Author AvatarClick to View CategoryESO Assessment Series – PvE Content

by Webnme2 on Aug 13th 2015 in Gaming

While there are some things that merit criticism, the game provide a huge amount of rich content that was well woven-together, which is a tribute to the lore team. There is no question that all of the PvE content was created with great attention to detail. ESO is superior to most games hands down.

Now for the bad and ugly.

  • In the early stages of the game’s continuing development; broken quests, bot players, and Havok problems were frustrating. And while most of this did get addressed there are still quests that sometimes exhibit odd behaviors and up until Patch 1.6 there were places in the game where you could charge an object and get propelled skyward and then to your death from fall damage.
  • For the better part of a year the game felt like a post release beta instead of a polished game. Only after the release of Tamriel Unlimited did the game feel like it was of production release quality.
  • The game lacks a true “Open Environment” which conflicts with the early promise of a game where you could go anywhere and do whatever you wanted. For example, the game limits you to beginner areas and five zones until you get to Coldharbour. After that you are limited to the next set of zones until you complete a series of questlines. Only after an exceedingly long time do you get to the final zones and have an open world environment. Perhaps this was done to try to lock folks into zones appropriate to character level, but this was an utter failure for aggressive players that frequently were able to get more than five levels ahead of normal development with the result that NPC’s quit dropping good loot.
  • Character advancement is very slow and starts to really feel agonizing the second through eighth time around. Each character has to complete the same quests over and over again. There isn’t a good option to get all the necessary materials, loot, experience points, skill points, etc. without going through over a thousand quests with each character.
  • There are far too many “FedEx” quests; e.g., where all you seem to be doing is go here, go there, go somewhere else, come back here, and so on. Some quests that should be fast paced end up taking hours. This discourages multiple character development.
  • Despite some efforts at simplification crafting mastery takes far too long and most of the crafting is pretty darned convoluted. Worse, the devs apparently painted themselves into a corner with the first eight traits that you can research. To add new motifs without making crafting mastery take even longer, the devs resorted to unique ways to add these into crafting. So now a crafter has to understand that some traits and style follow a completely different process from basic crafting.
  • The depth of quest stories makes the game shine the first time you play it through. Unfortunately this same depth makes advancing additional characters mind-numbing.
  • Character building remains unstable. The devs are constantly changing buffs for armor sets, changing combat related buffs/debuffs, etc. More recently some skill morphs were changed from magicka to stamina and more of that is in the pipeline. Changes to set bonuses and buffs has been really frustrating to players that have created rather expensive builds due to the costs of acquiring necessary materials, set armor pieces, etc. When you have invested anywhere from 300k gold to over one million gold in a character build, big changes that make that expensive armor less optimal or obsolete really are frustrating.
  • The games User Interface (UI) is very inconsistent when it comes to character build activity. There way attribute points, skill points, and champion points display is unique to each. It would be nice to have a uniform and consistent UI where it is easy to see everything at a glance instead of witching between different UI screens which largely serve as a barrier to managing characters.
  • Finally, the worst sin of all is the slow pace at which new PvE content has been introduced. Yes after almost a year and a half we now have Craglorn and Upper Craglorn and yes some new features have been added like a system for stealing to get wealth, but this doesn’t come close to what customers expected. New PvE content should have been released more frequently.

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Author AvatarClick to View CategoryESO Assessment Series – Game Environment

by Webnme2 on Aug 7th 2015 in Gaming

When it comes to game environment, The Elder Scrolls Online is truly a fantastic game. The game was developed with loving attention to detail and offers a stunning array of sub-environments ranging from the frigid Nord home area to rich deserts to stunning coastal areas. Every area has rich flora and fauna, interesting geographical features to explore, caves, dungeons, challenging overworld bosses, and a wide variety of hostile mobs to battle. There is no shortage of adventure opportunity.

The games voice acting and musical scores are simply outstanding. General game effects and sound effects are also very good. In short they got it right with the audio portion of the game experience!

