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Review

The Elder Scrolls Online Review

  • Game release: April 4, 2014
  • Reviewed:
  • PC
Jeremy Jayne on Google+

Uneasy alliance.

I look across the Alik'r desert from atop my steed. The arid ground below its hooves has been cracked by the sun's intense heat, and only husks are left where vegetation once thrived. I see a shrine in the distance signaling a friendly oasis, but it's lonely here, and I long to catch a ride on the hot breezes that blow past. It's a pensive moment, and I savor it, for I must believe that a grand adventure waits for me beyond that shrine, beyond the rocky plateaus that wall in this desert, beyond the Arabia-inspired dwellings that dot the sands.

The great wonder of The Elder Scrolls Online is that sights like these can inspire gleeful anticipation. Such grand vistas must harbor unknown secrets. Such vast landscapes must also have room for a story of your own crafting, a story you can share at the inn after a hard day's journey across deserts and mountains. The great disappointment of The Elder Scrolls Online is that many of these sights and sounds are weak facades that cannot hide how clumsily the game tries to join two disparate halves that cannot form a whole. One half, the single-player fantasy experience, does not provide the emergent adventuring for which the series is known, hobbled as it is by the online environment. The other half, a bog-standard massively multiplayer role-playing game, is hampered by The Elder Scrolls Online's tendency to punish you for playing with others.

The Elder Scrolls Online goes out of its way to sell its peculiar coupling of incompatible parts, however. When you first load up the game and enter character creation, rhythmic strings and kettledrums crescendo until they are joined by French horns and virtual choristers. The famous Elder Scrolls theme begins to play, and you turn your attention to choosing a race from this famed fantasy universe, from the haughty High Elves to the feline Khajiit. Then you choose from one of four classes and begin to customize your character, using all sorts of sliders to make your fanged Orc dragonknight look as fearsome as possible, or to make your pale Nord sorcerer look so angelic that she might have floated down from the heavens. This is a great start. You feel the energy. You're ready to make a name for yourself on the continent of Tamriel.

Once you depart the introductory dungeon, the possibilities seem endless, at least at first. Daggerfall was the first major city I explored, and I roamed the streets taking on quests and chatting with the townsfolk. During dialogue, the camera closes in on your conversation partner just as it does in single-player Elder Scrolls games like Skyrim and Oblivion. Every line is spoken aloud, and conversations demand your input. The game wants you to pay attention, and at first, I eagerly listened. Amazingly, none of these people wanted me to go clear out a cellar full of rats, or murder 10 ladybugs. Instead, they wanted my help solving mysteries and activating golems built by the long-extinct Dwemer race. These were quests I could get behind.

The Bound Armor spell can make you look like a fearsome warrior even when you're wearing the flimsiest of clothing.

Unfortunately, in leaving behind the usual questing cliches and focusing on lengthy conversations with non-player characters, The Elder Scrolls Online creates different kinds of problems. As you move from one place to the next, you hear the same few actors over and over again, which might not have been such a sin if their voices weren't so distinct and recognizable. Even if you've never heard Troy Baker's voice in another game, you'll soon come to know it in this one, given how many characters he plays. A great actor can disappear into a role, assuming the role is worth disappearing into. Alas, the game's creaky writing isn't about developing characters; it's about advancing plot and pouring volumes of lore into your head. There's no chance for an actor to build a character when dialogue is written in long, bone-dry sentences better put to paper than delivered from an actor's tongue.

You could levy the same criticism against previous Elder Scrolls games, of course, but such conversations weren't the crux of the prior games' storytelling. Instead, the greatest stories that emerged were the ones you created for yourself by taking advantage of the games' interlocking systems. The Elder Scrolls Online by its very nature limits the kind of fun you can make. You can't murder random shopkeepers and incur an entire village's wrath. You will never mourn for a trusted follower, such as Skyrim's Lydia, when he or she falls in battle, for there are no followers for hire. In theory, you can head off in whatever direction you choose, but enemy levels don't scale to your own, so the overall direction of your adventure is just as gated as in any other MMOG.

His words say "go away." So does his body language, for that matter.

And so you move through Tamriel in more or less the prescribed direction, trudging through one long-winded tale after another instead of conjuring one to call your own. Luckily, many of these tales are intriguing ones. During my travels, I stumbled upon a village with a terrible secret, and once I uncovered it, I was asked to determine whether I would lead the villagers to freedom, or insist they remain under a terrible curse. I led the Fighter's Guild to a renaissance after revealing a plot that threatened to undermine its power. My favorite moments were those in which I saw a story come to life rather than hearing it read to me from a script. I watched a former comrade morph into a terrible monstrosity and looked on as a brave young woman martyred herself for the greater good. In The Elder Scrolls Online, actions speak louder than words. It's too bad that the people of Tamriel would usually rather talk.

