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Elder Scrolls Online beta players give mixed reviews

Players eagerly awaiting the release of the Elder Scrolls Online will probably be very interested in what to expect from the game. Luckily we can share some reviews details with you which are mixed, coming from gamers who signed up for the Elder Scrolls Online beta, spoiler free and in accordance with the NDA.

Excitement is growing for the April 4th release on PC and Mac, we have spoken recently about talk of the Elder Scrolls Online being a World of Warcraft killer, a theory which a majority of people do not believe is going to happen. Reviews from many beta players have confirmed this too without breaking the non disclosure agreement, passing the gossip off as ‘trolling’.

A thread was opened recently on the Reddit forums, with one user asking if the Elder Scrolls Online was a unique game and if it was worth looking forward to, as a repeat of the WoW experience was not wanted. Over 450 comments from beta players have been posted on the thread, with initial reactions feeling very positive, declining somewhat as the forum continued.

Elder-Scrolls-Online

The general feeling from a lot of gamers is that their expectations for the Elder Scrolls Online was set relatively low, hence why they have been pleasantly surprised. A majority of the positive comments highlighted the game as being really fun and immersive. There has been particular praise for character progression and the Guild Wars system which many different players say that they loved.

Many of the more negative comments focus on the lackluster combat experience, with some gamers even claiming that the ESO is unplayable. There has also been anger aimed at the subscription fees of $15 a month which seems very heavy for an online game. We saw one user criticize the game for being too much like Skyrim, which surely could be seen as a positive point given how epic and successful that was!

Elder Scrolls Online for PS4 news update silence

A comment that summed up the situation perfectly was that the success of the Elder Scrolls Online is going to depend on each different players expectation of what they think an Elder Scrolls game should be. Players expecting another version of Skyrim for example could be left either ecstatic or devastated, it will be interesting to see reactions and reviews when the ESO goes live.

Judging by the reviews summary the Elder Scrolls Online may be a love or hate scenario with the outcome boiling down to preferences and opinions, will this stop you from trying out the game when it launches? If you have played the beta then let us know how you found it and if you will be playing the game on release.

Written by Matt Tran

Matt has a passion for technology, gaming and social media, whether its using it or writing about it. He joins the Product Reviews team having graduated from the University of Greenwich in 2013, after completing an honours degree in Building Surveying. Matt will mostly keep you in the loop on gaming, tech and gadget news.

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BluewraithLinkStefano Diem BenattiNo.Blencathra Recent comment authors
Bluewraith
Bluewraith

TRULY disappointed first beta wkend > nice, second > average, third > bOOooring…. why ? passsed the enthusiasm it is not elder scroll game… it is bad MMO adaptation in elder scroll world.. no sensation no intimacy no gut feeling, poor ambiance lighting for me the game is not finished and everyone is in the same map, the dungeons are so crowded that it feel like the city street in NY… Where are the traps ? where is the interest when there are 50 people waiting the boss to respawn… what the point of playing a thief when 10 warriors… Read more »

Link
Link

Played the beta, loved the game, loved the art style. Just wish there was more to do than just quests, I geuss theres black smithing and a few other things, but I’d like to see more minigames and stuff to do. Then again I didn’t have much time to check out everything. I think the game is great.

Stefano Diem Benatti
Stefano Diem Benatti

I never played an elder scrolls game before this one, but i have played plenty of MMOs over the years. I really like active combat, such as GW2, and because of this i really liked this game. Maybe its not as immersive as an ES game (i wouldnt know), but as far as the MMO genre goes its pretty good one. Nice voice acting, good graphics, good story lore, and interesting gameplay in 1st person with limited number of skills, favoring good resource management and timing instead of keyboard faceroll. It feels like a fresh approach to a tired genre,… Read more »

Lezard
Lezard

Pros: – Character customization, both aesthetically and skill progression. Of extra note, the possibility to use ‘ or – when choosing names, something good for roleplayers (since orc names use prefix gro- or gra- and khajiit use prefixes like Ra’ or K’) – Huge maps to explore and very detailed graphically – Music/Voice acting. They even went them extra mile and had separate voice presets for each race (something Tera failed at, being able to have Aman shouting in squeaky Elin voice). Neutral: – Crafting system. Easy and allows the customization of armor aesthetics. Problem is the resources nodes are… Read more »

