Monday, April 7, 2014

New The Elder Scrolls Online: Imperial Edition - PC/Mac

New The Elder Scrolls Online: Imperial Edition - PC/Mac




Lets face the reality, gaming and especially MMOs have developed a extremely poisnous community over the past several years. In fact it has never been worse on average in my opinion at this current point in history.

Many MMO players are pissed off, and they are pissed off at being pissed off, for many reasons stretching from not playing like them, to liking a different game, to having a different opinion.

Those same venomous people are sending unending hate towards this game. Some writers in the MMO/gaming press have predicted Elder Scrolls Online failure, simple because it has a subscription and not for game reasons. While giving the subscription model Wildstar will use a free pass - that isn't very professional.

Did you know there are probably game studios/publishers that pay people to go on other gaming forums and write reviews on websites, just to spread hate about certain titles? It's true (Probably also true for positive reviews, but I'm a fantasy author/life long gamer, my review is just a honest opinion - not a editor though - I pay someone to make sense of my bad Engrish). The MMO community on average, and it's hate filled nature, make it all too easy to anger the villagers, so they can ready their pickforks and torches. On quest to kill any monster that is the flavor of the month.

So it's best to ignore it all the hate and unprofessionalism. Then focus on what you personally like or don't like for yourself. The worst that happens is you spend as much time as you would in large single player game like Skyrim and get your money's worth and unsub.

Does that mean negative comments and concerns about a game, should be written off? No.

I have put over 200 hours into the Beta, and have been playing the game since the five day headstart. I feel I have a very well rounded opinion on Elder Scrolls online, and it has strengths, no MMOs or games current offer, with weaknesses other grinding MMOs already offer for gamers with different tastes. So let me break down some of ESO's the strengths.

Character Customization 10/10: I have never played a game that offered so much, I know Elder Scroll purists will complain how different many races look lore wise but that isn't what I am talking about. I'm just talking about the sheer options you get to chose from, with some very nice presets. You can spend hours messing around with the staggering amount of options.

Art Direction 9/10: Another one of the game's amazing points. Again, I understand, they characters are pollished up. I understand this doesn't reflect established Elder Scrolls Lore. What those people miss is, high elves were butt ugly and resembled yellow aliens. Dark Elves, also resembled rosewell cross suviviors. It's hard for me to look at this like anything but a improvement. The evniroments look amazing, the world of Nirn feels like the one I have come to love in Elder Scrolls since Morrowind. Armor reflects the races perfectly.

Crafting 10/10+: I have a confession to make, I hate crafting in every single MMO. My days in WoW? I'd pay people in gold to gether materials for me because I hated them that much. Especially crafting professions. I grew to love gathering professions, but it took years. So, when I started crafting in ESO, I was in shock because I was having so much fun. In fact, With Crafting you can make a strong point, it's the very best part of ESO along with PVP. I spent just as much time leveling up Blacksmithing, Woodworking, Echanting and Provisioning. Than I did questing and enjoy the world.

Player vs Player 10/10: The best of any MMO I have ever been a part of. The battles are Epic, much more than a zergfest. I have been thinking of ways to describe what a rush it is, to be involved in a large scall pvp battle, with your screen filled with countless players working together to get a keep. You just have to experience it for yourself. PVP or crafting can be debated either way as being the best element of the game.

Graphics 9/10: I run the game on a SLI setup and high resolution, let me tell you it's beautiful. The best looking MMO by far, and I have played them all. That being said I decided to try the other settings. The lower graphic settings, are just plain bad. I have seen them on pretty much any other MMO I can name and I am used to the best of the best. However, I am not conviced low settings of the game are playable. Where are cartoon looking MMOs are. The graphic options are a welcome change, and my large scale PVP battles have run, as smooth as better frame rate wise. Graphics wise, I am only comparing it to other MMO, not single player or multiplayer games. So stop with the, "GUIZE IT DEOSN'T LOOK LIEK SYKRIMM!"

Public Dungeons 9/10: ESO has dungeons, but unlike other MMO dungeons these are public dungeons. You can enter with a group, or without. Other people are free to enter as well. This doesn't effect your loot, as far as killing enemies within it. Chests and Ore, are a first one to it gets it aspect and I like that. Materials and chests for everyone, is like every team in t-ball gets a trophy and I don't like that aspect. Back on point. These dungeons you can go at your own pace, soaking up the lore, but you still get help from other players and for me it has been easier forming a social relationship with other people. There is also no pressure of function as a key role, since there isn't key roles in the game, only classes you can play how you wish.

