Elder Scrolls Online

BelgarathMTH

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Hello, I've recently started to get into Elder Scrolls Online, and I'm really liking it so far. I felt like making a post to share with friends here, and to ask if anyone else is playing or has played, and what you think about it.

There is so much rich lore and history in the Elder Scrolls setting. I've never been able to get into it much because the games are designed from the ground up for consoles, and the PC ports have been of questionable quality as far as controls. I was able to play and enjoy Morrowind, but it was a long time ago, and I don't remember much. Then I tried Oblivion, but the bad world level scaling ruined it for me, and I never finished the main story in it.

I wanted to get into Skyrim, but I spent more time fighting with the controls than playing the game, so I quit in frustration almost immediately. Skyrim especially has very bad and limited key rebind customization, which is critical for me to be able to play any console port. I have a very eccentric way I have to set up my keyboard to be able to enjoy a game.

The same control issues almost ruined Elder Scrolls Online for me, but the game's extremely good key remapping options saved it. I was able to remap forward movement to my left mouse, and basic attack away from left mouse to the 1 key on my num pad. That one change opened up the world for me. None of the other Elder Scrolls games had that option. You left clicked to attack, used the keyboard to move, used a keyboard key to interact, and that was that.

So, I've always enjoyed World of Warcraft on and off, but not the way most WoW players do. I play it as a single-player RPG for the exploration, story, and lore, while ignoring multi-player aspects like dungeon, raids, and pvp. WoW has always been good about having lots of things to do that solo players can enjoy. However, Elder Scrolls Online multiplies that by ten. There are solo quests everywhere, hundreds of maps to explore with rewards for exploring every last corner, and *every NPC and questgiver in the game is fully voice-acted*. No more silently reading every quest to get the story and your character motivation. I think this really brings the world of Tamriel to life.

So, for anyone who avoids MMO's because they're MMO's, let me recommend Elder Scrolls Online as something you might enjoy if you love exploration, story, lore, and solo roleplay like I do. All the MMO aspects of Elder Scrolls Online can be ignored. I see other players going around doing the same quests I do, but nobody has to talk to anybody unless they want to, and the servers are pretty good about allowing many players to be doing the same quests without interfering with each other. I never see anything in chat but occasional innocent guild advertisements.

I'm excited to keep learning more about the world of Tamriel. Now I'm interested in eventually giving Skyrim another shot. I messed around with it yesterday, and although I can't remap attack away from the left mouse, I think I can maybe get the hang of moving with my arrow keys, remapped from the hated and useless-to-me WASD.

Has anyone else played Elder Scrolls games or have any comments?
 

Chronicler

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Interesting!

For what it's worth, I don't think any of the Elder Scrolls games were made for consoles first and foremost. They're PC games that were sometimes ported to consoles, not the other way around.

That doesn't invalidate the problems you experienced. It just means the reasons are a little bit different. Bethesda as a developer is not without their strengths, but they're also not without their weaknesses if you catch my drift. The dude in charge has a tendency to massively over-promise on their games, announcing a million and one pie in the sky features, and then when release day comes they maybe haven't done all the things they would've done if they'd set more realistic goals.

Personally I used to be pretty into Oblivion back in the day, but I don't know that I could go back and play it today. You have to spend so much time just fighting the levelling system in order to keep pace with the world around you as you level.

Skyrim in my opinion went miles and miles towards making the game convenient to actually pick up and play, but also lost a lot of that flavor. Oblivion had a lot of unique questlines that played differently from eachother, but so much of Skyrim is just "Venture into this crypt, kill everything, grab the random treasure at the end, rinse and repeat."

Never played Elder Scrolls online though. I remember thinking some stuff about it looked weird when they announced it and then I don't think I spared it a second thought until today.
 

Antimatter

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During the last Christmas festive period, I spent 150 amazing hours in The Elder Scrolls Online. I can recommend the game wholeheartedly, and not for the MMO stuff, but for the lore, the quests, the VO, the NPCs, the stories. It really feels like (almost) a single-player game with other players running around from time to time. You're in for a treat!

