Elder Scrolls Online

Emroth

Other Games Mod
Staff
18 August 2018
Ireland
Cover:
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Platforms: PS4/Xbox One/PC
Release Date: 04 Apr 2014

Developer: ZeniMax Online Studios
Genre: Action/Adventure/Fantasy

Description:
The Elder Scrolls Online is an MMO role-playing game developed by ZeniMax Online Studios and published by Bethesda Softworks. It was released for Microsoft Windows and OS X in April 2014. It is a part of The Elder Scrolls series.

6 years later - its still going strong, having implemented a lot of patches and expansions. In fact - a lot of people is coming back to it, or starting their journey just now (like myself)

I have tried a lot of MMOs over the years, since World of Warcraft is not available on consoles and I had never come across something even remotely similar and fun to WoW.... until now.

Elder Scrolls games were always a mixed bag for me - good story, lovely world, freedom, lots to do, beautiful music, graphics and absolute shite combat mechanism, with crappy and borderline unplayable Third Person Perspective.
Hence I didnt have much hope. Couldnt imagine how, with such crap combat, people could play and enjoy combat (both PvE and PvP)
Well, I was wrong again. ESO combat system is far from any other, clunky and weird combat that Elder Scrolls is known of. Its solid, fun and most importantly - it works in Third Person Perspective and TPP is the main setting that everyone use.

In order not to make this post too long I will just focus on strong points of this game and the reason why ESO might be a good choice to dive into.

- Wold - absolutely massive. I havent seen one full area and you have full continent to your disposal. Some of the locations are locked and you have to unlock them using in-game currency. But even without the locked ones - its ginormous.

- level scaling - whole world is level scaled. So, if you dont like the area you started - you just find some sort of teleport shrine and you go somewhere else. All enemies/quests/dungeons will be scaled to your level. It works so well.. first of all - it doesnt trap you anywhere. You like forests? Go and quest there. You like Skyrim-looking snowy mountains? Off you go.
Second of all - you wont miss anything. In World of Warcraft each Faction had their own areas designed for their level. So if you were an Elf - you could never experience low level quests for Dwarfs. In here - world will scale to your level, so every time you go to a new area - you can do all the quests from there.

- Quests - I havent spent enough time to talk about quests with some depth, but anyone who played Elder Scrolls knows more or less what to expect. There is shit loads of quests and sidequests that will take you to a journey across the world. And all of them are Voice Acted, which is amazing for a Huge game like this.

- Leveling up is very well designed. Whatever you use - levels up and opens its own skill tree up. So if you are using two handed weapons - you will also have two handed weapon skills. If you are using a bow - it will open Bow skill tree.
So apart from your 3 main skill trees for your race - you will also have skills from your weapons.
Skills are also leveling up. If you are using particular skill in combat - it levels up. Eventually it will give you an option to morph it, which is an upgrade with some new abilities, that will suit your gameplay better.
Basically - you can do and be anything you want. Every class, every race, every player, can forge their characters whichever way they want. There is no restriction in armour or weapon type for anyone. Whatever you use - levels up.

- Combat - combat is solid. You have block, dodge, interceptions, light and heavy attack plus all your skills that you can assign to your buttons. From level 15 you can have two sets of weapons that you can switch between and both will have their own skills that will also switch while switching sets. Up until then its a bit of a pain in the hole, coz if you want to swap dagger to a bow - you have to do it manually, through inventory.

PVP - didnt try it yet. too busy wondering around, discovering new places. But in the base game other players dont attack you. If you want PVP - you can go to a battleground. Apparently - if you are good enough in PVP battlefield - you can even become an emperor of a certain area. And I dont mean - You are one of a hundred of emperors, who completed same quest. I mean - you and only you.

Having a world where, while questing, no other players can attack you, has good and bad side to it. For a lot of people that will be a good thing. You can basically play the game like any other offline Elder Scrolls and no one bothers you. Plus you have other players around to help you if needed.
But it also takes away the thrill of meeting enemy players while questing, that I really liked about World of Warcraft. Having said that - online community changed a lot and it will save you a lot of hassle, having to deal with 20 levels stronger bullies.

And speaking of community - so far, everyone I met were very nice and helpful.

Elder Scrolls Online can be a bit overwhelming at first, but its definetely worth trying.
For me - its the first MMO that has all the basics and mechanics covered.
 
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Emroth

Other Games Mod
Staff
18 August 2018
Ireland
Ps.
Quite important thing to add, which kicked me in the balls..
There is no Saving necessary - game Saves your progress as you go and when you log in - it will take you to where you were last. Or so they fucking say!

You have to Log Out at the end, to save your progress. I spent good few hours on my first day, creating detailed character, setting whole game up, interface, buttons configuration/shortcuts, camera, and started my journey. At the end I just Turned Ps4 off and went to sleep. Next day I started the game and saw Character Creation screen. Everything was gone. Had to start from scratch.
To make it worse - on my second attempt it gave me a message that "Emroth" name is already taken.
Pissed me off big time!

