So Elder Scrolls Online is actually a pretty decent MMO now, who woulda thunk it. A game that released as barely an MMO. Just another long line of theme parks that epitomized the feeling of playing alone together. A questing and map based progression that made it incredibly hard to play – and that’s if you could even see each other due to the weird way the phasing worked at times. For some reason it just felt like it wasn’t fun to play for some reason and even now I can’t quite put my finger on why.
It’s no exaggeration to say that the One Tamriel Update improved everything about the game. It just feels like a better game now and a far better MMO. Without the needless restrictions of before the general gameplay feels a lot more fluid with adventuring around the map, and more open with both where to go and the choices you have available to you. beforehand it was mostly that set Cadwell’s mission chain to move you around the maps after 50. It felt way to structured and due to the grind of how tough the mobs got – rather unfun as well.
Now I was umping between maps based on my own little goals and interests. I jumped around at first trying to get a lot more skyshards to complete my build and get more options available to me and well, while there I thought to explore a little bit as well and unlock the maps various areas and special points. This lead to a large jump in my champion level as well as all that exploration rewarded me with decent chunks of experience. That’s amazing really – being rewarded for enjoying the content you had wanted to do.
While in these areas I would occasionally fall into a little combat pattern with clearing certain areas and mobs. Usually this was in the little Delves around each map as they are a little more difficult than the average map areas in terms of mob damage, health, and density. Before these were a bit of a slog at times and if you were exploring areas above your level or veteran rank a near impossibility for me. This once again restricted the options available but now, you kind of just fall into the various pieces of content around. It’s a more relaxing way to play and one with a lot more options available to you.
Because of these big changes to how poeple play it feels like the mmo has become a lot more lively, and the world around fairly busy. Every area I visited had various other adventurers running around, Every single delve had a few other people too which I was rather surprised with as sometimes, these could be rather empty if they weren’t one of the popular ones. It’s rather comforting to see others around now not just because this is an mmo after all but also how other players around makes traversing areas much easier, and often enough you form little impromptu groups just following each other while ungrouped but helping to kill everything you can.
I was experiencing far more social interactions while exploring as well, not just these quick playing around people circumstances but chatting as you are exploring, forming groups and running through content that goes for maybe just noe delve to a complete tour of an area including world bosses and public dungeons. Many other groups were running around and it seemed like constant groups be asked for and formed across each map. It seemed like a complete turnaround from when I last played. It just feels so much more like an MMO. And when the hell did individual loot come in.. HOLY SHIT!!..
I was even impressed with the little details that have taken place since my absence. It was always a rather detailed world, lovingly crafted around similar Elder Scrolls experience but at times this felt rather static. A world stuck in time, motionless and untouchable but now all the small little details you find like cups, plates, swords on racks, or boots on the ground are intractable. Collect and sell as much as you can and while – it sometimes isn’t even worth it as vendor trash it’s still nice that it’s there.
The DLC packs seem to have expanded the world nicely, but also added the various systems that cam with them too. Assassinating NPC’s. Thieving from homes and fencing to a buyer, and little mechanics around each. It creates an mmo experience with a lot more options and one that does feel closer to it’s Elder Scrolls heritage without sacrificing too much of what makes MMO’s enjoyable. This is continuously improving it seems now as they’ve chosen what seems like the right development directions (minus lockboxes of course). With housing coming in soonish, it will get even better in my mind.
Even though a lot has changed now to make it a fairly decent MMO with components I really enjoy, I’m still finding it weirdly hard to get more invested in it. That something that felt off at release still kinda does. Now though I know it’s not really ESOs fault but probably more my own hang ups. Maybe it’s just the story heavy focus that’s not appealing to me at all and I just need to settle down into that groove like I did with TSW. Maybe it’s still that my tanking build sucks for general play and I should focus on that. Or maybe I just need a good dose of PvP to get the mmo interest pumping in me again.