I can hardly believe that it has now been three years since I began playing the MMO known as The Elder Scrolls Online. It officially launched on 4 April 2014, and has evolved and changed exponentially from that date! Some of we obsessive…uh, DEDICATED! Yeah, that’s it, dedicated gamers – we did something called “pre-ordering” which allowed for an extra week of play before the unwashed masses hurled themselves into the world of Tamriel. Pre-ordering gave exclusive collector’s items (in-game and out), special pets, and a unique mount as a reward at the end of the first year. Of course, extra gaming time was had by those of us who applied for the chance to do some “beta-testing” – that’s where you play the game on a special test server and report any bugs, as the game developers are using that to work out major issues before the game is launched. I was involved in two beta tests; one in January of 2014, and one at the end of February of the same year.
When TESO was first launched, it was free-to-play (F2P)…well, the game cost money, obviously, but no subscription was required initially. That hasn’t changed much, in that one can still buy and play it. “Subbing” to the game, though, offers extra bonuses and benefits so I don’t mind paying a bit for those benefits. The subscription option started after the first year, and a “crown store” was also added. This “store” is basically a way to purchase in-game things with RL money, and of course, the “crowns” also cost RL money. So yes, the game is a business and they are always looking for ways to maintain a healthy subscriber base, while keeping the interest of the casual gamers who don’t want to subscribe for any given reason. I understand the pros and cons of “subbing” vs. “F2P,” and prefer to pay – it’s nice to have the choice, at least, and subbing gets you extra crowns every month. Save them up for those limited-time offers from the crown store, and buy extra when the crown packs go on sale if you want to splurge on something silly. Options are always good, in my not-so-humble opinion!
There has been so much added in the past three years that I’ll just focus on the three additions that I enjoy the most. This post will be long enough without trying to talk about every single thing! There have been so many changes already, and many more are on the way over the next few months. There is a lot to look forward to, even though I haven’t come close to completing a lot of the quests that are available. It just means that I will be entertained by this game for many years to come!
First off, the addition of “personalities” has been hilarious, and makes for a lot of fun during guild events or role-play. One can equip a personality which enables you to reel and stumble about like a drunken slob, stand with arrogant military demeanor, strut about cheerfully, or stand with shoulders slumped in melancholy – and those are just a few of the many that have been offered! The newest one, coming out tomorrow, allows one to don the thoughtful personality of a scholar. Can’t wait to see how that one turns out! I pretty much like the crown store in general, and it definitely forces me to hang on to my crowns and only spend them on something that really appeals to me. I never go overboard with shopping IRL anyway, so I’m thrifty and selective in-game as well!
Secondly, the addition of “crafting bags” have been a blessing for those of us who like to make our own armour and weapons. There was never enough bag space or bank space for holding all of the materials necessary to craft any given item – so, those of us who subscribe get the benefit of the crafting bag. It is, essentially, an extra storage spot which holds nothing but crafting materials; any materials collected are automatically stored in the crafting bag, which is shared with all of the characters you have on your account. No need to switch things in and out of banks anymore, and no need to be selective in which materials you pick up. Of course, this now means that you have to race other people to mine a node of ore, hack at a hunk of wood, or scoop up some water from a stream for your alchemical needs!
Last, but not least, the player housing. I’m really happy that it was finally added! Even though you can’t use your house as an extra storage area the way that you could in Ultima Online, it still offers a nice, private place for guild events or more “adult” role-playing. They are quite expensive, so it makes being in a good trading guild a must! At least owning every single house offered isn’t necessary for titles or achievements, and only three appeal to me, so I have plenty of time to save up the gold or crowns needed for the ones that I want. I have one already; only two more to go!
Well, I’ll just close this off with some “Then & Now” screen-shots which show some of the changes, amusing bugs, troublesome bots, and characters with hilarious avatars or memorable names – and, of course, the original trailers for the game. I will be broadcasting some game-play later on as well, so bookmark the link and tune in for the fun!
Close-up of a “bot-train”
Bots stacking up
So many lizards!
Run away, silly bot!
Um – a healing…what?
I found Smaug! He’s smaller than I thought he’d be…
OMG – it’s Manbearpig!
Sagittarius the Archer
That’s one big baby!
Rude goings-on in the bank
Before armour-dyeing capabilities…
…and after. Armour dyeing began in August of 2014.
Hmmm…something’s missing, here!