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.

About Webnme2

The author's first experience with computers was with Fortran IV. Wow that's ancient. After graduate school, he taught history for a number of years at a community college before becoming an attorney. In 1997 he changed careers to become a web developer/designer with an interest in all things web related. He currently maintains several dozen websites. This is his personal blog. The opinions expressed are his own.

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