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News & Features Discussion  » [Column] Elder Scrolls Online: Is ESO Dying or Just Carving a Niche?

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Advanced Member

Joined: 5/07/14
Posts: 322

7/02/14 11:46:04 AM#61
Originally posted by SEANMCAD



just go play Darkfall is more like what ESO should be

Except major pieces are broken and the community is full of L33Tards


Novice Member

Joined: 7/08/12
Posts: 67

7/02/14 11:46:14 AM#62
   I went crazy, bought the boxed Imperial edition, and cancelled after a month. I think I'll return one day but probably not for at least a year or so. I think the PC release was really just an extended beta test for the console versions and in a few years the game will be worth getting back into, if it's still around.  

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 3/22/09
Posts: 5327

7/02/14 11:47:54 AM#63
Originally posted by Tyggs
Originally posted by SEANMCAD



just go play Darkfall is more like what ESO should be

Except major pieces are broken and the community is full of L33Tards

I agree with the last part.

However other than that it is (as it stands right not) more of a elder scrolls game then ESO is.

Correlation does not imply causation


Apprentice Member

Joined: 8/08/11
Posts: 1317

7/02/14 11:49:03 AM#64
Originally posted by Lugors
I think most people agreed that the game needed more time before release, and honestly, they took that advice to heart and delayed the console release by a significant amount.  Of the 20mil sales of Skyrim, at least 2/3 or more had to be console sales.  That is where the market for this game is at, and where Zenimax is counting on success.  The game can't be dying if it hasn't been released on the platforms they expect the most sales with.


I have to wonder if a shaky PC launch will work against them though.  There is a lot of hate out for this game.  Its possible some of that could affect console sales?

I'm not sure, but after such a rough launch and all the hate thrown at the game.. I have to think they would have been better off waiting for a more stable PC launch timed closer to the console one.

But what do I know.  Not much about consoles and game launch planning.


Advanced Member

Joined: 5/07/14
Posts: 322

7/02/14 11:49:26 AM#65
Originally posted by SEANMCAD
Originally posted by Tyggs
Originally posted by SEANMCAD



just go play Darkfall is more like what ESO should be

Except major pieces are broken and the community is full of L33Tards

I agree with the last part.

However other than that it is (as it stands right not) more of a elder scrolls game then ESO is.

I can agree with that. DF is a great concept in need of some thorough polish to become something truly special.


Apprentice Member

Joined: 6/20/14
Posts: 406

7/02/14 11:50:15 AM#66
Originally posted by Manestream

ok some things to know.

1. When World of Warcraft came out there was hardly any end game content either.

2. However it took hardcore players a few months to max out and the casual players 6+ months (usually longer) before maxing out.

3. These days new games come out and your at max level within 2 weeks for casual playing, hardcore are there in a day or two.

4. This does not gicve them time to fix any found bugs so even casual players will hit these and fine the game to be buggy, and this does not give them time to make and do some end game content, rather they would have to rush this out to keep the playerbase from leaving but this brings in many rushed bugs and not much of a good end game.

5. They should go back to the old style of play where it took months before one maxed out their character/s so one could also enjoy the game. Though it also must be done well and interesting. I do not see why hitting max cap in such a quick and short time helps the players? there just going to pout and cry at the end when there is nothing to do. Play the damn games properly and enjoy the ride up.


 ^ this. 


I think the major issue is that MMOs have become more mainstream then they were when WoW came out in 2004.  The issue is that upon WoW release I don't know the exact numbers but I would imagine on release there were probably like maybe 400 - 500k players max and most of those players were Lineage/EQ/Ultima players that were use to the "grind" and expected it.  Now a days you have people that refuse to play games that have a "grind" and they expect to level to max in a few days played time at most.  My first WoW toon took me 22 days played time to reach level 60 which took me like 3 months to achieve. 


