The Elder Scrolls

Does anyone else kind of miss how vMA used to work?

Content of the article: "Does anyone else kind of miss how vMA used to work?"

First off, no, this is not an elitist, "people who can't do vet don't deserve weapons!" post in any way.

But the change (having weapons that previously only dropped on vet now drop in normal) does sadden me a bit. I'm sure not everyone will relate to this, but as a PvE player, vMA was perhaps similar to a coming-of-age trial, for lack of a better phrase (and I do wish I could think of a better one, lol).

In my guilds, we'd get new players who'd join us and ask for help with their DPS. We'd happily oblige and watch them grow from 9k to 30k DPS.

Eventually, they'd proudly announce that they are venturing into vMA for their long-awaited backbar weapon. They'd go forth with support and encouragement from the guild, knowing our horror stories, but not truly understanding what awaits them.

We'd lightly tease them about their grumblings on the first few stages, as we knew that those are nothing compared to what was to come. And then, Stage 5 . Now they have our fullest sympathies, and we're all remembering our own first time trying to go through that. We offer all of the advice we can think of, but at the end of the day, this is something our guildie must do on their own.

Stage 7 prompts similar feelings. It's always those two Stages – 5 and 7. (And the Ceremonial Guards in the final Stage for many, but I've never had issues with those somehow – knock on wood – so I have a harder time giving advice for them).

Everyone completes vMA for the first time at different paces. Maybe they're like me on my first run through: 7 hours spread across 3-4 evenings. Or maybe they complete it in one sitting via staying up late into the night. But many, at some point in their vMA journey, will ask: "Why all of this to get one RNG weapon that might or might not be the weapon I need?".

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But once they clear that final Stage, everything seems to click into place. What might have seemed impossible in the moment has been completed, and now they somehow gain this innate knowledge that everyone who has completed vMA has, but can never seem to fully pass on through words or guides alone. In other words, once someone has completed vMA once, they realize that they can do it again. And again. Perhaps still tripping a bit here and there, but it's nothing compared to before, as they're finally imbued with the knowledge we were trying so hard to give them before.

They return to the guild triumphant, even if it took them a few days, with a sense of achievement. Sometimes, they go on to become Flawless Conquerors. Whether or not that is the case, we all celebrate when they get their first clear, and when they get that weapon they were after.

I'm sure this wasn't everyone's experience with the place, especially solo players, PvP players, or PvE players in what I'm inclined to call crummy guilds. But for all of the (half decent) guilds I've been in, there was almost an in-game culture surrounding vMA. It was a celebratory time. I miss that.

So many people settle for normal now. And I don't even blame them. The new perfected weapons aren't that much better than the non-perfected ones, and over half of the people who entered vMA before this change wouldn't have bothered attempting it if it hadn't been the only way to get the weapons. Some people will still enter vMA for the achievement factor, but many won't. And the beauty of the old system, in my opinion, was watching people have to truly push themselves in vMA, and to see them realize what they're actually capable of. Again, many of these people wouldn't have experienced this if it wasn't so needed, or would have given up way more easily.

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The old system was certainly flawed, don't get me wrong. Maybe the current system would be better if they made perfected weapons more worth the effort to get. I mean, some weapons maybe are worth it, but many magicka users that I know are like "eh, I don't really need more spell pen on my MA inferno staff; I'll pass", even if they've completed vMA before. At least the perfected bow gains crit instead of pen.

Anyways, I just wanted to share my reminiscing about this. Would be curious to hear your thoughts and stories surrounding vMA!


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