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4 Reasons You Should Try The Elder Scrolls Online
Following the lore in previous Elder Scrolls games, The Elder Scrolls Online is set to delight long-time fans, through its rich lore and endless exploration of its universe.
Even so, ESO is also an MMO and has all the classic traits of such a game. While it brings its own flavor to the mix, anyone that has ever played an MMO before will realize the game fits into the genre within minutes from entering the game first-time.
The game has lots of similarities with others in its niche, but I think it comes with some new, innovative concepts that certainly make ESO worth playing, or at least give it a chance.
1. Support for multiple platforms
This couldn't be the only reason when deciding whether to play a game or not, but it does matter a lot. The Elder Scrolls Online comes in PC, Mac, Xbox One and PS4 versions. Console players can finally enjoy a good MMO without having to go back to their computers.
The only minor setback is the console versions will not be launched on April 4th, like PC and Mac, instead they'll become available sometime in June.
2. The Mega Server concept
If you've ever played an MMO, you know the mind boggling amount of problems caused by multiple servers. Developers always had to balance server population and players were forced to move their characters from one server to another to avoid staying on a deserted server with no people to play with and really bad economy.
The Elder Scrolls Online won't have that problem. Everyone will play on the same server. Well, that's a bit of an overstatement, although not too far from the truth. ESO will have one Mega Server for PC & Mac, one for PS4 and another one for Xbox One. But three really large servers is better than dozens and even hundreds of smaller ones.
You might ask yourself, won't really big crowds on these Mega Servers cause huge lag spikes and other game-play issues? No, they won't. Because ESO's Mega Server technology divides the population into several virtual instances. These instances dynamically adjust their population and their overall number so you won't be alone in your area, but it won't get too crowded either.
3. The combat system
ESO's combat system is of an elegant simplicity. Use your mouse to point the target, click to attack. Sure you'll have other abilities on your skill bar, but as far as a basic attack goes, that's it.
Whichever ability you use, it won't hit the enemy unless your mouse-enabled reticle is right on it.
The skill bar of any ESO character will have only six slots. You might think that's very scarce, to say the least, but it exactly the opposite. The number of abilities you can actively use are indeed limited, but you certainly have a lot to choose from.
ESO has many skill lines, with the main ones being race, class, weapon and armor skills. Other skill lines you can get by doing PvP, dungeons, exploration....etc. All of these offer active and passive abilities so there's no shortage of them.
Another interesting thing about ESO is you can dodge an attack to avoid it or avoid its damage through blocking. You can also use stealth to sneak past enemies. All characters will have these abilities, but they can't be used indefinitely since all of them consume Stamina, one of the primary resources along with Health and Magicka.
Synergy is a unique system implemented in The Elder Scrolls Online. Some of your abilities will have a synergy, giving your allies the opportunity to improve them by doing the right thing, at the right time. It's a unique concept that makes the game more challenging, but also more rewarding for team players.
4. Character skill lines
I think besides all the content that will be available at launch and post-launch, one of the most interesting aspects of ESO are its skill lines.
In other games you might know them as skill trees, and although they also have requirements in this game, they're not exactly presented as trees.
Skill lines are grouped by category in the game so you can easily browse through them. The main categories are: class, weapon, armor, world (exploration), guild, alliance war (PvP), racial, and craft.
Each class has 3 different skill lines for various combat roles. For example, the Templar has two offensive skill lines and one for healers. Each type of weapon and armor have a different skill line which you can level as you have them equipped.
ESO's race skills give your character a good foundation for its role, without becoming too important for the game. Some races such as High Elves will give ranged DPS casters a solid advantage while the Khajiit is perfect for a stealthy, melee DPS.
There are two great challenges concerning The Elder Scrolls Online skills: the first one is choosing only 6 from a myriad of them and the second one is acquiring enough skill points to level them.
Crafting while leveling-up your character can also be a problem, since using skill points to boost your crafting will force you to give up on improving your combat skills and vice versa.
Even so, the game is still in Beta and the devs still have time to balance things where it's needed.
Payment model and prices
The Elder Scrolls Online will be subscription-based and it's already available for pre-order from the official website, which is the safest source I can recommend, as long as you want to purchase a digital edition of the game.
There are two main editions: Imperial and Standard Edition. The Digital Standard Edition is listed at $69.99 and the Digital Imperial Edition costs $114.99. If you're not convinced yet by the game, take a look at the official Elder Scrolls Online called The Arrival, maybe it will change your mind.