Random Thoughts – Randosity!

Elder Scrolls Online: What were they thinking?

Posted in botch, gaming by commorancy on May 12, 2014

Elder Scrolls Online[Updated: 7/4/2014 to cover Cyrodiil and Craglorn]

Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve been playing the Elder Scrolls Online. What is it? It’s the newest installment to the Elder Scrolls video game series as a massive multiplayer online game (MMO). Though, my first question that comes to mind is, “What were they thinking?” This game is a huge step backwards for the Elder Scrolls Franchise in so many ways. I know a lot of players ‘like’ the game (which is all subjective), but in this article we’ll try to understand why this game is not the caliber of a game that it should have been for an Elder Scrolls installment.

Let’s explore.

Console Version — Delayed

The Elder Scrolls Online game will be available on the PC and eventually on the next gen consoles such as the PS4 and the Xbox One. For the PC, the game was released on April 4th, 2014. For the consoles, the game had planned to release on July 1st, 2014. Zenimax has recently announced a six month delay for the release of the console versions. In lieu of that release, they have made an offer to let you play sooner. If you buy the PC version before the end of June, you will be able to transfer your leveled character over to your console. This, of course, assumes everyone has a PC to play it on. Zenimax is apparently working on a unified ESO universe where all players from all platforms are using the same world. Assuming that’s true, that explains the six month extension as a unified MMO across all platforms has never been attempted by any game developer to date. So, that Zenimax plans for this is both ambitious and risky. It also means trying to get Sony and Microsoft to allow this. To Zenimax, I say, “Good luck with that”.

It’s also worth noting that if you’re planning on investing in the Xbox One version, you will be required to buy an Xbox Live subscription ($59 for 12 months) in addition to Zenimax monthly fee to play the game ($15 a month). The game includes 30 days of service, but you are required to supply a credit card to enroll in a subscription to unlock that included 30 days. Also note that many players whose time has expired have lost the ability to play when their credit card declined for unknown reasons.  Though on the consoles, it’s possible that Zenimax might allow you to pay for your game time directly with Microsoft Money or through Sony’s store. That remains to be seen.

As for Sony network fees, it is presently unknown if you will need to pay Sony anything to play ESO on the PS4. You may not need to join Playstation Plus to play ESO, but you will likely need to pay the $15 a month subscription fee to Zenimax. No matter which console you choose, be prepared to open your wallet to Zenimax to play ESO (whenever it arrives).

Console vs PC

After having played this game nearly to completion, I’m really having second thoughts about marrying the console release and the PC release players together. In fact, the more I think about it, the more I realize it’s a really bad idea and a recipe for disaster. Why is that?

Consider that it takes about 2 months to complete the game and get to veteran rank 1 (level 50). Yes, it’s a relatively short Elder Scrolls by comparison to previous installations. By the time the console versions are released in December with a unified network, there will be all of these veteran rank 12 (or higher) players running amok in among the level 1-10 console players just starting out.

So, by the time the console players are eligible to go to Cyrodiil, all of the VR12 players will be picking off these ‘newbie’ console players one by one in PvP mode. It’s going to be quite a bit unfair to all of these new console players. In fact, I believe that it would be better at this time to completely isolate the console players into their own servers separately from the Mac/PC edition. Let the Mac/PC players continue in their own world but without the console players.

Personally, it would be a whole lot more functional to weed out the PC players from the console players to let the console gamers start in a fresh universe from the beginning. Over time, these users will level up, but it will take time and everyone starting with a console version will be on level ground. Overall, using a separate world server is a much better way to introduce the game to the console players.

Released too early?

The PC version? Yes, unfortunately. In fact, I’m playing it on a quad core Mac mini (which has its own set of problems.. some related to the game, some not). That said, the game has lots of bugs, glitches and problems. Some quests have characters speaking german when the dialog printed to the screen is in english. There are times where parts of the environment don’t render correctly. The quests are haphazard and don’t appear to be in any way linked. Gaining skills and experience is random, though somewhat structured around these random quests. The game lag can get quite annoying at times. The script kiddies are already at it mining for gold, loot and experience. Let’s continue to understand why this game is far too much still beta.

Immersive Experience? Not quite.

