Plotting the Future of ESO’s Endgame

The Elder Scrolls Online community has been incensed with conversation focusing on the game’s current endgame, its shortcomings, and what the future will hold. Sparking new life into debates over the two pillars of the current endgame design – the Champion System, which is widely criticized for its rampant power creep, and Veteran Ranks, the unpopular post-level cap levels which were already promised to be in the process of being removed from the game – was the news that before it gets better, things are going to get worse, as the VR cap will be raising once again to VR16 in Update 7.

A Farewell to TESO

Even after writing this post, I still question whether or not I should press the publish button. Leaving a game you care for is hard, but explaining it to others without coming off poorly is much, much harder. My intent here is not to bash the game, its creators, or to lobby for change, but…

Hobo Gamer: The Elder Scrolls Online

If you’re reading this, then the NDA has been lifted, which means it’s time to give you all my comprehensive thoughts on The Elder Scrolls Online – and I do mean comprehensive; get comfortable now, because this is going to be a long one. I will undoubtedly talk about some stuff you don’t care about in this review. That is to be expected, but I would encourage you to at least skim those sections, because you never know when I’m going to talk about the design of core combat mechanics in a section on immersion and roleplay (I actually did this).

ESO and the Resurgence of the Social Economy

A few days ago I was speaking with TESO Elite’s Garbrac as he wrote his own article on the economics of The Elder Scrolls Online. We had just learned that public guild stores were only to be available through keep ownership, a limitation we both agreed will prove severely limiting towards the ability of guilds to hawk their wares to the general public. Over the course of our discussion, we agreed that the lack of accessibility to sellers and lack of predictability to buyers will ultimately see the public guild stores become a lesser-used facet of the game’s economy; a more expanded discussion on this subject can be found in his article, which I recommend reading before continuing as the article below is heavily based on the line of reasoning outlined therein.

Adapting Level Based Progression to TES

The Elder Scrolls Online walks a delicate tightrope, trying to meld traditional features of the single player franchise with the staples of the themepark MMORPG genre in a way that will draw in fans of both game types and leave everyone satisfied. This is no easy task, and I can’t help but feel that in the end, some people on both sides will have to be marginalized – the key is to not do it unnecessarily. Normally I focus more on the MMORPG elements that I feel ESO needs to implement, but in this case, I’d like to talk about the preservation of the rich exploration and the freedom of the player to do the quests they want to do, when they want to do them, and how that central pillar of the single player games is being needlessly compromised to fit the game into the MMO mold.

Build-A-Build Workshop

The Elder Scrolls Online offers players a vast array of character development options in a truly unique system that breaks the molds both MMO veterans and TES fans are familiar with. Considering that classes do little to determine your role, and that the vast majority of in-game skills are shared between the four classes, it comes as no surprise that this subject has more popular misconceptions surrounding it than almost any other I’ve followed.