Archive for July, 2016

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Revisiting ESO

July 31, 2016

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Now, if you’ve been around for awhile no doubt you’ve read my somewhat scathing review of Elder Scrolls Online a few years ago. Back then, it was the beta, sub only and was just in general, pretty buggy and mediocre. Since then however, they’ve switched to no subs, and stocking exclusive cosmetic items in their crown store, a premium form of currency (IE; your hard earned dollars to get something fancy that doesn’t give you game play advantages…unless you buy XP scrolls and things…though they give you 500 crowns when you buy the game, but that isn’t enough for anything). And, since it was recently reduced to half price in the Steam summer sale and my friends wanted to play something together I figured…hey why not?

It’s actually improved, quite a bit.

Despite the somewhat frustrating sign up process and slow email verification, I finally remade my account and logged in with some baited breath.

…That shit didn’t take 10 minutes to log in this time.

Granted, it still took awhile but I have a shit computer so whatever, it’s expected. The usual starter dungeon, escape Oblivion, blah blah, I covered it in my old post, it’s exactly the same as when I first played, in terms of questing. This time I remembered that I got lost before so I took extra effort to not repeat the same mistakes.

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Probably a bad idea.

Anyway, I played Nord (of course), and emerged on the starter island somewhere in Skyrim. After about a hour of playing, I noticed how smoothly everything was. Very few frame drops (though I run at about 30 FPS so I guess our mileage may vary), no UI errors. I still didn’t understand crafting or smithing right away and it took a bit of tinkering around and asking for help before I at least kinda had the bare basics.

I’m back in Morrowind now so I haven’t traveled too far but I’m about level 10. I went with a Dragon Night build with a long-range slicing attack into which I just beat the shit out of things with a greatsword. It’s pretty awesome. I’ve gotten killed twice, one was because I accidentally hit an Ebonpact soldier while using said flying slice attack, but it’s still pretty fun.

But let me say travelling in this game gets pretty fucking annoying when you don’t have a mount. The cheapest in game mount is now 10,000 gold which is still a fucking lot if you think about it. I’ve been playing for about 25 hours now and I’ve only saved up about 3.5k. The good news is again, all mounts start with base stats whether you get them from in game stables or the crown store. The only thing that will continuously suck gold from you is doing daily upgrades to put stat points in your mounts (I think about 100g per day).

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Want this cool ass wolf as a mount? Cough up $20 you filthy casual.

Back to the graphics, they’re pretty good, even on potato settings, and there’s barely load times between areas (unless you’re entering a building or you lag too hard). Perhaps that’s why the initial load takes so bloody long, but I suppose it’s worth it for stability while you’re playing.

Community? I’ve joined a trading guild but as expected the global chat is pretty mundane, with people asking to trade or raid dungeons for things. Which is fine, but sometimes you get this bit of gold to give you a chuckle while you’re in town trading scraps for a septim:

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So, what do I think now? Is ESO fun? Mildly, yes. Still better with friends, I think, but solo play is fine as well. Will I dump money into the crown store? Maybe for a mount if I get too damn impatient. I do get enthralled at times with that Elder Scrolls charm that leaks through now and again, and it is a good time waster for when I’m bored. But I’m sure at some point I’ll be picking up Skyrim or Oblivion again and enjoying the single player experience again.

I’ll let ya’ll know if there’s any interesting quests that come about.

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