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A most honest review of Skyrim Online (ESO)

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    The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited

    Rating: 1.5 – Bad

    A most honest review of Skyrim Online (ESO)

    Let me start off by saying I got this game absolutely free from a very generous friend, and I normally don’t go to this "extent" and "scale" to critique a game that didn’t cost me anything. I also know this game isn’t Skyrim, I just knew you’d click on the name, but here’s is something for you, I bet you can’t disagree with anything I say if you have played this game and were expecting a common troll review, OR if you haven’t played this game, some stuff may sound nit-picky, but it all adds up to how unpolished and how poorly Bethesda tests their game. (And the hit detection IS AS BAD AS I SAY).

    This game is an MMO, which I guess Bethesda didn’t realize when they brought a story driven game to the table. Right off the bat this causes problems… there is way too much stuff to read. I’m not talking about optional book shelves (no joking, some dungeons have more than 2 dozen book shelves with multiple pages) or the Terms of Service, just NPC talking.

    See, this is an MMO, people grind, and usually as it’s boring to grind, you do it quick, so you can actually play the damn game. There are things called group dungeons, people grind them all day. There many places in dungeons were you HAVE to listen to AI characters talk to proceed with your own personal quest.

    If your random buddies already did their quest? Congrats, you are now being carried. I’ve been kicked because people thought I was away from the controller. I also been kicked for being the only guy who had done the quest, moved on, and tried to solo (Cause I’m a ****ing champ). Oh, that’s the thing with "solo", if say, all your party members quit like babies, you get kicked from the dungeon! Oh, yea, you guessed it, there have been times I’ve missed "turning in" a dungeon quest because of this.

    This game also performs like pure garbage during peek hours, especially during new DLC releases (like soon, which I hope I’ll stop you from wasting 15$ or so). I’m talking lag spikes every 20 seconds on a wired connection!

    The biggest problem is this game’s horrible true identity as "real time RPG" and not a "hack and slash" "adventure" or "Action RPG" game. Back in the day, we had games like final fantasy, who had to be turn based because of the limit of the NES. So you attacked in squares… then I remember Breath of Fire III, not a bad RPG, but remember how your characters just stabbed the air, and the enemy got hit? That’s how this game is set up in terms of hit detection. It’s REALLY bad, the WORSE hit detection I have ever seen in ANY VIDEO GAME!

    Now, even though this game is suppose to be a 1st person by default, and those games never have great melee detection either, you aren’t going to be playing this game in first person. This is because all the attacks that can actually kill you, will be outlined on the ground in red. If you are in 3rd person, you can avoid these attacks SO easily that you’ll want the enemy use these, free time to attack, and an attack you can walk out of. Regular attacks? Must be dodged due to the horrible hit detection. It even makes enemy attacks hilarious, as they do some whirlwind melee moves with red outline, and you can safely melee attack them without getting hurt!

    Nothing else really works well when you compare it to a normal, modern game. Like jumping. You can jump over lava on the ground, but if an enemy puts lava on the ground, you take damage if you jump over it. All spells from a staff home and all bows curve… no skill needed, both literal and figural, there is no aiming in this game. If an arrow is in the air, it will hit the enemy, even if the enemy teleports! A roll needs to be done, again, making normal enemy attacks (and not the flashy strong attacks) more of a priority. All enemy projectiles go through walls, too.

    Remember, you’ll be playing with real people. Some activities require extra meat, whether it’s having way too many people stepping on pressure plates (which is on par with pulling teeth if you happen to be playing with non English speakers) or because a boss has an annoying "yay teamwork" gimmick. I was baffled on to some insults hurled at me… "Red Neck" and "Honky" WAY too much, without me even saying my race, or anything, besides running off, and getting results.

    How did they know I wasn’t an Otaku playing with my Waifu? Or some Malibu metrosexual playing dress up Barbie? I mean, I’m totally wonderbread, but why do people think like this? I’m awesome, charge ahead, and carry so I’m automatically a Red Neck/Honky? I guess: side note – don’t get this game if you are also awesome?

    The dress up barbie aspect of the game, if you are into that, is probably the best improved area from this game apart from any other Bethesda game. You do have very diverse choices when creating a new character as well as 50+ styles of armors. However, if you dress for actual combat, you most likely won’t be able pick your outfit. Like my real life friend, that had two sets on, one was high knight gucci and the other looked like caveman rags. This actually bothered him to where he had to re-farm gear. The other GIANT problem with equips is they are too nice to give us the weight-class, stats, gold worth, etc for armor and weapons, BUT NOT THE STYLE. They give you a little picture, and trust me, I can stand right in front of my 42” TV with 20/20 vision and still have no idea what an Armor is. Considering THEY SELL styles for REAL MONEY, I would think there would be a way to see what style armors are.

    Remember, this game has been out for years now, these things may be nit picky, but I want you to see that Bethesda doesn’t fix these things. This company was one of the first who brought in scumbag DLC. Remember the Horse armor? It’s twenty times worse in this game! You’ll see people on deer and funky wolves… all bought. They even sell merchants and bankers to follow you for around 40$! Are you kidding me? No, Bethesda fixes things like traits on weapon and armors.