Now I have to be Emrott and I dont have sexy cheekbones and detailed forehead anymore, as I didnt have the patience to go through all the details again! :LOL:
 
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zlac

League? What league?
2 February 2007
Croatia
And PC version is moddable to the Oblivion (pun intended :) ). And guess what - modding is officialy supported - devs have exposed massive Lua API's that allow for customization of almost all visual aspects of the game.
 
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Emroth

Other Games Mod
Staff
18 August 2018
Ireland
And PC version is moddable to the Oblivion (pun intended :) ). And guess what - modding is officialy supported - devs have exposed massive Lua API's that allow for customization of almost all visual aspects of the game.
True.
But the good news for console players is that all the addons are mostly cosmetics, so no one is missing out much.

Only two addons, IMO, that console players can be jealous of, are minimap (quite weird how they didnt think minimap would be a good idea) and the addon that show you those skyshards on map (when you collect 3 - it gives you a skill point)

I was planning to test few more games, but it seems that ESO will keep me hooked for longer. The more I learn the more I like what I see.

There were few areas, which I thought I had no access to and had to be unlocked (as I couldnt travel to them from the shrine). Last night I happened to be next to one of those areas and turns out I can still get to them, just on foot. And then, once you discover shrines in them - you can fast travel to them.

Not sure why I can fast travel to some areas straight away and others I cant.
And still not sure which zones are locked and which accessible (I have Elsweyr edition). The world is just so massive that its hard to even check it.

One thing I wanted to add on quests.
Most rpg's and mmo's have very simple, flat and focused on grinding quests system.
"Kill 10 bears and collect their eyeballs" type of thing.
In here quests are quite complex and they really take you to a journey, where you can learn few things about the world.
Even last night I met some random npc in the forest and did a side quest that took me nearly two hours and had like 7 layers. So, as you can see, it will take you quite a while to finish each area, if you chose to immerse yourself into the world and quests in it.

Its quite impressive how much work and thought they put into this game.
 
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Emroth

Other Games Mod
Staff
18 August 2018
Ireland
Just a little update

Still playing it, still enjoying it a lot.
Have two characters on the go and plenty of fun with both of them.
Combined, at this point, I must have put more time into it than Pes20.

Best part of this game are definitely quests and the journeys they take you on. Im very impressed how much effort they put into each area quest line.

There are also moments with proper difficult moral choices to make.
Few times I stopped and went "Ohh... fuck... What the hell am I supposed to do now..??"
Choices you make might not have a huge impact onto the world from obvious reasons, but due to immersive story line and multiple layers in each quest - you get to know characters, their stories, their point of view, their motives and all the consequences that your choices will have.
So you are ending up with some really tough cookies sometimes and you are very rarely indifferent to whats gonna happen.
This is one thing I never expected from an MMO and the main thing that keeps me so hooked.
 

gabe.paul.logan

Retired Footballer
7 January 2007
Budapest
Hungary
Just a little update

Still playing it, still enjoying it a lot.
Have two characters on the go and plenty of fun with both of them.
Combined, at this point, I must have put more time into it than Pes20.

Best part of this game are definitely quests and the journeys they take you on. Im very impressed how much effort they put into each area quest line.

There are also moments with proper difficult moral choices to make.
Few times I stopped and went "Ohh... fuck... What the hell am I supposed to do now..??"
Choices you make might not have a huge impact onto the world from obvious reasons, but due to immersive story line and multiple layers in each quest - you get to know characters, their stories, their point of view, their motives and all the consequences that your choices will have.
So you are ending up with some really tough cookies sometimes and you are very rarely indifferent to whats gonna happen.
This is one thing I never expected from an MMO and the main thing that keeps me so hooked.

is the game still pay to play? i played with the early beta back then but the underdeveloped game and the p2p kept me away. and yeah i know its an mmo but i had tons of fun with lineage 2 back in the days
 
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Emroth

Other Games Mod
Staff
18 August 2018
Ireland
is the game still pay to play? i played with the early beta back then but the underdeveloped game and the p2p kept me away. and yeah i know its an mmo but i had tons of fun with lineage 2 back in the days
I dont think so.. didnt notice any pay-to-win mentality. There is, obviously, extra stuff that you can buy for microtransactions, but I never felt forced to pay for something to progress. I have both characters at lvl 20 and Im just tipping away, doing my own thing.
For example - you can pay extra to have some "flaming horse", or some other bollox, but at lvl 10 you will get normal horse for free. And flaming horse just looks different. You still have to train both to be faster and have more stamina. So its not like bloke with flaming horse has an advantage at the start. Thats more or less how it looks.

