Tamriel Infinium: Things we wish were in Elder Scrolls Online’s cash shop (but aren’t)

    
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Convenience items in the cash shop are nothing new in The Elder Scrolls Online. ZeniMax has been selling experience boosts and mount training accelerators for years. But the recent addition of skill shards and skill lines have had some players claiming pay-to-win.

Since I’m not especially bothered by these types of items being proliferated, I thought it might be fun to think about some other convenience items that Elder Scrolls Online players would be eager to purchase. Let’s consider the possibilities in this edition of Tamriel Infinium.

Mount training

In my guild Discord the other day, one of the relatively newer members was asking about how mounts work. Hoping to spin up a new character, the player wondering whether mounts were account-wide. “Yes,” came the answer, “but you have to train them all over again!”

Training a mount in ESO is both a gold sink and a time sink. The good news is that mount training is per character, meaning a single character will never have to train up more than one mount. The bad news is that every character on your account has the same time/gold-gated requirements for mounts to reach max effectiveness, so you’ve got to do it for each toon you roll.

ESO already offers accelerators for mount attributes (called riding lessons), but they are somewhat cost prohibitive. Maxing out a single character’s mount skills costs the cash shop equivalent of about US $135 worth of riding lessons. Seeing as how you can now buy an entire character skill line (undaunted, psijic, etc.) for under US $40, I’d say those riding lessons could probably use a pricing adjustment.

But better yet, package them like the character skill lines: If you’ve previously maxed out a mount, you can buy a riding lesson that maxes out another character’s mount skills for a similar amount (5000 crowns, less than US $40) as is charged for character skill lines.

Stable assistants

If there’s never going to be an all-inclusive mount maxing option, how about a new kind of pocket assistant that could be summoned over landscape in order to pay for daily mount feedings? The assistant would work much like the banker and merchant assistants already available and could be placed in our houses as well as summoned. Assistants are one of the best purchases available in the cash shop, and a portable stable master would boost an already strong category.

Enhanced smuggler assistants

Currently, everybody who owns the Thieves Guild DLC has access to a pocket smuggler, who can be used to buy your stolen items. Unfortunately, this assistant gets a 35% cut of anything you sell to him when compared to what the item sells for at a regular in-game fence. I’ve never completely understood the logic in that, except perhaps that ZeniMax is afraid that nobody would visit an outlaw’s refuge if we could sell everything to an assistant. At any rate, perhaps a cash shop upgrade to a premium smuggler is in order – one that doesn’t charge you for selling items and is able to pay off your bounty and fence items for you out in the world. It seems that a smuggler should be able to do anything that an outlaw’s refuge fence is able to do.

Writ boards

Players have been asking for writ boards that can be placed within their homesteads for some time now. I can understand both sides of this debate: It certainly would be nice to be able to log in and do all of your crafting inside your house. For those who use their houses as a guild gathering spot, it would be a good opportunity to run into guildies who also happen to be crafting at the same time.

On the other hand, crafting hubs throughout the cities of Tamriel do tend to be the most highly populated areas on the server. The constant coming and going adds a lot of life to these zones. I would miss all of the activity if people suddenly decided they preferred a “solo crafting” experience. I think that’s the biggest reason we haven’t yet seen these boards available as housing items. Even if they were made available, I think it would be as a crafting reward and not a cash shop item. This would be more consistent with how crafting stations are currently acquired.

Crafting traits

For some players, crafting really is the bulk of their ESO gameplay. Even when they are not experiencing a new dungeon or content update, they’re logging in every day to complete crafting writs with every character on the account. For these crafty souls, perhaps a purchasable crafting or trait line would be in order! Once again, it could be treated like the skyshards or skill lines. If a woodworker line has been maxed out, make it purchasable for another character. If a trait has been unlocked, that could be a cash shop option as well. It’s a convenience that some crafters might be more than happy to pay in order to bolster their crafting army.

Unlimited crafting bag

Something that absolutely, positively will not happen any time soon is the appearance of the unlimited craft bag as a purchasable item. But wouldn’t it be nice? The crafting bag is a bottomless storage bag for all of the crafting materials on your account. It’s probably the best convenience item in the game and is available only to ESO Plus subscribers. It’s so good that many players have stated that they would subscribe to ESO Plus even if the crafting bag were the only perk. That’s pretty high praise!

But it’s also the reason that we’ll never see this in the cash shop. That steady subscriber income stream is something that ZeniMax counts on to keep the game going. Removing the number one reason that people become ESO Plus members would not be a savvy business move.

What have we missed? Are there convenience items that you’d like to see available for purchase in the ESO crown store? Or have we already gone too far into pay-to-win territory with our musings as it stands?

Thanks to Minuetpro and CrazyMrRed on Discord and @Kermudgen on Twitter for their idea contributions!

