Elder Scrolls Online, a big fat cauldron of not very good.


Elder Scrolls Online, who I imagine got greenlight ages ago, when the concept of a “World of Warcraft” killer was still imaginatively relevant, unfortunately, that concept went out the windows somewhere around Star Wars the Old Republic and that useless Conan game. Sadly for Zenimax, Bethesda and people who actually like the Elder Scrolls universe (Spoiler Alert: I love the Elder Scrolls Universe, crazy dwemer lore and all), this game just isn’t that good.

It’s by no means bad, it just isn’t very good, mediocre in so many ways, outright bad in other ways, pretty good in some ways, now, allow me to explain, before you start screaming at the monitor. (Spoiler Alert: No one will actually do that).

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So, let’s start with the classes, of which there are four, Templar (Healer), Dragonknight (Fire), Nightblade (Fuck off) and Sorcerer, pay attention to the last class, which doesn’t have a fancy name at all, this will be explained later on, so don’t worry.

Now, the first three classes usually use meele weapons, so they are up close and personal with the enemies, hitting them with swords, hammers, maces and all the good stuff, but the amount of weapons skills are limited, as your weapon adds five extra active skills you can use, alongside your class skills.

Which sounds cool, until I tell you there are the following categories: Two-handed, One+Shield and Dual Wielding. Is there are tree for daggers? Hahaha, fuck off no. Can you then really sneak around and stab people? Sure, EVERYONE can, not that it matters, the stealth system doesn’t really make any sense anyway.

The other weapons are Bows, Destruction Staff and Healing staffs.

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now, meele is still fun, you’re there hitting shit in the face, no fancy stuff, just up close and personal, you can easily keep up with the “BLOCK NOW” telegrams the enemy sends you, and note here, THE enemy, I haven’t been able to really engage several mobs in any meaningful way, not even as a sorcerer.

So it’s almost always one-on-one, still, meele feels nice and punchy, so that’s always something.

The Archery is pretty good, if unremarkably, and works pretty much as a Magic staff, just much, MUCH better.

Because Magic is absolutely bollocks, and staggeringly so. In pretty much all of Elder Scrolls, I would go buy some spells, or start with a handful, and start vomiting forth fire from the palms of my hands, like some deranged psyker straight out of Warhammer 40k, hurling around fire and death with my clenched fists. Awesome fun in Morrowind with it’s utterly broken magic system, decent in Oblivion and after a bit of PC Master Race modding, awesome power in Skyrim. The one thing in common, staffs where and optional extra, used only sometimes, you where the weapon.

Does the Sorcerer do that in ESO? Nope, you have to use staffs, and they aren’t very good, don’t feel right, and really don’t work in any ranged confrontation. I’d usually just be mudered by angry arsehole running into my face. So fireballs for me.

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So, the classes aren’t very good, what about the quests? Mediocre at best my friends. Standard at worst, horrible at nightmares.

The main quest line is so relentlessly predictable it’s not even funny, excellent voice actors for the “Main” story characters, pretty eh for everyone else.

There are a handful of “dynamic” events, but they are pale shades compared to the mediocre servings from Warlords of Dreanor, and are utterly irredemable compared to Guild Wars Two’s brilliant event systems.

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Adding in a generally ugly game, without the glorious insanity of Morrowing or the vast Scandinavian style of Skyrim, it all just looks like Oblivion, which, let’s be honest, was boring as all fuck to actually look at.

Add in some insane and utterly randon loading times, and you have good times for absolutely nothing sane on this fair world, other than maniacs who like to masturbate to loading screens.

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Which brings us anything but neatly, to the final horror: PvP.

This game has been advertised aimed towards a PvP angle, with it’s massive central battleground, where the three great faction compete for domination, sounds cool doesn’t it? It probably would be, if I had even the faintest idea where the fuck I had to go, or do, and when I finally randomly stumbled upon a Keep under siege, I was murdered within seconds, WITH NO WAY TO GET BACK TO THE FIGHT.

I cannot even understand that, I respawn a full keep further back, so far away from the frontlines, that by the time I would reach the keep on foot (Horses are either expensive monsters or stuff you buy from the in-game store), the battle would be over, who the fuck things that’s a good idea?

The PvP map was enourmous anyway, way to large for the limited players present, a map that size would need to have several thousands of players, to work even just a little.

A little while after my quick demise, I found myself, randomly again because the map was goddamn useless as an indicator of action, in a keep under siege, well, I say siege, two enemy players where attacking the main gate.

Guess what? They could kill all of use so quickly it wasn’t funny, not even a little, I did notice that one of them used the “Former Empress” title, which I belive is pretty much the End Game PvP title.

So yeah, that was fun.

A small story here people, I, like many, played World of Warcraft in vanilla, and I, fool that I was, levelled a Dwarf Paladin, all the way to level 60, and guess what? I got fucking tired of being ganked TEN years ago, and fuck that shit, it’s not fun for anyone, other then deranged little fuckers with power fantasies.

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In Conclustion: Buy Guild Wars 2 instead, more content, more fun, more everything, this MMO will die at some point, and nothing will be lost.

This game should never have been, and probably will fade away at some point.

About Ragnarokz

I am the Managing Director of the Balfour Institute of Internet Culture, and one of the world's foremost experts on the cultural phenomena of the Internet.
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