ESO – Early Days

Super fastly-written thoughts on ESO.

It’s awesome! Even more awesomer that I thought it would be!

That’s probably just first-day excitement talking though. But still, it’s pretty good. And new. Anything new is good, if you ask me. At least for a couple of days.

Smoothest launch ever. No network-related problems. No queues, no lag, no disconnects. None, zero, zip. Got in five minutes before 7 AM without issue. Many problems I had from beta were fixed. For example, I no longer get launched into the air as if from a cannon when I walk up stairs. I no longer get stuck in NPC dialogs.

Still some problems though. It sometimes dismounts you randomly. No big deal to me. The Imperial horse isn’t that fast anyway. You can actually run faster than a walking horse.

By far the biggest problem I’ve encountered (in the Ebonheart zone at least) is bugged quests that cannot be finished for various reasons. The Death of Balreth is the biggest culprit, but there are others. It seems that the longer the servers are running, the more quests bug out. Quests that I had previously done successfully could not be completed on alts. I expected daily patches to fix these, but it’s the morning of Day 3 as I’m typing this and there have not been any. Or maybe they are pushing fixes behind the scenes. That would be cool if they could patch the servers without bringing the game down.

You can still progress without the quests, but the Balreth one is a big deal because I’m pretty sure it unlocks other quests later.

Also, the vast majority of your experience comes from handing in quests. If you just run around killing mobs, you’ll die of boredom before gaining a level.

I heard a rumor that there was an exploit people used to get to level 50 on the first or second day. I haven’t seen it, but I wouldn’t be surprised. Don’t particularly care, though. Somebody else being 50 doesn’t hurt my game.

Two-handed combat is the most awesome thing ever in this game. I did dual-wielding in beta and have been waiting for launch to rock the two-hander, and it’s so much fun it’s ridiculous. It really feels like you’re hitting people with the force of a speeding semi truck, especially when you knock them flat and stun them.

I ducked into Cyrodill for a few minutes just to look. It’s typical PvP realm versus realm gameplay in a gigantic three-sided zone, so you could probably run all day without finding a single person. It’s populated with the typical PvP crowd. Chat is filled with people who think they are genius commanders, yelling at everyone because everyone but them is a stupid noob scrub. I assume there were zergs roaming around, but I didn’t go that far. I left pretty quickly. No reason to go back there until I’m bored with PvE.

Obnoxious gold spamming arrived on Day 2. Obnoxious people arrived Day 1. Once you’ve ignored around a hundred people or so, the zone chat starts to become bearable. By then, most of what you see is guild recruitment messages.

Crafting is really cool. It’s a mistake to ignore it in favor of leveling. I’ve mostly made all of my own equipment so far, and it’s better than the drops. In fact, you hardly ever get a drop that you can use. The only thing that annoys me is the time it takes to research traits. Six hours? Twelve hours? In real time? If that wasn’t made for a free-to-play conversion later, I’ll eat my socks.

Anyway, great fun. Well worth the price of admission. Come back in one month to see if I decide to subscribe. Right now I’d say the chances are about 60-70%. (A number I arrived at with a high degree of scientific precision.) Leveling seems very slow to me, so I might not even make it to 50 in a month, particularly if I keep crafting so much.

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