Great next game in the Elder Scrolls line - from a casual female gamer
Reviewed in the United States on 13 August 2015
This is my first ever MMORPG. I have played many past Elder Scrolls games, Morrowind, Oblivion, Skyrim, with various bonus packs. This game is somehow not the same, and yet not different, than the prior games. It has aspects of all the prior games (sadly without dragons) but adds tons of new features and a new world to explore. I think they are still in the process of updating and improving the gameplay. Keep in mind my PC meets or exceeds the "recommended" system and fast internet, so I don't have glitches like others have reported. Anyway, here are a few things to share:
* I got this game for a steal. List price is $60, I got for $32 (incl tax). Includes unlimited gameplay (yes truly unlimited, no need to buy a monthly subscription), and a couple bonuses like a beginner companion and the ability to play any race with any affiliation. You can choose to pay real money to get "crowns," which is a currency used to buy upgrades and special things (e.g., mounts) from the crown store. But there is certainly no need to! Honestly, $32 (or even $60) for so many hours of entertainment is a complete steal.
* Like all other ES games, it is a huge world that you are free to explore at your own pace. Many quests to choose from, and you can pick and choose which to work on. Or you can explore. Or interact. Or PVP. Or hunt monsters. Or collect books. Or work on fulfilling achievements. The possibilities are "unlimited".
* Character creation and development allows you to personalize your character with great detail and develop them in a manner that conforms to your play style. For example, my typical character is always stealthy and uses a bow, which means my progress and exploration is slower but equally fulfilling. I was able to create the perfect character, although it took awhile to get my first bow.
* Rewarding gameplay - I have played a few hours each day for a week and am already Level 8. However, it is still challenging and I've died more than a few times.
* You can create up to 8 different characters to play, so the choices are truly unlimited!
* Ever been stuck in a situation where you get ambushed by too many creatures you can't handle alone? There are groups and guilds to adventure together! Each group can help since each person might have a different style of game play. However, I do always see ads for groups seeking healers, so there seems to be an uneven balance of players. Unfortunately, my style of gameplay is less valued in the group setting, so I will be playing more alone.
* Decent tutorial. Plus there is a special area/quest line based on your affiliation (mine is Bleakrock), which is a good area for lower players to get more experience.
* Some things are well organized. Like your inventory divides into subsections. Your journal divides into subsections by Main, Crafting, Guilds, etc. There are buttons and tabs everywhere if you can find them!
* Took a long time to install. 4 disks plus patches. I finally gave up and went to bed so couldn't play my first day.
* Running into some glitches with patch updates. I keep getting a popup box that a patch is causing problems, and sometimes it wants me to "Repair" which takes a few minutes. Frustrating that there is not a better method for patching that avoids such errors.
* Carrying capacity - Like all past ES games, this is a challenge from the beginning. You start with 60 inventory spaces and have to buy expansions (which give you 10 more slots but cost exponentially more). You can also store things in your bank, which again starts at 60 slots and you have to buy expansions. There are so many different things you can pick up int he game that this is quite disappointing. For example, you need 10 iron ore to make iron ingot, and to actually craft you also need a style piece (e.g., bone) and optional trait. Then you can upgrade, but that is more items to collect and carry. There are like 6 different crafts in the game, each requiring a dozen or more items to collect. Not to mention the hundreds or thousands of other items!
* Map system could use improvement. The maps of Skyrim and even Oblivion were better than the map in ESO. Here, you have only major sites marked on your map, not smaller ones. The map is not very flexible in terms of zooming in/out, and when you're inside a city like Davon's Watch, you may or may not be able to see the map markers for quests outside the city.
* Travel could use improvement. Travel has always been an issue with ES games. In ESO, you have Wayshrines to travel between. You have to first find the wayshrines. Does it cost gold to travel between wayshrines? I dunno, I read a guide that said it costs, but then there are no popups in the game to tell you how much. Also the wayshrines are far apart and the only other way is your feet or a mount (which is expensive and you don't get until later in the game). You can also quicktravel to wayshrines from anywhere, but this costs. If you are in a group, you can travel to your group members, but the way to do this is cumbersome.
* Chat - I imagine like many other MMORPG games, there are some seriously messed up people using chat, and there is often very crude language and things posted for all to see. These people should be ashamed of themselves, and it sucks I have to read all that on my screen. I would like the ability to "flag" players who harass others or post inappropriate things, and have that person be banned from chat for a time or fined or something. But yeah, it's the chat feature and not the game itself that would make me reluctant to let kids or teens play this game.
* Stealing is much harder than past ES games. As a shadow character, I always relied on stealing. But in ESO, I have only found one fence location so far (by level 8), and it sucks to have to travel there each time (Plus you have to travel to the nearby wayshrine, then run/walk your way through the city until you get to the fence, it is slow). I often get caught stealing, because even when you are showing as "hidden," you can get caught by someone spotting you while you have the container window open, or you get caught when trying to pickpocket someone rather than when you try to "collect" something from their pocket. Stealing is no fun anymore, even though you basically need to rely on it for gold.
* There is no thieves guild! This was my favorite guild in past games.
* There is so much that it is often overwhelming and confusing at times. For example, you press C for Character and K for Skills, and all sorts of other letters for different things. Thankfully these are laid out in the pamphlet that came with the game. But there are many other instructions not provided, like how to chat, how to interact, guilds, and most importantly the skill trees. I really liked the galaxy skill trees from Skyrim so this is a bit disappointing and confusing. There is no explanation as to "active" and "passive" skills, when/how you can get what, or really how to use them. You just have to test it out for yourself (and might end up killing an NPC or pet in the process of testing). You don't get skill points back, so researching them ahead of time is a must. Also, there are no instructions for interacting with the MMO aspects of the game. This being my first MMO (and only because I love the ES line of games), I have no clue about chatting and guilds and groups. Learning by doing because not many online sources discuss this in detail. The game tries to help you with pop instructions here and there, but it is insufficient. Would be better to have a "help" guide stored somewhere in the game to reference how to do something, the game is so complex.
I think that's a good list for now. Loving the game despite the cons. It's a great achievement for the ES line and I expect it will get even better with time!
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