Please use a html5 video capable browser to watch videos.
This video has an invalid file format.
Sorry, but you can't access this content!
Please enter your date of birth to view this video

By clicking 'enter', you agree to GameSpot's
Terms of Use and Privacy Policy


The Elder Scrolls Online Review

  • First Released Apr 4, 2014
  • Reviewed Apr 24, 2014
  • 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.
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
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.
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.
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.

Back To Top
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
About GameSpot's Reviews
Other Platform Reviews for The Elder Scrolls Online

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.

Other Takes on The Elder Scrolls Online

After pouring hundreds of hours into the Elder Scrolls franchise over the years, Shaun McInnis used The Elder Scrolls Online as an opportunity to finally take a shot at the MMO genre. With his Nord Dragonknight, Shaun made it to level 22 before beginning this review.
Read Review
1998 Comments  RefreshSorted By 
GameSpot has a zero tolerance policy when it comes to toxic conduct in comments. Any abusive, racist, sexist, threatening, bullying, vulgar, and otherwise objectionable behavior will result in moderation and/or account termination. Please keep your discussion civil.

Avatar image for seaspite

The expansion is great. Many of the comments in this review just don't seem current or on point. Oh and questing in this game is one of the highpoints. Maybe it isn't for you but the review really donen't seem fair in relation to what else is out there.

Avatar image for deactivated-5bd1e31726b43

The game has completely changed since this review. I am playing it right now and just started the whole game from the Morrowind Expansion. It is a joy to play. There is so much to do and the quests are really well written IMO. Having a great time with this game.

Avatar image for VampySS

Avatar image for Derugs

Interesting... Witcher it is :)

Avatar image for pad242

So when are they going to review Tamriel Unlimited for Xbox One and PS4? Because what was written above has nothing to do with the game that came out on June 9th...

IGN did a separate review for ESOTU and gave it an 8...

Avatar image for wildtoxictears

should have read this review before i buyed it.. nowhere near skyrim that i loved! the game sucks

Avatar image for deactivated-5ce97e3367e28

I just bought this game for the PS4 today. I haven't even played the game yet and I'm already a bit disappointed. As soon as I put the disc in it started downloading a 15gig update. I can understand this being the case if, after say a year, I bought the console version - because obviously patching would then be involved. But a 15gig patch at launch is ridiculous, it should have already been included in the install disc.

It may not matter to people living in Europe and the States, but internet with uncapped data is very expensive where I live, so I had to cough up the equivalent of about $90 to get enough data to download this patch.

Hopefully it'll be worth it...

Avatar image for pad242

@elmdreamer It isn't a patch, the whole game could not fit on a 50gig disc so the remaining 15gigs had to be downloaded.

And after you spend some time with the game you will see why.....

Its HUGE....

Avatar image for grabberflesh50

Geez another middle of the road score from a very predictable review about getting old with the don't really care for the game attitude...

Avatar image for greengiant815

This review is pretty old. A lot of the issues, like friends disappearing, The inventory issue is gone, since they crafting items into a separate bit. The issues with buying and selling is largely gone, since they do have ways to search guild stores, and not just your own but others.

There are other things that are still the same, like the weird single player game that happens to have other people running around that are just like you.But in general, this game should probably be reviewed again cause a lot of the things he says just aren't correct anymore.

Also, he says "Wooden dialogue and repetitive voice-overs can make questing a chore."

"Wooden dialogue"; Yes. Definitely.

"Questing a chore": Heck no. It would be difficult to even argue that ESO doesn't have the best questing in the MMO genre. There isn't any fetch quests. Nor does it do that thing that other MMO's like SWTOR and WOW do, where you get three different quests to go to one bloody farm. If you're going to a farm, there is a gosh darn good, and singular, reason for it.

I think the biggest issue with the game is that there is ONLY questing. The PVP is difficult because it's mostly laggy siege combat, the dungeons are okay but the dungeon finder system takes hours to work. And the only real end game is to go and do the other alliances quests. It's a silly thing really.

Avatar image for memenotu

@greengiant815 The inventory issues are still in place and crafting items are NOT separate from main packspace so stop lying...anyone can go to the games forums and see complaints about lack of pack space from new players and even vets.