In Skyrim, the environments had been working towards full interactivity and more realism. It wasn’t quite there yet, but you could pick up apples, heads of cabbage, weapons and armor. You could carry them around in your inventory, wear items or even move them around in the environment. It was a fully interactive and immersive experience. While some of this carried over to the Elder Scrolls Online (like crafting) far too many things didn’t (list below).

In Elder Scrolls Online, much of that interactivity is gone. Sure there are containers to open, but you can’t kick the containers around, knock them over, break them, pick up apples or cabbages or weapons and move them around or even place things into the containers. In fact, far too much of the interactivity that was beginning to show in Skyrim was completely abandoned in the Elder Scrolls Online. So, what’s up with that?

Defiance

What does Defiance have to do with the Elder Scrolls Online? ESO uses the same MMO engine. Granted, Zenimax tailored the engine to its own purposes (within limits), but the underlying basics (things that cannot be easily changed) are still there. So, while this MMO engine provides relatively pretty environments, they’re static. You can’t do anything to the environments. The plants are fixed, the boxes are fixed, everything is fixed. There is nothing that the player can do to move anything around. The only thing that’s movable in the game is the player and a horse (and enemies).

One of the things I always enjoyed about Oblivion and to a lesser degree, Skyrim is that there are wandering enemies and friends. In fact, you don’t know which is which until you come upon them. One of the things I had been hoping for is a less ‘enemy’ based game.  Meaning, no one should be an enemy until you make them so. Which means, nothing should attack you until you pick a side or provoke them. Alas, not here.

Based on Zenimax’s questionable choice of choosing the same engine that Defiance uses, that leaves the Elder Scrolls Online with less than satisfying in game play. In fact, for some of the same reasons I abandoned playing Defiance, I will likely abandon playing the Elder Scrolls Online long term.

Game Mechanics

While the combat mechanics are similar enough between ESO and Skyrim, they are also different because multiple network players can jump in and help. Though, as I said, in some dungeons multiplayer is not possible.

On the flip side of that, though, the multiplayer experience is weak and uninspired. The whole running around without collision is less than realistic. So, network players don’t collide and just walk through one another like ghosts. I’d prefer a much more realistic experience where people can participate in commerce, like owning shops and running them at a fixed location. I would also like to see network players be able to create quests, dungeons and bosses. Yes, player created content should be clearly labeled and excludable via preferences. But, it should be part of the universe.

Voice acting and the like

I’m not terribly impressed by this piece of the Elder Scrolls Online. In fact, the choice of Michael Gambon (or a very close soundalike) was not a good one. His lines are inconsistent even between the same dialog in the same paragraph of spoken dialog. It sounds amateur and rushed. This is something I would never have expected from Zenimax/Bethesda.

Graphics

It’s funny. This game looks great in some places, and really bad in others. The landscapes, for the most part look spectacular with the sun shining. In the dark, however, it’s just flat and dull. There’s almost no lighting in most places when there’s no sunshine. Interiors are just dull. The lighting model used in this engine is, at best, fair. Again, this is what you get when you buy into an off-the-shelf engine. Instead, I would have preferred them modify a Crytek engine which has about the most realistic lighting model I’ve ever seen in a game. Unfortunately, this game suffers from the lack of quality lighting in far too many places.

For example, armor on knights looks great when in direct light or in sunlight, but in the dark there’s nothing to make it look volumetric. It just looks flat and dull.

Multiplayer Gaming

Because this is an online game, there are plenty of network multiplayers. Unfortunately, much of the game is focused on single player questing. Sure, your comrades can join you in defeating some monsters, but there are also plenty of dungeons where this is not possible. This is the same as Defiance and this is the single reason I stopped playing Defiance. You can easily wander into an unbeatable boss dungeon and simply have to abandon that quest leaving it unfinished. If that quest is part of a chain of quests, that whole quest-line is also dead. This is entirely frustrating and I won’t deal with games that do this.

More than this, the single most frustrating thing is that people leave their characters logged in all of the time and clutter up the environment. You’ll find hordes of network players hanging around banks, clothing creation tables, armor creation tables and other similar workbenches. Sometimes there are so many people that you can’t even get to the table to use it. Sure, you can walk through the players, but if you can’t get visible view of the table with the camera, you can’t target the table to work on it.