Apprentice Member

Joined: 5/27/07
Posts: 8

7/02/14 11:51:56 AM#67

Personally, I stopped playing when my first "free" month ended, and their bugged payment system wouldn't take my money to renew my sub. Contacted their customer support, got told "go buy a prepaid card then". My response: Buh-bye. Plenty other games that actually *want* to take my money thanks. Their payment processing system should have been considered top priority, and the number of problems they had with it was ridiculous. I've never seen such widespread issues of double/triple billing, not accepting payments, etc, and their responses were not acceptable either - usually consisted of putting the onus on the player, which is the wrong answer.

Maybe it's fixed by now. No clue. I lost my "momentum" with the sudden cutoff, and have not regained any urge to go back in. Maybe someday. 


Hard Core Member

Joined: 10/06/06
Posts: 549

7/02/14 12:01:42 PM#68
Really it all comes down to how many people ZOS expected to play.  If they were hoping for a million+ active subscribers, well, they're probably in bad shape right now.  Most developers/publishers won't outright tell you what their expectations were though.

Apprentice Member

Joined: 4/15/08
Posts: 60

7/02/14 12:06:28 PM#69
Originally posted by Yaevindusk


I don't want to speculate with regards to actual numbers, though I had about seven friends in real life that bought the game -- as well as a medium size RP guild that I keep in touch with from WoW -- that went to ESO when it came out.


None of my friends play, and the guild disbanded some time ago (the leadership and core members are the only ones I really talk to, and they quit; won't speak for others they picked up when the guild was formed).


Though to be fair the same thing occurred with Wildstar -- Had about five friends buy it, and they all decided not to resub when their time is up (though one had purchases a few months of C.R.E.D.D from players -- which will no doubt artificially inflate subscriber numbers).

Same i had friend played and stop in less than 1 month from release.


Novice Member

Joined: 9/27/10
Posts: 1453

7/02/14 12:12:24 PM#70
Played it the first month then cancelled my sub.Not because I didn't like the game but because of bugs and balancing.Subbed again a couple of days ago and now I,m having a great time.Not sure how many play but wherever I go there are loads of people.

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 2/05/11
Posts: 1473

7/02/14 12:25:20 PM#71
Originally posted by SEANMCAD
Originally posted by Tyggs
Originally posted by SEANMCAD



just go play Darkfall is more like what ESO should be

Except major pieces are broken and the community is full of L33Tards

I agree with the last part.

However other than that it is (as it stands right not) more of a elder scrolls game then ESO is.


Darkfall is in a good spot right now and not broken at all.  You all must not have played it lately.


ESO was just too much of the same old linear quest hub themepark.  No risk vs reward and not true free aim combat.  No consequences for your actions and much too solo focused.  I could go on and on.  It was nicely optimized which was a big positive.



Apprentice Member

Joined: 4/14/14
Posts: 494

7/02/14 12:26:42 PM#72
Eso failing on consoles won't be because consoles are failing. Actually eso would thrive as buy to play and no cash shops on consoles, it would be a win for both console and Zenimax.

Novice Member

Joined: 10/14/06
Posts: 308

7/02/14 12:34:00 PM#73
For a subscriber based game niche = failure.  No serious developer puts millions upon millions of dollars into a game expecting to end up stuck in a niche.  Furthermore, when they do find themselves there they slam their collective fist down hard on the blinking red free-to-play button before its too late.

Novice Member

Joined: 4/17/14
Posts: 2

7/02/14 12:35:32 PM#74
Originally posted by Vonatar

"The Wheel of Time turns..."


It's always the same with a new headline MMO. Hype and expectation, people dive in in their hundreds of thousands, they hit max level in a week or two, get bored and move on. The massive population drop after a month or two should be expected in any MMO these days and it doesn't mean the game is dying, just levelling out as you say.


People said SWTOR was dying, or died. We had all the jokes about the TORtanic. And yet it seems to be highly profitable these days with its f2p model.


People just don't play MMOs long term anymore. Some do, but there seems to be a large mass of MMO players that move from game to game. The so-called "content locusts".

Profitable =/= successful. SWTOR remains as being the WORST MMO launched of the decade.


