I’ve got a lot of catching up to do, and I’m not sure I’ll make it to the end of this project, but it’s best to try and keep going right?
Following on from my thoughts about Skyrim I thought I’d share a few my experiences with the latest elder scrolls game: The Elder Scrolls Online.
This game takes a fairly different format from previous elder scrolls games in that it is an MMORPG (massively multiplayer online role-playing game) and the game supports thousands of players across the interwebs. Previous elder scrolls games have been single player only RPGs but the game itself has many similarities to previous versions building on and revealing the lore of this fantasy world through quests and skill lines and in large multiplayer dungeons that require some degree of strategy and cooperation to succeed in.
Loving Skyrim like I do, my partner and I signed up to beta test the game which was amazing – the community was excited about the product to come, we enjoyed the storylines and tackling bosses together and in its own way it felt like quite a privilege to test out the game, give our thoughts on it and help the devs tackle buggy issues before general release.
Then once the game was released I rolled about six different characters trying to decide which one to concentrate on levelling. Having played through most of it before I decided that a Khajiti (cat person) Nightblade (rogue class) was a good option to stick with – I like dealing damage up close in fantasy games – and we got on with following the quest lines.
It’s quite a long and meandering story set in an age before Skyrim and the Dragonborn, before all the races have come to a more or less peaceful state of diplomatic relations in the realm of Tamriel. You have died and are trapped in Coldharbour (a dark and hellish realm of demons and restless/trapped spirits) by Molag-Bal, a Daedric Prince who has stolen your soul, but thankfully you are rescued and thrown out of Coldharbour and into a typhoon. You are rescued by a passing ship on its way to your faction’s starting area and from then on the quests you choose are your own!
The aim of the main storyline in the game is two-fold: in order to retrieve your soul you must defeat Molag-Bal, but in order to defeat Molag-Bal you will have to convince, by hook or by crook, the three warring factions to ally with each other behind this cause – something they really should be getting to anyway as it turns out that Molag-Bal is attempting to meld two planes of existence which would ultimately destroy the universe (as far as I recall). Whilst this poses a pretty major threat to any living thing in Tamriel, more often than not the leaders of the factions are more concerned with who has control over the Imperial city in Cyrodiil which is currently unoccupied/in political chaos. Cyrodiil in this case serves as the PVP zone (player versus player) in which the factions battle for control and resources and players IRL try to kill one another and take out each others’ forces.
ESO has undergone some major changes since we first started playing, some of which have helped to fix balance issues but others have made pretty much all content accessible whenever – see most recent scaling of character to the zone’s level – which I feel takes away from some of the enjoyment. I liked reaching a certain level and unlocking a new area and following new quest lines specific to those places – I could develop some sense of attachment to those areas and the challenges I faced there. Now with scaling it simply feels a little too immense, without the challenge of reaching a certain goal to reach a new area.
Still like Skyrim, ESO is one of my favourite games and I would highly recommend trying it out, especially if you are looking for multiplayer communities in an incredibly detailed fantasy world.
Overall Rating: 4/5