ESO’s Redeeming Qualities

I’ve been on the fence with ESO for a long time.  I’ve also been a harsh critic of a lot of Zenimax’s choices.  I’m a very straight shooter; when I see things I don’t like I tell you, but I also feel it’s important to share things I think are pretty neat.


Small-group Content

I am a fan of small groups.  I like PvPing in small groups, and I like PvEing in small groups.  I love when content is fine-tuned precisely for a small group of people and everyone has a specific role to play.  Whether or not ESO’s content ends up being good, they are at least appealing to my love of being able to just grab my friends and jump into some content.  Forget that 40-man zerg.  I would rather the ‘experience’ guide me than the mechanics.

In ESO there are Veteran content, Adventure zones (4 people), and Trials (12).


All of the crafting skills are part of the overall skill system, so you’ll need to consider your options carefully when you spend a skill point. Should you put one more point into blacksmithing, or do you really want to learn a new two-handed weapon ability?

You guys know how much I love specialization.  No one should be able to be everything.  People should have to rely on each other.  That, to me, is a hallmark of a good MMORPG.  I love that people in ESO will have to choose to spend some of their overall skill pool on improving their crafting.  Crafting seems pretty useful, too.  From what little I’ve seen, I believe there will be an actual reason to make gear right from the start.


One Game

We’ve tried to avoid the danger of compartmentalizing and labeling certain players by acknowledging that circumstances change for people day-to-day.

One of the turning points for me in WoW was when they introduced PvP gear and began to separate the PvErs from the PvPrs.  Suddenly the people you played with every day were off playing an entirely different game with a different form of progression and a different playerbase.  What started as one game where everyone played together turned into 2-3 different games when people reached the max level and had to choose which they were going to play.

I like how ESO is trying to make one unified group of players and design the game so that those players can, on a day-to-day basis, decide which activities they want to enjoy.  In WoW I would have to start essential ‘start over’ if I wanted to switch from PvP to raiding.  In ESO, I use the same gear, play with the same people, and continue progressing my same character.


Anyone can harvest materials, but only those that invest points into crafting skills will learn how to get the most benefit from resource refinements and item deconstruction.

This is pretty neat.  I really never paid much attention to the gathering in ESO.  I think this means anyone can gather anything.  If you see iron ore you can mine it.  What you can do with it, though, depends on the points you spend.  Do I have that right? Is there a gathering skill that lets people gather higher quality resources or is it pretty much open?  Seems like a good system to me.  I’ve never understood why people can’t mine something.

  • There is a gathering skill for each resource that says “you have a greater chance to get more from harvesting” and since I’ve occasionally seen harvest pulls give me 4 raws instead of the typical 3, I’m thinking that what it does is either increase the odds of getting the 4, or maybe even allow 5-6 per pull with the maximum of 3 points invested. I’ll eventually find out for sure, I suppose. . . .

  • Regarding PvP, what then is your solution to raid-or-die? PvP can’t give you better (or even equal) gear to PvE, because otherwise few people would grind bosses for drops when you could do something much easier like guard a base (etc). If PvE gives you better gear that makes you stronger than others in PvP gear (or if there is no PvP gear at all), then the non-raiders will simply get creamed all day in every encounter.

    The split seems pretty inevitable in any game with gear progression.

    P.S. I will say that Blizzard has actually made the PvE/PvP split much less pronounced in the last few years. You’d be perfectly fine raiding Normal modes in PvP gear these days, even if it isn’t optimal.

  • I definitely think you should add the FPS smoothness, even when in a zerg vs zerg battle. You might not enjoy this type of PvP, which is perfectly understandable, but the fact that the game behaves admirably during such fights is something to highlight I think. Especially since most other MMOs completely failed at this aspect: WHO, WoW, GW2, etc.

  • @Azuriel – there are two solutions. The first one is to not have gear progression at all. The other is to make PvP and PvE gear equally difficult and onerous to get, so it becomes a matter of personal preference to do. That requires PvP reward mechanics that don’t allow you to AFK-leech your way to epics any more than you can AFK-leech your way through raids.

    Personally, I prefer the “no gear progression” approach, which worked just fine in classic DAoC and is broadly the case in GW2.

  • @Pkdude99: Thanks for the clarification!

    @Azuriel: Solution = no gear ‘progression’. UO and DAoC had a great way of avoiding this very problem. An iron sword is an iron sword. There are higher qualities of an iron sword (mastercrafted, etc) but it’s all relatively easy to obtain. Another option is to minimize gear’s impact on combat. You may have awesome LOOKING gear, with pretty good stats, but someone without them can still beat you because the gear doesn’t make your abilities radically scale.

