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January 19th, 2014, 04:30
GamerTechTV has a new article with some beta impressions for Elder Scrolls Online.

Conclusion

Im really shocked how much of a miss-fire ESO is, its almost like none of the game designers have ever played a massively multi player game before, Im not saying they should copy WoW, but what made WoW successful was that it took what worked from other MMOs at the time and refined them, taking the best from other games, and mixing them into their own lore, then added that Blizzard polish.

ESO seems to have taken the worst from Skyrim (the combat) and somehow made it even worse, if someone ever asked you what was the best part of Skyrim you would not say the combat, its the immersive living breathing world, which is lost in ESO.

ESO is plain boring to play, painfully immediately boring, with no feeling that there are other players there working together to achieve quests or goals, if I wanted to solo play I would play Skyrim, not ESO, and I would absolutely not pay a monthly fee in its current state.
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January 19th, 2014, 04:30
I was never remotely interested anyway, but: ouch!
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January 19th, 2014, 10:33
<< hater = yay !
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January 19th, 2014, 10:39
I completely disagree with that article and I have to say the person who wrote it seems to have missed the point entirely. It's as if he started playing MMOs with WoW and never really tried anything else - regardless of his claims of having played so many.

The quests were definitely NOT generic compared to most MMOs and there was plenty of variety involved, and the character customization was deeper than the majority as well. It's not City of Heroes - that's true, but it's pretty good if you really want to mess around with that. MUCH more elaborate than games like WoW, that's for sure.

I don't know who he played with, but in my ~10-15 hours with the beta - archers were relatively rare. Most people seemed to use a mixture of stuff - mostly magic and melee.

As for the combat being bad, that's very subjective - but I found it refreshingly free and non-gamey. Then again, I'm sick to death of rotation-based tab-target hotkey combat.

The key is to understand that it's trying to be an Elder Scrolls game more than a WoW-clone. If you want another WoW - you should stay FAR away from this one.

However, if you want a reasonable amount of ES in your MMO, then this is a good bet. It focuses on exploration and lore, not combat, combat, combat like most other MMOs. It's not from quest-hub to quest-hub, and it's not a bright Toys R Us with everything lit up in screaming yellow to show you exactly what 3 quests you have to complete before you can move on.

It's one of the most refreshing MMOs in a very long time, but it's not for people who don't like other players sharing the same world, and it's most assuredly not for people who think MMOs should be WoW in different skins.
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January 19th, 2014, 10:46
Well I don't think he is a hater. He is more than likely just an MMO player who prefers WOW. ZeniMax Online combined solo, and multi-player for Elder Scrolls Online.

I remember the debates a few months back on this topic. You are never to going to please everybody. So I can understand his rage, but that doesn't mean I agree with him.

Besides it's nice to get other opinions besides just those praising the game.

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January 19th, 2014, 11:07
Originally Posted by Couchpotato View Post
Well I don't think he is a hater. He is more than likely just an MMO player who prefers WOW. ZeniMax Online combined solo, and multi-player for Elder Scrolls Online.

I remember the debates a few months back on this topic. You are never to going to please everybody. So I can understand his rage, but that doesn't mean I agree with him.

Besides it's nice to get other opinions besides just those praising the game.
I don't assume people are haters when they don't like something, as that would be assuming they're idiots.

I just look at their points and what arguments they have for holding their positions.

When they have a solid base with a factual foundation, I respect that and consider it a matter of personal preference if I disagree.

This guy, however, seems to be making things up or ignoring them to suit his agenda - which means I can't take his position seriously.

People need to display objectivity and insight before I can do that. If you're going to make such a statement about a game, the very first thing you need to understand is what it's trying to do - and why that might not be bad, just because you don't personally like it.

That said, I welcome any opinion on any subject. I'm hoping ESO does reasonably well - so it will maintain a solid following and they can provide timely and significant updates.

Problem is that a lot of people really do seem biased against it, knowing next to nothing about it. That's unfortunate, because such things have been known to make a difference with trendy targets.

But such is the nature of human beings.