ESO.jpg


My stay in TESO still feels like a nice holiday in a wonderland!

Tagging our TESO expert, @shmity72!
 

Urdnot_Wrex

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@BelgarathMTH , it's great to see you can give this amazing world another chance. I haven't played Elder Scrolls Online, although the recent free trial was tempting and I have heard a lot of good things about. I often have to play offline, and besides apparently it's a game for people who already know something about the lore of Tamriel.

I'm surprised to hear you had difficulties with the controls in Skyrim. I'm currently playing that myself, as my entrance into the Elder Scrolls world, and I fumbled a bit in the beginning (but that was mostly because of first person view, I think) but got used to them quickly. I can't judge the "designed for consoles" aspect as I don't play on consoles and have no problems with WASD, but that's personal preference, of course.

I'm a simple Krogan and easily pleased, so it's maybe no surprise that I like Skyrim, even if the concept is very different from what I've played until now. This game is so immersive and the flexible levelling system and simple UI do a lot to make everything feel natural and to stay out of my way.
I also can't share the impression that all quests are "go into this crypt, kill everything, grab treasure". The quest designs maybe aren't terribly complex, but to me some of them feel more like gentle nudges to have a reason to go to some area and explore. In this game, getting sidetracked and mining ore for building, collecting every plant and insect for alchemy, jumping into lakes and rivers, staring at the sky, hunting, or simply looking what's over that far hill or around that corner just feels so comfortable and interesting at the same time. I never get the feeling I'm missing out on something if I'm delaying or ignoring some, several or even all quests for a while and just decide to spend an entire play session reading all books I have collected. Or experiencing the thrill being a sneaky backstabbing menace, silently wiping out entire bandit camps 😇.

But as I said, personal opinion of course. I think it's a great game so far, and the part of the main questline I've seen was cool enough.

As for Elder Scrolls Online, can't judge as I said, but it looks interesting enough to give it a chance.
Also, what a beautiful screenshot!
 

BelgarathMTH

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97
@Schmidt , wow, thank you for the flow chart. I am in fact interested in experiencing the game from the (somewhat) original starting zones, going from there. I know that there was originally another start called the "main quest" now, that you can do at any time, by talking to the "hooded figure" as soon as you get to your first racial starting city. (Not the beginner zones, but the first major city after that.)

I also know that any race can now start in any zone, but I want to experience the lore and history of a matched race and zone. So far I've started a Nord in Bleakrock Island (?) and a Breton in Stros M'Kai.

I've always felt a huge affinity for the Nords, as I am tall and Nordic-looking in real life, and I have always been attracted to German and Swedish languages, and German/Austrian composers. My first exposure to German language was from Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, and I've been in love with the sounds of German language ever since. During college, I dreamed of traveling to Germany and seeking fluency, but I never had the opportunity to do that. I also briefly dated a fellow from Sweden during my college years, and I studied some Swedish on my own, trying to impress him. (He was not impressed. ;) )

I've played Templar with both characters, because I'm kind of a lawful good paladin to the core, and that was the class for me.

I also have a secondary fantasy because of my love of cats to be a druid type character, and a tertiary fantasy of being a frost mage, so I will eventually try the Warden class. It looks like the best race for that will be a Breton with light armor, as that's the only race besides Nord I would want to play. Imperials aren't a choice yet, I don't think , but I might play that some day if the opportunity presents. Based on what I've seen at the beginning of Skyrim, the Imperials are basically the Roman Empire stand-ins, and the Christian in me sees them as the villains of the story, so I'm not sure. It's all shades of grey in this setting, though, as the emperor from Oblivion was actually a pretty good guy who cared about maximizing the good for his people.

I want to try to follow chronological story order as best I can, so I will study your spreadsheet in depth later when I have more time to play, as well as your suggested links. Thank you so much for your help.
 

BelgarathMTH

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Messages
97
@BelgarathMTH , it's great to see you can give this amazing world another chance. I haven't played Elder Scrolls Online, although the recent free trial was tempting and I have heard a lot of good things about. I often have to play offline, and besides apparently it's a game for people who already know something about the lore of Tamriel.

