Archive for the ‘The Elder Scrolls Online’ Category

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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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Elder Scrolls Online Beta

March 31, 2014

Alright, considering it’s less than a week until full release, I guess I should get this review started!

I’ll be giving a very quick run though on the story, because I don’t want to ruin it if you decide to experience it for yourself! (Plus I forgot a lot of the story details shush.)

Getting into the Beta for me was an extremely exciting experience. I’ve seen screenshots and gameplay footage before then, of which were exclusively released by the company, and I was still wary about buying a game without any customer feedback. I think though the biggest mistake I made was going in expecting Skyrim…because that’s definitely NOT what you get.

It actually didn't happen as much as I thought it would.

The welcome screen. (Don’t worry, it actually wasn’t that buggy. Zenimax Online actually did a pretty decent job)

Without an opening movie (a place holder was set), you don’t get much backstory as why you’re a prisoner in the realm of Oblivion, but from what I can remember your soul ends up a slave to Molag Bal. You have to help this prophet to stop Molag Bal from his evil plans. Of course there’s the faction/civil war gameplay but I didn’t get to touch on that.

The first few minutes of gameplay are alone; you do not get to interact or see other players until you beat the basic tutorial. It then opens up into a large open area with plenty of lost souls and flame atronachs to fight, and other players to see and interact with. It was here I got stuck, because after you talk to this crazy man, the directions and map markers were quite unclear. Most players had the same problem as I did, we stood in front of the wrong door, wondering why the map marker was on it and why it wouldn’t open.

Once you realize your destination is actually underneath, you are again separated from other players where you play out more of the early story, and from there you are transferred to your starter island (it depends where you go by what race and faction you pick, I picked Nord so I ended up on a small island in Skyrim, my other character was a Khajiit and ended up somewhere in Elsweyr) and back into the MMO world. From there you can do more “beginner” style quests, and can leave at any time (usually by completing the main quest in that area).

And that’s basically the first 1-3 hours of playing (depending on how fast you get the controls down and figuring out what to do).

Read the rest of this entry ?

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ESO Beta: Round 2

February 28, 2014

Well…

Something happened a few weeks ago that I didn’t tell you guys.

…I got invited to another session of the Elder Scrolls Online beta (and this time I read it on time, and actually got to play!).

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I hastily downloaded the client and impatiently waited 30+ GBs to download and install.

I was so excited for this shit, I couldn’t wait to play it and review it for you all.

…Then I read this in the email:

Remember that the contents of this test are confidential and that to participate, you must accept our Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA). You are not permitted to share anything from the test, including screenshots, details, or videos.

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Well…that’s a problem.

What I can say, is this. I played it, and I had a lot of fun (well, for awhile anyway)…I just couldn’t tell anyone about it.

“You do not talk about Fight Club ESO.”

Damn.

Well…good news is…

I got invited back!!

And this time, no stupid Non-Disclosure Agreement, so once I play this weekend I’ll be able to post anything I want about it!

I’ll be continuing my adventure from the last beta session, as a Nord female archer/warrior.

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Not an exciting screen shot.

I’m so excited, can’t wait to share my experience with you all!! 😀

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Waiting for ESO

January 31, 2014

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I’ll admit, when I first heard a MMO was being made for the Elder Scrolls series, I was thrilled. Mainly because at the time, I was more heavily into Skyrim and the modding project being made for multiplayer in it. I wanted to slay dragons with my friends, and fuck around with NPCs. So when an online game for the Elder Scrolls was announced, I was pretty damn excited. I could share my adventures with my friends, we’d kick ass together using magic, swords & bows and whatever else. It sounded pretty damn awesome.

Of course in the beginning, there were rumors and developmental issues. Zenimax stated there would be no first-person mode, the character models basically looked like shit, and a lot of fans were unhappy with this. Thankfully, they corrected those issues. There was also doubt whether the one “mega server” they were planning to use would support the massive amount of players.

There was a lot of shit flying over the lore not being completely accurate either, but let’s face it, the lore has been expanded on before, plus with mythology and legends there’s always some wiggle room–since most of the time legends are spread through word of mouth. There’s bound to be errors and inconsistencies anyway.

I’ve been keeping an eye on this project for awhile. In the early months following the announcement, I grew skeptical. But as the project grew and more details were realized my worries subsided somewhat. I was never really into MMOs that much–too much grinding and technical operations–I wanted something much more immersive and fun. And it looks like the Elder Scrolls Online might fit that bill.

I did sign up for the BETA about a year ago–totally forgot about it until I saw this in my inbox:

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…about two days too late.

GOD FUCKING DAMN IT.

Chances are, with a “stress test” I wouldn’t be able to get in anyway…but goddamn it would have made a great article! Of course I wouldn’t be allowed to post pictures and videos, but I’d sure as hell write about it! …Now I check my email twice a day on the off-chance they invite me in again. *crosses fingers*

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And now they’ve announced the “Collector’s Edition” (above) which includes a Molag Bal statue, art book and the ability to play as an Imperial (among other, slightly less notable perks). I mean, it sounds pretty fucking sweet for only $100, but honestly with a monthly fee to play I don’t know if I want to shell out that much money for a game I don’t even know is going to be any good or not. There’s been little to no actual gameplay footage, besides what Bethesda/Zenimax put out, so it’s not much to go by. Plus with no actual specifications, I’m a little hesitant to purchase on day one. Honestly, I’ll probably just wait it out a bit to see how the gameplay footage looks and the reviews pan out.

I’m excited, though. The cinematic trailer looks sweet as fuck and I can’t want to see more!