Elder Scrolls Online Console Move Is Questionable

Elder Scrolls OnlineBethesda Softworks’ ever-popular fantasy Role Playing Game (RPG) series, The Elder Scrolls hit its biggest success with the November 2011 release of The Elder Scrolls V: SkyrimSkyrim sold 20 million copies as of January 2014; earning itself a spot among the Top 20 Best Selling Video Games of All Time. Now, during the third month of its availability, The Elder Scrolls Online, a partnership between Bethesda Softworks and parent company, ZeniMax Media,  is already being referred to as “a disappointment” by seasoned fans, making the game’s delayed, but inevitable move over to consoles from PC (Personal Computer) a questionable marketing decision.

Historically, Elder Scrolls games have always begun with the player character being held as a captive prisoner somewhere; the result of his or her own indiscretions. The introduction sequence leads into a subsequent and lengthy escape; wherein the player discovers that in one way or another, he or she is the savior upon whose shoulders the fate of the population rests. The Elder Scrolls Online differs here in that this is no longer a game about a singular savior; but rather, a vast number who must work together as a team to save Tamriel from the dark armies of the Cold Harbour plane of Oblivion. The Daedric Prince of  Domination and Enslavement, Molag Bal has set his sights on Tamriel, and with it, all of Nirn. Players will experience a plethora of familiar features as they fight against the armies of undead. Amid the turmoil of supernatural siege, three large alliances battle for control of Cyrodiil’s captial, The Imperial City.

As with all Elder Scrolls games, players choose a race and class upon beginning the game. Bethesda has been met with backlash over making the Imperials, the indigenous race of Tamriel a “pay to access” feature. A new addition to the game is the option of Alliance choice. The war taking place throughout Tamriel forces the player to choose a side  in the conflict, which will then dictate the types of interactions that the player will have with other NPCs (Non Playable Characters) throughout the course of the game. Factions with playable storylines like The Dark Brotherhood and The Thieves Guild are still present in The Elder Scrolls Online. The game is not without a nostalgic Elder Scrolls feel. The complaints from fans have been far more specific to the MMO (Massively Multiplayer Online) aspect of the game.

Fans of the elaborate fantasy series have been anticipating a new release with an Elder Scrolls title since the success of Skyrim hooked a whole new generation of Elder Scrolls fans three years ago. In an attempt to offer a more stiff competition to established and successful MMORPGs (Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games) like WOW (World of Warcraft) and EverQuest, Bethesda Softworks has decided to expand the series into a seamless PVP (Player Versus Player) environment. Gamers can travel through the whole of Tamriel; a continent that series fans have only been able to visit in segments throughout the previous releases, each of which had a varying quality of graphics appropriate to the time in which they were released. The graphics allowed by the technology encased within a Playstation 4 or Xbox One in addition to the comfortable hand-held controls had players excited before the ultimate impressions of the game were released across the internet, but the unending complaints surrounding the game have branded the game’s move over to consoles a questionable decision despite the six month delay that was announced in May.

Visually stunning Elder Scrolls Online  allows players to traverse over a larger portion of the planet, Nirn, than ever before – and in stunning detail. The advertised multiplayer feature of the game is far less integrated than expected.  Quest lines are playable once before the player is locked out, making the act of assisting a new player reach a higher level at a faster pace, nearly impossible. Another recently patched issue left players unable to locate one another when following the same quest line.

Gamer forums on both GameSpot.com and the dedicated website for The Elder Scrolls Online succinctly list the abundant grievances that former fans of the two decade old series consistently voice in high numbers. A pitifully low amount of loot to reward a difficult boss fight has gamers frustrated as well as the poorly executed cooperative gameplay. Elder Scrolls Online  has received low ratings on most game review websites from seasoned MMO players with serious gripes about how the game has a “money farm” feel to it. Gamers who opt to pay for a more comprehensive service have access to more powerful upgrades and items, giving them the upper hand on those who choose to play for free. When money is more valuable than the time spent on an RPG, the game is immediately given a grossly uneven playing field despite whatever effort the free player may have expended.

Overall, The Elder Scrolls Online is being seen as a disappointment by the target customer group. A platform shift for a game that is largely viewed as a flop can be an expensive and risky endeavor. ZeniMax has announced that it plans on making the game available on gaming consoles sometime during the fall and winter months, but the decision to do so is questionable.