Traverse the troubled land of Tamriel in the Elder Scrolls Online! Larry Everett and Ben Griggs will be your guides here in Tamriel Infinium on Wednesdays as we explore together the world created by ZeniMax and Bethesda in one of the biggest MMOs in the genre. Larry and Ben welcome questions and topic ideas!
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Seb Romoda

It would be nice to have a resource “garden” for the house. Basically be able to buy a once a day harvestable plush (Like the one from surveys) random resource for each type of crafting. were to be intractable to visitors as well then there a good chance that home or guild hall owners would get more foot tragic that most likely would create much appreciated compliments and possibly ideas… or even offers of furniture that wouldn’t necessarily be known of.

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Koshelkin

A complete character skill line for just under 40$, wow, that’s … greedy.

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A Bellow From Below

Departure wayshrine for your house.
People would get to their destination faster, and it would reduce server load too, because we could go directly where we want, instead of passing through the zone in which our house is.

Mewmew
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Mewmew

There is *no way* the unlimited bag will ever appear in the Cash Shop. No way. It is *the* perk for owning ESO Plus. You’d just buy the DLC as you wanted to access the areas otherwise. That would be the dumbest decision they could ever make if they did such a thing.

Next: “this assistant gets a 35% cut of anything you sell to him when compared to what the item sells for at a regular in-game fence. I’ve never completely understood the logic in that, except perhaps that ZeniMax is afraid that nobody would visit an outlaw’s refuge if we could sell everything to an assistant. ”

Exactly that. For one it’s basically a “free” assistant you get for doing the Thieves Guild questline. And for two, just what you surmise – there really wouldn’t be any reason to visit an outlaw’s refuge if we could get full prices from that assistant. All of these beautifully designed little places would be for naught.

People in ESO seem to be especially lazy when it comes to walking places. They complain that Elsweyr doesn’t have enough teleport shrines when they’re all over the zone, because once and a great while they have to ride off the trail somewhere that takes a minute to get to. There is no way they’d go visit the outlaw’s refuges if they got the full prices from that assistant.

Now, if they want to sell a Cash Shop version that takes much less of a cut (5% maybe? Or maybe none, considering that they’re $50) that would be okay. I’m actually surprised they didn’t release one with the Elsweyr Alfiq cat assistants.

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Daniel Reasor

NO.

NONE OF THIS BELOGS IN THE CASH SHOP.

NONE OF IT.

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McGuffn

Also, get rid of mount training altogether.

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NeoWolf

The mounts thing is an odd request, sure its a bit of a time sink, gold sink…not really, 250g per day you can literally make that in 30 seconds of burglary in ESO.. situate yourself in the palaces of the capital or a large city and just burglarise every container within sight you can literally make many thousands in a very short time. Alternatively, do the Thieves guild or Dark Brotherhood DLCs as those open up not only useful skill lines for criminal activities but also daily activities that can net a hefty wad of gold each day (amongst other stuff).

Them putting the bottomless Craft bag in the Crown Store would kill their ESO plus subscribership overnight so yeah that’s NOT going to happen any time soon lol

Totally agree on the upgraded assistants why the ones we can summon directly that are FAR from cheap I might add have taxes associated with them I don’t know it is a stupid thing.

As for things I’d add to the Crown shop I guess I’d say EVERYTHING they take out of it over time. I fail to see how reducing the variety of your inventory is in any way good for sales. Once they add something they should leave it there PERMANENTLY not remove it six months later never to return except some super super rare sale..bleurgh.

I think the one biggest thing they could add that would make me happy would be a crowns to gems conversion item. So people could buy the thing they want from a lockbox by getting enough gems needed without having to buy a lot of unnecessary lockboxes but again they will NEVER do that as they want people spending unnecessarily on lockboxes.

I would like to see them have more regular sales as well as offering some random rare from a lockbox for sale for crowns each month or quarterly. I’d also like to see homes in sales more often as they are ridiculously overpriced for the most part.

I would like to see bag and inventory unlocks have an account-wide option rather than per character.

I would also like to see purchased unlocks be account-wide for BOTH EU and US sides especially seeing as they only give us one stipend for both sides (not each) therefore my unlocks should be unlocked for both not just one side or the other instead of trying to make me buy it individually for both sides that sort of nickel and diming sh** really bugs me.

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Stormwaltz

Player-inscribable books and signboards that can be placed within a homestead and read.

It would required back-end work to store the text on the server. But having them only readable in houses (i.e. explicitly opt-in access), I think you’d sidestep most issues of “appropriate content.”

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Robert Basler

1) Universal auction house. I’d pay for that over dealing with guild drama.

Poker Brat
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Poker Brat

This…is what really holds me back from going all in on ESO. Be done with the trade guild thing and limited customer base and give us a proper Auction house!

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nomadmorlock9

Shadow Rider Senche!

Godnaz
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Godnaz

riding lessons could probably use a pricing adjustment. Yes please.

In-home stable master and writ board do fall under what you mentioned in getting players into and interacting at the hubs. With a mobile banker and merchant available and basic crafting tables being relatively cheap to place in your home, adding more would just allow people to seclute themselves and a game is relatively only semi-social as it is. I say that being in 3 guilds.