Wednesday, 2 April 2014

ESO Thoughts

Who would have thought the big topic this week across the blogosphere would be ESO?
Now that I'm not in the beta mind set, I'm really liking it. It's also the first time since City of Heroes so many of my real life friends have been in the same MMO. I spent more time on character creation this time around, still a dunmer of the Ebonheart pact though.

The first thing I want to bring up is related to a previous post of mine titled What Happened to Fitting In? Well I'm happy to say everything in ESO seems to fit!

It fits, it's stylish and in the low levels it's NOT RAGS! (Ok, you start in prison rags like EVERY Elder Scrolls Game, but your first real armour isn't rags.)

Second thing, what a smooth launch! Granted, Stonefalls is buggiest zone in the game right now. 4 quests I've had major trouble trying to complete but the important thing is that I'm IN GAME. I'm not waiting in server ques, I'm not lagging out, I'm not disconnecting. As much as I hated the 90 minutes and 6 tries to complete the Balreth quest I was IN GAME.  The notes for the patch currently being applied also list all 4 quests I have had issues with.

I'm actually really liking the crafting in this game. I've put every skill point I could in the clothing line so far. I've been able to use the 2nd tier of materials to craft level 15 armor since I was level 12. I'm focusing my research on leather chest armour and currently know of two areas to gain special crafting set bonuses. While I can still only craft in the Dark Elf style, that's fine, I love the dark elf style. The other motif's I'd like to learn are Breton and Nord.

They nailed the storytelling in my opinion. Voice acting in MMOs has been something I've largely been against. WoW has too much dry text for full acting to be of any use. GW2 took me out of the immersion with the stage set up, SWTOR drew me out of my character and constantly reminded me the NPC was talking to my character. ESO places you in first person for conversation where the NPC is looking at YOU and talking at YOU.  Your character has no voice and so no words feel placed in your mouth like how I felt in SWTOR. I can even read the text and just hit next those times I'm rushed or impatient.

Granted, this could still be infatuation. It's new, it's possible my mind on this could change.

I'm really enjoying the mix of reactions my character gets. In the tutorial, I'm just another prisoner until singled out by the prophet. On Bleakrock, I'm just some survivor helping out proving his worth. The people from Bleakrock remember you from there on out, and while you continue to prove yourself, I'm still not the chosen one or the elite general. In the fight against the Daggers, I'm just another solider. A cog in the war. Battles happen whether or not I'm there and I am a part of the story. The feel throughout the whole zone of Stonefalls is things are continuously happening. Sometimes it feels in WoW like nothing happens unless my character is there. They story itself hinges on the presence of my character while in ESO I just happen to be there. Perhaps a fine line in the sand, but I appreciate 'we're attacking the enemy and could use your help' over 'great, you're here, we can attack the enemey!'. The flip side of that is I AM the chosen one in the fight against Molag Bal. Or, one of. I'll try avoid spoilers but this story does hinge on you specifically a lot more when it comes to that. Even while that's the 'main story', it's not what you spend the most time in.  I'm the chosen one against Molag Bal but those missions tend to be every 5 levels or so, while being a cog in the war against the Daggers goes across the entire zone.

It feels like the best of both worlds, and it's not buckling under the weight of being 'the 4th pillar'. Zenimax advertised there would be a story, but didn't blow it out of proportion. I didn't expect much but have loved it. If you happen to be in the Ebonheart Pact, I'd love to hear people's thoughts on the story missions in Fort Virak.  To me the way the rest of the zone all came together there was great, and it wasn't even the climax of the zone.

There's much more to say, but this is already becoming a wall of text. My issues/worries with the game haven't changed since the AMA, but I think the rest may well make up for it until they're resolved.


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