The Elder Scrolls

Interested in playing, but curious about the endgame

TheElderScrolls8 - Interested in playing, but curious about the endgame
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I have tried ESO briefly in the past because my friends were interested in playing, but I quit early on into the game due to enjoying other MMOs more and disliking leveling in general. Times have changed the and my game time has been substantially limited, so I am hoping ESO could be a relaxed MMO I can enjoy with friends more casually. With that in mind I had some questions about the end game and progression.

1) How much time will it take to reach a level of progression were I can enjoy endgame content? For example I am currently playing World of Warcraft and Black Desert Online. WoW you can pick up the game at various points of an expansion and catch back up to the current meta through various activities. On the other hand BDO is a marathon of grinding to the point that I have not reached a competitive level at end game content after months of playing. I'm looking for something in between were my progression feels like it was earned, but not a distant dream. Does this sound like ESO?

2) How does the release of new expansions affect gear and progression? The practical reset of progression every raid and expansion release in WoW is a bit cumbersome. On the other hand, in BDO the end game gear hasn't changed for quite some time, which makes gear progression feel very rewarding, but makes it difficult for new players to catch up. Is ESO's progression the medium of these two extremes?

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3) Is there large scale pvp and/or castle siege? Large scale pvp sieges were my favorite parts of Guild Wars 2 and BDO, so I was really hoping ESO had a similar system.

4) Are there pay to win elements in ESO? My least favorite part of BDO is the obvious pay to win features that are almost needed to play the game. I would be fine with a cosmetic cash shop, as long as it would not affect my performance in game.

5) In order to obtain end game gear will I need to participate in group content? In BDO you can achieve the highest level of gear playing completely solo, which I like because finding groups for certain content can be frustrating. Like in WoW getting endgame gear requires group content, which is not always ideal.

Let me know your thoughts and opinions. If there are any good online resources to obtain more information to inform my decision I would gladly appreciate a link.

Edit: I totally forgot an important question.

6) If I do give the game another chance will I need to buy all the expansions up front? If I don't will I miss out on important items or specific classes that require the expansions?

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