Thanks to the Covid I am playing MMORPGs again, so I re-installed GW2 and ESO to see which one was "better". Now that I have tried both again I realize they have some serious issues for me (obviously this is all opinion for the most part, I just felt like starting a discussion about these two games).
GW2 has excellent performance and the environments are beautiful. The music is cool too, and some of the class concepts are interesting. The open world questing is very nice, and it has some good world events even at lower levels, Also, you can play for free without too much hassle. Crafting seems reasonably useful, travel is fairly easy, and they don't seem to screw you on inventory or bank space.
On the other hand, combat is still very much tab targeting and keyboard rotations with a few dodge rolls thrown in here and there. The characters look a little too anime for me, and I don't like that you can't pick your character's voice. I also don't like most of the quests, which feel like one of the dev team's eighth grade D&D fanfics. In many of the so-called story quests you play second fiddle to a bunch of two dimensional knuckleheads.
Overall, I would like to like GW2, because in many ways it is a better game, but the mediocre lore and awful writing make it tough to play.
ESO is also beautiful and also has great music. Performance wise it seems a shade worse than GW2, but most of the time it's perfectly playable. I think ESO has much better lore and a much more engaging cosmology, for lack of a better word. You also have more customization options, and your character is rarely forced into saying things that you don't want to say. There is a ton of stuff to do, and you can go pretty much anywhere and completely ignore the main quest line if you like. The quests are usually pretty well written too.
Unfortunately, combat in ESO feels glitchy and unresponsive, even with a high ping. Abilities sometimes fail to fire and blocking and dodging aren't too reliable either. Also, you basically need a subscription to play if you enjoy crafting or looting. I have tried both and could never play without the crafting bag. The other problem is most of the quests you're doing have tons of people zipping around in them, so you really never get much of a challenge. Also, their open world events seem to be much rarer. On a minor note, mounts are kind of a pain to level up.
I guess ESO is much like Bethsoft's other creations, brilliant, but flawed by laziness and a lack of support. Still, I find the world of Tamriel much more engaging, so I wish they would get their act together.
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