29 February 2016 | EuanB21
It's a shame that ESO's poor launch has left such an unalterably poor impression on people.
There's no denying that ESO's launch was rocky at best, but the game developers put a lot of effort into listening to what the players wanted and making the changes and improvements that were necessary, resulting in a great MMO that is sadly shunned by many who can't get over their initial at-launch disappointment.
Make no mistake, this isn't skyrim/ oblivion/morrowind multiplayer as many hoped for, but a fresh feeling game that incorporated the rich and beautiful lore and setting of the elder scrolls series into a highly enjoyable mmo experience.
The real beauty of ESO is its simplicity. From the combat system to the crafting system, the game is easy to pick up, but still manages to remain challenging and properly reward veteran players who have put many hours into perfecting their characters. Unlike many mmos, there is next to no learning curve, the gameplay feels exceptionally fluid and intuitive, allowing you to jump right into the adventure.
Another great feature, that we've come to expect in elder scrolls games, is the immersion. Every line of quest and radiant dialogue is fully voice acted. There are thousands of random books, scrolls and notes to be read; hundreds of fully-voiced, random npcs to talk to; hundreds of easter eggs referencing our previous es experience and much more. You can get lost in it for hundreds of hours and only scratch the surface.
Another feature that must be mentioned is the pvp. It's huge! Hundreds of players in one instance, all fighting to control the most keeps, towns and other resources as possible; all the while watching their backs for any counter-attacks or surprise sieges. It's manic, exhilarating and truly captures the all-out-war feel perfectly.
Of course eso is not perfect, there are still some features that could be addressed or expectations that simply can't be met.
One of the big problems elder scrolls players have with eso is the linear adventure style. Each area has a certain level that you need to be at before you can survive exploring it- it's not a sandbox as many hoped. This counters the "go in any direction and just explore" feel that many wanted, but keep one thing in mind: the areas are huge in and of themselves. The main alliance story follows a path through these areas, but there are many, many more quests to be found off the beaten track, and dungeons to happen across while adventuring.
Another big complaint is the initial cost. It's buy to play, so when you buy it, you can play all non-DLC content as much as you want and for as long as you want. For ~ £50 / $80 you can have endless hours of entertainment (for the price of about 15 hours' worth of films at the cinema, or 6 months' subscription for another mmo).
If you are a fan of the es series and want to continue exploring and enjoying Tamriel; or you're an mmo fan that wants something new and massively fun, the eso is well worth your time. And ignore those who played the beta and a week's worth at launch and now tell people how awful it still is, it's improved dramatically since then.