The Elder Scrolls Online Review: Epic Adventure Or Epic Fail?

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tzaz

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On release I'd give this game a 8/10.(that's not counting bugs). Now that I've played through vet ranks I'd give it a 4/10. SWTOR all over again...

I want what WoW was. :(
 

TyrOd

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You've done all the Vet dungeons as well?

There is more veteran dungeons and 2 or 3 new Trials(Raids) coming in Craglorn next week and at least another Raid 6 weeks after that in 1.2 with level cap being raised to VR12 next week.

This game is the only game that will have content that rivals WoW if this stick to that pace for a couple of years.
 

klepp0906

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I guess when making that decision to buy imperial edition u didn't realize the game wasn't made by the makers of elder scrolls? So "it has to be good" was naivity at it's finest.

Oh, and u have listed one of 1000000 reasons instancing and especially phasing is garbage.

In closing, it doesn't get better anywhere as the trash brought into the mmo genre with wow have effectively destroyed the genre itself. Spoken by a blizzard developer himself if we're being honest.

The end
 

klepp0906

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To be fair - not having an auction house sounds like one of the only things the game has done right. Kids... None of the mmos of yesteryear had one and they were much better because of it.

You sought out an item and finding a deal was an accomplishment in itself. You could barter item for item. It built community and many friends were made this way. Friends in a real mmo mean something. Nowadays people pick up and put down these games like hot cakes for the next gotm.
 

MasterMace

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WoW is only a game. 1 Game. Outland was a long time ago.

Yet people seem convinced that they should pay $60 for the game, and $180 per year to keep playing it. According to math, you should be getting a new game every 4 months out of this, but you aren't, and even then, you still need to pay more money for the "new" game when it comes out.

WoW typically has an expansion every 2 years, 3 or 4 tiers of raiding, with the first being available at expansion release, and a few other patches to balance and add in world content; which means, that evenly divided, you'll see a new tier of raiding every 6 to 8 months, and a PVP/Quest patch halfway between them. 5 levels, an island map, and a new tier of raiding is not a new game, but people decided to buy the last 2 "expansions" anyways, and pay $180 for 2 tiers of raiding, a quest patch, and a pvp patch.

Just remember, classic WoW you paid this for 4 Tiers of 40 man raids, 2 continents, and a PVP system on par with raiding.
 

MTWSD

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To be honest, this is... well, an immensely poor review. It offers no objectivity what so ever, and like another commenter said, it sounds like you are just on a pissed off rant. Almost all the problems you listed with the game, save for the spamming issue and bugs, are just ranty personal opinions. 'Boring this' and 'pointless that'. You repeatedly complain about the story and dialogue , entirely overlooking the fact that ZOE has gone above and beyond almost every other MMO to date in terms of crafting a fully fleshed out, lore filled, fully voice-acted world. Complaining that always clicking through the first option allows you to fly through the dialogue without consequence is like complaining that pulling the trigger in an FPS will shoot the gun. Almost every game in the genre does this. All the intractable locations, stories, quests, locations, and ingrained story into the world flesh it out way more than you make it seem like.
This isn't a grinder / themepark / power-level MMO, if that's what you were expecting you are playing the wrong game. This game is geared primarily at people who will play it for the story, just like any other The Elder Scrolls, and it gives light to your bias that you didn't mentions this.
Lastly, many of the features, systems, and events in this game that you complain about were conscious design choices to make the game fit the story and to make it unique in it being built for the sake of the story it's going to tell. It's goal wasn't to be some cutting age innovative game (i.e. EQN) or to copy another MMO with a custom story on top (i.e. SWTOR), It's purpose was to give the best possible Elder Scrolls experience in an MMO environment for the sake of telling a story.

All that aside, all the lack of objectivity and bias makes this probably the worst review of anything i have ever read on this site.
 

ubercake

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Not entirely. Part of what a moderator does is to make sure people stick to talking about the things posted. They also make sure people don't attack others when they have no more facts to back up their arguments.

Be sure to stick to talking about the game and the article and you'll be able to continue to post your comments. Ask me again what the heck is wrong with me and you won't.

I will just throw this quote from my previous post out there again:
"around a month after release is already at 72 combined from published reviews and 6.1 out of 10 average from over 1400 user reviewers."

That's substantial.
 

TyrOd

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Ok then. I understand. I'll go back and remove the direct attacks and stick to facts and my experience with the game.
 

TyrOd

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I don't believe this is a "rehash" in the way you're describing it. There will always be reused elements in a game and whether the game feels repetitive is a subjective thing.

If you mostly skip the story or don't enjoy it then a lot of this game can be repetitive, but other aspects like the design choice of crafting, the exclusion of a global AH, are in line with what people would expect from a TES game IMO.

There is somewhat of a disconnect that I feel between playing for the story and the fact that it's a sub.
More specifically it's that sitting down for a long time to play through a detail heavy story every day is not how I would play skyrim. It's just too tiring even though I feel the story is great.

The game needs time-killers to add variety more than anything else. The features already announced in the recent AMA that will roll out over the next few patches should go a long way to improving that situation.

