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

Page 8 - Seeking answers? Join the Tom's Hardware community: where nearly two million members share solutions and discuss the latest tech.
Status
Not open for further replies.

Matt Colson

Reputable
May 7, 2014
1
0
4,510
0
ESO gets the most polarized reviews I have seen with MMOs. It's gotten to be like Ford vs Chevy argument you might have at the local Pub.

This site basically slammed the game. The best comment made was if you like Thomas Kinkade art... you'll like the graphics in ESO.

I think this review is designed to be negative from the jump and based on the statements made here, no one could possibly enjoy this POS, yet there are hundreds of thousands players online everyday.

The fan page on Facebook has many glowing reviews from people that enjoy the game. The developers have made efforts almost weekly to date to fix bugs and broken quest lines. Many of which were in the BETA but many that surfaced post-launch as well.

If you don't like the game... don't play it. If you do like the game...support it to make it better. WoW was a train-wreck at launch. Star Wars Galaxies was a glitchfest at launch.... talk about vast wastelands of nothingness... There were no speeder bikes at launch, we walked EVERYWHERE... For hours, up hill, both ways.... EQ had bugs, hell every MMO is released with bugs.

No game is perfect for everyone, but based on the comments here on this page, the nay-sayers tend to travel in packs. Tey love to insert their two cents and many haven't even seen the game except on YouTube.
 

vertexx

Honorable
Apr 2, 2013
747
0
11,060
30

Appreciate your comments - they're definitely more constructive than some of the shrill attacks. Clearly this article is negative without holding any bars. It's not the worst, though, compared to this scathing bit-tech.net review (http://www.bit-tech.net/gaming/pc/2014/04/22/the-elder-scrolls-online-review/1). The bit-tech.net review didn't receive all the hate that this article did, and I actually think this article did a better job of backing up the author's opinion with some actual analysis. Some of that is obviously debatable, but I think this author made an initial honest attempt to like the game, and then, in writing this review, tried to de-construct the reasons why he did not.

ESO is not a bad game, but people obviously had high expectations, and I think the hype plus the high pricing combined with the mediocre results just put people off - at least a large contingent of people, as there are clearly alot of people who love the game.

Personally, I'd like to see them do away with the entire beginning of the game, or at least allow someone to opt out. I'd like to just be plopped down into the world, having selected from a guild or trade or other starting scenario from a couple of dozen options. If they could take a page from the popular Skyrim mod "Alternate Start: Live another Life" or "Random Alternate Start", that would be a far more interesting and believable way. With the amount of investment made in this, that would not have been too hard to do. Players could still pick up the main quest-line, but in their own way and on their own schedule.

I'll admit I'm not a huge MMO fan in general. I loved Eve Online for a couple years, but most other MMOs are just too generic for my tastes. I obviously loved Skyrim, and continue to play that today with all the options the modding world has provided for that game. I'll tell you, though, of all the times I've played Skyrim, I've only played "Dragonborn" once. And I do alot of Minecraft with my kids, hosting a number of server instances with mod-packs for them and their friends.

I can certainly appreciate the vast effort going into ESO. I hope they can continue to improve, and I hope they don't just focus on providing enhanced content. They really need to go back and re-tool the beginning, to open up the options for how you chose to develop your character (not just in a battle-tactic sense, but in a true role-playing immersion sense).

Right now in Skyrim, I'm running through as a Breton thief. I carry only a dagger & crossbow and have leveled sneak and illusion spells. Using Alternate Start, I started out in the Thieve's Guild with nothing and had to negotiate my way out of the Ratway with Requiem installed (good luck with that), and built up my skills running the Thieve's Guild quest-line. With my previous play-thru, I lived off the land (Realistic Needs & Diseases plus Frostfall) as a Ranger type character, but with this play-thru, I'm living off stolen goods.

Finally leveled up a bit, last night, I spent 3+ hours poking around one of the larger bandit camps, scouting at first, then slowly sniping the outlier bandits, making my way in (from the mountain-side - not the front entrance), waiting, and eventually sneaking in a dagger kill on the leader while he was sleeping. With the boss loot and quest objective in hand, I used my Illusion spells to make my way out without having to engage anyone else. That was challenging and fun. I'd love to be able to do something like that in a group.

