5 for Friday: Why I Love the Multiverse of The Elder Scrolls Online!

On Tuesday, 6 June, The Elder Scrolls Online (TESO) is launching the next chapter in the series, on all platforms that the game is played on: PC/Mac, Xbox, and whichever version of the PlayStation is being used now. That chapter is a resurrected, updated version of The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind. I’ve had early access to this new, online version of Morrowind since 22 May, as I pre-ordered the collector’s edition as soon as I was able to! I’ve been playing TESO itself since it came out three years ago, and figured I’d give the top five reasons why I’m still enjoying it after all this time. I was also inspired to do this post because I happened to see a TV commercial for Morrowind during a Torchwood marathon that I was binge-watching on BBC America over the weekend. With that, here we go!

1. User-friendly: I love the fact that, like with The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, one doesn’t need to have played the entire series to know what is going on or how to play – you can just jump right in and run anywhere you wish. In many ways, starting the game as a newbie is easier now than it was when TESO first came out! For example, there are now in-game tutorials when there initially weren’t. Also, a subscription isn’t required; I personally subscribe due to the benefits and bonus perks of doing so.

2. Diverse, endless variety, and multi-layered gameplay: I love the fact that designing and customizing your avatar is available, as many games have very limited “cookie-cutter” options so your character looks pretty much the same as any other person’s who might be playing that specific character class. I love going into a bank in-game and seeing all of the different appearances and costumes of other players! One can create a short, stout Orc, or a thin, lanky Dark Elf. In TESO there are 10 playable races, each with their own unique passive abilities. There are five character classes, each one with a unique set of offensive and defensive fighting skills. The ranges of weapons and armour-sets that can be used are countless! I enjoy playing around with different combinations to see which ones complement each other the best.

3. Puzzles: In your travels you come across many different dungeons, or quests which may have you delving underground to locate specific items. Some of these quests require you to solve a puzzle of some sort in order to advance, and I find those to be loads of fun! They could be picture tiles, riddles, or light-shifting pedestals, just to name a few. Some are easy to solve, while others are real brain-teasers! They definitely provide a perfectly valid excuse for reading the lore-books you run across, which brings me to the next item on my list.

4. History and lore: Just as with the real world, the virtual world of TESO has a varied and rich history, as well as lore unique to the specific races. There are countless books which can be found almost everywhere you go, and reading them can teach you newer skills, raise your character level, or mark locations on your map for future exploration. Some give you clues to a quest you might be undertaking, and some are just good entertainment! The people who created and developed this series get high praise from me and all of the other gamers who enjoy and appreciate the historic depth put into this game.

5. Last, but certainly not least, the graphics and details. I can’t say enough about how awesome the graphics in this game are, and the various little details which make it stand head and shoulders above other games which are more popular with others. For example, the sun rises in the east and sets in the west, just as in real-life. When the day is clear and the sun is out, the shadows cast are incredibly sharp and match the form of the object casting the shadow. Sound-effects are top-notch as well: when you’re riding your horse, for instance, the hoof-beats make a different sound depending on what terrain you happen to be crossing at the time. Water splashes around your feet if you’re jogging through a swamp, or you can hear the rustling of grass if you’re taking a short-cut across a farmer’s meadow. Birdsong and animal noises are also noticeable when you happen to be in the proper areas; everywhere you go, there is something to see and do!
There are a dozen more reasons I could list and I could go on and on, but that would interfere with important gaming time. Also, I have to update my guild-recruitment script by Monday, and need to change the in-game guild message of the day. I’m hosting an in-game house-warming party to celebrate the opening of our grand, spacious new guild-hall – and no, the celebration will not be broadcast on my Twitch channel! Private party, by invitation only…

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