One of the other frustrating network player problems is that you’ll tend to find network players hovering around key quest giving NPCs trying to do the same thing you’re doing. The problem that bears out of this is trying to determine what character is actually the quest giver. Also, it’s really stupid to hear a quest giver NPC saying something like “You’re the first person I’ve seen in ages.” Really? Like how many other network players are logged in right now playing this exact quest in this same dungeon? Stupid dialog such as this amazes me in a network multiplayer player game. Who at Zenimax didn’t get the memo that this is a network multiplayer game?

Which leads to one more problem… shared resources. Some items in the environment are basically ‘one player at a time’. That means if you find a Water Hyacinth and someone grabs it ahead of you, they get first dibs and it’s gone. This means you have to go find it somewhere else. This problem has happened during quests also. In fact, a similar issue is when I’ve just started a quest and a minute later, the quest ends saying the quest is completed. I’m like, what the h**? Then I realize, someone else just finished that quest and it gave me the completion notice also. This is bad. You should always be required to finish whatever quests you start on your own unless that quest is explicitly labeled a multiplayer quest.

Cyrodiil

At the original time of writing this article, I hadn’t yet ventured into Cyrodiil. However, I now have. Unfortunately, the gameplay doesn’t get any better in Cyrodiil. In fact, it really takes a turn for the worse. While all of the non-Cyrodiil zones are standard questing and dungeon crawler types, Cyrodiil is the antithesis of what Elder Scrolls has always been.

Yes, Cyrodiil offers a huge map that encompasses all of the cities we’ve come to know from Oblivion, but instead of being thriving quest giving communities, it’s a barren landscape of forts and castles few and far between. In between these military installations is a whole-lotta-nothin’. Really. There is nothing there. While there are quests that are placed onto your area quest map, the quests are all campaign related. Things like, taking over a fort, capture the Elder Scroll, etc etc.

ZeniMax degrades Cyrodiil into yet another version of Hasbro’s board game Risk in multiplayer video game format. I’d liken it to another game like Civilization, but it’s less like Civilization and more like Risk. There are 3 factions: Red, Yellow and Blue. Depending on which faction you join, you’re responsible for making sure your ‘team’ captures the most stuff during any campaign.. with the idea being to capture the entire game area, just like Risk.

No, I’m not avert to playing a game like Risk, it’s just that I’ve already played Risk many many many times over the years. Risk is not what the Elder Scrolls series should become. Yet, here we are. The Elder Scrolls games should always be about questing and dungeon crawling, first. There are so many better multiplayer ideas that could have been used on the Cyrodiil land, but unfortunately we get Risk instead. This Risk game is not bad for what it is, but it’s just not creative nor in keeping with what I would expect from an Elder Scrolls title. It’s also far less than impressive than what I would expect from Bethesda.

Yes, while it’s important that your ‘team’ wins Cyrodiil during the campaign, there are a lot of sub-game types also embedded in the area like capture-the-flag and death-match all wrapped into this single area, keeping in mind that Cyrodiil is almost entirely player-vs-player (PVP). The problem is, Cyrodiil is just far too sprawling with literally nothing else in it to really work. Seriously, this land is so big, trying to find enemy players in it can be as challenging as fighting the battles when you finally find them. The sore spot is that the spawn points are so few and far between, you’ll end up spending literally 10 minutes just trotting back to where you were on a horse simply to try that battle again. There are far too few spawn points making Cyrodiil a truly painful experience when battling. Definitely not a battle-friendly environment. This is a pretty huge fail on ZeniMax part. Worse, they’ve turned the Elder Scrolls (the actual Elder Scrolls) into a capture-the-flag game. So, it’s the job of other teams to grab your team’s ‘Elder Scroll’ and take it back to their own land. It’s then your responsibility to go get that scroll and put it back into its home area. Yes, it’s degraded the Elder Scrolls into Capture The Flag. I mean, I don’t know how much more degrading it is to see the actual Elder Scrolls, which are supposed to be some of the most coveted and sacred of magical artifacts in Tamriel, treated like play toys.

Seriously, if the Elder Scrolls themselves are such prized artifacts, why are they floating on an alter sitting out in the open under a dome? Shouldn’t they be in a library protected inside or underground? Who thought this would be a good idea?

On top of the derivative problems present in the Risk-like strategy aspect, it’s just far too sprawling to really make this area of any real value. The campaigns in Cyrodiil literally last 90 days. That’s 3 months. And it would take every bit that 3 months just to even try and take over the entirety of Cyrodiil. I guess if the only thing you’re trying to do is level your character up to Veteran Rank, then it’s worth it. Oh, and the only way to get Veteran Rank is to have been part of Cyrodiil actively.

