The Elder Scrolls Online: Crafting the Perfect MMO

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The Elder Scrolls Online: Crafting the Perfect MMO

There are many aspects that go into making a quality MMO. We look at a few of them and how they are shaping up in the ESO beta.

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Wonder how many people are going to accuse the Escapist of being in Zenimax's pockets. I have no interest in this game as I don't enjoy the Elder Scrolls games for a reason I can't quite put my finger on (probably an amalgamation of a bunch of small reasons), so I can't judge the responses objectively. But the game does seem to be ushering in a lot of negative responses from almost every other source I've come across except here. That combined with the odd decision to skip the game's open beta doesn't give me a lot of hope for it's success. I guess time will only tell.

As for me, just cancelled my FFXIV subscription for being the most repetitive MMO on the market, and currently holding out for Wildstar.

One thing I noticed from this article:

I probably would've had more fun if the game had scaled my character up to a level on par with the NPCs.

The game actually does scale your character up pretty significantly when you enter PVP zones. The NPCs are deliberately hard so that a single person couldn't just siege an undefended castle and just systematically eliminate all the NPC guards on their own and claim the castle.

You need a group of at least 15+ people to take a castle that's completely undefended by other players because those NPCs are such a bitch to kill.

Lvl 64 Klutz:
Wonder how many people are going to accuse the Escapist of being in Zenimax's pockets. I have no interest in this game as I don't enjoy the Elder Scrolls games for a reason I can't quite put my finger on (probably an amalgamation of a bunch of small reasons), so I can't judge the responses objectively. But the game does seem to be ushering in a lot of negative responses from almost every other source I've come across except here. That combined with the odd decision to skip the game's open beta doesn't give me a lot of hope for it's success. I guess time will only tell.

As for me, just cancelled my FFXIV subscription for being the most repetitive MMO on the market, and currently holding out for Wildstar.

This is what happens when you don't read the full article. Here, I'll paste the closing paragraph for you.

"Greg says: In closing, many people have written about the blandness of the first few hours of Elder Scrolls Online, John Walker of Rock, Paper Shotgun being the most notable, but I don't really agree with that criticism. Yes, some of the writing and voice acting falls flat, but there are also memorable characters and stories being told. I enjoyed the engaging stories you don't really get from MMOs, and the pure game-making craft of the game can't be denied. Not every part of the game is perfect by any means, but ESO does feel like an incredibly polished experience. I still don't know if playing it is worth the $15/month subscription fee, but it's definitely a CRPG experience you don't want to miss.

Walker is right though, John Cleese is wasted as voice talent with his little bit in the opening sequence. Pretend he's not there."

This wasn't The Escapist claiming that the game is the best thing since sliced bread. In fact it adequately matches my own experiences in the game. The last part about John Cleese, I can only hope that his part may expand as one goes further into the main quest. PvP will get better as players enter the game on release and get more organized, the quest system is a mix of regular MMO staples and what can be found in any other ES game, and the combat is enjoyable without forcing players into a rotation or needing 30 hotkeys for all of your skills. A large part of the negativity stems from the very idea of "oh, this is Zenimax looking for a cashgrab" and has little to do with the game itself. If you have been in beta and didn't like what you saw, that's fine, even though it is again, a beta and many of the features aren't all there yet. If you haven't had any testing experience with the game, you have little to complain about. I for one liked what I saw because it's not just another rehash of WoW like TOR was. It's different, with better graphics, more engaging characters and combat, and less grindey quests. Maybe put in a word at Zenimax and see if they might offer a free trial later on so you can try before you buy. But judging before you've played the final product gets you nowhere.

Lvl 64 Klutz:
Wonder how many people are going to accuse the Escapist of being in Zenimax's pockets. I have no interest in this game as I don't enjoy the Elder Scrolls games for a reason I can't quite put my finger on (probably an amalgamation of a bunch of small reasons), so I can't judge the responses objectively. But the game does seem to be ushering in a lot of negative responses from almost every other source I've come across except here. That combined with the odd decision to skip the game's open beta doesn't give me a lot of hope for it's success. I guess time will only tell.

As for me, just cancelled my FFXIV subscription for being the most repetitive MMO on the market, and currently holding out for Wildstar.

Not every one of us enjoys the game, just so you know. I'm not certain I do either, but I'm impressed with the craftsmanship of it and had fun while I played with it.

I don't agree with the criticisms many other outlets have leveled at the game. I wonder if the people writing those articles have played lots of MMOs, from their tone they just don't like the genre at all. On the other hand, I have stated again and again that I don't think ESO has enough of the "special sauce" needed to make it in the MMO market, but that doesn't mean it's a badly designed game.

And FYI, from playing both betas, Wildstar is pretty much the same as ESO. Cool ideas, interesting deviations from MMO norms, not enough to push subscription numbers IMO.