However, ZOS will already be raising the level cap and adding a full new zone before the "couple of months" it takes people to get to level cap.

They have also announced a bunch of features coming in 1.2(and a lot more beyond that), some of which are related to craglorn(patch 1.1) and some new and unrelated, like spellcrafting, horse racing, PvP Dungeons in the Imperial city(middle of PvP zone), etc..

Considering they will be rolling out these features every 4-6 weeks, I just don't think it's fair to say that what you're paying for with the $15/month is not substantial and new content.

Of course they could fail to deliver on this pace in the future, but at least with 1.1 and 1.2 it looks like they are definitely NOT just putting out the same old repetitive content.
 

vertexx

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Is there a "let's play" youtube series you would recommend that does ESO justice?

 

Fursnake

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Review? More like an incredibly biased opinion piece. Has Tom's Hardware ever reviewed a game before ever? No and they still haven't because this is not a review, it's a rantview.
 

TyrOd

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ForceStrategyGaming on Youtube does a pretty good job since he's played hundreds of hours through it.

There's a particularly good video about playing the game with full immersion vs with MMO style information.

TamrielFoundry is really good as well.

Both of them really rip into the game when they dislike certain aspects particularly some of the bugs and balance issues they've experienced, but overall they seem to do a balanced job and cover the entirety of the game well.
 

TyrOd

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You probably won't hit level cap before they release craglorn which expands the main story, sooo...
Also, level 50 isn't really level cap because a certain figure in the main story sends you to the other alliance zones for veteran content which will take longer to complete than getting to level 50.

I've spent ~200 hours in game so far and I'm nowhere close to finishing veteran content yet, though I have done half of the veteran dungeons which were a lot of fun.

Edit: I think, aside from the compensation for the extra downtime for maintenance patches, the reason for giving players 5 additional days before the pre-paid time ends is so they can release craglorn before people have to make a final decision to resub or not. based on the PTS build, Craglorn has been really fun so far. It's brutal if you don't have an organized group though.
 

Nicolae Andrei

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the problem with this game isn't the MMO aspect of it but how it's handled. Starting from the graphics and ending at the gameplay. I still think you can make a good ES MMO. I even wrote an article on how it should be done...if anyone is interested:

http://in2gpu.com/2014/05/06/the-elder-scrolls-how-to-mmo/
 

Zipeh

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In reading the review i think i could have inserted almost any MMO on the market .. they are all pretty much the same - course most games could be as easily paned. I dont think i have a played a single MMO / RPG where the quests were almost all pretty crappy, where the crafting system was tedious and annoying at best and waste of time at worst. I dont think i have played a game where all the NPCs i ran into were all multi dimensional, where all the mobs were different and non repetitive, where all the gear was different and non repetitive, where all the loot was different and non repetitive .. games of this sort are always the same .. and i really dont think there is much in the way of really getting around it .. DnD - the root of many of the offerings was only slightly less repetitive due to the huge amounts of player and GM interaction. -

Anyhow - dont mean to diss the review .. but if you were to point out game that didnt fail equally i would have to argue with you about how whichever game you picked to be better, wasnt really any better at all.

Its almost like this was your first MMO or RPG .. which i cant beleive.

Not saying ESO is all that at a bag of candy .. but it aint any worse than any of the other big tittles out there. Please tell me you think Rift, or GW2, or WOW or Warhammer or LOTRO or DDO or FFXIV or or or is better and i will find a plethora of people wiser than I who would beg to differ.
 

Erick Cid

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Unlike most MMO's this game has a sense of closure, at least in part. If you have not completed main story, you have absolutely no business reviewing this game. Their is no way you could see or grasp the magnitude of the achievement without firstly completing main story, and secondly, actually caring to immerse yourself in a story. This game can not be reviewed in such a manifest convention. To add that you seek to draw sizzle with your review title insists that here the epic fail is within the confines of a review of limited scope, and of dubious credential. Also without experiencing Veteran content, you have only seen a sliver of the whole. Your review is a disservice to the title, the genre, the art, science, and integrity of proper journalistic reviewing.
 

codo

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What a lot of people (namely those who never played TESIII and IV) don't realize is Skyrim wasn't that great. While Oblivion was still a serviceable TES game, they dumbed it down from Morrowind to work on consoles. More so with Skyrim, it could be so much better if Bethesda were still focused on us. When I got my beta invite for this, I thought "Skyrim all over again" and never paid any attention to it after. This review doesn't surprise me.
 

Steven Baffy

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There are so many things wrong with this article... I just lost a lot of respect for Tom's site. First of all if you bothered to talk to the NPC right outside of the door of the building you come out of in the tutorial you would have found your way to the starter islands easily. Furthermore, Stros Makai, the Daggerfll Covenant starter island may just be my favorite zone in the game. All of the characters you are introduced to there show back up in later zones, and they develop with their own story line as you progress.