Unfortunately, this area literally doesn’t thrill me. First, it trivializes the Elder Scrolls. Second, because the area is so sprawling with nothing else to do there but focus on taking buildings over, it’s really way outside of what I consider an Elder Scrolls game. I mean, the idea behind the battles is interesting. However, using a board game derivative to build your implementation is far less than impressive. It seems like the game developers just didn’t have any better ideas than ripping off Risk.

Instead, I would have preferred to see several types of campaigns. Instead of 3 factions all working against one another (PVP), that they all work together towards a common goal… like taking the area back from the Daedra. I don’t mind PVP and I’m glad there’s an area here, but ZeniMax should at least offer up other methods of conquering Cyrodiil than simple-minded and derivative PVP gaming. If you really want to do PVP, I’d rather just have an arena somewhere. I mean, a small location with limited map sizes where gamers can simply go in and battle in an arena. In fact, Arena was one of the early Elder Scrolls titles. So why not offer an area that is entirely focused on Arena battles? With multiplayer, it makes perfect sense. Yet, they give us the Risk-derived Cyrodiil. I continually find myself venturing back to the questing areas over being in Cyrodiil as I find myself bored to tears after spending even 15 minutes in Cyrodiil. Just give me the standard quests and don’t force me to rely on Cyrodiil to advance my player character.

Faction Lands

When you begin the Elder Scrolls Online, you will become part of a faction such as the Daggerfall Covenant, the Ebonheart Pact or the Aldmeri Dominion. Depending on which faction you end up in, certain parts of Tamriel will open and others remain locked. However, once you complete Cyrodiil as a veteran, you will be able to go through all of the rest of the closed lands. Personally, I think this is rather stupid. If, as a designer, you’re going to create a world with many lands, let all players go through all of the lands. Don’t selectively exclude gamers based on a faction. This is stupid. Of course, we can create and level up other player characters who end up on those other factions, but that’s means you have to manage 3 players all leveling up together. This is something of which I rarely do. I play a game more than once, never three times.

Craglorn

After having recently reached Veteran Rank 1 (VR) — AKA Level 50, I was ‘invited’ to be transported to Craglorn (the recently released Veteran Rank area). Don’t expect Craglorn to be like any other land you’ve visited. Oh, no no no. Zenimax has once again changed the rules of the game. When you reach VR1, you might think you’re now reasonably strong. Again, no no no. Reaching Craglorn is like starting ESO all over again at Level 1 with no armor or weapons. In Craglorn, ALL of the enemies and I mean ALL of them are VR 11 or higher. Oh, but there’s one more change to this area. ALL of the enemies in Craglorn swarm. There is no way to get a single enemy alone to grind and rank up. Nope. If you hit one enemy, at least 4, 5 or more VR11 enemies come charging at you. Think about this for about 30 seconds and you’ll realize the problem… I’ll wait….

So, having thought through the problem, you quickly realize there is absolutely no place to grind here. None. The only way to grind here is to group with others and grind together. Even then, grouping VR1s together probably won’t be that successful. Effectively, you cannot quest solo in Craglorn until you’ve reached at least VR 12. Worse, the first quest given in the area has you fighting VR11 bosses… which are, in fact, VR20-somethings. Even worse then that, it takes killing a sh*t ton of enemies just to move the VR experience bar even a nudge. So, yeah. It’s so likely a VR1 character is going to step into this area and win at anything let alone rank up fast. Expect to spend some gold on new VR ranked weapons before entering this area.

Craglorn is probably one of the worst ZeniMax fails around the entire ESO game. Though, I have to admit that ripping off the board game Risk is right up there with Craglorn’s design. But, setting your character up as VR1 in a primarily VR11 area is just simply insane. Again I must ask, “What were they thinking?” This is not challenging. It’s just an exercise in frustration. I’d have to say that Craglorn is probably game designing at its worst. Every other gaming area, they’ve had general enemies no more than 1-2 ranks higher than where you are. But, throwing a VR1 ranked character into a VR11 territory is just stupid.

About the only thing I have found to do is loot treasure in this area and join in on some world battles whenever I can find them. This way I can at least try to rank my character up very slowly. But, finding world battles around the area is fairly difficult because there aren’t that many people here questing and world battles are few. Even dolmens aren’t in Craglorn. Oh, there are dolmen’s marked, but they don’t work like the regular dolmens. Again, Zenimax changed the way this area works. Inconsistent to say the least.

