ESO is no doubt a great game, one which I deeply enjoy. The Tamriel Unlimited and One Tamriel updates made the improvements I was looking for to push it closer to providing that single-player classic Elder Scrolls experience I felt was missing from the launch game. With Elder Scrolls 6 still years away, and with Bethesda Game Studios falling further and further out of favor with me with trash like Fallout 76 and shameless gacha money schemes like Elder Scrolls Blades, it’s not unrealistic to say I’m deeply concerned for that game. It’s an odd bit of irony then when I think there are some great mechanics and features Elder Scrolls 6 must borrow from ESO in order for it to be something I consider worth my time and money.
Oh, and before we continue, if you missed my article last week, here's why I'm disappointed that Cyrodiil has PvP.
All The Skills
I absolutely love the abundance of skills in ESO. I love how each one has its own uses, and how they can genuinely change your playstyle. For example, for solo players like me, equipping a skill which summons a skeletal mage to heal me over time allows me to be a bit more aggressive in combat than I otherwise would be. I also love how each individual faction in the game, like the Mages Guild, has its own skill line. This is just awesome because, to me, it further drives home the notion that this Tamriel is a vast world with different people, factions, and beliefs. I love that level of immersion. Although Elder Scrolls games no doubt have skills, it can’t hurt doubling down on the sheer number of them available and providing greater variety and scale when it comes to individual factions having their own skillset.
Bring Back Classes
Look, Skyrim was great. I’ve played over 1000 hours of that game, most of which was spent just aimlessly wandering and taking in the world. I loved the freedom it gave me. But one thing I always lamented was the lack of classes. When done correctly, classes don’t constrain you. Instead, they act more as starting templates with which to gently guide you as you discover your particular playstyle. This bit of structure is something I sorely missed in Skyrim, but one which I love in ESO. I’m currently a necromancer. But I’ve specced myself heavily into healing and DPS. This may seem at odds with the traditional connotation of what a necromancer might do such as conjuring the undead, but such is the brilliance of ESO’s class flexibility. Elder Scrolls 6 must have classes to be a truly great RPG again.
Genuinely Good Writing
Ok, let’s be honest with each other here. Bethesda Game Studios cannot write good games anymore. I’m definitely biased when it comes to this particular thing, but after playing incredibly memorable stories like the Theives Guild in Oblivion, and then jumping into Skyrim where I couldn’t keep myself interested in most of the questlines really soured me on the quality of writing Bethesda was able to produce. Contrast this with ESO where seemingly every single character from virtually every single quest I’ve done, no matter how small, has been utterly memorable and well written. The stories in ESO are truly amazing, and they make me feel genuinely invested in the world and its people just like Oblivion did. This one is a huge one for me. I really do care about good stories. ESO has them in spades. The team at Zenimax Online Studios have an amazing group of writers there, and Bethesda Game Studios would do well to pick their brains on how to write well again.
And that’s it for now. I’m curious to see what you guys think Elder Scrolls 6 should borrow from ESO, if anything. But for me, skills, classes, and good writing were the three major things I so desperately want in the next Elder Scrolls outing. I love just how flexible ESO is, and just how damn good the writing is in this game. It feels like that single-player game I can play with my friends set in one of my favorite universes. I just hope Bethesda can get their act together and produce something truly great and learn from the success of their sister studio who have produced a damn good Elder Scrolls game.