    There was once a friend of mine who wanted to make a gold find character, the trait comes randomly on armor, then you upgrade them to make it better. He did that, his novelty was a success. Then one day, they completely changed the "prosperous" trait to one that regenerates hp/mp/sp at a useless rate and never sought after (at least that I know of). Are you going to tell me that was a better option, then say… hmmm JUST ADDING IN ANOTHER TRAIT?!? There are ONLY NINE REAL TRAITS, this isn’t Diablo level with hundreds of additions.

    In fact, I played this game probably about the third of the time it was available, and went through at least 3 characters overhauls from various nerfs. Nerfs are basically issued once enough people cry. Devs need to realize the average video game player doesn’t like losing possibly hundreds of hours of customization over some crybabies that get all salty from losing. These updates always created more problems for the game any ways. See, when trying to get a giant EXP bonus (usually you’ll level up), you need to be in a group. This group is basically an auto match to get into the dungeon. When me and my friend started doing this, it was ok, but the next patch? It wouldn’t give out all the people in the party the big bonus EXP. So we didn’t do dungeons with each other (gee, an MMO where it’s worse to play with your friends? Sweet, right?) till the next patch said it fixed it… Which it not only didn’t fix it, something like 3 times in a row, it would let us in the dungeon then immediately kick us out. Why is a kick bad? Even if you aren’t doing a random dungeon, once you get into ANY dungeon, it starts a magic 15 minute countdown, to which you can’t queue back up into the "automatch" system. Since this game has long loading time, you can enjoy your 13 minute thought process onto why you are still playing this garbage game. You must also conform to the roles the game wants you to be. You are either going to be a Tank, a damage dealer (game wants two per dungeon) or a Healer. There are two giant problems with this, the first being that if you want to be a hybrid you might get kicked often. It’s always the high level try hards crying about not getting healed or having a tank pull enemies. It’s sad. You also must conform the armor types… I’m not suggesting anything but heavy armor on a tank, but if you are a melee damage dealer, you are having at least 5/7 of your slots mid weight because you get a 12% attack power boost. Each armor type has at least 2 of these abilities.

    The next reason is the integrity of the game (part of the game). This game isn’t difficult when played the "correct" way. If you have a tank, an actual tank, he isn’t dying, and if the healer heals, you definitely aren’t dying. Tanks role is generally to stand still (or people will cry) and the healer basically the same thing, close enough to heal and far enough to not take damage. Then you have your damage dealers… ever want to play a game where the enemies just stand still and you have auto heal? Yup, this is what happens in this game, drab system, encourages a laziness, then you get to the few bosses in trails or on Vet that will one shot these same people because they never learned how to block or roll. I’m dead serious.

    Me and my one friend 2-manned our first Vet dungeon, he was a tank with purple armor (purple upgrade is second highest, and very easy to get to). All I did was attack the backs of enemies while my friend stood still, casting shield spells, blocking, and healing a bit. After we were done, well, done with anything, he’d usually say "Yea, there are no chance I was dying." This is made worse by the fact every boss (especially on Vet) has WAY TOO MUCH health. Until you hit endgame (level 160), you are looking at minutes, repeating the same rotation, over and over again. Again, combine this with the fact you might have a tank and healer, you don’t even have to look at the screen! 2 to 3 snorefest bosses a dungeon? Oh boy!

    There are about 20 or so big areas to explore in the game, all but 6 "world bosses" and anything in a group dungeon (which people queue up the automatch to teleport to any ways) per area, all the enemies are the same boring easy fodder you’ll never stop seeing. I’m not joking, I had the lowest possible health and decked out in gear that gave stamina regen and faster running, and pretty much was able to blast through 80% of the game’s content, slaying any quest’s monster with the same strat: Cast shield, attack, mash triangle if I start to die. No mixing it up at all, rarely a threat, never had to changing tactics. If you do manage to die, you can come back to life with the millions of soul gems they hand out. Which brings up another imbalanced problem. There are rarely actual "tense" moments. Even in dungeons, all you need to do for regular enemies is just try to kill one (if you plan on dying) and revive. The little enemies are more dangerous if you solo, as they WILL HIT with MORE CRAP than most bosses (especially due to the horrible hit detection, get ready to be sniped through rocks! I’m not even kidding), and bosses are basically boring easy or impossible from the start. You are going to know right of the bat if you can handle it, and the solution: Find a tank or healer that will carry you if you can’t handle it. The role system only works great on Vet if the bosses spawn enemies or heal, to which you need to prioritize damage dealing and, can’t just be weak and boringly win. The dungeons that have gimmicks? Easy, unless you have nubs who have no clue what they are doing (there are some bosses I think are easier to solo). Besides insta death gimmicks, the only threat with the tank/heal combo (which they expect you to use) are the Area attacks (the ones that makes red outlines on the ground) which are easy to avoid.