Gameplay Differences

Let’s understand some of what I consider broken between the Elder Scrolls Online compared to Skyrim. Some of you might like some of the changes listed below, but I preferred where Skyrim was heading. That is, moving towards making everything interactive and more like our reality with real physics. Taking a step back in gaming is never a good idea. Here’s my list (note this is not comprehensive):

ESO: Horses appear out of thin air and disappear into thin air
SKY: Horses are stabled, must be found, can die

ESO: Horse animation is stilted and cartoony
SKY: Horse animation looks at least more realistic than ESO

ESO: Containers are fixed and contain gold 1 max or food (not necessary)
SKY: Containers can contain jewels, gold > 20 or potions.

ESO: Food is not necessary because magicka, health and stamina regenerate almost immediately after combat ends
SKY: Food is necessary until you get armor or enchantments that increase health regeneration which is typically very slow.

ESO: Objects are fixed and cannot be moved
SKY: Objects are movable in the environment: Apples, weapons, ingredients, etc

ESO: Defeating an enemy yields 1 gold and possibly a glyph or quest item (rarely armor and never armor the NPC was wearing)
SKY: Defeating an enemy yields gold sometimes and whatever armor and weapons they had. Their armor and weapons can be stripped.

ESO: Bows automatically come equipped with arrows. The bow holds the damage.
SKY: Bows and arrows are separate and have separate damage levels. Couldn’t craft arrows. They were always found.

ESO: Unknown if you can own a house
SKY: You could not only own houses, with Hearthfire you could build one from scratch.

ESO: 60 max slots for items and every item (including each ingredient) requires 1 slot (excluding some quest items). If you run out of slots, you have to use the bank which gives you only 60 more. Then you have to buy more with gold.
SKY: Expandable slots for items and unlimited items can be stored in containers in owned houses. Granted, houses cost at minimum 5000g, but once you buy a house the storage space is unlimited. You could get more slots by finding the Horse stone, scrolls, casting a spell or by wearing enchanted items (which can be found or created).

ESO: Soul Gems are very very scarce. Basically only available from sellers.
SKY: Soul Gems are easy to find. Specifically, they are usually found in dungeons with mages or necromancers.

ESO: Once in battle mode, there’s no way to sneak. The game simply won’t let you. If you do manage to hide in battle mode, the game takes you out of battle mode as though you had run away. The enemy’s health resets requiring you to start the battle over from the beginning. This includes bosses.
SKY: Once in battle mode, if you hide behind a rock or container you can usually hide. If you crouch and hide in battle mode, the game does not reset the enemy’s health unless they have regenerative capabilities or you leave the area.

ESO: An arrow’s range is a 5-6 feet. If you’re out of range, an arrow does nothing.
SKY: An arrow’s range is at least 50-100 feet. If you can see the enemy and you can aim, you can hit them.

ESO: If you’re in sneak and attack an enemy, you’re immediately taken out of sneak and the enemy knows exactly where you are and begins attacking you. The best you get is 1 sneak attack.
SKY: If you’re in sneak and attack an enemy, the enemy will come search for you, but you can move and avoid being found. You can continue to sneak attack as long as you remain undetected.

ESO: Equipping a new weapon is cumbersome.
SKY: Equipping a new weapon is through the weapon wheel (as long as it’s set up in advance).

ESO: Entering a menu to switch weapons or consume a potion doesn’t pause the action. Enemies continue to attack while trying to switch weapons or consume potions. You need to have them on hot keys.
SKY: Entering a menu during battle pauses the battle to allow switching or consumption of a potion.

ESO: Dying reduces durability of all equipped items.
SKY: Dying ends the game and you have to reload. Durability of items is determined by its use, not by player death.

ESO: Boss battles inside a dungeon trap you in the dungeon until the battle is done, you quit out of the game or you die. There is no way to flee an interior battle as exit doors aren’t usable.
SKY: You can always exit a dungeon even when in battle.. excluding certain bosses which lock you into an area (i.e., arena battles).

ESO: Swimming yields no skill improvement.
SKY: Swimming improves strength

ESO: Diving in water not possible.
SKY: Diving not only possible, but required to reach some quests.