Greg

I've posted this twice now, and I don't really feel like rewriting it again, so here it is.

PuckFuppet:
One of the issues you get when you discuss something with the mindset of "Is this good?", particularly when it comes to video games which are very individual experiences, is hyperbole.

Was WoW the best thing ever? It was good, it had a very consistent tone and was well designed. However you rarely get people who are able to look at a product without the extremes, then you have the people who tend to swing towards an extreme because they see other people like them there. It is a vicious cycle much more worthy of an article than the banal assessment of recent MMO development cycles.

Is ESO going to fail? Probably, the market is broadly made up of people who are still of the mindset that if you like it you must dislike everything else, the same people who drive the actual cycle that the article was alluding to and are entirely apathetic to the idea of being part of improving the market/industry. More often that not the people who argue either way for a games chances, particularly in a broader public setting, are just dancing to the tune of the executives and the investors.

As an example of that look at EA, regarded as a terrible company and a pox on the entire industry, but easily able to occupy the same space as other "better" companies because any chance of a change is impossible when the market itself is equal parts apathetic and zealous. The zealots drive people one way or the other, keeping franchises afloat regardless of their actual quality, so that those who have associated themselves with a given franchise aren't loyal so much as their are subject to the franchise itself. It is the "If I buy it nothing will change, if I don't buy it those jerks win. Better buy it." effect.

As much as ESO or Wildstar are points of discussion the actual conversation people need to be having is whether or not constantly espousing the ethos of "You like this, therefore you're stupid/wrong and I'm right/better" is something that can be addressed.

In one of the threads in which I posted this, or similar, I quoted a user who genuinely asked "WHO DO I BELIEVE?!" questioning the disparity between the views expressed in the article I responded to and views expressed elsewhere, I think it was RPS that time.

That is a ridiculous state for "games journalism" to be in. No game will _ever_ be flawless, it can't happen. The concept of "best ever" is meaningless marketing speak that we have become so accustomed to our scale of good and bad experiences with regards to games is ENTIRELY defined by it.

I like ESO, quite a bit infact, but I'm not going to say in conversation that it is "the best" or "the greatest" or "better than all the rest" objectively because I don't get to make that determination, no one does. That said people seem to have foisted that responsibility on reviewers, on youtubers and to a point on themselves because they're expected to "know the difference between good and bad" objectively.

I just... what?

EDIT: I really want to respond to that PvP article but I'm really not sure how much I can and can't say... so I'll keep it vague.

The point about long stretches of moving and organising punctuated by brief moments of fire and death is entirely true but I honestly found sieges, defending or attacking, to be consistently engaging. The PvP is easily one of the stand-out elements of the game for me, and I'm not someone who has enjoyed PvP in MMO's before.

You need a group to achieve anything major, which I like. On a 1v1 basis you are, as long as you're willing to focus on taking skills that help you in PvP, evenly matched with any other class (the only significant advantage being DK's HP regen ability). You can even win 1v2 if you're quick and you get lucky but the game punishes lone wolves in the long run. You can still do it, lone wolfing that is, but you'll never generate as much AP as someone in a group nor will you have as much fun.

Whereas in large group battles having an even mix of classes and specs is absolutely required, as is everything from siege placement to moving out of fire to watching the flank etc. etc.

It is a much more enjoyable group experience than, to take an example, SWTOR's PvP.

It is just another MMO that goes by the number with nothing really unique nowadays kept for FP view and skill leveling wich was a thing back in meridians days and ultima onlines days maybe.

Everything else is so boring and stereotypical for a mmo that you feel as if you have played this game a dozen times allready.

Also the way they market the game... with a exclusive race for pre orders and the ability to nilly willy join any faction despite racial choice, subscription AND microtransactions... yeah no... nonono

That and its entire color palette seems to consist of grays and browns, all in all ill wait for it to go f2p like ALL the other big name mmos that came out in recent years.

Greg Tito:

Not every one of us enjoys the game, just so you know. I'm not certain I do either, but I'm impressed with the craftsmanship of it and had fun while I played with it.

I don't agree with the criticisms many other outlets have leveled at the game. I wonder if the people writing those articles have played lots of MMOs, from their tone they just don't like the genre at all. On the other hand, I have stated again and again that I don't think ESO has enough of the "special sauce" needed to make it in the MMO market, but that doesn't mean it's a badly designed game.

And FYI, from playing both betas, Wildstar is pretty much the same as ESO. Cool ideas, interesting deviations from MMO norms, not enough to push subscription numbers IMO.
Greg

But I haven't seen a single feature talking about Wildstar, yet I have seen plenty going on about Elder Scrolls online here at The Escapist and not just cause its the beta. You can see how people would think your coming from a influenced mindset. (Yes I do understand Wildstar still has a NDA which can explain a lack of content for it)

There is a huge difference between something being designed to be perfect and something being designed to be fun. The Call of duty series is designed to be perfect, it is not fun. This is why Call of duty comes across as bland, this is why the Elder Scrolls Online will come across as bland.

