Tuesday, 27 January 2015

The Elder Scrolls Online

Copyright ©2015 Bethesda/Zenimax
I will admit, the Elder Scrolls Online had me excited when initial reports started appearing. Then came the videos; Gorgeous. Sexy. Amazing. This is what the MMORPG scene had been waiting for.

Then more news on character classes and character creation, then dungeon bashing and questing. But wait, that wasn't all. No longer would multiple servers dash your hopes of grouping with friends from all over. One mega server for Europe was to be used (America would get its own mega server). Could this get any better?

But wait... I had been stung like this before with the build up to Guild Wars 2 and that proved to be such a pile of dross it was almost criminal. So I reigned in my excitement and decided to wait for release and see what the initial concensus was.
It would seem I was right to wait. Reports began filtering through from players exclaiming their woes at a poorly executed game - sounds familiar. Then people were complaining about the poor quest structures - again, familiar. But worst of all was the monthly subscription fee. After charging players up to £50.00 (not to mention the horrendously high price for the limited edition), you then had to pay for each month of game time.

No sir. Not for this puppy.

Roll on almost a year later. Breaking news! As of March 17th 2015, the Elder Scrolls Online will be 'free to play'. Subscription fees will be removed. Plus, console would get their versions of the game in the following June, but alas, there would be no cross-platform gaming. Shame.

Things seem to be looking up. Hang on... what was that? You're introducing ESO Plus? Oh, wait, that's just another name for a subscription fee. Ahhh, I get it. You're offer a 30, 60 and 180 day 'membership' for the game where you are given in-game currency, called Crowns, with which to buy whatever, and you have access to all future DLC (download content) and new map areas and quests.

So basically, if you do not pay for the ESO Plus, your game will be, more or less, limited. Nice. Oh, and if you stop your ESO Plus membership you lose access to all your DLC and map areas and quests.

Never has an MMORPG ever felt so manipulative of its player base, nor a sneakier way of disguising a monthly fee as something less offensive and more 'Ohh, shiny! Must have!' than ever before.

That said, I shall be giving this game a go (seeing as it is now only a quarter of its original release price), along with my fellow gaming buddies, but no way will any of us be falling for the 'ESO Plus' malarky. Freebie all the way, baby. Freebie all the way.

And to celebrate this change in gaming tack, allow me to share the latest Elder Scrolls Online video. The animation is sheer sex on a stick (as are all of their videos - I could watch these all day), and in my own humble opinion, The Hobbit should have been done this way and kept to the original story - damn you, Peter Jackson, and your ego!  Enjoy :)

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