The original announcement regarding the financial model for The Elder Scrolls Online was met with mixed receptions but now that players are free to share their experiences, has that opinion changed?
The general response to pay-to-play announcements is always the same, regardless of the actual game. On one hand you have those that are willing to pay for extra quality, a quality that’s not usually tied to free-to-play titles, and on the other hand the players that are never willing to pay a monthly subscription. Occasionally a few smaller voices can be heard, debating the pros and cons but for the most part MMO gamers are in one field or the other.
Personally I feel the group supporting the general increase in quality provided by the pay-to-play genre is growing smaller with every poor release. Titles like Star Wars: The Old Republic have proven that hype and backing from a strong IP are not always enough to carry a pay-to-play title to success but can The Elder Scrolls Online succeed where ToR failed?
Now that the NDA has lifted players and journalists alike are free to share their thoughts and opinions on the game and as is normal with a closed beta, the opinions are mixed. Many players and outlets are reporting that it’s an experience true to The Elder Scrolls franchise while others are saying it’s a typical MMO experience, lacking the excitement needed to warrant a monthly subscription but what do we here at Camelot Post think?
Sadly I wasn’t given as much time in the beta as many of you but I did sample enough to get a general feel for the game. The character creation and introduction to the world were both amazing, managing to duplicate the excitement of playing a new Elder Scrolls game perfectly. There are epic moments, great NPC interactions and plenty of combat in just the first 30 minutes of gameplay and it almost had me convinced. That was until I stepped out into the wider world.
Once the introduction sequence was over I was thrown into Tamriel expecting a fully fledged Elder Scrolls experience, letting myself forget the required restrictions and restraints needed for an MMO to work. Sadly however the ugly face of MMO mechanics showed itself before too long and I was reminded that it’s just not possible to offer the trademark freedom of Elder Scrolls in an MMO.
Sure, there was a large map that I could explore to my hearts content but I faced problems with level restrictions before too long. Don’t misunderstand my experience, I really did enjoy many elements of the game but as a package, I do not think it will survive for long in the pay-to-play market.
I have no doubt that The Elder Scrolls Online will still make for an incredibly successful MMO under the free-to-play banner but if it manages to retain a subscription model 12-14 months after release, I’ll print this article and eat it.
What about you? If you’ve tried The Elder Scrolls Online would you be willing to pay for it once its released?