5 things you need to know before getting started in The Elder Scrolls: Blades
Don't repeat my mistakes
Fans of very questionably monetised RPGs rejoice! Early access for Elder Scrolls: Blades has finally arrived for those lucky/unlucky enough to get an invite.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the current version has proved to be rather divisive. What Blades boils down to is a fairly straightforward dungeon-crawler with a smattering of town management thrown in for good measure.
Truth be told, it's very light on some of the things Elder Scrolls fans might have been expecting – namely story and exploration.
Though despite Blades outwardly appearing quite basic, there are still plenty of ways for new players to mess things up for themselves. So from general combat tips and the long-term planning of your town to how to avoid hitting any nasty paywalls, here are the 5 things you need to know before getting started in Elder Scrolls: Blades.
Take notice of enemy weaknesses and resistances
It should be fairly obvious that, say, a fire spell will make short work of a wooden Spriggan, but in other cases, the reasoning behind enemy weaknesses and resistances can be a little weird. For example, who knew that trolls hate fire but can shrug off all the poison in the world?
The point is that you need to learn who is weak to what. Reading mission descriptions will often give you an idea of what type of enemies you're about to face. Early on, you'll be seeing plenty of bandits, skeevers, and dusty wights – so plan accordingly.
And if you find yourself surrounded by a variety of foul creatures, remember that you can switch weapons mid-fight.
Avoid buying armour and weapons
One of the biggest mistakes you could make when starting out in Blades is to hastily buy new gear and equipment without thinking things through.
I guarantee that you'll find something better almost immediately after spending your gold on a fancy new sword, shield, or helmet. So best avoid any potential embarrassment by remaining patient and stashing your all-important resources – especially copper and limestone.
As you'll see in my next tip, gold and materials are much better spent elsewhere…
Invest heavily in both the Blacksmith and Enchanter's Tower
Blacksmith Lond is a sweet, helpful man who wants nothing more than to upgrade your weapons and armour. So why don't you help him along by investing in his humble smithy?
Honestly, the best boosts to stats you'll find in Blades can be gained from upgrading your gear and enchanting your weapons. Within an hour of starting the game, you'll have the option to help out the NPC known as Lond by paying for the construction of his blacksmith store.
My advice to you would be to prioritise building and upgrading it as soon as you possibly can, then once you've reached town level 4, switch your focus to the Enchanter's Tower.
You'll need to level up your town once or twice before upgrading the blacksmith, but it's easy enough to do so by building several houses using the gold and materials found throughout the levels.
Gold is easy enough to come by, so don’t worry about spending a few grand on upgrading your town – it’s genuinely the best thing you could do with the money.
Save your best chests until you're a higher level
This might seem fairly obvious to some, but it bears repeating that the content of each chest scales to your current level.
What that means is that, generally speaking, opening a golden chest at level 10 will only really get you low-level loot. However, saving that chest until you're in the higher teens will mean flat-out better rewards for your patience.
So unless you really need the loot, I'd recommend holding on to any rare chests that you might stumble upon on your travels.
Don't spend your gems on speeding up chest timers
I think most of us can agree that Blades is more than a little stingy when it comes to handing out gems, especially considering that they're tied to almost every in-game upgrade system.
Sure, you might be able to find one or two in each dungeon, and you'll occasionally get some for levelling up, but the reality is that – unless you're willing to pay – you'll eventually get bogged down by endless timers and silly amounts of grinding.
At some point, likely between level 11 and 16, you're going to start hitting hefty roadblocks. The main offender here is the limit on the number of chests you can hold at once. Each dungeon can contain several chests to collect, and you'll have a meagre 10 chest slots when you're starting out.
At the time of writing, I've got over 30 unopened silver chests in my inventory, each of those takes 3 hours to unlock. So assuming I log in every 3 hours to reset the timer, that's still almost 4 days of waiting for chests that took me a few hours of play to collect. My current chest limit is only 50; the next chest upgrade is set to cost 160 gems – a sum likely higher than all the gems I've collected so far.
I suppose you could keep playing once you've hit your chest limit, but it's hardly a solution to a very sizeable problem.
I feel you need to know this before going in because it can be so easy to waste a gem here or there on unlocking early-game wooden chests – something you should absolutely never do.
I know it's not easy, not least because of all the ham-fisted ways Blades goes about nudging you toward doing it, but pretty please don't spend your gems on speeding up the timer on chests. Instead, if you want to keep Blades feeling fun and rewarding for as long as possible, you should 100% focus on upgrading your chest limit.
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