Monday, April 7, 2014
TESO Launch Impressions
I didn't really think I was going to pick up on The Elder Scrolls Online right away. I am not much for hype on games these days and while I read about The Elder Scrolls Online here and there, I really wasn't hyped and didn't plan on playing at launch. I never do really. On a whim I decided to read a bit and see how the head start was going. I liked what I read, liked some of the aspects of the game, sounded intriguing, I also liked the way the game looked and it appeared I should be able to run it smoothly. I'm an Elder Scrolls fan, but not hardcore, I've played the games but never really dug into them very deeply. My son utilized my copy of Skyrim more so than I did. I loved the game but certain things bothered me, like my horse speeding off a cliff in fast forward motions, to his demise. I loved that horse, something in me sort of died when that happened, lol. So the idea of an Elder Scrolls game was cool but it wasn't something I was drooling over.
I was going to pick it up the day before launch but turns out the game launched a day early. Since then I've really been looking forward to playing each day. Over the weekend I got a little time in, but I try to save the weekends to playing EQ with Dire for the most part. I managed to get to level 8. That includes time from last week. I also realized that I picked a poor choice in race for my class, with rather crummy racials for a caster (Redguard). But I really like the race cosmetically. I may reroll as Imperial when the servers come up, I am still not sure at this moment. I'll take a look at them.
It took me a couple of days to flesh out a real feel for the game, combat and all. It is very different than a lot of other MMO games. I'd say it is similar to GW2 with the weapon switching, but I like how you're not entirely tied to skills by weapons. That gives a nice balance to what you want to do, while still keeping the reasons you chose your class in the first place. I can use a healing staff to throw a few heals out and still play the sorcerer class without losing the feel of it entirely. I can play how I like, what feels best for me. I really went in as a newbie, being rusty at this type of game. I died a lot, didn't realize I needed to open the skill window (K) to spend points to get my abilities. That lasted a few hours... Which left me wondering a lot of things. Then things just clicked. I don't die nearly as much and I am really enjoying the game, combat and all. I really like the simplicity of combat, the weapons system, skill system and all.
This game honestly isn't going to be for everyone. It doesn't (in my opinion) do a lot of hand holding and you do need to get out and explore a bit. Lock picking threw me off because it was a bit different than I remembered, at least from the older games, I don't remember much about it from Skyrim. But I got the hang of it and now I'm picking those chests left and right, huzzah! Upon my first chest I kept breakinglockpicks, it was a harder chest and I didn't know quite what I was doing, having closed out the popup hint window thinking it couldn't be hard to figure out. Thus I had a player waiting to try, making fun of me through it. Which really broke the immersion of exploring and learning. Really rude, but so far that was probably the worst I've encountered so far. All I can do is hope they crawl back under the rock from which they came.
Travel isn't bad. There is map travel for a cost or you can just run to a shrine and travel for free, which is what I mainly do. Crafting is interesting and not a drag so far. I have been gathering a lot too, selling what I don't use. The biggest issue I do have is no auction house. There is a guild system you can sell to, it works like a very messy auction system. You can be in five guilds, for now I am only in two, simply for this. It just seems like a weird way to do things. People say an auction system will ruin an economy. I don't totally agree with that. I say this is so 15 years ago with bartering in trade. I wasted way too much time in EQ doing that, not doing it here... at... all. Seriously, I wasted stupid amounts of time trying to trade and sell items in EverQuest, it makes me cringe. The only good thing about it was that there was more of a meeting place to do this. It had a festive feeling and you could chill out with friends while doing so. Granted you can spam it while killing things but then you still have to meet up, or can you send it C.O.D.? I still don't know. So mainly I vendor things or try to use the guild system if it looks decent.
All in all I am having a blast. I didn't see this as a game I'd really be drawn into but it is. The combat isn't the type I mainly navigate towards. I don't like action combat but this isn't as bad as I thought it was. I have carpel in both wrists and often I crochet far more than any human should thus having stiff wrists a lot these days. But the combat isn't too harsh on me like I had feared. It's kind of exciting.
The music is great, sounds are nice. Visuals are awesome in my opinion. It runs nicely on my computer. Far better than Landmark did, and looks a lot better (no Disney style characters). I was having some occasional freezes and read on the forum to try closing out the launcher while playing. No more freezes!
I love my class. I am a sorcerer, going mostly with daedric summoning, using staves (healing and damage). I have tried a few different weapons but so far I like the staves and being ranged. So I think I will stick to those as needed. My son has been a big help too, remembering things from how the older games worked and giving me some tips. I've tried to get him to try it but he's been working on Reaper of Souls. Which I learned from watching the new class intro the male crusader is voiced by Gideon Emery! How awesome is that?!! It looks great though so I am happy he is enjoying it.
I've only played around 12 hours so these are just my initial thoughts. I've played everyday when I can get some time in. I look forward to experiencing more of this game. I highly recommend it, but, as I said, it won't be for everyone. If you love to explore, have a flexible type of play and just taking time enjoying the leveling game, it is really worth it. Endgame, I do have hopes it isn't too much like WoW focused on raids and fast paced instance runs... We'll have to wait and see. *crosses fingers*