Elder Scrolls Online ESO: Exploring One Tamriel and Morrowind
The legendary RPG series that is the Elder Scrolls is really something to behold. I’ve only played Elder Scrolls Online. I tried it a bit after launch, but it didn’t inspire me to want to keep subbing. It wasn’t a bad game, but it needed some time to mature.
Since ESO has been out for a while, it’s had time to build up content and refine some features. If you tried it at launch and haven’t looked back, now would be a pretty good time to figure out what password you used and give it a second look.
The launch of One Tamriel has REALLY been a game changer for ESO. Why? Because now you can play anywhere in the game regardless of faction or level. It really gives the game far more of the single player feel you find in Skyrim or Fallout if you’ve ever played those. Where unless you walk into a death claw, you can pretty much wander the map aimlessly looking at whatever you want and doing whatever you want along the way. Just remember to save often.
One Tamriel makes it a LOT easier to meet up with friends and game together. You don’t have to decide on a faction to play, and if people get a bit ahead that doesn’t matter, you can all still play together since the world scales to your level no matter where you are or what level you are.
Since this is a multiplayer environment, it’s nice to give people the option to play together without making it into a hassle and dropping the standard zone level format is actually a boon to the game. The exploration aspect of ESO was it’s strongest selling point. The fact that you practically needed to have a full level character to get to some of the content felt like a bit of a detractor for me the first time around. Now if you want to head strait to find vampires and werewolves the only thing stopping you is finding the right boat. Since you can now play through the content of all three factions on one character and there’s the DLC content and the Morrowind content, there’s more than one boat to hunt down.
Having all that content to play through also also removes some of the worry over having enough skill points to unlock passives and skills. This can give you a lot more build flexibility as you roam about the content and lets you experiment with different aspects of gameplay without feeling like you have to run back to the respec shrine every five minutes.
The evolution of ESO has definitely made for a more fun environment. For old folks like me, the lack of over the top flashy combat effects is also a big plus. The PvP is optional and not forced. Dungeons are optional, not forced. Even the justice system is a mechanic can for the most part be avoided, but can also lead to some really hilarious situations.
If you’ve ever been ‘that guy’ who ended up wreaking havoc in the Fallout games by stealing a bottle of soda, then you know what happens when you have guards after you. Now imagine watching a player who accidentally shot a chicken running from the guards. No that wasn’t me, I accidentally set the innkeeper on fire. I was subsequently killed by the guards and laughed mightily. Best day ever. Safe to say it actually makes the world feel a lot more alive than just the standard roaming annoying npc’s and people who never get off their horse.
CrankyB is of course stealing anything that isn’t nailed down. I can say it’s a grand idea, the stealing system is a really great way to earn the extra coin you need to build up bag space and put those levels on horsey (or insert mount of choice now that there are quite a few more options). For those into the RP sort of thing, you can also pilfer some town type clothing items if you’re lucky.
While some aspects of the game haven’t changed like the bag space gold sink, the positives outweigh the negatives at this point. I can’t say anything about the higher levels as I still have to get one char to 50. I’m also looking at all of those champion levels afterwards, but at least those are account bound so that’s handy.
After finally picking the Warden as the class I really want to level first, it was tough picking the race to go with it. I initially went with Breton to min/max for healing, but since I don’t plan on doing any hard core content I shouldn’t need it. I ended up with an Altmer Warden that I rolled mostly for RP reasons. I found a guild I like quite a bit and that’s actually made the game far more interesting.
CrankyB is hopping between classes. Since pretty much every class can do any roll in their own way it can be hard to choose. Granted some classes do some things either easier or more efficiently than the other classes but you can still play with whichever build your most comfortable with through a good portion of the content.
That sort of flexibility in ESO’s combat system really does make it feel like you’re building a unique character. Granted you can use a cookie cutter build, race, class, armor and weapon included if you choose to, and no one is stopping you. Honestly in chat I’ve seen more people say “play what you want” than those urging people toward specific min/max builds. That is pretty refreshing in an MMO environment. You know, where there’s 50 choices but only 4 of them are ‘meta’ and therefore viable for use in most of the game.
All that aside I’m looking forward to settling into ESO and recording my rambling journey through the content. Until next time!