How is The Elder Scrolls Online different to other fantasy MMOs?

By Stephany Nunneley, Tuesday, 11 February 2014 11:23 GMT

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Now, before you get the impression I am some namby-pamby whiner who wants things dumbed down for her, check yourself. This is not the case. I don’t like things being dumbed down. I love a challenge. In my opinion, I am a rather seasoned MMO player. It’s just the level discrepancy is just rather ‘sharp’.

For example: I started the beta as a Bosmer, which is a Wood Elf and a member of the Aldmeri Dominion. This class is agile, quick, and proficient with the bow. I liked the idea of stealthiness, so I chose the dual wield option and the Nightblade class. I wanted to step out of my comfort zone, as I normally play Hunters or the equivalent. I found this class difficult. Again, it could be that I am out of practice when it comes to melee. But I don’t feel that is the case. I usually play ‘in your face’ characters in regular RPGs and I had a rough go of it in TESO. But I am not the only one who has touched upon the difficulty level in TESO.

The Elder Scrolls Online

Just know going in that your experience may vary. I found this particular class hard to play. I made a second character, a Dunmer (Dark Elf), which are both good warriors and sorcerers and part of the Ebonheart Pact. I chose the sorcerer class, leveled her to eight like the previous toon, and didn’t die near as often. I actually enjoyed the hell out of this class and had quite a bit of fun playing her.

Of course, some of the issues I experienced with the Nightblade could have something to so with the interface, and here is where I will probably get flamed to hell and back by many ‘hardcore’ MMO players who have a key binding or macro for every flipping thing imaginable. If you are one of those who use the keys anyway, you will feel right at home so just skip over my whinging if you like.

“The interface in TESO is nothing, I repeat, nothing like World of Warcraft, EverQuest, or Lord Of The Rings Online.”

The interface in TESO is nothing, I repeat, nothing like WoW, EQ, or LOTRO. You do not use your mouse to click an attack on your action bar. The left and right mouse buttons are used for attacks, blocking, and interruptions. Sure, you can change things around a bit, but not much. Luckily, I have a rather nice Razer Naga with 12 buttons on the side which I can assign to various attacks. I still found in certain situations with the Nightblade that I couldn’t press buttons fast enough, thus getting my ass handed to me.

ZeniMax Online wanted to make the interface as simple as possible, and they really did. There aren’t a gazillion bars filling up your screen. This, while a plus, is also rather hard to get to use if you’re an MMO players used to mouse clicking bars. Just know that going in there may be a bit of a learning curve for you.

Your secondary bar, or wheel in this case, is brought up when you hit the Q key on your keyboard. This is where you can bind various potions or food you may need in a pinch. I found it to be quite worthless when in battle, because you have to hit the Q button and then use your mouse to select which potion you want to use. If you are fast or dexterous enough to accomplish this when you are about to die, my hat is off to you. I couldn’t. It really made me feel like an idiot.

The Elder Scrolls Online

Honestly, the interface reminds me of Neverwinter’s, which I was not too fond of, in the sense that the camera is tied to the mouse. I don’t like that at all. I know it takes a lot of getting used to, but in an MMO where there are multiple attacks and items you need to bring up in an instant, having the camera move in the player’s direction when using the WASD keys is more user friendly. I play predominately on PC so I am used to this on shooters and other first-person games. However, I just don’t think it works well in an MMO, especially if it doesn’t feel very fast to begin with. This is just personal preference. Despite the issues I had getting used to the interface and the controls, I don’t want you to think I am knocking the game for it, or the developers for wanting to make things simple and less cluttered. It’s just a preference I am sharing with you, because, well, it’s my opinion on the matter.

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