Exploring ESO

So I’ve been playing The Elder Scrolls Online. I think there’s a fair bit to like in there, although as someone who ate Skyrim up, to me it also lacks a lot of the same feel. In a single-player Elder Scrolls game there’s a main story — that you can basically totally ignore if you want, in favor of unstructred adventuring and exploration. There’s room for some of that in ESO, but as far as I have seen thus far (and bear in mind, I’m still early on at about level 12) not nearly as much. It favors structured questing instead, which given the brand is disappointing.

Perhaps most annoyingly, I have a favored play style in Elder Scrolls games: the stealth archer, which is a character type that I really don’t play in any other game. This is effectively an invalid play style in ESO due to the combat mechanics, which are largely a reflection of its nature as an MMO.

On the upside, there is a lot to do in the game, the world has a lot of space, and you’ll in time get to see parts of the world that have been left out since Morrowind. There’s also solid, regular support and expansion, which Bethesda/Zenimax has probably done better with than anyone else.

ESO is also a lot better than it was back in beta, which is when I played it last. For now I’m still playing, and that’s a good sign.

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4 responses to “Exploring ESO

  1. “Perhaps most annoyingly, I have a favored play style in Elder Scrolls games: the stealth archer, which is a character type that I really don’t play in any other game. This is effectively an invalid play style in ESO due to the combat mechanics, which are largely a reflection of its nature as an MMO.”

    I am a bit surprised about this statement. While i don’t play such an archer, they do exist in PvP and should also be viable for most solo PvE content. I wouldn’t see much use of a stealth archer in group content. If somebody tanks and somebody heals, the rest of the group is expected to keep up the damage. Somebody “wasting” time to stealth and set up the next attack might produce big damage spikes, but falls short in sustained damage, so he’d not be the best group member.

    But short of some bosses, the stealth (nightblade) archer could work. For sets you might want to look at Night’s Silence (stamina set which allows you to sneak at running speed) and Wilderqueens Arch (another stamina set, which reduces te movement speed of all enemies hit ), which allow the stealth archer to move around quickly and make the most out of his position advantage once the fight is started.

    Then on the main bar you field stuff like snipe, poison injection and volley. So you a target with the first two, then put the volley in its path. Thanks to being slowed down, it will take plenty of volley damage and if it’s a group of enemies, all will be slowed down.

    On the second bar, among the buffs, you also bring shadowy disguise, which allows you to turn invisible for a short time and guarantees the next attack to be a critical hit. And if that’s still not enough for some reason, you can also pack invisibility potions.

    I sure is a very specialized combat style and only works when playing solo. That’s not only true for PvE, but also for PvP. The PvP stealth archer also is not the best choice when attacking a keep or any large scale operation, but it can be encountered on the routes between keeps, where it takes down people who respawned and travel to the keep again.

    Mind you, the PvP stealth archer is more refined than the rough guidelines i gave above, but the important part is that it does exist. It can open up with a big damage spike, sometimes enough to kill a light or medium armour target right away and usually enough to dispose of them before reinforcements arrive.

    So in my eyes the stealth archer, while being a bit of a niché role, can be played in ESO, or do i miss something crucial here?

    • I doubt you are missing anything other than, perhaps, that we’re talking about a basically new player with very little idea what he is doing!

      I can easily see how it would be somewhat viable in PvP, although it would have a totally different feel than the same character type in the single-player game.

      • Hehe. Yea, you got a point there. But while i haven’t tried it yet, i do believe that the stealth archer, while being mostly a PvP thing, might also work for a lot of solo content.

  2. Belated welcome back to known space, Commander. Did you make it to Scutum Centaurus?

    I tried ESO on release, but though I enjoyed the world, I found the combat a bit unsatisfactory.

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