PAX East 2017: The Elder Scrolls Online’s battlegrounds are exactly that

My absolute first appointment at PAX East 2017 was to stop by The Elder Scrolls Online display to check out the new battlegrounds coming up with the game’s Morrowind expansion. This should not have been difficult to do, but it was made quite difficult by unnecessarily awful traffic. Seriously, it was bumper-to-bumper through long stretches of the Mass Pike, despite the fact that there was barely any snow falling and no road accumulation. I was a little bit late, in fact.

Why am I telling you this story? Because the reality is that it’s the most interesting story that I have beyond the title line.

I don’t mean to imply that I was disappointed by The Elder Scrolls Online’s battleground gameplay because I wasn’t. It was solid! I would go so far as to say it was exactly what your mind pictures when you put the game’s title and “battleground” into the same sentence. The problem with describing it is just… well, again, it’s exactly what your mind pictures. It is a battleground, and it is in The Elder Scrolls Online. That’s it.

The battleground map itself is, honestly, a solid map. It’s got rivers of lava to knock people into (or to accidentally fling yourself into like an idiot), it’s got plenty of height changes and places to hide or ambush people, and it’s tight enough to make the three-way battles continually interesting while not being so tight that everyone is just smacking one another in a closet. The deathmatch gameplay was perfectly functional, the interface was clear, and so on.

It was just… exactly what it sounds like. ESO combat in a battleground setting. If you like ESO combat and want PvP in a more structured map format? This will deliver exactly that. I was pleased with it in that same general fashion I’m usually pleased by ESO these days, as a game with full knowledge of what it’s supposed to be and a sufficiently entertaining combat engine to make it all sing.

I even did all right in the actual match, although I wasn’t playing as the class which I found familiar thanks you Choose My Adventure. It really is about the best version you can imagine when you put those words together; there’s just not a lot more you can say about it. It works! It’s fun! That’s all.

It will, ultimately, be a good option for players who aren’t terribly fond of Cyrodil’s more open structure, but if you loathe PvP, this will not make you suddenly adore it. Then again, I don’t think it’s really supposed to. So that’s a good thing for those who are looking forward to the addition, but there’s not much more to be said beyond “it’s a battleground.”

Wardens are overpowered, though. They have bears.

Massively Overpowered is on the ground in Boston for PAX East 2017, bringing you expert MMO coverage from ZeniMax, Square Enix, Funcom, and everything else on display at the latest Penny Arcade Expo!
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20 Comments on "PAX East 2017: The Elder Scrolls Online’s battlegrounds are exactly that"

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odin valhalla

So someone didnt like a piece of ESO what did the gambit run this time? From directly calling the person and ass, challenging their journalistic integrity, to dismissing the article completely due how the article started.

Whats worse is you really cant tell if the respondents are aware of their inherent hypocrisy or not that smart. A perfect example of the toxicity of MMO’s that extend to fan sites. Fans of a game, under the hospices of anonymity have no qualms about it either.

We realize that massively is a MAJOR FAN of ESO, a positive “look how wonderful this thing is” about the game appears almost daily. Kudos to you for actually allowing an alternative view. Its to bad you allowed this level of vitriol against the author though.

Thanks for the article. I think battle grounds are a great addition to a great MMO. Frankly I think its long overdue and the PVP community who have stuck with ESO through some fairly ugly times frankly, deserve this bone thrown to them.

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silverlock

When someone asks me how long does it take me to get into Boston I tell them from between thirty minutes to five hours, and that’s no exaggeration.

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donvweel

I played the beta and the battlegrounds was what made me commit to buying the game. It made the game stand out as a bit special to me. The regular questing is pretty generic.

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Fred Douglas

I love instanced PvP (SWTOR warzones are still my favorite form of MMO PvP), but I simply can’t do this game. It’s way too protracted for me, to much grinding for trivial improvements.

And perhaps someone else who is into PvP should’ve written the article. I know Larry plays ESO and SWTOR, maybe he can compare/contrast, pros/cons, etc.

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Jeremy Barnes

“Battlegrounds”, for when you have given up on having good PvP in your MMORPG

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Wanda Clamshuckr

I was hoping for a little more information, aside from a bunch of “That’s all” and “That’s it”. It sounds like you wrote it when you were in a bad mood, extremely bored, or wanted to rush something out before you went to bed.

I’m not being snarky. But, when you start your article off saying your traffic drama was the highlight of this story, then you really set the tone of “Disinterested Writer”. I was hoping for more.

For instance, how does it compare to other game’s Battlegrounds? How did the match start? Team mate interaction? Goals, and criteria to win?

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Kickstarter Donor
Alex Willis

I’m looking forward to this feature. I play arena PvP in GW2 all the time, and it’s a nice complement to the WvW stuff. I just hope the rewards are decent.

It will also add another layer to the PvP meta. Right now that can get so narrow, due to the realities of the warzone. Hoping more arena-based fighting gives a bit more depth to “accepted” builds.

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Sean Drohan

Is it me or does ESO combat feel off. It’s hard to nail it down exactly but it feels floaty, light, unweighted all to the point where I don’t feel connected to the combat. When hurt, or I hurt, there is no real connection, no ‘umfff’, that I have felt in other (conlsole / controller) games.

The mechanics are fine, its just the overall feeling of being somewhat disconnected. Any others have the same?

Reader
MrSaxon

I’ve only been playing ESO for a short time (maybe a month or two?) but its combat is one of my favorite features. I play a long range sorcerer build in first person and I love dancing around, unleashing my various spells on the enemies.

borghive
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borghive

I still can’t get past the crappy combat animations either.

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Craig Sharp

It’s not as bad as it was in beta, but the floatiness is still there to a small degree. I find this with most (modified) hero engine games though. I still enjoy ESO combat mind you.

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Daniel Reasor

When I take spell damage, I always wonder where the heck it came from, but melee combat feels like matters, to me. Which is weird, because I play a DOT build focused of refreshing effects, rather than huge two-handed hits or shield bashes.

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Kickstarter Donor
Alex Willis

Totally true about the spell damage thing. The directional and particle effects aren’t clear at all. (Not asking for more effects per se, but those that do exist are pretty ambiguous directionally speaking.)

Reader
Sean Drohan

Well, again, it just feels like its missing something with combat feel to me – an important something – for an otherwise incredible game

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bobfish

Is it as good as Thidranki from DAoC?

If they’re going to do a three-way battleground, Thidranki is the pinnacle of design and execution so far, even the classes were incredibly well balanced which is unusual given the low level of the battleground.

Reader
CloakingDonkey .

these will not be like DAoC battlegrounds at all. Think WoW battlegrounds with 3 teams.

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Patreon Donor
Schlag Sweetleaf

Lion’s Den FTW!

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Mr Poolaty

The first time sweetleaf let me down :(

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Patreon Donor
Schlag Sweetleaf

level 9 battleground in DAoC was near perfect imo;)

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