Going back to an MMO can be a daunting undertaking, even more so when you start from scratch. You have to get reacquainted with the controls, the game economy, how to properly utilize your abilities for your character, and more. Complicating things further is the bevy of DLC that expand the world beyond its original scope. Elder Scrolls Online (ESO) was a game that I very much enjoyed in the beginning, but eventually just stopped playing altogether. Recently the game, with the Morrowind content, was on sale for only ten dollars in the PS Store. So essentially I paid ten dollars to get access to the Morrowind DLC, which isn’t bad. After spending some time with the game again, it has really made me want to get back into it. This is not a review, but more so a reflection of what once was and what is now.
A Fun Time Questing
I remember when I first played the base game, and a lot of the activities were fetch quests; go kill things or go here and talk to this person. It made the experience feel more like a chore than anything else. Now, there were some very interesting missions throughout the game that let you take advantage of sneaking and others that ended with some cool boss fights. Currently, there are still some fetch quests, but it feels as if there is just a little more depth to what you are doing. You still have to go get the thing, mind you, but that thing may be the item to revive an important character or may lead to another even bigger quest. It gives what you’re doing just enough substance to make me interested in what is going on. There are some interesting stories tied to a lot of these missions. And I will admit that in the past I would usually skip the dialogue, but now going through quests I’ll take just a moment to appreciate what’s being said. You can tell a solid amount of effort was put into even the most trivial of quests and it’s a great deal of fun to just run up to a complete stranger and see what unfolds next. Most of what you’ll do in the Morrowind DLC has also led to some very cool places, such as a large underground Dwemer tomb.
The main storyline for the Morrowind DLC is actually well put together. You come across some interesting characters and it goes through a few twists and turns, even going so far as making a very cool call back to one of Skyrim’s missions. I enjoyed the entire quest from beginning to end, and I am excited to experience other similar experiences.
A Ton More Customization
On top of the multiple races (a new class called the Warden is available when you purchase the Morrowind DLC), factions and whatnot to choose from, ESO is full of ways to make your character in your own image. You can now change your appearance to suit your specific tastes in terms of what armor you want to showcase (regardless if it is light, medium or heavy) with the new transmog system. The cool thing is you can complete quests, or other crafting based missions to unlock a whole slew of new armor appearances. I just completed a quest line that gives you a whole armor set based on the NPC you are helping. Now I can still get better armor, but if I ever want to don the Scarlet Judge armor set, I can. It’s a system that really encourages you to go out and complete all sorts of activities to get all sorts of cool armor.
Earlier I mentioned that some quests send you to some very cool places. Maybe it was me not paying to much attention in my previous experience with the game, but the environments are awesome. Especially with what I’ve seen so far in the Vvardenfell area (Morrowind DLC). There’s a big volcano in the middle of the map (which plays a part in the main quest line eventually) that setups the landscape and leads you to some very cool places. For example, I just got out of one dungeon that is nothing but torched earth, lava deposits and large lava monsters that beat me to death (still working on this one). It was a very different setting than the main city of Vivec and just makes the game feel more alive.
Vivec is the central hub area in Vvardenfell that is located at the southern tip of the island. Traveling north you will come in contact with the giant volcano and there you’ll find yourself surrounded by nothing but lava and ash. Traveling from Vivec up north and then to different parts of the word, such as Stonefalls and Glenumbra, really puts it in perspective how each area is different.
The More the Merrier
One thing I can say that’s stayed the same between now and ESO’s infancy is that playing with friends is still WAY more entertaining. My first go around was packed full of great moments because I always had two or three people playing with me. This is still the case. My gaming partner in crime, Ydocvader, and myself have only played this game together since getting back into it (he may or may not have adventured without me for like an hour, but hey who’s counting. I’m over it). Running through dungeons and yelling at each other, watching the other go the wrong way for a mission, or even experiencing the other player slash a guard to then get nuked, makes the whole experience that much more enjoyable.
To sum it all up, Elder Scrolls Online is still fun and has a lot more to offer. With the near limitless customization options, interesting questlines, and more territory to explore than you can shake a stick at. If you’re looking to get into an MMO, and want one with an active and vibrant player base, you might want to check out Elder Scrolls Online.