ESO: Exploring without a guide

When the topic of exploration in an MMO comes up, it causes me to massive eyeroll. Usually what ‘exploration’ means in an MMO is heavily pre-planned, pre-set, and usually pre-marked locations for you to ‘explore’ off a checklist. It’s not only lame, but thinly veiled achiever stuff.

ESO is a bit different in this regard, because it has ‘true’ explorer content; completely optional, not must-have power, off-the-beat-path stuff that if you look around you can find, but if you don’t it doesn’t really matter in the long run. That last bit is especially important, because if the explorer content is found to be a must-have, it becomes part of every guide and recommendation and stops being something to find.

Speaking of guides, I think the best bit of advice I can offer related to ESO is don’t look stuff up as you play. Don’t look up maps, don’t look up builds, don’t look up ‘how to’ guides for crafting; just play the game. More than most recent MMOs, ESO offers a lot to someone willing to just play it, and so far it also hasn’t been punishing for ‘missing’ anything.

Maybe that balance shifts at later levels, but so far the game has just been a rewarding journey. Don’t spoil it for yourself to min/max; there will be plenty of time for that at the level cap.

About SynCaine

Former hardcore raider turned casual gamer.
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6 Responses to ESO: Exploring without a guide

  1. Mobs says:

    Just run around and “get free” with your friends. We all got pretty free last night during a dungeon run.

  2. Mobs says:

    On a more serious note i think it’s more important to come into this game “with a what can I find” attitude and not so much as a “me first gimme gimmes attitude” this game can be pretty rewarding without a lId out agenda or plan. I got annoyed last night when friend wouldn’t group up because he already did this dungeon… That’s not the point the exp you get from the actually completion of an event or quest is less fruitful then the items, mats, and skill exp you get just doing the stuff.

    People seem to forget there are multiple ways to progress in the game.

    I heard a Lot of moaning about loot drops the last couple days; I am personally ok with how loot is handled and that there aren’t level 10s running around with gear sets. Every item you get can be sold or used alternatively to progress in some way. People need to break some habits and conventions.

    • rulez says:

      The first 3 dungeons do seem pretty unrewarding the second time around. I did not receive any loot from the bosses and all the containers in those private dungeons seem to be made in order to create competion within the group. Only the one who gets to them first gets it all. That’s quite the unfriendly system, especially for pugs.

      • Mobs says:

        I’m fine with how the locked chests work. I’m personally totally good with not everyone being entitled to everything. I like the bit or mad rush to a chest because there is a chance of missing out on it. I prefer uninstanced loot, the loot that is world loot is not rare or hard to get, same chests spawn at same spot every time. My one issue with it is sometimes it will cause a player to fuck with the chests while people are fighting. I lay that in the fault of the player and not the system though.

        Why must everyone policed by game systems? Someone is a shithead in your group boot em, it’s fairly easy to replace that player so afar.

        I will agree that it’s bullshit that the bosses dontj always drop things but I do not want them to consistently drop BoS gear for the level of the dungeon. I have found a use for everything I have looted, yes it doesn’t immediate become a part of my set but everything in the game has multiple purposes.

  3. Jenks says:

    I score very,very high as an explorer on Bartle’s test. I couldn’t agree with your opening paragraph more.

    The best MMO worlds are the ones that feel almost procedurally generated. Create a huge organic world, THEN put stuff in it. Most of the games today feel like they first mapped out a line of quest hubs, and then gave that to the world designers and told them to build a narrow world around it (we dont want anyone getting lost!).

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