Hurray! Elder Scrolls Online has finally released (at least for PC). It is a MMORPG (a massively multiplayer online role-playing game) set in the Elder Scrolls universe (which released games like Daggerfall, Morrowind, Oblivion, and Skyrim). At first I had mixed feelings…I was upset that Elder Scrolls was turning into a MMORPG instead of another solo game (because they are so fantastic). However, I got put into the Long-Term Beta Testing, so I got to play for a good few months. They happened to change my mind. I absolutely love it. Sure, it’s not the exact same as the other Elder Scrolls with the whole MMO element, but it still allows me to get lost in the world as the others do. I haven’t felt this excited about a game in a while and it feels good!
From being in beta for a few months and playing live now, I believe I have a firm grasp on how to play the game or at least how to help beginners at this game. Those who have just bought it and started to play can certainly benefit from the advice below:
1. Loot Coldharbour. This is the place where you start. There are baskets, trunks, chests everywhere! These contain lots of crafting materials and more. Don’t rush through this beginning zone, take the time to explore and you will have a head start on crafting and making money. It is worthwhile to loot everywhere!
2. Be flexible at first. This is like no other MMO in the way of classes and abilities. It is Elder Scrolls; where you can decide what character you want to be. Sure, there are the foundation classes of Dragonknight, Templar, Nightblade, and Sorcerer, but it’s up to you who your character will be. You can use any weapon no matter what class. Play with each weapon for a level or so, see what comes natural to you and what fits your playing style best. Your knowledge of this will help you further in the game as you know you chose the best type of weapon for your playing style. It also helps to know when you can switch out weapons at level 15. But that’s a little far away, right now.
3. Decide what role you want to play. This means deciding which class you want to play as to which race to which skill lines you are going to focus on. For me, I’m all about the story, so I don’t always make the most efficient character (I pick the race I personally want, despite if it has the bonuses that is going to go best with my class or role). However, since it is an MMO, I still want to be useful in a group whether that means tanking, healing, or being the damage dealer.
4. Immerse yourself. This is a big one, but it is an easy one, at least for me. Tamriel (the Elder Scrolls continent) has always been a favorite place of mine, rich with history with a plethora of adventures at your disposal. It’s very easy to lose myself in this world, in the quests, the people, the fighting. Allow yourself to do so (despite it being an MMO). Don’t just spam click the quests, read them, listen to them, know why you’re doing them. It will actually benefit you in the long run with some quests when you’re required to recall information. Lose yourself in the game!
5. Pick up everything. Yes, everything! Unlike other MMOs, you aren’t limited to one or two crafting abilities. You can do all of them. Yes, that may be a little overwhelming, but it is so exciting! Unlike the other Elder Scrolls games, ingredients are a little bit tougher to pick out in the scenery. Look out for flowers, runes, ore, and so forth. Always check all the baskets, trunks, crates, etc, you never know what you could find. It’s always exciting to find new recipes and new materials to work with. And even if you don’t use them, you could always sell them in bulk.
6. Learn how to craft right away. From the very first moment you get to your starter area, start crafting! If you’ve already followed the advice of this post, then you will have a good amount of ingredients in your inventory. Go to each crafting station, read the tutorial, and understand it. Try each one out, even if you don’t have all required ingredients. Don’t forge to “deconstruct” things. That means armor, weapons, glyphs, and so forth. This is how you can get more materials to craft more things. The ESO crafting system is probably the most amazing and complex one I’ve ever seen from an MMO. I love it!
7. Use that bank! Going along with crafting, you’re going to need to take advantage of your bank. Ingredients take up a large part of your inventory, but they invented something beautiful to help you with that. I’m sure you’re familiar with depositing items in your bank from other MMOs, but Elder Scrolls does it differently. This trick can save you time, money, and the heart-wrenching choice of destroying inventory. You can deposit any and all crafting items in your bank (up until it hits its capacity) and you can still use those items while you go to a crafting station. So even if they aren’t in your pocket, your ingredients and crafting items are readily available any time you go to actually craft. Pretty nifty, huh?
8. Hold off on weapon skills. This is going to be a controversial one. First off, I certainly don’t mean don’t choose any weapon skills, that would be absurd. But in light of #2 and #3, don’t throw all your eggs in one basket. Once you hit near 10, you should know which weapon you want to focus on. I think that’s a good time to start piling points there. Before that, if you’re still playing around with a few, you should just hold off until you know for sure. That way, you won’t be wasting any skill points!
9. Pick up a book. No, really! If you know Elder Scrolls, you know that some books can give you bonus skill points. Trust me, it’s worth it to look at every bookshelf. Plus, that’s how you level up in the Mage’s Guild AND there’s some pretty cool lore out there.
10. You can join up to 5 guilds. I’m not talking about the Fighter’s Guild or anything similar to that, I’m talking about player guilds. Guilds that fight for certain alliances that players create and recruit for. You can name it what you want (within reason) and make it what you want. Some guilds are for trading, PVP, PVE, RP, and so forth. In most MMOs, you can only join one guild. I thought it was pretty cool to be able to be a part of 5. Plus, they go cross-characters, so all your characters will be in said player guilds if you join them.
11. Get lost. Again, this is an Elder Scrolls game. You will always be rewarded for exploring off the beaten path of quests. Explore every nook and cranny. You could find new quests, crafting materials, treasure maps, locked chests, cool new areas, and awesome items. Although it is “zoned” like other MMOs, it is unlike others because you are encouraged to run off the trail and towards the beach, fight some mudcrabs, and come upon a barnacle-encrusted chest filled with treasure. This is your world–explore it!
With that, I leave you to it. I don’t want to spoil anything for you, but I am always here as a source if need be. I will be continually playing with my brother (and eventually Chris when it comes out for PS4) under “Ewoky.” Please let me know if you have any other questions, I would love love to help! And as always…stay hungry and fit!