Thursday, July 19, 2007

When The Vow Breaks

JULY 19, 2007


I don’t even remember picking up the When The Vow Breaks quest. But after buying my Bruma house, I was near broke, and needed a good loot quest. So I activated it and headed where the waypoint told me, which was luckily not too far from Dunbarrow Cave.

On the way, a damn mountain lion attacked me. This fucker would NOT DIE. I stabbed, clubbed, sliced, and fireballed the little bastard for what seemed like 10 minutes before he finally died. Of course, in my backing away and swinging/firing attempts, I managed to irk a wolf and some random bandit, giving me a 3 on one battle. Luckily, I somehow won, though it was close. And the bandit had some decent armor/weapons to sell.

The fort itself wasn’t too difficult. Disintegrating weapons and then bludgeoning everyone to death with my new mace (Truncheon of Submission) proved a winning strategy. Even the boss, a nord named Bjalfi, wasn’t too hard (though I lucked out here, as he was with 2 other gang members who for some reason decided not to help him in his battle. Some friends). Once everyone was dead, I discovered I had certainly gotten my wish. They all had Dwarven or Elven armor (and Bjalfi himself had Ebony, which I kept). All pretty valuable. Of course, also all pretty heavy. It took me an hour (3 trips) to go to Dunbarrow, empty my entire weighted inventory (save for a dagger and a few potions), pick up as much loot as I could (even with a feather spell), go to a store in Anvil, sell, return to Dunbarrow to drop off what I wanted to keep, then repeating the process all over again. Still, I walked away with like 4-5k in gold, plus a nice set of Ebony Armor (which weighs a fucking ton but is certainly better than the Elven/Dwarven mix I had been using), and the reward itself (more gold).

Hahaha, writing these things in Word is a colorful affair. There are more red squiggles under words than there is not.

Anyway, damn good quest.

Shut down console.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Two Sides Of The Coin

JULY 18, 2007


Since Purchase A Home... took no time, I decided to take on Two Sides Of The Coin, which I believe is the last Bruma based side quest to complete. After hearing the appropriate rumor, I headed into the quest giver’s home, and like all Oblivion residents, she seemingly didn’t mind the intrusion and instead began telling me about her scoundrel husband. Remember when Robert Downey was so high he went into the wrong home? Imagine if, instead of calling the cops and screaming, the little girl was just like “Hey man, wanna help me find some treasure?” Life as we know it could be very different.

Anyway, this quest required me to get thrown in jail. I didn’t want to do that, but a quick consult to the UESP told me I could get thrown in for a minor offense and be left with no infamy or bounty or whatever, so that’s good. I like to be a good guy. Naturally, there was a plot twist here: the guy in jail was innocent, the wife was the actual crook. I wish I could just kill them all and be done with it, but oh well.

I’d also like to address a concern: retrieving your items. They are inside a little chest with an easy lock, but the guard watches you like a hawk, even when you go upstairs. He’s impossible to lose, so how do you get your stuff back? I only had a few stolen scrolls so I don’t care, but still. I assume since it’s there it can be re-obtained, but I can’t for the life of me figure out how.

After this, I got the location of the treasure, which was hilariously located in a chest like 2 feet from the city gate. Looked really hard, did you? Naturally, there was another guy there, who was apparently eavesdropping in the prison when I was told about the location. And of course, he wanted the treasure for himself, and attacked me. He didn’t give me much trouble; though I had trouble finding his sword after I disintegrated it. Damn tall grass!

For all the effort, the treasure was pretty weak: a couple hundred gold and another couple hundred in junk. Plus I lost some stuff to evidence. Lame. But at least I am done with Bruma more or less. That place gives me the creeps. Mainly because it’s so boring.

Shut down console.

Purchase A Home In Bruma

JULY 18, 2007


Purchase A Home In Bruma is yet another “buy a bunch of upgrades” non quest that requires no skill other than haggling and having a lot of disposable income. For close to 25k dollars, I now have a bed in Bruma, a town I’ll probably only need to go to 2-3 more times in the game. Unlike Frostcrag and Dunbarrow Cave, there is no monetary or item based benefit to doing this quest, unless you really like calipers and planters. Waste of money.

Shut down console.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007


JULY 17, 2007


Namira was actually a quest I stumbled upon a few weeks back, on one of my rare foot travels from my Frostcrag home to Bruma (also – I’d like to point out how I wish it was spelled Burma so I could make MISSION TO BURMA jokes, but alas). According to the quest update, I had to come back when I was ugly or some nonsense like that. Not having the slightest clue what that meant, I forgot all about it.

But then I stumbled upon a page on the invaluable UESP site that had a list of quests you should complete relatively early. Some of them I had already done, some of them I never heard of, and then there were a couple that I had started but not yet completed, so I decided to make those a priority, especially since I had to kill 3 game days before I could resume the Mage quests. Lazy goddamn mages!

I also discovered what they meant by “be ugly” – have a low personality. Of course, the quickest way to give yourself a poor personality rating is to drink cheap wine (which is true outside of the game as well). So I headed over to the Jerall View Inn and stole a few bottles right under the nose of that schmuck Hafid Hollowleg, who sits at the counter of an inn and yet only sells potatoes and pears and the like. Luckily I was not caught, as I wasn’t in the mood for a reload-until-successful trial.

I then headed back to the shrine, drank my wine, and began the quest proper. And let me tell you, this is without a doubt the funniest quest I’ve done so far (to be fair, it’s not like I planned on getting a lot of ha-has out of things with titles like Necromancer’s Moon). Even though it’s in yet another corridor filled dungeon, you don’t have to run around and kill everything one by one until you are bored to tears. Instead, someone else does it for you. You get an otherwise fairly useless spell that extinguishes torches, and use it to leave some muttering priests in total darkness, at which point some morlock type guys run out and kill the priests. Hahahaha, awesome. Best of all, they have no beef with you, so you are free to sit back and relax as men of the cloth are brutally beaten. Again, like real life.