The buying/selling is still an issue because there is no marketplace/auction house feature and its only guild based which vastly limits the amount of items being sold thanks to the horrendous features in place in order for a guild to have a shop of their own which causes prices to be high to be able to pay for it.

Questing a chore, yes it is. When the dialogue which is also known as the STORY is bad, it makes the quests a chore because of the lack of caring about it...and how can you think the dialogue is wooden and still have the best quests in the genre?!? That makes no basically just said that the spices in this food is bland but it sure is tasty!

Also, your ending points to the game being a bad one if all it has is questing with wooden dialogue...

Avatar image for mparson06

here is a link to get the guide online

Avatar image for magnusnet

@elijafirebrand @revora He's actually right at most levels. What those players who had played beta did is just do the main story line once they where level 50, thus steam rolling it, and then they grinded in VR zones. When Craglorn came out, all they had to do is go there and grind to max in a couple of hours.

And anyone with any clue as to how exp gain works knows that what @revora said is true, aka grouping is only good to earn exp when 2 people are in the group. Anything more than that and you're loosing experience.

Avatar image for magnusnet

ESO, the next generic B2P - P2W game.

They haven't released new real playable (new zones etc) content in 7 months. (they claimed new content would come every 4-5 weeks), game launch was a failure which is why they went B2P and all the issues that where there since game start have yet to be addressed:

- AVAVA is laggy, they keep advertising the game with "Epic Battles" which are impossible because of the lag.
- Clunky UI.
- Clunky Combat.
- No balance between Magicka & Stamina builds
- No balance between classes.
- Solo quest feels empty and doesn't feel like a TESO game.
- Veteran Levels are still there and still a pain to level up to the point hundreds have quit because of it.

They also recently implemented a "Champion System" that offers endless progression (years of progression), and each point makes your character stronger, which means that any new player that isn't max level yet will always have less points than the older players and will always be weaker. They are going to introduce P2W experience potions that allow you to gain 50%+ champion points experience to advance faster in the sytem and get ahead of the other players/be stronger.

If you want to play a game for a company who cares only about money, that has lied repeatedly to it's customers for over a year, has a harsh forum moderation (to silence people who complain) and doesn't care about it's customers, Elder Scrolls Online is the place to go!

This game was supposed to be great, it doesn't deserve to be successful after how they ruined it. Zenimax is just a bunch of liars led by a Marketting team that takes all the decisons and will stay in Mat Frior's resume as a big fiasco.

Avatar image for naasum

btt i saw the score i knew who reviewed this.

Avatar image for 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.

Avatar image for sessionzero

@trueepower44 Kevin gave it a 6. Avg. user rating is a 6.9. Apparently no one objectively scored this "awesome game".

Avatar image for 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.

Avatar image for 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.

Avatar image for 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.

Avatar image for 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.

Avatar image for 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.

Avatar image for 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.

Avatar image for 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.

Avatar image for elijafirebrand

@Ratsneve Nah, if anything ZOS caters to extreme casuals, the game is super easy.

Avatar image for elijafirebrand

@Ratsneve I loved GW2 till I hit end game, then found out there wasn't one.

Avatar image for 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.

Avatar image for 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

Avatar image for 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.

Avatar image for 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.

Avatar image for 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.

Avatar image for 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..

Avatar image for 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.

Avatar image for 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

Avatar image for 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.

Avatar image for 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.

Avatar image for 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.

Avatar image for 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!

Avatar image for 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.

Avatar image for elijafirebrand

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

Avatar image for 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.

Avatar image for nanofiber


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.

Avatar image for 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.

Avatar image for revora


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.

The Elder Scrolls Online More Info

  • First Released Apr 4, 2014
    • Macintosh
    • PC
    • + 2 more
    • PlayStation 4
    • Xbox One
    The Elder Scrolls Online will be the first Elder Scrolls game to allow gamers to explore the Elder Scrolls world with others.
    Average Rating635 Rating(s)
    Please Sign In to rate The Elder Scrolls Online
    Developed by:
    ZeniMax Media, Zenimax Online Studios, Bethesda Softworks
    Published by:
    Bethesda Softworks, Zenimax Online Studios, DMM GAMES
    Role-Playing, MMO
    Content is generally suitable for ages 17 and up. May contain intense violence, blood and gore, sexual content and/or strong language.
    Blood and Gore, Sexual Themes, Use of Alcohol, Violence