It seems Elder Scrolls has managed to drum up another apparent controversy, it has a way with this sort of thing. I woke up, read a few comments regarding the new pre-order bonuses and thought “I don’t get it”. I just don’t understand how this is a big deal, sorry but I don’t. I’m trying really hard to build up the required amount of hate but… it’s not working. I have no fucks to give in this circumstance.
Pre-orders are known for giving you extra stuff that you can’t get elsewhere in just about ever other genre. Do I piss and moan about the extra stuff kickstarter supporters are getting.. nope. Do I get upset at that shiny gun in battlefield ops 3.5 that kills me rather quickly and looks awesome doing it that was got from a certain stores pre-order.. no. To me there are far more insidious elements in our industry than what Zenimax is offering, in fact I think it is both rather tame while also offering a decent deal to those that want to support the title earlier.
From what I can see people are just hating on ESO.. well… because. It is a huge and important I.P within gaming that has some very devoted fans, obsessed even about every little thing to do with Elder Scrolls and to them an MMO of their beloved franchise is an abomination. Even to a lot of other people Elder scrolls is a franchise close to their hearts and one they have grown up with. So many experiences and such and they want to see more of this. Then we even have all those people who have only played and only understand Skyrim wanting well… Skyrim again.
To all of those people the Elder Scrolls online does not compare to their experiences and memories: it looks different, it plays different and the many features they loved in other games have changed. I would be remiss in saying that I believe it is different from those experiences as well, it just is but being a mmo, and a theme park one at that, I don’t think we could have expected anything different.
The main point of contention through all of has been arguments over lore for every decision and from what I’ve seen there is no right answer. No matter what they are going to anger someone or some group regarding their approach with the lore and their manipulation of it.
From what I know there hasn’t been a game in this same era and while there have been in-game lore books and other such information pieces about the lore of the era it’s really up to the interpretation of the creators and developers. From the outside you are kind of just putting a jigsaw together without some of the pieces and not knowing the picture beforehand. You can only do so much so sit back, shut up and enjoy the next tale to be told for what it is not what you want it to be.
Critiques of Changes
Due to the arguments around ESO with the lore and it’s relation to certain mechanics are a lot of the arguments seem to be getting rather hypocritical. The biggest comment and criticism I’ve heard about ESO for a long time now is “why are there factions, that’s not ES lore” and “why can’t I pick the race I want and still play with my friends”… well SURPRISE, you can now. But no, now the issue is that it’s apparently inconsistent with the lore that everyone can go everywhere… like there are no possible exceptions to this at all.
I would have begun getting worried if there was some sort of convenience tools within the packs. Bag and bank slots or extra access as that kind of implies game mechanics have been manipulated to compensate. It’s always something I’ve felt changes the early experience, it adds that extra frustration to your early play when your constantly being bothered with an overflowing inventory.
It also doesn’t seem to be coming close to the stupidity of having a plethora of boost consumables or the insanity of selling beta for exorbitant prices. It’s reasonably priced (for those within the borders of america) while offering expanded cosmetic and customisation options.
Ok, let’s go through what you do get.
- Early access
3 days headstart – pretty standard really. You apparently get the 5 days for pre orders through the ESO store only.
- Scuttler pet
There’s always a mini pet
- Treasure Map
Hmmm.. one of the biggest strengths was the exploration focus and these were a big part of that. I feel if this expands the game, blinks them out in map for you then it defeats the purpose of hiding them in the first place
- Race Unlock
DUN DUN DUUUUUUUUUUUUUH!! To me this is not a big deal and I’m usually the one championing for cosmetics. How they increasingly being placed apart from the game at ludicrous prices but this, this isn’t that much of an issue. For the price of the actual game, not added on you get these extra customisation options for your faction if you support the game in advance.
The way this part is worded as well is as being DLC which I think would imply it might be available after release for those picking it up later.
And now for the $80 Online CE version(or 119 in AUS… f#%kers) the extras are:
- Pretty Horsey
Might be a bit of an advantage in the early game as the seemed expensive, but that was only a placeholder price.
- Mudcrab Pet
Elder Scrolls fans seem to have a hard on for mudcrabs, I don’t understand it in the slightest but I’m guessing they’ll lap it up.
