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[Column] Elder Scrolls Online: Why ESO’s ‘Slower’ Pacing Leaves Me Optimistic

SBFordSBFord Associate Editor - News ManagerThe Land of AZPosts: 16,571MMORPG.COM Staff Uncommon

MMOs have evolved in many ways, but sometimes players (and this cuts across veterans and newer MMO arrivals) want to sit down and enjoy a good multi-course meal spiced with good conversation, music, a couple of drinks, and spending time with one another over a quick fast food stop. Leveling speed is a topic for debate, and it's been brought up as both a positive and a negative aspect from the press impressions for The Elder Scrolls Online. It's worth examining in its own right, as the content a game has and its pace of player progression can impact the player base, the community, and more. 

Read more of Christina Gonzalez's The Social Hub: Why ESO's 'Slower' Pacing Leaves Me Optimistic.

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Associate Editor: MMORPG.com
Follow me on Twitter: @MMORPGMom

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Comments

  • BadSpockBadSpock Somewhere, MIPosts: 7,974Member

    I just worry if I buy ESO that it will be like Skyrim and will be like SWTOR:

    I played heavily for a while, got about 2/3rds of the way through the story content, got bored and quit, and then went back at a later time and finished.

    Truth be told, I did the same thing in GW2... and WoW back during Vanilla... and now AC:IV Black Flag.

    So yes, the problem is obviously with me, but what does ESO offer that may break that cycle?

    I never had that problem with any Mass Effect game, or Uncharted 3, Diablo 3 (once I finally bought it) or even the CoD: Ghost single player campaign.

    Is it a question of pacing? That's why I ask. What's the "hook" of ESO - the storylines? Hard to believe, IMO.

    I put hundreds of hours into ME1 and 2. Diablo 3, played through the campaign on all difficulties. Sure, Uncharted 3 and CoD are a bit shorter.

  • TelondarielTelondariel Ottawa, ONPosts: 1,001Member
    Another great article, Christina.  I find myself somewhat surprised that the dev team seems to have really "gotten it" on so many levels with ESO.  Which, sadly, is telling of the remainder of the industry. 

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  • TelondarielTelondariel Ottawa, ONPosts: 1,001Member
    Originally posted by BadSpock

    I just worry if I buy ESO that it will be like Skyrim and will be like SWTOR:

    I played heavily for a while, got about 2/3rds of the way through the story content, got bored and quit, and then went back at a later time and finished.

    Truth be told, I did the same thing in GW2... and WoW back during Vanilla... and now AC:IV Black Flag.

    So yes, the problem is obviously with me, but what does ESO offer that may break that cycle?

    I never had that problem with any Mass Effect game, or Uncharted 3, Diablo 3 (once I finally bought it) or even the CoD: Ghost single player campaign.

    Is it a question of pacing?

     

     

    It sounds like pacing, judging by the games you are comparing.  I'm not sure that any MMO will fill that void for you. 

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  • BadSpockBadSpock Somewhere, MIPosts: 7,974Member
    Originally posted by Telondariel
    Originally posted by BadSpock

    Is it a question of pacing?

    It sounds like pacing, judging by the games you are comparing.  I'm not sure that any MMO will fill that void for you. 

    Could be... I think I have better luck with console gaming, less fatigue. I spend all day on PC at work, and often some time at nights still working, I definitely notice my playtime on the laptop at home is more much fatiguing than my console play time.

    Hence why ESO still gives me some hope, and why I'm super interesting in Destiny and The Division.

  • ColdrenColdren Nowhereville, TNPosts: 456Member Uncommon

    The one thing I find interesting is how multiple reviewers have slighted the introductory islands.

    These isolated areas serve as a landing for the main story line for your faction. Yes, they are slower paced and you are required to complete them (Unlike TES games), but they do serve a purpose. The story, the lore served in these areas has a wider impact, and some critical choices are made that affect other quests and stories going forward. These are critical to a good TES STORY.

    The slower pace will definitely put off the MMO crowd, because it seems a vast majority of the reviewers aren't really in it for the lore and story - They just want to run from A to B as quickly as possible and complain there is too little content (Looking at you, AngryJoe.. Who I am a fan of, by the way) in between. 

    The lack of freedom to just go anywhere you want puts off the TES fans, because it's too linear.. Well how else do you purporse they  tell a story and base future quests you encounter if you never make earlier choices? At least well? Sure, if I skipped saving city A or fishing vilage B, you could script out something for someone who has done neither, but then there would never appear to be any appearance of depth to your choices.

    You just can't please some people, I guess. I took the slower approach, read the dialog, read the books, paid attention to the story.. And I found it very worthwhile.

     

     
     
  • DignaDigna City, CTPosts: 2,014Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by BadSpock
    Originally posted by Telondariel
    Originally posted by BadSpock

    Is it a question of pacing?

    It sounds like pacing, judging by the games you are comparing.  I'm not sure that any MMO will fill that void for you. 