I really hope ESO can eventually replicate some of that immersion and role-playing capability in the MMO environment. As soon as they do, I'll be signing up.
 

Octivius

Honorable
Aug 27, 2013
27
0
10,540
1
Wife was unable to watch it, on da lcd, save your money and enjoy ol' skyrim V xpacs. Terrible dungeons, gold like crack to some ppl. Big let down, cancelled sub and uninstalled this morning.
 

Octivius

Honorable
Aug 27, 2013
27
0
10,540
1
 

TyrOd

Honorable
Aug 16, 2013
527
0
11,160
93
 

RPGKat

Reputable
May 7, 2014
1
0
4,510
0
Stick to your great hardware reviews, absolutely LOVE them and have been following you for years...this was not much of a review than an opinion and rant. A departure from from the objective information I have so relied on for so long. I play the game and it's not for everyone...but none of them are. How boring would that be.
 


Just like Hardware, we all have subjective opinions about them (and pretty much everything). You can slap all the metrics you want, but since there are no consensus on how to review a game, you only have subjective-ness all over the place for this.

In my opinion, it hit the nail on some issues the game STILL has and Zenimax hasn't addressed, but core mechanics are not something you can measure. In this case, the game layout is boring for most people raised from "fast action packed games" growing up and the rest is fond of "slow paced RP centric" ones. ESO is closer to the later, so the target group is greatly reduced. Specially when they tried to do something in between. Most people didn't like that mix and its showing all over the internet.

Just get over it and go play the stupid game instead of defending it. I already canceled my subscription and I won't be going back; not for the time being at least. Hope they improve some of the mechanics to appeal more of the other group of people.

Cheers!
 


MMO? Like it or not:

- Call of Duty series and pretty much any FPS out there with multiplayer (you do level up your "char" and assign points on some of them). That's why I mentioned Payday 2 (and 1) as my favorite at the moment.
- Tera and GW2 are fast compared to WoW and SWTOR as well (I've played all of them); even faster paced than ESO. There's a swords-fighting MMORPG that is very fast paced as well (haven't played that one) from what I've read and been told, but I can't remember its name. As a side note, Tera went F2P and will soon get an expansion. I'll be going back to it and try that out. GW2 with its "living world" theme is pretty nice as well; especially when it doesn't ask for a monthly fee. That's a very good value proposition no matter how you slice it to keep things fresh.
- MOBAs... I don't know if they can actually be put in the same bag, but you do level up and have PVP action. You do have to invest time in them just like any MMORPG and they're fast paced since each match you have to start from scratch with your toon :p

Those are the ones form the top of my head, but I'm sure there are more; especially MMORPGs I haven't tried out personally.

Cheers!

EDIT: Typos.
 

sjc1017

Distinguished
May 4, 2011
69
0
18,630
0
A lot of the game you wonder how they got through play testing, it's so tedious. The game is always isolating players and forcing you to go through really tedious solo fights in the story parts. In Star Wars the Old Republic there was an option to allow other players to join your story so they could at least help you and also watch the cut-scenes, although not make choices themselves, in ESO the story parts drag on for ages and are incredibly annoying. You usually have to clear about twenty mobs and then trash and the boss mechanics of these battles are excessive tedious. Usually when MMOs try to deepen play they become frustrating. You are forced into isolation away from the public quests that are the very reason you play an MMO and then you have these over-long, overly repetitive sequences with wave upon wave of mobs with a difficult miniboss. I have had more than one that I've had to go back to and back as I level, for some reason, you'll pick up these story quests when you are eight levels below the mobs. I did one today where I went in and then clear my path to an area where a boss spawns and then the boss spawns four casters and four skeletons and I die immediately. You become caught in respawn cycles as you try to take out as many as you can before dying until you eventually get to the boss. Then I clear to another part of the story, same again and there are three cycles of trash to every boss, and this is solo. It really ruins playing and I cannot wait to hit level cap and stop playing. I have found it the same levelling, there aren't parallel areas where you can go and you get little xp for repeating instances so you have no mechanism to boost yourself when you are getting annihilated questing (nobody seems to group, which is normal for mmos, sadly), so I find myself struggling to make each level having to fight mobs who seem to become progressively higher than I am as I grind out the levels. At 42 I am getting creamed by mobs that are 48, 48 and I saw my first 50 yesterday. It's an extremely badly designed game. The combat mechanics are some of the worst I've played. I hope this is not the way MMOs go in the future. I think MMOs are a genre played by people who have a low skill level, you don't need great hardware, you don't need great reflexes, you can just find a little support niche that you enjoy to pass some time in and in ESO there is way too much running about like an idiot spamming whatever you have. The interupt mechanics usually suffer from lag, as do the roll mechanics. You need fibre optic broadband just for play to be viable or else you find your character never acts fast enough while you bash your keyboard to pieces in utter frustration. Well, for me, it's a very poor experience not really worth investing in. It cost me £60 to play, so I will level, but it could never go free-to-play because nobody'd play.
 

Copticone

Reputable
Apr 5, 2014
2
0
4,510
0
Excellent review. I usually don't bother taking early stage reviews seriously, but this is an exception. I played the all 3 weekends of the Beta, and had the same reservations and opinions of the game. But like you, I kept saying "This is Beta. I shouldn't judge it harshly." Also my highest character was level10, so again like you, I thought "hey, I am sure it will get better at higher levels." But I can see that it was all wishful thinking.
Thank you for wasting your time so that others like me don't have to.
 

Copticone

Reputable
Apr 5, 2014
2
0
4,510
0
The game's not perfect, but by far not as aweful as protrayed here - at least in my opinion.
There are a host of bugs that are annoying, but most have been addressed relatively fast.
Crafting animates to cooperate in the guilds you're in (because of set craft requirements) and the slowness of crafting improvements is subjective. If you deconstruct what you find along the way, you can craft stuff that's a tier or two better than you can wear at any point. I was able to craft veteran 1 potions at level 35 and cloth at level 43 for the same level. It's designed this way to make sure you don't 'max out' too fast I think. Either way, it's not a hindrance.
And the boring aspect that the review author experiences and keeps experiencing is a personal thing. I find the story very intriguing and therefore find the game enjoyable from the first quest to the last. The only time I am annoyed by them is when I run into a problem like a boss not spawning or a quest which requires you to think to solve it (yes despite being an mmo, it has quests that require active thought).

It's two times more likely that you remember negative than positive things, so I'll list the shortcommings I've noticed in the game:
1) reporting spammers results in you getting an email from customer support every time, so you're less likely to bother.
2) response times of customer support are on par with billing support for world of warcraft - which means by the time they reply, you've given up or solved the problem on your own.
3) for some features that you'd expect to just be there, you'll have to get an addon (readily available). This includes the minimap and timers that tell you when research or horse feeding is available.
4) it's very easy to end up with a skills build that doesn't actually work well in the game, and resetting it is expensive. However it must be noted that this means you're more likely to consciously think about your build instead of just copying something from the internet like most other mmo's
5) some guild features that you can't solve with addons are missing. This includes a schedule/calendar for planning events and an option to see when a member's been online last.

Overall though, I think the game's brilliant. I'm not sure how long it'll stay great, but I'm not tired of it yet.
After reading this review and then reading your comments, I am now convinced that the game is as awful as this review claims. It is obvious that your approval of the game is a personal opinion not an objective critique. You haven't said ONE thing that disproves the main issues stated in this review, namely Dungeon designs, co-op play, AI difficulty, lack of challenge, lack of immersion, PvP, etc..
You end by saying the game is brilliant yet fail to say why. I am not saying that you are lying. I am sure you are enjoying yourself, but I certainly doubt you have convinced anyone, specially someone like me who got a little taste of the game in Beta, to reconsider.
 

Steven Baffy

Reputable
Apr 16, 2014
3
0
4,510
0


The points in my comment are valid. The reason I have not created an ID before is because I tend to read the tech articles on Tom's, I have for years. When it comes to the technical side of things the site is very good and the users tend to hit everything that needs to be hit, there is no need for me to reply when the points are already made.

I have played a lot of MMO games, my first was Ultima Online, and I have played DDO, and STO, and the other games the review claims are better. Pure and simply they are not. I don't care what other reviews say but I can bet you that I will find many that do not take the approach the author does. Th3e author states blind, personal opinion, not fact. Take a look at this. http://www.mmorpg.com/gamelist.cfm/show/all/sCol/rankHype/sOrder/desc

That right there clearly ranks ESO at a 7.91, compared to the 7.82 of DDO, and the 6.76 of STO. This is a MMO fan site with rankings based on MMO players as a conglomerate. It is blatantly clear that the author has a personal bias and slant because they are not reporting anything but that. There is no objectivity in this article and it is a piece of garbage. When it comes to tech stuff I will continue to read Tom's but when it comes to gaming and lifestyle stuff it is pretty clear that I could get more objectivity in a political blog...
 

arkrival

Distinguished
Aug 22, 2011
44
0
18,540
2
Well that was a WASTE of $60 I will not be buying any more MMO's that are sub based and I will be waiting for the review's next time lol. Dam impulse buys!! :) It took me about 3 weeks too get too 50 and I didn't even have the early access ONCE I got to lv 48 I couldn't get past that CAUSE the game was bugged too the point that you couldn't finish the last main quest to become Legendary too go to the other factions and play there story.

And as the article pointed out there was a RARE chance that you even find a chest out in the wild I maybe found 5 through out my entire game play and the chests that I found were worthless junk and Don't get me start on a MMO that doesn't have a AH dam what a let down I was a rouge it was fun but not $60 for the game + another $15 for the other month I am glad I canceled before the time rolled around again.
 

nic4242

Distinguished
Dec 10, 2011
34
0
18,530
0
I had great fun reading this review, and I can definitely recognize where the author is coming from.

The game has very little lasting value, because of one systemic flaw: it has all the depth and lore and nuance you'd expect from a revised Skyrim, but it also catered to the WoW-crowd's (IMHO) weird desire to get to the end of the story rather than experience it, and so it's possible to just click one dialogue option without understanding what quest you're doing or why (like the reviewer), or race through the countryside and "only" find 5 chests in the world while getting to the end game in three weeks (like a previous poster here).


Thus, most players miss out on the story, and those of us who wanted to experience to world find that the xp come rolling in at a ridiculous rate, so the game is over before it really began. I would have preferred a rate of progression of about one tenth of what it is, but of course, anyone raised on WoW will scream bloody murder at the mere thought. I don't get it why everyone seems hell bent on finishing first, it's like buying a DVD (remember when people did that?), fast-forwarding to the end and then arguing that it was a shitty film because it was too easy to press fast forward.

And yes, there are HUGE plot holes that totally kill any sense of immersion, an impossible communication interface that actively prevents people from talking in-game (Ventrilo or any other game friendly chat application is your friend), a respawn timer which has blown a fuse, hugely disappointing loot (yes, the 2 gold pieces and a potato from killing a difficult boss CAN happen), a binary combat system that actively prevents any sort of strategy and should be replaced by a coin toss etc. etc.

But you know what? I'm having a great time. It won't be like the decade-long love affair I had with EverQuest, or the year-long one I had with Skyrim, but if you slow down and let the story come to you, Tamriel is a great place to explore and discover. In the month or two it will take you to get to the end game.
 

cats_Paw

Distinguished



Its definitly true that negativity travels in packs, but i belive that so does everything else. Even Religion is based on that human feeling.

That beeing said, nowdays there are few good games coming out. And let me point out at least why I see it this way:

In the past, when a new game came out, it was never perfect. In fact many games were terrible at a thing or two, sometimes more at launch.... even for ever. But they also had something incredible that made you forget the parts that were lack luster.

Baldurs Gate, Deus Ex, Crysis, Starcraft 1....None were perfect. but I cant say what was wrong with them because I was too focused on what was great in them.

The last game I felt like that was Dark souls 1 on PC after mods. It has choppy frame rate, and usually I would hate that, but I enjoy the challenge so much that I forget about it almost always.
I tried WoW, but didnt like it. I enjoyed Guild wars enought to buy every expansion and even some character slots, but its not a game id praise for how good it was.

Basicly what Im trying to say is, Why buy and pay for elder scrolls online, when skyrim , oblivion and especially morrowind give me more enjoyment than ESO?

Is there anything where ESO beats skyrim oblivion or morrowind apart from graphics and the fact that it can be played in multiplayer?

If not, then i would sa its not a good game. If yes, then perhaps its might have something interesting to show for.

One could argue that once you have finished a game like Oblivion, you wont ply it again because you know the ending, the story, etc.... But to be frank, It took me around 250 hours to finish Oblivion with how much I like to explore, So when I took a week off and started the game again, I already forgot 60% of what the game had in it.




 

sjc1017

Distinguished
May 4, 2011
69
0
18,630
0
I played up to 49 and it's a better game once you get the dire phased isolated story parts out of the way. If they just concentrate on publicly accessible questing in the world they've designed then it'll be viable. The isolated story-parts killed it for me personally and were poorly designed. Some of them I had to go back level upon level, then every two levels, until I left them almost until level cap before I could go back and complete. Running around spamming damage feel stupid but it was usually the only way I could complete. I don't know why people have complimented the combat, it's worse than usual MMO combat to me. I often try and glitch the mobs to succeed (I cheat) and it doesn't feel very skillful. If they can build on the magnificent world design and provide more public content and fine-tune the game mechanics, improving the inter-relation between players combinations it can go on and be a fine game I am sure. It does manifest a great deal of labour, more care could have been taken, however, and they do have the basis of something that warrants attention. In an expansion or two it'll probably be much better.
 

Chunk Basker

Reputable
May 22, 2014
1
0
4,510
0
Fanboys hurt their respect in the gaming world even more by supporting this travesty.
Pay-wall with a monthly sub is insane. Stay away from this one folks, don't get caught in the sinking ship that is ESO.
 

sjc1017

Distinguished
May 4, 2011
69
0
18,630
0
It's worth playing through, although it's flawed, the story quests are appalling and mar the game badly, it would be better as open-world-public questing. I think the subscription will affect consumer behaviour. I've paid for two months and won't play beyond that period. I'll move onto Wildstar and do the same until WOD and then do the same there. As the MMO market is saturated people will play for shorter and shorter periods because of the subscriptions so that the subscription model will lose its efficacy.
 

Zombie615

Honorable
Feb 9, 2014
487
0
10,810
22
A successful launch is a major under statement. That's like saying they put a bicycle together an it worked flawlessly. Where as other MMO's which launched with a large amount of content would be put into context as putting a car together by hand and having it not run to it's full potentional. Anyone can fold a piece of paper into a paper airplane an watch it fly. Take that same person an give them the task of putting together a jumbo jet an watch as they fail horribly.

Sadly I purchased this game the day it came out an after playing a few hours a day for about 3 days I realized how horrid it was an that it wasn't going to get any better. Since than I haven't even touched it or thought about it for that matter. Than after hearing about the horrible duping bug an all these other reviews I'm glad to say I'll never play it again an I'll just chalk it up as a loss of $60. Hopefully they find ways to recoup their lost investment cause I still praise them for their other amazing single-player titles like Skyrim, Morrowind, Oblivion, and Fallout series. They need to go back to what they were a master at an leave the MMO genre alone.
 

Sakkura

Illustrious

The other Elder Scrolls games were made by Bethesda, ESO is from Zenimax Online Studios.
 

Zombie615

Honorable
Feb 9, 2014
487
0
10,810
22


Doesn't matter I'm sure Bethesda helped them in some way or another. Even if they didn't they used the same character races that Bethesda uses in their games an they named it after the Elder Scrolls series. So it still is hurting Bethesda's reputation rather they had anything to do with it or not.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.

ASK THE COMMUNITY

TRENDING THREADS