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Seems to me there is a lot of negativity towards this game because it really doesn't play much like an Elder Scrolls game at all. There is this argument from fans that this is an MMO and it isn't a traditional Elder Scrolls game. I don't see how you can call that original argument invalid just because this is an MMO...
Lots of people (including myself) have been saying for years that The Elder Scrolls games are like MMOs but without all the crap that comes with them. How they could so easily turn Morrowind/Oblivion/Skyrim into an MMO and it would be the best thing out there, void of all the stupid grinding and linear worlds.
So when they announced an Elder Scrolls MMO, this is exactly what we wanted, we wanted the world to live in, to be this big free open space like the SP games. We wanted a full skill system where you could be what you want without this half arsed bizarre class system they tacked on. We wanted it to be no linear, to just have amazing quests dotted around that you could do at any time for the fun of it. In Skyrim and all the SP games, I just did quests because they were so much fun to do, where as in TESO, they're "run over here and press E" or "go here collect these" or "kill a set numbers of these"... it is so grindy, so linear, the story to the quests are crap because they feel like MMO 1.0 quests but with VO tacked on.
To me it is a perfectly valid argument because essentially what they've done is made a weird mix of themepark MMO and Elder Scrolls and it really achieves neither well. You have this boring linear themepark wolrd where you cannot even see the enemies factions and it is all locked off to levels and basically is a set linear path through a world that shrinks. However there is nothing Massive to it, the world feels so enclosed, not helped by the map design at all. Also though there is no reason to group in the game, no one does it because really it is a SP game is disguise and the only stuff where players are involved is camping mobs you need as well. I tried to play with a friend like I do in any MMO and we couldn't because we always turned invisible to each other and we couldn't complete quests together........ even a coop version of the SP Elder Scrolls games could have achieved this basic functionality.
Are you an MMO fan? You might possibly like it as they're all Solo based themepark games these days. However you cannot invalidate the opinions of who this game should have been for and that is the Elder Scrolls fans. Every single person I've spoken to who is a fan, in real life and on my Steam Friends, they've all said it isn't an Elder Scrolls game and thought it was crap.
Though it is an expensive marketing campaign it seems, all it has done is gotten people back into Skyrim lol.