    Could be... I think I have better luck with console gaming, less fatigue. I spend all day on PC at work, and often some time at nights still working, I definitely notice my playtime on the laptop at home is more much fatiguing than my console play time.

    Hence why ESO still gives me some hope, and why I'm super interesting in Destiny and The Division.

    Are you a guild player? I know when I get into a guild I tend to want to keep up at the front of the pack (personal/unconscious thing of mine) and play hard even when time doesn't permit. When I stick to my own with 'friends lists' I tend to go slower, breathe and feel the air around me.

    One thing I saw last beta (which I hadn't planned on playing) was the list of achievements. I got it stuck in my craw to catch that rare fish required for the AD starter fishing achievement. I was bemused and amused at the same time when I realized I had spent almost an hour killing guar and catching insects just to have some bait to fish with. Heck of a good time. Really looking forward to getting back into it (didn't catch the fish...ran out of time, lol)

  • the420kidthe420kid Hamilton, ONPosts: 440Member Uncommon
    I agree with your post and I gotta say I am super pumped for TESO after trying it out and pushing to level 12 and doing some PvP over some beta weekends.  I wasnt in a rush I was having a great time working crafts exploring finding quests lock boxes public dungeouns all kinds of stuff out there to bne found that the game isnt going to point you at its all on the player to either enjoy or skip.
  • Nickhead420Nickhead420 Schenectady, NYPosts: 131Member Uncommon

    One thing I though was funny: you need to find bait to fish with, but somehow, right out of prison you have a fishing pole...

  • Vermillion_RaventhalVermillion_Raventhal Oxon Hill, MDPosts: 1,147Member Uncommon
    I really hope that developers can step away from vertical progression and head towards horizontal. How many times do we need to climb the ladder with a scorch and burn policy for the world content? ESO is begging for a world where areas always remain relevant and others are based on difficulty.
  • BadSpockBadSpock Somewhere, MIPosts: 7,974Member
    Originally posted by Nickhead420

    One thing I though was funny: you need to find bait to fish with, but somehow, right out of prison you have a fishing pole...

    Prison in another dimension, none the less.

    Apparently it's quite easy in prison in another realm to create a four foot long fishing pole out of a daedra femur and Nord back hair.

     

  • DignaDigna City, CTPosts: 2,014Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Nickhead420

    One thing I though was funny: you need to find bait to fish with, but somehow, right out of prison you have a fishing pole...

     

    lol. quite so.

    On a slightly different note, I was around level 6 when I logged off the toon that was fishing. I thought something was odd when I looked at him and suddenly realized...no shoes. Even at level 6 I had the basic staff (sorceror) I had gotten in the prison (I had really poor drop luck on that character and mostly the junk prison stuff you have to start...AND I DIDN'T CARE. I was utterly mystified by that until I realized that I was having fun just 'doing stuff'. More of a realistic progression than I've had in a long time!

  • RocknissRockniss Youngstown, OHPosts: 1,034Member
    Is it me or does it feel like every article about ESO the author is stretching to find something positive? Writing about eso is about like walking on thin ice. Must be very careful.
  • DignaDigna City, CTPosts: 2,014Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Rockniss
    Is it me or does it feel like every article about ESO the author is stretching to find something positive? Writing about eso is about like walking on thin ice. Must be very careful.
     

    Just you, imo. I auto-discount the fanboi reviews but most of what I've seen have been realistically positive but hardly guarded.

  • keithiankeithian Los Angeles, CAPosts: 3,042Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Rockniss
    Is it me or does it feel like every article about ESO the author is stretching to find something positive? Writing about eso is about like walking on thin ice. Must be very careful.

    I'm not sure what you are complaining about? There has been plenty of constructive criticism around tons of stuff, like the starter areas, concerns around phasing, bow animations, lack of collision detection, etc etc etc. Isn't it a good thing that we have two MMOs coming out that cater to a different fan base being Wildstar and ESO? I've learned to appreciate Wildstar a little better now because I understand its target market knowing there will be a percentage that overlaps between both games. I think this is good for everyone. You don't need to have a winner. Wildstar will also get high props for its action oriented combat and its ability to deliver what many consider action/fun from the start. It will probably also get props for its various individual mechanics as well as its catering to the raid community.

     
    To the author, you pretty much described me and why I'm the worlds slowest leveler. Unless they create more Tiering in PVP, I don't see myself playing the PVP until end level. Until then, I'll be exploring every inch, reading the lore, trying the crafting, I really am going to take my time and get my  money's worth :-)

    There Is Always Hope!

  • jazneojazneo cuba city, WIPosts: 16Member Common
    mostly like this game go f2p in couple month. when the realise no one buying sub or they go the  buy the game with dlc 
  • BaikalBaikal Chicago, TXPosts: 1,025Member
    Originally posted by Rockniss
    Is it me or does it feel like every article about ESO the author is stretching to find something positive? Writing about eso is about like walking on thin ice. Must be very careful.