I'm surprised to hear you had difficulties with the controls in Skyrim. I'm currently playing that myself, as my entrance into the Elder Scrolls world, and I fumbled a bit in the beginning (but that was mostly because of first person view, I think) but got used to them quickly. I can't judge the "designed for consoles" aspect as I don't play on consoles and have no problems with WASD, but that's personal preference, of course.

I'm a simple Krogan and easily pleased, so it's maybe no surprise that I like Skyrim, even if the concept is very different from what I've played until now. This game is so immersive and the flexible levelling system and simple UI do a lot to make everything feel natural and to stay out of my way.
I also can't share the impression that all quests are "go into this crypt, kill everything, grab treasure". The quest designs maybe aren't terribly complex, but to me some of them feel more like gentle nudges to have a reason to go to some area and explore. In this game, getting sidetracked and mining ore for building, collecting every plant and insect for alchemy, jumping into lakes and rivers, staring at the sky, hunting, or simply looking what's over that far hill or around that corner just feels so comfortable and interesting at the same time. I never get the feeling I'm missing out on something if I'm delaying or ignoring some, several or even all quests for a while and just decide to spend an entire play session reading all books I have collected. Or experiencing the thrill being a sneaky backstabbing menace, silently wiping out entire bandit camps 😇.

But as I said, personal opinion of course. I think it's a great game so far, and the part of the main questline I've seen was cool enough.

As for Elder Scrolls Online, can't judge as I said, but it looks interesting enough to give it a chance.
Also, what a beautiful screenshot!
About the first person view thing, you do know that you can use the "change point of view" control, or I think that's what it was called, to play in over-the-shoulder third person perspective. That was one of the first things I looked for to change in both games. You can't see crap in first person view. It's like you're stumbling around the world wearing blinders. Of course, if you got used to first person view and now prefer that, I understand. I played all of Morrowind in first person view. If there was a control there to change it to third person, I didn't find it.
 

Urdnot_Wrex

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About the first person view thing, you do know that you can use the "change point of view" control, or I think that's what it was called, to play in over-the-shoulder third person perspective. That was one of the first things I looked for to change in both games. You can't see crap in first person view. It's like you're stumbling around the world wearing blinders. Of course, if you got used to first person view and now prefer that, I understand. I played all of Morrowind in first person view. If there was a control there to change it to third person, I didn't find it.
I simply wasn't used to it, took a bit of time, but I always give a game a chance to be played in the default mode before I try adjustments.
We're all looking for different things when we play. I know you said you look for the comfort of the known and familiar, I on the other hand often try to get out of my comfort zone and discover something new.
I don't regret it, the immersion of first person view in incredible, when I think I can almost feel the spiderweb brushing my cheek, when I stop dead in my tracks to listen and look where that noise (draugr?!) is coming from, when I look at the stars and moons, at a waterfall, and of course also the very realistic fear when a Frostbite spider is running towards me, ugh.

I only use the third person view for screenshots now, or to see how that cool new armour and equipment looks on my wood elf.
 

shmity72

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Messages
297
hello again. i'm online for a brief time doing battle grounds on my magica dragon knight. i made him day one 7 years ago. his name used to be rudyard kipling but that 'got changed'.
so you like skyrim nord esque this is good. i'm glad you appreciate the flow chart.
i studied finnish at the university which incidently is more like russian than swedish or german, i do like the rustic way of life at times.

to that point you may do 'wrothgar' at any given time it's kind of a stand alone area. just do it before black reach area. so yes.
starter zones first.

you are wise to make a few characters and get a feel for the various skills and attributes. a lot of times this is helpful when you're trying to find the perfect fit for your playstyle. plus...

more characters equals more currency. there are a billion addons in this game.

get 'minion client'
don't take too much to heart websites like the popular alcast. he's kind of a min/max stats person.

most importantly have fun.

see you in tamriel. NA breaker breaker guild


~jason
 

shmity72

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Messages
297
one other bit of advice...don't burn out.

games like this can if one has not got strict boundaries...suck the life out of people.

know thyself. set time aside for some zen meditation or something after you're done gaming.

my two cents.
 