By Faye Barton

The Elder Scrolls Online

17 Responses to "Elder Scrolls Online Console Move Is Questionable"

  1. Beachbum   July 10, 2014 at 6:35 am

    Playing since beta and I can agree that at first there were some major bugs. It was almost expected since I’ve been gaming long enough to experience some shaky releases (WoW, Diablo 3, SimCity just to name a few). After the first couple weeks, I too took a break. I have recently come back and they have really fixed the bots and spam. Feels much closer to vanilla WoW, and I can see they are making big attempts to improve. I say give it time, after all WoW didn’t really hit it’s stride until the first couple 40-man raids were released. Molten Core and Onyxia hooked thousands of gamers for two more expansions (NOT 3 or 4, BC and WotLK were awesome, kung fu panda not so much…) . ESO has the potential to be one good revamp patch away from MMORPG greatness. Please, don’t add a kung-fu panda….Or Khajiit….Or anything to bring the kids running. Keep it dark, bloody and edgy.

  2. Phay   July 9, 2014 at 9:52 am

    “Gamers who opt to pay for a more comprehensive service have access to more powerful upgrades and items, giving them the upper hand on those who choose to play for free.”

    There is no option to play for free.. but there should be.

    To be blunt, this game had enormous potential and actually starts out strong, but the development issues, hackers, botters, gold farmers spamming you in chat and via in-game mail, and bugs that remain to this day have prevented it from ever reaching the immersive game play it was capable of. While other games have had obstacles, as a gaming veteran of 20 years, I’ve never witnessed such a tremendously bad execution. To suggest that the pitfalls Zenimax has succumb to are ones that plague all games is asinine. Zenimax had a next generation game on their hands and evidently learned nothing from those who came before. If they had they would have been prepared. It’s pure negligence on their part. There is simply no excuse for a game to be this botched.

    The game is beautiful, the voice acting is incredible, the environments lush and the storyline is fantastic… but the game is virtually unplayable. All the effort they’ve made in the aforementioned is wasted because of the weak commitment to the player experience. After their last patch which reduced frame rates dramatically while exploits and bugs remain intact, I had to cancel my subscription. I didn’t want to! But I saw no logical point in trying to fight a company to let me enjoy their product as intended. It’s just broken.

    I’ll come back when it is free to play.

  3. Legionx   July 9, 2014 at 8:53 am

    Being playing since Beta and still play ill agree the game was bad at start between botters, hackers, bugs, gold spammers etc. That being said think people forgot how bad WOW was at start because they had the same issues. The game has progressed greatly and I can say I don’t see bots or even gold spammers and far less bugs. The game itself is still barebone the systems in place work but are no way good like the grouping system for one. The game will least take 6 months if not a year to fix core issues and improve existing systems. The game had a bad start if they were not making money the game would be done. I’m giving the game a fair chance because it has a lot of potential have way more fun leveling then in WOW for sure.

  4. Eric   July 9, 2014 at 8:24 am

    I have 30 hours of play and still don’t know how to join an alliance. I have no idea what the main quest is supposed to be? The little chat window does seem like people constantly trying to sell stuff. Though I don’t know how? I play on Mac if that makes difference. I spent about 5 hours trying to get a wired controller to work……it still doesn’t. W a s d is really starting to get on my nerves. All books tell to left or right click to turn pages. This doesn’t work. I really don’t get how to chat with anyone in game at all. Inventory lets me carry 60 items, not nearly enough to try crafting anything. So yes the game pretty much suck. But I will play later so I can 1234 or 5 some creatures. Restart at a way shire. And go at it again. Maybe another 10 hours of gameplay will start to make sense of this terrible game addiction. Because I so badly wanted the game to be better than what it is. I can’t wait for it to come out on xbox one. Maybe if I can talk to other people it will get better.

    • Harbinger   July 17, 2014 at 6:45 am

      You joined an alliance the moment yiu started the game. If you mean a guild, you just need an invite from a member. The main quest is the one you started out on and you can find it by clicking J amd then clicking MAIN QUEST. Chat by hitting \ or enter, make sure you are in the right channel, usually \zone is what you will want. Books work fine. 60 spaces will let you craft a ton of stuff, not to mention the free bank space you get. Just look up some crafting notes online.

  5. daverios   July 9, 2014 at 7:52 am

    I played it. Both beta and post launch. The author is not very far off at all.

    There ARE already pay wall and we’re at launch. Both with Imperial and cash shop horses. This shows they are more than willing to go down that road.

    I went head to head with Zenimax over several issues and spent hours dealing with Boyd Beasley (look him up). I finally gave up in frustration truly is Elder Bots Online.

    Game was good but the online service required to play the game is the worst I have ever seen and been playing since Diablo 1 and UO. They do not care about the players nor the integrity of the world’s they create period.

    As the single person who WAS waiting for ESO on console more than anyone else and the loudest voice among millions i will NOT be playing this again. Console or not.

