Elder Scrolls Online

Play Skyrim Online.

All right, one of the biggest games on its way this April, is Elder Scrolls Online. I managed to score myself a place in the bet, though I had trouble actually getting to play the darn game. It was a minor issue. Namely, they only had the BETA open for three-day periods of time, and my connection was slow enough that I couldn’t download the game within the three days. Fortunately, I managed to get in just in time for the finale. And, well…I got a good look at the game.

The first thing I have to say, is that I applaud the game for NOT lagging. Considering my relatively slow internet speed, I was expecting to have issues. Instead, the game was as easy to play as Skyrim itself.

And, I’m going to have to give credit to this game. It really, really captured the feel of an Elder Scrolls game well. The battle system is straight out of Skyrim, with one addition. Players with a bow, or wielding double weapons can still block. Thsi is quite useful, but also damages game balance. Bows become MUCH more useful, even in melee, and the lack of blocking and having to go at things full tilt was half the fun. Still, I understand the reasoning, and it’s not too bad. It’s also necessary, since weapon rewards are randomized. A player might only be able to get a bow. Or, the shield of the appropriate level doesn’t come up. In theory, the player could buy them in shops.

But it’s not going to happen. The average enemy rewards one gold. One, single, gold. The average weapon, costs 400 gold. The average quest rewards 100 gold. The math doesn’t work out very well.

I will say this. The quests are well done. There’s a lot of them, there’s good dialogue, and there’s fun stuff to do. The quests I had weren’t TOO varied, generally amounting to ‘enter a dungeon’, ‘kill this dude’, or ‘talk to a bunch of people’, or combinations thereoff. But the dialogue was well-written, and there was more of a feeling of progression, then I got with even Skyrim.

There’s a LOT of quests to do, and this game is very good at the crucial thing with Skryim. That sense of constant, constant moving forward, constantly having just ONE more little task to do. Then one more. Then one more, and so on, until hours, days, weeks, months have passed. The money rewards may be crap, but the EXPERIENCE rewards are beautiful. Each quest seems to grant a level-up, or at least a hefty increase in skill experience. And then there’s another quest right over there. And then another, and another. It makes the player feel powerful, and well-rewarded. At least, until they die.

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