Here's the thing, why do I want to play game like World of Warcraft that's just wearing the mutilated corpse of the Elder Scrolls series, when I could just play World of Warcraft. You listed things like a choice system which I think is great but as you point out it doesn't last long. Every new thing its implementing looks and feels like its tacked on to appear as a innovative game

So here we have a game trying to tick every MMO box and trying to be everyone ones friend yet people are seeing past that into its bland void with its lackluster features.

If there ever was an example of wasted money spent at game development this would be an ideal candidate.

Karadalis:
Also the way they market the game... with a exclusive race for pre orders and the ability to nilly willy join any faction despite racial choice, subscription AND microtransactions

Imperials are exclusive.
Factions are better defined politically and culturally than they are racially. The idea of relying on a racial choice to define a faction is a remarkably backwards view of things, they've done what they can to counter it. The race to faction restrictions seem almost completely cosmetic and should probably be outright done away with though.
Subscription is what it is.
Details on the microtransactions? I've not seen any but I haven't been looking hard, you sound like you've read an article on it.

Epic_Bubble:

But I haven't seen a single feature talking about Wildstar, yet I have seen plenty going on about Elder Scrolls online here at The Escapist and not just cause its the beta. You can see how people would think your coming from a influenced mindset. (Yes I do understand Wildstar still has a NDA which can explain a lack of content for it)

There is a huge difference between something being designed to be perfect and something being designed to be fun. The Call of duty series is designed to be perfect, it is not fun. This is why Call of duty comes across as bland, this is why the Elder Scrolls Online will come across as bland.

You are right about the NDA, but the real reason we haven't published a lot of Wildstar coverage is that it doesn't have the mainstream appeal that ESO does. Not that many people care about Wildstar, to be honest, while there is more interest in whether ESO can match Skyrim in appeal, etc.

But you will start to see more Wildstar coverage soon. :)

Greg

...This honestly looks as if The Escapist got handed a big pile of money by Zenimax, come on guys, you put "Perfect MMO" in the title...

OT: We'll see how it plays on release

Greg Tito:
snip

Good enough points, I do find the criticisms to be mostly along the lines of "too much MMO, not enough Elder Scrolls." I'm thinking the game will start out well enough, there's certainly plenty of hype around the game. So we'll see, maybe I'll keep a closer eye on it than I have been. I've bounced around between enough MMO's the last few years unable to find one that truly captivates me that I'm hoping one really does hit the mark this year.

Seydaman:
...This honestly looks as if The Escapist got handed a big pile of money by Zenimax, come on guys, you put "Perfect MMO" in the title...

OT: We'll see how it plays on release

If you honestly think that, you are silly. It's also possible that more of the editors on The Escapist actually like MMOs more than the editors of other main outlets ...

And yes, this is all just impressions from a limited beta access. It will be different at release.

Greg

Greg Tito:
If you honestly think that, you are silly. It's also possible that more of the editors on The Escapist actually like MMOs more than the editors of other main outlets ...

And yes, this is all just impressions from a limited beta access. It will be different at release.

Greg

It would be a sad day if The Escapist actually took bribes to do that

No, I'm just saying that is what the articles comes off as, especially compared to the deal of negative I've heard from acquaintances.

Side note, was it ever mentioned if ESO would be on Steam?

PuckFuppet:

Karadalis:
Also the way they market the game... with a exclusive race for pre orders and the ability to nilly willy join any faction despite racial choice, subscription AND microtransactions

Imperials are exclusive.
Factions are better defined politically and culturally than they are racially. The idea of relying on a racial choice to define a faction is a remarkably backwards view of things, they've done what they can to counter it. The race to faction restrictions seem almost completely cosmetic and should probably be outright done away with though.
Subscription is what it is.
Details on the microtransactions? I've not seen any but I haven't been looking hard, you sound like you've read an article on it.

Sure it is backwards thinking.

The thing is that if you want to avoid this backwards feature you have to preorder the game.

And everyone knows that preordering a game that wont even go open beta and only allows hand picked outlets (game journalists has such a bad ring to it nowadays) to review it beforehand is a very very bad idea.

Basicly they are holding features that should be a given hostage behind the pre order paywall... and i dont do that stuff anymore.

Theres only one game i pre order this year and thats dark souls 2 because i know whats going to happen in that game and what features it has.

Elderscrolls online thought? At best its going to be the 32590 equivalent of the "standard" MMO with a very thin layer of not as much used to death ideas that you find in any other mmo.

