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Elder Scrolls Online

Elder Scrolls Online 

Reviews & Impressions  » Good concepts on paper, fell short on game design

16 posts found
  Neherun

Advanced Member

Joined: 9/06/07
Posts: 210

 
OP  5/04/14 5:33:06 AM#1

While I purchased the game with a thought that they have just butchered one of my favorite IPs of all time, I must admit I genuinely had fun at some points of the game. TESO was one of the few MMORPGs that managed to deliver a PvE experience where you forgot you're actually just grinding levels to reach the maximum level, however this illusion couldn't last throughout the entire experience.

 

Lets start with:

 

PvE & Questing:

The games PvE had some extremely good parts. The main quest storylines of each zone, and the guild quests corporated with the actual main quest were easily the best PvE experience I've had in MMO. The sad part is, this was propably around 20% of the actual PvE experience. ESO attempted to thrive with exploration, voice acting and quest content that wasnt supposed to be your typical "Kill ten hens and collect their eggs", it didn't quite get there. Whenever my compass showed me a public dungeon, a mini-adventure in a cave or similiar where there was a little story behind it all, and a boss to slay. I didn't immerse myself into such parts, at all. I knew already the said cave would be empty, I could run through it within a minute, camp the boss spawn with few players and twenty bots, slay the boss and pick up the 1 quest that was always there for quick XP grab. 

Talking about exploration, there was little to explore when the map showed that "that area will have some content in it" and you just knew that if you wanted to keep up with the level requirements of the content, you'd have to scour through everything in the zone. So it wasn't exploration, it was well veiled illusion of quest hubs. Which hurt the immersion, which was actually apart from the important quests, non-existent. I couldn't immerse with the world most of the time, and that made the leveling and PvE experience feel like a drag.

There were some glorious moments, the storytelling allowed you to make choices on important quests, which in turn reflected your story all the way to the final moments of the quest lines. You saw familiar faces that interacted with you according to what you had done in the past. Or possibly didn't see them altogether since you had decapitated the said person 40 levels ago. The annoying part was, the little voice inside your head kept telling you "Enjoy these moments while they last."

Combat:

While the combats design on paper was excellent. Manual blocking, parrying, dodging, light and heavy attacks, non-cool down resource management based skill-relying gameplay. Holy mudcrab wasn't so holy after all. Light attacks were only spammed between ability animations for little extra damage, and they served no real purpose. Heavy attacks were even worse, since you could just spam that light attack for 95% of its damage without risking being put off the balance. 

The whole you can do all this fell short the moment I realized all of them are irrelevant, the best option for my character was just to charge to the enemy, press skills 1,2,3 and the opponents were dead. Light attacks? Didn't need them. Heavy attacks? Never used them! Blocking? Only if I wanted to use deadly bash on my shield. Dodging? I actually still to this day didn't use it to do anything else than dispelling roots. The concept is great, but the design flaws of making manual attacks irrelevant, blocking unimportant for most part and the fact that dodge barrel rolling was too costly to be used for anything made the combat well masked spamming of abilities, much like every other MMO out there. Manual targetting? I just clicked tab to target and held my mouse in the general direction of the mobs / players.

PvP:

While I play MMORPGs only for the sake of PvP content. I must say I spent less than ten hours on the PvP zone at release. Reasons for it were quite too simple: It felt absolutely meaningless. I died? Oh let's just run back to the fight. We lost / captured a keep, well what's the point? The PvP had no depth, everything that happened in Cyrodil felt irrelevant. While the sieging was fun at some parts, when you realize it matters absolutely nothing, other than on virtual scoreboards that reward 1 player at some part, I saw nothing for me there. That's the reason I couldn't keep being on the PvP zone, it felt like I was spending my time there playing a mini-game that held no rewards or anything to brag about. I didn't feel slightest sense of accomplishment whilst capturing a keep or managing to defend a bridge against a horde of opposing attackers. Simply stated: There is no carrot in any form. The random chests that handed out items weren't exactly anything to look forward to either. Overall extremely bland experience that was the final nail to the coffin for me in regards of not subbing to the game.

