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RPGWatch Forums » Comments » News Comments » Elder Scrolls Online - Beta Impression @ Leviathyn

Default Elder Scrolls Online - Beta Impression @ Leviathyn

March 10th, 2014, 16:56
Leviathyn has posted a new beta impression for Elder Scrolls Online. They even included a new video to watch if you have the time to spare.

While the tutorial was an annoying reminder of gameplay mechanics we’ve been revisiting for well over a decade and the forced extended tutorial in the form of a segregated island further delays the jump into the proper game, I actually came away from my weekend in Tamriel quite impressed. The more action-oriented combat was fun and fluid – reminding me more of Kingdoms of Amalur than World of Warcraft, and the world building of even just the initial zones was varied and interesting.

Make no mistake though, this is not multiplayer Skyrim. The Elder Scrolls Online is very much a MMORPG in all the traditional ways, and the evolution from “you’re the hero, the entire world reacts to you” in a solo experience to “you’re the hero, the entire world reacts to you….but also there’s hundreds of others doing the exact same thing” is incredibly awkward. It’s a problem for most MMORPGs but as the main Elder Scrolls series is particularly known of its wonderful freedom and Choose Your Own Adventure playstyle it makes it all the more painfully obvious here.

It’s a bit like that South Park episode where Cartman is given a theme park all to himself – he can ride and do whatever he wants all the time, but adding more people suddenly takes everything away as he’s forced to wait in lines and put up with everyone’s crap. That’s a pessimistic look at what MMORPGs can offer, and I hope that TESO’s public quests and PVP can help sustain the social interaction, or at least create one. I never once had to so much as talk to another real player during my play time, and often felt like these other people were simply in the way of my exciting return to Tamriel.

A $60 box plus monthly subscription fee is a very hard sell these days, and many of the last struggling modern wave of MMORPGs that have tried have quickly had to abandon the model for a more sustaining free-to-play model with microtransactions. It’ll be interesting to see if The Elder Scrolls license is enough to convince gamers to pony up the cash, but I fear most folks will simply see a derivative, albeit high quality and well-made MMORPG and wait for the next true Elder Scrolls title.
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March 10th, 2014, 16:56
F2P is garbage for MMORPGs. Works great for games like LOL where it's not pay 2 win, but no company has ever done F2P for a MMORPG that wasn't pay 2 win. And when your game is about collecting all kinds of stuff, and you sell that stuff for cash, you corrupt the very core of your game.

If companies made games worth a sub, then subs would be no big deal. But, single player games aren't worth a sub, since there's no way any company can provide you with value for your sub buck - single player content is too easy, digested too fast, and nobody can produce it fast enough.

Nevermind that MMORPGs were never designed as single player games to begin with and only became single player games over time as moronic companies attempted to turn a glorious genre into something with "wider appeal" and flushed the genre down a toilet in the process.

PC gaming is raging right now and there are tons of people playing online. There's no reason why a high quality MMORPG designed to actually BE an MMORPG couldn't be financially successful and something truer to form than a glorified single player idiot fest.

Furthermore, ESO is a crappy game, a terrible idea for a game, and a perversion of a great franchise that doesn't lend itself to MMORPG gameplay. ES is the epitome of high quality solo RPG. I think it could work as local/hosted co-op - you and a couple of friends sharing a deep and rich world with tons of freedom. THAT would be a great next step for Elder Scrolls. MMORPG? No.

So all ESO is doing is making the sub-based model look bad, because it's yet another crappily designed non-MMORPG for soloists that will never be worth a sub, and on top of that is a poor representation of anything that is ES.
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March 10th, 2014, 17:10
Originally Posted by Voqar View Post
… but no company has ever done F2P for a MMORPG that wasn't pay 2 win.
City of Heroes, Secret World, Path of Exile (quasi-mmo).

As long as the game isn't controlled by a board room looking to maximize every penny of profit and there's still some control over the integrity of the gameplay, there's a chance the developers won't make a joke of their creation.

As to your other points, I agree with your assessment of the current MMO genre; Brad McQuaid recently started a Kickstarter to help fund/promote a true Everquest successor, but for one reason or another it failed to garner enough support. Regarding TES Online, I haven't played it (nor do I want to play it), so I can't really comment much … but it certainly seems like another generic single-player fantasy MMO w/ nothing special brought to the table…
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March 11th, 2014, 05:15
Agreed on both points. I'm not sure it's the sub model that's the problem…FFXIV feels amazing to play, and the sub model keeps out people who aren't truly invested in having a positive, fun experience, and who might be more likely to come up with ways to ruin the immersion for others.

But you're right…regurgitating the same old (and it is old, now) WoW-like play will only push others further away from subscriptions…they'll be able to say, "yeah, look at games like WoW and ESO! They're all the same!" And I think ESO is a bald-faced cash grab. If it wasn't, then a more inspired approach might have been considered, like the multiplayer option Voqar suggested…or at the very least, some new innovative way to make soloists happy and at home in a multiplayer world…

Some of the mechanics of Everquest Next come to mind…
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March 11th, 2014, 10:07
I'm always amused by this uninformed negativity - keep it coming!
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March 11th, 2014, 12:16
Given that ESO has a fan boy (DArtagnan) and a hater(Voqar), it must at least be an average game!
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March 11th, 2014, 12:17
Originally Posted by lostforever View Post
Given that ESO has a fan boy (DArtagnan) and a hater(Voqar), it must at least be an average game!
An informed fan and uninformed hater, sure
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March 11th, 2014, 12:21
Originally Posted by Aubrielle View Post
Agreed on both points. I'm not sure it's the sub model that's the problem…FFXIV feels amazing to play, and the sub model keeps out people who aren't truly invested in having a positive, fun experience, and who might be more likely to come up with ways to ruin the immersion for others.
I just don't get why people in the gaming press get their knickers in a twist when it comes to subscription. I think having a subscription is positive aspect of ESO and as you say it will at least keep the haters out! Last night I went to see the new 300 movie and I paid nearly £10 for 90 minutes of "entertainment"…
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March 11th, 2014, 12:22
Again, it's the good old money > time disease. Surprisingly widespread, I must say.
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March 11th, 2014, 13:53
Originally Posted by Voqar View Post

Nevermind that MMORPGs were never designed as single player games to begin with and only became single player games over time as moronic companies attempted to turn a glorious genre into something with "wider appeal" and flushed the genre down a toilet in the process.

PC gaming is raging right now and there are tons of people playing online. There's no reason why a high quality MMORPG designed to actually BE an MMORPG couldn't be financially successful and something truer to form than a glorified single player idiot fest.
There's at least one reason: people dont know how to do.

If MMORPGs have evolved from attempts to base a game on a multiplayer gameplay to the current situation, game design based on single player gameplay leading to overlapsing single player experiences, that is because of failures and people not knowing how to otherwise.
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March 11th, 2014, 14:08
Why does everyone want ESO to be co-op? People need to review and judge the game that is being made and not the game they wish was made. If you want a co-op Skyrim then go mod it so I don't have to listen to all this crying.

If ESO is a cash grab then every game ever made could be called a cash grab. You buy the game and pay a sub. I know exactly what it will cost me. Cash shops are the cash grabs. I loved DDO but I spent a lot of cash in that game and you did not have to pay a sub.

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