For my opening statement about Elder Scrolls Online, I’d like to say that this is coming from someone who has been playing a DragonKnight (Ebonheart Pact) Dark Elf and is level 21. So, contents of my review may be a bit subjective or limited in experience.
After having played a few hours a day since early start, I’ve gotta say that this is exactly what I feared it would be the day the game was announced—Another World of Warcraft successor.
Not that I hate WoW, but I was sort of hoping for a different experience, if not just slightly. But that’s okay, I still play and I still have fun.
Upon beginning the game, with your first character, you are taken through a training area, which, lo and behold, has you escape from a prison of sorts. The staple of Elder Scrolls games…
After navigating through the first minutes of the game, you get a quick feel for how it’s going to be the rest of the way through your advancement.
Movement is smooth, the weapons are diverse (you can basically use anything you want), armor is diverse, in that you can wear pretty much whatever you choose—It works exactly the way weapons and armor work in Skyrim—Crafting isn’t limited to forcing you to choose one or two skill areas for each character, rather, you can do them all and fill up your inventory and bank space pretty quick.
Once you’re out in the world, it really begins to feel all the more like an Elder Scrolls game. Which is great, because I’m a pretty big fan of the series.
Questing is different than some other MMOs though, in that a lot of the quests you find, you’ll find on your own via exploration. Ingenious really, forcing the player to reveal every bit of the map if she or he wants to level up, gain gold and new items.
The dungeons (that I’ve seen so far) are pretty fun, but, next to crafting, I’m a dungeon junky (just don’t ask me to raid).
During my beginnings in ESO, a certain dungeon called, “The Banished Cells,” had been broken, all the way up to a couple days ago, which was disappointing.
That is something that should be noted though, that this game had handfuls of broken quests and dungeons and still does, even a few weeks after release. I can’t imagine how these weren’t ironed out in closed beta and the numerous open betas that were held pre-release.
But I guess such is the world of MMOs? At least it wasn’t as broken as Anarchy Online was when that game first released (my first MMO).
The anchors, much like the rifts in Rift, are something I’ve grown accustomed to, especially since open world adventures and things are something I pretty much expect to be included in new themepark MMOs.
This gigantic thing crashes out of the sky and spawns monsters for you and a party to kill until the end. You get loot, achievements and all the good stuff.
Public dungeons are a decent idea… A dungeon that you can venture into with or without a group and it lasts maybe 10 minutes or so until you reach the mini-boss. This is where you’ll find people camping for soul shards.
I haven’t really seen campers since Anarchy Online (oh the painful hours spent waiting on mob spawns).
Something I don’t like though, is the inventory interface. Lots of people like it because it’s clean and minimal, but I actually do enjoy an inventory page that is similar to WoW or EVE Online, so that I can clearly see, in one big clump, what all I have to mess around with.
Zenimax absolutely throws skillpoints at you though, through dungeons, quests, skyshards and leveling. You can sculpt your character into whatever you please and then some. I like this aspect as well, because I don’t like a rigid game.
The mounts, although I had the CE, seem a bit expensive, which is a little worrying, because one of my guildmates wasn’t even able to procure one until she was in the 30th levels.
But here’s one of the coolest things—You have to feed your mount, and there are 3 different things to choose from. You can increase its speed, its stamina or carrying capacity. This is great, because carrying capacity in this game is always an issue.
If you’re like me, you’re picking up every single piece of material you find. And if you’re like me, you’ve purchased nearly all of the affordable inventory upgrades for both your bank and your bags.
It gets pretty damn expensive after a while.
My 3rd favorite part of Elder Scrolls Online, are the sometimes decision driven quests.
Ever since Mass Effect I’ve wanted to have control over the storyline and I’m really glad Zenimax implemented a bit of that into this game.
For example, you have a quest where one character is sentenced to execution and you have the choice of having him executed or working something out with the local tribes-people.
Deciding whether someone lives or dies is always a fun experience.
But that’s about it, I think…
Let’s see, did I forget anything? The soundtrack is great, the sound effects aren’t annoying and the graphics system is extremely flexible.
Having no boundaries and a slightly choice driven storyline, regardless of how WoW-ified it feels (and how much I love Tamriel), I’m going to go ahead and give Elder Scrolls Online 4 Meryls out of 5.
- Everything is flexible
- Fun questing experience
- Great soundtrack
- Awesome dungeons
- Able to do just about anything on just one character
- Lush with lore
- No Dark Brotherhood
- Broken quests
Had it not been for the bugs and broken things, I might have given this a 5 out of 5.
If you’re TBLG friendly and looking for a guild, /tell @msfortney and I’ll get you into TransFected!