BelgarathMTH

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Messages
97
Hi, I thought I'd try my hand at posting posed screen shots here. Posing in this game is hard because of limited camera control as far as which way everybody is facing and what is in the background.

I've already succumbed to my special brand of restartitis, but I have narrowed things down to a "druid" warden and a two-handed templar. In EOS, wardens only get one choice for an animal companion, a bear. So far my "Big Ben" is a pretty good tank for me. I broke down and spent real money to get my cat non-combat companion you can see in some of the shots.


Screenshot_20220423_185300.jpg
Screenshot_20220423_190547.jpg
 

Urdnot_Wrex

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Messages
988
Nice screenshots!

But careful, there's a hostile rat right behind you ;).

Pity that you can't choose what type of fighting animal companion you have. I thought maybe it makes sense as a race/class from northern regions, but of course even then it could still be a sabre cat instead of a bear.
But it seems you found a possibility to have the inevitable cat with you. And a beautiful one at that. Have fun together and maybe tell us a bit about your adventures if you feel like it.
 

BelgarathMTH

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97
So, I think I've succumbed to restartitis for about the fifth time. I was playing my Nord Templar and got a tidbit of lore about Redguard "sword saints", and given a quest to seek out a Redguard "sword master." My mind immediately went to "Hey, in-game RP lore-friendly Jedi Knights, yeah!" and I was hooked on the idea of making a Redguard sword saint.

So, here is my new Redguard "Jedi":

Screenshot_20220424_211220.jpg


The Derini in the picture is a temporary companion who teaches you through the tutorial portion of the game.

I've also been "studying" the philosophies of the various political alliances in this game, trying to find one that harmonizes with me. When I was a Nord of the Ebonheart Pact, from my point of view, the Daggerfall Covenant ransacked my home village and committed many war crimes. It was attempted genocide against my friends and family. They were evil to me.

Yet, having played both Breton and now Redguard members of the Daggerfall Covenant, from that point of view, I see "us" as defenders of civilization, knowledge, and learning, with the "barbarians" from the North trying to throw us all back into the Dark Ages from before the first Empire. Don't they know that restoring the Throne of Cyrodill is crucial to the defeat of the demon Moleg Bal, who will destroy our world if we don't all install a new glorious emperor and reclaim the Ruby Throne for the good of all Tamriel?

I'm also fascinated by how illogical and loose these three alliances are, being determined by mere geography and happenstance. The Daggerfall Covenant is the most "human" of the three, including the orcs. One would think that Nords and Orcs would be natural allies, with similar values, especially given Breton crimes against the orcs and nature itself, but geographical separation and circumstance has prevented that. Now Nords and Orcs must kill each other in the name of a war their leaders have proclaimed, while the common people and soldiers on all sides are forced to fight and to suffer.

Dunmer are allied with Argonians, their former slaves, along with the Nords. So much tension there. Anyone with a lick of foresight could see that the Ebonheart Pact is doomed.

There's the Aldmeri Dominion to the far south. It is so distant, I have no experience with it yet, but I've heard terrible things about the Bosmer being savage cannibals who would rather eat people than plants or non-human animals, and the Altmer thinking themselves some kind of "master race" directly descended from Aedra.

There is so much fascinating political lore in this game it is starting to be mind-bending to me. :)

So, one last screen shot, my new Redguard along with a list of my non-deleted character names so far. (Yes, I've started and deleted at least four characters while learning mechanics, builds, crafting, and whatnot.) Apart from "Skywalker", I am trying to keep my character names lore-friendly in case I want to RP with people in-game at some point in the future. It's a thing with me that all my characters in any RPG anywhere have my name "Todd" somewhere in the character name. I think my Redguard kind of looks like I did at around age 25 with a tan. I'd kind of forgotten what a "sun-worshipper" tan-seeker I used to be back in the '80's and '90's. :)
Screenshot_20220424_211309.jpg



And rats, I just saw that I didn't capitalize the "G" in "Toda at-Garmon", and also made an incorrect capital in the "at-". Good thing he's only 2nd level, because I'm going to have to delete this one and recreate him to correct that spelling error, which will drive me batty if I don't. :D
 

BelgarathMTH

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Messages
97
@
@shmity72 , I want to thank you again from the bottom of my heart for making this flowchart!