End-game and dungeons:

When I finally hit level 50 and got my first veteran rank, I dropped my jaw. The game instantly turned into a grind. After realizing I had millions and millions of experience (one mob handed around 400 exp and a quest ~5000) I couldn't even imagine reaching veteran rank 10. I decided to try the end-game PvE, and went to a group dungeon I last visited at level 15. While it was slightly more difficult, the group dungeon experience stayed the same; Other than few bosses and their special abilities, it was mainly chaotic spamming of abilities and attacks at the boss, whilst evading few red circles from time to time, it lacked it strategical depth. Perhaps the adventure zones and trials will change this, but currently it doesn't require too much teamwork, only well geared and well built characters and a healer who can keep up.

The only good part was that if I had the will and the time, I could play through the other factions quest content (and the awesome storylines), but I just couldn't do the 80% of the other stuff to enjoy the 20% content anymore, I just couldn't.

 

Crafting: 

Actually, the one thing you need to raise your hat for. I loved the crafting in the game, and the fact that you could replace most of your gear with self-crafted items, and be self-reliant on your gear progression. The only negative part about this was the research time grind. It was awesome to research a trait for a chest armor, knowing you could soon craft that set piece one with your chosen stats and even turn it into a legendary items. The problem was that the research timer showed me I could do it after a month.

 

TL;DR The game has excellent concepts, but the design choices make most of them fall flat on their stomach. The game lacks immersion you'd expect from Zenimaxs marketing speech (and the IP) and apart from few quest choices, your feats felt meaningless. As one of the million Vestiges who prevented the apocalypse on Nirn, I couldn't feel being something more.

 

Final Score: 62/100

  Datastar

Novice Member

Joined: 5/07/13
Posts: 172

5/04/14 6:03:35 AM#2
Im only at level 17 and im to the point where i cant bring myself to log in anymore, the Solo Questing is just the destroyer of worlds. While I find the game to be gorgeous and full of lore it offers little to no challenge for the most part and most of the quests are typically the same.  I cant imagine doing this for hundreds of hours...  Im seriously considering not renewing but im also having trouble hitting that cancel button i mean what else is there to play? 
  Crusades

Apprentice Member

Joined: 4/14/14
Posts: 494

5/04/14 6:13:12 AM#3

After playing beta, I sort of felt like I knew where this game was headed. I decided not to purchase it. Your review is more proof that the hunch I had was indeed correct, it's is very much in line with what I thought ESO to be.

I had felt from the begining that making an Elder Scrolls quality mmorpg was impossible. I thought  "How in the world can this be done with quality?"

So here we have ESO - it does have stuff that is elder scrolls and it does have stuff that mmorpgs have, it's missing the quality though.

 

I thought  "How in the world can this be done with quality?" - Answer - not possible like dividing by zero

Moving forward.....

a. Change the name of Elder Scrolls Online to something else online - no elder scrolls relation

b. Change consumer expectations with regard to Elder Scrolls - ie. make new elder scrolls games more like Elder Scrolls Online - imo selection b is a heartbreaker for ES fans.

 

  DeaconX

Apprentice Member

Joined: 2/08/05
Posts: 3074

Stand up for what you believe; Even if you stand alone.
-==X==-
SHH, my COMMON SENSE is tingling!

5/04/14 6:26:42 AM#4

I actually enjoy the SOLO questing enough and the combat system/character advancement as well as PVP in Cyrodiil, which can be quite epic at times.

There are however glaring and at times BAFFLING game design missteps throughout ever aspect of the game - from the little things like your MAIL SYSTEM not having a simple REPLY function [wtf?] to the big things like the way phasing is implemented to SPLIT friends up while questing at times or encourage selfish behavior rather than co-operation in dungeons [though I heard that was somewhat fixed...]