I did pay extra to unlock all the locations, but thats DLC's, entire zones full of content. I didnt have to do it to progress, or 'win'. I just wanted more of it. But I know a lot of people have just a base game and there's still a lot to do there.
 

gabe.paul.logan

Retired Footballer
7 January 2007
Budapest
Hungary
I dont think so.. didnt notice any pay-to-win mentality. There is, obviously, extra stuff that you can buy for microtransactions, but I never felt forced to pay for something to progress. I have both characters at lvl 20 and Im just tipping away, doing my own thing.
For example - you can pay extra to have some "flaming horse", or some other bollox, but at lvl 10 you will get normal horse for free. And flaming horse just looks different. You still have to train both to be faster and have more stamina. So its not like bloke with flaming horse has an advantage at the start. Thats more or less how it looks.

I did pay extra to unlock all the locations, but thats DLC's, entire zones full of content. I didnt have to do it to progress, or 'win'. I just wanted more of it. But I know a lot of people have just a base game and there's still a lot to do there.

oh no, probably i wasnt too clear. by pay to play i meant the subscription fee to play the game. i remember that how it was on pc. now i saw on PS4 on sale lately and i was thinking about getting it but then it got me that "i pay ps+ to play online and play another monthly fee to play ESO...hell nah "
 
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Emroth

Other Games Mod
Staff
18 August 2018
Ireland
oh no, probably i wasnt too clear. by pay to play i meant the subscription fee to play the game. i remember that how it was on pc. now i saw on PS4 on sale lately and i was thinking about getting it but then it got me that "i pay ps+ to play online and play another monthly fee to play ESO...hell nah "
No, it doesnt work like this, pal.
There is a monthly subscription, but its optional.
It gives you instant access to all areas, some experience bonus, some monthly Online Store "pocket" money (so you can buy yourself flaming horse if you want) and some extra bag for crafting ingredients.

But I dont have it. Its perfectly fine to play without it, especially the way I play - casual. Thats why I paid for all the zones myself. I didnt have to do it, but when the game proved itself to be very good - I chose to get all the DLC's myself, with one time payment. I dont pay anything monthly.

And like I said - I didnt have to get those zones either. There was still shit loads of places to keep me going for a long time in base game. I just wanted to see every location.
 

gabe.paul.logan

Retired Footballer
7 January 2007
Budapest
Hungary
No, it doesnt work like this, pal.
There is a monthly subscription, but its optional.
It gives you instant access to all areas, some experience bonus, some monthly Online Store "pocket" money (so you can buy yourself flaming horse if you want) and some extra bag for crafting ingredients.

But I dont have it. Its perfectly fine to play without it, especially the way I play - casual. Thats why I paid for all the zones myself. I didnt have to do it, but when the game proved itself to be very good - I chose to get all the DLC's myself, with one time payment. I dont pay anything monthly.

And like I said - I didnt have to get those zones either. There was still shit loads of places to keep me going for a long time in base game. I just wanted to see every location.

But if i dont pay anything all the areas are available over time, so there are locked areas in the vanilla game? (of course if it comes with DLC thats besides that)
 

Emroth

Other Games Mod
Staff
18 August 2018
Ireland
But if i dont pay anything all the areas are available over time, so there are locked areas in the vanilla game? (of course if it comes with DLC thats besides that)
There is nothing locked in the base/vanilla game, apart from the DLC's stuff.

The way its made - there is a huge continent, with islands around it. And some areas are from base game, some from DLC's, there are also areas, which are not active at all yet (probably for future expansions).

It might be confusing at first, but if you hover over the area, it will tell you can you access it, or is it part of some DLC (and which one).

Whichever version of the game you get (as you can get versions with few DLC's included - they are cheap enough now) - all areas (included in your game) are available to you from the get go. You dont have to unlock areas over time. There was a patch that made all game level scaling. So wherever you go - the game scales to your level and you can play there. So you can just pick the area that you like and start questing there.

I hope that answers your question, as Im getting a bit confused myself here.. :LOL:
 

Sobakus

League 2
1 October 2018
Willemstad
Great game, but I had to give up on it due to the updates. Somehow it always wants me to download like 80GB each update, which would take weeks and one needs PS plus to play on top of that. But the game itself is tremendous due to its enormity and various regions I always wondered about while playing Skyrim. And it looks like the last Elder Scrolls we will ever have.

Anyway, it's for the best. My problem with Elder Scrolls is it turns into a serious addiction.
 

zlac

League? What league?
2 February 2007
Croatia
It usually isn't that bad - one of the recent updates forced re-download of entire client, due to major changes in file structures (optimizations, etc.)
 

Emroth

Other Games Mod
Staff
18 August 2018
Ireland
Yes, this last huge update with reinstalling the whole game has changed the whole system. From now on the updates will be much smaller and everything will be optimised much better.
 
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