ZeniMax Online Studios recently announced the Morrowind expansion, or ‘chapter’, for their MMO, Elder Scrolls Online, so I decided to pick it up and try exploring Tamriel before it comes out.
I’ve had something of a fraught relationship with ESO. I played in the early beta when it was still very broken: I got stuck in two of the three starting areas due to bugged main questlines, barring any progress.
At the time I was pretty excited about the prospect of playing an Elder Scrolls game with my buddies, but that excitement was quickly extinguished and I moved on.
Fast forward to ESO going free-to-play in March 2015 and I jumped in again. I wasn’t able to stick with it for long and more-or-less forgot it existed, until I saw the awesome trailer for Morrowind.
In preparation I’ve made a new character, a Breton Nightblade healer, and I’m having a blast!
I can’t quite put a finger on what’s different this time: perhaps it’s because I’m between games, perhaps I was craving some of that Elder Scrolls charm, perhaps I needed to stop seeing ESO as an MMO and just start enjoying it as another Elder Scrolls game.
The biggest change since I last played was the One Tamriel update which scales content to your level, essentially meaning you can go anywhere at anytime and adventure with anyone.
That really makes it feel like an Elder Scrolls game. I’ve got that same feeling of almost being overwhelmed with content I had when first being dumped off the cart in Skyrim. I can’t decide whether I want to help the Orcs create a home, steal everything under the sun, or kill targets as a shadowy clandestine assassin.
I constantly get distracted by plants, mining nodes and runes as I weave my way through the countryside. It’s all in service to the unique crafting system which requires you to research a trait before you’re able to craft it yourself or go to a specific area to craft powerful items with set bonuses.
Don’t fancy that? Fine, join a trading guild and become a champion of commerce, or hang with some old favourites like the Fighters or Mages guilds.
I’m certainly interested in the more MMO centric content: dungeons, trials, PvP, etc. But for the time being I’m happy being the honorable Breton scoundrel Wrucks, just finding my feet in a massive world which is happy to let me just explore.
If, like me, you were turned off by the ESO that you played during the beta or on release, take my advice and try it again, get prepared for Morrowind and get immersed in another brilliant Elder Scrolls game.
Are you excited about Morrowind? Could you not care less about that awesome looking bear? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter!