by IntrinsicJim, Embedded Gamer:
As a veteran player of the Elder Scrolls first-person adventures, I wasn’t sure of what to expect. The Elder Scrolls lore is great, and has millions of fans; what we want to know is if it makes the translation into being fun in a shared world populated by other heroes?
I found the game to be very, very granular; it allowed me to do a lot of things ranging from things like talking to NPCs, doing quests, fighting to other activities like crafting, gathering items needed for said crafts and making items that enhanced my character. When you increase either your level or abilities, the game alerts you in a way that is authentic, familiar to players of any of the previous games and specific to that ability or characteristic. It’s nice to see touches like that, and really feel your character’s growth after you achieve, fight or create something.
The starting area was great, and can really prep you for the adventures ahead as well as put a few gold into your pockets. I tend to play the sneaky gathering mage type, and found that there were a lot of different ways to accomplish my goals. I didn’t interact much with the other players; most of us were enjoying rushing around doing stuff too much! We did all have a big convo at the gate to the exit for the large training island (lag, lots playing!), but aside from that…the NEAR TOTAL lack of any bugs had us just diving in and soloing from what I could see, although chat was busy w/some people regularly looking to form up for group content.
Is it complex? Yes. Several ingredients must be combined to make most items, and although some of these were buyable I found that there was a good emphasis on gathering and making your own, increasing your skill levels in crafts and abilities. Several of the quests have multiple things to solve, and often there are several ways to approach each objective. You can even fish in Elder Scrolls Online! The graphics were great, and I saw a great sample of what the different environments will be like in different regions and climates. Chatting, grouping and the user interface were pretty easy to use, along with some improvements to what you may be used to.
I found there to be a HUGE variety of ways to customize the look of my character, and the game will also show you a lot of different random looks for your character if you prefer to look for something that resonates with you.
All in all, I found Elder Scrolls Online to be a fun, deep universe, and I look forward to conspiring with the Ebonheart Pact to take the Ruby Throne!