Wouldn't be the first game with a strong potential ruined by the ignorance of the public.
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January 19th, 2014, 11:12
While ESO hasn't impressed me, I can't agree with the comment that the combat is worse than Skyrim. For melee at least, it was a good deal more enjoyable imo, though not as good as other MMOs.
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January 19th, 2014, 11:19
Originally Posted by greywolf00 View Post
While ESO hasn't impressed me, I can't agree with the comment that the combat is worse than Skyrim. For melee at least, it was a good deal more enjoyable imo, though not as good as other MMOs.
I also like how he starts out talking about how many games he's played of this nature, and yet he complains about not seeing numbers everywhere and that he doesn't get enough feedback.

He completely misses the point of what they've done with the HUD - and how they've repeatedly said they DELIBERATELY didn't want the players looking at target bars and numbers - but the actual game.

I think they did a great job with that - and expecting to understand all the mechanics in such a short time only tells me this guy can't get past the WoW formula and seems to have forgotten all about what he liked in Oblivion and Skyrim.

It's the only mainstream MMO I can recall that has gone out of its way to provide real immersion - both in terms of the HUD/UI and overall story/quest presentation.

They're trying to get you to connect with the world and not the UI - which I think should be praised, even if you don't personally enjoy it. There are other games for fans of the gamey and artificial stuff - like Wildstar.
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January 19th, 2014, 13:36
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
The key is to understand that it's trying to be an Elder Scrolls game more than a WoW-clone. If you want another WoW - you should stay FAR away from this one.
How is it trying to be an Elder Scroll game? I think its big fail as an Elder Scrolls game. To me an Elder Scrolls has a world built for exploring. ESO, like lot of MMOs, are not built for exploring at all. ESO may be have larger world than Skyrim but for exploring and getting lost ESO can't touch Skyrim.

I got to level 14 (play time ~25 hours) in the beta and I found the game world very linear. You are pretty much lead from quest hub to quest hub. They hide the quest hubs lot better than WoW and other newer MMOs but compare to Skyrim? big fail.

Having UI looking the same as SKyrim does not make it an Elder Scrolls game. However I do like the UI a lot since it make the world more immersive than having your screen full of hot bars and other UI elements.

Also having the same lore does not make it an Elder Scrolls game either.

Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
It's one of the most refreshing MMOs in a very long time.
What do you mean by this? I don't think ESO brought anything new to the MMO table (based on my beta play). I don't like GW2 very much but I think it brought lot of new ideas to the MMO genre. Why do you find it refreshing and compared to what new MMOs?
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January 19th, 2014, 13:49
I have played the last 2 betas and I agree with Dart from what I have seen so far and hopefully in the next beta I won't be stopped by bugs and will get a bit further.
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January 19th, 2014, 14:21
Originally Posted by lostforever View Post
How is it trying to be an Elder Scroll game? I think its big fail as an Elder Scrolls game. To me an Elder Scrolls has a world built for exploring. ESO, like lot of MMOs, are not built for exploring at all. ESO may be have larger world than Skyrim but for exploring and getting lost ESO can't touch Skyrim.
It's trying to be an ES game because it's an MMO built for exploration set in Tamriel.

I don't know what you mean by it not touching Skyrim. It's an MMO - so there are certain differences, like a more linear progression system and a much more controlled power curve.

But it's rewarding and enouraging people to explore a LOT more than the vast majority of MMOs out there. You can find a lot of cool stuff just by straying from the path and doing your own thing.

Obviously, you have to know how MMOs usually work to understand this.

GW2 is one of the only games I can think of that's as open as ESO - but the difference is that ESO has much more visual variety and it doesn't have recycled events - but rather real quests that you can find out in the open. Beyond that, there are things like Skyshards, Anchors, Books, NPCs, dungeons and so forth.

The game has good story delivery as well - where as GW2 was abysmally bad in that way.

It also doesn't magically scale everything to your level.

I got to level 14 (play time ~25 hours) in the beta and I found the game world very linear. You are pretty much lead from quest hub to quest hub. They hide the quest hubs lot better than WoW and other newer MMOs but compare to Skyrim? big fail.
¨
You mean YOU went from quest hub to quest hub? Ok, I didn't. I was out in the world exploring and doing stuff as it came along. Also, I didn't see a single quest hub in the 4-5 open areas I explored. There were places with a few quests here and there - but definitely not quest hubs that you had to complete in a linear way before you'd want to move on. That's only true for the main story - which a game like WoW doesn't even have.

