Last week The Elder Scrolls Online launched to masses of excited Tamriel explorers but has the first multiplayer addition to the franchise lived up to expectations? To the surprise of many, including myself, The Elder Scrolls Online enjoyed an incredibly smooth launch. A few spurts of downtime and a short unexpected maintenance window were the only real problems seen during Early Access, and both were all but eradicated come official launch day.
However, a rocky launch was not the only concern expressed by players in the build up to the release of ESO. One such concern was the ability to provide an experience true to the franchise while still being able to embody the required elements to make a successful MMO. Have they pulled it off?
Well, so far so good. I've not had as much time inside the world of Tamriel as I'd first hoped and having only reached level 12, it's a little early for me to make a full judgement on The Elder Scrolls Online experience. But the parts of the world available to me thus far have been nothing short of outstanding.
I'm not entirely sure how they done it but Zenimax Online Studios have managed to deliver an MMO experience fueled by the features made famous by the Elder Scrolls franchise. The quests are among the best I've ever experienced in an online game. Embracing the deep storylines and interesting characters seen throughout the previous games and enforcing that experience with MMORPG-esque rewards and progression. In my 12 or so levels of play I've explored 4 different zones and never once has the typical MMO grind feel come into play. I felt every quest was meaningful, every journey an experience and every corner of the world worth exploring.
Whether I was saving someones family from the claws of evil brigands or uncovering an assassination attempt on the king, every quest feels like an important element of the experience - not just a means to progress to end-game.
Exploration is another element famous to The Elder Scrolls franchise and another they've managed to combine with the MMO experience. There's not quite as many hidden dungeons, solitary houses and unique environmental wonders as a traditional game, but in terms of MMO's there's nothing even close to The Elder Scrolls Online's exploration features.
I'll be covering my further experiences in ESO over the coming weeks so be sure to check back soon. Next week I'll be discussing my current dislikes with the game including the first-person combat, player progression and class system.