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Genre: Adventure & RPG
Min OS X: 10.7


The Elder Scrolls Online - Review Part 1
May 21, 2014 | Ted Bade
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Interaction in ESO is both keyboard and mouse driven. While basic interaction is easy, combat can be a bit more complicated. This is especially true if you play more than one character. Each will have a different set of combat actions that make sense, and it is up to the player to arrange the setup of the limited combat keys. Searchable objects will show their contents and allow the player to take any or all objects it contains. Intelligent beings will speak to you. If they are a vendor, quest giver, or information NPC, there are menu driven choices to converse with them and/or to access their store or quest. Monsters will attack if alerted to your presence either by interaction with it or if you get too close. Basic interaction in ESO is pretty intuitive.

Since the world of Tamriel is relatively large, The player needs a way to get around. Walking/running is always an option. There is also the ability to sprint for a (very) short while, until your energy runs out. As you explore the towns and areas of the country side, you will also find Wayshrines. They become available for use once you find them. Travel between way shrines is free and pretty quick. You can also teleport to any Wayshrine you have found, by selecting it on your map and paying a fee. There are also horses one can get, which require a bit of maintenance, but they are a bit faster than running everywhere. You can improve the horses abilities by feeding it when you are near stables in major towns. Different feeds increase different aspects of the mount, such as speed and how much they can carry. This is a way to kind of level your game mount.

When exploring a big world itís a good idea to have a detailed map. Typically, the map you get in ESO starts off without a lot of detail, and is filled in as you explore. The Map also provides terrain information and includes symbols of interesting things, like camps, towns, wayshrines, and other items of adventuring interest in the area. Locations you need to visit for quests are also shown on the map. You can zoom in and out, and as you zoom in, the detail of the local area increases. I had a few issues with using the map. It was a bit inconsistent with how the explored areas appeared. Areas I explored would show up blank when I zoomed in or out, but would show up correctly if redid the zoom. It was a minor issue but annoying.

The journal is the place to find information about the quests you have accepted, as well as for some information and hints about them. There is also an option to show on your map, the location of the next step you need to do in the quest. This is a handy feature. The journal also provides access to the ďLore LibraryĒ, a copy of all the in-game books you have located. The library lists all of the 297 possible books to find, but you can only access those located. They are listed alphabetically, in case you decide to go back and read one. Finally the journal is where the game keeps your list of achievements. Typical of this type of game, when you do something the first time, or some relatively rare action, the game will give you an achievement.

The Inventory is where you gain access to all that junk in your packs. One nice feature of the ESO inventory system is that you can select a category to see only items that fit into that category. For instance, if you want to equip that neat new bow your character was just awarded, you click on the Weapon category, it limits what you see to the weapons in your pack. There are also categories for Apparel, Consumable (things you can eat and drink, as well as maps and recipes), materials (items used in crafting skills), Miscellaneous (anything that doesnít fit into the main categories), Quests (Quest items), and finally Junk. Along with a name, the value of the item is also shown. The inventory section also gives one access and an iconic list of the items you are currently wearing. When you mouse over any item shown in the inventory, a box appears with more detailed information about the item. Itís really easy to pick up a lot of stuff running around in this game, so it makes sense to have a plan about what to keep. Itís too easy to go crazy picking up everything that you can.

Luckily, for a goodly game gold fee, you can buy space in a bank. The bank area is available to all of the characters you create, and it works across alliance boundaries. Another nice feature is that crafting items placed in the bank can be accessed from the crafting table, the place where you make things with your crafting skills. This means one doesnít have to make a trip to the bank first to pick up the items they need to build something. Your carry inventory can also be increased if you find a vendor that has the ability to do this.

There is a lot to learn to play ESO effectively. A steep learning curve to understanding the game can be a lot of fun for people who like to put the time and effort into such a thing. However, ESO isnít so complex that a person cannot quickly get started and have fun. From a casual gamer point of view, a player will be up and running in little time. The game can get as complex or stay as simple as you like. There doesnít appear to be a real need to do crafting, although, as mentioned, it can be used to enhance your character, and thus make it easier to succeed in the game.



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Archives  Reviews  The Elder Scrolls Online - Review Part 1