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 isĀ 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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