Apprentice Member

Joined: 8/22/09
Posts: 2168

7/02/14 12:35:41 PM#75
Originally posted by Wyrdfell

"ESO is a fantastic game, it has the best graphics that have ever been in a MMORPG"


I laughed so hard to this...

That line was indeed utterly clueless, especially when thrown in the face of many recent Asian releases.

I also utterly disagree with the opinions about storyline in ESO in this piece. Personally it felt like a whole lot of unending drivel came out of the NPC's mouths.

One of the main rules in storytelling is show, don't just tell.  I didn't get to the max level in ESO, but it very rarely did that for me: characters often told you that a fight had gone on, but you almost never got to see the actual fight. Add to that the disappointing, camped boss fights and you end up with a less than engaging experience imo.

The constant stream of lore without any substance behind it was the main reason that made me quit the game in fact.

SW:TOR was far more to the point in that regard and actually innovated a whole lot more in terms of presentation. At least they tried to come up with systems to make groups participate in dialogue and allowed you to actually play together.

Now I don't want to hate on anyone who likes the game, but the biggest thing which ESO needs to do, is to actually make it more of a social experience, more of an actual MMO. In my opinion, Zenimax just sort of "tried" a number of things without actually considering the full implications they would have in an online setting.

Perhaps F2P is a way forward for this game, especially if they manage to put in a fair type of hybrid payment system. I for one would in fact consider it again if that happened.

Feel free to use my referral link for SW:TOR if you want to test out the game. You'll get some special unlocks!


Spotlight Poster

Joined: 3/22/09
Posts: 5327

7/02/14 12:37:35 PM#76
Originally posted by ChicagoCub
For a subscriber based game niche = failure.  No serious developer puts millions upon millions of dollars into a game expecting to end up stuck in a niche.  Furthermore, when they do find themselves there they slam their collective fist down hard on the blinking red free-to-play button before its too late.

true that.

plus there isnt a single feature in that game that would suggest 'niche'.

My suggestions to game journalists is to tell their dev friends at lunch that its easier to just make a good game then it is to try an convince people your game is when in fact its not

Correlation does not imply causation


Novice Member

Joined: 6/13/06
Posts: 452

7/02/14 12:39:58 PM#77

Including myself I only knew 4 people who bought the game, 3 (including me) have quit...One remains for now...

I absolutely think ESO is on trouble...I don't think you can sustain the needed Subs by being a niche game...I think there are elements of the game that are very cool...And I thought the graphics were great...But that's not enough to keep folks from quitting...And the quitting is what kills MMO's...


Novice Member

Joined: 5/28/03
Posts: 219

7/02/14 12:46:32 PM#78
<3 ESO

Novice Member

Joined: 9/18/04
Posts: 109

7/02/14 12:51:59 PM#79

If you are going to build a game where leveling is the major focus of the game and you reach 50 in 3-4 weeks max, you are going to have a high turnover.  There needs to be more to a game than max leveling, meaningful crafting, guild HQ, housing, end game.  The PvP in the game, the end game, one of the driving reasons to buy the game, is not working.  Lag is so bad right now that people are running min video specs and having to log just to reset the game to run above 10fps.


  All this aside there is one thing that killed the longevity of MMO's is social networking, facebook, twitter, texting and so on down the line.  In the beginning your MMO was the social network, you could play a game, chat, interior design, build, craft or just hang out on the grassy knoll and talk about other people. 


If you build a game today it has to be robust and offer more than the leveling experience, if it does not, you have high turnover. 

  User Deleted
7/02/14 12:53:45 PM#80

Is it dying?  That’s a premature assessment.  Is it suffering and bedridden?  Yes.  On life-support?  No… not yet.  If console release doesn’t bring in a ton of sales, however, I suspect the coffin lid will be nailed down even if the body is still somewhat warm at the time.

