The Elder Scrolls Online celebrates its first anniversary with a video

    
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More like real reality.

It might be hard to believe, but it’s been a whole year since The Elder Scrolls Online launched. Specifically, it was a year as of Saturday, since the game launched on April 4th, 2014. Whether you’ve been playing the whole year or just jumped in after the game swapped to its buy-to-play model recently, the game has seen its share of changes and improvements over the past 365 days.

To celebrate the anniversary, the community made a video thanking the team behind the game for the past year of exploring Tamriel online. It’s a lengthy video, clocking in at just under 12 minutes, and you can watch the whole thing just past the break. Well worth it if you’ve been enjoying the game over the last year, yes?

[Source: Bethesda blog]
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Ghostmourn
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Ghostmourn

Wow that was cool, ZOS has done a lot of hard work and really improved ESO to a wonderfully playable game. They mainly get a lot of flak from the MMO community so its nice to see them get some props for there hard work. They do some really cool stuff, always posting lore and new builds, contests etc. I love that stuff because it shows they actually value the community around the game.

Coolit
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Coolit

I’ve not played in a while and as a Elder Scrolls fan since Morrowind I was sad when I saw what ESO was like as I expected far more (then there was the bugs..) but I have to say they have spend the year well and it’s a far better game now that it was, in fact I’m really quite enjoying it and look forward to see whats next. 
B2P + DLC is exactly the direction the game should have been in since the start and its another welcomed change instead of F2P with a ridiculous cash shop. I find the cash shop completely fine its non intrusive and provides no P2W aspect in its current form, long may it stay like that!

There are still some key ES features missing however like housing, spell making and guild story lines but hope these will come through time. 
So Happy Birthday ESO and a high five to the dev team!

Werewolf Finds Dragon
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Werewolf Finds Dragon

I genuinely believe that ESO’s biggest sin is that it purports to be an MMO, but it isn’t very MMO-y. Guild Wars 2 can have a dark, ghastly chuckle its way, because it managed to be what ESO isn’t. ESO sits in the infamous company of The Secret World, Champions Online, and Uru: Ages Beyond Myst. It’s a silly game that doesn’t know quite what it wants to be. And, at the end of the day, what it becomes most of all is an above-average co-op RPG.

What I’d have to ask is: Is that a bad thing? We don’t have many good co-op RPGs, and the ones we do have are just button-mashing fests. I like Torchlight II as much as the next person, but it’s very much story-lite, as is the company it keeps. Diablo, Titan Quest, Dungeon Siege III, I can’t really think of anything out there that fits the bill. Though now it’s buy to play, I’d almost say that Razum-dar is worth the price of entry alone. He’s quite the character, isn’t he? And the sort of character I wish we’d see more often, no less.

I wasn’t quite expecting ZeniMax to ramp up the personality of the khajiit so much. And by that, I don’t mean that they’re sociable, but rather that they have an essence to them that separates them from the flock. The flock being the Aryan Human Menace that infests most settings like a cancer, generally being Caucasian and American even when they’re not (there’s more to ethnicity than a skin colour). I haven’t seen the redguards, yet, but if the khajiit are anything to go by, it’s promising.

First ‘MMO’ where I’ve been able to have a fat character, too.

You don’t really get out there and grind in ESO. You don’t grind, and grind, until you hit a wall and you either push past it by losing sleep or roll an alt. I’ve always done the latter because addictions don’t work on whatever the hell is wrong with my brain, and the horror stories I’ve heard have helped me condition that further. In ESO, though, it’s more about following these little story-arcs, similar to TSW. Levels be damned! I don’t even know why they even put in a level in ESO, to be honest, it feels too much like TSW to even bother. I barely ever even check my level.

I mean, the only purpose for the level seems to be to get another skill point — exactly like You Know TSWho. So I don’t. It’s the only MMO other than Champions Online and The Secret World where I’ve liked even one of the NPCs. Admittedly, in Champs, it was more the ambient NPC rambling. Gods, I loved that. VIPER (a well-trained and armed, specialised anti-superhero cell) wanted to put up purple drapes in Area 51. God, I loved VIPER.

I think many MMOs just take themselves far, far too seriously for me. Aside from serious MMOs focusing too much on the Aryan Menace, they’re also very po-faced, depressive, and ‘edgy.’ I hate that word. It’s pseudo-intellectual brain rot trotted out to make people feel intelligent, something can have drama without needing to be dark. I’m bloody depressed enough as it is. I’m creatively inclined, yet soulsick, world weary, and perhaps a bit too much on the intelligent side of things for my own good. I don’t need my entertainment inviting me to wallow in my own sadness, to be preoccupied with it. Entertainment is about escapism, it’s about fleeing the human realm and harnessing the ingenuity of the mind, of imagination, to do incredible things. It’s not about moping in a corner about your bleak, black box of a thousand melon collies.

