You can hear the faint sounds of hundreds of conversations happening at once in the town square. It a busy day for the vendors in Wayrest. A dog barks as a person walks pass, a strong breeze whisks through the alleyway, it’s as if the city fell silent for a fraction of a second and all that was heard was the blood bubbling from the throat of your victim, his lifeless body falling to the cobble path and the clamor of the city begins again. Unseen, unheard, you assassinate your targets without hesitation, without remorse, you are a member of The Dark Brotherhood.
That’s right, The Dark Brotherhood DLC is now live on the PTS as of Monday April 25th. It has just finished downloading and I am about to jump into it and give it a first look. I thought instead of playing it and then doing an impression article, why not write it as I play. So fair warning, this article might have some weird flow to it as I will write about my impressions of the DLC as I experience them. Of course I won’t cover everything but I will do my best to cover the first initial content and will follow up with an additional article later on as I get to experience more and more of The Dark Brotherhood.
First thing I noticed was the character selection screen changes and boy does it ever look good. The changes are incredibly simple but that doesn’t mean they’re small. You can now see your total champion points, your active pet and active mount. You can also now unlock additional character slots, four to be exact. To unlock these you’ll need to purchase them through the crown store.
Now let’s load into the game, the first thing I want to look at is Nameplates. I personally dislike the fact that Zenimax opted to put Nameplates in. Zenimax has stated from the beginning that they didn’t like the idea of nameplates because they clutter up the screen and take away from the beauty that is Tamriel. As a caveat, Nameplates are optional. They are off by default and turned on in the settings menu.
They’re not horrible. I have seen worse nameplates. Enabling all the nameplates will definitely clutter up the screen especially in a busy part of the game, a major city, or hub. Luckily we don’t need to enable all nameplates. Zenimax has given us a plethora of options for nameplates. This is going to make it easier for groups to locate individuals in smaller group situations such as 4 or 12 man. In larger group situations like Cyrodiil it’s going to be a clutter and incredibly hard to locate a specific person. The nameplates really do give this game a MMORPG vibe. Is that a good thing?
Personally, having the ability to mark individual characters or locations would have been a more useful addition than nameplates. Marking a player or person allows anyone to be able to see it versus trying to find a specific person by name in a crowd of people.
With the removal of the veteran ranks the tooltips on gear has changed. Instead of seeing veteran rank requirement you’ll now see a champion level requirement “Champion 90” for example. I’m currently playing Sneezes-When-Sneaking who wasn’t VR16 but is now level 50, Champion 211. Seeing gear with “Champion 20” as a requirement really makes me feel extremely underpowered. I suppose with the highest currently available being 160 Champion this character isn’t too far off, at least he’s more than half way to top. But since I don’t need to level anymore and all my level 50 characters are Champion 211 it’s just a matter of crafting the gear I need and I’m set.
Removal of the Veteran Ranks is by far the best thing to happen this DLC, at least so far. Let’s take the wayshrine and get into the thick of this DLC.
Upon zoning into Gold Coast I am presented with this notification, “Assassin has been added to personalities” Hmm, what’s this? Interesting, it appears that this is something along the lines of a costume except that it alters the way your character stands and portrays themselves. Assassin places sinister looking dagger in your hand. As you run you run with the dagger slightly at your back and if you walk it’s closer to your side as if trying to keep it out of view from other people. The idle animation is also changed. If you remain still for a short time your character will begin brandishing the dagger by flipping it around between his hands. Have to admit, this new Personalities option could go far into making the character more customizable. Role Players are going to thoroughly enjoy this feature, once you’re able to obtain more than just one option.
just finished my first quest. A captain was having trouble with the Dock Master so we decided to pay his fees with his own money. Was a great plan! The reward was a random blue item, it was Champion 100. That would make it equivalent to a VR10 item. Since there are no Veteran ranks, and I am level 50 Champion 211, should the item not be a blue champion 160 or at the very least a 140? Seems strange that the item would be 100.
On to the next quest, maybe the rewards vary.
Hmm, going through town I just watched two NPCs come out of the pub arguing. They got into a fight with one another, their weapons of choice, fists. Could this be a step closer to Zenimax eventually introducing the Fists weapon skill? Probably not, as I’ve seen other NPCs get into a fist fight, but one can dream.
I just picked up a quest from the Bounty Board in Gold Coast. I need to go kill the beast known as Ironfang, than steal the company ledgers. This quest is a World Boss quest, similar to the ones you’ve probably done countless times in Worthgar. This quest is going to have to go on the back burner, I have assassinations to attend to.
