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I’ve played Elder Scrolls Online for quite a while and enjoyed traveling across Tamriel completing quests, collecting loot, and taking down legendary monsters from one of my favorite video game series. The Summerset expansion was one of my favorite additions to the game as it brought players to the home of the high elves and added a unique, high fantasy element to the game. The best part of Summerset and Morrowind was that each addition added a complete region, quest line, and other components to the game without the need for a significant amount of micro-transactions and downloaded content (DLC). Elsweyr changed all of that.

I purchased the Elsweyr upgrade to the game from the Xbox store with the understanding that I was getting the Elsweyr region and full quest line. After all, the game is called Elder Scrolls Online: Elsweyr! Well, suffice to say that was not the case. Purchasing the game from a brick and mortar retailer or online store only unlocks access to Northern Elsweyr. To gain access to the larger dungeons advertised in ESO’s Season of the Dragon, you’ll need to purchase crowns from the ESO crown store and purchase the dungeons as DLC additions. Furthermore, the recent addition, known as Dragonhold, opens up Southern Elsweyr for players, but it also requires a DLC crown store purchase to access.

I pre-ordered Fallout 76 when it appeared on Xbox, but quickly cancelled my pre-order once I had a chance to actually start playing the game. Now I’ve watched as Bethesda Game Studios has destroyed the once beloved Fallout franchise and I’m concerned that Elder Scrolls is not far behind. The much maligned Blades is a disaster and I don’t have high hopes for Elder Scrolls VI, whenever it is released. It’s these missteps and the growing DLC/purchase requirement to continue playing ESO that have led me to depart from the game. I’m not sure if it’ll be forever, but for now, I have no intention of returning. It’s unfortunate for me because I was unable to finish my Tamriel dungeon art project. I might return to the game in 2020 to finish that collection, but unless something drastic changes in the coming year with the way Zenimax markets the game, I’m afraid the days of Ravyn Nightwish traveling the Tamriel countryside are coming to an end.

Back to Skyrim!

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Congratulations to the team at Rockfish Games on reaching their Kickstarter goal for Everspace 2. This is only the second Kickstarter project that I’ve backed and I’m pleased to see that it was successfully funded. Everspace is an immensely fun roguelike space shooter and I’m looking forward to seeing what the team puts together in the coming years for the sequel. Check out the official store here if you’re interesting in contributing to this excellent project!

In addition to this news, I am pleased to announce that there is a new Everspace image collection available in the Gallery!

o7, CMDRs!

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Although it’s been a few weeks since I made a reasonable post on this site, there are a few things that I should mention in regards to updates on the Nightwish’s expedition and other projects I’m working on.

The SPVFA Nightwish is continuing its journey around the galactic core. As of today, we are entering Expedition Day #85. We’ve made quite a few amazing discoveries including more rocky ice worlds with astonishing mountain ranges similar to David and Goliath which was discovered earlier this year. Imagine my surprise and excitement when that discovery was featured by Down to Earth Astronomy! Because of the way that I share screenshots from Elite Dangerous and the brief nature of daily updates, you can follow the ship’s journey on my official Twitter account @CMDRExorcist.

In other news, I’ve made some small changes to the main gallery page. The images are still hosted in Google Photos, but the main gallery page has been changed to focus solely on the image galleries for the various games I photograph.

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Commander’s Log:

The Nightwish just departed Morgan’s Rock for the second time this week following a catastrophic accident which destroyed much of the ship’s upper structure and cost us 91% of our hull integrity. This occured for reasons far too common among Elite Dangerous pilots: high gravity pilot error. We attempted to land on a 4g world and things were going well until I miscalcuated the height of a crater rim and was unable to compensate for the height differential. The Nightwish slammed into the crater wall at around 45 kps, which is devastating on a world with such high gravity. To make things worse, the vertical thrusters were damaged in the collision, which made it almost impossible to keep the ship from slamming against the crater wall a second time, which is what drove the hull integrity to a terrifying 9%!

Fortunately, we were able to recover the ship and land just south of our intended landing zone to assess damages and ultimately complete our survey mission.

We used the remote drone camera system to capture the dramatic image above, which broke my heart. I’ve never seen my baby in such poor condition before. Knowing that she was less than 9% damage from complete destruction was terrifying. Unfortunately, none of my allied Commanders were in the local area, which required us to jump 30 systems backwards to NGC 6188 for repairs. I was shocked as sparks, flames, and smoke poured out of the ship as it limped back to station for repairs. Two crew members suffered minor injuries in the accident.

Many thanks to the medical staff and repair teams at Morgan’s Rock for helping to get the ship back on its feet. We spent the evening in dry dock with an army of technicians crawling around the ship working to get her back on her feet. Because we were well on our way to David and Goliath, I decided not to remain at the station and departed as quickly as possible following the quality assurance inspection on the repairs.

To make up for the damage and the mission setback, we cruised for an hour after leaving the station before coming upon a really nice F-class star with a closely orbiting ringed lava world (pictured above). The new Elder Scrolls Online chapter releases today, so I doubt that I’ll be traveling anymore today until I’ve had a chance to explore the Khajiit homeland on Elsweyr. Until then, fly safe, CMDRs!

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Commander’s Log:

Last week’s discovery prompted me to divert to the nearest station, which was Morgan’s Rock in NGC 6188. The Nightwish spent most of the weekend docked as the crew took time to stretch their legs before heading back to the black. It was decided that we’d head back to David and Goliath for a quick photo and SRV session before moving along to the next expedition waypoint.

It’s curious that it didn’t take long after leaving Morgan’s Rock to find something new and interesting! Another rocky ice world of similar composition to last week’s discovery popped up on a close system map. It lacks the exaggerated surface features, however, but it does have an insanely eccentric orbit around its parent gas giant as you can see in the image below.

My biggest wish for this world in particular would have been for some kind of geologic activity, but there planet itself is as inactive as they come. Fortunately, views like the one above with the tilt of the gas giant make up for that lack of activity. We spent about an hour exploring this planet’s surface, collecting refining materials, and enjoying the sights before pressing on.

As most Elite Dangerous players will tell you, discoveries come and go. There are good days, bad days, and terrible days. Sometimes you’ll discover two amazing systems in a row; other times will take up to 200 system jumps before anything remotely interesting appears. After departing the tilted gas giant, the Nightwish entered a region of space between David and Goliath and NGC 6188 where the systems are populated mostly by rocky ice worlds and common high metal content worlds.

We ended the evening in orbit around the high metal content world pictured above. I chose it for a panorama shot because I think it closely resembles Mars and our sensors detected the presence of silicate particles caught inside of several massive hurricanes traveling around the planet’s surface. We continue to monitor and analyze atmospheric samples and will depart sometime this evening.

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