And yet, there’s the flipside of that. The “LOL SO RANDOM” of WoW that makes absolutely no sense. The lack of drama there results in a meaninglessness that doesn’t engage me, and thus I don’t feel motivated to do anything. I’ll kill a bunch of plague beasts for a mad mage with puerile humour, and the area won’t be any less plagued for it. This is where TSW and ESO work their dark magicks — there’s a very subtle balance of humour and drama that hits the sweet spot for me. I think Hercules & Xena handled it really well. I like the cheese, but the cheese should be kept to combat scenes. That, and TSW/ESO like to make permanent changes, it actively rewards you for making a decision. Sure, it’s cosmetic, but it feels like you’re finishing a story. You’re seeing a The End.

That’s one thing that I find pushes me away from MMOs faster than anything. I don’t understand why MMOs can’t be more like Humongous Entertainment games. No, no! Hear me out. Where are you going? Sigh. Anyway, I’d like to see an MMO which hits an end, and you get an ending based upon your choices through the story. Similar to Fallout: New Vegas. Then the staying power is in alts. Much of the content will be locked behind what choices you make, or what paths you take, so there’s a lot of replayability. And there can even be some ‘heritage’ content, where it’s unlocked based upon what your father did. Which would be bizarre, yet fun, and it’d keep people around.

So, yes. I kind of like ESO. I’m fond of it. It’s a black sheep; A mutant child; And a carnival freak. But those end up being my favourite MMOs. Really washed out, though. So washed out. But nothing a little SweetFX can’t fix, eh? If anyone’s curious, I’m using [url=https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/9682450/ESO%20SFX/Vision%20SFX%20by%20amoebae.7z]Vision SFX[/url] with [url=http://www.pastebin.ca/2968882]a few tweaks of my own[/url] to make it more subtle and less obtrusive. I’m enjoying this peculiar oddity of a… thing, anyway. It’s serene, it doesn’t feel grindy, and it’s a great way to pass some time with me beau. In a way it reminds me of Ultima Online, but better.

Draugris
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Draugris

I started with the release, stopped after 6 months and after the game went b2p i picked it up again. Imo the game looks much more polished now, things like the veteran and justice system should have been there from the start. The story line or questing in general is really outstanding for me, since LotRO i did not have so much fun and got sucked into the world. Unfortunately PvP is not so outstanding and is more or less in the same sorry state it was when i left. The big map is useless because fights are  concentrated only in certain areas. The performance if many players are in one place is often terrible (talking about skill delay, fps and lag issues), and there is very little you can do to contribute as a small group of players. So PvP wise i would say that they have a lot of work to do. If they will sometimes take PvP serious, i doubt it. In terms of endgame PvE i´am not sure if it is enough to hold players for a longer time. The rewards you get for doing instanced PvE are lacking imho and there is no kind of real progression, so people who are looking for a real challenging environment with a certain path to go will be disappointed. I did dungeons casually and for me it was fun, but a friend of mine who is a hc player got bored after 2 month.The next dlc is not announced but they said not before the console release settled down a bit, whatever that means. I guess sometimes around september maybe (3 month after console release), but we will see.

Domiko
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Domiko

I started playing again from the beginning when ESO went to B2P. They should have get rid of veteran ranks already. I really can’t stand the grind :(

EpicViking
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EpicViking

That moment when you try to roleplay sitting at a desk, but there is no way to actually sit in props in the game. :D

bryanjturner
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bryanjturner

PurpleCopper GW2 was B2P from the beginning, has sold millions of units, and has made enough money through their cosmetic cash shop to bank roll a B2P expansion.

DugFromTheEarth
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DugFromTheEarth

Sorenthaz yeah, this was my first thought too, even as a very active player of the game.  No cleverly integrated lore driven celebration in game, no free little mini pet, or firework launchers. No cosmetic hat with a single buring candle on it. Nada.

While none of these things really matter in the long run, it does help break up the day in day out routine in game, and makes players think that the devs care just that little bit extra about their game being around for 1 year.

DugFromTheEarth
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DugFromTheEarth

Ironwu while I agree that B2P is the best way, I think a year ago, the games current state would have scared off a LOT of players for good. Now, after 6 HUGE updates and many more patches, new people can come to the game without worry of a subscription, and enjoy it much more than had it been B2P at release. The end result I think is going to be more new players sticking around.

As for the UI, its on par with the UI for Skyrim which sold like hotcakes on the 360 and ps3. I think console players at this point will be glad just to play it.

Lateris
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Lateris

I haven’t played since the first month until last night. I can see the visual improvements. Looking forward to playing the PvE game until end content.