Initially I had planned last night on poking my head in on various characters within Azeroth but like many I was greeted with a lot of this screen when I first got home. It seemed like a combination of a couple of things… first being that there were apparently some rather nasty DDoS attacks going on with the hosting providers… and secondly this was a major patch in WoW. I mean I’ve been going through this cycle since 2004 and this is far from the first time a major patch rendered the game unplayable for one reason or another. Just the simple onslaught of a bunch of players coming back to do like I was planning is enough to take down servers. I have no idea when it was fixed and when the servers came back up… because I did what I have learned I need to do to keep from getting ragey… I moved on to playing something else.
Though that said I heard that the community was particularly toxic to the BlizzardCS account last night. There were apparently people calling for the firing of employees and all of that nonsense… while those of us who have been through far worse launches sit back and eat our popcorn. I think the reality is that Blizzard has spoiled us of late with a string of relatively smooth major patch cycles. So as a result when folks see what I would consider a normal MMO patch rollout… they lose their shit. There have been times when I too was losing my shit… particularly during the relaunch of A Realm Reborn when you had to effectively stay logged in if you hoped to play the game at all. In this scenario however I happily wandered off to play Elder Scrolls Online after a few rounds of attempts.
So I have been working my way through the ESO content as it was originally released and after finishing Orsinium… that lead me down the path of the Thieve’s Guild. Now I had accidentally already done the intro quest to this content because I quite legitimately thought it was just another quest in Windhelm. That is one of the challenges you have coming back this far behind the curve is there are quests everywhere… and a good deal of them are trying to lead you off to start expansions and DLC without ever fully announcing that is their intent. Sure I probably could have looked it up in the quest journal, but for the most part I find myself not using that at all while playing Elder Scrolls Online.
One of the challenges with Thieves Guild is the fact that it is more or less a stealthy expansion, and I Belghast… am not a stealthy person. I am one of those charge into the fight and taunt all the things type person… and the thought of sneaking around in full plate seems hilarious to me. That said I have tried my best to embrace this game play style because the content essentially forces you to do so. Getting detected in a good deal of the missions means that you are going to get swarmed by city guards that you have no way of actually soloing. Now thankfully it employs the Assassins Creed “instant hiding container” sort of thing, which allows you to evade attention at just the right moment. Now unfortunately if you already have guard aggro you are going to have to wait a bit until the “heat meter” dies down before popping out and continuing the mission.
Now it is not like I have never done a thieves guild in the past Elder Scrolls Online games… in fact to my knowledge I have done them all since Oblivion. The problem is in those older games there was always a path of “kill all the things” that got you through the quest as opposed to constantly sneaking your butt around. For the most part however I have managed to do the quests as intended part from a few times when I killed someone instead of just not doing that. While the gameplay is not my favorite thing in the world, I have to give the game credit for completely hooking me with the storyline. This is in fact an Elder Scrolls Thieves Guild story… which quite honestly tend to be some of the better written and more interesting guilds out there.
I am completely hooked on the characters and the story as it is deciphering due to my interactions. It is part pirates, part heist, part Indiana Jones and a whole of fighting back against an oppressive evil empire… all of which make for a really interesting sequence. The way it plays out is interesting as well as there is no one constant thread that you follow but instead a sequence of what seems to be disconnected actions that ultimately weave their way into a main story quest. I get the impression that I am reaching about the halfway point in the story as there was a major revelation last night, that seems like it will begin the end phase where I start narrowing down and working to righting the great wrong done to the guild. I am completely hooked… in spite of needing to creep about unbenefiting a warrior of my stature.