After wandering through Anvil for twenty minutes or so looking for the quests person who will start me on my path of murder, I gave up and went to an outlaw den to sell my stolen goods. Well, that makes sense, the quest giver for The Dark Brotherhood was in the Outlaw Den, for future reference, always check the den when looking for illegal things to do.
Now, I need to kill an innocent and get noticed, shouldn’t be too hard.
Done and done, off to the docks to speak to the person I spoke to at the Den. Oh, it’s happening. A courier with a letter has found me. Yup, that’s what I expected, nothing but a hand print. Getting a little excited, there is just something strange about being able to assassinate innocent people in Tamriel. Oh man, what has this game done to me? Oh well, off to the lighthouse.
After speaking to Speaker Terenus, who I might add sounds and looks like a badass, you’ll unlock the Dark Brotherhood skill tree. The passive skills are;
Blade of Woe – Call the weapon of the Dark Brotherhood to your hand and deliver a killing blow to an unsuspecting target. Experience from this target is reduced by 75%. This ability does not work on players or difficult targets
Scales Of Pitiless Justice – Bounty and Heat resulting from a witnessed Murder or Assault is reduced by 20% (4 Tier)
Padomaic Sprint – Grants Major Expedition, increasing your Movement Speed by 30% for 6 seconds after killing a Justice NPC. (4 Tier)
Shadowy Supplier – A contract from the Brotherhood provides beneficial items once per day.
Shadow Rider – Aggression radius from hostile monsters is decreased by 50% while mounted.
Spectral Assassin – 15% chance to shroud you when using the Blade of Woe, shielding you from being witnessed and receiving a bounty.
Firstly, I’m getting tired of passive abilities. I know creating active ones are a lot more difficult to balance and get to work properly, but passives are nothing exciting. A player can’t control a passive ability it just happens. Where is the fun in that?
What exactly is a “Justice NPC”? Is that any NPC since the guards can’t be killed?
Shadowy Supplier sounds interesting. I’m going to need to level that up and see exactly what type of items we can obtain from them.
Okay, now to my first murder.
These are my first encounters with loading windows for the new DLC and they are an improvement, but I am still getting some seriously long loading screens. Luckily this is PTS and it might be corrected for launch, fingers crossed.
I’ve always wondered why exactly ESO received a Mature rating by the ESRB. This DLC is the reason.
The first mission went off without a hitch. Finding the target, by sneaking through his manor, was fun. As I continued the sneak the NPCs had a great interaction with one another allowing me to hear tidbits of information and pieces to the overall puzzle. This is a small feature but I really like it. It added a lot to the mission. Without the conversation happening in the background, it would have felt no different than sneaking through a house in any other part of Tamriel. Good Job Audio Team!
The target is marked with a Dark Brotherhood hand over their heads so it’s a bit easier to track them. I can only guess that as we progress the targets will become harder and harder to kill.
Whoever did the voice for the Black Door could easily get the voice of the house in a future Amityville Horror film, I half expected the door to say “Get Out!”
After completing the first assassination and handing it in, I received one skill point, Shrouded Armour and a Purple Unidentified Sithis’ Touch Weapon (random purple item).
Opening up the unidentified weapon it was a purple Dagger Champion 160. So it turns out that the loot does vary which is good because I was a little saddened by the Champion 100 weapon I received.
Shrouded Armour is a costume that gets added to your collection. It looks good but it’s nothing spectacular. Looks very similar to the Thieves Guild leather costume. If we could somehow obtain the look of Speaker Terenus that would be my look for a long time. Until then I’m going to remain the Gentlemen Killer.
That’s it for now. I’ve run out of time to play. So far, this DLC has me a lot more excited and engaged than Thieves Guild did. I don’t know if it’s the fact we can actually murder people with incredibly epic kill cams (style deaths) or if the story as me interested. Who am I kidding, it’s the killing.
There is so much more for me to explore in this DLC. I’m going to try and dive deep into the poison crafting the next time I get to login. Until then, keep killing innocent people and next week I’ll have a much more detailed impression of this DLC as I should be able to spend a lot more time experiencing it.
My dagger hand is already getting itchy... (heh heh hehh)
Brotherhood of Redemption
BoR Birthday Commitee Coordinator
Go calmly amidst the noise and the haste....
...as you slice your way through the flesh & bone of the most formidable of foes!
I heard 42 as well but assume 4.2 billion like you stated. Which is awesome it's not some skimpy 30 or 50 like other MMO's!
On ESO Live today they confirmed that it is indeed 4.2 billion. With a twist. It's 4.2 billion per item type. So, 4.2b rubedite ore, 4.2b rubedite ingots, etc. Also they are including bait in the crafting bags since at least guts are used in a recipe.