Millions of Elder Scrolls fans flocked to the release of the first online adaptation of Tamriel but for many, The Elder Scrolls Online failed to deliver on many aspects of the game. We previously highlighted the greatest features Elder Scrolls Online has to offer but now it’s time to turn to the dark side as we reveal our list of the most disliked, broken or useless features and mechanics currently in the game.
#5: Traveling Is Exhausting
One of my biggest peeves with The Elder Scrolls Online is the vast amount of time wasted as I continuously backtrack on myself for quests and other objectives. I can recall quite vividly Matt Frior discussing ESO’s travel mechanics before launch and he specifically mentioned that the developers wanted to give players the tools to avoid growing tired of exploration, however I still find myself spending far too much time walking on trodden ground.
There are some systems in place, such as player mounts and Wayshrines (buildings that allow you to teleport to other Wayshrines for free, or you can pay to teleport to one if you’re not in range). I fully admit that it is my personal choice to avoid spending my gold on teleporting and it’s common in the MMO genre to have such gold sinks in place but the maps on ESO are far bigger than your typical MMO game and there’s not always a Wayshrine nearby.
Okay, I admit I’m nitpicking a bit with this one but it does get on my nerves.
#4: Certain Quests Are Far Too Story-Heavy
I’m likely to get a bit of flak for this one but bear with me. I am absolutely in love with the quests in The Elder Scrolls Online but the quality of NPC characters and depth of dialogue and story do come at a price, and a rather hefty one at that. I’ve found myself completing traditional MMO style quests that can take up to 90 minutes. I won’t deny that they are a thousand times more enjoyable than your average quest but at the same time, it really limits the speed in which players can progress.
The traditional MMO experience sees players earning new items, skills and abilities on an almost hourly basis but I quite often felt my character stagnated and I found myself lacking incentive when it came to collecting new quests. I love the quests in ESO, I love the content and the dialogue, but I would have enjoyed more of a balance between the two.
#3: Night & Day Cycle
Although The Elder Scrolls Online does feature varying times of day and night, I don’t feel the world embraces those changes as they did in previous Elder Scrolls games. One of the most attractive elements of the Elder Scrolls franchise is the feeling that you’re exploring a living, breathing world. A regular day and night cycle is accompanied by varying NPC behavior, different locations becoming accessible and entirely new quest chains appear. During my time in Tamriel thus far I haven’t really noticed any change in behavior. NPC’s tend to follow pre-determined paths while the only real visible change is a few enemies that don’t spawn during certain moon cycles. It’s something I really hope they expand on in the future.
#2: The New Player Experience Needs Refining
It’s very difficult as an Elder Scrolls fan to recognize problems when first entering ESO. Our loyalty to the franchise, huge expectations and rose-tinted glasses almost guarantee our willingness to overlook many problems but there was one thing that even I couldn’t ignore during my early days in The Elder Scrolls Online, character progression at early levels. In most MMORPG games the first 5-10 hours of gameplay will see your character unlock a huge variety of abilities, passives, perks and other elements that create obvious levels of change and
#1: Dark Anchor Events Are Lackluster
The Dark Anchor events were one of my most anticipated features for The Elder Scrolls Online. Promising intense encounters with adventurers standing side by side to drive back the forces of Molag Bal. The reveal trailer offered an incredible CGI scene featuring the Dark Anchor and it wasn’t all that far from what I had imagined before playing. Sadly however, the feature did not live up to my expectations. I understand that they become more exciting as you progress and ally with more players, but my first few encounters felt lackluster in just about every way. We would either totally destroy anything that spawned in just a few seconds or 1-2 people would spend 10 minutes kiting while 1-2 others took out the enemies, either outcome was disappointing when compared to similar features in the likes of Rift.
So that wraps up this rather negative outlook on The Elder Scrolls Online. Before I get stampeded by a mob of angry Dovahkiin please remember that this article is not saying ESO is doomed to fail and it totally blows, we’re simply pointing out some of its biggest issues and areas of disappointment in its current state. Do you agree or disagree with any of the entries above? Post a comment below, we’d love to hear your thoughts.