The usual kill-20-wolves quests might be uncommon in The Elder Scrolls Online, but the game ultimately finds its own themes to repeat. There always seems to be someone wrongly imprisoned in stocks. People never want to open their doors in the midst of an emergency. There's always a local leader being controlled by some cult or another. But even when you're tired of chatting it up with ghosts who always seem to be stuck in this plane of existence for some reason, the game tries so very hard to keep you in its thrall. There is no minimap to clutter your screen, only a full-screen map and a compass that identifies areas and objects of interest. Your six-slot action bar disappears when you aren't engaged in combat, and by default, players and non-player characters are not identified by floating names or icons. "This is not a game--this is a life," The Elder Scrolls Online seems to say. And when I'm combing a beach for treasure or facing a Daedric monstrosity, it's the only life I'm aware of. When you keep things simple, the game makes it easy to be in the moment.

The game's creaky writing isn't about developing characters; it's about advancing plot and pouring volumes of lore into your head.

Of course, such a life is only an illusion, and the game is intent on smashing that illusion to pieces at every turn. Many quest lines end with you making a decision that is then reflected in the world around you; for instance, you may choose to save one group of NPCs from a fire and sentence another to burn, thus leaving only one group for you to interact with later. As long as you keep to yourself, the illusion is complete, and the game's phasing technology has you seamlessly entering instances that reflect the path you followed. Join other players, however, and you tear off The Elder Scrolls Online's thin veil. You and a buddy might enter a region only to have your teammate turn invisible, leaving behind a wandering icon. You might initiate battle, only to discover that your friend doesn't see the same enemies and thus can't help fight them. I was so annoyed by such moments that I rallied others to my side only when I wanted to clear a dungeon or fight one of the elite monsters that pepper the landscape. The multiplayer half just doesn't play nicely with the single-player half.

The single-player half is hardly innocent in this family squabble, however. A quest that puts you in another character's sandals and sends you back in time to witness tragic events of the past is initially engaging. But seeing three other players standing there, all portraying the same character, kills the scene. Breaking into a house only to be surrounded by a half-dozen other would-be burglars destroys any hope of role-playing as a surreptitious thief. Witnessing a bunch of other people performing the same tasks is hardly a new phenomenon in MMOGs, but The Elder Scrolls Online's attempts to personalize the narrative progression make the immersion-breaking foibles all the more jarring.

In this quest, you must determine who to trust. Make the wrong decision, and you ally with the prince of domination.

That isn't to say that the game doesn't provide opportunities for players to come together, with four-player dungeons leading the way. It's easy to find a group and get into a dungeon once you've reached the appropriate level, and you can find success even if your party has an atypical assortment of classes. My first runthrough of the Tempest Island dungeon was with two other damage dealers and a healer, yet we fared rather well against the area's bosses, one of which kept us on the move as it dogged us with a roving lightning storm. I like this dungeon for the way its tropical marshes contrast with its wooden bridges and stone sanctums, and for the imposing atronachs you battle as you venture through it. I don't like the way a quest giver in the dungeon will walk away in the middle of dialogue because another player finished the conversation first, forcing me to reinitiate the exchange. Nor, for that matter, do I like every dungeons' overall tendency to create narrow choke points in high-action areas. (Hello, limited camera angles!) Maps don't always feel designed around how players actually use those spaces.

The action is fine, but it never crackles, in part due to the lifeless animations that make combat look more like a mundane chore than a dazzling display of magic and mayhem. Single-player Elder Scrolls combat has always been somewhat messy, but its real-time nature usually communicates a sense of blade against flesh. The Elder Scrolls Online combines the old-fashioned hotkey combat of games like World of Warcraft with the action-oriented swordplay of games like Tera, to mixed results. You target using an onscreen reticle (though you can get some assistance from your tab key), and you are limited mainly by your mana and stamina bars, not skill cooldowns. You can also block attacks and tumble, but this is not true action combat, so there is some buffer between your key presses and the actions you see onscreen.

I watched a former comrade morph into a terrible monstrosity and looked on as a brave young woman martyred herself for the greater good. In The Elder Scrolls Online, actions speak louder than words.

I did come to appreciate the ways of sorcery in spite of the dreary animations, especially once I reached level 15 and could equip a second set of weapons and skills. You can switch between sets during battle, Guild Wars 2 style, but The Elder Scrolls Online's combat is not nearly as snappy as Guild Wars 2's, nor does it offer many reasons to switch sets in the middle of combat. But I liked the variety of magic spells, using destructive staffs that offered a main elemental attack (fire, ice, or lightning), and restorative staffs that opened up healing options when fellow Daggerfall Alliance members needed a boost. I came to enjoy a spell called crystal fragments in particular, not just for the way the crystal formed in midair as I performed jazz-hands gestures, but also for the concussive thud it caused when impacting a spriggan's bark. The spell is particularly dramatic looking from a first-person perspective, though I typically played in third-person because it gave me a better view of my surroundings.

You aren't limited to any given type of weapon or armor, however, no matter which class you choose, and weapon types have various skills associated with them. There's a good deal of freedom in how you spend skill points, which you earn when you level up, complete particular quests, or collect enough of the skill shards scattered around Tamriel. You're limited to five active skills and a single ultimate ability per weapon set at a time, however, and as a result, I stuck with a limited number of skills and purchased many passive abilities out of fear that I would be an ineffective mage if I spread my points too thinly.