     

    I think it's you.

     

    I think most reviewers or previewers are finding the game is imperfect, and that does not mean bad, it just means that there are parts they like and dislike. To be honest, if you think they aren't finding positive items, then I'd suggest you are pressing either your own views on what you are reading, or that you are looking for them to find nothing good. Being honest, it's refreshing to see people talk about good and bad, rather than the typical hype about most titles that they are "wonderful" and then underwhelm.

  • laseritlaserit Vancouver, BCPosts: 1,933Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Vermillion_Raventhal
    I really hope that developers can step away from vertical progression and head towards horizontal. How many times do we need to climb the ladder with a scorch and burn policy for the world content? ESO is begging for a world where areas always remain relevant and others are based on difficulty.

    I hear ya

    "If you make an ass out of yourself, there will always be someone to ride you." - Bruce Lee

  • DeniZgDeniZg ZagrebPosts: 669Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Digna
    Originally posted by Rockniss
    Is it me or does it feel like every article about ESO the author is stretching to find something positive? Writing about eso is about like walking on thin ice. Must be very careful.
     

    Just you, imo. I auto-discount the fanboi reviews but most of what I've seen have been realistically positive but hardly guarded.

    It's not you.

    Every article I see here regarding ESO, author is trying to spin lackluster or missing features into "design choices". Next thing I'm going to hear is that combat sucks, but it's OK, since it will make you enjoy the scenery even more. Or did we already have an article like that?

  • waynejr2waynejr2 West Toluca Lake, CAPosts: 4,469Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Rockniss
    Is it me or does it feel like every article about ESO the author is stretching to find something positive? Writing about eso is about like walking on thin ice. Must be very careful.

    Sounds like you are projecting.......

  • orbitxoorbitxo fort lauderdale, FLPosts: 1,404Member Uncommon

    i must agree with ur review here.

    I didnt want the personal story to end in GW2 while it was helping me level....and well it did.

    and here iam jumping to another mmo.

  • Randallt3mpRandallt3mp Menlo Park, CAPosts: 168Member
    Originally posted by DeniZg
    Originally posted by Digna
    Originally posted by Rockniss
    Is it me or does it feel like every article about ESO the author is stretching to find something positive? Writing about eso is about like walking on thin ice. Must be very careful.
     

    Just you, imo. I auto-discount the fanboi reviews but most of what I've seen have been realistically positive but hardly guarded.

    It's not you.

    Every article I see here regarding ESO, author is trying to spin lackluster or missing features into "design choices". Next thing I'm going to hear is that combat sucks, but it's OK, since it will make you enjoy the scenery even more. Or did we already have an article like that?

    How is slower pacing lackluster or a missing feature?  If there's plenty to do and enjoy on the way to level cap, why rush?  Why do you need a fast leveling pace?  Why not just enjoy the journey. 

    IMO too many games focus on getting you to level cap to get to endgame content or "the real game" even when they don't have much established.  Even when they do, a lot of times it just feels like treading water waiting for new things.  For me in almost all cases, most of my fun has been leveling and progressing to the endgame.  It's about the journey and everything in between.

    Maybe you just would rather not journey, and only play the minigames at the end?

    MMOs Played: FFXI,Age of Conan, Aion, Rift, SWTOR, TERA, TSW, GW2

    Playing:None

    Waiting For: Wildstar, The Repopulation, Archeage, TESO, Warhammer 40K:EC, EQN

  • starstar1starstar1 Posts: 41Member Uncommon

    Very well put Christina! I am one of those explorer and social types and I hate the pressure to progress that makes me feel that I'm nothing until I am maxed level and geared to the hilt. I am not against that, but I don't want a game that revolves around it.

    I am not against working for my levels as long as it isn't simply a boring grind fest. :)

  • daltaniousdaltanious waPosts: 2,141Member Uncommon
    Khmm ... she has mentioned few times Swtor for comparison ... but I have impression she never put step into swtor world. If this game will be half as good, fun, ... and rest, they can be happy, I will be happy. Actually... will I be? At this stage I'm not even sure will try from first hand ... so much detterent is for me that incredible 5 buttons limit. Hey, this is PC(!) and NOT console game.
  • OtakunOtakun New Providence, PAPosts: 864Member
    Slower leveling just means people will drop out before hitting max level, donno why people care.
  • AlastirAlastir Lexington, KYPosts: 14Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Otakun
    Slower leveling just means people will drop out before hitting max level, donno why people care.

    Yeah , some will . But the younger crowd these days just want Max everything now . Nothing wrong with that , if that is how you want to play.

     For me , i like the slow progression . Gives more time to enjoy the game , get to know fellow players . make friendship , and also , gives the devs more time to get a good end game in place for  when you make it to max lvl.

    I think this is a good move . But thats just my thoughts.

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