Elder Scrolls Online offers Steam downtime compensation as review-bombing hits ‘mostly negative’

Earlier this week, we covered the messy business between Elder Scrolls Online and Steam – specifically, that Steam logins for the game have been toast for the last couple of weekends, leading to some gigantic threads on both Steam and Reddit (2600+ comments now on Steam) as people found the game entirely inaccessible. Now, it doesn’t appear ZeniMax has it completely sorted yet, but a forum note says it’s working on a solution – and in the meantime, it’s offering compensation.

“To give everyone an update on the recent complications with ESO on Steam, we’ve been having conversations with Steam to fully understand what’s causing the downtime and login issues, and will update everyone as soon as we have information to share. In the meantime, we do plan to grant all Steam players an extra Psijic Vault Crown Crate since not everyone was able to login during last weekend’s giveaway event. These crates will be delivered to your account after the next PC maintenance, tentatively scheduled for July 2. Thanks for your patience, everyone. We’ll provide another update as soon as we can.”

As we wrote on Monday, the Steam issues led players to review-bomb the game on the platform, driving its recent reviews down to “mixed.” We called it a “polite” review-bombing, as most of the negative reviews telling people the game is still worth buying – just to not buy it on Steam until the problems are resolved. As of today, however, the recent reviews have been pushed down into the “mostly negative” zone, which isn’t really polite anymore – that’s going to haunt the game’s rating for a long time to come. Even the top positive review has now been edited to warn people away from the Steam version.

Source: Official forums. Thanks for the update, Zsokorad!
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Nate Woodard

I’m not really understanding of the negative reviews if people have tried the game lately. I’ve recently got back into it and it’s a completely new game for me. It’s fun, there’s heaps of people doing stuff in the world. Not really anything negative in the starting areas so far. Granted it’s not an Elder Scrolls stand-alone title and it doesn’t play like one. That’s fine, though.

Over the last few years I’ve realized how much I need social interaction in games. Even if I’m not talking, just knowing that it’s there is what keeps me playing. Single player games to me, get old quick. They lose their lacquer and I find myself wishing a game had multiplayer or MMO type features really fast, just so I can share in the experience.

As for ESO, it may not be like the standalone games, but it has a lot of decent features for a MMO and a well written and voice acted narrative. That’s all I can ask for these days.

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Rolan Storm

It has more than that (for example ESO is probably most co-op friendly MMORPG I know), but that’s not the point. People leave negative reviews on Steam version of the game, not the game in general.

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Sana Tan

I’ll be paranoid for a second and I’ll wonder if this is not a steam move in reprisal for Bethesda not putting Fallout 76 in Steam and trying to launch their own sale platform. D:

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Cosmic Cleric

I’ll be paranoid for a second and I’ll wonder if this is not a steam move in reprisal for Bethesda not putting Fallout 76 in Steam and trying to launch their own sale platform. D:

That kind of thing has happened in the real world before (commuting bridges and roads), so who knows? /shrug

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Bruno Brito

Can you go in detail about that?

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Cosmic Cleric

Don’t want the conversation to turn political (I was commenting more on human nature), as the last time I was involved in such a type of conversation here it was deleted, but there was allot of news stories last year about a certain state governor and how he did/not modify a commuter bridge to the neighboring state, for reasons that had nothing to do with the bridge/roads/safety, but extended commute times to many hours. That’s what came to my mind when I replied.

Bannex
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Bannex

This game deserves a review bomb not because of login issues but because it’s crappy gameplay and over dependence on the store.

They really removed everything great about elder scrolls games and injected everything terrible about Korean mmos.

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Weilan

What dependence on the store?

hurbster
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hurbster

No dependence on the store, that’s what.

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Bruno Brito

Really? Because a lot of people sing praises to me about this game, and the little i played, i enjoyed.

There’s not much Elder Scrolls-y for sure, but as a MMO, it holds pretty well.

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Bryan Turner

It’s worth playing for the story, I like the atmosphere of their instanced content, the armor has a certain charm to it when you don’t want to play in GW2’s disco tech (which I love don’t get me wrong), theres a lot of side features through DLCs such as Dark Brotherhood and Thieves Guild which makes the game more immersive to me personally (meaning I don’t always want to play the goody two shoes Commander while I can play as a darker scum bag in ESO by saving the world while murdering and stealing).

To me GW2 and ESO are kind of two sides of the same MMO 2010s PVE Coin.

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Rolan Storm

Nope, not really. You are quite correct.

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Sylkesh

Do you even play this game? Probably not, because it’s one of the best MMOs on the market.
As the game is F2P, it couldn’t survive without some monetization. But subs and store purchases are completely optional and you can play for free without difficulty, if you don’t want to spend a dime.

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kalech

I don’t really like the game either, but at least I am aware that my own personal feelings are subjective and doesn’t necessarily reflect the objective truth :p

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MrSaxon

What you talkin’ about, Bannex? It’s one of the best MMOs on the market and has zero dependence on the store.

You big fibber, you!

