Elder Scrolls Online

Thaurin

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I thought it's interesting to see how many people here are interested in the game while not interested in MMOs perse. I feel it's kind of a weird game. It tries to be a solo game but also have MMO elements. It leaves me with the question: what sort of game is this, anyway? :) I've decided to just hunt for quests and run through them. There's not much challenge (well, I've not done many higher-level quests yet), but there's story and nice environments.

Disclaimer: I'm only level 7 right now.
 
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DArtagnan

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Writing is quite strong for an MMO. To my mind, only Secret World beats it.

That said, it is indeed a unique kind of MMO, and it's clearly not for everyone. It's not a game for hamsters looking for constant combat on a gear treadmill. The pace is slower and more deliberate, and you really have to enjoy story-driven quests - as that's essentially the entire game in PvE.

I quite like the combat, personally, and I love the flexible nature of the character system.

I'm glad to see that the console launch is such a success. Game always deserved much better than it got.
 
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DArtagnan

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Don't know what strong for an MMO means, since I don't play them.

Then it's probably not relevant, is it? :)

Writing in MMOs is generally not as good as in singleplayer games, since it's much harder to create a sense of urgency when you're aware that nothing you do will change the world in a real sense - and everyone will be doing the same quest after you, anyway. Also, the game can't end, so the whole end of the world scenario suffers.
 

Thaurin

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Yes, the writing is quite strong--for an MMO. I mean, you can only do so much within the framework of an MMO, but this one does it better than almost every other MMO. I agree that, as far as I know, Secret World is the only one that is the same like that, like DArt said. It feels like you are affecting the world more so than in any other MMOs that I've played. Far from the generic text-only quests from WoW.

Of course, you'll get the occasional weirdness of the story-based exploration being fitted into a multiplayer environment, like the jarring scene of 10 people crowding an NPC crouching over a murder victim, and for some people that is an immersion deal-breaker.

I don't hate the combat and like I said, I've not had to do much of it yet. I have just two active skills so far (and some unspent skill points), but those are interesting and affected my combat style and effectiveness significantly. I think there may be a lot of flexibility and diversity in the combat system.

I'm tempted to ask myself if this game can be compared to a single-player offline open-world RPG, or if I even should. So far I'm not that interested in competitive play or even interacting with other users. I did that with WoW and that was enough. :)
 
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DArtagnan

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Also, if you're a lore-hound, this MMO beats most of them. It's based on TES, after all - and it has a ridiculous amount of the stuff. Also, unlike WoW - this game doesn't shit all over its own lore. It tries to remain true to its roots.

In that way, it reminds me of a modernized LOTRO more than anything.
 
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DArtagnan

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Is the lore as good as morrowind?

How can anyone answer that without knowing what you think of Morrowind lore?

I've always found TES lore somewhat dry and uninspiring. Morrowind was particularly boring in that way, to me.

I'd say the style is similar - and I think many of the books you can find are taken more or less directly from the TES singleplayer games.
 
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Deleted User

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I spent some time in the beta, so my impressions could be different based on the retail release.

I enjoyed it, but it sort of gave me the feeling that I would rather play a single-player Elder Scrolls game. The quests were good, but too much of a sense of urgency for me. That's why I prefer Morrowind's approach over all others - You are dropped off in an alien land and have to survive. In ESO there is a constant war going on and you have to urgently do things.

I recently watched Chocobones (a YouTube Let's Player) play the game a bit and I was left really underwhelmed. I don't know if I'll get to this one anytime soon.
 

Thaurin

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I enjoyed it, but it sort of gave me the feeling that I would rather play a single-player Elder Scrolls game. The quests were good, but too much of a sense of urgency for me. That's why I prefer Morrowind's approach over all others - You are dropped off in an alien land and have to survive. In ESO there is a constant war going on and you have to urgently do things.

TESO, being an MMO, still has many quests that are not related to the main quest and have a lesser sense of urgency. :)
 
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DArtagnan

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I certainly can't remember feeling anything like urgency in ESO because of a quest. In combat or in a dungeon, sure, but not because of anything story-related.
 
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The Ebonheart Pact starts you off in an urgent war zone. When you're on the starter island, you have to find people because there is an invasion happening. When you get to Morrowind, you have to alert everyone about the invasion, and then another invasion is going on in that area. It seems like the game is rushing you.