All of these things make the fantasy world of Tamriel a delightful place. And for those of us that played earlier franchise games like Oblivion on Skyrim, the trip back in time to this earlier era is a lot of fun and rich in lore that for the most part is consistent with our expectations. Yes there are some strange differences like a more arid Cyrodiil and city layouts that bear little resemblance to what we knew in Skyrim or Oblivion, but even so the areas still give you rich lore and story consistency.

The game UI is easy to use for the most part, although there are frequent complaints about the awkward feel of the selection wheel for fishing and potions/trophies.

For those of us that came from Oblivion and Skyrim, the game lacks two significant features that greatly enhanced game play in prior games.

1. There still isn’t a character customization capability that would allow you to change your character’s appearance. Let’s suppose you would like to change hair color or style – that just isn’t possible. This is frustrating for players that started playing at game launch when the character creator interface was problematic and sometimes resulted in character appearance that wasn’t just where we wanted it to be.

2. There isn’t any way to display your trophies or loot beyond the single set of armor you are wearing. In single-player games, player homes were a huge player satisfaction factor and with the addition of modding became one of the most outstanding features of the game. Face it, we like to show off what we have earned and collected, even if we are the only players to see our own stuff. Being able to share your individual accomplishments via screenshots of weapon and armor displays was simply huge, This is something that , while perhaps difficult to implement, is sorely missing.

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Author AvatarClick to View CategoryESO Assessment Series – Introducing the Reviewer

by Webnme2 on Aug 7th 2015 in Gaming

Before I take a look at the soon to be released Imperial City DLC for Elder Scrolls Online – Tamriel Unlimited, I will be reviewing the state of the game in a series of assessment articles. To kick of the assessment series, let me introduce to my game record so that when you read the articles you know what kind of player is talking and what kind of experience the player has with the game.

I started playing the Elder Scrolls Online when it was in Beta development and promptly joined a guild – The Crimson Order. I have been playing the game daily ever since. Here are some highlights of my game experience:

  • Primarily a PvE player
  • Eight characters that have reached Veteran Ranks – three at V1, two at V5, two at V12, and one at V14
  • All eight characters are lvl 50 in every craft except enchanting. Two are lvl 50 in enchanting and the rest are lvl 40 enchanting.
  • Each character has between 25% and 70% of all possible achievement points
  • Net worth in game currently is in excess of 2.25 million gold
  • All characters have level 60/60/60 mounts and 170 inventory slots with bank maxed at 240 slots
  • All characters have gold quality outfitting
  • Carry a sufficient reserve of mats to make gold-quality armor for four toons without acquiring more mats
  • Have completed every quest in the basic zones, Cadwell’s Silver, and Cadwell’s Gold at least once and sometimes as many as eight times.
  • Have completed every quest in Cyrodiil and many in Craglorn/Upper-Craglorn
  • Have collected every skyshard in the game with the exception of a few in Craglorn/Upper Craglorn
  • Have completed every delve in the game with the exception of a few in Craglorn/Upper Craglorn
  • Rank in top 25% of sales in two trade guilds
  • Second in command for a player guild in-game
  • Have participated in three PvP campaigns
  • Have participated on the Public Test Server (PTS) prior to major patches and changes to the game, providing feedback
  • Have written extensive number of help articles to help guild mates ranging from how to get started to theorycrafting
  • Have led discussions in-game and via TeamSpeak with guild members to improve game experience
  • In short, there is very little of the game that I haven’t explored and mastered

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Author AvatarClick to View CategoryThis Blog Isn’t Dead Yet

by Webnme2 on Aug 6th 2015 in Gaming

In my last article, I wrote about the Elder Scrolls Online Beta. Shortly after that I joined a gaming guild and shifted my web development efforts to supporting the guild’s web site and playing Elder Scrolls Online pretty much non-stop. In the process I pretty much stopped writing here for over a year. I plan to start adding articles here as time allows concerning the new Imperial City DLC in Elder Scrolls Online and the move on to articles about Fallout 4 after it launches.

I am continuing to support my guild and its web site. For those interested in playing the Elder Scrolls Online or Fallout 4 on release, please stop by here and have a look.

The Crimson Order Home Page

TCOscreenshot

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