ESO Final Beta Weekend Review

I’d like to say the final beta weekend for Elder Scrolls Online was a raging success, but at least for the hubby and me, it was kinda frustrating. I played a Bosmer with the Dominion on Friday and Saturday, then spent Sunday playing a Breton in Daggerfall. We discovered a lot of broken quests, which we’re hoping the developers are already working on and will have fixed by the pre-launch, or at least launch. One or two of them, they even fixed over the weekend, so while we weren’t able to complete them on Friday, we were able to go back on Saturday and finish them up.

A friend mentioned that Bethesda was going to have a rough launch and that perhaps they should move it out in order to fix a lot of the bugs that are still pending. From a practical standpoint, I have to agree, because so much still needs to be fixed. Emotionally, I’m thinking nuh-uh, because I wanna play! I’m really hoping, though, that whether they put the launch off or not, they still make the bug reporting system available. Although the categories aren’t as intuitive as I would like, bug reporting is easy and doesn’t take a lot of time. And frankly, getting to complain lowers the frustration factor quite a bit.

The biggest rant I have for the weekend is regarding the TERRAIN GLITCH FROM HELL. The hubby’s Altmer fell through a terrain glitch, and I’m pretty sure he’s still falling. He tried reloading, logging out and going back in, closing the game and going back in, dying, and one or two other things, but all he got was a gray screen and the sound of poor Betath Anyu screaming. The character was rendered totally unplayable. This was easier to take when we found out for certain that we’d have to start new characters at launch anyway, but it was still very upsetting. I had grown to love the character. We’re both planning on recreating our elves after launch.

Anyway, he had already started a Breton and hadn’t gotten very far into the Daggerfall questline, so he suggested I do the same. The new stuff was also a lot of fun, except for the broken quests. Toward the end of the day on Sunday, we were actually running out of playable quests. Now, I know we could have gone exploring and found more, but by that time we were tired, so we just quit.

Things I didn’t like:

The broken quests and Betath’s untimely death, obviously. Still not lovin’ the lockpicking, but I am getting better at it.

Crafting. It’s just too damn hard. There are too many steps, you need too many materials, and they’re not always easy to find.

Altmer men. They all looked alike! What the hell?

Cheesemonger’s Hollow. There’s nothing wrong with this area that I can tell, except that it kicked my ass. It was the source of my first rage quit. The hubby said it was karma because in Skyrim, I like to steal cheese and drop it in the courtyard where Heimskr preaches.

Things I liked:

Characterization. While I haven’t found a whole lot of NPCs I absolutely love, there are a few really vivid ones, and I’m hoping they’ll do more with those characters as time goes on. I’m still loving the voices, too, and I enjoy trying to pick out voice actors I recognize.

Scenery. The beauty of the world continues to boggle my mind. Audiron was as majestic as it was last time, and I just loved Daggerfall and Stros M’Kai. I will upload screenshots in another post.

Banking. This turned out to be an invaluable feature, especially since there don’t seem to be player homes or other safe storage. A bank account essentially doubles your inventory and makes them available without having to make a withdrawal. You can store all your crafting materials and still use them at the crafting stations, which is incredibly handy. The best thing, though, is that your bank is available to all your characters. I’ve never played other MMOs, so I don’t know if this is standard, but it makes things very convenient. The hubby has one character he has created specifically for crafting, and he was able to make me some items, store them in the bank, and then come back in with my character’s partner and give them to me. I’m very happy with the whole system.

Tutorial Quest. The first trip through Coldharbour is a bit shorter, and Molag Bal is scarier. Nuff said.

Quests. One thing I didn’t like during the first beta was that the storyline was very channeled. You did what you were told, and that was that. Now, by starting the player in a big city and giving them the option to look around and pick up quests before going on to the smaller island where the main questline picks up, it really opens the world. Also, and this may just be my perception, but I felt like there was a lot more to do. It seemed like there were many more side quests that we were able to pick up as we were exploring, and at least some of them had more options within the quests themselves.

Multiplayer. I never thought I would say this, because I’m so much more of a single-player gal, but I loved helping strangers with combat, or almost being killed and having a stranger come up and help me with my combat. I never got an “oh, they’re stealing my kill” vibe. It was more that they were just giving me a hand. I also like the fact that there is no friendly fire. One of the things I hate most about Skyrim is when my follower runs in front of me and I accidentally shoot them or set them on fire, or when one of them accidentally hits the other one and they end up fighting. I can’t tell you how many times the hubby stepped into my line of fire, and with so many other players running around, it could have been very ugly. Crafting stations could get kind of crowded, but since there was no collision, the worst part was just finding the station. Once you found it, there was no waiting.

The Horse. The other horses were prettier, but they were several thousand gold to buy, so a practically free Imperial horse was just fine. I loved that if you wanted to ride or stop riding, you just hit H and it was automatic. If you weren’t riding, the horse just wasn’t there. That meant there weren’t several hundred white horses just standing around while their owners did other things.

I’m sure there’s more, but I’m drawing a blank. Overall, I love the game, have preordered, and am looking forward to launch, as long as the existing bugs don’t bog me down too much. I can see lots of potential for fanfic and artwork. The world is as inspiring as Skyrim, and I can’t wait to start delving deeper into the storylines, especially now that I can play with the hubby. Maybe we’ll be able to collaborate on some really great fanfic. I’ll put up screenshots shortly.

Some ESO Beta Screenshots

Here are a few screenshots from our beta weekend. First is a shot of my character, Kaaewnyth, and the hubby’s character, Betath Anyu.

Kaawenyth and Betath Anyu

There’s a tale to go with this next one. The hubby has a nasty habit when I’m playing Skyrim of taking all of my characters clothes off when I leave the computer. Or, he’ll take off everything but her bracers, so that in first person, it still looks like she’s dressed, and I don’t know until I get a kill-cam or some NPC says, “You need to put some clothes on.” I got up to go get a coke over the weekend, and the hubby stripped my character to her skivvies an set her to dancing. The guy in the picture was actively ogling Kaawenyth when she was dancing, and then he tried to friend me. The hubby and I had a nice long discussion about the difference between doing this on a single-player game and an MMO, and he’s not going to do it again. Are you sweetie? . . . Sweetie?

The Hubby Strikes Again 2

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Review of ESO Beta Weekend

Welp, I spent my weekend sitting at my computer next to the hubby for hours on end and screwed up my sleep, eating, and med schedule to play a stupid online RPG. Was it worth it? Yep, every minute.

DISCLAIMER: I’ve put in a lot of comparisons to Skyrim because that is the game that is freshest in my mind and my biggest frame of reference. Don’t judge me.

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