Tamriel Infinium: A very Elder Scrolls Online wish list

    
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Wish lists: We all have one for our regular MMORPGs. I mean, how can you not when you’re playing a game for so long? Ideas, desires, and changes come to mind that would improve the gameplay experience, and before long you wish you had a direct pipeline to the developers so they would get on it, already.

I’ll admit this right now: Your wish list is probably a lot better informed than mine. I’m still relatively new to Elder Scrolls Online and still getting a handle on its ins and outs. And I have to say that, overall, this is a remarkably full-featured title that isn’t lacking a lot of what I’d consider “must haves.” Housing? Dungeon finder? Cosmetics? Voice acting? Level adjustment? It’s already there, son.

So is there anything left to wish for? I think there is! Here are six items that are on my list (but I want to hear yours in the comments!).

A great expansion

I feel pretty confident that we’ll be seeing a new chapter in 2022, but that’s not 100% assured (at least, not as far as I know). And while that’s all well and good, Elder Scrolls Online has been hitting doubles the past couple of years instead of home runs with Greymoor and Blackwood. Fine expansions, fine, but not the Major MMO Event of the Year that they really should’ve been.

Do I have specific suggestions? No, I do not. I don’t see any obvious direction that ZeniMax should be going in for next year, which frees the studio up to pretty much pursue any possibility that excites the developers. I just know it’s got to be exciting and wrapped around a very strong tentpole feature. So my great wish here is that 2022’s chapter is attention grabbing and worthy of strong hype.

A new class

The obvious tentpole feature would be a new class, of course. We last got a brand-new one was the Necromancer back in 2019’s Elsweyr. I’m not super grumpy we didn’t get one for the last two chapters, but if ZeniMax doesn’t deliver next year, I think my patience may come to an end. New classes are a great way to get in fresh players and revitalize the interest of veteran ones.

I’m voting for a Bard, but I’d be happy seeing the roster expand with practically anything at this point.

Climbing and rappelling

I’m not going to be the one advocating for flying mounts — I really don’t feel that they’d add much to the game, to be honest — but I do think that there’s plenty of room for growth when it comes to the methods that we use to explore the world.

I remember playing the Thieves Guild DLC and being genuinely envious of an NPC that, during a scripted scene, clambers right up a town wall to open up the gate. I kept thinking, “Why can’t my character do that? That looks like so much fun!”

So yeah. Climbing would be amazing, and while we’re at it, how about some rappelling to get down the other side? Maybe even incorporate some grappling hooks into such a system?

Combat tune-up

ESO’s combat is functional but not fun, and it is easily the weakest part of the game experience for me. I have made my peace with it and have a build that at least chews through mobs quickly, but I’m really hard-pressed to think of MMOs with a combat system has a worse feel and design than this one. It’s slippery, has anemic sound effects, and never seems to be making much of an impact on enemies until they keel over. That’s fine for 2001-era games, but for one of the Top Five, it’s a doggone shame.

Considering that this is, you know, an MMO, I think combat impacts pretty much everything. I won’t demand a top-to-bottom revision of the system, but I would dearly love to see the devs tune up combat to make it more snappy, visceral, and fun.

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Boats

I don’t know if you’ve noticed this, but there’s an awful lot of water in Elder Scrolls Online. Lakes, ponds, swamps, oceans — lots of the wet stuff in abundance. And unless you’re an Argonian (and even then), swimming is a chore without its own helpful skill line to increase.

With all of that water, I think the game is prime for some genuine water mounts. Boats, even. Hey, Guild Wars 2 is getting skiffs, so maybe we could set up an exchange program?

Minimap radar

Shh. I know you’re already opening your mouth to inform this ESO carebear that there are mods that can deliver on this. I’m glad there are, and I do use them. But I would much, much rather see one be added to the game as an official feature.

Minimaps cut down on the constant flipping between the game world and the larger map, and they’re an expected staple of 98% of MMORPGs that are out there. It’s time that this one squashed its pride on the subject and simply added one to further facilitate our Tamriel adventures.

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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