About the microtransactions, it was said in one of the articles here on the escapist that they would charge subscriptions because they wanted to protect the "integrety" of the game.... and then a couple of days later another interview followed where they talked about putting in microtransactions into the game.

I said no to that practice in WoW and i sure as hell not gonna start it for ESO

Karadalis:

PuckFuppet:

Karadalis:
Also the way they market the game... with a exclusive race for pre orders and the ability to nilly willy join any faction despite racial choice, subscription AND microtransactions

Imperials are exclusive.
Factions are better defined politically and culturally than they are racially. The idea of relying on a racial choice to define a faction is a remarkably backwards view of things, they've done what they can to counter it. The race to faction restrictions seem almost completely cosmetic and should probably be outright done away with though.
Subscription is what it is.
Details on the microtransactions? I've not seen any but I haven't been looking hard, you sound like you've read an article on it.

Sure it is backwards thinking.

The thing is that if you want to avoid this backwards feature you have to preorder the game.

And everyone knows that preordering a game that wont even go open beta and only allows hand picked outlets (game journalists has such a bad ring to it nowadays) to review it beforehand is a very very bad idea.

Basicly they are holding features that should be a given hostage behind the pre order paywall... and i dont do that stuff anymore.

Theres only one game i pre order this year and thats dark souls 2 because i know whats going to happen in that game and what features it has.

Elderscrolls online thought? At best its going to be the 32590 equivalent of the "standard" MMO with a very thin layer of not as much used to death ideas that you find in any other mmo.

About the microtransactions, it was said in one of the articles here on the escapist that they would charge subscriptions because they wanted to protect the "integrety" of the game.... and then a couple of days later another interview followed where they talked about putting in microtransactions into the game.

I said no to that practice in WoW and i sure as hell not gonna start it for ESO

I have yet to see anything about microtransactions other than what is considered standard already in most games, character server transfers/redesigns etc.

Couldn't agree more about the paywall issue but honestly you seem to be making a lot of points that don't really connect with just ESO, much like me you seem to be more or less disinterested in the mess that is the games industry as it relates to MMO's.

What I will say is that to a point the lack of an open beta is moot at this stage, I honestly think that _anyone_ who applied to the beta within the last year has probably been in the last two (had 300 man battles last beta for instance). That being said it is a double edged sword for a developer/publisher, an open beta can be beneficial just as often as it can be a bad thing. If I understand what Zenimax are trying with the beta set-up they're going through it is that they're trying to get as many people as possible whom they think will actually give them feedback as opposed to just get online and start trash talking in global chat or some such.

If you haven't played it yet you'd be better off trying it or at least waiting to see what people are saying in general once the NDA has been lifted before forming a final opinion on it. The idea that you can form an opinion which you then zealously defend and spread without ever actually trying a game is a contributing factor to the things you describe as "a bad bad idea".

It just encourages people to expect a pointlessly critical backlash against them unless they can build their own zealots to counter. Just read the post I made in this thread, the one with the quote, to understand what I'm trying to say about that.

Seydaman:

Greg Tito:
If you honestly think that, you are silly. It's also possible that more of the editors on The Escapist actually like MMOs more than the editors of other main outlets ...

And yes, this is all just impressions from a limited beta access. It will be different at release.

Greg

It would be a sad day if The Escapist actually took bribes to do that

No, I'm just saying that is what the articles comes off as, especially compared to the deal of negative I've heard from acquaintances.

Side note, was it ever mentioned if ESO would be on Steam?

I haven't seen anything about it and a cursory search didn't get any hits, if it were to be on Steam we'd likely have seen several adverts on the steam storepage already.

You've not played the game? Sign up for the beta, they're doing their best to get everyone they can into it and bar some instability issues as they're forcing everyone onto the one "megaserver" the last two betas have been a solid example of what you can probably expect from a release.

This game looks like a giant pile of "meh". Most previewers seem to be trying too hard to sell it, and that is a turn off right there. It looks too much like Warhammer Online to me, so it will be a skip for me, until 6 months down the road when it's free to play, and I'll check it out for a day or two then delete it.

"Crafting the perfect MMO" - They could have added beast legs. It wouldn't have made it perfect, but this was the perfect opportunity to have them for the first time since Morrowind. I hate to think what else they skimped on for their own convenience.

Captcha: would you believe. No captcha, no I wouldn't.

Crafting the Perfect MMO...

Short version: Zenimax hasn't

Slightly longer version: Neither has anyone else.

Summary: Pick your poison and venerate the aspects of it you can tolerate while willfully ignoring the fact that the only options you have are all poisons and the only differences are the tolerable aspects.

End statement: ESO isn't at fault for having to be editorially justified, its the MMO industry, as a whole, that is at fault for the bar being this low.

