So the NDA has been lifted!
So as a lot of you know I have been following the latest Elder Scrolls Game for a long time, especially as a massive fan of the series. So when Bethesda and Zenimax announced the Elder Scrolls Online, something that a lot of fans have been aching for since well Arena, I was all over that. News on the game almost ground to a halt as soon as they announced the beta. So I applied, with no thought that I would ever get in. They were very strict in the Alpha stage of the Beta, even conducting phone interviews to get the right people, I was a part of this process, and sadly I didn’t get invited to the Alpha test. so I waited patiently for my beta code.
I have played the Beta for as long as my life will allow me to play it during the open times, which is a set weekend throughout the development time, the most recent being 2 weeks ago from the date of this post. so we’ll talk about that one, as its close to release, there will inevitably be more closer to release, but the beta they released this time is at the moment the most recent code.
as you’d expect from a Beta, the game was nowhere near complete, and in true Bethesda form, uncomplete game means Awesome game that needs a little polish. it was easily runnable on a macbook pro. granted at low/medium settings, but those low/medium settings looked like Skyrim on the PS3, so by no means a bad looking game, in fact i went ahead and accepted the possibility of a broken laptop and my fiancé’s wrath by pumping into the highest settings possible, and all I have to say is WOW. the game looks fantastic in the highest settings.
Gameplay wise it is exactly what you’d expect, it is elder scrolls. there are no classes, there are races, you forge your own path. myself and Minx (the fiancé) played for around 10-15 hours each, got to the same level and rough area then assessed our differences in the game, as you’re allowed to do whatever you wish to create your character it was very easy for us to create our own personal character in the game, I opted for the Dumner as always, while Minx went for the High Elf, not much difference in racial traits at the moment, something which is being added later. But the difference in our characters by the end of our sessions was remarkable, we did the same quests at the beginning, had the same choices, i had created a Fire Mage, and Minx had created a gladiator style character, and our playstyles regarding these choices were large, and the quests we were being offered were vastly different.
Not to say there aren’t downsides to an online Elder Scrolls game. There are, one of the major annoyances is oddly enough, other players, they’ll get in your way, you’ll get confused as to who is an NPC and who’s a player, and while you get used to it, if you’re like me and you have played every other game in the series, you’ll find yourself wondering why they tried this, and there is an answer to this, the Alliance War.
The war is the main underlying story arc, there’s the quest lines, which have a main story to follow and endless side missions if you choose to go down that route, as I did, the guilds are all there, bar the dark brotherhood at this point (another one they’re saving for later) and each has their own questlines, you are capable of creating a character that can do anything, but that will take a long time to accomplish. but the war is your main focus. its where the PVP is, and unlike other MMO’s that have a place for the good guys and a place for the bad guys, each of the three Alliances is fighting for control of the entire map, and whoever controls that area dictates whether you’re treated nicely, or with hostility. i didn’t dive into the PVP that much, as there wasn’t much time left at the point of me getting to that section.
as soon as there is another Beta event i will try my best to record some gameplay, take some screens etc. if you have any questions please post them in the comments.
Stay strong Talons