Community Review: Elder Scrolls Online

Thanks to endless betas, The Elder Scrolls Online is a game that feels like it's been around for an age, but it was only released properly last week. How is everyone finding it so far?

Considering how negative early word of mouth was on this title, early reviews of the game have surprised me by being actually quite positive. But early reviews of MMOs are an extremely strange thing, and most MMOs really require an extended period of time before any proper, final judgement can be made.

With that being said -- what are your early thoughts on the game so far? I'm still wrapped up in Dark Souls II hell, so haven't played it yet (or any other game for that matter). How has your experience been so far?

Let us know in the comments below.

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Comments

    I was enjoying it until I realised that my Templar couldn't heal in heavy armour and that i'd have to wear light amour and carry a resto staff around....

    So that's kind of ruined it for me. The "do what you like and make your build work" attitude of the single player games have gone out the window. No heavy armor helms with restoration bonuses here... well not early on as far as I can see.

    4 classes only... It's a bit lacking.

    Questing is good though. Dialogue is short, 2 sentence, easy to read through (and then wait for the voice actor to finish). Quest chains.

    But I've deleted my character and am starting again.

      Level 49, nearing 50, Templar Healer reporting in. Rocking Sword/Shield, 5 Heavy, 2 Light, and can heal everything I've been in just fine.. except maybe the final boss fight of Blackheart Haven. 'cause, you know.. being turned into a skeleton that can literally do nothing more than auto-attack wasn't very helpful in the healing department, but we sorted that out with a DPS switching to Restoration Staff if I got turned.

      The main problem I've found with healing isn't healing itself, but the rest of the people in groups not understanding that they can't just rely on healing. As well as yourself, they need to actively be interrupting, blocking, dodging just about everything that gets thrown at them.

      Thats just D & D rules ... no magic whilst in heavy armour

      There's nothing stopping you from wearing heavy armor as a healing templar, and you don't 'have' to use a restoration staff, though as a healer you would be better off using one obviously, Templars are actually the only class with direct healing spells outside of use of a restoration staff. There are heavy armor pieces with magicka bonuses, you would just be trading off the benefits you get from the light armour skill line (focusing on magicka, regen & spells) in favour of health regen, damage reduction etc you get from the heavy armour line. If you wanted, you could wear 5 heavy, 2 light pieces and get a little bit of both. Personally I'm going to end up using 5 light, 2 heavy.

      Last edited 14/04/14 11:53 am

      4 classes with 3 paths in each is a decent range to choose from. And then the ability to choose a skill path in weapon and armour style is pretty cool.

      The Min/Maxers out there will always choose the RACE/CLASS/SKILLS to get the best build, but who says you cant be the Heavy Armour, sword wielding Mage you always wanted to be?

      The "do what you like and make your build work" attitude of the single player games have gone out the window.

      The game felt oddly bland to me but I didn't have any serious issues with it. This was probably the only real problem I had with it. The games let you play however you wanted to. If you wanted to combo three spells that were over powered on their own to form one game breakingly strong attack it let you. You want to play a Ninja Thief Wizard God? No problem.
      Obviously in a MMO that attitude would ruin the game, but because I link the series so closely to free form game play it feels really restrictive when I run into something I can't do or when I get pushed into doing something their way.

      I'm healing Veteran Rank stuff in heavy armour. It's fine - combination of templar restoring light and resto skills and passives. You really can do that. Besides, there's nothing stopping you getting a generic heavy armour helmet and putting a healing enchantment on it (glyphs drop like crazy and you can replace most enchantments.

    A few magicka enchantments and spell cost reduction or magicka regeneration jewelry and you can heal in heavy armor. It may not be optimal, but it's definitely viable.

    I do take your point and it's a shame there is a hybrid tax of sorts in ESO, but generally, for solo and group pve, I'm finding you can pretty much do whatever you want. I've currently got 2 nightblades in their teens, and a 38 sorc. Yesterday I respecced from a sorc that focuses on spell casting in full light armor, to medium armor, with 2 daggers and a bunch of weapon attacks, using the class skills for utility - no problems whatsoever. Loving this game.

    That screenshot reminds me of launch-era WoW or Warhammer AoR.

    I really don't know why RPG companies keep trying to turn their properties into WoW clones.

      Don't you think it's a tad unreasonable to judge what a game is like based on a single screenshot? I personally don't see how that screenshot makes it even appear a 'WoW clone'.

      It actually looks just like sky rim etc. What your seeing is a morrow wind guard - they always had funny mask helm things.

    I have been enjoying my romp through Tamriel. I was an early adopter, opting for the digital edition early access.

