Tamriel Infinium: Our biggest Elder Scrolls Online pet peeves

    
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This week, fellow Massively OP writer Justin published a post on his personal blog detailing a pet peeve with his favorite MMO. I find it interesting that even with our favorite games, we’re always able to pick out one or two things that we’d like to see fixed. These quibbles are not game-breaking, typically. They’re simply annoying little foibles that earn our ire – and sometimes a place in our hearts.

After reading Justin’s peeve, I made a list of The Elder Scrolls Online annoyances that nibble away at my nerves. Let’s hash it out in this week’s Tamriel Infinium!

Gem-exclusive items

This one goes beyond peeve for many, but I just feel that it’s a poor design choice that should be remedied. If you’re not familiar with gems, just know that the only way to acquire them is to trade-in crown crate items. In other words, you first have to purchase a random item from a crown crate (known in the industry as a lootbox or lockbox) and trade that item in for a certain number of gems. The number of gems depends on the rarity of the item.

There are entirely too many unknowns in this whole process for my taste, and it’s a system that’s designed to keep you buying crates with the hopes of acquiring rare items. While this doesn’t particularly affect those of us who don’t purchase crates on principle, gating special items behind a gem-wall is in poor taste and bothersome.

Sir.

No in-game mail reply

I typically use in-game chat over in-game mail, so I’d forgotten about this peculiarity. But it was brought to my attention again this week by a new player who was trying to ask me questions over in-game mail. “Where’s the reply button?” he asked. That’s a good question. There isn’t one. Have you ever seen an electronic mail system where every single message you send must be created anew? That’s how it works in ESO. I didn’t even have a good explanation for the poor guy. Five years in, we’re still looking for that reply button.

Stuga

I couldn’t make a pet peeve list without including the pushy, Orsinium quest-starting orc Stuga. She’s become a meme within the community using her signature line “Do you know how long I’ve been looking for you?” So annoying is this green-skinned maiden that many simply accept her quest without any intention of going to Orsinium just to shut her up. It’s not enough that she repeats the same line over and over, but she literally follows you around the city doing just that. If there were a horror film based on ESO, it would simply be titled Stuga.

The mount bug

This one is a little bit tricky, seeing as how it’s surpassed the annoyance phase and has entered into that strange space where if this bug were to be fixed, I’d actually miss it. Anybody who’s spent any amount of time in the game knows what I’m talking about. Occasionally, when a player character is riding a mount, that player character is seen standing up on that mount and running while the mount is also running. It’s such a long-running problem that it’s become a joke within the game studio itself! Check out this Halloween tweet from ZeniMax:

Here’s what it looks like in-game:

No quick unsummon for pets

Here’s a good one: a pet peeve about pets. It’s happened to the best of us. You run-up to the crafting bench intent on finishing a quick writ or two, but some goofball has planted his/her warden bear or twilight matriarch pet right in front of the click zone. Granted, this contributes only a few moments of frustration, but the effect is accumulative. As a pet sorc main, I do my best to remember to put my pets away in crowded areas but that itself is a somewhat cumbersome process of entering into the skill menu and dragging my pet skills off the bar, only to replace them again when the pet disappears.

My personal belief is that the problem of enormous pets clogging up the populated areas of Tamriel could be lessened by an easier way to un-summon them. Most people who play with pets won’t bother with a multi-step unsummoning process, and some may not even know how to do it, as it’s not exactly intuitive in its current state. I believe that players would be more apt to comply with the guidelines of politeness if there was a keyboard shortcut or button combination that allow us to easily put away any active pets. This type of solution could rid the world of two pet peeves at once, huge pets in public spaces and the current cumbersome unsummoning process.

Inventory oddities

I’m constantly at a loss with regard to the rules associated with inventory items in the Elder Scrolls Online. Some things can be deposited in your bank; some things can’t. Sometimes you can have more than one of a specific item in your bank; sometimes you can’t. Items that stack in your bags or your personal bank won’t stack in the guild banks. It’s just a real mish-mash of limitations that has probably evolved over time but seems out of place in a game that touts its relative freedom of play.

Housing item limits

One of the common complaints among ESO housing aficionados is the limit on housing items that can be placed around your domicile. Even MOP’s resident housing experts were initially excited about the possibilities within the ESO housing system but were quickly disappointed by the item limits, especially for a non-subscriber. I do understand the technical reasons for these types of restrictions. After all, we’re all sharing one big server instance, which means ultimately, we’re also sharing memory and compute resources. But for a player who may be in the game solely for the purposes of housing, roleplay, and cosmetics, this limitation can be a real bummer. ZOS may have put a magnifying glass on the issue last summer when it made the Grand Psyjic Villa (an enormous mansion) the grand prize for all who participated in 2018’s Summerfall community event. Suddenly, people who would have never spent hundreds of crowns on a huge housing option were running into problems trying to fill it up!

No game is perfect. Even the most enjoyable ones are rife with small bugs and annoying design choices. Luckily, in most cases, we can overlook these shortcomings, and over time, perhaps even become fond of the quirks we had at one time maligned.

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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Frank White

I’ve just begun my third month in the game, and mostly enjoying it so far. But in agreement with some other people commenting here, my personal biggest pet peeve is the AH system. It’s very frustrating, not to mention anger inducing, to acquire items I see being sold for tens of thousands in gold by guild auction sellers, but myself having to sell them for less than a hundred gold to NPC merchants just because I have no place to store everything I get and can’t afford to keep constantly updating my personal storage – my last 10-slot bag upgrade was about 50,000 gold, if I remember correctly. (And so, yes, the inventory problems are real too! I’ve got I don’t know how many transmutation stones taking up space right now, which I can’t currently do anything with.) Anyway, I suppose like everyone else, I’ll eventually be forced to join a Trade guild and deal with all that mumbo jumbo.