Guest123
Guest123

I’ve played in the beta and I have enjoyed it a lot. A few bugs here and there but nothing that can’t be fixed before launch. During the beta I took my time, went to explore to find skyshards, chests and what not. What I didn’t like was when I had a quest and had to kill a low level boss is that I had to enter some kind of queue to be able to kill him. There were so many people waiting for the boss to spawn that the second he spawned he insta-died from the nukes. I like… Read more »

Wyndguard
Wyndguard

I think both camps make valid points. The good: 1. Graphics great 2. Sound/Voiceover great 3. 3 WAR PVP great, DAOC realm wars was highly successful and so this will work for them and ties to the time period and history well. The okay and possibly good: 1. Crafting, devs admitted it needs a overhaul. But there are fundamental game design decisions in other areas that affect this system. For one endless arrows and poison for characters for example hurt crafting , as do other game design decisions. 2. Combat, the action combat I think is a great idea it… Read more »

Jason Walsh
Jason Walsh

It’s kinda funny to read the comments from people disparaging others for complaining about the costs. Even if you’re some filthy rich jerk, you might want to think about who you are giving your money to. Otherwise you are just a filthy rich clown, and then who cares what you’ve got to say, seriously, you begin to sound like every other message-board moron out there who can’t see past their own nose. For people to say that they don’t think it’s worth what is being asked doesn’t make them inferior, it makes them smart. It doesn’t matter how rich you… Read more »

Hideous room
Hideous room

Erh…in what imaginary world is $15 a high subscription fee? The sub fee for The Old Republic, which I am currently playing, is roughly 13.4 euro, equal to $18. WoW had the same fee back when I played that. $15 is cheap in comparison.

Observer
Observer

Ive been in beta and im going to play this game at release. But fact is I will play ESO just to get some fresh scenary and do something else for a while. I cant really shake off the feeling that so many will be really disapointed in this game. I mean, as an example there is no real use to sneak anywhere since all quest areas like “long lost temples/caves/hideuts/ruins” are public. its more players in there then there are mobs… its litterally a killfrenzy even so first come first served while the others will find themself standing and… Read more »

Juz
Juz

I pre-ordered the CE edition and now after Beta I have buyers remorse. I want to cancel TBH but will try it one more time (I tried healer, range and melee will try tanky melee now) before I make the final decision. Don’t get me wrong I loved some parts, the character creation was up there to Aion (before it went F2P), the music suits the zone and the forest areas always look great but game play just felt so awkward, there was no fluidity in the movements, I couldn’t immerse because I was too aware of moving my toon… Read more »

Death By Pudding
Death By Pudding

I have to say that as a “solo player” I really REALLY liked this beta, and I most likely will buy Imperial Edition. The voice acting is solid, music is just gr8, the atmosphere is just fantastic and that combat was solid too imo. I do understand that not every1 will like this game but hey, is there one game, mmo or fps or anything, that every1 would like? I dont think so! 🙂

Sir Lickems
Sir Lickems

I played the beta over the weekend, and I’m not impressed at all. It’s an exact copy of World of Warcraft down to the color coding that they chose for gear quality. The quests are over the top — save the world at every turn — and yet still manage to be quite boring. The combat is WoW minus the number of abilities, hit numbers, and auto attacks. (You are actually auto attacking but with left and right click.) I really wanted to love this game, but it is absolutely nothing like Skyrim. Had it been, it would have been… Read more »

Javatar
Javatar

I should add, for amusement, my first character stepped into a stream and fell out of the game, literally. She was just in an endless roll of clouds falling and screaming forever.

My second character stepped into a puddle and was suddenly dead, for no reason at all. At least he could revive.

At that point I thought to myself… am I playing Dark Souls?

Javatar
Javatar

Just had my first Beta session with ESO this evening. Frankly, I’m miserably disappointed. Elder Scrolls games are characterized by a vast world that becomes immersive because of all the wonderfully unnecessary details. There are caves with a few trolls in them, long winding roads through the mountains that you can ride down on your horse for an hour and hardly run into an enemy except for a few stray wolves, towns full of npcs walking about having conversations with each other; the music is beautiful, the voice acting is thoughtful, etc. ESO has none of this. It starts you… Read more »

GwShonie
GwShonie

The lead-up to this is very reminiscent of SWTOR to me. I’ve been through enough MMO releases to know that very few changes are made from beta to release. If it’s not good in beta, not much will be different come release. Anyone who thinks differently hasn’t played enough MMO’s at launch. EA/Bioware couldn’t make a subscription-based MMO work, what makes anyone think ZOS can? Times have changed, the majority of people won’t pay that anymore. The first month may be ok, sales may be ok, but 90% of the people will be gone after the free month ends. The… Read more »

No.
No.