 

Sadly, I'm not sure how much longer I will care to sub to the game as I have little time to play it anyway... I will say ArcheAge [a game I've had my eye on for about 2 years now]  has been really peeking my interest for all the wonderful systems in that game SO, I may decide to vote for my wallet and purchase one of the starter packs for ArcheAge in hopes of showing future MMORPG designers that I want more freedom, open world and well thought out, inter-connected game systems.


Why do I write, create, fantasize, dream and daydream about other worlds? Because I hate what humanity does with this one.

BOYCOTTING EA / ORIGIN going forward.

  koya111

Apprentice Member

Joined: 1/10/11
Posts: 23

5/04/14 6:33:28 AM#5

Well it's a matter of opinion for me its the best mmo out there, i am completely immersed in the game world, i like the combat and as a tank i don't find it easy in instances not at all, you need to move and block in the right time, you need to micro mange your stamina and mana, only the fact i'm a battle mage/tank is freaking amazing! 

not sure how your just destroying waves of VR ranked mobs when even as a tank they hit very very hard, taking more then 3 alone is not an easy task, care to show me your build? this game in VR ranks isn't easy and i don't think you can just spam 1 2 3 and kill tons of mobs like in other mmo's, i insist that you actually have to be very careful with the way you use your bars and switch weapons or the seer number of skills and trees you have and the decision making with what to add or take out of the bar in order to optimize your build is also amazing, creating like that a very unique toon that is no way near to others, infact i never met a battle sorcerer like me i mean with the same skills or set of armor, only that for me is an amazing thing since most mmos have the same cookie cutter build.

the PVE is great and i like the questing the stories are great most of the time and i love the fact that till now i never did not even once a kill 10 rats, i feel like a hero an adventurer in this game the zones actually change after i save a town people talk about me and i feel the game world has changed duo to my actions, for example in GW2 the dynamic evens where repeatable and for me it destroyed the immersion since i was like "didnt i just killed that group of bandits 30 min ago??" 

also the grind thing in the so called END game, can some one give me an mmo that doesn't have some kind of grind, gear gring, mob grind, raid gring, pvp grind ecc? this is how mmos work right now, they cant give you endless content when you get to the end game, its up to us to create that content via crafting and trading, pvp and siege battles where guilds try to take the emperor sit or becoming the best or the strongest, players becoming the best at what they do ecc ecc, ESO is a young MMO only out for a month, give it time...

I didn't try pvp yet since i don't feel i am ready yet (not skilled enough and ny gear is low grade but ill get there, i also love the fact its a slow game, gives me a reason to come back and play, the fact i still have 2 factions to explore to see other quests and zones is great, i am a casual gamer i work i have a family and this game is a great place to find my own peace and fun.

i find most of the reviews in this forum superficial at best, and most of the people making threads not providing examples or proving it with ingame videos or screenshots creating a situation were people might miss on a great game because they listen to what you guys say, i for one wanna see a video of VR1-10 player killing a group of more then 4-5 VR mobs by himself, by the way i am a sorc tank build with 50 storm calling and a vamp plus lvl 10 guild mage so i have the star ulti and bats and still cant take more then 4 VR mobs without 90% of the time dying, not saying its not possible but that player must have some serious gear and micro management skills and a damn good well thought out build.

 

like i said its all subjective but i strongly advice for any one interested in ESO to check it out, it's truly a great game and i am having fun on a daily basis...

my ingame nick is trhel on the EU server anyone interested grouping or asking for help in-game is more then welcome!

