As the lack of posts may suggest I have been otherwise distracted 😉 I found the launch (and early access) very smooth, I’ve only encountered a few bugged quests which just needed a relog. It’s also making a nice change to play a MMO which runs very smoothly, although unsurprisingly it does get stuttery in high traffic areas.
I rolled a Bosmer Nightblade as my main and am absolutely loving it so far. My preferred weapon is the bow (shocker I know!) and I’m splitting skills between the stamina-using bow skills (poison arrow with interrupt morph, scatter shot and arrow spray will morph to root) and magicka-using class skills (teleport strike and strife morphed to heal myself and others). Ultimate is Soul Tether (aoe stun and single target dot). I’m finding this OK as a good general setup, while I am trying out different skills and levelling up the various lines. I’m using the restoration staff as a 2nd weapon at the moment – I’m not sure where I want to go with this, whether a support 2nd line or a secondary dps line – maybe both…
I am finding this a lot of fun. It is very much like the single player games combat and for me, that is a very good thing. I like being active, I like watching the fight instead of the UI and I like that we have a pool of skills to choose from so you can tailor and change your skill setup as needed. (Skills can be swapped outside of combat only)
I love the quests. I love that your actions make an actual difference to the world (although see phasing section below) and that your choices make a difference (e.g. an npc may or may not be around for future questlines). They are also a lot of fun and in some cases funny. The quests revolve around stories that matter – i.e. rescuing someone who has turned himself into a goblin and is about to get married to the chief goblin, rescuing soldiers and using ayleid artefacts to burn an enemy forces’ ships, finding and using ayleid artefacts to make an Orrery work again…
Currently, this is a double-edged sword. It is fantastic to see that your actions have made an actual difference to the world (e.g. ghosts which were aggro become passive once you have stopped whatever it was making them cross, or once you’ve stopped a town from being invaded the enemy soldiers disappear and are replaced with friendly forces). However, it can make grouping difficult – if one group member completes an objective before you, they will be automatically moved to a different phase and if they have already completed that stage / quest, they cannot enter your phase to help. I think they will need to work out a solution to this as well as fix the slight bugginess with groups and phasing in general. Personally I’ve not had issues but friends have reported suddenly dropping into different phases whilst running along a road (for e.g.)
the crafting is pretty cool. You can either dip into it and make some stuff in any or all crafts to keep you going as you level up or you can submerge yourself in it, research traits (which can take weeks) and craft yourself some of the best gear available… It’s a very deep system. This is a good overall guide.
inventory / bank
this is driving me nuts… there is just not enough space if you’re crafting or ok… a hoarder…. I’ve just increased the bank vault space again and it’s feeling better so I’m hanging on until I have bank/bag space maxed and will see how I’m doing then. I guess I haven’t been new in an MMO for a while 🙂
you really need to be in a trading guild of 300+ members to see any benefit. I wasn’t a fan of this idea if I’m honest although I am getting used to it. While I agree that having an auction house across the whole mega-server may not be the best idea for the economy, I do wonder if being in up to 5 guilds with up to 500 people in each is the best solution.
UI and add-ons
I’ve found the UI with no addons, perfectly workable and gloriously unobtrusive. However, given the huge addon community associated with the Elder Scrolls series and the necessary limitations on modding with an MMO, I’m glad that the minimalist UI allows the modders to have fun. The three main sites are Nexus, ESO UI and Curse. The mods I’m using deserve a whole post, so I will write that shortly (I’m still finding mods I didn’t realise I couldn’t live without ;))
I’m a bit surprised by the hate and negativity coming from certain sections, I probably shouldn’t be I suppose. It’s fun, it feels like the Elder Scrolls mashed with an MMO, it is different (as in the elements taken from both) and takes a little getting used to but I love the end result. The graphics are gorgeous, the game runs well, the group/raid end-game zone they are adding (Craglorn) looks like it should be a lot of fun. There are a few bugs and problems but it’s a new MMO and most of my kin has found it generally smooth. They have fixed a lot of the biggest problems and they currently seem to be on top of the bot plague. So yeah, just going to play and have fun 🙂