ESO: Mouth movements with dialogue are simple open close like a puppet
SKY: Mouth movements with dialogue use mouth phoneme animation to seem like they’re actually talking

ESO: Sneaking costs stamina, does not level up
SKY: Sneaking levels up as you use it near enemies, costs no stamina

ESO: Repairing armor is at least 5x more costly in comparison with the gold you obtain. Repairing all items might be 200G-300G and you might have 500-800G or so.
SKY: Gold is plentiful and repairs are 10G or so per item. It might cost 200-300G for all items, but you probably have 2000-5000G

ESO: Bots and script kiddies => a side effect of multiple players
SKY: No bots => no online play

ESO: Some dungeons don’t allow network players in. You’re left alone to complete the boss which can be challenging because you cannot sneak or hide in battle. Basically, you need to be a mage or warrior for these dungeons. Rangers and Thieves won’t easily work.
SKY: N/A.. but you can use alternative tactics like sneaking and sneak attacks which are not available in ESO once battle starts.

ESO: Map is tiny (about a quarter of the screen) and looks like a cartoon.
SKY: Map is full screen, makes it much easier to find things.
Though neither have a search feature which would make finding places on the map a whole lot easier.

ESO: Custom waypoints not available on map
SKY: Custom way points possible

ESO: No stealing, no pickpocketing
SKY: An intrinsic part of every other ES game since at least Morrowind

ESO: Fast traveling costs gold (costs more as game progresses)
SKY: Fast traveling is free

ESO: Books cannot be taken or stored. Though, Lorebooks disappear after reading them and end up in a ‘library’ on your character.
SKY: Books can always be taken (unless it’s specifically stuck to an area).

ESO: Can’t sit in chairs
SKY: Could sit in any chair

ESO: Can’t kill any NPCs
SKY: Can’t kill some NPCs (critical characters, kids, etc), but can kill most.

ESO: Items cannot be dropped and picked up later. They can only be destroyed.
SKY: Items cannot be destroyed, but can be dropped or sold to free up slots.

ESO: Travel only to waypoints at any time. Traveling not from a waypoint costs gold. All territories are infested with large numbers of constantly spawning enemies. Dungeons are not always set to the player level and are frequently set higher to encourage network co-op, otherwise it can be impossible with a single player.
SKY: Travel to any city at any time. Occasional enemies can be easily avoided. Dungeons were set at or close to the level of the player making some levels too easy to play. Though, some dungeons aren’t.

Frequent Updates

While I do realize this is a multiplayer game, some of the updates can be especially big and have long download times. For example, some updates are as large as 8GB (nearly the same size as the full game). Download updates are frequent at intervals usually once a week. So, expect to wait to play while the updates are downloading and installing.

If they’re planning on this many updates this frequently, then the game should come with a background updater to automatically download updates during idle times.

Overall

The Elder Scrolls online is, at best, a mediocre game. The choice of the Defiance MMO engine to drive ESO leaves a lot to be desired. I was actually hoping Zenimax wouldn’t use that engine as there are many problems with it. While Zenimax was able to customize some pieces better than Defiance was able to, there are simply some pieces that still don’t fit with the concept of an Elder Scrolls game. In fact, using this engine is far and away a step backward for an Elder Scrolls technology advance. It’s unfortunate too because I was actually liking where Skyrim was heading. And, taking what Skyrim was to a Next Gen console would have made the next installment spectacular. Instead, with the Elder Scrolls Online, what we’re getting is not the next step, but a lateral move that’s about as compelling to play as Morrowind.

Though, at the time Morrowind released, it was very compelling. Today, Morrowind seems antiquated, as does the Elder Scrolls Online. For this reason, I can see why Zenimax recently announced the six month delay for the consoles. Not that giving the console versions six more months is likely to help, but it might make it somewhat more tolerable. Though, it probably won’t. In fact, this game needed a whole new MMO engine designed specifically for the Elder Scrolls. Unfortunately, Zenimax tried using something off-the-shelf and the result is less than stellar. It’s unfortunate too, because I was just getting into the Elder Scrolls series. If this is what we can look forward to in Elder Scrolls games, Zenimax can count me out.

