The Elder Scrolls Online Preview
publisher: ZeniMax Media
developer: Bethesda Softworks
|ESRB rating: RP
release date: 2014
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I admit it right off the bat; I’ve never played an Elder Scrolls game (even though I’ve meant to play Skyrim, really) and I’m not a really a fan of MMOs. However, despite these facts and despite the fact that I needed a Bethesda representative to hold my hand and tell me how to do everything, I had a blast playing The Elder Scrolls Online.
Sometimes I wish I could look like this.
I was allowed to play for up to two hours, but unfortunately, due to scheduling conflicts, I was only able to play for 45 minutes. That is probably the longest time anyone could have had playing any demo on the PAX East floor, but with The Elder Scrolls Online (TESO), it definitely didn’t feel long enough, especially since it took me nearly 20 minutes just to feel comfortable enough with the controls to really explore.
The story of TESO takes place 1000 years before Skyrim. Molag Bal, the Daedric Prince of Domination and Enslavement, has merged Tamriel with Oblivion, and three factions—the Alderi Dominion, the Ebonheart Pact, and the Daggerfall Covenent—have all declared war on both the evil that threatens and Tamriel and well, each other. Each faction has its own set of races, each with their own unique characteristics and skills. As you level up, you can easily customize your character to your personal play style. In addition, you can earn skill points for this customization by completing certain quests or finding certain chests, not just by leveling up from experience gained.
Since I did not have as much time as was probably needed for a strong demo, I really did not get a chance to experience much beyond the basic abilities my character came with, namely blocking, moving, attacking, and heavy attacking. I was able to unlock a couple of skills to help me in my fight, and they were obviously a small sample of what I could do if I stuck with this character to just level 10, not to mention level 99. After I grew more comfortable with the controls and finally had a spell set in my hotkeys, the real fun of TESO quickly unfolded. As I completed one quest, suddenly I had another, and then I stumbled upon another, which unlocked another. I was in questing overload, the exact reason why I hadn’t picked up Skyrim yet. I am known for being a side quest junkie (Yep, same here. – Ed. Vader), and I will stay up for hours on end, mumbling, “Just one more side quest…” TESO is obviously created for such junkies. I could easily see myself playing this MMO as my first MMO ever, and yes, that thought really frightened me (Just so you know, Keri, you’re not alone. I never played an MMOG in my entire life. – Ed. Vader).
But then I suddenly had to depart, and as much as it made me sad initially, I felt like I was escaping something that could be my downfall. That said, however, I’m seriously considering picking up Skyrim when I get home.
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