In The Elder Scrolls Online, you never truly escape the past.

You don't have to stick to a particular set of crafting skills either, and you can always spend skill points in non-combat disciplines if you fancy yourself an artisan. It's tempting to dabble in every profession at first, but your inventory quickly fills when you hoard every potential crafting resource under the sun and moon. Inventory space upgrades are pricey, so it's best to choose a few professions and stick to them. Even better, you should craft items that you can personally use, unless you belong to a large and active guild or just feel confident in your ability to sell your wares over the game's public chat channels. The reason? The Elder Scrolls Online does not feature an auction house, which makes for a chaotic economy at best. You can sell your items to members of your guild, but the interface for buying and selling is clumsy, and without game-wide information regarding supply and demand, there's no sense of what a fair price may be. And so I crafted for myself and myself alone, eventually sticking with alchemy and enchantment--alchemy for the fun of experimenting with different flowers and herbs to see what poultices I could make, and enchantment for the sake of hearing my in-game avatar speak melodramatic incantations.

Such drama pales in comparison to the drama of The Elder Scrolls Online's player-versus-player battlefields, of course, which pit the game's three main factions against each other in the grand expanses of Cyrodiil. The PVP instances--or campaigns, as they're called here--focus on the siege warfare that Dark Age of Camelot introduced so many years ago, encouraging factions to infiltrate and capture each other's keeps.

Breaking into a house only to be surrounded by a half-dozen other would-be burglars destroys any hope of role-playing as a surreptitious thief.

Cyrodiil's expanses are so great, in fact, that it can take entirely too much time just to get to the action, even when making use of the PVP's quick-travel system. Luckily, The Elder Scrolls Online is at its best when the PVP action heats up, whether you and your comrades are setting up a line of defensive ballistae at the top of a keep's walls, or going for broke and charging a nearby farm protected by NPCs. It's here that I took to a healing role, using area-of-effect healing skills that allowed me to stay on the move and deal a little damage of my own without having to heal teammates individually. These massive battles are good fun, if somewhat handicapped by the core action's stiffness. The PVP campaigns' bigger handicaps are logistical ones. Just getting out of Cyrodiil and back to the relative peace of player versus environment can be time consuming, and the fact that you can't limit a group search to your own campaign is a drag.

Of course, such issues can be patched, as can The Elder Scrolls Online's other continuing troubles, a few too many broken quests chief among them. I'm less certain, however, that the single-player and multiplayer sides of this fantastical coin will ever complement each other. That's too bad, because when the stars align, I get that special tingle in my brain, the kind that heralds upcoming heroism in the face of danger. It happens when the soundtrack's solo cello climbs an arpeggio and then hangs there knowingly, just as I engage a group of harpies. It happens when I face a decision that has no clear right answer. Hopefully, The Elder Scrolls Online will one day get out of its own way, and stop trying to stifle the very fun it's trying to provide.

The Good
Large, attractive vistas urge you to explore
Some intriguing quests get you involved in the world
When the action gets intense, the PVP is a blast
The Bad
Game's focus on individual story progression discourages grouping
Wooden dialogue and repetitive voice-overs can make questing a chore
Single-player and multiplayer aspects constantly clash, disrupting immersion
6
Fair
About GameSpot's Reviews

About the Author

Kevin VanOrd's first massively multiplayer game was the original Asheron's Call, and he still thinks that Asheron's Call 2 was an underpraised gem. He's played every Elder Scrolls game since Daggerfall, and having spent 90 hours of adventuring in The Elder Scrolls Online, he's ready to hang up his staff.

Discussion

2002 comments
trueepower44
trueepower44

Still playing this awesome game. This review still stands as one of the worst I've read. Kevin clearly did not objectively review this game. Gamespot has been going down in the quality of their reviews for years now.

revora
revora

Something important left out by reviewer on character progression: you CANNOT level in dungeons, and leveling in PvP is not much better. OTOH, quest completion XP is big, and grinding random mobs in the world like in a Korean grinder is also decent XP.   So you have 2 paths of character progression: questing till your eyes bleed, or grinding mobs also till your eyes bleed.  And this is a premium MMO with a sub.  LOL.


I calculated that at level 20, I would have to run a dungeon over 200 times to reach the next level.  Why?  Because you get almost no XP from doing it. The first run of a dungeon has a single quest which gives good XP (quest completion XP), but running it again (they are tons of fun) is a waste of time because there is no character progression.


Thus here is the player experience between 1-50: solo stuff (mainly quests) till level 12, then run 3 dungeons.  3 dungeons give you less than 1 bar of XP.  Then go back to solo'ing (mainly quests) till level 20, then 3 dungeons which gives less that 1 bar of XP.  Then go back to solo'ing (mainly quests) till level 28.  Rinse and repeat at levels 28, 35, and 43.  And then do 1 dungeon at 47.  Completing all of the dungeons prior to level 50 will yield less than 5 bars of XP.  Thus 45 bars of 50 bars - 90% - of your activities in ESO on the way to level 50 will be doing things typically solo, and mainly questing.  Add in a very little PvP XP here and there and you have it - the ESO level 1-50 (non-)experience.