How funny, the article mentions how the general attitude of the beta testers is mixed reviews, which is perfectly exemplified in this very Disqus discussion. lol

Pissnelke Haare
Pissnelke Haare

i played a lot of MMORPGs and Morrowind, Oblivion and Skyrim. I played the beta. I do like the Sound, graphics, character creation, the minimal interface and the hotkey integration. I don’t like the feedback when hitting an enemy, don’t see when you pulled a mob, class balance, drops?!, the levels are so generic and boring as hell, i don’t like the progress of my character over the levels, no bubbles –> no interaction with other players. But on top of all this, i miss the math, the numbers, the play with the stats. For me it’s not a MMORPG… Read more »

Simon H
Simon H

Regardless, the Beta invites are ever expanding. There will always be people that don’t take to games, and those are always the most vocal. The real news will be in the sales figures and population from launch. If it hits critical mass, the likely effect will be a short term continued growth as friends of friends jump on board too. If not, all depends on the appeal for continued population.

Simon H
Simon H

That quote said it all.. “A repeat of the Wow experience was not wanted”. WoW really doesn’t need a killer. Players are dropping off like flies already. For me this one looks like the way to go. Even if a small chunk of the WoW population jump ship it may be enough to sink it.

c0m4ndo45
c0m4ndo45

The comments section of this article proves only that it’s author was right. Posted about mixed reviews, got more mixed reviews/comments.

Ryan
Ryan

I might buy the game and then just play for the first month. I agree the beta was okay, I have mixed feelings on that. My biggest complaint was combat, and I tried to scream at them to make it smoother and make the auto attack faster and separate out the charged up attack to a different button, but to no avail I think. I shall meditate on this. Imperial edition makes me want to at least buy it, cause I didn’t like the other races much lol. Rings of Mara is cute nod to marriage in game, or can… Read more »

Mathew Chilton
Mathew Chilton

I have played every MMO since 1998 starting with Ultima online, that has released in the USA. The one exception being anarchy online. That said, TESO is absolutely nothing new, nor anything special. It is a mix between Age of Conan combat and TERA combat, it’s pretty slow. That said, it doesn’t matter the speed as it is RIDICULOUSLY easy. I found most world bosses I encountered were duoable if not soloable (I solo’d 2). You will still be hopping from quest hub to quest hub. Part of the reason it lacks the immersion of TES games is that everything… Read more »

Phantomgamer
Phantomgamer

I have played most MMO’s that have come out. Started with Everquest and kept going. The longest one was WoW. The shortest was Anarchy Online. Most seem to have the low levels and mid levels well covered but tend to fall short when you max out your toon. You either get stuck in endless PVP or Raiding. Age of Conan was fun at the high end for about two weeks, then it got boring building siege engines. Most other MMO’s had their own failures once you max’d out. Even Wow got boring for me, doing that stupid Island over and… Read more »

Solarmon
Solarmon

Some things in Skyrim made it feel fresh and special. Some of them are in ESO, too; like for example the good character creation or the cool-down-less/few-abilities combat, but for my preferences, many things are not in. Looting what an enemy is actually wearing, for example. Having a very RPG like feeling by being able to interact with environment, plates, food, etc. We even had belts and scabbards! Also, I feel already weird having to chose a strange class with some strange skills without a real background story or cultural ties to it. Some skills themselves seem to be weird,… Read more »

Mzuark
Mzuark

So I always just have this to say to detractors and people whining up a storm about mechanics or depth: Are you sure you’re not just asking for too much? In 10 years, Bethesda hasn’t disappointed me with Elder Scrolls game.

I can understand subjectivity, but I feel like no one else can. They just try to manipulate other fans into being just as jaded as them.

Roy
Roy

For me, the game is alright. It definitely has the elder scrolls feel, however it does lack in a few crucial elements that made the ES series great, but this was to be expected within the confounds of an online game. It certainly isn’t the most engaging mmo out there, but for fans of mmo gaming and ES lore, I can see it as a real boon. However those who are big mmo fans without the dedication to the ES series will most likely drop it after a few months, if even that. The same could be said for those… Read more »

ccrashh
ccrashh

I was in the beta the last round. Found it cluttered and confusing. With no mini-map it was difficult to navigate. Some items are interactive and others, that look identical, aren’t. You have to click on everything to be sure. Quite tedious.