  User Deleted
5/04/14 6:54:05 AM#6
Originally posted by koya111

Well it's a matter of opinion for me its the best mmo out there, i am completely immersed in the game world, i like the combat and as a tank i don't find it easy in instances not at all, you need to move and block in the right time, you need to micro mange your stamina and mana, only the fact i'm a battle mage/tank is freaking amazing! 

not sure how your just destroying waves of VR ranked mobs when even as a tank they hit very very hard, taking more then 3 alone is not an easy task, care to show me your build? this game in VR ranks isn't easy and i don't think you can just spam 1 2 3 and kill tons of mobs like in other mmo's, i insist that you actually have to be very careful with the way you use your bars and switch weapons or the seer number of skills and trees you have and the decision making with what to add or take out of the bar in order to optimize your build is also amazing, creating like that a very unique toon that is no way near to others, infact i never met a battle sorcerer like me i mean with the same skills or set of armor, only that for me is an amazing thing since most mmos have the same cookie cutter build.

the PVE is great and i like the questing the stories are great most of the time and i love the fact that till now i never did not even once a kill 10 rats, i feel like a hero an adventurer in this game the zones actually change after i save a town people talk about me and i feel the game world has changed duo to my actions, for example in GW2 the dynamic evens where repeatable and for me it destroyed the immersion since i was like "didnt i just killed that group of bandits 30 min ago??" 

also the grind thing in the so called END game, can some one give me an mmo that doesn't have some kind of grind, gear gring, mob grind, raid gring, pvp grind ecc? this is how mmos work right now, they cant give you endless content when you get to the end game, its up to us to create that content via crafting and trading, pvp and siege battles where guilds try to take the emperor sit or becoming the best or the strongest, players becoming the best at what they do ecc ecc, ESO is a young MMO only out for a month, give it time...

I didn't try pvp yet since i don't feel i am ready yet (not skilled enough and ny gear is low grade but ill get there, i also love the fact its a slow game, gives me a reason to come back and play, the fact i still have 2 factions to explore to see other quests and zones is great, i am a casual gamer i work i have a family and this game is a great place to find my own peace and fun.

i find most of the reviews in this forum superficial at best, and most of the people making threads not providing examples or proving it with ingame videos or screenshots creating a situation were people might miss on a great game because they listen to what you guys say, i for one wanna see a video of VR1-10 player killing a group of more then 4-5 VR mobs by himself, by the way i am a sorc tank build with 50 storm calling and a vamp plus lvl 10 guild mage so i have the star ulti and bats and still cant take more then 4 VR mobs without 90% of the time dying, not saying its not possible but that player must have some serious gear and micro management skills and a damn good well thought out build.

 

like i said its all subjective but i strongly advice for any one interested in ESO to check it out, it's truly a great game and i am having fun on a daily basis...

my ingame nick is trhel on the EU server anyone interested grouping or asking for help in-game is more then welcome!

I am curious, but would like to know if soloing is your end-game. I was under the impression that reaching a vet rank was pretty much the start of real grouping because the open world mobs were harder to kill. I don't see the fun in reaching vet rank 1 and start soloing vet mobs all over again, but that's just me. By the way your sorc build is pretty much the flavor of the month. Everyone I see in-game is a sorc vampire. Have fun.

  Niburu

Novice Member

Joined: 11/12/12
Posts: 336

5/04/14 6:55:32 AM#7
Even on paper it was shit
  User Deleted
5/04/14 7:10:31 AM#8

I enjoyed healing on this game with my resto templar and resto staff. From level 1-50 didn't find any challenge in group content as far healing goes. When I heard the templar was nerfed I didn't know if playing one was a good decision. I guess the nerf was required. After level 50, it's still easy to heal. Only when a party member dies is either because didn't move from red circles or had lag. I can't imagine what a group of templars would do in vet content. DPS is not my thing, so I think there's nothing else for me. I am tired of grouping with vampires. Actually last dungeon runs were either 3 or 2 vampires in the dungeon. The fire weakness is not really a problem, players continue as of today looking to get the vamp bite. The chat is always active with people looking for vamp bites.

I hope zenimax adds a necro class, I am done with healing.