    First off, things that are not worth mentioning in detail as it occurs is ALL MMOs and will always be the case.
    Bugs - yes there are some that I found and of those, most have been fixed. Still a few that cause issues.
    Gold Selling - yes they have arrived in Tamriel but are being delt with.
    Server down time - yes it occurs, so far 2 times out of scheduled maintenance whilst I have been logged on.

    Things I liked
    Questing and exploration - Plenty to do and not your usual quest hub setup. You need to explore and you will find everything form public dungeons to random NPCs coming up to you offering quests.
    Crafting - Crafting gear does matter, other games want you to think it matters, but ESO makes it matter.
    Cyrodiil (PVP) - Hours of fun crushing the enemy in Keep sieges, you may never leave when you enter, there is a lot to do in Cyrodiil.
    Levelling up and Skill choices - very wide and most likely unbalanced but it's still fun to have a fully laden plate mail wearing mage casting fireballs (yes I know, not the best spec to have).

    Things I not so liked.
    Public Dungeons - whilst on the surface are fun as you explore mines, ruins and caves the goal at the end - kill the boss is a chore when a horde of players stand around farming him, as you need to kill the boss to complete the achievement. The spawn times are erratic too and so is the the loot. Sometime a boss will not drop anything.
    Guild Options - this needs to be refined to manage the fact that there is no Auction Houses. Trade Guilds are a great idea, but it needs a better menu system to manage.
    Repair Costs crafting material management - Is expensive, sometimes it's better just to craft a new item to replace the damaged piece. This is not a game breaker by no means just a personal annoyance. Crafting items needs a lot of bag space and bag space comes at a cost, so you spend money on repairing and bag spaces more than anything else.

    Overall I am having great fun with ESO and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future, I have even un-subbed from my other MMOs.

    If I gave the game a score our of 10; 10 being fantastic, 5 being average and 1 being poor, I would score ESO an 8.5

      I agree with everything except the Guild Options portion. I actually personally love the idea of the 'Auction House System' being tied into the guilds, it makes micro economies in the game and makes for interesting gameplay to those who wish to play the market (joining 5 different trading guilds and following the economies within each).

      I'm not someone who trades much, but I'm apart of a 500 member trading guild and am finding it easy to sell my wares, getting that extra income on the side.

      To each their own, personally I like how it is.

        Oh I agree, I think my wording was a little wrong. I am just saying that the search features need a lot of work within the guild store. In the big guilds there is a lot to look through, a search feature would be a good addition.

    I had a lot of trouble getting online, turns out it was TPG DNS settings, managed to get through after switching to Google's. I still get a pretty shitty ping which can make the whole blocking and dodging thing infuriating.

    But connection issues aside, its an odd game. I quite like it, but it is a slow burner. It feels very drab/bland at first, especially some of the cities (I've done all 3 factions to level 8) but once out in the environment it can be pretty. They've made questing more interesting than other MMOs, but the dialogue is the usual humourless ES fare so I'm not sure how long I will keep reading the dialogue.

    Bag space is my major issue with it, for a game where you are encouraged to loot every nook and cranny it seems to me they've left you with such a tiny bank space (60 slots between 8 characters) that they're just preparing for the inevitable F2P switch where they will start selling those increased slots.

    Waste of $80, I just keep playing Dark Souls 2.

      Woah, save your down-votes for the next console war people! Jeeez.

    It's actually better than what I remember from the beta. In beta I just didn't get a feel for it and lost all interest in it. Once it released I though "hell, ill give it another shot" and to my surprise It's actually really good. Glad I went with it.

    Absolutely loving it. Personally I have been playing since the five days early start and havent had a single bugged quest and they only time I have had a real massive issue the rest of the server was in complete meltdown, So all up I think its the best launch of an MMO in ages. Not to say others arent having issues.

    The only problem I have is bag space, which is truly dire. Most days it feels like I am fighting my bags more than mobs. However the positives certainly out weigh the bad.

      You can buy bag space upgrades in the main cities.

      Inventory/bank space has been my biggest issue too. The main problem is that crafting materials are so numerous in types, especially for enchanting, that keeping a reasonable amount of them as I quest is a challenge. If they added a crafting bank that only allowed mats and was like, 100 slots, that would be fine. Like Guild Wars 2.

    I went in with slightly negative preconceptions from beta, and have to say, I'm absolutely loving it. Veteran Rank 1 here.

    Loving it here also, was much better than what I expected after reading previews.

    Currently only around 30 hrs in and haven't tried PvP at all, but PvE and exploration is fantastic.

    The only major gripe I have is the scheduled server maintenance. Always in our primetime over here and currently set on a friday night, very irritating...

    Wasn't impressed with the beta but still got it to give a chance and am enjoying it but... still it is almost a crime to call this "skyrim with friends". Will play out my free month but won't be staying subbed to the game after it as the endgame that is being patched in sounds atrocious and would be the only real reason for me to stay subbed once i hit 50 and play around with some of the veteran content.

