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 Post subject: Elder Scrolls Online
PostPosted: 30 Mar 2014, 18:36 
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So, ESO's a thing. Closed beta finished just a little while ago (I think less than a month back), and I got the chance to play it, though only for a night. Still logged a good seven/eight hours or so xD;;

I should warn you that there may be some spoilers in here, though I'll try not to be too specific about plot points and such.

Spoiler: show
From what I got to see, running around as an Argonian summoner-cleric-ish, the plot seems to be very well developed and driven, even by elder scrolls standards. It's set in the past (I think prior to all of the other titles, but I might be wrong there), and has a decent justification for the player being a badass, as do the other titles. They even managed to keep up with the 'You're a prisoner at the beginning' theme.

The combat's pretty nifty, they've managed to refine it down into an effective two-button system, where your attacks are defined by what weapon you have equipped. On a mouse, left click will attack, holding left click will heavy attack, right click guards, and holding both will do an interrupt attack. Relatively simple, but has some very interesting potential for competitive play. Skills, being an mmo, of course, fall into a quickbar system. The player has access to a large variety of skill trees, one for each weapon and armour type, three per class (I think), one per race, and a few others just because. You gain experience much like the previous elder scrolls games, in which doing a thing gets you better at that thing, and when you level up you can spend a single point on any skill you qualify for from any tree. The trees then level up independently as their skills are utilised.

I quickly put together a build that let me summon a Clannfear, buff and heal it and myself, and knock things over with bolts of chaos crystal to buy time for the little dinosaur dude to rip them in half. Your choice in armour actually has a very pronounced effect on what you'll be able to do as a character, and the skills that I had the chance to play with all seemed to synergise quite nicely with each other.

So I'd say that gameplay was enjoyable, but what really struck me was the NPCs. The game started me out helping out around a little island, meeting and greeting people, as you do in RPGs of any kind with a quest system, and some of these characters were really well developed. When plot happened and it was time to move forward, the NPCs move forward as well, continuing their lives in a world where your actions dictate the outcome of events. One dude who I'd saved from a critter early on wound up captain of a small fortress later on, and it was pretty sweet. It felt like my actions and choices actually had a defined impact on the world, though of course there are still the same limitations that MMOs must impose by nature of being MMOs.

It was really cool, and actually had me caring about the choices I made, when the inevitable 'You can do this thing or this thing' options pop up, it made me think about who was involved, and how best to deploy my resources, which I'd call a near-first for an MMO. I think that only Guild Wars 2 has been able to do that to me before now.

Finally, there's crafting. The crafting system in most elder scrolls games is usually quite robust, and sometimes more than a little complicated, and this one was no different. They seem to have taken a page from other currently popular games in that you can draw from a shared character bank for materials to craft from, and you can invest time into researching new ways to make the things you craft better by breaking down things that have certain buffs and such. But the thing that made this stand out to me was the 'Styles' feature, where, once your character has learnt a certain style of crafting, say, armour, they can use a specific type of material to make that same piece of armour look drastically different. There's one style for each race, and this is a purely aesthetic difference, making, I think a total of nine different models for every single piece of armour and every weapon in the game. Now while there may well be a fairly limited stages of gear in the game (going up through bronze, to steel, to dragonbone, for example), this is still incredibly impressive to me.

The only real downside that I've seen to this game so far, aside from the obvious in that it's an MMO that would require a -lot- of time to get into a play properly, and that it's an elder scrolls game, so it'll require even more time to get into and play properly, is the cost.

Bethesda have already made a statement on the proposed cost of playing the game, which I think came out at a $16 a month subscription, in addition to the cost of buying the actual game. They are defending this by pointing out that they want to offer a level of support that simply couldn't be provided without this, and that they want to continue producing content for the game long into the future. Which is fair enough. Personally I'm completely and totally behind that premise; servers are expensive, good quality servers are expensive, and new content and top-notch support for players won't help the issue at all, so making sure that the game is properly funded is serious business. I just couldn't afford it, which is somewhat sad, but it does provide a benchmark for MMOs in the future, especially if it does well. If ESO is capable of providing everything it's aiming to provide to a dedicated user base, then it will only serve to improve the standards by which modern games hold themselves. Hopefully.


So does anyone have any opinions/thoughts/feels on this?


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 Post subject: Re: Elder Scrolls Online
PostPosted: 30 Mar 2014, 21:04 
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Sounds interesting, and far more engaging than the majority of MMOs out there, but I still won't play it until they do some kind of F2P/buy once play forever option. I can't see subscribing to this (or any other) game because then I'll feel obligated to sink a lot of time into it to get my money's worth, and I'm just not interested in getting heavily into MMOs again right now.

Besides, I can always just play Skyrim, because 2 years later it's still not boring. XD


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 Post subject: Re: Elder Scrolls Online
PostPosted: 30 Mar 2014, 21:08 
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Venom wrote:
Sounds interesting, and far more engaging than the majority of MMOs out there, but I still won't play it until they do some kind of F2P/buy once play forever option. I can't see subscribing to this (or any other) game because then I'll feel obligated to sink a lot of time into it to get my money's worth, and I'm just not interested in getting heavily into MMOs again right now.


This. This, this, this.


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 Post subject: Re: Elder Scrolls Online
PostPosted: 30 Mar 2014, 21:10 
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The Time Being wrote:
Venom wrote:
Sounds interesting, and far more engaging than the majority of MMOs out there, but I still won't play it until they do some kind of F2P/buy once play forever option. I can't see subscribing to this (or any other) game because then I'll feel obligated to sink a lot of time into it to get my money's worth, and I'm just not interested in getting heavily into MMOs again right now.
This. This, this, this.
This. This, this, this.



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 Post subject: Re: Elder Scrolls Online
PostPosted: 30 Mar 2014, 22:00 
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I've decided to give it a go; I love the elder scrolls series. Having finished the class missions on my SW:TOR main, I'm eager to take a little break before continuing as another character. I'm just a little miffed that you can't have custom avatars/signature images on the forum, as I just made a new sig (as displayed below) and I'd love to put it there as well as here.



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 Post subject: Re: Elder Scrolls Online
PostPosted: 06 Apr 2014, 10:35 
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So the trailer for The Siege popped up recently, and I must admit that I'm getting more and more tempted to view ESO as potential bucket for any disposable income I come across over the next few years.

There has been some backlash already though, aside from the already high subscription cost, apparently the subscription and month-long free trial process is a little silly. It does look like this is due to Zenimax, rather than Bethesda though, so it'll be interesting to see how that pans out.


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 Post subject: Re: Elder Scrolls Online
PostPosted: 07 Apr 2014, 08:25 
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I always get excited about MMOs but the whole subscription thing sets me back. SWTOR got annoying once I dropped to free, and other MMOs I've played in the past (WoW, Rift, etc.) have been equally limiting. I understand it, of course, but for someone who goes through bouts of being incredibly busy, it's annoying to have to cancel my subscription and restart it or buy prepaid cards that I end up not using much of, etc. I wanted to do the ESO beta and actually got keys for it but I ended up giving them away to other people at DHGF because I knew I probably wouldn't have much time with the finished product.



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 Post subject: Re: Elder Scrolls Online
PostPosted: 19 Aug 2014, 17:05 
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Picked it up and am liking the full product over the beta. Liking the 2 month sub cards even more so I can just buy those when I feel like playing.


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