Tonight I unwittingly got into the beginning of Elsweyr, from just exploring my Davon's Watch icons on my map. I had made a possible mistake in following the original story by treating my current home city as a quest hub, trying to take a bunch of quests at once for map exploration efficiency. I think maybe in the future I need to just take one quest at a time and not worry about efficiency. Go wherever for a single quest, even if it's far, return it, then go back to the city, rinse and repeat.

It's very important to me to follow the story of the game chronologically. In Elsweyr, I immediately reported to Sai Sa'han as my questgiver, and I haven't even rescued him from Coldreach yet! Honestly, this game in its current state of long-term development is a mess storywise for new players. Of course, I could say the same thing about World of Warcraft.

I saw on your flowchart that Elsweyr is quite late on the expansions list. I'm not even close to done with exploring and getting to know the original racial starting zones, and the last thing I want is to be fast-tracked instantaneously into "current" content.

I've learned to avoid like the plague any quest that goes into my journal under "Prologue", for the time being.

Again, thank you so much for putting out your labor-of-love flowchart for story-conscious, roleplaying new players like me. :)

EDIT: BTW, if anyone's interested, I've back-burnered my new Redguard for now, and gone back to my Nord medium-armor stamina templar. I know I will never get anywhere if I keep restarting. I'm liking the Ebonheart Pact less and less, and thinking more and more that the Daggerfall Covenant is more in line with my RP values, as I go through the zones and pick up more political and racial lore. My Redguard may eventually be made into a duplicate of my same stamina templar build, but meant to explore the world from the Daggerfall Covenant side. There's also my Breton "druid" I'm sure I'll be playing on and off.

I know you can eventually explore all content everywhere with one character, but that's not as appealing to me as learning the starting racial zones and alliances as a matched alliance race character.
 
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Urdnot_Wrex

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but I've heard terrible things about the Bosmer being savage cannibals who would rather eat people than plants or non-human animals

[Dúathil extends a "dinner invitation" to the human with a menacing smile]

Hey, you're lucky we Bosmer are considered to be the only elves with a sense of humor!

Jokes aside, even if my parents were apostates, let me shed some light on your prejudice:

When the Mer first came to Tamriel, my Bosmer siblings were the ones who ventured forth and made their home in the lush and impenetrable jungle of the Valenwood. The forest god Y'ffre assumed patronage of my ancestors and gave them the permission and abilities to thrive in this otherwise hostile environment in return for the oath known as the Green Pact.
My people lost their shape-shifting abilities and can't take, eat, kill or otherwise consume and harm any vegetation of the Valenwood, as it's the sacred dominion of Y'ffre the Forest God.
Greenspeakers can form and grow architecture from living trees without harming them. Otherwise, shelter, tools, weapons, music instruments etc are made from bones and hides and the like, and skulls are a popular decoration. My people are hunters, especially skilled archers, and use every little piece of the killed animals.

To never kill wastefully and never let anything to rot is part of of the Green Pact and the main reason for what you call "cannibalism". The Bosmer of the Valenwood honour their own dead by consuming their flesh, and that of their fallen enemies. They don't hunt people of sentient races for sport or as a delicacy. But think a bit, with all the alliances and wars you're talking about: Would they have happened if you valued every kill enough to consume the whole flesh of your opponent?

With that said, I don't know everything. I'm an orphan and my parents were apostates who had left the Valenwood to live in the Great Forest in Cyrodiil, because my mother loved alchemy and my father loved her. I only know what they told me until I lost them, and what I've read in books.

Besides, the Green Pact only applies to the vegetation of the Valenwood. The use of imported wood for example is allowed, and many Bosmer who live in other parts of Tamriel, where any vegetation can be used, don't even follow the Meat Mandate any longer. If they do, they will only eat your flesh after they have killed you for a good reason. Never fear, they won't lure you to their camp to bind you to a cooking spit ;).
 
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