    Level 29 Nord Dragonknight in the Ebonheart Pact. Loving every moment of gameplay! Questing feels so fluid, retaining much of it's TES heritage whilst ensuring it's on rails to progress me through the zone. Having no linear way of gameplay actually gets boring to me after a while, I end up just messing around and doing random stuff.

    The hack and slash combat is a welcome change from the traditional MMO scene, and I enjoy having to decide what skills I want to have out.

    The major problems I've had so far are bugged questlines, broken fishing (I run a fishing guild!) as well as an account issue where they enacted a requirement for your credit card to be set up for payment before your 'free 30 days' would actually go through, which royally screwed me over because the 'Early Access Code' I was given was not at all tied in with my game purchase, and therefore I was having to wait on my actual game key to land with the box from the UK (Ozgameshop pre-order) before I could set up my credit card. I know it's a bit of bad luck that my game arrived late, but I just feel that Early Access Codes should have been tied with the game purchases so I wouldn't have had interrupted game play.

    (TL;DR Early Access Code was not classified as 'owning' the game on the account. So I couldn't set up a subscription because I had no game. Had to wait for game to arrive in the mail even though I had been playing till level 10 at that point...)

    Anyways, loving it all round, best MMO I'vep layed to date, thoroughly enjoying it. Leader of two guilds, one a fishing guild and one a PvE/levelling guild. PST FOR INVITE! ;)

    Last edited 14/04/14 3:29 pm

    Level 20 Breton Templar, have absolutely loved it so far. Never played beta and wasn't planning on even picking this up, but had some free time and decided to download it. I've also picked up dark souls 2... and it sits unplayed so far. Also not a PC gamer - I'm playing this on a mac.

    Played WoW until BC, SWTOR until it went F2P and FFXIV most recently to see how an MMO would work on a console, but this is the first sine WoW that feels different. I wouldn't call myself an MMO veteran (I never got really into raiding) but I've seen a few.

    The biggest ones I've noticed and liked :

    The minimalist UI. Much more immersive, less time spent looking at cooldown bars and xp progress.

    6 skills at a time (including an ultimate, so really 5), much more time spent thinking how you will spend a skill point (you might think it's a good ability, but will it make it to your top 5). Even with weapon swapping it is still tough. That's very different from the 3 skill bars with 30 abilities.

    Love the combat. A lot more movement and thought. I was a lazy mouseclicker in WoW and SWTOR, but it's feels a lot better being made to use hotkeys and looks with the mouse. Find it a little hard to strafe and use my abilities at the same time, but learning some dexterity.

    My favourite parts are the quest chains. Very few one off go collect x of these. Most in a part of a bigger line and you feel you're changing the world each time - when you kill x bandits you actually free the keep from them, when you come back people whisper about you as you walk by. The minimap changes the description to list what you've done. Also like the decisions required. Choosing who to let die etc. which has repercussions on the overall quest line.

    It's the doing quests that change the world environment that has kept me playing the PvE story and not going to PvP yet. I feel like I'm playing this as almost a single player game, as much as people write off that this is not an elder scrolls game - a lot of those people seem not to have played it.

    Lastly I love the crafting, I'm actually wearing stuff I've made and wielding my own weapons with my own enchants. Eating my own cooking. It's bizarre that this should feel unusual, but it does make crafting not seem like a grind as it has in every other MMO I've played.

    Some negatives -

    The usual bugs, one broken quest so far. My helm keeps f***ing disappearing.

    When on quests where a lot of others are around it can sometimes be hard to kill the mobs you need to as every spawn point is camped. Sometimes I just run into a place, deliver/pick up/rescue someone and don't see a single enemy, which breaks the feel of the game.

    Gold sellers and lack of an auction house lead to way too much spam in chat.

    Crafting is imbalanced - I'm level 40 provisioning without doing anything but cooking the mats I find, I'm a level 8 clothier, but I've made several outfits for myself (lots of replacement helms!), deconstruct everything I get my hands on and have put as many skill points as possible into it. I'm a level 6 blacksmith and I've done nothing with that (I send my mats to an alt). Still I don't feel I've grinded my way through crafting, it's been very natural so far.

    Lastly inventory space. Seriously, I'm levelling 2 crafts (plus deconstructing for woodworking but storing wood on an alt). I have >50 types of food and a whole lot of cloth related items. Plus items I'm saving to research. 2 bank upgrades, 2 backpack upgrades and 2 storage alts. It's taking way too much time to manage.

    Overall I love it though - now to convince some friends to jump on. Anyone got an aussie guild to recommend?

    Hi if you guys have TESO check out this video

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RRsagATynhM

    Thanks again!

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