As for Cyrodiil, it is basically boring empty space with mostly nothing to do. There is effectively no standard questing in Cyrodiil. All quests are military quests such as grabbing the Elder Scroll and moving it somewhere else or spying. Unfortunately, Cyrodiil is basically such an uninspired area, I find myself bored often and frequently leaving to find quests in other lands. Unfortunately, at level 46, I find myself actually running out of standard quests and no way to get to the other unopened territories. So, I’m actually kind of stuck for more stuff to do in the Elder Scrolls Online.

In fact, what I’ve been doing as of late is just finding resources and putting them up for sale in guild stores. At least there’s pretty much a never ending supply of resources, except on Cyrodiil where, again, there’s literally nothing but a huge landscape and a big game of Risk.

Tagged with: , ,

3 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. Jason said, on September 11, 2014 at 7:52 pm

    I agree with pretty much all of this. You can travel from wayshire to wayshire for free by using them. Took me a while to see that.

    But yeah, I just hit lvl 50 monday and I think I’ve decided to quit. It was so disheartening to think that I’d just beaten the game and for someone to tell me that I have to do the other 2 factions too. That’s what alts are for.

    Someone from my guild told me the VR dungeons would be too hard at VR1. Then watched some videos and they didn’t seem all that fun to me.

    Loot and quest rewards sorta suck. I always feel like I have no money. A lot of the world is really beatiful, but I do feel like nothing I do has any impact and that everything is just linear.

    I tried to love this game. Idk what I will try to play next. I guess I can go crawling back to SWTOR, but I really wanted Orcs and Elves. 😦

  2. John said, on May 15, 2014 at 1:25 pm

    Omitted:
    ESO: All territories are infested with enemies to discourage travel for lower level players. Players are guided through leveled territories in an increasing and systematic fashion. Dungeons are not leveled to the player because the territory was already preset to a given level.
    SKY: Travel anywhere. Occasional enemies can be easily avoided. Dungeons were set to the level of the player making it too easy to play.

    Honestly, I was hoping to tromp around high rock and see the land of Arena (TES I) in high resolution. But tromping around is difficult. I did manage to get a couple under level 10 players to wayrest, but it required a lot of sneaking around.

    And nothing, so far in ESO, has matched the thrill of encountering your first dragon in Skyrim.

    • commorancy said, on May 16, 2014 at 2:32 am

      Yes, there are a number of problems. Like, for example, why does fast traveling cost any gold at all? Once you discover the Wayshrines, you should be able to fast travel to any of them for free. That should be the perk you get for discovering them in the first place. There are other issues that are quite annoying.

      1) You can’t easily warp to another player’s position (at least that I’ve found). This could be done easily in Defiance.
      2) You can’t place a waypoint onto the map if you want to mark something to return to
      3) Enemies respawn far too often (even if you’re attempting to finish a quest). Sometimes they’ll spawn within 1 minute of having killed the previous enemy.
      4) Some dungeons cannot be teamed up with other players. I tried to group in another player, but they couldn’t even see the enemies. And this was an outdoor environment even.
      5) There should be a mini-wayshrine on every quest. If you enter a dungeon that’s part of a quest, if your character dies, it should always spawn back at the beginning of the dungeon. Some dungeons work this way, some don’t. The inconsistency is quite frustrating.
      6) Sometime low level enemy attacks suck near all of your health. There is no way this is possible.
      7) Lag can prevent you from sometimes making attacks at all. And by the time the game catches up, your character is already dead.
      8) Sometimes the game freezes you in place and prevents you from doing anything (and this is not lag). You can’t attack, you can’t walk and you can’t move. Yet, enemies are still moving freely and hammering you. And no, none of the NPCs were spell casters.

      As for the enemies in ESO, they’re usually no more than 1 level ahead or behind. In some cases, dungeons in ESO are also quite easy. Basically, the leveling system in ESO is similar enough to Skyrim that I’d call it a draw there. Sometimes it’s harder, sometimes it’s not. The point to ESO is if the dungeon is too hard, you go grab a few buddies and do it together.

      But, you’re right. There’s nothing yet in ESO that is as powerful as the dragon or in killing one. Though, learning the shouts in Skyrim was at least something that was cool. I particularly liked Stormcall when dealing with forts. It’s a good way to thin the enemies. 🙂

      Thanks.


All comments are encouraged under the following rules: Comments will not be posted that contain personal attacks. Personal attacks only serve to degrade your comment, make you seem like a troll, weaken your stance and undermine your points. Please choose your words carefully. Thank you for contributing!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: