On Elder Scrolls Online – The Good

So one of the games I have been playing lately is “The Elder Scrolls Online”. I’ve heard mixed opinions about this game, good and bad, and thought that since I’m trying to do the blogging thing a bit more I’d put down my thoughts on the matter.

I’ll start this off with the fact that I don’t know much about the series lore. The only Elder Scrolls title that I played before this one was Skyrim. Well, I tried to play Oblivion but it was years after the fact and I had a hard time adjusting to the graphics. So to rephrase that a bit, the only Elder Scrolls game I have finished was Skyrim.

The focus of this post is going to be the things I like about the game, and I’ll have a follow up post about the things that I don’t particularly care for.

Graphics

molagbal

So this seems to be one of the points people seem to disagree on. Some people seem to think the graphics are not all that great, while others think they’re amazing. I happen to fall in to the amazing camp. This might depend on individual system builds, but when I play the game the graphics are amazingly detailed.  Light reflects off of every surface in a realistic manner, and everything just looks amazing.

I think one of the bigger complaints about the graphics comes from the textures being a bit “blocky” or appear rough around the edges. I would tend to agree that maybe the textures aren’t exactly perfect, but you have to remember that you’re not playing a single player game. Things have to be optimized so that they can load quickly for as many players as possible. I come from a developer background so I understand this a bit more than maybe a hardcore gamer might. The game still looks great compared to a lot of other games that are out.

All I see when I’m playing is vast fields to explore and mobs to kill. I see burning buildings in the distance and know that I can get there and find an adventure. The fact that this game conveys that to me in a visually appealing matter is all that I care about. I don’t need everything to be absolutely perfect to enjoy the game. It shouldn’t matter to people if things aren’t perfect, it is still one of the most beautiful games you’ll play online.

Soundtrack

I’m not sure anyone would disagree if I were to say that the soundtrack to this game is awesome. The sound always has the right mood for whatever I’m trying to do that day. Whether I’m exploring or questing the sound always feels right. I’ll admit that I bought the soundtrack on iTunes and listen to it at work sometimes because it is that good. There isn’t really anything else to say here though. It’s hard to describe it other than saying the soundtrack works and helps you get in to the game.

Gameplay

So this is the big one right? The one that nobody seems to be able to agree on.  I could probably write a lot on this subject, so I’m going to try to keep it short and only cover the more important things.

Exploration

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One of my favorite things to do in any open world game is explore. I can just head off in a direction and see where the game takes me. This is probably my favorite feature of this game. I can walk/run/ride a mount almost anywhere I want on the map. Like I mentioned earlier I can be doing one thing and see smoke off in the distance and can go and see what all the ruckus is about.  Having that freedom is one of the things I most enjoy about this game.

Controls

One of the things that I appreciate about this game is how you control your character. It did take a while for me to adjust to the Skryim like movement, but that is just because I’ve played so many other games where you could move by using your mouse. That doesn’t exactly work in this scenario since you actively use your equipped weapon with the mouse buttons. It does take getting used to, but it works for this game.

The part that makes the controls land in the “good stuff” discussion is that they are fairly simplified. Unlike other games that shall not be named, you don’t have to worry about having 40 different abilities to find a place for, then memorize key bindings for. Personally I appreciate that. I spent a lot of time on other games trying to manage my hotbars, to varying degrees of success. Only having to worry about 5 main abilities and a special one is a lot easier than the aforementioned 40.

You can eventually swap your equipped weapon, and thus your abilities giving you a second hotbar, but you still only have to worry about the skills associated to that weapon type.

Wrapping Up

So I think that covers the basics of why I enjoy the game. I’ll have another post about things that I am not fond of, or think could use work. The game is great, and I enjoy playing it. But like every game it is a work in progress.

 

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