We finally did it this last week, after paying for a couple of months where we barely touched the game. We uninstalled Elder Scrolls Online, ESO. It was not an easy decision, and even now, we kind of wish we could play occasionally. It was a good game, a fun game, but there were some things that stood in the way.
One thing, which is maybe unique to us, is that almost everyone we know who plays has stopped playing the game, or never started after expressing interest. Our only friend still subscribed is GuestGeekBrian, who wrote some of his thoughts on the game a couple months back. We had other family and friends who are no longer playing. And Brian had other friends as well who have dropped the game or never started – so maybe this experience is not so unique.
Did they make enough of a game to keep people playing for a long time? To keep the players engaged, subscribing, playing? I don’t know. And that’s where our problems come in: never really even having the chance to find out.
Dealing with an Internet Cap
As we mentioned in considering the game in the first place, one question was about the data caps we have with our Internet Service Provider. I am pretty sure we are not alone in dealing with caps. And it’s an MMO, so we needed two copies to make use of it.
And for initially getting the game, it was a bit tough. The download, getting it digitally, was 30gb each – a big drain on our cap. So we downloaded one copy at the end of one month, and another at the end of the next month. However, we ended up, with some other usage as well as playing the game and initial updates, getting really close on our cap.
It would have meant a lot of money to go over, so instead, we cut back on playing. And, in cutting back, we got out of the flow of playing. We didn’t for a while. Then we picked it back up a bit, found people had already started dropping it, got busy, time passed…
We got back to it last week, and there was a new update. Which was the size of the game, again, as a download. So we could update the game – 60gb now in one month – and then again probably not play it at all the whole month. Paying for – what again? The right to download updates?
The only times we have been close on our data cap are these months where we’ve been downloading the huge game files. Which makes sense, but is also a Catch-22: we can have the game, or play the game, but not both. Oh, and you have to update the game to play it, so the choice is made for you.
This game just really does not favor people with a data cap – are you among those folks?
Having the Time
We also discussed how having the time to play would be tough. With our blogging schedule, one of the two of us is blogging six days a week. So, for playing together, it would involve playing once blog posts are done, or else on our one free day a week.
And this just ended up not being very consistent. There are plenty of other things to do as well, so it was just one among many.
Except, this was the one we were paying for. Well, I suppose cheaper subscriptions like Hulu are being paid for as well, we use plenty of that. Though we couldn’t as much the months where we downloaded more of the game! And we couldn’t put TV on in the background or anything like that, since we had to play in the office, and we have a computer in there instead of a TV – for watching Hulu.
Anyway, my point is, that it reminded us of some of the bad parts of playing a subscription MMO. Because you’re paying especially to play it, and paying constantly, there is a feeling you need to play constantly. Or at least, consistently. To get your money’s worth. Or for us, to get two peoples’ money worth.
And so not being able to play much, with the caps, with the rest of life, meant that it was hard to justify the expense. We considered keeping one account active; Holly was really enjoying playing solo as well. Her computer is much nicer than mine (desktop versus laptop), and it was a gorgeous game there. It was pretty bland for me on the laptop, so I was maybe okay without. But I’ll let Holly talk more about some of her thoughts here soon (probably tomorrow).
Whoa, this has been a long, pseudo-rant, sorry about that. We canceled our subscription. It says it saves your characters for if you come back, so if our friends do get back in it – giving us a reason and schedule to play – we would do so. But just scheduling a time to play D&D – even playing online through Roll20 – has been difficult.
And it’s many of the same friends. So one or the other… and only one was being paid for, whether we played or not. Something had to give, and unfortunately, ESO got the cut. Good game, we enjoyed it, but we didn’t really have time for it, and when we did we couldn’t play for data caps. We got a PS3 for a reason, so there are plenty of other games for us to play…