I DO NOT KNOW A SINGLE PREMIUM MMO THAT FORBIDS YOU TO PROGRESS IN INSTANCED GROUP CONTENT.  Rolling a dedicated tank or healer?  Why bother when you will be needed for at most 10% of the time?  Finding groups?  Difficult because the pool of players that run dungeons is small comprising only those players that are running it for the first time.


TLDR: ESO PvE is sadly primarily a single player questing sim.  Prior to level 50, there is essentially no XP for group instanced content.  Thus, there are 2 viable paths for character progression: questing and simply Korean mob grinding.  A significant number of players reach max level without having grouped a single time.  



memenotu
memenotu

So, how much longer until F2P? Its clear the game didn't sell well, not a single word from the company about topping 1 million sold, and no excuses, Zenimax is quick to tout sales of their games to create hype and get the game back in the news. Now add how many people stopped playing already...its just a matter of time.

Pyradius
Pyradius

Played a NB / Bow user, have played countless MMO's since EQ and never had issues with difficult solo content.  This game is completely not fun when it comes to this character class and gameplay style.  The concept of multiple guilds and "trading" guilds sounds good on paper, but all it does is fracture the marketplace so that you can never find anything you really need/want.  The lack of a keyword search also makes it so you sift through dozens of pages trying to find stuff only to find out that no one is selling what you're looking for.


There are several balance issues that shut down your ability to progress in crafting alchemy (lack of rank 4 water), and enchanting.


These would be somewhat forgiveable if there was at least a 'global' marketplace but there isn't.  Unfortunately I went with a 6-month sub, which I canceled today.  If they manage to straighten out some of these glaring issues before that runs out I may consider resubscribing, but I am leaning toward checking out Wildstar at this point.  I actually prefer games with a subscription model but I am not going to play a game where they can't get the class I enjoy playing right.  Given how integrated the entire crafting guild model is in the game, I doubt they will be changing to a global market model which alone might be enough to prevent me from resubscribing.

elijafirebrand
elijafirebrand

"is hampered by The Elder Scrolls Online's tendency to punish you for playing with others." this is false, the people who got vet 10 max lvl in the first week of the games release was due solely to the fact that grouping gives huge bonuses that let you burn through quest content to end game.  AvA is purely built around grouping 

SnuffDaddyNZ
SnuffDaddyNZ

It happens when I face a decision that has no clear right answer."


All videogames follow the Spock principle - the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one.


Unless of course you are playing SWTOR as a Commando and find that returning STOLEN medical supplies gives dark side points..

Ratsneve
Ratsneve

I want to followup with my one-time through, solo, self found, Khajiit Nightblade, medium armor, sword & board, and sometimes bow experience ESO game.


My PC is ~ halfway through level 49 finishing Coldharbour.  For me I've found Coldharbour bug free--amazing that and fun.  Once every few days or a week the game crashes and that's been it lately--again amazing.  The questing has been a lot of fun overall too.  Not the many bugged quests in Reaper's March and earlier for sure, but for all the quests and the story line that has played through successfully.  I think ZOS has fixed a _lot_ since I started playing around April 19, 2014.


I haven't revisited Reaper's March to finish up that area and I still struggle with all the private dungeons requiring the solo player to join with a group of 4 maximum.  I think 4 is a hardship when 1 is a NB who can't help the group as much with expertise or may very well be under balanced or nerfed with certain broken skill abilities.  The later with ZOS's personal help remains to be resolved.


I may very well end up just skipping many private group dungeons if I can't get into them on-the-fly.  The experience is of no help anyway when it comes to the single-player boss battles you're thrown into.  You'd think as a solo player I'd have an edge-up in a solo (single-player) boss battle but it just hasn't worked out that way for me.  They have so far been the worst part of the game.  The area level means nothing when you get frozen in your tracks unable to get to those health spheres in time or the boss spawns helpers against your attempts to interrupt, and successful attempts to sneak up behind a boss for the chance at a one-hit kill are futile.  These battles are out of place in an MMO and crippling when placed in the main story line where they are unavoidable.  If nothing else they shouldn't be so damn frustrating.  Put the damn frustrating stuff somewhere else.  Or offer the gamer some means to finish the battle successfully with no achievements or experience--I don't care.  If you think after countless tries of killing off a boss means my PC leaves elated and happy you're crazy.  She leaves weak, defeated, and cares less about what she got out of the experience.  Maybe she comes out of the battle learning a trick that might be helpful another time but more likely she (I) log off say something like f--- me and go unwind.


I think for me the end-game will be when I've explored out everything PvE I can.  I don't see any interest in venturing into PvP areas because at that point I will be mixing it up with the real hardcore Guilds and Groups for sure who enjoy exacting out all the strategy and crafting and exploits the game offers which I have no interest at all in.  I've joined a couple guilds but have done nothing in either and left one.


