Eager for adventure, I plowed my way through multiple reset emails and logged in. They let us use the characters we had last Beta! It IS a Beta test, after all…and letting people level a while is a great way to test higher level content that is deeper in the game. There is a LOT to do, even if you just want to work on just a few aspects of your character, and after leveling somewhat I felt a bit more confident this time as I adventured to the Ash Mountain region. For those of you that played the living $**T out of Morrowind, I must say that you will really like the art style. Modern engine, great art, and a much cleaner look even compared to Skyrim with some graphics mods (I use SIMM and a texture enhancer only, but still…), and it very much feels like Morrowind. In fact, I would plunk down $60 for a solo-player version of this world that lets you go all over Tamriel.
Each weapon type, spell and race have skill lines—you can control, in a detailed way, how your character progresses and what they’re going to be good at. Since it’s Beta, I just had fun with this, but you’d best believe I’m going to plot out a course for my Sorcerer for game launch! I really liked how the skill lines offered by different factions you join seemed to fit the themes of each.
My guy, a Dunmer Sorcerer, decided to be the all-around badass he was in Skyrim…and that is when I discovered that there was too much to spend points on! I had to focus a bit on what I could improve at lower levels…and realized that the leveling felt more fleshed out, and valuable to my game experience.
I gathered all materials I could, did a lot of crafting and leveled Alchemy and Crafting. I also put some points into a bow, spells to make toasty critters with and enchanted my armor myself. My little Scamp I summoned helped tank, though I still got smacked down a few times. The environment is your friend…and enemy. If you don’t pay attention, you’ll attract a lot of monsters and miss out on a lot of crafting materials! It really increases the immersion and tension; any moment I might see some Alchemy plants, come upon a player getting overwhelmed or turn a corner and get attacked. I helped a few people, grouped up some, and also noticed: when people start an MMO at the same time, you don’t HAVE to plan or call for groups in chat standing in town. Just go to the objective, and most of the time there are people doing that quest and they team up without formalized grouping. I like organized groups, but on most quests the groups just seemed to come together and it felt very natural.
There are things we can’t really check out in the Beta though, but the rest of it has me itching for it: Cyrodiil PvP Sieges,dungeons, endgame raids and high level crafting. Elder Scrolls Online is about the adventure; an adventure has detailed character growth, stories and quests that make sense. It is a flexible world that caters to a variety of ability types and play styles. The adventure IS the destination; no need to rush. You’ll get more stuff that way!
They kept great key elements from the earlier games, expanded on them and added some as well. I had sooo much fun in the Beta! Nope, I’m not a fanboy. It is too easy to screw up an MMO (bad balance, F2P cash shops, lack of content, lack of consistent lore etc.). My loyalty was earned slowly with Morrowind, Oblivion & Skyrim. The ONLY thing that sucks is having to wait for the April launch!
~IntrinsicJim, Embedded Gamer