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rafael12104

Reviewing a game as negative because of issues like this is warranted. But review bombing is assinine. I’m not a fan because some gamers out there do it for grins and giggles, others because the harbor some personal grudge, and because others just dogpile because they can.

It is a groupthink situation and the mob rules. Screw that. And that is why I don’t get any info nor do I frequent Steam outside of playing the games I bought there. If given an option, I wouldn’t even do that.

You know… that Microsoft Game Pass sounds awfully good now as it includes PC games and there are no such shenanigans.

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Weilan

Well, in what other way can they do it? That’s the only power gamers have. Just because some abuse the Steam review system and leave biased negative reviws, because they broke a nail during their time playing a certain game doesn’t mean everyone is an asshole.

It’s one thing that PvP has issues (I haven’t played it much so I can’t comment), but not being able to play the game you paid for is another. After all the reviews will go back to their previous state once it’s fixed.

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Bruno Brito

It’s more that review-bombing throws any well-crafted criticism in the same pot as the bomb reviews. This is a issue when you want feedback to reach the devs.

That being said, i’m sure that TESO devs don’t really go to Steam pages to get feedback.

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rafael12104

Exactly. It devalues valid criticism.

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Weilan

I think they were quick to fix the issues after the review bombing, because even if they don’t visit Steam, someone else has reported the outrage. And not to mention the fact that each person who decided to buy it looks at the Steam reviews, says Mostly Negative, goes to investigate, finds out there are login issues and decides to not buy it (considering they don’t know that the game is playable outside Steam). My copy is from outside of Steam and it has worked just fine. Over the last 3 years the client has also improved greatly and runs better on my potato PC. I’m very satisfied with the game and glad that I was lucky enough not to buy it on Steam.

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rafael12104

They could moderate and at least remove or not count spam… or obvious trolls etc.

I understand your point. And criticism is valid as well as anger and protests so to speak. But the problem with steam is that many individuals are looking to jump in with their own agenda.

For example, I know a few Zenimax haters that love to dogpile on anything remotely related to disparaging Zeni or Bethesda. There is no logic to it at all.

I don’t have the answer, but I know that Steam is not the site to get an objective assessment of any one particular game.

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Alex Willis

Single-issue reviews are dumb. But that’s on Valve for enabling a culture that lacks nuance.

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Tanek

In this case, it seems they might be helpful. The game has its own launcher and if buying it through steam is going to lock you onto issues like this, just getting the game directly sounds like pretty good advice.

Personally, I avoid Steam for any games that have their own separate launcher/authentication system. Problems logging in are not uncommon and when they happen you have to deal with the developer AND Steam needing to fix things. More moving parts = more to potentially go wrong.

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Alex Willis

A fair point.

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Schmidt.Capela

In the case of Steam, though, the score is not based on the reviews per see, but on the collected answer for a very simple question: would you recommend the game to other people?

Which is why I do give a negative feedback for any game that has any big issues that prevent me from enjoying the game, regardless of whether those issues are bugs, support, account issues, whatever.

BTW, you do have to keep in mind that the only people allowed to contribute to the game’s Steam score are players that effectively purchased the game from Steam, and thus (supposedly) read through the game’s Steam page and liked what they saw enough to pay for the game. This is already a very powerful filter, removing most of the potential negative scores and reviews from people whose tastes or their dislike for the publisher or dev would prevent them from ever enjoying the game.

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Arktouros

I did my part and threw up a negative review as well.

Game is still atrocious when it comes to handling loading, zoning or otherwise. After the population bottomed out after launch and they gutted the hardware support the game hasn’t been the same. Loading times to this very day, even with a NVMe SSD, can take up to 5 minutes to load because of waiting on the server. The other night 10 of us tried to zone into a public dungeon and it literally sat there until we all had to crash out which some people got stuck falling but game wouldn’t let them /stuck and bunch of other issues. Cyrodiil still periodically just throws you a permanent loading screen even when just running around out there or gets stuck after ressing. These are all issues that should have been resolved forever ago but their background network/architecture is just awful.

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Bryan Turner

Nice, I love getting free shit when I never actually complained about this.

yeah let that one sink in as this is me I’m talking about.

I actually had nothing bad to say about this situation.

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vinicitur

Sorry but I don’t get all the drama on this one. Why the hell are people not just creating a shortcut directly to the launcher? It solves the problem instantly.

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Arktouros

When you launch the game the issue was the sign in part. The steam client automatically signs you into your account rather than having to retype passwords/login each time. That’s the part that was failing to connect after already launching the launcher and game client.

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Bruno Brito

Because…they shouldn’t have to?

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Armsbend

I was randomly checking out the steam top 100 games chart last night for no particular reason and was surprised at how high ESO was. That leads me to think this is just more gamer huffing and puffing whilst they angrily play the game just as they always have.

Grrrrrr! So mad!

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rafael12104

Lol.

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dumpster_baby

The game should have mostly negative reviews and not just because of steam issues. Cyrodill will never be fixed, the combat is sub par combined with bugs at times make it unplayable with lag and to top it off their extremely aggressive monetization that is obviously the focus instead of making great content. There was a reason the majority of streamers jumped shipped awhile back because they realized this is what this game will always be.