one) give you keys to bank vaults and I've been slacking on picking up my rewards, so I decide to pick them up all in one swoop.
Two of them are just a bunch of random books and potions and a few spare coins, but one of them has over 6000 gold! Holy shit! I snag that and go on a shopping spree. I buy, like, enough Adept skill books for skill points I've accumulated over the last 6 levels, and a new Bound Sword (III) spell.
Then I decide to put the remainder into the bank to gather interest, only to find... my bank account was empty. I'd taken all that money from myself.

- Antics aside, it's time to go spelunking some old ruins. The walk to Old Dothulgrad is very mild. A few wolves, an overgrown church ruin full of Lost Ones, a mine I already wandered into earlier and cleared out. No big deal.
Know what is a big deal, though? Bound Sword (III). Entropy continues to blow raspberries in the face of every other magic in this game. See, I have that talent that makes Bound weapons do 40% more damage. This makes the one hander summoned by Bound Sword III clock in at a whopping 68 damage.
68 damage looks... something like this.

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By contrast, the 'sword of Kor' I found on my last sidequest? 29 damage. I haven't found anything worthy of my blade, but at least the wolves and spiders I've been working my way through are dying in one swing. I'm considering phasing out life-tapping and even my soil elemental just so I can swing two of these babies at once. I'm almost sad there isn't Bound Shields and Bound Armor, but there probably is such a thing as too much winning.
I'll have to try out this 'winning' thing and get back to you.

- Anyway, so me and Calia head down into Dothulgrad and run into Indiana Jones Mage from a few main quests back, Lishari. Apparently this is the 'Peghast' they were referring to. Look, SureAI guys, I like the cadence of a guy like Tealor Arentheal calling one of his subordinates by her last name, but you’re asking a lot of us to remember two names for everyone. I think I can currently only name like 4 guys on the main council of the Sun Temple, and I’m one of them now.
We meet up just in time to listen to Lishari prove that having a long acquaintance with Constantine Firespark means that when it's time to tear strips off somebody, her tongue is deadly for more than just spitting fireballs. She is not pleased with her hirelings' progress; I think I'd almost rather get sloppily murdered by bandits rather than face a tongue lashing like that, and apparently some of her hirelings agreed already. Which is what she's taking issue with, so maybe that's not much of a fix to the problem...
Apparently some bandits ran into the deeper bits of the ruins and turned on a deactivated fire trap, making the hallway impassible.
Lashari, I don't want to trouble you, but... didn't something like this happen last time we were in a ruin here? There's only two common denominators for those events, and I don't think I'm the bad luck charm...? I mean, I only got here afterwards, so I don’t think I should be blamed for this…

- Calia throws a few barbs out herself when Lishari points out the 'bad drug trip' ritual is kind of dodgy. Which, you know, gotta go with Lishari on this one, that was a right dick move on the Order's part.

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These ladies do not like each other. And I'm stuck in the middle. It's just like high school, if high school was held in a decaying crypt filled with traps and bandits.
So, probably better than high school, altogether.

- There's a bell puzzle that, in the stories I'll tell Jespar later, will not involve me whanging randomly on the four bells in every conceivable order before lucking into the right combination.
I do wonder how good Calia is at bell puzzles that she can correct me for hitting them out of tune, and why she can't take a turn with the giant hammer instead of me.
I also wish I’d picked up all the hammers before the floor dropped out from under us, because these things must be solid Metal of an Ancient Nation to be worth this much money.

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I do have to wonder what the point of setting up a bell puzzle that drops people into a giant underground lake is. Is this how Pyreans greet visitors? Which ancient Pyrean architect designed that little feature? I think I'm going to punch the next Pyrean I meet in the face, just in case he's the one who set that up.

- Anyway, I work my way through some bandits and a couple of traps. Thanks to my new sword, the bandits present no problem. Unfortunately, flame traps do not succumb to sword stabs very easily, and there’s a few reloads over the course of the dungeon dive.
After going through a particular archway, I take a header into the ground, limbs flashing with electricity. I kind of assume I set off one of the traps, until some guy named Karek shows up and starts gloating. Cutscene defeats, how I did not miss you.
He doesn't get very far before Calia arrives on scene, and... well.
This takes place over the course of about three seconds.

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Have you ever played Left For Dead? This is basically a textbook example of ‘startling the Witch.’ Calia turns into a being of shadows trapped in the vague impression of a female form and horrible red glowing eyes before bodychecking the bandit to the ground and redecorating the dungeon with his insides.

- The rest of the adventure is pretty much a cakewalk. I imagine all the bandits and traps picked up and ran rather than face my traveling companion, La Nosferatu.
We do run into four heaping bags of gold coins (of which I promptly lighten by 20 pennies each).
Also, a poor sod who was apparently the mastermind of the bandits. The mastermind is a gormless farmer in over his head who just wanted money so his farm wouldn’t be repossessed.
Buut he also robbed the Undercity Food Bank and killed three guards, so I decide clemency isn’t a good idea. ‘Send him away to the tribune!’ I declare, pockets bulging with misappropriated Food Bank pennies.