 

  koya111

Apprentice Member

Joined: 1/10/11
Posts: 23

5/04/14 7:13:57 AM#9
When did i say i am soloing? in fact i said soloing would be hard in VR ranks duo to the fact mobs hit hard and have high HP, and while there are a lot of sorc vamp or just vamps in general i didn't see many tank sorcerers with the same build i use meaning skills and passives and armor set up, you guys are just generalizing the whole game with superficial statements, like "theres a lot of vamp sorcerers" yeah true but not all using one hand and shield and a bow like me for example or have the same trees and skills i have... if i am mistaken your more then welcome to show me i'm wrong, and i am having fun thanks for caring :D
  Mordeth123

Novice Member

Joined: 12/27/05
Posts: 15

5/04/14 4:26:37 PM#10

This is a pretty well balanced review if you ask me. It's not really the bugs that makes this a fairly bad release, and lets be honest the amount of bugs is huge, and not really worthy of a 2014 AAA MMO, but whatever it's (probably) fixable. The problem is some pretty core game design flaws. Some of them are fixable, but not without hurting at the same time as well. The megaserver with shards makes questing a solo game where you'll occasionally meet other players doing the same solo quest. The 5 guild AH is a very bad idea that is inconvenient and could have been done a lot easier.  5 guilds per account, and all works across factions does not at all compute with the PvP-theme of Cyrodiil. We're supposed to be at war, yet I can be in the same guild as the guy opposing me on the battlefield, and I can communicate with him directly in my guild chat. Seriously...

I could mention a lot more problems, but I'm not going to bother. One thing that tells me Zenimax isn't knowledgeable enough to run an MMO is the loot-time bandaid-fix they did recently to stop bots in mini-dungeons. Yes, they had to do something, but they didn't do it right. Every mini-boss gets a 10 min loot timer, and it's global, so if you happen to get across 2 bosses within 10 minutes, well no loot the 2nd time, for a completely different boss. Now that's not the worst part really, what this bandaid fix did was force the botters above ground, so to speak, and are now running rampant in low lvl areas and veteran areas collecting materials, and running mutibox-trains and being more of a nuisance than before. An experienced MMO'er could see this happening from a mile away, yet Zenimax didn't. If this, and all the other problems is the level of competence this team has, then ESO is on a fast-track to F2P model.

It's a pretty good singleplayer-ish PvE theme-park game though, I think I'll pick it up again once it becomes F2P. It fails as an MMO...

  Mothanos

Advanced Member

Joined: 10/20/10
Posts: 1862

5/04/14 4:44:49 PM#11

I think alot of people are bored of questing in general.
Even tough i am a person that just want to do endgame and pvp, ESO has done a fine job on questing.

I just hope Zenimax is able to fix what is wrong in this game, and that is a big list.
Not going to mention all of it but for us European players Cyrodiil is one big lag infestation.
It sucks the fun out of the game when you have 2 or 15 seconds delay depending how big the groups are.

Add to the list of broken passives and OP ability's and ultimate batswarm spam and you can see that pvp is in a realy bad state.
lag here and lag there, massive crashes when grouping with guild.
Infinte loading screens that can happen multiple times.
And the list goes on and on.

Still with all that shit still ingame its insanly fun to play.
I hope Zenimax can fix most of that crap this month before Craglorn comes out.
As i havent had such fun in an mmo for a loooooooong time.

If Zenimax fix the bugs and balance vampires and class skills / passives and give us our EU servers!!! i can see myslf playing this mmo for years.

But if they wait to long to fix it then i prolly lose interest and hop to Archeage.

My score is a 6/10 in the current state of the game also.
But it could defo be a 8/10 and if endgame is rocking hardcore then it might even be a 9/10

  NagilumSadow

Hard Core Member

Joined: 1/26/12
Posts: 274

5/11/14 2:38:26 PM#12

After consideration, my question is this: Why purchase TESO, and then pay the sub for something that is themepark, arbitrary and at the end of the day not even elder scrolls like? 

