ESO: State of the game, state of the MMO

Since Bethesda releases a State of the Game today, I might as well post mine now as well.

Overall I really like the game. I don’t know if I’d call it a great MMO, but as just a game overall I’m really enjoying it. I’m progressing slower than expected (lvl 21 right now), but don’t feel that need to catch up or hit the end-game.

Gold spam has been noticeable, and it’s disappointing that Bethesda seems so unprepared for it and that it’s now taking so much of their focus to fix. It’s 2014 guys, and you expected to launch a highly populated MMO, really no excuse here.

On a similar note, I had posted that the first few days of launch where the best MMO launch I’ve experienced. Well the first month hasn’t been. Some quests have been broken, the bots at public dungeon bosses is HORRIBLE in terms of immersion and just general game enjoyment, and stuff like unusually long loading screens and chat lag all result in a game that is not nearly as smooth and easy to enjoy as it was on day one of the early start.

The MMO parts? Pretty hit or miss here.

The 4 man dungeons so far have all been fun, and what limited time I’ve spent with PvP has shown glimpses of something much better than the mess that was GW2 PvP. I like my character, I look forward to trying other specs, and I think overall the crafting has been above-average themepark crafting.

On the other hand questing really is best done solo, to the point that having others around you is more annoying than anything else. On top of that, you basically have to go out of your way to do non-dungeon stuff with your guildmates, which just feels wrong. I should be happy when a guildmate logs on, and I’m just not in ESO.

Even stuff like taking down the elite spawns on a map together feels forced, if only because one player is teleporting nearby to the other, and more than once said elite spawn has been killed by a random coming by and helping out while your guild mate is traveling. Plus once you kill the mob, the guild mate goes back to his solo questing while you go back to yours. (Note: This aspect is particularly striking to me right now because I’m also playing a lot of Darkfall, and in Darkfall having more people is almost always a good thing, and grouping up is so natural and beneficial.)

Ultimately it all returns me to the main driving of this blog since pretty much day one; a ‘sandbox’ is how MMOs work best, but for whatever reason it always (not EVE) seems that the sandbox is limited by its budget or design details, while a good themepark makes for a good game, but it ultimately held back by the fact that it’s a themepark. Why can’t someone other than CCP make a sandbox MMO that is also a solid game?


About SynCaine

Former hardcore raider turned casual gamer.
This entry was posted in Darkfall Online, The Elder Scrolls Online. Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to ESO: State of the game, state of the MMO

  1. Mabrick says:

    “Why can’t someone other than CCP make a sandbox MMO that is also a solid game?”

    There’s no money in it. Most gamers want a theme park. They only want others around so they can show off their bling IMO. YMMV.

    Oh wait, that was a rhetorical question wasn’t it?

    • SynCaine says:

      “Oh wait, that was a rhetorical question wasn’t it?”

      Yes but not really.

      When RUST and DayZ dominate Steam sales for half a year, saying “there is no money in sandboxes” doesn’t ring all that true to me anymore. It’s not 2006 and WoW isn’t the uber-monster it was at it’s peak. Especially when we see themepark after themepark fall on its face.

      I mean, if someone pitched Fantasy EVE with ESO-level quality, would it sound crazy to say that game could retain 500k subs after 6 months?

      • Asmiroth says:

        Correct me here but isn’t Shroud of the Avatar a sandbox MMO? From the maker of the original sandbox MMO too? Shouldn’t people be throwing money at their screen for that?

        Even Camelot Unchained sort of fits that.

        Are they pipe dreams or something people are actually looking forward to?

      • tithian says:

        The majproty of people that play Rust and DayZ do it for the ganks, not for the sandbox elements. Remove the PvP from those games for one day, go to the forums/reddits and grab some popcorn.

        Sandboxes themselves are really really niche. I mean, what is the playerbase for Wurm Online? And those that do want to play in a sandbox, already have a more-than-decent choice (EVE).

  2. Sharps says:

    I am in an ESO state of non-grippedness.

    I’ve cancelled my sub already and re-installed skyrim + mods.

    ESO just feels lackluster and the bugs are a real killer. Repeating the same dull quest multiple times is annoying.

    It’s all a bit sad really. I had higher hopes based on what I read.

    I’m almost ready to resub to Eve again.

  3. Larofeticus says:

    I want another solid game MMO sandbox. I’m an adult now and willing to fork out some cash for it to. How about something that’s just like minecraft except balanced between construction/defenses and destruction.

    I also don’t want to see anyone else’s bling. That’s the worst part of path of exile (though they’ve done an admirable number of things right). Standing in town is like being trapped in a weeaboo fashion show. Stupid glowing pokemons and angel wings everywhere.

  4. KennyG says:

    Well we new the PVE would be theme-park, but i have had alot of sandbox type moments in cyrodiil

  5. Lex says:

    There used to be an interesting game called A Tale in the Desert. It was a sandbox that didn’t have any combat, based on ancient egypt setting. Its focus was on crafting and working together with people to finish large server-wide objectives that everybody could participate in, while also completing personal tasks and challenges that advanced your character.

    I gave it a try (years back) for its free trial’s worth, and it opened my eyes to how great things you could possibly have with the sandbox genre. We absolutely need more outlandishly cool ideas of that sort brewing inside large game studios.

    Make no mistake — it was very low budget game lacking in many things, and with absolutely worst designer/management team on its reins you could imagine. AFAIK the game is still running on costly subscriptions while the dev team has completely abandoned the game — just resetting the game “season” every now and then so that it’ll remain playable for those few ppl still clinging on there!

  6. Anti-Stupidity League says:

    Do you want to pay a monthly fee to play Skyrim – The Crap Edition? Well, here you go. But hurry, this messiah of subscription-based games will be f2p soon.

Comments are closed.