For all the grief, feedback, and bugs I've reported and expressed myself repeated with ZOS on an ending to the game looks to be in sight without adding any more game time then I have remaining--that's the goal.


If I could influence ZOS at all with their first MMO attempt and influence Bethesda at all it would be to separate out the more casual gamers from the hardcore gamers.  They have different interests that don't mix well.  Maybe keep the casual side PvE only and hardcore side more PvP on different servers.  If Causual is to easy for you switch to the Hardcore server and start a new character there.  If you finish the Casual side of ESO and want more then start a new character on the Hardcore server and go for it.


I suspect in general that no one thinks ZOS has to charge a monthly fee to keep a profit going.  I have no idea how many gamers really keep going in an MMO for years.  For me even in an MMO I'm only planning to play one-time through with one character and any character class you pick should be playable all the way through.  MMOs for me have to have a beginning and an end to them even if there are no credits at an 'ending' you pick for yourself where you let your imagination go.

snessnes
snessnes

this game 's physic is really bad.. everywhere is colorful coz of magics.. i think that game isnt as mature as skyrim or oblivion

grogygreg
grogygreg

I tried so hard to like this game but just could not do it. I ordered my copy as soon as it was available and couldn't wait to play. I canceled my 90 day subscription after 30 days of play what a waste of money. 

cpfkauai
cpfkauai

Some of Kevin's criticisms are valid although the one about the voice actors being too recognizable is absurd and unimportant. Bottom line is, I'm loving this game and the community and would have looked forward to playing this game in the future when it was properly fixed but now with all the crap reviews and subscribers jumping ship that will most likely never happen. Hopefully the true fans will be enough to keep this potentially awesome game alive.

Maxxgold
Maxxgold

Kevin got this one right. I would have given it a worse rating but that's because I have been playing since launch. The game is horrible in so many ways. 

goldwarf
goldwarf

I think that people should stop comparing it to previous Elder Scrolls games and start treating this game as an MMO, because it is, in my opinion, a very impressive example of an MMO.

Chernnunos
Chernnunos

I'm not gonna pay anymore attention to this guy's review. Not because I disagree with the review, but I don't think it's fair.  From a man who actually enjoyed Asheron's Call and Asheron's Call 2, I call shenanigans. Those games were ugly, clunky, slow, unpolished even for their time, and the class/skill setup was abysmal. I tried them both and they were just awful, and i've noticed that the people who like them, don't generally like the MMO genre in general other than those two games.  They are the gaming equivalent of "Firefly" fans. Totally convinced of how superior the games they played are to all others, and everyone else is wrong for thinking otherwise.

njs72
njs72

I played for 2 weeks, just got bored. I really hated the fact everyone could stealth in pvp. Death in cyrodill was just a real pain that made me go 'ah i cant be bothered to play this'. Even though the world is beautifull to look at, to me it felt lifeless and other major thing i hated with this game is phasing. Ah this had to be themost frustrating part of this game, teaming up with 2of my friends to find they are invisible cos of the silly megaserver phasing. Walking out of a town and suddenly seeing hundreds of players or other players suddenly diaspearing on you when ur just about to ask them something.

So currently im back on SWTOR and having a blast again and looking forward to WIldstar release.

Madbane
Madbane

If you are looking for an old fashion mmo with great story play SWtOR, or if you are looking for a new freestlye/dodgy combatstyle mmo with great pvp and rewards your fast reactions play GW2. Right now ESO is just a medicore mmo, and needs to be polished at least 1 year before it becomes okay.

Reisling
Reisling

Un-subbed today. Was worth the money but didn't provide as much as I had hoped :(

babyspittle
babyspittle

Crap review.


The visuals are very impressive.

The world is very detailed and very pretty.


The grouping is great - its not needed (though you could formally group).  I just partnered without grouping through a dungeon.


And its more engaging combat than the WoW, Everquest, LoTRO style games, but not far removed from them.

senorhelmut42
senorhelmut42

The game's environment is polished and stunning to behold. The race and class combinations are almost limitless, and leveling system is unique and different than that of most MMOs out today. You never feel like you are grinding, in fact, if feels like you are constantly moving forwards in a well written story. And yes, its a MMO, so there will be other players doing the same quest you are doing, and it's unavoidable. And PVP? It's massively massive, and incredibly easy to jump into. 


If that above paragraph sounds biased, it is! Because I took all of the high praises and talking points from the Gamespot's very own review of WoW back in November 2004 (only 6 days after it's release). Ironically, all of the things that Gamespot said made WoW an amazing game, seemingly apply here. The difference of course, is the rating. Lets take this a bit further...