It didn't have a dungeon every two steps like Skyrim, I'd agree with that. I'm not sure it's such a bad thing, though.

There's much more than just the Skyrim area - so they have a lot of ground to fill with content, and from what I could tell from the areas I explored - they've done this better than every single MMO I've played - and I've played a LOT of them.

Having UI looking the same as SKyrim does not make it an Elder Scrolls game. However I do like the UI a lot since it make the world more immersive than having your screen full of hot bars and other UI elements.
Certainly doesn't. But setting the game in the world of Elder Scrolls and implementing the lore from that - whilst emphasizing exploration, having nearly the same combat system, having a very open character development system, and so on - DOES make it a lot like an Elder Scrolls game.

That's just my opinion, though.

I have no idea what you expected from an ES MMO - but it sounds like you don't understand the limits of technology and having thousands of people occupying the same space.

It's still an MMO - and there's no way to balance a completely free-roaming MMO for thousands of players without ruining the experience.

What do you mean by this? I don't think ESO brought anything new to the MMO table (based on my beta play). I don't like GW2 very much but I think it brought lot of new ideas to the MMO genre. Why do you find it refreshing and compared to what new MMOs?
I can only repeat myself here.

I find it VERY refreshing that it's not "gamey" and it's not combat, combat, combat with a rotation-based hotbar oriented system.

I LOVE that you're not showered with numbers and gamey concepts like bright yellow markers and flashing paths all over the place.

I LOVE that I can just ignore the main story for the most part and go explore a massive world, doing a lot of content that's significant and not just mobs roaming the land.

I like how combat is free and that it's based on your ability to manage movement/stamina - and how you can time attacks and so on.

No, there's not much about it that's completely unique - which is true for almost any game in existence - but combined, I consider it the most promising themepark MMO in ages.

But to each his own.
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January 19th, 2014, 14:30
AH, dissension in the ranks…. definitely a title to be tossed on the "wait and see" pile.
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January 19th, 2014, 14:45
I won't go into an analysis like Dart and the rest— but I will say I like it and I am looking forward to it.

The litmus test is this: Some guy in chat said "Man I have been playing 7 hours straight and I am still not bored"

I thought— yeah I have been playing 9 hours straight and I am having fun, and I am not really wanting to stop.

If anything, I felt pressure to keep moving only because of Beta, but otherwise I was enjoying the areas I was in.
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January 19th, 2014, 15:11
Originally Posted by benetar View Post
I won't go into an analysis like Dart and the rest— but I will say I like it and I am looking forward to it.

The litmus test is this: Some guy in chat said "Man I have been playing 7 hours straight and I am still not bored"

I thought— yeah I have been playing 9 hours straight and I am having fun, and I am not really wanting to stop.

If anything, I felt pressure to keep moving only because of Beta, but otherwise I was enjoying the areas I was in.
That was my experience as well.

I started with low expectations - and I really didn't expect anything except another by-the-book high-profile WoW clone.

The tutorial wasn't all that good - and I was immediately turned off by the crappy lip syncing - and I was about to give up.

But I kept playing for a bit, and the more I did - the more I realised this wasn't just another WoW clone. It's actually a very pretty and immersive game with a ton of content that's not just shoved down your throat.

It's not a miracle - and it's not Skyrim. I suggest people wait for TES 6 if they want ES and don't like MMOs.

But if you want the chance to explore all of Tamriel in a social setting - and you appreciate the concept of a perpetually evolving game - then this is most definitely not something you should just write off before trying it.
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January 19th, 2014, 16:57
Out of curiosity D'Art: how do you assess health of an opponent without health bar or numbers in ESO? And how can you check how effective your weapon/spell/skill is?
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January 19th, 2014, 16:57
Any game that doesn't hand hold, doesn't show glittery paths and symbols over everyone's heads, games that hide numbers versus showing them, all pluses to me. Even with Skyrim the very first thing I did when I got it was turn off all the "helper" crap. I do that with MMO's when I can but often MMO's are to designed around having that stuff.