I think my only gripe with the article is the title, it feels like you are proclaiming the game to be perfect.

As the game goes I am tired of paying $15 a month or a game and from everything I have heard about ESO from other sites and The Escapist it seems like it would be a good game if it was handled like Guild Wars with an entry fee and then supported by micro transactions.

I am not sure about the PvP right now either, for Dark Age of Camelot tried the 3v3 siege warfare and at least on my server it always felt like at least one side was at a disadvantage because of population.

There is one factual error in the article: when talking about the game's mail, the author states that "AH mail is delivered to you instantly".

However, there is no auction house in ESO. Instead, you need to be in a guild to sell your wares.

You can read about it in this article: http://massively.joystiq.com/2013/10/18/tamriel-infinium-selling-your-wares-in-the-elder-scrolls-online/

I guess my idea of an incredibly polished experience and The Escapist's are two very different things.

PuckFuppet:

I have yet to see anything about microtransactions other than what is considered standard already in most games, character server transfers/redesigns etc.

Couldn't agree more about the paywall issue but honestly you seem to be making a lot of points that don't really connect with just ESO, much like me you seem to be more or less disinterested in the mess that is the games industry as it relates to MMO's.

What I will say is that to a point the lack of an open beta is moot at this stage, I honestly think that _anyone_ who applied to the beta within the last year has probably been in the last two (had 300 man battles last beta for instance). That being said it is a double edged sword for a developer/publisher, an open beta can be beneficial just as often as it can be a bad thing. If I understand what Zenimax are trying with the beta set-up they're going through it is that they're trying to get as many people as possible whom they think will actually give them feedback as opposed to just get online and start trash talking in global chat or some such.

If you haven't played it yet you'd be better off trying it or at least waiting to see what people are saying in general once the NDA has been lifted before forming a final opinion on it. The idea that you can form an opinion which you then zealously defend and spread without ever actually trying a game is a contributing factor to the things you describe as "a bad bad idea".

It just encourages people to expect a pointlessly critical backlash against them unless they can build their own zealots to counter. Just read the post I made in this thread, the one with the quote, to understand what I'm trying to say about that.

Oh my... i have an opinion that doesnt kiss the devs feet... guess i must be a hater that makes stuff up right?

My opinion isnt just made up of assumptions.. ill leave it at that.

But lets say even if it was:

The bland spunkgargleweewee color palette, the "been there done that" feel of gameplay, the feel of the combat system being garbage... its all there in plain sight on youtube right now, just look up angry joes video of it. Hits have no impact, you can run through enemies, the loot system is a nightmare since its first come first serve. I can say all this without breaking any NDA.

Elderscrolls is an MMO by the numbers and doesnt dare to do anything that could be seen as breaking the mold. Their freeform level system isnt going to carry the game... just as full voicing was not able to carry the old republic.

Its a theme park MMO of admitedly high quality... but the same was true for TORtanic and we all know how that ended up. There is nothing special but the IP that allready gets all rolled over by pre order sales.

And about the microtransactions: As i said, one of the Devs stated in an interview that they would implement them, just a week or two after saying "subscriptions because we want to keep the integrity of the game". So much for that. When and how they are going to implement them he didnt said.. but im sick and tired of being nickled and dimed by Subscription games. I allready pay 14 euros every month.. why the hell are there microtransactions? I should have access to that content by default.

If they want me to keep spending 14 euros every month for the same game they shouldnt try to lure me in with the same old washed out gameplay mechanics that EVERYONE else does.

Elderscrolls is just another entry in the same old line up of mmos.. have you played one of them you have played them all. Its like the difference between CoD and medal of honour.

Elderscrolls online might be enjoyable for alot of people, but praising it as "the next big thing" smells so much of The old republic that im seriously starting to believe im having a deja vu.

Now no one talks about TORtanic anymore besides if its used as a negative example and i think Elder scrolls online will just be another entry in the endless list of "lets try to copy WoWs success and fail with it"

Why is this utter betrayal of everything this franchise used to stand for, given so much (good) press. this should leave only stunned, awkward silences.

Karadalis:

PuckFuppet:

I have yet to see anything about microtransactions other than what is considered standard already in most games, character server transfers/redesigns etc.

Couldn't agree more about the paywall issue but honestly you seem to be making a lot of points that don't really connect with just ESO, much like me you seem to be more or less disinterested in the mess that is the games industry as it relates to MMO's.

What I will say is that to a point the lack of an open beta is moot at this stage, I honestly think that _anyone_ who applied to the beta within the last year has probably been in the last two (had 300 man battles last beta for instance). That being said it is a double edged sword for a developer/publisher, an open beta can be beneficial just as often as it can be a bad thing. If I understand what Zenimax are trying with the beta set-up they're going through it is that they're trying to get as many people as possible whom they think will actually give them feedback as opposed to just get online and start trash talking in global chat or some such.

