Some ESO improvements are proving to be controversial…
As you probably know, this weekend marked the final large-scale ESO beta, and we’re only a few weeks away from the game’s Early Access launch. All told, over 5 million gamers have registered to play in The Elder Scrolls Online beta tests, and odds are you had a chance to play in one or more game sessions. While the betas have been both fun and frustrating at times (bugs, unable to join the server, etc.), this final test was memorable in many ways.
As we quickly approach launch day, ZeniMax Online Studios has been busy making improvements to the game, and promised such in their latest emailed beta invitation. As a player you knew something was up the moment you started to patch the game, for the latest game patch was over 600 MB in size — far larger than the previous two betas. Once the download completed and you were locked and loaded, the final beta allowed you to experience the ESO improvements firsthand:
- Combat system changes were made in regards to animations, audio, and player collisions with NPCs (no more passing directly through NPCs in the middle of a fight).
- Re-worked introductory experience that streamlined the opening tutorial (no more escaping Coldharbour to wake up in an early stage starter island; players now began the game in the first major city of their Alliance).
ESO Improvements Marked With Controversy
While most gamers readily accept the changes made to The Elder Scrolls Online combat system (passing through an enemy was a wonky immersion killer and needed to be changed), there are a number of players not at all happy with the re-worked introduction.
According to Matt Firor, Game Director of The Elder Scrolls Online, the introduction was changed due to beta survey results that showed players felt too constrained at the beginning of the game. In a recent piece published on the ESO website, Firor writes:
The game was originally designed that way so that new players were not overwhelmed, and could learn the game before dealing with more challenging situations. But because ESO is about choice, we made adjustments to those opening hours of the game in response to the beta feedback. After exiting the modified, more streamlined tutorial in Coldharbour, new characters now wake up in the first major city of their respective Alliance as opposed to being forced to go through the starter islands. We’re adjusting the level curve around those cities so that you’ll have plenty to do and discover without running into enemies that are too powerful at the start. If you want to go back and experience these islands (which have been re-leveled to provide a regular content experience) the option is there, but players who prefer can just start exploring the rest of Tamriel.
Despite these good intentions, some players feel that the re-worked introduction is confusing to new players, and that level progression is rushed. Some have even opined that the new intro ruins the feel of the game entirely, making ESO into just another run-of-the-mill MMO.
To get a feel for the controversy, read what some players have posted on The Elder Scrolls Online Facebook page:
While the re-worked introduction may not be as controversial as the monthly subscription charge (see Is The Elder Scrolls Online A Ripoff At $14.99 A Month?), the recent ESO improvements only go to show how difficult it is to please everyone. Many fans have certain expectations as to what an Elder Scrolls game should be, and The Elder Scrolls Online is a unique animal, melding the rich legacy of The Elder Scrolls franchise with an MMO experience.
So what do you think? Are you happy with the recent ESO improvements in regards to the game’s introduction, or did you like things the way they were? Share your opinions in the Speak Your Mind section below.