Hey guys! Been a while and I do apologize. Life and all that jazz, but I’m back (with a PS4)! Today, after a few weeks of constant editing because this was originally an INSANELY long article, I have finally calmed my OCD and reduced it to a super short and sweet version. Keep in mind that this is an MMO (Massively Multiplayer Online) so I cannot say I’ve completed the full game as of yet. However, I can give you a good rundown.
If you have ever picked up a copy of Elder Scrolls (Morrowind on PS3 was my first), you would notice that this map is literally riddled with things to do! Easy as pie to level up and take down any bosses before you even get through the story quests. Now, most games level with you so you don’t get too much of a choice but to constantly grind. The online sequel to this beautiful open-world RPG (Role-Playing Game) is grind-tastic. If you thought Destiny was difficult, try Elder Scrolls Online. We no longer have a quest finder but you find quests by exploring the sandbox and only get the marker on screen when you are within a certain range of the NPC (Non-Player Character for those of you who need it). Leveling up takes a fair amount longer than previous games because of this – but don’t lose hope!
Per usual, you gain EXP (experience points) from exploring areas, killing beasties, and completing quests – this includes the PvP (Player vs. Player) area. This is the complicated part for those of us who usually abstain from areas such as these but even I gave it a shot. When you start the game, you must choose your alliance. This gives you a limit on which characters you can choose (although you can pay extra to create any character on any alliance you want). For example: I am in the Aldemiri Dominion and I play as a Khajiit (a cat person) and so when I enter PvP, I gain points for Aldemiri and my guild fights for the Aldemiri Dominion. It is possible to level up faster if you group up in PvP and someone does most of the killing for you in order to complete quests. That’s all I can cover on PvP for now, I got lucky with a guild full of ass-kickers thank the stars (Keep a look out for more on ESO PvP later on).
Exploring the lands would fare better for your level if you zig-zag across the map. Most people don’t have the time or patience for that but it’s a start and will give you enough quest markers to accept and go back to. During these quests you may end up getting into areas that your player cannot yet approach so its definitely a great idea to map it all out. You also have your extras such as blacksmithing, woodworking, etc. that can help you gain skill points. Skill points give you perks. Perks give you more power. Power helps beat enemies. Beating enemies levels you up. It’s a mission but it’s totally worth it.
Understand that Bethesda is a company that NEVER cuts corners. From character creation to dyeing your gear, you can see how hard they have worked for your own customizing pleasures. Due to this attention to detail, you can clearly see the work they put in with the vast environments built throughout the game. You don’t get a bunch of sparse patches with little to no plant life just because you’re in between towns. A lot of effort went into studying landscapes when they put this world together. Getting into the textures, you get so many different shades of color that you can almost smell the green. Many of you don’t put in too much thought in this facet of the game but, because I have created textures myself, I can tell you it takes a lot of time to make something look real when it obviously is not. With 4K Ultra HD existing and the fact that this game is online 24/7, these textures are everything to not lag out while you’re playing. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and this beholder is stunned.
The musical score here is, in my opinion, headache inducing. I am the type of person who mutes the music in most games so I am not that great of a judge. Here’s what I have heard from friends and random players: “It’s pretty common,” meaning this player is used to hearing this music as he plays a lot of MMO games and most of the music sounds the same. I do agree on this point and it probably contributed to my instant muting. “Makes me feel like I am in the Lord of the Rings movie.” This is super true – for the 10 minutes I unmuted the music, I thought Legolas would pop up and shoot an arrow through my face. This is not necessarily a bad thing. It fits perfectly into the Aldemiri Dominion riddled with elves and woodland creatures. In other parts, the voice overs meet perfectly with the lip sync on respective characters. In other words, there’s never a moment where you are seeing one word but hearing another. As simple as you may think that is, it isn’t and thankfully Bethesda is a seasoned vet so we don’t have to deal with such a travesty.
Overall the grind here is the main fight. Looking pretty and sounding cute is not all there is to life, people! Although some quests are the same old regular “kill this,” there are plenty of unique ones in between that involve rescuing or crafting. Just enough is different so you don’t get tired of the same old thing. Through all this, though, you may still only gain one level and a skill point but if you take it as a challenge, you will see the attraction. This is definitely something you should try if you’ve never played an online RPG but NOT if you’ve never played an RPG at all. Intermediate players may even have a hard time. Good luck!