If you haven't played it yet you'd be better off trying it or at least waiting to see what people are saying in general once the NDA has been lifted before forming a final opinion on it. The idea that you can form an opinion which you then zealously defend and spread without ever actually trying a game is a contributing factor to the things you describe as "a bad bad idea".

It just encourages people to expect a pointlessly critical backlash against them unless they can build their own zealots to counter. Just read the post I made in this thread, the one with the quote, to understand what I'm trying to say about that.

Oh my... i have an opinion that doesnt kiss the devs feet... guess i must be a hater that makes stuff up right?

My opinion isnt just made up of assumptions.. ill leave it at that.

But lets say even if it was:

The bland spunkgargleweewee color palette, the "been there done that" feel of gameplay, the feel of the combat system being garbage... its all there in plain sight on youtube right now, just look up angry joes video of it. Hits have no impact, you can run through enemies, the loot system is a nightmare since its first come first serve. I can say all this without breaking any NDA.

Elderscrolls is an MMO by the numbers and doesnt dare to do anything that could be seen as breaking the mold. Their freeform level system isnt going to carry the game... just as full voicing was not able to carry the old republic.

Its a theme park MMO of admitedly high quality... but the same was true for TORtanic and we all know how that ended up. There is nothing special but the IP that allready gets all rolled over by pre order sales.

And about the microtransactions: As i said, one of the Devs stated in an interview that they would implement them, just a week or two after saying "subscriptions because we want to keep the integrity of the game". So much for that. When and how they are going to implement them he didnt said.. but im sick and tired of being nickled and dimed by Subscription games. I allready pay 14 euros every month.. why the hell are there microtransactions? I should have access to that content by default.

If they want me to keep spending 14 euros every month for the same game they shouldnt try to lure me in with the same old washed out gameplay mechanics that EVERYONE else does.

Elderscrolls is just another entry in the same old line up of mmos.. have you played one of them you have played them all. Its like the difference between CoD and medal of honour.

Elderscrolls online might be enjoyable for alot of people, but praising it as "the next big thing" smells so much of The old republic that im seriously starting to believe im having a deja vu.

Now no one talks about TORtanic anymore besides if its used as a negative example and i think Elder scrolls online will just be another entry in the endless list of "lets try to copy WoWs success and fail with it"

In no way did I say anything that made you out to be a "hater that makes stuff up", again please read what I posted in this thread :)

To cut to the point, I wasn't saying it was "the next big thing". I was saying that the concept that people feel it has to either be "the next big thing" or "not worth the time" without any room in the middle is actually driving most of the problems that people have with the games industry, exacerbating the issues instead of actually doing anything about them.

And in no way did my post actually outright defend ESO, there are some points which people bring up that I disagree with there are others that I don't, furthermore there is plenty of stuff that I dislike that I'm entirely sure people either don't notice/care about. All of this is just essentially backing up my original point, if any reaction to your post that isn't "I agree with you and you're awesome, let me agree more" automatically becomes a negative response that requires you to defend something that wasn't even questioned then... that really does prove what I was saying.

Is ESO going to be "the next big thing"? What does that even mean, and why do I care about it? Because some marketing guys came up with the idea or some journalist has decided to tag it as such, because a few people I know are for or against the product and therefore I have to have an opinion either way?

I like ESO. That said I have yet to see any details about the microtransations, and I've stated before that if those microtransactions go beyond just allowing people who didn't pre-order/get the collectors edition to have access to that content then that is me done with it. However until I see those details I'm going to trust that the devs are leveraging the subscription system for all the influence it can give them to fend off exactly the kind of microtransactions that would drive me away.

This is my impression without breaking any NDA stuff. This MMO's got legs. It has the ability to stand on them, and maybe even run. It can at least move forward, and steadily without much stumbling. Is it worth the asking price plus a sub? Maybe not, but games today are overpriced in general so we're not seeing a new trend. It plays solid enough to say it is VIABLE, but in an infantile sort of way. By that I mean its a newborn thing, and can only survive if it learns and grows. It will make mistakes, how it handles them is how it ultimately will succeed or fail.
It didn't feel like a waste of time, I wanted more. Thats the key, none of us who played the beta have seen "The End" and if there are some who know, they're not saying. The endgame is what will make or break this game, what content is offered beyond the main story. What lies at level 50 and what can we do with that character?