 

There is already a vastly better and more "elder scrolls -like" mmo out there in "Darkfall: Unholy Wars".

 

Darkfall Unholy Wars is 100x more "Elder Scrolls like" than TESO and it is both sandbox and skill based; you use a skill, rather than grind an arbitrary level number next to your name. Moreover, THe tiny world of TESO can fit in Darkfall's back yard.

 

Finally I have found my mmo : Darkfall Unholy Wars

 

After DFUW, I can't imagine going back to TESO.


http://wyrdgaming.blogspot.com/

  reeereee

Apprentice Member

Joined: 3/22/13
Posts: 710

5/11/14 2:48:53 PM#13
How exactly was the design ever good on paper?  Building an mmo where the main attraction is the solo questing experience is a horrible idea.  What comes out in the end is almost guaranteed to be neither a good single player game nor a good mmo.
  Mothanos

Advanced Member

Joined: 10/20/10
Posts: 1862

5/12/14 1:03:21 AM#14

One thing they should have done is making 1 open world
Give people a choice on how to level trough the game.....this is not the 90's anymore ffs.
Alow people to actualy play together like any other mmo...

These 3 point would make eso alot more fun instead, we are met with a 90% solo expirience trough the game.
And the game is getting so dreadfull and boring to play....
From 1 to 50 it feels perfect !!!
from VR1 to VR5 most cant stand the questing anymore, pointless quest after another...hundreds and hundreds of pointless quest.

millions and millions exp needed to ding and only quests to walk that road.
No exp in pvp
No exp in dungeons
No exp for Dolmans
No exp for Delves / public dungeons

Its bad and Zenimax should feel bad.
Saying it now - ESO is going to be dropped by tons of players due to this horrific design choice.

And to top this off craglorn is adding 2 new veteran ranks that might require another 7 millions exp to farm.
Good news for the pvp players.....not :P


At this stage in ESO i rather play SWTOR...

  Siug

Hard Core Member

Joined: 5/02/12
Posts: 1025

5/12/14 1:43:29 AM#15
Originally posted by Mothanos

One thing they should have done is making 1 open world
Give people a choice on how to level trough the game.....this is not the 90's anymore ffs.
Alow people to actualy play together like any other mmo...

These 3 point would make eso alot more fun instead, we are met with a 90% solo expirience trough the game.
And the game is getting so dreadfull and boring to play....
From 1 to 50 it feels perfect !!!
from VR1 to VR5 most cant stand the questing anymore, pointless quest after another...hundreds and hundreds of pointless quest.

millions and millions exp needed to ding and only quests to walk that road.
No exp in pvp
No exp in dungeons
No exp for Dolmans
No exp for Delves / public dungeons

Its bad and Zenimax should feel bad.
Saying it now - ESO is going to be dropped by tons of players due to this horrific design choice.

And to top this off craglorn is adding 2 new veteran ranks that might require another 7 millions exp to farm.
Good news for the pvp players.....not :P


At this stage in ESO i rather play SWTOR...

Actually I agree. I really like my sorcerer as a class but instead of grinding VR ranks I'd rather roll an alt to play these areas through. Grinding all the quests even twice is too much for me. I'm still subbed but definitely lost some interest after dinging VR1.

  NagilumSadow

Hard Core Member

Joined: 1/26/12
Posts: 274

5/12/14 1:58:19 AM#16
Originally posted by Mothanos

One thing they should have done is making 1 open world
Give people a choice on how to level trough the game.....this is not the 90's anymore ffs.
Alow people to actualy play together like any other mmo...

 

I agree with you fully on this. However,  Zen's "entertainment experience" philosophy had to martial the player to the narrow storyline, rather than freedom of choice -- which is why TESO is possibly already a lost cause.

 

 


At this stage in ESO i rather play SWTOR...

 

If that isn't an insult, I don't know what is.


http://wyrdgaming.blogspot.com/