But personally, I’m in favor of paying a subscription. The three MMO’s I see right now consistently getting the most content updates are WoW, FFXIV, and ESO, and they all have one thing in common: subscriptions. So it sure looks to me that cash shops probably aren’t enough for most MMO’s to thrive. (And yes, I know that ESO let’s you buy everything separately too, but I’m not sure that works out to much of a savings in the long run, if you always want the newest content – and smart of them to use the endless craft bag to lure players in to subbing, because I know I’d find it tedious as F*** if I had to endure constantly getting rid of all that stuff on top of everything else.)

As for pets… there’s a Pet Dismiss addon that let’s you bind a key to dismiss pets, as most everyone here probably knows already, but I’m currently using LUI Extended for that, which let’s you dismiss them by right-clicking their icons from the addon’s main Buffs & Debuffs bar.

Mewmew
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Mewmew

Gem Exclusives – I like them personally. Really the gem exclusives are just for players that are buying lockboxes and getting bad luck so that they can turn stuff into gems and buy what they’re looking for directly. Without this system, you’d only be able to keep buying and re-buying lockboxes hoping to get the items. It’s a bonus so that you can just pick what you want if you keep getting bad lockbox luck. As long as lockboxes are going to exist, the gem extracting and purchasing is a great idea.

Besides that I like having things be more rare so that everybody doesn’t have immediate access to them. So we all don’t have the same mounts and pets and we get to have some different things not everybody else has.

I like short sales in Cash Shops that keep a mount or pet rare and more exclusive (even though I miss a lot of them, I still like it for the ones I am there for).

Orsinium quest-starting orc Stuga – Funny you should mention her. These pushy NPCs that appear to send you to other areas are there for people to know there are other areas to go to.

I say funny you should mention her because just recently we were having a debate in the comments here about ESO’s open system and people were complaining they didn’t know where to go next and didn’t have enough direction. These pushy NPCs that appear to bother you are to let you know places you can go to. Some of them are fairly important areas if you skipped the main quest line and started in some DLC areas instead. Some of them are optional like Orsinium.

Still, there are those that think the game doesn’t give you anywhere near enough direction (they’re so used to being told exactly where to go and what to do I guess) and then those that think it’s bugging you too much in giving direction.

Standing and running on the mounts – I find it hilarious when it happens and don’t want to see it fixed. I’m sure there are people that feel it breaks immersion or something, though it doesn’t last long and it’s funny and cute. It’s been in the game since, well as long as I’ve been playing over the past few years. It would be odd for it to actually completely stop happening. I guess I’d be fine with it being fixed, though I’d definitely miss it. It’s part of the ESO experience :D

Don’t mention the Grand Psyjic Villa! sigh… Not really I know it’s fine to mention it, it’s just a sore spot for me. I literally bought the expansion two hours too late to get the house for free. Two hours. You’d think that maybe some Customer Service agent would say “Wow that was really close to the cutoff time, let me help you with that.” when they saw I was two hours late and had been a non-stop subscriber for years and spent lots of extra money as well, but nope, I got the sticker CS agent who said it was too bad but I missed it. They didn’t even want to check with anybody higher up the chain for me to see if it was possible. I haven’t held that against them, but it sure left a sore spot that rashes up every time I hear about the Grand Psyjic Villa.

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Zero_1_Zerum

My biggest pet peeve with ESO is them putting quests in the PVP area. I’ll never go to Cyrodill, so I’ll never do all the quests or see the whole story.

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nomadmorlock9

I was very invested in the game to say the least. I had to walk away when their “balancing” changed my racial passives, class skills, and weapon skills so dramatically that I could no longer play a five year old character in the same way.

Some of these changes were not only heavy handed, but lore breaking (Bosmer we mean you) and clearly a move in the wrong direction. Up to that point the Dev team had been great in listening to player feedback, but that ended about the same time.

They spent years after launch turning the ship based on player feedback and became successful. It seems they forgot how far this took them. At this point they have refused to admit the mistakes and take action to correct them.

Apridise
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Apridise

Since I’m not part of a large guild and my hours always seem to not coincide with anyone ever running a raid I wouldn’t complain seeing raids as an option added to the dungeon finder.

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Tulerezzer

My biggest pet peeve is the quarterly “rebalancing” of classes, skills, weapons, etc. that results in large swings in power.
FOTM is literally that, every month it seems like I need to change my gear and slotted abilities. Try taking a few months off and come back to totally new meta. Tiresome.

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Castagere Shaikura

So no one is going to mention the AH being controlled by the most powerful guilds. The fact of the game not having an open AH is a huge problem for many.

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Chris

Seriously. Worst mechanic of the game IMO by far. I vendor everything I don’t intend to keep, and I refuse to buy from player vendors — if it’s not a drop or an NPC-vendor offering, I just don’t get it. *shrug* The exploration and crafting are the real game for me anyway.

latorn
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Kickstarter Donor
latorn

Housing item limits is the biggest one for me, ESPECIALLY on special collectibles. It’s SO LOW. You can only have a handful of mounts in the psijic villa :(

Mordyjuice
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Mordyjuice

I got 99 Problems and Stuga you aint one!

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Bryan Correll

Struga and all her similarly inclined cohorts need to take a number. Sorry Lady, I only have room for 25 quests, and I like to keep seven of em open for daily crafting writs. I’ll get to you when my schedule opens up.