- After discovering a gigantic Pyrean magical construct that had better not be called the Conduit, Lishari decides Calia’s pretty okay after all.
Aww, group hug! Group hug? No? Maybe a firm handshake? Okay then.
Also, Lishari can take one look at the plans we found and deduce that this thing is more of a prototype than the finished device, but a win’s a win.

- Once we make it back to the Sun Temple to bask in our accolades (Lishari is presumably dealing with breaking down and moving the two-story tall Pyrean gewgaw back to Ark, and she’s welcome to it), we see that Tealor Arantheal has circled the wagons and called in all the chiefs of the Sun Temple.

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I can name, at best, 2.5 of the 5 (not counting Arantheal himself, at the head of the table): There’s Constantine Firespark of course, and one of his subordinates in the green robes. The Qyranian one that’ll run you through the magic schools for Knowledge checks if you ask. There’s Signet Leader Jorek leaning against a cabinet way in the back, looking vaguely pissy like always. There’s this lady I don’t recognize but who might be the woman who was talking shit about me in the second row during my initiation; I’m going to go ahead and assume this is the Tuchessa.
There’s also the Archmage, whose name I am currently blanking on (Laxus? Lexis?) but who in my heart I call ‘Luscious’, for his fabulous dress sense and devotion to fine foreign perfumes.

- Some of the Keepers present aren’t really down with sticking a giant Pyrean gyroscope on top of their Sun Temple, thinks it would look bad to the plebs and lay-folk.
Tealor Arantheal is of the opinion that if it saves us all from the High Ones then the townsfolk can keep quibbling all they want but he’s still going to stick the silly thing up there.
I’m with the Grandmaster on this one, of course, but this is the second or third time that ‘the lay-folk won’t like it’ has come up, and I’m seeing a potentially dangerous trend with Tealor Arantheal’s choices.
Also, in my head, Jorek looks and sounds a little like Alan Rickman, so hopefully Arantheal isn’t going to get Dumbledored later. I hope not; I like the old guy, and not just because he’s always happy to sing my praises when I bring back another Pyrean whatsit.

- There's another break while they get that Pyrean dealie hooked up to the Sun Temple, giving me more time to wander around and get into trouble. Before I get on my donkey Whirlwind and pick a direction, though, there's a quest that has just popped up closer to home:
Ask Calia what the fuck. Oh yeah. That happened, right.

- Calia doesn't want to talk about it out in public, which I get, honest. But the place she takes me to is a little...

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Dear, you know I support your life choices, right? There's no need to kill me and pretend I exploded by accident, honest!
What even is this place, seriously. It looks like an alchemy lab exploded and killed half a dozen people, and the Keepers didn't even clean up afterwards. Maybe this is the place Yero exploded, but... seriously, guys. I know I've seen brooms around. Mops have been invented in Enderal, right?

- Oh, but Calia's talking again, so I turn back around.
Turns out she prooobably did maybe murder that town by accident. Her witch form sounds a lot like being a Skyrim werewolf, or being possessed. If she gets upset enough, or put in danger, poof! Demon Calia up ins.
Her reasoning for 'why be a militant Keeper when this keeps happening' is pretty much, 'What, would I rather be a clerk copying books all day?'
She's like if Tealor Arantheal was a small, cute 20-something.
Well, I'm down to be besties with the part-time demon paladin if she is, but then I'm probably protected by the narrative and vague prophecy powers. I'm a little more worried for any other NPCs that might join our plucky band.


The Takeaway:
It's an okay quest, I feel like maybe I just got spoiled by some of this mod's previous main scenario content? Like, I feel like it didn't make the most of the NPCs it gave me.
Calia and Lishari vanished on me from the drop into the lake until the end bit with the moral choice.
The moral choice itself was a little weak, too; I don't know this guy or the corrupt landlord, I couldn't point out his farm if you gave me a map and three tries. The closest thing to a stake I have here is that I recognize that robbing the Food Bank is probably a huge dick move, since Undercity is such a shithole to begin with, and I only know that because a sidequest took me down there.
Well, no matter. Time to give this new summoned sword a test run by wandering up the Farmer's Coast.
Zuletzt geändert von dyslexicfaser am 21.06.2017 07:23, insgesamt 1-mal geändert.
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Good luck going up more along the Farmer's Coast. I hope your Elemental is good against mages and that you are able to find rocks to hide behind. :wink: Also, if you finally get to a certain piratical cave, be very weary.
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21.06.2017 06:43Buccaneer hat geschrieben:
Good luck going up more along the Farmer's Coast. I hope your Elemental is good against mages and that you are able to find rocks to hide behind. :wink: Also, if you finally get to a certain piratical cave, be very weary.
Noted! No cave found just yet, but these beached boats are providing enough of a challenge. Doing over twice the damage I used to do per swing still means Marauders and these newer, doughier Lost Ones take 3-5 swings each to go down, which can be a problem when there's like 4 of them and one of me (plus rock monster).
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21.06.2017 05:11dyslexicfaser hat geschrieben:
First off, bug report time. Darius Floorhammer's second line of dialogue is in german, in the captions.
Can you please write this into the bugtracker (registration is not necessary there)?
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- Before we get anywhere, I just now noticed the Soil Elemental has a face, and wanted to share that with you all. It looks so tortured.