Reality bites… the reactions by players to the game are, IMHO, largely a backlash against the deceptive marketing tactics used by ZOS.  As such, I have no sympathy for them.  My sympathies are for Elder Scrolls aficionados who’d hoped for a good game and got what was evidently intended to be DAoC II with an Elder Scrolls skin, and for DAoC aficionados who’d hoped for a good game and got a quest-grinder with mediocre AvAvA PvP instead.  Player reactions should have been expected; gamers are not as stupid as developers – especially the marketing staffs within game developing companies – want to believe them to be.  We all expect lies from marketers; in today’s world we have no choice but to be jaundiced in our expectations for truth in advertising; and perhaps that’s more true in gaming than in any other consumer-focused industry.  But we don’t expect abject lies.

When the NDA was lifted on closed Beta, we heard tons of complaints from disgruntled testers.  To some extent, this is expected for any new game development, but usually there is an equal amount of praise from other testers.  What was clear – to me at least, given my perspective from decades of experience – was that Beta testing for ESO had been primarily a tool used by the marketers to elicit future sales.  Beta testers were largely members of those big gaming guilds out there and the marketers presumed that would lead to sales.  However, that strategy seemed to backfire.  Large numbers of Beta testers claimed that the development team didn’t listen to what the testers said (which actually is a good thing; testers aren’t developers, no matter what they want to believe themselves to be); and, most importantly, didn’t react to bug reports.

There is evidence that lots of preorders were cancelled, evidence in both lots of forum posts on many sites and in ZOS’ subsequent actions that can only be categorized as “damage control”.

The first open Beta weekend was a mess, excused by many as due to use of an old release of the software.  Open Beta’s serve only one real purpose, to introduce the product to a wider market and increase sales.  There isn’t adequate time between an open Beta even and release to fix any real problems, so it’s not an actual test of the software or architecture.  Given that reality, who uses a defective version of a product to increase sales?

There is evidence that strategy backfired, too.  I suspect that instead of engendering more preorders, it caused more cancellations.  Damage control actions continued and ZOS promptly declared they knew the cause of all the bugs (phasing) and decided they’d have an additional open Beta.  Yes, a lot of the phasing problems were resolved in that release.  Other problems weren’t.  Given that players weren’t going to advance too many levels while just playing in an open Beta weekend, ZOS probably expected that those problems weren’t going to be discovered.

However, those problems surfaced after release.  Tons of bugs ate away at any pretense of fun, and fun is why we play games.  Not just a few bugs; but tons of bugs: NPCs that spoke German in the English release of the game (fine; I read, write, and speak German; but do most players?); falling through the world; bank problems; skills that wouldn’t fire or apparently did nothing at all; class imbalance, class imbalance, class imbalance… on and on; add to that some really idiotic and questionable game design decisions and game mechanics that play-testing should have immediately pointed out as unworkable (e.g., their version of phasing and their hybrid skill-class system)…  I don’t think there was any doubt in anyone’s mind that the game wasn’t ready for release.

In my case, the game crashed repeatedly – HARD crashes, not soft crashes – so frequently that the game became unplayable.  Other players had their own problems; lots of players and lots of problems… so we cancelled subscriptions.  Shouldn't that have been expected?  Or were the management team and marketers so arrogant as to believe the gamers just wouldn't notice the problems with the game?  If so, that was an extraordinary degree of arrogance...

Will we come back?

I will if the game is ever properly re-released.  I will happily pay a subscription.  I do not want F2P or B2P because I’ve seen firsthand too many times how that destroys good games, but I will not pay for a bad game.  I suspect many others feel the same way.

However, I also suspect that many of us have no faith in ZOS, given its reputation so far (and they only have the reputation from one MMORPG development) and given its continued use of paid posters in forums, and unless they somehow instill confidence that they can turn this mess around, the game population will continue to erode.  They aren’t going to get enough new players to replace those who are leaving unless the reputation of the game changes dramatically; they aren’t going to get enough console sales to sustain the game.

I give them credit for their bug fixes, although it’s hard to reconcile all those claims by posters in forums that there are no bugs in the game when patches are huge.  Gamers are not as stupid as developers want to believe them to be.  Maybe someday developers and marketers will understand that.  Phony posters in forums don't convince us that the realities we experienced were something other than what they were.

They have shot themselves in the foot.  Poor integrity tends to do that.  Unless they bring in a new management team, things aren’t going to change.

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