March will be interesting: ESO, Black Desert and The Division

March is going to be exciting- first, Black Desert Online will release on the third. Then, the Thieves Guild DLC for ESO will release on the seventh. One day after, on the 8th, The Division will release.

I’m excited for all three of these releases but i am still thinking about when to buy which edition of these releases, because i’ll be away the second half of march and i’m keeping an eye on my budget. I think i’ll be patient on the Thieves Guild DLC, because i plan to subscribe to ESO sonner or later and it makes no sense to buy any more DLCs if i have access anyway and it also makes no sense to subscribe 1 week before leaving for 2 weeks. On the other hand, i might put my subscription up this month already.

Black Desert and The Division

I’m eyeing both of them despite not knowing much about them. BDO is exciting because it has the potential of being like Archeage while avoiding the stuff that made AA turn sour. It’s grindy and probably not really good for casuals, but it’s also sandboxy- so it would allow me to set my own goals and provide different activities. I can also see some influence of different genres in the game and it looks stunning. And there’s no fast travel- that alone is reason enough to be excited. As for systems, i’m relying on Ironweakness to inform me about things like the knowledge system in Black Desert.

The Division is an Online-RPG-Shooter-thingy with heavy MMO elements set during the downfall of mankind. That’s all i really know. J3w3l was very pleased, though, and i do trust her evaluations. The Divisions setting, genre and style and basically-being-an-mmo are enough to get my interest.

ESO, our community and the Thieves Guild

Our foray into Elder Scrolls Online with the guild was a stroke of genius for me- i know i’ve said it multiple times already, but i’m really happy with the game. Our small guild also grew a bit, with three new recruits who seem to fit quite well in our community. It’s funny, when i read those applications, their MMO history was very different to what i’m used to seeing in earlier guilds. One of them hasn’t played any MMORPG and is playing ESO because it’s Elder Scrolls. The others mentioned Everquest 2 and Lord of the Rings Online as most/recently played games.

Fight the Flower!
Fight the Flower!

I think this tells me that we introduce our community in a good way, we want to foster a calm, nice community and i think those games reflect that. Certain games attract a special kind of player- and in my experience, Lotro and, for instance, TSW players are quite well-behaved. I have no real experience with the community in EQ2, but if someone still played that game until recently, it speaks for itself.

Nonetheless, i do hope we’ll continue to grow and don’t lose members because they might feel lonely. See, we’re time-casuals, and as such it can happen that you’re alone when logging in. This again can be seen as inactivity, but in reality, there’s simply something else that needs our attention. Right now, my family is sick one after the other. It started last week with our son, then continued with my wife and now i’m sick, as well. At least our son is better again. Another one of our regulars is writing exams these days and the last one is on a work-related trip this week. So there might be a deafening silence in game right now. I hope it won’t scare these recruits away, but honestly, if it would, they wouldn’t have been the right fit anyway.

That’s why i’m excited for the Thieves Guild. It will provide our small community with a PvE-related activity we can do together regardless of level. Right now, there’s only Orsinium providing that- we’ll go there on friday. Last week, we tried a dungeon run as we were four. It was a pleasant and relaxing experience that i enjoyed a whole lot, but the scaling just isn’t right.

As far as i know, and please, if i’m wrong about that tell me, there’s no way a full group can enter a dungeon via the Group Finder to scale all players down to the dungeon. The dungeon scales to the group leader, but of course you’d have to take the lowest level player to avoid frustration on his/her part. So dungeons are out. I really hope the devs improve the game in that department.

Thieves Guild

I have to say, going by the title/themes, both coming DLCs we know about for ESO aren’t doing much for me. I don’t know where the Dark Brotherhood might reside, but if my guildmates informed me correctly, they’re basically assassins. Assassins sneak a lot, don’t they? As do Thieves. In all those MMOs i’ve played, i also played most of the classes, avoiding only one type of class: the stealthy ones. So sneaking around to steal stuff from people and/or kill them isn’t really appealing to me. By the way, i really don’t like desert zones in MMORPGs.

I *so* need to go inside that Citadel.
I *so* need to go inside that Citadel.

So i was basically looking forward to both DLCs, but i wasn’t excited. Then the team posted the Thieves Guild Guide on Areas. I’ve read the whole thing, which is unusual, because nowadays, i don’t try to get as much information as possible on games and updates in order to keep the game interesting.

In addition to levelscaling, it’s mostly the design of the landscape that intrigues me- ESO is really good at that and it seems the Thieves Guild DLC will be no different. From the screenshots provided, it doesn’t seem to be an “empty” zone- to me, it looks as if the devs went a different route than normal by making it smaller and filling it with life instead of the usual way of making desert zones vast and empty.

The zone’s backstory about merchants and guilds struggling for wealth, influence and power is fine, i guess, but it can actually develop into a very interesting plot about power struggles. That, i would like. And it also inspired an idea about a (maybe) fun guild activity: go around and steal stuff! Although i’ll have to look into the Justice system beforehand. This could be done in preparation for the DLC or within its content, we’ll see about that.

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