One way to judge a recently released MMO is by how often the devs need to patch in the first few days to fix things. ESO has had one so far, so while no game to date has been perfect, ESO continues to have by far the smoothest launch out of any MMO I’ve experienced.
I think walking into ESO expecting a themepark is also going to cause more than a few people to miss a lot of the good stuff (and was the root cause of a lot of early beta feedback of ‘more of the same’ feelings). Not to say that ESO doesn’t have themepark flavors, it 100% does, but those flavors aren’t “the whole game”, much like the main plot chain in Skyrim wasn’t “the whole game”.
If you went into Skyrim and stuck to the main plot exclusively, you missed a lot of the good stuff in Skyrim. If you go into ESO and do your routine “quest hub to quest hub leveling until the end-game starts” dance, you are going to miss a lot of the good stuff.
I’m currently just lvl 13, and have only done about 60% of the first ‘zone’, despite putting in a good chunk of time with the game because there is just so much ‘stuff’ to do/see that doesn’t directly progress you in levels, which is awesome. As mentioned before, there is true explorer stuff in this game, and not all of it rewards you with great xp or great items, sometimes you find things for a bit of lore, or to view an insignificant but fun little scene play out (I found a tied up merchant on a beach, approaching him caused a few hidden brigands to jump out, beating them allowed me to untie the merchant, who thanked me and walked away. No quest mechanic, no massive reward, just a random little bit of content that took 5 minutes and made wandering on that beach feel worthwhile).
Another random bit: In almost every village or town so far, there have been multiple houses or areas that aren’t directly tied to some quest. Themepark mode tells you to skip those until the game sends you inside, but ESO never will. Sometimes those houses only contain some random stuff and a lore note/book, other times I’ve found new crafting recipes or treasure chests tucked away. Point being, turn off themepark mode and follow up whenever you go “I wonder what’s inside there”. Unlike in most MMOs, in ESO you are very likely to find something.
I went into one of the instanced dungeons last night with the guild, great time. We had two people who out-leveled the place, which made it a bit easier than intended, but not so easy that we didn’t need to work together and pre-plan the encounters. The group size of four puts a lot more weight on each member, which is fantastic, and the whole experience still felt like ESO rather than a side game or something that played completely different than the rest of the content. Looking forward to more of those.
Finally we are hoping to get into some PvP tonight as a guild. I’ve yet to hear anything negative about it, so really looking forward to seeing what a smaller coordinated force can do and accomplish. Our guild is basically open invite, so if you are looking for people to play with, feel free to reach out.
#ESO #Themepark #Sandbox