It is no wonder you found the game boring, when you are too ADHD to bother with the voice overs, which are amazingly better than anything any other MMO has come up with, then you would have experienced a different game. Not only do the main quest NPC's hve voice, but each and every NPC in the game has a personality, sure sometimes a bit dry, but at times hilarious.

The difficulty scales up tremendously as you level. By the time you hit VR4 content, you can easily be two shot by creatures that take you a long time to kill. Getting to level 20, in ESO, is honestly about like doing Elwynn Forest in WoW... So sad the vindictive snap judgments that are made in this review.

ZOS has also addressed many things already, such as putting a loot timer on dungeon bosses to prevent farming. So many patches have come out to fix things, I feel that the review seriously overlooks the efforts of the publisher / developer.

There are two major fails in this review that made me discount it, even if I could overlook the vitriol. 1) Comparing an MMO to single player games, that is just... low down, dirty, and dishonest. 2) Playing a game that goes to level 50, veteran rank 10, which is something like the equivalent of level 150, since each VR area + and ++ are equivalent to another 50 levels each, is judging the game on about 13.3% of the game. To make matters worse it is the first 13.3% of the game, which we ll know is watered down and introducing the player to many aspects of game mechanics. This would be like playing vanilla WoW and writing a review based on level 8...

It is pretty clear that the review has an ulterior motive, and it is no coincidence that this article slights a sub based game that is far more successful than the "free to pay" flavor of the day games that are being portrayed as better. When I look at the money grabs that happen in STO and DDO and the dated, archaic, combat and game engines, then I know that this article is not being written with any measure of objectivity.
 

vertexx

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So how do you explain the piss-poor reviews ESO has received across the board? Are all of those bad reviews of ESO misguided? If this article were just one glaringly out-of-place opinion of ESO that would be one thing. But quite frankly, the absolute shrill tone of all of you people creating first-time IDs on Tom's Hardware forums to desperately attack this article calls into question your own motives much more than you can call to question the motives of the article's author.

You think people are stupid. The consensus is out on ESO, and it's not pretty. And this article is consistent with those reviews across the board. You can survey review after review, from Metacritic to PCGamer to Bit-tech.net to this article, and the feedback is the same.

So do you think that all of this consensus is misguided? THAT attitude is the mother of all arrogance and is just going to cause more problems for ESO. Perhaps you all should step back, take a breath, and perhaps try to understand why all of these bad reviews. You might have the opportunity to make the game better, rather than just try discredit your critics.

My own opinion is that ESO is technically well executed (despite the expected glitches), nothing of the nature of failures of other large releases. So I think the people doing the work on ESO did a phenomenal job in execution. The problem stems from the top. The whole thing is just misguided, and it is simply not a worthy successor in the Elder Scrolls franchise.

The one thing that it comes down to it for me is "Immersion", in the RPG sense of the word. When I look at all of the video coverage, what strikes me the most about ESO is it looks like Disney. You "run" dungeons like you go ride a ride at Disney. The NPCs have about as much character as the life-sized puppets you see at Pirates of the Caribbean. Running a dungeon is just like running through the river going from one exhibit to the next. MOBs have absolutely no AI until you start fighting them. There is no "unfolding" of an immersive experience as you make your way though. You run up and start fighting one bunch (always in a circle, in the open, surrounding the obviously larger and more powerful boss), while another group sits idle in plain view probably 25 meters away. Tactically, it looks interesting and challenging, if you're into that sort of thing. But strategically, and from a true role-play standpoint, it is just plain dumbed-down.

Bottom line is, technically, its wonderfully done, but it's over-produced and just not interesting at a nuanced and more sophisticated and immersive level that I think people expect out of an Elder Scrolls game.

So, you can go on with your desperate attacks at this author, or you can perhaps try to listen to the feedback and work on improving the game. You can knock me for criticizing the game without buying it, but the bottom line is you've lost any chance at me buying the game for the foreseeable future. You wanted the Elder Scrolls name to sell users on $80 one-time plus $15/month. Now, you need to earn it. You're not going to earn it by cynically bashing your critics.
 

TyrOd

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Not saying you don't have valid points about the reacting to this article, but to say that the reviews are overwhelmingly negative is untrue.

Critic reviews are mixed with average ratings in the %70-75 range. The trend for reviewers is that those who have played through to level 50 are overwhelmingly positive, while those who have only had a limited experience tend to dislike the game and use terms like stale, boring, repetitive.

This game isn't skyrim online, but unfortunately for most people that means it doesn't feel like a TES game, particularly if they aren't drawn in by the story.

The game isn't bad but it does get hate from all sides. The hate is NOT uniform though, and there's definitely no consensus as to WHY it is bad. In fact, people tend to go back and forth between praise and hate of the same features.

This is probably the only article that I have read that uniformly condemns pretty much all features of the game, which is what makes it that much more ridiculous in my eyes.

I men what exactly constitutes a lack of content? The game has more leveling/questing content in size and scope than all TES games and virtually all MMO's. Literally 300+ hours of just PVE questing content if you read all the dialog and 150+ if you don't.
I just can't wrap my head around the universal admonishment of all the game's features. It just makes no sense.
 
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