It does get better once you get past those initial first hours of quests. I remember having some fun exploring the world when I got to join a guild and do some of the side quests. I think that was around the time I reached Ebonheart.

The lore is pretty good. I got to do a quest revolving around Vivec, Almalexia and Sotha Sil, which was the highlight of my playthrough up to that point. They also hint that you would be meeting the gods later on, perhaps, which would be cool.
 
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DArtagnan

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The Ebonheart Pact starts you off in an urgent war zone. When you're on the starter island, you have to find people because there is an invasion happening. When you get to Morrowind, you have to alert everyone about the invasion, and then another invasion is going on in that area. It seems like the game is rushing you.

It does get better once you get past those initial first hours of quests. I remember having some fun exploring the world when I got to join a guild and do some of the side quests. I think that was around the time I reached Ebonheart.

The lore is pretty good. I got to do a quest revolving around Vivec, Almalexia and Sotha Sil, which was the highlight of my playthrough up to that point. They also hint that you would be meeting the gods later on, perhaps, which would be cool.

It's probably because I'm so used to playing MMOs. I know that, no matter what I do in the open world, nothing will go wrong - because it can't. In the open world, there are thousands of players - and there's no way my actions will affect their experience.

Of course, in ESO, they're using phasing to a certain extent and it can work to give you a slightly more personal experience.

Unfortunately, it's still not terribly convincing. Well, not to me at least.
 

azarhal

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Fluent should have chosen another starting Alliance. Daggerfall starting quest is basically hiring a crew to do a heist and the Dominion is about spy work. Only the Pack story start with "invasion".

I personally think there is some very well executed quests in the game and interesting plots/lore. Lots of books to reads (they put all the SP games books + a few hundred news ones) and NPCs to talk too. There is some boring stuff as well.
 

Thaurin

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Unfortunately, it's still not terribly convincing. Well, not to me at least.

Because you're still seeing dozens of players running through your phase, even if they can't see what's going on in your version of the world. It kind of ruins the event, makes it feel less significant and less dramatic.

But the world does change a lot more than what I'm used to in an MMO, like the time I had to stop a ritual which caused the whole sky to darken and a hurricane to rage.
 
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DArtagnan

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Because you're still seeing dozens of players running through your phase, even if they can't see what's going on in your version of the world. It kind of ruins the event, makes it feel less significant and less dramatic.

Yeah, and also the fact that I know the game would fall apart if the landscape changed too significantly - as it would make questing and socialising with others impractical.

Let's say you burned down a city or castle - and you quested in that same area with others. They might have chosen something different, and they might see the full castle there while you see only ruins. Also, if you eliminated enemies and they didn't - they might start fighting invisible enemies right in front of you, or things of that nature.

It's technically feasible - but I think it would be too jarring when playing in a party.

They still haven't figured out a good way to solve this problem.

Personally, I think the way to evolve the genre is to actually ALLOW massive changes to the landscape, but also to implement a sufficiently sophisticated element of simulation and a dynamic AI - where NPCs/monsters would be able to rebuild or repopulate cities and other areas.

They should really look into how to re-use linear story elements in somewhat randomised quests, so that you'll never go on exactly the same quest for the same person as other players.

An obvious tool here would be player-created quests, which is extremely rare in modern MMOs.

But, as of yet, developers have to limit themselves a LOT in terms of what's possible here.

But the world does change a lot more than what I'm used to in an MMO, like the time I had to stop a ritual which caused the whole sky to darken and a hurricane to rage.

Yeah, in terms of small contained stories and temporary changes - it does a lot more than most MMOs.

That said, WoW has also done some very significant stuff with phasing technology. So, it's not entirely unique in this way.
 

azarhal

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Let's say you burned down a city or castle - and you quested in that same area with others. They might have chosen something different, and they might see the full castle there while you see only ruins. Also, if you eliminated enemies and they didn't - they might start fighting invisible enemies right in front of you, or things of that nature.

That kinda happen in ESO actually, well it did in beta because of phasing bugs (not sure if it still does). In Stonefalls (Pack zone), there is a main quest that will phase the large city (Devon) with fighting happening between NPCs/players. The phasing bugs made it so you could see corpses or NPC/Players fighting invisible enemies before you reached that point in the quest.
 
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