First Impressions of Elder Scrolls Online: Why I'm Loving ESO
Elder Scrolls Online is one of those games that will fall into two categories: gamers will either love it or hate it.
I, personally, loved it.
Excited about the prospect of an Elder Scrolls MMO, I went into a little apprehensive. Through partaking in various betas, I was able to see how the MMO transformed into what it was this past weekend (which from what I heard, isn't even as updated as the one running on the test servers).
ESO Solves my Biggest MMO Pet Peeve: No More Wondering
Just imagine the character has a book in his hand or a map to show that is what the player is doing at the time.
I suspect we've all been there: our party is running around and we are following the leader, and suddenly the leader just stops. To us, he or she is just standing there. We wait and wait 'til they suddenly take off moving again. Wait.. What? Why? Did you open your inventory? Eat a sandwich IRL? Answer the phone? We have no clue as to what caused the sudden stop.
... a unique addition that helps a person immerse themselves into the gaming experience.
In Elder Scrolls, I found this less of a problem because they built ESO from a roleplaying standpoint. Instead of a character just standing there, the UI shows what the character is actually doing. If the player brings up the map, the character does as well. Same for checking the quest journal, a book pops up in their hands. I find this a very unique aspect to a game and helps a person immerse themselves into the gaming experience. (As it turns out, my husband was getting tips for playing his lute in town.)
Pillaging from an Elder Scrolls View
In an MMO with thousands of players, it is difficult to tell how developers would handle this, but I had little issue with finding items to plunder.
Players of earlier Elder Scrolls game can tell so many tales of how much stuff they would rummage through from all sorts of places. In an MMO with thousands of players, it is difficult to tell how developers would handle this, but I found little issue with finding items to plunder. Without knowing the secrets of the developers, two ideas on how the game handles pillaging is:
- rapid spawn timers
- items are character specific instead of being open world for everyone to raid
I do have to admit a dislike for the camera angles in the game.
Playing in first person doesn't bother me, but if I scroll out or if I am riding a horse, my character image is offset to the left instead of directly center. This means I had to learn to adjust in order to make sure my character was heading in the right direction. Instead of basing travel off my character, I had to use the target in the center of the window as the direction to head.
What?! No Mini-Map?!
No mini-map is probably the thing that irks me the most. I have a tendency to get turned around while traveling through a game world. In order to make sure I was going in the right direction, I was constantly having to open the map (usually I was going the wrong direction if I wasn't following a waypoint on the compass). This takes away from the immersion experience for me.
Outside these few pet peeves, the game world was very beautiful to behold.
Despite there being hundreds of thousands of players on the server at a time, it did not show.
I have to give Zenimax Studios their props as well. Despite there being hundreds of thousands of players on the server at a time, it did not show. Log in was seamless and the instances were not so heavily populated that I was running into thousands of people hanging out for a spawn (think the most I saw for one spawn one time was about 15).
Overall, I have enjoyed the parts of the game I have experienced and look forward to experiencing the total world come launch.