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- That done...
Traveling up the Farmer's Coast is not for the faint of heart. First thing I run into is a big muscle-y lion and a cave troll living in harmony, just like my old buddies Spider and Vatyr from the Riverwood bee farm. I almost died (I went in maybe a little overly cocky for a fight involving two creatures that outweighed me by a hundred pounds each) but pull out the win in the end.

- The dirt trail takes me to... a new biome, actually.

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The sunlight looks vaguely yellower. It looks like it's autumn, and the trees are all afire (with, thankfully, metaphorical and not literal fire).
There's a giant statue of – I'm going out on a limb here, Arantheal? A Light-born maybe? It looks like Arantheal. Basically there are these huge, realistically-carved statues out on the roadside in the middle of nowhere, with little donations or obeisances or whatever placed in front of them. Herbs, coins, weapons, books.
I swipe it all, of course. Victimless crimes. Unless they're offerings to the gods, in which case... they're still victimless crimes, because the gods are dead! Excuse prepared but still half-expecting to get struck by lightning, I grab it all and run.

- ... Into a cemetery with a glowing banshee type called a Living Ancestor and her equally glowing skeleton pal, wielding... is that a shovel? What the hell.

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Once I kill them (harder than it sounds: the Ancestor is an ice mage type), I get the dubious pleasure of digging up a Suspicious Mound for treasure. Apparently they were digging up their own graves? That's weird.
Maybe they wanted a keepsake before taking off on a cross-country roadtrip, Thelma and Louise style.
And I ruined it. I ruin everything.

- My Bound Sword III superiority didn't last very long; even the wolves around here are meaty enough to eat 3 or 4 swings of the thing, and they come in packs of at least 4.

- The beached longships (and there's a lot of them, wow, it's like an invasion force) all contain groups of hardened killers. The second they spot me, out come the axes of course; nobody wants to talk to the weirdo in the mask.
They're the usual bandit type, but their groups are more Marauder with the occasional Vagrant than groups of lesser bandits led by one Marauder, these days. Rune weaponry is common, and rune bows are apparently enough to even make bandit archers a little dangerous.
Well, there's also the occasional longship of undead. A newer, doughier type with the look of that old midboss Belosh the Searcher.

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Less terrifying out in the light of day than in a dank cave lit by flickering torchlight, but still a great look. I should look into the Reanimation line of entropy summons sometime, see what I pull out.

- I don't even make it to the 'pirate cave' I was warned about. The longship groups are dangerous, sticky affairs that involve as much luck as skill; misplacing one marauder with a rune axe in the melee is a good way to end up with an axe in your spine and down half your health bar.

- And then I run into wild mages. Like, enough wild mages to form a local sportball team.
See, what happens is there's a ramshackle house right in the middle of the dirt path I've been following that has a pair of mages living there; one shoots icicles, and the other lightning bolts. I kill them without much trouble, but they're linked to another two mages, one of which throws dyslexicfaser-destroying fireballs. I can't even get close; there's no ducking out of the way like you might for a thrown icicle. So I have to man up, hide in the house and periodically throw Soil Elementals, and listen to the gentle patter of fireballs and lightning blasts against the inviolable walls of this ramshackle wood hut until it all falls silent.
Of course, then there's two more wild mages at a nearby lighthouse that are linked to this bunch, and they come out just enough to start throwing their own fireballs.
It's brutal, and my eventual win (some five reloads later) owes more to spite than anything.
That, I think, is quite enough of that.

- A quick trip back through Ark later, I'm thinking maybe I'll go look for a nearer – and hopefully easier – dungeon, like that cemetery. On the way I run into one of these:

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Where the Myrad is a horrifying chimera whose only saving grace is the fact that if I stabbed it through the brain during a ride I would fall to my death and know it, this thing manages to look extremely cute. Some kind of... dog-bull? Bulldog? Bulldog.

- Also, I finally run into a drunk who has been faithfully standing in the middle of the Foreign Quarter shouting slurred epithets at passers-by every time I come through Ark. He seems to believe I made a pass at his girl – or possibly him – and demands I fist-fight him right now, to protect his honor and/or virtue.
Immediately, I am terrified.
See, in Skyrim, they have this brawl mechanic too. But it's so buggy that punching the other brawler invariably ends up with me owing the local guards bribe money or time in jail for crimes. Every time. Enderal proves they've ironed out whatever crazy bug Bethesda is still grappling with, though, because I freely beat this poor man's face in and nobody says a thing.
And sure, that's fun, but I have stuff to do, I can't stay here and beat this beggar man into paste forever.


The Takeaway:
Not a terribly interesting episode, just killing time until the main quest starts back up. I had originally planned to work my way up the Farmer's Coast and around to the western side of the continent where I had some quests, but that was beyond me. I did happen to find this place called 'The Crypt' in the Ark Cemetery zone, which I mistook for the actual cemetery dungeon. I think I'll check that out next...
Zuletzt geändert von dyslexicfaser am 25.06.2017 15:34, insgesamt 1-mal geändert.
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