    As for ESO, the content seems relatively accessible.

  • I agree strongly with your entire list, especially “One Game.” It’s the main reason I cringe when people claim The Burning Crusade was WoW’s strongest era.

  • Hi me again here A site on skills classes and races its a skill planner…

    Also I love the gear system on there is no pvp only gear and no pve only gear I hated that about all mmorpgs that do that I hate having to half to have 2 sets of gear to injoy two parts of the game I then ushly only ended up pvping.

    Also Wrong about limitation of skill points ill explain.

    First if you level 1-50 you get 50 skill points and a max total of 50 attriubutes to spent on magica and health and stamina.

    How ever far as skill points go there is almost no limited U can get I think max of 300 skill points how..
    Simple there is skyshards I think there called they give u 1 skill point each and quest can give u a extra skill point too.

    So in theory pending how much time you want to spend playing and mastering skills you can do it.

    I how ever used the skill planner to create a start out build just for 50 skill points not adding any to crafting.

    I want to be a archer =)

    So nightblade shadow and Bosmer with a bows going to be my build with medium armor,5,3|71-117,72-45,73-46,76-49,214-180,217-183|77-2,78-2,79-2,80-2,143-3,144-3,145-3,173-3,174-2,175-2,176-2,177-2,219-2,220-2,221-2,222-2,223-2|

    that’s my build I made =)
    Max:50 points
    Attribute points

    Any ways I due hate how they made crafting I most I hate crafting so ill be struggling a lot in this game to get the best gear cause im going to have to farm money to buy gear from crafters or later on use my extra skill points I earn after level 50 on crafting skills to make my own stuff.

    Any ways hope this info helps =)


    That’s a great skill planner for every one if you want to prepair your self or see how all the skills will work or how u can custmise them with race and class and see all the benafits from all classes and skills in the game keep in mind you can only use 5 active skills and 1 ultimate skill during combat after you can change the hot bar but limited both in class skills and weapon skills but there many passives.

    Oh ya I think its really crazy how I read that there no cooldown time on any skills you can spam stuns skills and invisablity skills intel you run out of mana or stamina I think this will be a huge flaw in the game but they said they wanted to have fast combat with no rotation and limits.

    Its going to turn into tho invisibility stun damage over time for the win with shadow pets like my build I made =P

    Im so going to be Empress =)

  • One clarification is that it is not 1 skyshard that gives you a skill point but instead 3. If you look at the character sheet when in game it will have the display of skyshards as X/3. So when you collect any three skyshards you get a point. This of course is an incentive to explore as the shards only project the beam of light up into the sky when you get really close to them. Naturally maps are online already for their locations but still… better then nothing.

    Another aspect of gathering not mentioned on here yet is that each trade skill has an ability called Keen Eye. If you drop points into this skill the harvest nodes will have a glimmer to them in the world. As you run through areas you will see them just slightly in the distance where as if you do not spend points on certain things you will not see that glimmer. You can sink up to 3 points in these skills increasing the range each time.

    I am still on the fence about buying the game. There is enough there that I can see myself playing this easily for a few months (I binge game then do not play for days at a time) but the subscription is a sticking point for me. With my play style it could take me half a year to see everything that will be in the game when it launches next week so the lure of ‘monthly content updates’ is not something that appeals to me based on my play style. I would much more prefer a one time purchase with free online play and a cash shop with vanity items like TSW does with their clothes and quarterly content modules or something. A new island or something every 3 or 4 months that you can choose to unlock with a one time purchase.

  • @Azuriel: The devs have been very clear that pvp or pve earned gear plays both ways, that they will not create gear that will pigeonhole your playstyle. This is perhaps my favorite feature of ESO…I don’t have the time to grind 2 gear sets anymore and I don’t like the hassle.

    I want my best gear to simply be my best, not to get yelled at in a raid because my top tier pvp stuff doesn’t have a “to hit” rating.

  • For anyone still debating about buying just an FYI. Green Man Gaming has a 20% off coupon on their front page at the moment that can be applied to ESO. You can get the standard edition for $48 and the Imperial edition for $64. If you look at it from a larger perspective you basically can get about a 1 month free sub by using that coupon.

  • Game out its fun…But its so crowded I wouldnt mind much if it didnt interfer with the quest so much.

    I oftin dont have time to even chat to npc before a player runs in and talk to them and speeds through the dialog making it bad for people that want to get immersed in the lore of the game can’t due to every one fighting over getting the quest done as fast as possible with so many others.

    I really hope this will not be the case through out the game cause it really spoilds the experance of the lore…=(