"In Elder Scrolls Online, you create your alter ego by choosing from a variety of beloved races and flexible classes, and then you begin exploring, questing, and battling in Tamriel, the fantasy setting featured in Bethesda's single-player RPG games. Fans of those games (especially Skyrim and its expansion packs) will spot tons of references here, and they will be impressed at how faithfully Elder Scrolls Online translates so many of the other Elder Scrolls game's little details and even some of the finer points of its gameplay into such a seemingly different style of game. Meanwhile, fans of other online role-playing games will be impressed at the sheer breadth and volume of content on display in Elder Scrolls Online, whose setting seamlessly connects a bunch of wildly different-looking types of places and somehow makes them appear as if they all belong as parts of a whole."


Yep, that was the second paragraph of the 2004 WoW review, but with ESO replacing all the WoW titles... So what is it really?


"It's not WoW...  So it can never be good..." Is what I have heard about almost every MMO that has come out in probably the last 10 years. "I have a maxed out character in WoW, why would I ever want to start from the bottom in a new game?" Well, thats probably the real reasoning behind this review.

trueepower44
trueepower44

As I keep saying, horrible review.  I know lots of people playing this game right now and are extremely enjoying it. PVP is the best available for any MMO, best combat, best graphics, best quests, best character customization, best crafting, most content ever released in the short amount of time the game has been released.  There is no way this game is only a 6.


Gamespot missed on this one.

derikgw
derikgw

I love TES, but this game is boring as all hell.

OldKye
OldKye

Lol why does everyone compare it to Elder Scrolls single player games and try to play it like a Elder Scrolls single player game this didn't happen when SWTOR came out people knew "this is a MMO" and "that was a single player game."


If you think it's worse then other MMO's or could be better by all means but I don't compare the tablet version of halo overhead view to the console cause it's nothing like it lol.


I feel like ESO's biggest failing has been it's inability to communicate "This is a MMO" to consumers half the people who play it act like they are the only ones playing it and "hope they beat it soon" lol if you think that way you clearly aren't thinking your playing a MMO with new content put out all the time.(heck they got their first set of new content out in under a month lol.)

moc5
moc5

@trueepower44  Kevin scores it how he sees it.  He doesn't mind the back lash from people like you or people the opposite of you.  He just tells the truth.  Most reviewers on here seem to pander to game makers.  Kevin doesn't.  Period.

trueepower44
trueepower44

@revora I've been playing since launch and see nothing wrong with the leveling system in this game. Group dungeons don't have to give you "huge" amounts of XP to be an important part of the game.  They are also part of the loot system as well.  Normal quests give plenty of XP, and leveling is fair, it's actually pretty fast compared to most MMO's out there. 

revora
revora

@elijafirebrand grouping gives +10% xp only, not huge bonuses.  XP per kill goes down with 3 or more group members I believe; thus group of 2 is most efficient.  Those who reached vet 10 first week typically just grinded mobs in the open world and skipped questing altogether, except the main quests and perhaps the guild quests.  OTOH, actually MMO grouping - i.e., instances - yield almost ZERO xp.  This is how ESO punishes grouping and actually doing content tuned for groups - group instanced dungeons.

elijafirebrand
elijafirebrand

@Ratsneve I killed MB at level 46 on my templar, Sorc and DK are even more powerful, you must have played a NB which are horrible atm, I did it on my v1 NB using healing pots self heals and bow.

memenotu
memenotu

@cpfkauai unimportant?!?

Do you have any idea how much time and money went into the voice acting? It is is very important because that could have gone into making this a much better game.

elijafirebrand
elijafirebrand

@cpfkauai It is unimportant but not absurd, it's true but who cares.  Really... there are much more important things than voice acting.

nanofiber
nanofiber

@Maxxgold 

Its not the score that he gives that bothers me it's the review itself. He can give it 2 for all I care it is his right. It's not a game for everyone. Some love it, some hate it, some like me will play it for a time and move on. However it's his job to do a fair review and he does not. He does not mention or seems to not understand certain key concepts and has not had a lot of playing time, especially in end game. Only a month after release there is already a whole zone of end game stuff. I've explained it in detail in one of my main posts bellow.

revora
revora

@goldwarf

Arguably it is a half an MMO.  Real MMOs allow player progression in instance group content.  For many MMOers, that's why they play MMOs and not regular single player titles.  ESO decided to prohibit character progression in group instanced content (dungeon XP was nerfed through the floor), thus hardly anyone runs dungeons, and those that do only do it a single time for the one-time quest xp and skillpt.  There is no real character progression in ESO for group instanced content - content tuned for specifically for group play - which is the hallmark of an MMO.  7/8 of my MMO buddies cancelled after figuring out that well over 80% of character progression to max lvl 50 was completing single player content.

elijafirebrand
elijafirebrand

@Chernnunos Either unfair or just doesn't know what he's talking about on some things, his perspective is what it is a naive casual view of the game, as that it is valid.

