What I’m Playing Wednesday – The Elder Scrolls Online

Since I’m still muddling my way through Gray Matter (a game I thought I’d easily blow through in a day or two), I figured I’d use this What I’m Playing Wednesday to talk about my current “main game” and only MMO I’m actively playing, The Elder Scrolls Online.

Having been a huge fangirl of all thing Elder Scrolls since Daggerfall, there was no question that I was buying this game when it released in 2014. In fact, it was one of the rare occasions that I pre-ordered, splurging for the physical Imperial Edition with the Molag Bal statue and the beautiful book.

I played pretty obsessively for about six months after release, but then money was tight, and time was tighter. I was a guild leader in World of Warcraft at the time, so I stopped my subscription to focus on that. Just a few months later, it went to a subscription-optional model, but I didn’t get back into it for real until February of this year.

Every other time I’d gone back to it, I’d been overwhelmed, unable to remember how to spend my character’s points, and probably spent more time downloading it than actually playing. This time, I decided to start fresh – I deleted all but two of my old characters, and created a new one to relearn the game on.

Now, I have 6 characters that are level capped, and although I occasionally dabble in trials with a couple of them, nothing I have leveled so far feels like the right class for me at endgame.

Recently having had to take off most of a month while my husband recuperated from back surgery and playtime was highly limited, I’ve decided that I’m going to take a step back from my fully leveled characters, and spend some time trying out the magicka specs of the remainder of the classes, and unlike most MMOs I’ve played in the past, I’m genuinely excited to be leveling again.

Despite the hefty amount of time I’ve spent just questing and exploring, I still have oodles of content I haven’t finished, and quite a bit I’ve not really even started. I do keep up my ESO+ subscription, so I have access to all the minor DLCs, and I have purchased all the chapters, including Elsweyr. I still have so much to do.

My plan is to take it slow, to kick back and enjoy the story lines I haven’t yet experienced, as well as revisiting some of my favorites. I’ll mostly pass on crafting, and some of the grindier skill lines. I even want to take the time and play through some of the level appropriate dungeons instead of just speeding through them later.

I’m really looking forward to this soft restart, and just enjoy the world of Tamriel more or less on my own for awhile.

What I’m Playing Wednesday – Gray Matter

Gray Matter – Estimated Length 11-15 hours.

Since finishing Danganronpa 2 (and the prequel/sequel anime), I’ve been kind of floundering around, trying to find something else to fill that niche. I soared through both Danganronpa games in a matter of days because I had to know what happened next. A mystery-focused point-and-click adventure seemed like a good choice to keep that story-focused delight going.

Enter Gray Matter, a point-and-click adventure game, written by Jane Jensen (who also wrote the Gabriel Knight series in the early 90s).

Now, it’s been a long time since I’ve played an old school style adventure game, and I had forgotten just how frustrating adventure game logic can be. I didn’t even make it through the first chapter before I was hunting for a walkthrough (which is now just hanging out on my second monitor, waiting for me to desperately need it again).

Over the past few days, I’ve put in about 2.5 hours, some of which was trying to get the persnickety thing to run smoothly and not like a scratched up DVD. After an uninstall – reinstall – reboot loop, I was able to actually watch the opening cutscene, and kind of revel in how glorious the artwork is.

A still of Samantha Everett from the introductory cut scene.

Music and sound, at least so far, is pretty fantastic. Voice acting ranges from decent to really really good. The puzzles themselves are satisfyingly challenging but not obtuse, at least as far as I’ve played, although at least a couple felt entirely too simple. Since your player character is a street magician, I thought the addition of the “magic trick” interface was brilliant, although it initially felt needlessly fiddly, once it clicked for me, I realized it was quite well put together.

I even like the dual story aspect, at least so far. Seeing how (or even if) the stories come together as I progress through the game may or may not change my mind on that one.

Gray Matter also has an interesting progress meter, which would be more useful if it gave you any real way to know what activities encompassed each section title. Since I’m not the type to admonish myself for using a walkthrough, I don’t see myself struggling too much to complete this game.

Gray Matter’s Progress Meter for Chapter 2.

Other than a few niggling grumps (like long cut scenes that aren’t pauseable and are key to understanding the story), so far, I’m content with my choice. It’s certainly not the most difficult point-and-click adventure game out there, and it’s holding my interest.