Mounts level up 10/10: Think of mounts like dailies. You feed your horse, and you can chose between three food types. Speed, stamina, or toughness. You buy the food for the aspect you want to level up, and your starting horse in time can be as good, as a 42,000 gold mount.

There are no set roles, but there is 10/10: Yes there are classes, no there are no set roles, but there is. What that means is, if you want a plate armored mage, you can do that. There is no tank/healer/dps class. But if your guild needs a healer, you can build a healer and play that way easily. Or you can make a mage tank, or a dps healer tank, in any combination you want. So there is no role really, since you are never put in one, but you can put yourself in one.

Questing 8/10: This is widely, probably the most complained about aspect of the game, up there with the Imperial edition and subscription model. However I don't have a problem with it. That being said, it's greatest weakness is, this is very much a quest hub system that you will find in many other MMOs. It's still a system I like though, and why I hated GW2 for it's absence. I love Elder Scrolls lore, so for me, I like all the quests in various ways and I can say none of them ever feel like a grind. I can see where someone who is used to skipping quests, doesn't like lore or to pay attention, will hate this aspect. I think to really enjoy this system, you need to take a stop and smell the roses approach and or be a Elder scrolls lore fan.

No Auction house, only Guild Stores 10/10: Enough said, great feature.

No raiding, but twelve man content dungeons 10/10: I have spend years raiding and gear grinding. I've had my fill of it and it's nice to see a end game that's different.

System put in place, to make players as social as possible/ can be in 5 guilds at once: This is amazing, my biggest problem with MMO, the past few years is they have created a community of mostly silent grinders, in it for perks. These players don't want to do group content, communicate with others, and just want to play a MMO, as a single player experience. If they do want to group with players, it's in a que like system, with a instant group, to get instant gratification. Elder Scrolls, seems to go to war with this mindset and these types of players, with the exception there is plenty of things for soloists to do but at the end of the day, you will need a guild, for more than perks.

Veteran Content 10/10: You can play as the same character, through all the other faction zones, and earn Veteran rank. Not alt friendly, but my days of being a altaholic are over.

Adventure Zones 10/10 (in theory): Image large zone catered to four people. No more waiting for your random group to pop, so you can push through a dungeon as soon as possible, skipping all possible NPCs, to get the shinny chest at the end.

3-4 weekly updates and content additions 10/10: No more waiting two, three or four months in between patches. If Zenimax can pull this off, this will give people a never ending sea of content for years to come, on top of possible expansions.

Closing Comments: For gamers who don't like crafting, not a PVPer, don't like subscriptions, not a Elder Scrolls fan, love raiding, love playing the auction house, get bored with quest hub systems and or prefer set roles. This game isn't only not for you, but this game isn't even in your universe and should be avoided at all costs. Just keep in mind, just because a game doesn't offer what you like, doesn't make it a bad game.

However for the rest of us, who love crafting, love pvp, prefer subscriptions, are Elder scrolls fan, burned out of raiding and miss longer dungeons, not big fans of auction houses, like or don't mind quest hubs, and like classes with open roles. There is simply no other game out there. This is not only one of the greatest games I have ever played, but also the best MMO I have ever played. I have long waited for a MMO, that focused on creating a environment where players could be social again. A few days in and I already have a large friend list, from my time in public dungeons.

The Title says it all, I can't remember the last time I ever had so much fun in a game. Zenimax has created a legendary experience for people who have taste in what it offers and for my money I have had no better experience in my MMO history and I have been playing since the launch of Ashron's Call. While it's not a game for everyone, and no game out there is for everyone, the players it does cater to will get a legendary experience filled with fun times, while casting confused looks at the sea of haters pointing to other MMOs due out in the next several months or year. Without a doubt they should play those games and let those who like Elder Scrolls Online play in peace, they won't change any minds.

If this was a 1-10 rating system (such as IGN), I'd give the game a 9.1. The only thing that stops it from being a ten, is Zenimax changing it's original vision a bit too much - they should have stuck with their guns from a story point of view. Also combat, while good, and very enjoyable - not to the in depth skill system. I still feel it's not quite hair trigger, blocking feels that way, Spell casting is good, in fact all ranged is, but attacking for melee users feels mildly off. There were also some quest breaking bugs (which I hate taking points off, but I am sure it ruined aspects for people), characters sitting in air, standing halfway through the floor, Zenimax also didn't give fair enough warning when servers were taken offline. Regardless it's too a amazing game.