Mark Jinks
Mark Jinks

15 a month, 180 a year and ps plus 40. im out…

Ebon
Ebon

I had the opportunity to join the most recent beta session (10-12 Jan) and I loved it. The game is pretty much what I expected it to be: great graphics, engaging combat system and character development similar to Skyrim. Sure, some bugs and still some tuning to be done, but that’s to be expected: it’s not live yet. I think it’s funny people complain that some creatures are too easy to kill. That’s so easy to fix: add more htipoints and/or damage. That’s what tuning is for. People should be looking at combat mechanics and character development instead. Tuning is… Read more »

Steven Ketza
Steven Ketza

Anyone complaining about having to pay for the game and subscription are either cheap or really new to mmo’s. If you don’t like the pricing model, there are other games for you cheapskates.

Guest
Guest

I was in the beta and I loved it a lot – yes I am a fan boy of the elder scrolls series but I think this will be a game that a lot of people will enjoy. I would say loads about it but of course I cant but I can admit the game was not perfect – yes there were some issues which caused some frustration but as soon as they fix these issues and take in all the constructive criticism from the beta testers I think this will be a great game to rival the MMO franchise.… Read more »

Ryan
Ryan

Beta testers are notoriously unreliable as a source of objective criticism. Half of them are happy just to be in a beta, the other half are fanboys. The ones giving harsher criticism are the ones who have been playing it long enough for the elation to wear off. The game will sell. You’ll have a few million copies sold within days of release, only for the numbers to drop like a stone within six months when gamers realize, yet again, that a MMO failed to attain it’s lofty goal. Seriously, how many more times do gamers need a Ryzom, Vanguard,… Read more »

Kronk
Kronk

I for one want the sub fee to remain. I do not like pay to win systems and would rather get rid of kids who cannot afford the sub anyways. The game looks great, the quests are undeniably elder scrolls which is where this game will shine. i will be playing at release and for many years i am certain after! The whole oblivion factor has many possibilities for end game and dungeon content that would make any mmo player salivate at the glands. This game will be the new wow killer guaranteed.

Pantheon
Pantheon

If the price keeps the less passionate people away, I’m happy. Yeah $15 per month is steeper than some other MMO’s but if it eliminates pay to win cash shops, again I’m happy. I’ll probably buy in and give them 3-4 months, but if I don’t see some general improvement in gameplay or the available skills (in combat) it could be very disappointing. The skills themselves are pretty good BUT don’t let me fully develop a certain number of skills and then in the heat of battle only be able to use a percentage of them. Too many skills is… Read more »

Rob
Rob

The design of the game is good. Very skyrim like. But I didnt try to party or go in depth to the complex systems that mmo’s tend to have. That could make or break the later levels. But the quality is there. Especially if you are a fan of skyrim.

Shade
Shade

I played the BETA and it is going to be the first pay to play game I will play. I played a few trials of WoW but never got sucked in enough to pay to play. Played LoTRO and never stuck with it, but ESO has me sold and I am very excited. It will be as immersive as you let it be. Being an MMO, there will never be complete immersion like other Elder Scrolls games simply for the fact there are so many people running around all the time, and many not having names that fit the world… Read more »

factory_666
factory_666

I loved what I’ve played, being a TES fan and having played a couple MMO’s in my days. Funny enough – I loved combat in particular, mostly for the fact that it’s much more player-skill based than usual MMO’s pr even TES 3,4 and 5. You can certainly play it like a regular hotbar-rotation RPG against same level mobs, or you can engage mobs of higher and much higher levels than you and still survive, although the latter requires you to manage the timing, resources and positioning and watch carefully for enemies’ attack cues. This also fixed the easy-difficulty problem.… Read more »

Katyna Ashe
Katyna Ashe

The majority of player input and review is going to be negative right now. Why? Because those who respect the NDA and have high regards for the game are keeping their mouths shut. So the current comments from ESO are going to be negatively bias.

Apoll
Apoll

World looks great, and asks to be explored. Crafting easy and complex at the same time. The reverse engineering feature like EvE online is great addition. No instances, everyone is there together. Has treasure maps/hunting like UO also. As PvE goes, as good as Skyrim/Oblivion. Dominion has better quest dialogs imho (more humour) especially when Khajiit characters are involved. Was unfortunate that on the last beta the Cyrodill gate was off, so no RvR. On the previous session though, was feeling better than DAOC on it’s good days in 2002-2006. 180 people were trying to take-defend a keep, and only… Read more »

CaptainCamper
CaptainCamper

Feels like Elder Scrolls for about the first 30-60 minutes of game play. Then it just turns into typical fetch, kill and search quests with very little depth and character. Only played 7-8 hours so a little early for a final judgement on an MMO, but it’s not looking good so far.

Aleksander.dev
Aleksander.dev

Played til lvl 11 on 2 chars and must say i like the game and looking 4ward to play it again. The negative part of this game is solo vs party. I tested both. Solo play was not easy and I was struggling with some “bosses” That where equal and a 1-2 lvl’s higher than me. In party, it was way to easy. So some form of scaling is needed. Though i do not think it should be possible to level faster in a party. So xp given in pt should have a penelty. Or solo a bonus. Otherwise there’s… Read more »

Bethesda
Bethesda

I really like the game. However the two things I’d like to changed are the difficulty and the monthly fee. The game right now is too easy, especially if someone helps you. I think that the enemies need to drop more gold than they currently do so you can actually buy a horse. (3 tests and still no horse!) Lastly the monthly Subscription needs to be droped down to $5.00 in order for me to buy it. That being said I highly recommend the game!

Anonomouse
Anonomouse

Combat could be improved, I think even age of conan which is pretty old now had a nice idea with the combat least for the close ranged melee classes I played back in the day. If I remember correctly you used 123 and Q and E so you can hit your weapon in different directions. 1 was top left, 2 was middle, 3 was top right, q was bottom left and e was bottom right. Am I the only who liked that? It gave you a good feel of control of your characters attack. I played the latest beta the… Read more »

Unimpressed
Unimpressed

Whilst I agree it looks like an elder scrolls game, it feels nothing like one to me. Class based character creation. limited to skills specific to that class. How can anyone claim this is like the previous elder scrolls games? the class free system in which you designed your character around the skills you wanted was central to the elder scrolls character design – Gone. Skill based combat in which you aimed to strike at enemies heads, archery in which you took pride in that headshot from half a mile away – Gone. Bows in particular now have a very… Read more »

Rj Hall
Rj Hall

I played the Beta and being a huge fan of TES games, I loved it. They stuck to that familiar feel of any TES games with exploring, and being rewarded for it. People keep asking for that “Next gen MMO” , but really, WoW was successful because it captured it VERY well. It had near perfect combat mechanics, great PvP, large areas, large impressive raids (Not so much anymore though). So when making a new MMO, you can’t really get rid of those features, because that’s what an MMO is. So yes majority of your MMO’s will be like WoW,… Read more »

Steve Rodrigue
Steve Rodrigue

I’ll resume my opinion: can’t believe 10 years later developers still makes the same MMO over and over. ESO is not bad, but I it’s not the next-gen MMO I wait for.

Ian Hawley
Ian Hawley

Typically I play in third person. With the, very Skyrim, controls, I found the combat in the recent beta to be quite rewarding and the game to be immersive and good looking. I don’t know what I can and cannot say, but I felt that I always had something to do and that there were plenty of stories being told, that the game was gently tugging me towards some but equally I could decide to wander off and look at something, just because it interested me, just as in Skyrim, I will happily ignore the plot and go exploring, adventuring… Read more »

Zen Shot
Zen Shot

The character creation tools were excellent. After that it was all downhill I’m afraid. Typical run of the mill mmo fodder. Nice looking but completely predictable and totally boring. Doomed to fail if they stick to a subscription based plan.

Bethesda seem to be of the opinion that they already have a massive user base in Elder Scrolls fans but didn’t SWTOR have an even bigger one? We all know what happened to that game.

Scribbinge
Scribbinge

“a repeat of the WoW experience was not wanted” That pretty much summed up my opinion going into the beta. Turns out Zenimax delivered on that front though, as before anything else, ESO looks and feels like an Elder Scrolls game; which is impressive considering its new MMO format. The world is absolutely stunning, and you can’t help but explore, which the game rewards you for. Combat isn’t exactly complicated – but is arguably more varied than even single player Elder Scrolls games. So far, they’ve really hit the nail on the head, and I’m more than willing to give… Read more »

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