Tag Archives: Elder Scrolls Online

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Comparative Opinions: Getting Back Into MMOs? – Episode 12

Welcome to the Comparative Opinions podcast! This week hosts Holly and David reminisced about their time playing World of Warcraft, and go through a list of the various considerations which go into playing another MMO (Massively Multiplayer Online Game). And by another, we mean getting back into WoW. Are you still playing? Let us know!

Comparative Opinions is a weekly half-hour-ish podcast hosted on ComparativeGeeks.com. Subscribe for new episodes every Sunday!

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Music is by Scott Gratton: http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Scott_Gratton/Intros_and_Outros

Skyrim Hearthfire, and Thoughts on Skyrim Remastered

I’ve been mildly laid up the past week; nothing serious but the sort of thing that excuses extensive video game playing. I decided to revisit Skyrim (again), but got a little bored of the original, without any DLC’s. I lucked out and found Skyrim: Hearthfire for only $5, and decided to give it a go. I’m super late to the party, since it came out four years ago, but I’m in love with it. The DLC basically adds on elements that make Skyrim like one of my other favorite franchises: The Sims.

 

Hearthfire doesn’t add too much to the game by way of quests or extra locations for quests. Instead, it adds the option to homestead and build your own large house, adopt children, and adds items and activities like baking. It sounds a bit boring when put like that, but considering the base game includes the option to buy houses in the cities, the addition to build your own mostly customizable home to store things and create items in is fantastic. Each homestead allows for three wings to be added to the home, and each includes three different options. There are three different homesteads to build, so there is 27 options for how to build your home, which is a huge step up from the city houses. You can include an enchanting tower, or an alchemy lab, a storage room or a library, for example. The options are fantastic, and give so many options for storage that I fear I’ll turn into a video game hoarder just to fill them all up. The addition of things like a carriage that can get you to any settlement in Skyrim is also a fantastic bonus, and you can choose to make your home cozy by moving any adopted children (up to 2) and your spouse there if you choose.

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A completed homestead

Personally I’ve had a lot of fun building the homes from scratch and choosing how I’ll furnish each of them. There are limitations to the game, like the fact that the three houses have the same design and differ only in what wings you add to them, but they are all in very different locations with varied weather, views, and random bandits/giants that show up on occasion to wreak havoc. Considering I only spent $5 for these add-ons, I’m incredibly happy with the result. It’s changed the way I’m playing the game, which after revisting the game several times since its release 5 years ago is all I can ask for.

Skyrim Remastered

While passing a GameStop the other day, I saw a huge banner advertising Skyrim: Remastered coming out next month. I was at first confused and excited, and then definitely let down for a few reasons. I love Skyrim, and the idea of a remastered seems simultaneously cool and redundant. Without being remastered, Skyrim is already a gorgeous (albeit bug-filled) game, and while updating the graphics could make it even more breathtakingly so, I’d much rather know that Bethesda is working on a new project.

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Elder Scrolls Online was, unfortunately, more of a letdown that most of us hoped. I know that I maybe tried it for a week and then actually went back to playing Skyrim. Since then I’ve been hoping that soon they’ll release a new game in the Elder Scrolls series, but so far there’s only rumors and speculation. The release of a Skyrim: Remastered makes me pause, wondering what that will mean for the next installment. I appreciate the need and desire to release Skyrim for the newest consoles, but I almost think the better move would have been releasing the next game on just the newest consoles. That move alone would almost make me consider finally upgrading my PS3 to a PS4. Instead, I see news of an updated Skyrim, and realize that I could just spend the money on the other DLCs and be happy with that and my good ol’ PS3. I guess we’ll just have to keep waiting on a new installment, and unfortunately it looks like we could be waiting a while.

Revisiting Skyrim

I have a really bad habit of always wanting to create new characters, no matter the game. It was a bad habit of mine when I used to play WoW, it was a huge habit when I was younger and played Morrowind, and I never got far in Oblivion because I always restarted. I think part of that was based in the pre-built characters, and wanting to try a different style of playing early in the game because I didn’t like the one I was playing or just out of curiosity. The only way to try a new style when I played those games was to start over.

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It’s been talked about on the blog before, but I’ve been playing Skyrim (on PS3) again on and off recently, and I’ve been pushing myself to stay with the same character. One of the reasons I love Skyrim so much is because you actually can stick with the same character – while also trying out new styles of play whenever you want. The way that Skyrim lets you build any combination of character from the start is amazing. I love that you can level using any skill, and are as competent in them as you try to be. I started this game as a heavy armor wearing mage who stole anything and everything, but that turned into a light armor wearing conjurer who uses bows.

The addition of making skills Legendary upon maxing them out is another fantastic way of continuing to try new styles within the same game. To make myself stay with the same character, I’ve been resetting skills – even ones I use all the time (RIP my awesome sneakiness) to try new styles of play without giving into my awful character creation addiction. One can only escape from Helgen so many times before it gets old. This is challenging me to experiment and explore. I’m actually doing quests I thought were too tedious before to even try. I spent more time in Blackreach this time (if you’ve been there, you know how intensive it can be) because I wanted to experience more. I’ve been checking out the many hidden Easter Eggs and the Unmarked Locations, some of which are insanely cool and hilarious.

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Image via

I’ve loved Skyrim since it came out. The gameplay is so much fun. The scenery is breathtaking. The characters are engaging and oftentimes hilarious (“I used to be an adventurer like you, then I took an arrow in the knee”). I think that’s part of the reason I could not get into Elder Scrolls Online. After Skyrim, it was such a letdown graphically, gameplay-wise, and in terms of story. Plus for me that was all coupled with the fact that I’m really over MMOs because people in general are the worst and I’d rather do my own thing. Skyrim, on the other hand, I can return to again and again. I’ll probably start a new character at some point, and try to challenge myself with different parameters, like no fast traveling at all, but for now I’m going to try to get through as much of the game as I can. It’s going to take me a while.

Re-Trying Skyrim

Skyrim Dragon Background

Copyright Bethesda

David talked yesterday about our decision to cancel our subscription to Elder Scrolls Online (ESO). I think I am more heart broken over it than David because personally I got in to ESO much more than David and had enjoyed playing by myself. The story that they were telling in ESO was one that I connected with much more than I ever got into Skyrim. Some of it is I felt more like I had goals in ESO and was able to see where I was going and plan accordingly. Skyrim I often felt like I was wondering sort of aimlessly, which was really hard for me. I actually put it down because I was trying to do one of the initial Companion quest and got to a point where I was completely stuck and just dying over and over again. The other problem was it was a lengthy escort so it would have required me to go back almost two hours of game play. I basically did not want to play the game after that I was so frustrated and never picked up the game again.

David suggested since I enjoyed ESO that I should try and play Skyrim again. The thought being that maybe having some connection to the world that Skyrim is taking place in will help me connect with the game and story a little better. Unfortunately I do not think that is the case. Continue reading

Why We Stopped Subscribing to Elder Scrolls Online

Elder Scrolls Online Launcher ScreenshotWe 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.

Continue reading