I started up this game in late May via Xbox Gamepass. I quickly became a paying ESO+ member, and with ease, this game became my go to. I finished the last Skyrim story last night, and realized that holy crap… I was done with with story based questing.
So I thought I’d take a few moments and share some thoughts on each of the storylines, some favorite characters a long the way, etc.
I played a DK Breton, magicka based, wielding a destruction staff. So basically I was a sorcerer without the cool summoning ability.
I followed the stories in chronological order based on release, mostly. A couple of guides have some things in different orders, so I’m not 100% sure I did it perfectly, but the main DLC I am certain. I did not do the Cadwell quest line as I wanted to save those stories for new characters.
I played strictly as a solo player, outside of the fact that the world is inhabited by others who may join you. I didn’t do group content or PvP.
I was amazed at the overall beauty of the game. I have more screenshots saved for this than most other games combined. It’s truly visually stunning, especially as an MMO.
A few tips if there are any people like me, looking to start.
1) Start crafting as soon as you can. Get certified in all of them immediately when offered. The game made it seem like you could only certify in a couple… I found out way way too late that this was not true.
2) Start leveling your mount as soon as you can. Another thing I didn’t realize you could even do, and didn’t start until very late.
3) Pay attention to how your skills morph. I didn’t really get what was happening with that.
4) Try different skills out. There are plenty of skill points in the game. Plus you can redistribute them for gold if needed.
Some thoughts on the stories/areas.
Main quest: A very enjoyable romp. The game overall is really well voice acted, but it really shines through in the main quest. As a fan of the Harry Potter movies (as painful as that is now), it was a real delight to have Michael Gambon throughout the line.
Faction quest/Daggerfall Covenant: This was a lot of fun. Great, unique areas. A well tied together storyline. More fantastic voice acting. And it contained the area I decided to get a home in, even after running through the rest of it.
Craglorn: This area is… fine. It’s a confusing mishmash of solo and group content. There’s nothing to me as particularly memorable in this area and if I can get past my completionist tendencies, I’ll skip it in subsequent characters
Imperial City: I noped out of this pretty quick. I’d read that it had a decent story that you could play through solo, but I kept getting wiped out by PvP groups trying to complete it.
Wrothgar: This storyline is everything I look for in games. Great characters, fantastic storytelling, personal stakes, an excellent end boss fight. I can’t wait to play this again.
Hew’s Bane: This was the only area that wasn’t strictly PvP that I did not complete. I found the layout confusing and difficult to navigate. I didn’t find the characters compelling enough to make me want to overcome my aversion to stealth based game play. Rather than rage complete, I just moved on. Guess the Thieves Guild ain’t for me!
Murkmire: I didn’t expect the like this area as much as I did. But the characters really brought it to life for me. I’m not a fan of swampy, bug filled areas, but I loved coming here for story after story. It contains easily my favorite NPC of all, Xukas. Every time he greeted me with ‘Beeko!’ It brought a smile to my face and still does.
Gold Coast: The Dark Brotherhood is an a perfect example of a story populated with characters so rich that I wanted to continue, even tho the gameplay and type isn’t my thing. It’s also heavily stealth based, but I finished it anyway because I really enjoyed my fellow assassins.
Morrowind: While I enjoyed the main quest a lot, and it brought us the best area to do daily writs in Vivec City, the entire experience is soured by a side quest to try to help an Argonian slave earn her freedom. The entire concept of trying to out maneuver her masters to become higher ranked, and buy the contract of the one she loved, really turned me off. Especially as she continued to ignore his own pleas to try to escape, to not be bound to the society that enslaved them to begin with.
Clockwork City: widely viewed as one of it not the best DLCs out there, I… was underwhelmed. The story was good, but I found the entire area bland and lifeless, and I couldn’t wait to be done with it.
Summerset: Talk about the exact opposite feeling from Clockwork City. What an astonishingly gorgeous setting. Having just played through it, I barely remember the story, but the views. The scenery. It is so gorgeous. I love being back there for this summer event. Sigh. So pretty.
Northern Elsweyr: Yes, I’m splitting these up. First off: DRAGONS. I loved finally getting to see dragons, hunt dragons, hear dragons. Can you tell I love dragons? This area was fantastic. It had great characters. Khamira is fantastic. The returning main quest character is fantastic. I loved it. I was excited by it. I was so excited to head to….
Southern Elsweyr: The two Elsweyr sections to me reminded me of the Star Trek: The Next Generation cliffhanger mega hit Best of Both Worlds. Part one was tense, engaging, thrilling, with moments you’ve never seen before, that left you at the end. Part 2 was… never going to be able to live up to it. This is how I felt about Southern Elsweyr. Sure, it still had DRAGONS. But the returning main quest character was just…. boring as hell. The area was uninspiring. There was no Khamira character to make me want to keep coming back.
Skyrim: There’s very, very little in gaming that can create as visceral a thrill as the feeling of coming back to Skyrim did for me. It gives me goosebumps just now thinking about it. But underneath that feeling, the reality is that the story was pretty lacking. And I despised the amount of time Blackreach took you out of Skyrim itself. It did give us a memorable character in Svana, tho. Looking forward to the conclusion soon.
And there you go. Holy shit this was long. I didn’t expect that. I’d be remiss if I did not say how wonderful this Reddit community has been helping this new to ESO gamer learn. I love it so much.
If you read this far… thanks
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