Jaida uses the ESO Housing Editor to create all manner of modern items and scenes. Check out some of her fantastic creations and process in the latest Community Spotlight!
Many players use the Housing Editor to create elaborate fortresses or Guildhalls, but you create present-day item and locations. What inspired you to bring the modern world to Tamriel?
I can’t say I knew straight away that I wanted to take the modern route. My first completed house was a classic library, consistent with the world of Tamriel. I sort of accidentally stumbled into contemporary designs during my second project. I decided that I wanted to make a study; all self-respecting adventurers have a study to plan their next quest from, right? So I played around with some ideas and basically had the following inner monologue: “A classic map room, with a globe and books! Hmm more books ... like a library? No no, I can’t do another library. What else do you find in an office? Computers, filing cabinets. Oh hey, that could be fun!” From there, I was hooked on incorporating modern items into ESO.
I love the challenge of taking existing furniture and turning it into something completely different. That’s one of the things I enjoy most about the housing in ESO: the freedom to place something anywhere you want, even stuck halfway through another item, morphing them into something shiny and new.
Tell us about how you came to The Elder Scrolls Online. Who is your favorite character?
I first played ESO on console with a friend several years ago. We had a great time, but I never really got into endgame content (yes, housing is the true endgame). I have a vivid memory of my character constantly falling over and my friend finding it hilarious that I didn’t understand why. I genuinely didn’t realize it was because I was walking through traps until over a year later when I returned to the game on PC. The jerk never told me either—I see you, Valtiel!
Choosing a favorite character is hard because I have a lot. They all share the same last name, but they have their own unique style and purpose. My top two would have to be my Nightblade and my Templar. I play my NB specifically for stealing and assassinating. I have a bit of an unhealthy obsession with stabbing unsuspecting nobles. After a hard day, nothing lifts the spirits quite like a good murder spree.
My favorite class is Templar and my main is a magicka Templar called Jaida. I use her for everything PVE-related and swap between damage for solo play and healer for group content. She’s the first character I managed to do Veteran Maelstrom Arena with, and I spend most of my time on her. I do also, of course, have a decorator who holds all my spare furniture and is used when I’m creating houses!
Jaida’s relaxing study
You’ve crafted cooktops, bathrooms, and bars in your homes. How do you decide what to build next?
The majority of the time I’ll come up with the overall concept first and specific furniture designs will follow. For example, I knew I wanted to make a sushi restaurant, and because most have open kitchens, and all kitchens have a sink and stove, those were decided by default.
I guess one of the good things about creating modern builds is that inspiration is everywhere. I get a lot of ideas just from day-to-day life. I won’t enlighten you as to why I decided to make a bathroom. Sometimes I’ll look at an item and just instantly see what else it could be.
The moment I saw the “Dark Elf Pillow, Body” furnishing item, I wanted to press two of them together and suspend them from a rope to make a punching bag. And that led to the decision of creating a gym—gotta stay fit to fight those Dragons! I haven’t found the time to do it yet but a gym is definitely on my build list.
Occasionally I’ll be playing with furniture trying to create something specific and accidentally come up with an idea for something else. I’ll note all of these ideas down, and once a concept feels fleshed out enough, I’ll decide to start on it.
What is your process for planning and crafting a new item or scene? How long does each build typically take?
As I mentioned before, I usually have an overall concept in mind first, and then buy a house to suit it. (I think this is where I’m backward to most people who choose the space first and then decide what to make in it.)
I use the preview feature and choose the one I can best envision my build within. Item count is also something I consider at the start. If I think it will be an intricate or big build, I’ll choose a larger home. Once my house is settled, I typically begin with the structure. I rarely keep the original walls, floors, or ceiling, so I begin by creating the space I’ll be using. I find this really helps to establish the theme of the build. Then, I’ll start to work on layout. I will usually already have some idea on this from when I was choosing the house to use. Once the layout and structure is roughly done, the fun starts: features! By now, I’ll probably know what furniture I want to make, and it’s just a matter of playing around with item combinations to fit my purpose.
From here on out everything can change a bit. I’ll adjust the space and layout to accommodate the furnishings, add lighting, little finishing touches, and just keep refining things until I run out of item count. Once I actually start building, it takes me about a week or two to finish. I get pretty obsessed once I start, so it doesn’t take me too long. However, it can be months after coming up with an initial idea before I’ll feel ready to begin properly creating it.
A modern bathroom
How do you collect all furnishing items you need to build these elaborate constructions?
Crafting! I craft the majority of the furniture I use with my dedicated crafter. I mentioned I have too many characters, right? I’ll then farm whatever materials I need or be gifted them by friends. I have some crazy friends who are probably even more addicted to housing than I am. They’re extremely generous and often help me out with anything I need. (Thanks, Happy, you’re the best!)
I’m also very lucky to be in some wonderful Guilds who share recipes and happily craft items for each other. Elara Northwind and her community in particular are a lovely bunch. Elara’s a great supporter of smaller creators, and the Guild contains some very talented decorators.
A laptop and computer worthy of Sotha Sil!
To build these unique objects, you have to be creative with your resources. What is the weirdest use of a furnishing item you’ve managed when building something so far?
A hard question as I’ve used some pretty strange things! I guess the sushi rolls stumped people the most. They’re made from “Murkmire Tapestry, Xanmeer” and “Rough Rod Fishing” furnishings. I think my personal favorite is using a potato for a mouse when I created a computer. Many potato PC jokes ran through my head during that one.
The most satisfying was probably using the base of ice sculptures as water in my bathroom build. They really did a great job of imitating a full bath and helped to hide a multitude of sins!
What’s the next big build you have planned?
I have a list of projects I want to do and the list just keeps getting bigger. I don’t think I’ll ever get them all done. I’ve actually been away from the game for little a while recently due to some exciting real-life news, and my next build is going to relate to that. You’ll have to wait and see for the big reveal though!
A huge thank you to Jaida for sharing her creations and story with us. If you’d like to see more of her work, be sure to visit her YouTube channel. Don’t forget, if you’ve crafted or created something ESO-related that you think the rest of the community would love, let us know about it via @TESOnline, Instagram, or Facebook!