While playing Skyrim, I miss my ESO (Elder Scrolls Online) high elf Templar.
We’re approaching the two-year anniversary of ESO. Most reasons I left the game I know are still in place: no real Auction House, only four classes with a very limited skill bar, and a super-obtuse UI that’s difficult to navigate.
I’d almost forgotten about the missing nameplates.
I remember when the ESO devs were showing off their game pre-launch, practically thumping their chests proudly at their amazing non-existent interface. Apparently they hadn’t noticed how much players don’t like their interface.
SkyUI – the super-popular interface-fixer mod for Skyrim, has over eleven million downloads. That’s a shocking number, apparently about one download for every two copies of Skyrim sold on all platforms (22 million) worldwide.
Last month the ESO devs actually announced they are planning to make the ESO interface a little less painfully opaque. They are planning to put back nameplates, which have been gone since beta. (I saw them – they weren’t glorious, but they worked.)
I’ll probably give ESO another try in subscription mode as soon as I finish Skyrim. I miss my elf, and I miss open world cooperation. ESO has a strong focus on open world coop, i.e. Delves.
In the Orsinium preview last fall, the Creative Lead said public dungeons are a place they want to get more characters to, so they increased the experience rewards. I love public dungeons.
Rift also has excellent grouping, public and otherwise, but I’m not ready to return yet. Archonix put out a producer’s letter this week.
Rift has introduced login rewards, and intends to roll out multi-core and 64 bit client support this year, along with new souls, and new Carnival content.
In other news, Blizzard announced a major change to Hearthstone – new ways to play. Casual and ranked play will be broken into an official tournament division using only the most recently released decks of cards, while a “wild mode” will allow all cards from all sets.
I think it’s a great and needed change for various reasons. The players get a lot more new cards. The devs are less constrained, so they can do more creative things.
The game is free, so the amount of money that players spent on the retired cards (Naxx and GvG initially) in “standard” mode is not that much money over a two-year time period, unless they spent far too much in the first place. The real catch is the amount of money needed in the future to keep up with the pace.
Stocks today (Friday) are giving up on their attempt to rally from Bear mode, and are dying in a fire. Even companies announcing great results this quarter (Google, Facebook), are being pummeled (down 4% and 6%).
That’s not wild mode – that’s crazy mode. Blizzard’s stock is continuing to get killed, and I’m now back to break-even.
I sold my Electronic Arts last week at break-even after they reported lackluster results, and the stock dropped 8% in one day. So I’m happy enough to see it drop another 10% this week.
I also sold Alibaba last week because I realized it’s a liquid trading proxy for China, and it no longer trades on its own merit. So that means I have to play that game, so I’m looking for the chart of the China ETF (i.e. FXI), to break out of the downsloping pattern before buying back into Alibaba as a proxy for China.
I’m just holding Activision-Blizzard and Microsoft until hell freezes over. Blizzard debt is even more of a potential albatross with the rising interest rates (I think?) but clearly no one else understands characters and can create new IPs and cross-marketing like they can.
The Electronic Arts CEO was going on (in their conference call) about Star Wars Battlefront’s great visuals, and how they are trending for a younger demographic. Apparently their new direction isn’t working well for them, since they drastically missed their revenue estimates, which actually fell from last year according to Zack’s.
So happy Friday! This went longer than expected, so next time I’ll try for an update on my game project. I’m programming this weekend. Last weekend was art.
I’m puzzled a little trying to make elves look like elves, and not like humans with pointy ears. If anyone has a genius observation, I’d love to hear it! The below portraits need a few touches still.
Professor Aspen is supposed to be an homage to Professor Snape (Alan Rickman, who passed on last month), but the semblance isn’t exactly brilliant. The elf naming needs research and decisions.