I'm all aboard for ESO because it feels good to play, I didn't feel like if I'd had paid for it I'd have hated myself for being suckered in like I did with Warhammer Online or RIFT or TOR. Its not a WoW copy, but it shares elements that when blended with Elder Scrolls like play fit better than I thought they would. It won't kill WoW either, only Blizzard can ultimately put down their monster, if they so choose to. Basically ESO is a game I want to succeed because I liked it better than I've liked most other ambitious games the last few years, I had fun and I don't want it to fail because of bad marketing decisions. Its not another APB, RIFT, TERA or AION, it has a familiar feel to it that Guild Wars 2 didn't give me which is why even though GW2 is a decent game it doesn't grab me. ESO has my attention, it aggro'd me not with anger but with want.

I just want to know if its follow-through is solid.

BTW: It has its weaknesses, nothing is perfect but they're not glaring enough for me to say its bad, don't play it. I'm just hoping for a scaling down of the initial payment OR the sub.

In what planet would it be better to just not have John Cleese than have him in a role which has "wasted" his talent? I mean, really? Because he's playing a character in the intro zone it sucks? Is that it? That intro is better for John Cleese's voice acting, do you know why? It's because he's John Cleese. Where I to try to think of who might suit the role of an insane guide to a piece of Oblivion wearing a pot on his head I'm not going to get much farther than surviving Python members.
Also, and correct me if i'm wrong here but with a list of many skyshards for Cold Harbor in your journal and none that aren't plot related to be found there I'd imagine we will get to return there.

As far as the questing goes it is a shame you have to be in the same phase to help anyone but it appeared to me that if you both haven't done a quest there won't be any problem. You just covered the mechanics of questing itself but I thought the quests were fun themselves. Maybe it's me because I've skipped most recent MMO releases but I don't get why no one is talking about how great the questing is compared to what I thought was still the industry standard. Even the one-off side quests have a story to them to explain why you're doing what you are and some of them are pretty fun. Nobody asked me to kill 10 of anything and whenever I needed to get a quest object from mobs it was just one item that dropped swiftly. This alone was enough to get me far more hooked in the early process than any game other than The Secret World which starts with some good questing as well. I don't give a shit if your writing isn't the best for every quest, these guys are at least trying. Devs who toss out killing and collecting quests from now on can suck it.

Edit. Bonus question since Greg brought up Walkers' RPS piece. Did anyone else get the impression from reading it that he went into it looking for negatives? He failed to mention the character wearing a pot was explicitly described as insane or couldn't understand why John Cleese would play a role silly. He, as far as my recollections go from the Aldmeri starting area, straight up lied about a quest where a ship's captain asks you to find three crew members who are withing eyesight. He brought up the first freaking hallways you run down as a negative. I'm fine with opinions that differ from mine but I played the content this guy did, and he was fucking reaching. Did anyone else who did the Aldmeri starter island feel that his article wasn't honest criticism?

Eh, despite being an Elder Scrolls fan, I've had little to no desire at all to look into this game. I'm past the point of wanting to pay subscriptions for games. It might be fine for others, but I'm done with such nonsense. As such, take my opinion however you will.

I just think this was a bad idea from the start. If Bethesda wanted to tinker with their bug-ridden formula that's worked just fine for them with the ES games in the past, I think they should have simply started with the logical first step: try implementing a 2-4 player co-op in the next ES game and see how people like that before jumping straight into the quagmire of MMO's. Inevitably you're going to be compared to WoW, which has had just about a full decade to refine, polish, and streamline what was already the most successful MMO ever into an even more well-polished machine. For disclosure to show I'm not a WoW fanboy: I kicked my WoW addiction towards the end of Burning Crusade, after having been with it since the very beginning. Why? Because I could no longer justify to myself paying a monthly subscription to play Fantasy Dress Up in which you have to pray the gods of fate will allow that shiny new hat you've had your eye on to drop and, if it does, that you beat out everyone else that wants that shiny new hat for the rights to own it.

TES has enough of a base following to get people interested for the initial release and the fist month or two of an MMO set in TES universe. But then again, so did Old Republic with regards to the Star Wars universe, and we all know how that one turned out. I just get the feeling that there's a lot of players out there like me that just don't want to put up with paying a subscription for a game they'll likely get tired of in a month or two anyways (if history is to repeat itself from TOR as I believe it will).

Greg Tito:
It's also possible that more of the editors on The Escapist actually like MMOs more than the editors of other main outlets ...

I find this argument flawed. If 75% of strategy games released were tetris clones and I said I don't like tetris clones, would you say I didn't like strategy games? Just because one type of game is the majority doesn't mean that that is all the genre is.

If the combat in this is anything like the combat in the other Elder Scrolls games, no thanks.

Greg Tito:
You are right about the NDA, but the real reason we haven't published a lot of Wildstar coverage is that it doesn't have the mainstream appeal that ESO does. Not that many people care about Wildstar, to be honest, while there is more interest in whether ESO can match Skyrim in appeal, etc.

And it will always be that way, so long as gaming outlets like yourselves continue to put forth tons of press about ESO and little-to-nothing about Wildstar.