    So many more things are a problem in this game. Dueling is beyond annoying, better player doesn’t win, it’s who ever has more "binding" skills, to lock you down. I was dueling a friend. Beat him many times. He threw on some talon lockdown move. He beat me. I said, "Hold on, let me change something." So I made some potions with the unstoppable trait, I go to duel him again, and it did nothing. What the **** is the point of an unstoppable potion that don’t work on every form of binding? Considering potions have a 45 second cooldown (to limit spamming), this wasn’t cool.

    Other problems are everywhere… even the crafting system. Again, you can’t see a full clear picture of armors you want to make before you make them, and if you made a "set", you can’t equip it without it binding to your account (making it impossible to trade). Speaking of sets, why do the special set crafting tables start the tab on the non set version of the item? I’ve accidently did this many times as did my friends… but really, who goes to set tables to make default gear? Why is this even a choice?

    Daggers, Swords, Maces, and Axes all function exactly the same (except a tiny passive that exists for JUST the 2nd handed), as well as all the two handed weapons, one bow, and 4 staves (fire/ice/lightning/healing, and have no idea how they differ). Would you play a Call of Duty MMO if there was basically 5 different weapons just all reskinned? All the weapons stats are even the same. No matter what style, what set, doesn’t matter, all weapons have the same base stats.

    The leveling system is unique, but it’s ultimately trash. Everything is scaled, your equipment to your level, as well as enemies (again, making my claim that you’ll be fighting the same boring same strength enemies the entire game). So in the event you level up in a dungeon, and you level up without a new set of armor in your inventory (which you won’t have as they only drop equip at or below your level, and odd number levels cannot be made), you actually get weaker. Yes, you get weaker. This wasn’t good in Dead Island, and it’s not good here. Equipment stops at level160, so until you hit that threshold, you can’t even focus on getting good equips… makes planning horrible. Yes, this means as long as your equipment is at your level, you are strong enough at level 3 as you are at level 40, and can literally do fine at end game areas.

    Speaking of equipment, everything is set based… basically most sets (people will usually have 2 5-piece sets + 1 2-peice set). The normal sets add 4 stats, usually including a new ability… so if you want to keep up with everyone, there is not way you aren’t going to be farming… what’s annoying are only certain enemies in certain areas drop certain parts of the sets, so you may have to either grind boring bosses in empty caves or fight world bosses over and over again. Most equipment bonuses are pretty close to each other within the same weight class… if you have heavy armor, expect to get extra health and defense, so besides the two exclusive 5th piece bonuses (which may just be a single bigger stat boost) most builds eventually end up like each other. I mean, if you are going to be a damage dealer, you aren’t going to use defense+ armors for the same reason tanks what use damage buffs… conformity, yay! (And you’ll be called a nub, and you’ll get kicked from groups!)

    Why are diamonds valued at ZERO gold? Why does my inventory swap items in the same group around when I’m placing them into the bank? Is this game actively trying to be bad and annoying? Why do 25 pieces of wood need to come in a shipment, and if I’m at max inventory capacity, I can’t take it out of the shipment, even through the shipment disappears the second it’s empty? Why are the role icons so low contrasting, that I can’t even tell who’s a the tank and who’s the healer without going right up to the TV?

    Seriously, why? Why does this game do SO MUCH bad, are they trying to be bad? Least this game doesn’t have the game/entire character breaking glitches of past Elder Scrolls and Fallout games, with this game, it has odd irky things… like your weapon disappearing, not being able to use any skills, or my personal favorite, getting kicked in the middle of a dungeon for "spamming" when I didn’t even open the chat menu! Hell, I once got disconnected for being idle… DURING A LOADING SCREEN.

    See, I got this game for free, and I played it in the later days as a chore. I won’t lie, they banned me for "Gold selling activities" because someone was going to pretty much buy the DLC’s, something MANY guilds do for good members. I donate 1mil gold as a result (if I was running a store, it wouldn’t of been non-transferable PSN codes and I would of made mad alts… like the Chinese bot farmers, which come back everyday. LOL, you think THEY are putting that money back into the game?). If you want any indication of how smart the devs are, they literally turn away money. How is that a good choice? Well I made a good choice, no more buggy Bethesda games. I’m disabled with brain damage, how am I going to say no to hand outs?

    If I give my nephew a PSN card to get online to play a game with me, is that a ToS violation? Seriously, that was the extent to which was found to ban me. Do you really want to risk buying months of DLC access and premium context when they can ban you from out of game activities, with no due process, for something that’s been done forever?

    Remember that Xmen beat em up that was in arcades a lil more than a decade ago? When I was still in grade school, I remember being at an arcade and I gave my brother and his friend a quarter each to help me out… If that arcade was Bethesda, I’d been kicked. Same idea… do you think me and my friends would want to go back to that?

    Think about if this mentality was applied to the bar scene, patrons getting banned for buying girls drinks. That would just create a sausagefest… oh wait… now I understand why there so many sexuality frustrated men in this game dressing up as chicks. (Not that there’s anything wrong with it).

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