Maxxgold
Maxxgold

@Chernnunos ESO is bad. Who cares what games someone else likes that you think are bad. We all like games that someone else doesn't. ESO is the worst MMO I have ever played and Zenimax and Bethesda should be ashamed of themselves for releasing this garbage. I cancelled my subscription but I was playing every day. Horrible lag in Cyrodiil. Ability lag, Bots. Duping. You name it and ESO has it. They don't have it like other games do in small dosses. ESO has it in large doses and they can't even do anything about it. 

elijafirebrand
elijafirebrand

@njs72 Phasing was dealt with in the first month of the game. again with impatient people.  A full plate fat nord stealthing is pretty stupid I agree, but so is swimming in full plate armor and no one complains about that. 

Chernnunos
Chernnunos

@Madbane SWTOR is sub par on every level.  The classes are bland and lackluster. The race selection is extremely cookie cutter. In the entire universe of Star Wars, with its myriad of races and creatures, we only got that tiny little selection to choose from and they are all the same player model with a few small differences.  In the entire Star Wars universe, with all the myriad of alien monsters that you could fight and face in battle, we get 90% grey clad imperial troopers and scientists.

njs72
njs72

Pvp in this game is awfull. Running for 5 mins back to the action when you keep bein zerged by a gang of stealthers half way too ur destination. For me this game has the most tediuos, zerfest, frustrating pvp in all the mmos ive played.

Abanaa
Abanaa

@trueepower44  Dude, the user score is not far off. So it's not only one person... Nobody said is a bad game, 6 means it's a fair game (like an OK'ish). User score is 7.2. I guess that score is crazy also....

Best combat? did you play an archer? did you see the animations? also combat in general is slow.

Grafic looks OK

I dont know at what are you refering when you say "best quests", because there is at least one game who handle quests better for ALL THE PPL IN PARTY!

I will not continue because it is pointles. The score will remain the same.

So you see, ppl have different opinions and have diferent expectations from a game. Not all ppl enjoy PVP, crafting and admiring the view. 

I'm glad you and other ppl are njoying the game, but just because some of you are enjoying the game, dosent make it a great game.

trueepower44
trueepower44

@derikgw Best MMO on the market right now is .... ESO. There is not a game with better pvp, combat, and graphics on the market right now.

derikgw
derikgw

@OldKye  This game doesn't offer anything any other MMO offered.  I found myself feeling like I was in SWTOR, WoW, and a number of crappy Korean hack-n-slashes all a the same time.  The game is a horrible "perfect world" copy.


revora
revora

@trueepower44 @revora


That's because you like to quest, as do the players still playing ESO.  A whole chunk of MMO players - 7/8 of my buddies who started in DAOC - are bored silly of saving cats and dogs and whatnot for the 100th time (yes you can group for this stuff but what's the point?- it's tuned to a single player).  They play MMOs precisely for the dungeons and the group content.  


The point however is that all premium MMOs to my knowledge give you the OPTION to quest or complete group instances to advance your character.  ESO is the odd bird out in that it does not.  Group instances as I stated - and you did not dispute - constitute less than 10% of your total XP of a fresh level 50 by design (probably more like 5%).  You must find the rest of your XP elsewhere, and you will not need a group for it.

elijafirebrand
elijafirebrand

@revora @elijafirebrand Wrong on so many levels, you have no idea what you are talking about.  You can't even get to higher vet zones without doing the main quest line, and the quest xp for the main quest line is so huge you can skip over entire zones just doing that.

Groups get sick xp and burn through quest content, way to overpowered.

cpfkauai
cpfkauai

@memenotu So you're saying that they put a whole lot of time and money into crap voice acting? I don't understand. My point was that the voice acting was very  acceptable to me and if it was sub-par then it did not diminish my enjoyment of the game. It seems that there are far more important problems with the game that need to be addressed. And quickly!

elijafirebrand
elijafirebrand

@Ratsneve Frankly the entire game is supper dumbed down and easy, no offense but if you cant do the solo content you are really awful or playing a NB as your first toon just because you didn't know better.

elijafirebrand
elijafirebrand

@Maxxgold @Chernnunos  Lag is one of the few problems ESO doesn't have you probably have a bad system.  The dupe bug was immidiately fixed, bots have been gone for a month now, abilities are only broken for NB all other classes are very playable.  They released the game to early and many people are impatient, that was their bad.

nanofiber
nanofiber

@Maxxgold @Chernnunos 

If ESO is the worst MMO you have played you probably haven't played many.

I have played most if not all major MMOs since DAOC (I think I only missed Shadowbane) and ESO is not even close to the worse, not by a long shot. Just to illustrate let me list some MMO that were far worse. I say were because most no longer exist and for good reason:

1. Tabula Rasa. Probably the worse MMO failiure of all time.

2. Auto Assault. Another NC Soft gem that crashed and burned.

3. The previous FInal Fantasy game. A game so bad it was scrapped and redone. That brought us the current FF game which is next on the list.

4. The Current FF game. A clone, grindfest, that was unplayable for days after release.

5. Asheron Call 2. A game so broken how it existed for so long it is beyond me.

Those are just out the top of my head. I have a few more but they are more of personal preference. Aion, Connan, and STWars were all worse than ESO. Those however are debatable. The above 5 are not.