    • daverios   July 9, 2014 at 7:57 am

      Article should also mention they are allowing people to transfer maxed out characters on console launch day. That alone is a nail in the coffin for anyone that wants to start or restart on consoles.

  6. Dominic   July 9, 2014 at 7:34 am

    It’s strange because so many people are saying that they won’t pay $15 for a monthly fee. Well this fee has been in place for years and has been used in countless MMORPG’S. That being said, the fee has always been a non issue with me. My main gripe with the game is that I just don’t find it to be very fun. I find it to be tedious and boring.

  7. Joshua   July 9, 2014 at 7:27 am

    Absolutely nonsense and terrible article. Alot of this is made-up crap and the author has not even played the game – it’s clear by these nonsense, made-up “facts”.
    What made me cringe was the line “Gamers who opt to pay for a more comprehensive service have access to more powerful upgrades and items, giving them the upper hand on those who choose to play for free.”
    Elder Scrolls Online is not free-to-play you doofus, nor does it have a cash store. And not ONE single person has complained about the game being a “money farm”.
    Faye Barton, were you high and/or drunk when writing this article? Or are you that terrible at writing?

  8. Trent   July 8, 2014 at 5:15 pm

    What did I just read? This article makes no sense!

  9. Harbinger   July 8, 2014 at 1:44 pm

    This article makes me think the author has never even seen the game, it certainly was not well researched. The Imperials are pay to access because theirs is the country being fought over, and most players playing know this. The main quest against Molag Bal is not a vast number of poeple, it is solo, and was designed that way to give players of the solo games a similar feeling, though you are not specifically told you are the chosen one. and you still break out of prison. The first game in the ES series, Arena, allowed players to travel all of Tamriel. This is not an “expansion” of the series, it is a different project by a different team, Zenimax Online Studios, Bethesda is still doing what they do, and they have released and new ES about every 5 years since the begining. You can expect they still will, and that will have a number on it. As in Elder Scrolls VI.
    The only people that complain about the loot are min-maxers, as far as I have seen, as the game gives a ridiculous amount of loot. The best stuff is crafted, but you can go the entire game without ever needing to repair an item if you want. Just switch it out with the stuff you win from mobs.

    Worst, though, is this part: “Gamers who opt to pay for a more comprehensive service have access to more powerful upgrades and items, giving them the upper hand on those who choose to play for free.”

    EVERYONE PAYS. No one plays for free and there is nothing you can pay for that will give you more powerful upgrades or an upper hand. A horse. That is what you can buy. And you can buy that in game with in game gold.

    This article is terrible, in many ways. It looks like Faye Barton just read a press release then read some comments and started writing. Do some research.

  10. Kraegan   July 8, 2014 at 10:22 am

    I’m going back to the stand alone games. ESO failed. Shame, I had high hopes for it.

  11. Francois   July 8, 2014 at 9:59 am

    I love elder scroll online…People who complain so much , really didn’t play the game. Sure the game ha some early release bugs , but that is expected on an MMO launch … they really did fix the issues quickly.Why moan about the monthly sub fee if WoW also has it.The graphics is mind blowing and I can really see it catching on in the Xbox and PS platforms.

  12. Franc Kaos   July 8, 2014 at 4:22 am

    Er, no they’re not. Plans to include them in some nebulous future road map.

  13. HarshButTrue   July 8, 2014 at 1:14 am

    ZOS’s management lack the technical experience to launch and run an MMORPG.

    The technical design decisions even down to the rendering engine are messed up.

    The game is highly exploitable, buggy and the customer service is absolutely f**king worthless.

    Never ever let Matt Firor be in charge of your MMORPG… unless you want a 5-10% retention rate on customers and be left with a few die-hard DAoC fanboys and a handful of customers who don’t realize the bar has been set a lot higher than ZOS can even reach.

  14. Vigorbird   July 8, 2014 at 12:37 am

    It’s inevitable that it’s gonna become free-to-play. The company SHOULD have listened to the fans a long time ago. “The customers are always right.” Look, just forget ESO and come to FFXIV. It’s where the party is right now and it’s way more fun!

  15. Pakesso   July 7, 2014 at 11:16 pm

    Meh, gamers are a fickle lot. People who refuse to pay for the game complaining about the rewards for those who do? Stupid. They want more loot? You mean like all the other MMO’s whose longevity is weakened by abundant loot? So crafters become obsolete? I play ESO on my PC with my Xbox One controller and I’m actually very much looking forward to the console version. If lesser (cheaper) gamers don’t do the same, it won’t bother me one bit.


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