The Weekend Hangover is Too Much Gaming's Monday rumination of the games or game we played over the weekend. Sometimes there is alcohol involved in the hangover we’re nursing, but most other times there’s just too much gaming.
Tamriel Unlimited in 2019
The Elder Scrolls Online’s next expansion, Elsweyr, is set to launch on June 4, 2019. Dragons will roam Tamriel once again and we get to explore the Khajiiti homeland. But before I even consider expansions or even DLC content, I spent the long weekend playing the base game, finally reaching level 50 and realizing the long laundry list of things I can do in endgame.
To my surprise, it wasn’t a chore getting to level 50. Every questline I encountered reminded me of why I enjoyed previous Elder Scrolls games. With it being an MMORPG, I was expecting the typical quest fodders like “kill this many bandits in this area”, but every location is filled with fully-voiced questlines complete with backstory and they mostly end with a major choice that will affect how the quest will conclude. This is the perfect Elder Scrolls game to play if you don’t want to revisit Skyrim for the 10th time and itching for Elder Scroll 6, which is mostly years away from release.
Now that I’m level 50, the journey still continues thanks to every piece of content scaling to your level, making every quest viable to do. I now have the Champion Points system to worry about, Trials, Veteran Dungeons, PVP, and a lot more to experience. This game is a far cry to what it was when it was released back in 2014, which left a bad taste in my mouth when I tried it at launch. I left and didn’t think I would look back.
The type of endgame content is up to you
The Elder Scrolls Online is one of those comeback stories that rarely happen with online-only games. When an MMORPG drops their subscription model, its chances of survival are slim. Instead of converting to the Free-to-Play model, ZeniMax Online Studios opt for the buy-to-play model, which requires you to buy the game once in order to be part of the online community, while keeping the ESO subscription model as an option for those that want bonus content and free access to DLC content. That change, plus the merging of all servers into two mega-servers, gave Elder Scrolls Online new life and is now a beloved MMORPG that caters to a variety of players.
ESO is not just about raids once you reach the end, or earning the best gear. People are enjoying the game and continue to play for different reasons. Some do treat it as a solo game, just going off on their own, experiencing each piece of content released so far. Some just login every day to join the massive Alliance War or PVP battlegrounds, and there are also people that love to play house and decorate their in-game home with the rewards they’ve picked up (or bought) in their adventures. Some player just like to play with the in-game economy - they have guilds that cater to just trades, it’s crazy.
Anything is viable in ESO, which is great to see after level 50. But I’m overwhelmed on what to do. I have no interest in buying any expansions because the base game is filled with content that it feels like I have another month worth of content available to me. I might even play a new character because being a sorcerer in the tank role is a thing and the max amount of Champion Points - a progression system that unlocks once you hit level 50 for the first time - is currently at 810, and I’m only at 40 as of this writing.
Just like Guild Wars 2, it may not be in the spotlight anymore, but it’s an MMORPG that’s no longer struggling but striving. The community is alive and well and you’ll be welcomed to join no matter what you do in the game.