Tamriel Infinium: Four reasons you should stop sleeping on Elder Scrolls Online


The paradox of Elder Scrolls Online is that while it continues to be a Top 5 MMO thanks to the studio muscle and IP fandom, it’s not a game that seems to get talked about in the way the other titles do. It’s quietly successful, out there doing its thing, and almost being too down-low that it gets overlooked when people are considering their next MMO to play.

In recent weeks, I’ve bumped into several people — including our own Chris — who’ve “discovered” Elder Scrolls Online after sleeping on it for too long. To do my part, I’m going to argue for four reasons, bad combat aside, why you shouldn’t be ignoring this fantastic game.

Superb questing experiences

Simply put, if you love a good story, you are doing yourself a disservice to ignore ESO. This is a game packed with great tales which use voice acting, recurring characters, laugh-out-loud humor, shocking twists, NPC scripting, and choice and consequences to craft a memorable narrative that’ll stick with you long after you log out of the game.

Sure, some of the bigger zone- or expansion-wide storylines are impressive for making an epic, overblown spectacle, but I find that the real delight is in the smaller quest chains that dot the maps.

It’s in these that ZeniMax’s writers seem to flex their creative muscles and bring us some hilarious, tragic, and terrifying tales. And because those arcs are just three quests or fewer, it’s easy to get the start, middle, and conclusion of a story in a single play session.

Ever-growing evergreen systems

One thing that I really respect in Elder Scrolls Online is that, unlike some other MMOs I could name, this title doesn’t introduce new expansion features only to abandon them a year later when the next chapter emerges. Rather, ZeniMax commits to fleshing out and building up these systems, giving us confidence that our time invested in them isn’t in vain.

I’m talking about how archaeology — a fantastic set of minigames and scavenger hunts, by the way — is still being supported, as is that weird card game, the companion system, thievery, and so much more. I love companions so much that I’m genuinely excited to meet the two new ones coming later this year.

Activity flexibility

Falling into a rut of routine can kill your interest in a game so fast (or at least lay the foundation for flaming out in the future). So it’s good to find MMOs that offer a diverse and appealing menu of activities rather than a narrow lane of options.

Is it any surprise when I assert that ESO is such a title? If you feel you’re doing the same activity day in and day out, it’s solely your choice because ESO has plenty of alternatives waiting for you, starting with the flexibility to pick any zone in the game at any given time for questing.

Then there’s the joy of mapping a zone, doing public dungeons, chasing achievements, fighting in PvP, queuing up for dungeons (as well as veteran dungeons and raids), hunting down artifact dig sites, decorating your house, crafting up a new set of stylish gear, trading with others, joining guild events, unlocking build options with skyshards, playing cards, stealing for the thieves guild, attaining companions, becoming a werewolf, being bitten by a vampire, pursuing your endeavors, solving treasure maps, and so much more.

A sea of expanding content

Finally, if you’ve never or only lightly dabbled in Elder Scrolls Online, you may be ignorant to the fact that this game has exploded in size in the past decade. Year after year, ZeniMax and its devs have been adding chapters, zones, DLCs, systems, and classes. It actually makes coming to the party a little late kind of amazing, because you know you won’t run out of enjoyable and relevant content for a very long time.

I mean, I’ve been playing ESO casually for years now and still haven’t finished a full questing run-through on a single character. I’m in no rush to do so, either, because every zone is so full of exciting things to see and experience that I want to savor it all for the first time.

Traverse the troubled land of Tamriel in the Elder Scrolls Online! Justin Olivetti will be your guide 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.
Previous articleLegends of Aria Classic relaunches this afternoon as devs commit to ‘refining the core game loop’
Next articleAlbion Online broke its Steam player concurrency record again as it contends with block in Indonesia

No posts to display

Subscribe to:
oldest most liked
Inline Feedback
View all comments