With minutes to spare, I managed to wrap up the entirety of the Morrowind expansion (minus Clockwork City’s DLC) before the month of January was out. Great romp for the most part, although I am eager to get off the mushroom isle and see what the rest of Tamriel holds (maybe fewer elves?).
Now that I’ve got a month under my belt and am starting to get my bearing in this game, I thought I’d make a quick list of four things I really do like about Elder Scrolls Online — and two things that don’t really do it for me.
LOVE: The graphics
I’m not always a pure eye candy gamer, but I do appreciate striking visual scenery in my MMOs. It helps prompt exploration, as the landscape can make me want to see what else is out there. ESO does wonderful in this department. I’m often caught taking screenshots of the various locales and like the fact that this looks as good (if not better) than the graphics I praised over at FFXIV.
HATE: The combat
Our guild got into a discussion of this the other night, with some long-time vets saying that they enjoyed the fast-paced action combat. Me? I’m not the biggest fan. It’s serviceable but not that fun to engage with for the most part — a lot of fast clicking and moving about and watching slippery bars dwindle from both sides (?). I’ve been experimenting with a lot of different weapons and builds, and ultimately I just picked a dual wielding setup so I could rapidly hack down enemies and move on. It’s better than some other action MMOs, but it does make me miss tab targeting setups.
LOVE: Immersive systems
I’m really impressed how ESO manages to work in some more immersive systems into its overall design, such as the justice system or pushing deeper into guilds to earn new dialogue options. It’s not quite as immersive as, say, Project Gorgon, but it is a step up from many MMOs that have settled into a combat-only atmosphere.
With loads of voice acting, scripting, and multi-stage events, ESO’s quests feel more significant and engaging than I’ve seen elsewhere. I generally have enjoyed the dialogue, found a few quests hilarious or memorable, and think that the fewer-but-better approach works very well here.
HATE: Housing limitations
I was super-excited to get my Elder Scrolls house and start decorating, only to find out very quickly that I had hit some sort of arbitrary “traditional furnishings” limit. Hey, if I paid $20 for an instanced house, I should get to put whatever I want to in there!
LOVE: Freedom of travel and direction
While there is a main storyline path to follow, ESO really excels in allowing players to go wherever they like and do whatever, thanks to the level scaling tech. As a result, I’m never worried about whether I’m of an appropriate level for a zone — I just travel, quest, explore, and unwind!