Surprisingly, there was some decent loot in here as well, which netted me about 1k in gold (in addition to the actual gold) later on at the Three Brothers’ Trade Goods in the Imperial Market District. Plus the reward was pretty good, a ring with reflect damage and spell. Nice! I wish I could have kept the random ‘put out fires’ spell, but oh well. Also, still not sure why I had to have a low personality in order to enter a cave and let some priests get killed, but hey, I write blogs, not overly expansive role playing games.

And as a bonus of sorts, as soon as I finished the quest, I got an update letting me know my Smuggler’s Cove crew had returned from their pillaging. Hurrah for theft without consequence!

Shut down console.

Monday, July 16, 2007

A Brotherhood Betrayed

JULY 16, 2007


Knowing that the Bruma mage guild was about to meet a bad end, I headed over to buy the Summon Dremora Lord spell from Volanaro, who is the only guy in the game selling it for some reason (I can’t even use it for god knows how long, but oh well). While I was there, I figured I might as well do a side quest or two. Bruma isn’t exactly a hotspot, so I have no idea when I’ll be back there. After a bit of poking around, I discovered A Brotherhood Betrayed, which turned out to be a nice change of pace, as you got to play detective for a bit.

Seems a vampire hunter named Raynil Dralas had just killed some poor schmuck named Bradon Lirrian under suspicion of being a vampire. However, Bradon’s wife is convinced he was just murdered in cold blood, and naturally, Grayland, a man she has never met and just strolled on into her home uninvited, is the man to help her.

After a while, you get as far as searching Dralas’ room at the inn, and you find a diary that proves the woman was right, and Bradon was killed not because he was a vampire, but because he and another dude were partnered with Dralas over a treasure. So now you gotta go retrieve it, from a cave conveniently located a bit west of town. Fine, it was worth the hike for the boost on athletics (one of my majors).

Plus, on the way I discovered an oddity: two Imperials shooting arrows at one another. The “danger” music came up, so I thought they were BOTH shooting at me, but it turns out there was a damn bandit running around. After dispatching him and looting him of his 2 gold (must be some bandit), the music ended, and I just stood and watched these two guys shoot at each other for some reason. I got a good chuckle out of it.

Anyway, after like an hour of amusing myself, I continued on and found the cave. Luckily, Dralas was the only guy in it, and didn’t put up much of a fight (especially after disintegrating his sword: love my enchanted Akaviri Katana). I found the treasure and some other minor loot, and then fast traveled back. The reward? The same goddamn amulet I just retrieved. Except now it fortifies my speed a bit. Big deal. I considered killing the widow Lirrian and stealing her pumpkins, but I opted to sell the worthless trinket (the amulet I already wear fortifies strength, which is much more useful) and call it a night.

It’s times like this I wish we were told in advance what the reward was, like World of Warcraft. Not that it was a bad quest, but it took a while for all the back and forth (not to mention bribery/conversation exercises) and I didn’t really get much out of it other than another quest completed. It was nice to have a detective type scenario, but it was so linear, it wasn’t like it really taxed my brain skills. Plus, now Cyrodiil is short a perfectly good vampire hunter. THE NEXT BLOOD A VAMPIRE SPILLS IS ON YOUR HANDS, WIDOW LIRRIAN!

Shut down console.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Dunbarrow Cave

JULY 15, 2007


The Dunbarrow Cave plug in was given to me free in one of the issues of the Official Xbox 360 magazine. I won’t point out the cynicism behind getting people to buy a magazine by giving them a free side quest that allows you to rob people blind, so I’ll just say thanks and move on.

Much like Frostcrag Spire, this is not so much a quest as it is a “Spend a lot of your hard earned money to fix up a place that’s nowhere near anywhere you regularly go” option. But hey, like Frosty, it has its perks.

For starters, the things you buy are people, specifically: pirates. Once the crew is assembled, you can have them go out and plunder some anonymous folks, netting you a cool 1k a week, which means after like 8 weeks, you’ll be in profit. Which is more than I can say for myself, still in the red after 27 years.

But first, you must take on the ghosts of the pirates that are located inside the cave where the ship is housed (I got a real Goonies vibe on this one, and remain disappointed that there was no ghost octopus). With my trusty Akaviri Katana, they didn’t give me much trouble once their weapons were disintegrated (actually, for once, rather than just pound on me with their fists, they all ran away). The loot they left sucked, even the captain didn’t have much of a sword. 20 minutes of fighting in exchange for 5 bonemeal? Sweet.

The captain also left some diaries, which I actually read for once. The story was kind of interesting in a non sort of way I guess. After the last ghost was killed I got the quest update, with the person I had to go see in order to buy the crew who would bring the ship back to “working” order (how’s it going to get out of the cave?). They are a decent lot of folks (for pirates) though, as some can train and sell spells. And unlike Frostcrag, at least I will get a decent return on my investment (plus a bed).

If you haven’t gotten either plug in, and are more of a warrior than mage, I highly recommend choosing Dunbarrow over Frostcrag. It’s just as inconveniently located (even fast traveling to it puts you at about a 30 second walk/swim away), but the 1k a week reward is certainly more usable to you than an endless supply of milk thistle weed or whatever. If you’re like me and try to do everything, I’d say do Dunbarrow first and use the 1k a week to buy the Frostcrag upgrades.

Or just use a duplication glitch and sell enough Varla stones or whatever to buy everything at once. I don’t care.

Shut down console.