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14 июня 2018 г. 11:56

The state of Elder Scrolls Online: 3 months after launch

A week after E3, I logged into Elder Scrolls Online expecting the worst. It was a pivotal moment for the future of ESO in the notoriously fickle MMORPG genre—the colorful rival WildStar had gone live but days before, the new "Craglorn" patch was settling into maturity, and most importantly, the first month of subscriptions had run dry for most early adopters. After the barrage of criticisms from critics and bitter players alike, I'd all but convinced myself that mine would be the only name shining on my favorite guild's roster upon entering Tamriel.

I couldn't have been more wrong. I logged in to find almost every player at Veteran Rank 12 rushing to complete one of the new "Trials," and they bugged me about why I hadn't been logging in as though all the factors above weren't into play. I needed that; it gave me hope that the roughly 400 hours I've spent with the game to Buy Chaos Orb date weren't for naught, and that other players shared the same begrudging affection for it as I do. The pieces, it seems, are in place to get back on track after a rocky start. ZeniMax has shown some competence so far in delivering an end game that its loyal players want to play, but now the question is whether it can overcome lingering issues with balance, fresh content, and a tedious leveling experience beyond the level cap.

MMORPGs depend on the lively interactions and coordinated group efforts that greeted me upon my return, and ESO inexplicably holds this aspect of its experience at a distance. Reaching the level cap in most of its competitors resembles crossing a finish line of sorts, granting access to better loot through high-level dungeons and raids as a reward. In ESO, it's more like starting another lap. MMOs seldom take you from the high note of battling a fiend like a daedric lord to knocking you back to the beginning in the style of an action RPG like Path of Exile , but ESO insists on making you play through the leveling content of the other two factions before you reach the true level cap of Veteran Rank 12.

Reaching the highest veteran rank takes around 300 hours, which discourages players from leveling alts. Worse, the design whisks players out of their faction homelands and ships them off to the lands of their enemies, resulting in Nords who hang around and do their business in High Elf cities. It shatters the concept of a shared ”culture” among members of a common faction that usually makes faction-based MMOs so appealing, and it lessens replay value since you've already seen every quest by the time you're done. Think of it this way: It's like starting a Horde character in World of Warcraft and ending up playing through Alliance zones by the time you're done. It's hard to dredge up the conviction to shout "For the Horde!" when you're hobnobbing with https://www.mmoah.com/path-of-exile


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