Dart needs to do some PR for ESO I think He could certainly sell me on the game … although I am already planning on buying it.

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January 19th, 2014, 17:13
Originally Posted by zahratustra View Post
Out of curiosity D'Art: how do you assess health of an opponent without health bar or numbers in ESO? And how can you check how effective your weapon/spell/skill is?
Enemies have health bars when you point at them. It's like Skyrim in that way. It tries to limit visual clutter and focus only on what's immediately vital to know.

If you go into your inventory and check your equipment, you can see damage output and similar statistics.

The point is that you're not seeing numbers and other distractions when you're playing, only when you go look for it.

That's because they want you to look at the action - not stare at numbers on health bars or for damage, and not at on-screen indicators for everything. You aim with your healing spells, you don't play whack-a-mole in a party list.

Essentially, they want you to forget that it's a game and pretend it's a world. Obviously, that can only work so well - but I find it a vast improvement over other modern MMOs. Games like WoW, Rift, GW2, Wildstar are all excessively gamey - almost as if they're proud to be artificial.

It's something that's been bothering me for a long time in MMOs, and which has ruined the sensation of immersion to a large extent.

It also has, by a wide margin, the most effective first-person mode in any MMO so far. It really does look like a TES game when you play it that way.

However, if you want to - you can add mods like you do in WoW - because they've opened up the game for people who want that.

So, if you obsess over numbers and stats - it won't be long before we see such mods, that's pretty certain.
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January 19th, 2014, 17:32
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
It's trying to be an ES game because it's an MMO built for exploration set in Tamriel.
If you call sight seeing exploring then sure its built for exploration in Tamriel. Again my experience is limited to beta only zones but they weren't certainly designed for exploring like any of the Elder Scrolls game. The world design (especially the terrain) was bland and "safe". It may be better than most MMOs but its no good compared to Elder scrolls games. My point here is simply this, if someone enjoyed Elder Scrolls games for exploring then they certainly won't enjoy ESO for exploring. It just doesn't support it.

Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
The game has good story delivery as well - where as GW2 was abysmally bad in that way.
I found the story in beta nothing to write home about but then again story (don't confuse this with lore) is not important for me in a MMO. Plus Elder Scrolls games aren't know for their stories more for their lore. You are setting your bar way too low if you compare any story with GW2


Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
You mean YOU went from quest hub to quest hub? Ok, I didn't. I was out in the world exploring and doing stuff as it came along.
ESO is linear. They were pretty much leading you from zone to zone. You finish a zone and thats its, you don't come back. This is pretty much the same design as quest hub to quest hub. There is nothing more gamey than this. Do you have this design in Skyrim?

Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post

I have no idea what you expected from an ES MMO - but it sounds like you don't understand the limits of technology and having thousands of people occupying the same space.
This is the point I was trying to make initially. You said ESO is "trying to be an Elder Scrolls game" but my point is that its not since it has made too many compromises to be an MMO.

Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
I LOVE that you're not showered with numbers and gamey concepts like bright yellow markers and flashing paths all over the place.
You see, this isn't new. You can get the same effect in WoW if you want. The difference is its the default option here…

In summary, my point is simply this, someone who enjoyed single player Skyrim won't enjoy ESO for the same reason. I bet crpgnut, won't enjoy ESO for the same reason as he did Skyrim. ESO makes too many changes to be a MMO…
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January 19th, 2014, 17:38
Originally Posted by benetar View Post
I won't go into an analysis like Dart and the rest— but I will say I like it and I am looking forward to it.

The litmus test is this: Some guy in chat said "Man I have been playing 7 hours straight and I am still not bored"

I thought— yeah I have been playing 9 hours straight and I am having fun, and I am not really wanting to stop.

