The Elder Scrolls Online by Zenimax Online Studios is one of the most played MMORPGs today. It’s an Elder Scrolls themed MMO, which simply means that it borrows many aspects from the popular single player franchise. Be it the UI design, quests or combat system, you’ll definitely feel like you’re part of the Elder Scrolls world. If you’re planning to check out this game, this Elder Scrolls Online review 2018 is for you.
What You Need To Know
The game is buy to play. Purchase for it once on the website or on Steam, and you’re good to go forever. Additional DLCs can be bought as standalone or you can get the monthly optional subscription to get them free. There are expansions called Chapters like Morrowind and Summerset. These require a purchase regardless if you’re a subscriber or not.
The game world is huge at this point, with many questing zones and activities to do. PvE offers open world questing and stories that are fully voice acted with dialogues. This is for every single quest in the game which is impressive and of high quality. The combat system uses an action style, and is easy to grasp for the PC. You can also enjoy it on the PS4 and Xbox One.
Play How You Want
One of the best things about ESO is that it’s adaptable. What does that mean? It means the game reacts to how you play it. If you want to play it solo, go ahead! If you’d rather prefer running around with friends or with your guild, that’s fine too! ESO does not punish you for being casual or hardcore, and on top of that, rewards you either way. For the casual player with only a certain amount of time to play each week, the pace of the game is set by you. You can explore solo dungeons in the form of Delves, and whenever you feel like doing a dungeon or two, simply use the group finder and you’re set. For hardcore players, Veteran dungeons, Trials (raids) and the PvP Battlegrounds and Alliance War map will offer you good fun and long term progression.
The new content additions over the past couple of years greatly enhances what you can do on your own in the world. The Thieves Guild for example, allows you to be a master thief and pick-pocket NPCs in town, break into homes to steal loot and more. You’re then able to fence it off – sell it for Gold – and create another way for you to make money in-game. It’s also a form of horizontal progression. The more you break into homes with the lock-pick system and the more you sell your stolen goods, the higher your Legerdemain skill tree progresses. This allows you to put more Skill Points in it to get better at sneaking, for example. That form of character progression is unique to the Elder Scrolls Online, and one that no other MMORPG out there has managed to pamper me with.
Frequent Content Releases
Most MMOs enters into a lull period after a major content release, and that’s usually normal. We see it more often in Free to Play games where the content takes longer to arrive and in smaller bite-sizes, not to mention that quality can be a hit or miss. As ESO is between the two models of F2P and subscription only, you can expect at least multiple updates and DLCs per year, and of which, the quality is usually on-point. Players have already gotten a taste of the first few DLC updates for 2018, from Dragon Bones to Summerset, and now Wolfhunter to Murkmire. The game is just growing at a steady pace in terms of content.
New content alone isn’t all the game will be offering. There’s more quality of life improvements as well. Remember we talked about player housing that was introduced last year? Well it got better. Housing storage is available, and adds 360 slots in total for players to store items in their homes. This adds a tangible and much needed feature that will help players both new and old very much. That’s because prior to the announcement, inventory spaces on the player and from the bank always involved heavy micro-management due to limited upgrade slots. A new outfit system is also introduced which further addressees the feedback of the playerbase. Battlegrounds have been made free for all and no longer requires the Morrowind Chapter. All in all, these changes benefit you.
What Are The Cons?
MMORPGs are always improving with time. New content is usually the priority alongside squashing old bugs. At this point, the biggest cons that we would warn you about is latency and lag, which is really dependent on where you’re playing from in the world. On some days, you’ll get decent ping ratings in populated zones and in PvP, while on other days, it can be unplayable. Again, not many players may experience this, but it is a thorn in the game’s side, and they can definitely improve their servers.
Another area out-of game that should be looked at is customer support. Zenimax has done wonders to turn their reputation for ESO around from their terrible launch to the game it was supposed to be today. But that all counts for little if your customer support is rubbish. We’ve experienced first hand a few players getting locked out of their account, or having trouble linking their accounts to Steam, and Zenimax customer support offers no help whatsoever. And finally, if you’re 100% against RNG lootboxes, be aware that they do exist in the game’s cash shop. They contain mostly cosmetic “fluff”.
Value For Money
Most importantly for us, is the value for money proposition. What makes the Elder Scrolls Online so attractive is its Buy to Play model. If you’re planning to play the game on the PC, all you need is a one-time purchase and you’re good to go. You’ll be able to play the vanilla game for free without any restrictions. When it comes to purchasing the additional DLCs, you can either opt for the monthly subscription which unlocks it all, or buy them à la carte using Crown Points. Options is always a good thing.
But what is the value proposition you speak of? Firstly, the game goes on sale multiple times a year, especially on Steam. You can get it at ridiculous prices, sometimes even 50% off during Thanksgiving and other seasonal sales. For that sort of price, the amount of content you get is crazy. Elsewhere, playing the game now is so much better than playing it at release. As we’ve mentioned, the improvements over the years makes ESO one of the best MMOs out there today for all play styles. The One Tamriel Update for instance, allowed players the freedom to cross over zones and do whatever they wanted with level and zone scaling. Who’s to say there won’t be other game-changing updates in the near future? For what I’ve invested in it, the amount of time I am sinking into the game is totally worth the purchase, because I am having fun.