Eso deserves a score of at least 7.5, now after Craglorn its at least a solid 8. Has problems but its a solid game. Lag, Bots and Dupes are a part of every MMO. Dupes were fixed, players banned or rolled back I have very little lag in Cyr and only when super full, check your connection.

Chernnunos
Chernnunos

@Maxxgold @Chernnunos I did not say I disagreed with his review, but I do not think he has suitable love and flavor for MMO's enough to have reviewed this game fairly if he actually liked AC1 and 2. I think it's better than a 6, but I don't think it's better than an 8 at all.  They gave Diablo 3 a better review than ESO..Really???? Really?? Diablo 3 is a far, far worse game on every level than ESO. I agree the game is having major issues, especially as there are functionally only 3 classes. The Nightblade is a broken mess and I regrettably chose that as my main and have cancelled my sub until it is fixed after reaching VR content. WoW had the most bots in any MMO ever. EQ1 and 2 had bots. AC1 and 2 had bots. UO had bots and skill spammers. Every single MMO ever released, ever, has had bots and scripters to exploit it, and ESO has legitimately done a great deal to lessen the bot issue, and noticably so. Lag in Cyrodiil? I never had any lag there. Perhaps your ISP needs changing.  Ability lags, agreed. But they just fixed it in the latest patch. Duping? Fixed Tell me a game that doesn't have issues for a few months after launching. The game literally just came out. When a child falls off of a bike after trying to ride it the first  few times, you don't tell him how bad and awful he is and that he should have not fallen off because "he has seen other kids riding bikes." I had good fun on that game for my $60 and first free month. When it's fixed, I will be back.

Chernnunos
Chernnunos

@Abanaa Exactly how much have you played of ESO, Abanaa? You are saying the graphics look "Ok?" The graphics are just breathtaking! The water alone is enough to make you stop and look at it for a while and enjoy its beauty, much less the sunsets. Combat is far from slow in ESO. Perhaps you don't know how to play your class well.

trueepower44
trueepower44

@Abanaa a 6, trust me, they missed. You don't rate this game a 6 objectively. Your points are way off Abanaa, clearly you haven't played the game - just like others on here.

cjmilla527
cjmilla527

@derikgw @OldKye  I think the point alot of people are trying to make is that the games you mention here all received 8.0 scores and above and like you said are as good as ESO or very similar.This is my problem with the score and review in my in my belief ESO isnt any worse than any other 8.0 or above MMO on the market right now but gets slaughtered by Kevin Van Ord and given a 6.0

nanofiber
nanofiber

@derikgw @OldKye  

The game offers quite a few new or newer ideas. Comparing to SWTOR is ridiculous, now that was a true clone with no fresh ideas other than the SW franchise. 


Just a few things that are new or "newish" in ESO:

1. Combat system is departure form the usual TAB and roll your head on keyboard.

2. Very customizable char system. Every class with every armor and every weapon + other powers from vamps, ww guilds and whatnot. You are not longer pigeonholed into using 1 of 2 weapons. My Templar can fulfill all the roles successfully. I can play what I want. I would have liked to have more than 5 abilities though. 

3. Megaserver is a also a good idea although underutilized though. No different servers, can play with all your friends without worried who is where or worrying your server will die and yo have to switch. 

4. Interesting story and varied quests, although questing in VR levels does become grindy and tiresome.

So yeah, lots of good things some new some newish, some problems. Not amazing game but not bad at all. Definitely not a 6. 


Also the MMORPG genre is really limited in what it can be done so I don't know what you were expecting? Yet advances have been made in last few years by several games to give the genre a little fresh air.

OldKye
OldKye

@derikgw @OldKye  But your comparing it to "other MMO's" which is fine lol see my point?

Just don't compare it to say halo lol.

revora
revora

@elijafirebrand @revora


Skip over entire zones just doing the main questline?  Riiiiight.


In any event, I'm talking about group instanced content pre-VR level: between 1-49 dungeon XP is essentially non-existent.  After reaching VR level, apparently dungeons give a bit more VR XP.  But 1-49, because dungeons have been essentially removed from the game by the devs, you will either have to quest to advance, or grind mobs in the open world.  


Grouped instanced content - the XP was nerfed to the ground so much so that content on the long journey to 50 is a wasteland.  Note: apparently the devs thought nerfing group instance XP was a good thing in order to control bots; and yes, it controls bots all right, but does so at the expense of removing an entire traditional playstyle (dungeon leveling) from the game.  


memenotu
memenotu

@cpfkauai How could you not understand my point.

The time and money spent on voice acting could have been spent on the rest of the game...which is bland and offers nothing that hasn't been offered before and many times, better.

trueepower44
trueepower44

@derikgw @OldKyewhich is not true, way better than average, best MMO since DAOC and people are loving this game right now.

The Elder Scrolls Online More Info

  • Released
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    The Elder Scrolls Online will be the first Elder Scrolls game to allow gamers to explore the Elder Scrolls world with others.
    7
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    Developed by:
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    Content is generally suitable for ages 17 and up. May contain intense violence, blood and gore, sexual content and/or strong language.
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