OK, Last week when I said I was going to take it slow, I meant it. I can now honestly say that if you are the rush to max level type this game may lose your interest before you get there. Now level 9 and drifting happily like a fart in the wind, I have no intentions of stopping my slow methodical, organic romp through Tamriel. Last week I said group content was on the docket, well sorry haven’t got there yet. Although I have smashed many mobs shoulder to shoulder with fellow players in the open world. We will get there, but from now on I am just going to do whatever comes at me. No goals. Quite frankly I am tired of trying to snatch the carrot on the stick, I would rather wait for the stick to wither and break.
So it seems as though ESO is doing quite well if I had to gauge it by how bustling the world is. There are players running about along with your typical MMO chat debauchery that give us all that fuzzy at home feeling in our gut. Or is that vomit making its way forth. None the less its alive. In the screen capture above I spotted a swirling purple storm or shall I say dark anchor. This is TESO’s version of a public quest like thingy. Much like rifts in Trion’s once popular MMORPG Rift, dark anchors happen ever so often at specified locations where groups of players slaughter waves of invading demons and creatures until it poops a chest full of loot. My experience has been lack luster. There is no real challenge in this reskinned whack-a-mole. If you get a hit in before an enemy dies you’re doing all right. I will admit it was a decent 5 min detour as moved about exploring, but I was left wishing it was a bit bigger and had more impact on the surrounding world.
As I mentioned in the inaugural MMO Monday, ESO Plus offers all of the DLC for a monthly sub or you can buy them individually through the crown store. My initial reasons though with my freshly minted character were for the XP perks and the ration of crown store coins every month. That has changed. As I search though my starting town (I am horrible with names), I come across an NPC quest giver with a new task. He gives word of trouble in a new land, Wrothgar. Figuring out quickly this is the intro questline to the Orsinium DLC I instantly assume that I will not be able to partake in a productive manner until I am max level plus. Curiosity killed the khajiit though so I teleported to the new scene of the crime, and boy was I surprised. It seems as though level scaling is a thing so I can do the DLC when ever I please. This brought a smile to my face indeed. So often as players we come into an established MMO that has new expansions, levels, or in ESO’s case DLC. Me personally always instantly feel rushed to get to that new content, and more often than not burn out and move on. So I chose to stay in my new icy adventure and delve into a orcish tale of death, dishonor, and destruction.
Orsinium does a fantastic job right out of the gate at setting a new mood and tone. I have all but forgotten the problems of the lush green land of the elves, and now embraced the hash cold world of the orcs. The one thing that make this easy is that it doesn’t trample the other story it works nicely along side doing its own thing.
Before I laid a foot in the orcish city of Orsinium with in the DLC I was distracted by the needs of a poor trader looking for a lost friend. As I have a weird fascination with the unknown I almost made it to said friend before stumbling into an absolutely breathtaking cave. Swatting demon dogs which lined the path as I spelunked along until I met a my first real challenge. I took a breath and engaged the troll, and eventually after a ballet of sword swings and spells, fell the beast. After exploring the whole cave and fighting another notable opponent in the form of a beast trainer, I had earned a skill point and was no closer to completing my real quest at hand. The great thing though is that it didn’t matter. I felt as though I had completed my own quest and that was far more satisfying. As I exited the cave and died to a few harpies I felt deflated again. Maybe it was my gear, lack of build, or lack of skill that got me snuffed. I was beginning to feel those urges to grind some levels and gear. I needed to get back on track and head to Orsinium and check what laid behind its walls, and fast before I did something like grind mobs.
I look back at my time with ESO so far and am perplexed. I should feel more of that anxiousness and wanting to be that ultimate hero with the best gear and skills. I don’t though. ESO is succeeding at something most if not all established MMORPG’s fail to do, and that is make new players feel welcome and included in all the game has to offer. With that I will see you next week for an new segment of MMO Monday with me, The Grimcanuck. Cheers!