Elder Scrolls Online is going to launch its Thieves Guild this quarter!
I always roll a thief. Always always. It’s not because I have any great penchant for purloining things, either. I’ve stolen exactly one thing in my life, when I was four, because I misinterpreted as fact my mother’s “well I guess it must be free then!” quip about a keychain without a price tag in a toy store. She hauled me back to the store, intending to teach me a lesson, but (she later said) it backfired on her: the manager lit into me, saying I was a good-for-nothing little cheat and a future scab on society’s backside, etc. etc. There was a lot of sobbing on my part. That was the first and last time I ever stole something. Mom may have regretted the degree of rancor that manager unleashed on me, but you can’t argue that it wasn’t effective.
Still, though, I always roll a thief or rogue or other stealthy class on my first playthrough if it’s at all an option. The first time I remember doing this was in the first game I ever played through on my own — the Quest for Glory I reboot, indulged in when I was seven and had to stay home with the chickenpox. The Thief was hands-down the hardest class to play, and I wasn’t very good at it: too weak to stand up to bullies and too mystically incompetent to whisk myself away magically to safety, I died time and time again. But I refused to start another character, beloved as the Thief was to me. The snicking open of locked doors (and the endless parade of death screens where you failed the roll, inserted the lockpick up your nose instead, and killed yourself by piercing your brain), the secret cross-eyed tongue-out belly-rubbing head-patting handshake (you’re damn right I remember it), the studied disdain of the fence you sold your stolen goods to…I loved all of it. The only explanation I can conjure is that I affixed the idea of a Thieves Guild firmly to the notion of “outcasts” that I so very much latched onto as a kid, moving as I did from a town I loved to a city and culture I very much did not. I wasn’t smart enough to get into the fancy STEM technical school, and I wasn’t buff enough for anyone to want me on their sports team, so clearly the Thieves Guild had to step in to fill that void of belonging.
I, like legions of others, have been waiting for the Thieves Guild update to ESO from day one. Unlike legions of others, I haven’t been particularly vitriolic about the wait. For good or ill, I cut ESO a lot of slack. The Bethesda team has made one kind of game for years and has made it really well. Trying to please the people who loved that format and bring them into an online environment must have been (and must remain) a huge pain. People in zone chat, like people in zone chat in every MMO ever, love to hate on the showrunners — on Bethesda and ZeniMax and anyone who defends the game, but…eh. Haters gonna hate. It’s not like there’s been nothing to do in-game pre-Thieves Guild, after all.
But that’s not to say I’m not really excited about its arrival! I am. I’m also pleased to see the new zone is sun- and sand-centric. In the gray grim months of November-March, sun and sand are most definitely appreciated. The only question that remains is whether I progress my Vet 4 Templar into those quests, or stick the the headcanon-y lore I attached to my characters and send my Vet 2 Nightblade in instead. On the one hand, getting my main toward Vet 14 is always a goal. On the other hand…lore. Lore! We shall see.
In the meantime I shall congratulate myself on having bought that Princess Jasmine-esque number that popped up in ESO’s Crown Store this month. I knew a barely-there purple pantaloons ensemble would come in handy one day! To the desert (again)! With double-sided tape! To…keep my pants from sliding off at the first pop of a strand of pearls…