In 2014 ZeniMax Online Studios developed Elder Scrolls Online as the first multiplayer installment of The Elder Scrolls Series. You can play ESO across four platforms – Microsoft Windows, OS X, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4. Critics gave mixed reviews about it, but after the re-release and rebrand in 2015, their opinions changed for the better. It became The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited.
It used to have a standard subscription model like most MMORPGs. But in March 2015 it transitioned into a buy-to-play model with an optional subscription and microtransactions.
The game is a mixture of quests, free-roaming exploration of the world and random events. There are ten different races available:
- Elvish races: Dunmer (Dark Elves), Altmer (High Elves), Bosmer (Wood Elves) and Orsimer (Orcs)
- Bestial races: Khajiit and Argonians
- Humans: Nords, Redguards, Bretons, and Imperials
When customizing your character, you can choose from six classes – Nightblade, Sorcerer, Dragonknight, Necromancer, Warden, and Templar. Each class has different spells, passives, and attacks.
There are also seven different crafting skills – Clothier, Enchanting, Woodworking, Blacksmithing, Alchemy, Jewelry Crafting, and Provisioning.
The expansions unlock different content. There are three chapters (expansions) and a lot of DLCs (downloadable content). The chapters are – Morrowind, Summerset, and Elsweyr.
The best aspects of the game according to players from around the globe are:
- World Design and Exploration – the level of detail in the game is simply amazing. You can wander for hours, find treasures, random storylines, and quests. Also scattered around you can find notes about the NPCs and quests.
- Crafting – it is complex, useful, and engaging. Not like other MMOs where crafting is just a part of the tedious grinding. In ESO your crafted gear is desirable.
- Questing – it is fun and immersive. In many other MMOs, you need to collect several wolves or enter a quest hub to get all the quests. In ESO’s quests appear as you explore the world, and your choices affect the storyline.
- Skill system – it’s different than other MMOs, you get a skill and perfect it the more you use it. You can change your playstyle on-the-go with only a few skill points.
- Armor – maybe it’s the best feature. You could wear anything you like. It doesn’t matter what class you are. You could wear any mixture of medium, heavy, and light armor you want.
- Performance – unlike other MMOs, stability and performance are high-end. You have the option to customize and tweak your performance to better fit your hardware.
- Lore – in the timeline of The Elder Scrolls franchise, ESO is the earliest in the series. It is super immersive and has a lot of exciting storylines and different ways you can experience them.
- Class balance – this aspect is awe-inspiring. Many games have problems balancing their classes, but ESO did a great job. Even if there are moments when you feel something is too strong or too weak, it’s almost always about how good a player is rather than how useful the skill used is.