If anything, I felt pressure to keep moving only because of Beta, but otherwise I was enjoying the areas I was in.
9 hour straight is way too short of time to judge a MMO. May be I am being old and cynical, but I have been in many beta and I felt the same way about those games during betas. I was so hooked and hyped after playing betas for 20 /30 hours. Then once the main game releases and I play for couple of months and then it all goes down hill… A well designed MMO is supposed to keep you hooked for years and I don't see much evidence that ESO is designed that way.
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January 19th, 2014, 17:50
Originally Posted by lostforever View Post
If you call sight seeing exploring then sure its built for exploration in Tamriel. Again my experience is limited to beta only zones but they weren't certainly designed for exploring like any of the Elder Scrolls game. The world design (especially the terrain) was bland and "safe". It may be better than most MMOs but its no good compared to Elder scrolls games. My point here is simply this, if someone enjoyed Elder Scrolls games for exploring then they certainly won't enjoy ESO for exploring. It just doesn't support it.
I understand your point, but I don't agree with your basis for it.

But we're not going to get anywhere with "I think it's good" and "you think it's bad".

All I can say is that exploration was very engaging and interesting to me, and I didn't enter the game with that expectation at all. It just inspired me to play on and explore - and I found quests, books, dungeons and so on in the wild. I don't know what you think was missing - as you provide zero specifics.

But it's not the sort of thing you can prove or disprove.

I'm saying that if you understand MMOs and you're realistic about the compromises necessary to make a game work for thousands of people sharing a world - then this is a strong exploration experience.

I found the story in beta nothing to write home about but then again story (don't confuse this with lore) is not important for me in a MMO. Plus Elder Scrolls games aren't know for their stories more for their lore. You are setting your bar way too low if you compare any story with GW2
Story isn't vital to me either - and it's way too soon to judge this aspect of the game. I'm talking about story DELIVERY as in how it's presented to you and if it's digestable. I found that to be very much the case.

ESO is linear. They were pretty much leading you from zone to zone. You finish a zone and thats its, you don't come back. This is pretty much the same design as quest hub to quest hub. There is nothing more gamey than this. Do you have this design in Skyrim?
You can leave zones and come back to them more or less as you choose, once you finish the starter area. You can only do that for your own faction zones UNTIL you reach level 50 - at which point the entire world is both open and relevant for exploration, as you keep being able to find books, Skyshards, Anchors and so on.

However, the ENTIRE world isn't open from the very beginning - that's true.

Again, for an MMO - it's a very strong game for exploration.

This is the point I was trying to make initially. You said ESO is "trying to be an Elder Scrolls game" but my point is that its not since it has made too many compromises to be an MMO.
I understand your point. It's a very simple point.

I don't agree with it - once again.

Why? Because I think you're wrong and I don't understand your basis for your point - but it's not like it's important that we convince each other.

I've pointed out quite specifically how I think this game is strong for exploration - and I stand by that 100%.

The only thing I can't know is if the future zones are as densely populated as the first zones.

I explored most of the first starter area and the next large zone with one race - and I spent a couple of hours in both the other starter zones. ALL of them were full of interesting things to find.

If, for whatever reason, that stops being true for the later zones - then it's obviously not what I think it will be.

I just don't see that happening - as that would piss people off majorly.

You see, this isn't new. You can get the same effect in WoW if you want. The difference is its the default option here…
You can't turn off everything like this in WoW, no - and WoW is DESIGNED around having these things.

If you manage to mod them out - you'd be completely lost because it's not DESIGNED for a clean UI.

In summary, my point is simply this, someone who enjoyed single player Skyrim won't enjoy ESO for the same reason. I bet crpgnut, won't enjoy ESO for the same reason as he did Skyrim. ESO makes too many changes to be a MMO…
I don't want to go around telling people what they will or won't enjoy.

All I'm saying is that if you can tolerate the MMO compromises - many of which will be obvious if you're fair and knowledgable about the genre - and you enjoy exploration, then this game is worth a shot.

That doesn't mean it will be great or even your cup of tea - but I certainly wouldn't write it off from the beginning.

As I said, I went in expecting to be bored - and instead I was very engaged and entertained. I found myself wanting the full game right away, which is huge for me - because I'm one jaded son of a bitch.

Doesn't mean it will have that effect on other people. It depends on what you enjoy - and whether you truly understand the design of the game. I'm pretty good with putting myself into the minds of other people - and I have a good idea of what they're trying to do here.

It's right up my alley - but it's not my dream MMO. It's just a really good themepark MMO with a good measure of freedom and exploration.
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