- Ring of Mara
Exp when playing with a specific friends. Could be an ok bonus but I don’t see me using it that much as a more play with a variety than just one.
- Imperial Race
DUn DUn DUUUUUUUUHH!! Come on people, it’s a freekin cosmetic. Once you put on armor I’m guessing you wouldn’t even be able to tell the difference between a Breton, a Redguard or an Imperial. In heavy armor and a helm it could be anyone. I’ll be honest here and say the races are mostly very bland you have a few varieties of humans and elves…. then you have a cat and a lizard, but that’s kind of standard for ES now isn’t it.
There are no bits of content specific to the different races, no extra quest lines or advantages just the regular stuff everyone else will be playing. Now, if they were holding back the Khajit from me I would be screaming like a toddler as well but for another human… meh.
Now as for the skills that come with a race it’s all just a big maybe at the moment. From what I’ve seen in developer vids and such these are just passives, and rather minor ones at that. Crafting, swimming, gathering, fishing and certain resistances.. stuff like that. We don’t know what the Imperials have so really, it’s a pointless argument
Now lets compare this to what we’ve been getting recently
- Defiance – Lots of weapons with obscure effects and $100 got you the car as well as more weapons.
- Final fantasy – a hat, mount, and minion for 70
- Neverwinter – $60 for some cosmetics and beta access or 200 for a race and cosmetics. Now what’s more ostentatious, getting another race for an extra 20 of the regular box price for a ptp game or having to pay 200 get the same in an apparent ftp game. But no, this is the bigger issue apparently.
- Guild Wars 2 – $70 would have got you 1 skill, a mini pet and a bunch of really rather pathetic consumables… wooooooo (sarcasm)
- TSW – You got a pet and some exp for $50
oh and don’t forget Landmark too which I got suckered into (willingly of course because oooooo shiny)
Going by those previous titles it actually seems rather mild compared to what are the usual market trends. From what can see so far, the issue is that Elders Scrolls Online is actually giving people who preorder the digital pack something substantial for once.
I get that people are beginning to be worried about ESO having an extensive cash shop with all the cosmetics being crammed in there but, I willing to let a couple things slide in the beginning because we really don’t know yet. A lot of subscription mmo’s have given bonuses with preorders, it actually seems like they are going to be more like say Rift and GW2 in letting you upgrade to these extras later on after release.
Now there is one big issue with these preorder packs when comparing it to others, we know very little about the game. We’ve had bullet points of the main features, a few mixed question and answers spread across the breadth of the internet but very little actual gameplay. At this point, with opening up pre orders now’s the time to actually let people experience the game. A lot of people are very sceptical, and there are many that might be interested but have no idea if it will appeal to them. It’s at that point now ere the need to begin letting a lot more people in and opening the floodgates of information. A couple beta weekends here and there would probably suffice and be gone with the silly NDA.
I beginning to think all these little issues that pop up aren’t actual issues with ESO to say but more to do with a lot of people’s expectations. Right now, ESO has that big flashing sign everyone has created and fixed in place saying that it is going to fail. That it is going to be the next tortanic but on a much grander scale.. the ESpocalypse and this is shaping a lot of the conversation.
Every little move on their part is getting completely deconstructed and then groomed with a fine comb for each and every point that maybe, just maybe indicates an issue which is then proclaimed to the masses. It’s stupid and I hate it, I hate that the industry is just sooooo fucking quick to react without actual information or full experience as a way of drumbing up controversy for their own gain. The way so many people can’t look outside of their own interests for the smallest of moments or need to constantly deride another product to make themselves feel better and the game they play as some higher power. I’ve been there once or twice, you feel wronged by certain games occasional due to expectations and possibilities but really, It’s fucking ridiculous.
Now upon playing it if I find that it is the worst mmo eva, that each and every component fails dramatically or they start gouging players through the cash shop then I will proclaim that to the masses… not before. It’s something I have been looking forward to for a while and this might be coming off as defensive but really, I have the same concerns about it as every one else. I have concerns about Wildstar, about Landmark, about every mmo that is about to come out because so much of them is an unknown. But, because you enjoy the medium you have hope, and that is what we should be projecting alongside our doubts.
#ESO #Rant #MMO