I get what you're trying to say, here, don't get me wrong. ESO is part of a massive franchise, and Wildstar's "just another NCSoft game". But honestly, do you not get what other people are saying to you, and how stuff like this only fuels the perception that the Escapist team has been "bribed" or some other such silly garbage? I must admit, my very first thought when seeing this article's title was "....but ESO is nowhere close to perfect. So why would you claim otherwise?". I had to read the article to realize that you didn't actually mean to imply they were perfect. But then, if you didn't mean to suggest the game was perfect, why title your article like this? It makes people think that you're resorting to "click-bait" journalism, and I doubt that's the message you're trying to send here.

I know you're not trying to say that and I've been pretty okay with your coverage of ESO to date. But do you see how maybe people might take stuff like the continuous press about ESO, the void of Wildstar coverage, and article titles like these to mean that perhaps the Escapist team is a tad on the biased side of things? I mean, surely you have to admit that it doesn't look very good.

So perhaps take a few steps away from ESO coverage for a bit, and maybe talk about some of the (many) up-and-coming MMOs out there? I mean, there's literally no shortage of MMOs you could discuss.

Greg Tito:

Epic_Bubble:

But I haven't seen a single feature talking about Wildstar, yet I have seen plenty going on about Elder Scrolls online here at The Escapist and not just cause its the beta. You can see how people would think your coming from a influenced mindset. (Yes I do understand Wildstar still has a NDA which can explain a lack of content for it)

There is a huge difference between something being designed to be perfect and something being designed to be fun. The Call of duty series is designed to be perfect, it is not fun. This is why Call of duty comes across as bland, this is why the Elder Scrolls Online will come across as bland.

You are right about the NDA, but the real reason we haven't published a lot of Wildstar coverage is that it doesn't have the mainstream appeal that ESO does. Not that many people care about Wildstar, to be honest, while there is more interest in whether ESO can match Skyrim in appeal, etc.

But you will start to see more Wildstar coverage soon. :)

Greg

Really lookin forward to some Wildstar coverage. Everythin ESO all the time is gettin extremely obnoxious, especially considerin how meh the entire experience was. Meanwhile Wildstar has kept me hugely hooked since I first started the beta.

I'm absolutely certain that once major publications bother to stop talkin about the meh fest that is ESO and start talkin about Wildstar we'll start seein the hype back up to the levels it was prechristmas.

After having played both ESO and Wildstar's beta I can firmly say that Wildstar definitely has that special sauce that ESO is missin.

Edit - Unrelated note. The title for this article was really very confusing. At first glance it honestly looks like you're calling ESO a perfect MMO. Its obvious very quickly while reading the article that you aren't actually saying that, but perhaps a different title would stop any confusion.

I'm guessing when they put "Crafting The Perfect MMO" as a subtitle, it was supposed to be spoken with the air of wishful thinking. I'd sure like Elder Scrolls Online to be the perfect MMO, but when the reviews start rolling in... we'll see, hmm?

Karadalis:
It is just another MMO that goes by the number with nothing really unique nowadays kept for FP view and skill leveling wich was a thing back in meridians days and ultima onlines days maybe.

Everything else is so boring and stereotypical for a mmo that you feel as if you have played this game a dozen times allready.

Also the way they market the game... with a exclusive race for pre orders and the ability to nilly willy join any faction despite racial choice, subscription AND microtransactions... yeah no... nonono

That and its entire color palette seems to consist of grays and browns, all in all ill wait for it to go f2p like ALL the other big name mmos that came out in recent years.

Pretty much this. The fact that i've seen some people defend this bullcrap because its "the norm" just adds insult to injury. At first playing the game I was left with just feeling "Meh" about it. Nothing special in any way whatsoever, just mediocre Online-Skyrim. Then along came the preorder-BS, Microtransactions and those COMBINED with the fact that they want subscriptions fees for this bowl of tasteless Cornflakes, just made me feel angry that such a great IP was wasted on something like this. Now I just patiently wait for this Trainwreck to crash (Go free to play), and then eventually burn out (Like Warhammer - Age of Reckoning did not too long ago.). And nothing of value will be lost.

Looking forward to reading about Wildstar on here tough, I have higher hopes for it than TESO. BY FAR.

I wonder if there is a point to pvp? That is what I miss in most MMO's. EVE has a point to it. Territory control for resources. Most MMO's however are just a grindfest for gear. When you have the gear there is no longer any point to it. So I was wondering: what does ESO have? Is there like bonusses for controlling castles? (I mean like crafting bonusses or some such). Or does the capitol have the flags of your faction? Something? I always like it when I get the feel that fighting accomplishes something in MMORPG's. This is an important distinction -> RPG's. I also play planetside 2 and there I just like to blow shit up.

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