PAX Prime 2013 – Elder Scrolls Online

So there I was, one and half hours before the doors even opened at Pax 2013. 3DS in hand, I was ready to kill some time before the madness that was Day 2, began.  When the floodgates opened I walked as fast I could (because you’re not supposed to run) over to the Bethesda booth only to meet with a capped line and was told to go away for 20 minutes.  Also they capped the line right at me… it hurt my feelings.  I was allowed in later though…

Near the beginning of the wait for ESO

Almost able to play ESO

It did take about three hours to get from the photo above to this point… my feet were killing me.

After all that waiting I was allowed to play 25 minutes of gameplay which included making my character.  Needless to say, there were a ton of options on how to customize your character.  I had to scroll to see the list of available sliders.  I was glad that was all still there.  The changes felt kind of slight like Skyrim, but with enough options to create what you wanted.  I just skipped a lot of the options because I was more curious on how the gameplay was.

Oh the detail in each model... that water. I wish the game looked this nice.

Oh the detail in each model… that water. I wish the game looked this nice.

The game didn’t look as good as the photo above.  If only they could run flawlessly and look that good on all systems.  (Give it a year or so.)  That’s not to say that it looked horrible.  I was quite pleased by the aesthetics of ESO.  It ran smoothly and I didn’t really see any graphical funkiness.  It reminded me of a Skyrim with a lot more love put into it.

Another thing that stood out were the controls also reminded me of Skyrim as well, but more refined.  The way the characters moved was a lot smoother.  It was like the jump from Oblivion to Skyrim again.  I really didn’t like the combat in Oblivion and really liked Skyrim’s.  This was even better and more tight.  The way you attacked and the way mobs attacked you seemed a little fuzzy on what would hit you and what wouldn’t.  I’m not really used to mobs turning and attacking as fast a player usually does.  Enemy’s ranged-charged attacks show a tell on where it will land as does some of the magic, but not from the players yet from what I saw.  I wouldn’t be surprised to see this keep going and look something akin to Wildstar.

If they would have added Dwarves as a playable race and not just had the Dwemer ruins still, I may have pre-ordered right there.

If they would have added Dwarves as a playable race and not just had the Dwemer ruins still, I may have pre-ordered right there.

While I’m not too keen on some of the character models used in the starter area, are we ever really 100% satisfied with what we see in a game visually?  The UI is clean and unobtrusive (like a Skyrim UI but less showing) and the skill trees seemed cleaned up and more friendly.  As it stands, if you’re honestly not tired of the fantasy genre of MMO’s and really like how the Elder Scrolls games have been progressing lately then you will probably love the crap out of Elder Scrolls Online.

As to my “Meh” on Facebook… how would you feel after standing in line for three to four hours for about 20 minutes of gameplay that didn’t sell you on a game.  They needed more computers to make the lines go quicker, but they did have 30… so I’m not sure if it would have helped too much.  I probably won’t be picking this up, but I will probably be jealous of those that do.

Jonathan Amarelo Sig


  1. MacGordon September 1, 2013 9:28 am  Reply

    Thanks for taking the time to give this game a try and sharing your thoughts. I still kinda wish I had enough time to have played the other games in the series, because this looks very fun.

    • Ailingforale September 1, 2013 2:26 pm  Reply

      If you haven’t already, you should at least play Skyrim (if that much isn’t obvious from my post lol).

  2. Jon W. September 1, 2013 3:02 pm  Reply

    As long as they do the series justice I’d at least try it out. I’ve probably put in 100 hrs on Skyrim for the ps3 before I sold it and repurchased it on steam to get the best experience. If I’m not tired of the TES style gameplay by the time I’m finished with Skyrim I would love to continue adventuring in an even more expansive world with people a long as the social functions are decent. I’ve been wanting a good multiplayer game but don’t enjoy the traditional TAB targeting for MMOs and I’m not a huge shooter fan. If it’s nothing new to the Elder Scrolls franchise I’m ok with that =)

    • Ailingforale September 1, 2013 5:40 pm  Reply

      The only different thing they did so far with ESO is smooth out the combat and make a few of the UI bits cleaner. If someone is still jonesen for some Elder Scrolls, I believe ESO will deliver.

  3. Jeff M September 13, 2013 9:47 am  Reply

    Congrats on getting your story on their main page!

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