I finally made it into Cyradiil! Â After playing in the beta since November and having the best intentions every time to participate in PvP I can finally share my thoughts on what is being lauded as the closest thing to DAoC PvP we’ve seen in over a decade.
The very first thing I realized was that Cyradiil is really big. Â DAoC’s frontiers are still ginormous by comparison, but Cyradiil is already feels 4x the size of GW2’s WvW zone. Cyradiil can hold 2,000 people and from what I am told is optimized for 200 people on the screen at a time. Â I’ll vouch for what I experienced so far, which is probably only ~75 people, but it was 100% smooth.
Cyradiil is full of cities (mostly abandoned) with NPCs (both good and bad) and daily quests to complete. Â Graev and I spent what felt like 5 minutes running from one town to the next and didn’t come even remotely close to seeing another player or even a keep or objective to claim.
Teleporting around is a feature. Â You can portal between major objectives if you control a path connecting them. Â This introduces strategy associated with breaking the enemy’s ability to reinforce quickly. Â From only a few hours of play I can already tell you this is going to play a major role like it did in DAoC.Â
There’s a distinct feeling of anticipation in Cyradiil. Â I do remember this same feeling from DAoC. Â You’re going to spend a lot of time traveling, and when things eventually slow down (they will) there will be even more time between organized conflict. Â This is a good thing, and Cyradiil is designed to give you that ‘Oh crap I just discovered a huge group of players trying to sneak around’ rather than always knowing exactly where the enemy forces are located. Â It’s that feeling of anticipation that can keep you going.
Keep sieges are standard. Â There’s a door, you set up siege weapons, they set up siege weapons, you break the door, and you kill everyone inside to win. Â I haven’t seen anything special about the sieges themselves, and can already tell you there will be intense multi-hour standoffs in my future. Â I wish someone would innovate on the experience a bit with ladders, stealthers sneaking in, etc. Â Not yet, but maybe one day.
Field battles are where it’s at. Â Graev and I on numerous occasions flanked the enemy and pulled (Graev’s DK Scorpion style ‘get over here’ ability) them into us for the kill. Â I was running with a Restoration Staff (among what felt like the other 200 people) and trying to make sure we were very hard to kill. Â I had a blast running around.
Here’s one of the parts I don’t necessarily like. Â There’s a point system at play almost identical to GW2. Â You hold objectives and you gain points for your faction. Â I think it’s… clumsy. Â I don’t know if that’s the right phrase, but it feels like it’s done because there isn’t something else. Â People are already complaining that some of the campaigns are compeletely overrun, and the way the system works you can just jump between any of them you want anyway.
There’s a definite disconnect between the campaigns and the rest of the game. Â I can play with anyone in the world in the PvE because of the megaserver, but I have to choose to belong to a particular campaign. Â Despite being able to guest into any campaign, I feel like some of the realm pride that carried over into the rest of DaoC isn’t attainable in ESO.
Is it DAoC?
Nah, but a pretty darn good attempt. Â ESO’s Cyradiil is infinitely better than any battleground, way better than GW2’s WvW, and (in my opinion) much better than what WildStar is offering to PvPers. Â ESO is the game to play if you want PvP.