The Elder Scrolls Online – first thoughts


The Elder Scrolls – one of the biggest and well known game franchises, which started back in 1994 with The Elder Scrolls: Arena, followed by four sequels with last biggest installment Skyrim, released in 11.2012. Online – a modern word in today’s gaming scene, which sells by presumption. But would this symbiosis be enough? Would it worth it and meet gamers’ expectations?

Well, I never thought I would be a huge MMO fan until a friend of mine offered me to try World of Warcraft (WOW) in the cold Winter of early 2007. Back then, as my exams of the university have just passed, and I had about 2 weeks free time, I’ve decided to give it a try. I still remember that time – getting out of the warm bed by 11, playing for straight 2 or 3 hours, a short break as my stomach reminded me of its existence and needs, than again couple of more hours in front of the PC, small evening snack and back in Azeroth until 4 hours past midnight. And so on until the 14 days trial ended and I got an idea, how actually zombie apocalypses start, as I almost turned into a walking (or non-stop gaming) corpse.

This pretty unhealthy way of life didn’t last long as lectures began, I started my first job, but my WOW ‘career’ lasted for good 4 years with couple of brakes, until game’s magic just wore off and I quit. However my love for MMOs didn’t die with quitting WOW and I gave couple of more games a good try – Star Wars: The Old Republic and Guild Wars 2. I again felt the magic, but it was not as it used to be with WOW. May be it was just me, who grew older or it was life, which turned to be more serious as it seemed back as an university student.

Apologies for this lyrical digression. I mean I have quite the experience with MMOs and keep an eye on most new MMO releases recently – Star Wars: The Old Republic, Tera, Guild Wars 2 and The Secret World. Not counting Guild Wars 2, which started as free-to-play, all of the others turned into such (although there are still options or content you could or even must pay in order to enjoy the game). And now, when it slowly starts to look out, that (subscription) MMOs are into a state of decay, we will receive The Elder Scrolls Online.

I think, that in order the game to be successful, it should bring something really new. But checking the site ( and couple of (early builds) gameplay videos I don’t believe it would turn into something special. We have (this time) 3 opposing factions, territory fights and for sure – bland and typical MMO’ish type of quests. May be, the only fresh and new invention seems to be the option to become an emperor of all Tamriel. Even the most distinct features of the series won’t be present – 1st person view, no daedric artefacts, no transformation into a warewolf or vampire, no radiant AI, no option to buy a house. So, it seems it is actually only Tamriel and its lore which make this game worth of the name Elder Scrolls.

I really don’t want to be a prophet, but if you like the Elder Scrolls and MMOs but you can’t afford paying monthly subscription, but really want to try out this game, just wait for 9 months after its release. If at the time there are more than 5 active servers my best bet is that it would be already free to play. And if you don’t want to wait until then and would like to give it a try as soon as possible, you can sign up for the beta here – Feel free to leave a comment below of what it really looks like.

P.S. Because I really don’t want it to sound so negative at the end, I would like to share the recently released cinematic, which is really long, beautiful and really masterfully animated. Enjoy:

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9 Responses to The Elder Scrolls Online – first thoughts

  1. Hello, i feel that i saw you visited my blog so i came to return the desire?.I’m trying to in finding things to enhance my web site!I assume its ok to use some of your ideas!!

    • Longbraz says:

      Hello there,

      Firstly I would like to welcome you and I hope you enjoyed the read. Regarding you question of using my ideas, I would like to bring your attention to my Copyright notice:© Valentin Sotirov and Grown Men Playing Games, 2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Valentin Sotirov and Grown Men Playing Games with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

      Thank you for your understanding and consideration!

      Kind regards,
      Valentin ‘Longbraz’ Sotirov

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    • Longbraz says:

      Hi there Badminton Sneakers!

      I am really happy to hear you like the blog and keep in touch as more (hopefully interesting for you) posts are coming soon.

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  4. Shrandar says:

    Hey Longy,

    The thing with MMO’s is that they need time to grow, both grow on you as a player as well as grow as a game. With the oversatiated market nowadays there is little room for that, people play, complain and move on. I am not saying that there is no reaon to complain but honestly, a lot of the games that came out lately and less recently were pretty good. Even SWTOR, which I consider a rather crappy MMO, could have developed in to a game with its own face if the playerbase would have been consistent. However a subscription model doesnt seem viable nowadays to keep players in, even if the content is good and the updates regular (The Secret World is a prime example).
    My recent experiences are with GW2, a game that was lucky enough to retain a large chunk of its launch playerbase and is steadily growing ever since. I played it extensively the first few months after which my interest waned. I kept playing it but far less then initially. Had GW2 been subscription based I would have cancelled my subscription right there and then and probably never resubscribed. It isnt untill recently that I came back to the game again fully (after months of casulally playing around on alts), seeing a depth I hadnt noticed before and now I can honestly say that GW2 is my new MMO and my new virtual home. It needed to grow on me though (just like WoW needed to grow on me back in the old days) and the fact that it was b2p (buy to play) gave me that opportunity. Imo Bethesda should consider this seriously for Elder Scrolls Online, otherwise (even if the game is good) they will undergo the same fate as many other recently released MMO’s. Going b2p or f2p isnt a bad thing, but having to transform from a subscription model and the associated cuts in personnel which have probably already that often go along with this can be detrimental for a game.


    PS Nice initiative and I really like the title of your site!

    • Longbraz says:

      Hey Shran,

      Thanks for visiting the site and reading the post.

      As you stated – exactly my thoughts and exactly as it happened for me with SW and GW2. To be honest, I really doubt ES Online will get as much players on start as SW and GW2 did. Ok, I admit it is a big and established franchise, but at the end it is neither the Star Wars Universe, nor it is developed by an experienced MMO-team with a huge fan base.

      On a side note – I am really glad you like the initiative, the title, and I also hope you will like the other and the new upcoming posts. Stay tuned 🙂


  5. Pingback: Games, which bring memories 3 | Grown Men Playing Games

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