Before anyone ever thought to make an Elder Scrolls Online one of Bethesda’s developers said he would never want to see an Elder Scrolls Online game. His reason at the time was that Elder Scrolls was about him and that wasn’t possible as a multi-player game. My reason for saying this is that Bethesda, who is not known for games with smooth launches, has once again, along with Zenimax, failed to disappoint. We expected a game with a rocky start and that is what we got. This last weekend has been fraught with gameplay that has more bugs than an Orkin Man.
My character, seen above, at one point fell through the landscape and subsequently through the void for five minutes…each time. When I died at the end of the fall the cycle started all over again. And all this is just the beginning.
- Twice I have been stuck in instances with no way out and no way to finish the quest.
- Countless times I have finished a long quest line only to find the NPC at the end of the quest line simply missing.
- Countless time the game has crashed to desktop.
- Time and time again the game has crashed resulting in a five minute or more “roll back” after I logged back in. At one point I had been playing for an hour and the game rolled all the way back.
- The lag time on chat this afternoon was 2 to 5 minutes – once I, or anyone else online, typed a message in chat there was a delay of several minutes before it would appear on the screen.
- This afternoon players were stuck both inside and outside cities with no way to get out or in.
This, my friends, is “deja-vu all over again” as Yogi Berra once said. This is just how many of the same games I have played began whose developers and publishers swore they would never go free to play started out. Games that come to mind are Warhammer Online, The Secret World, Age of Conan Online, Champions Online, Star trek Online and that list is just getting warmed up.
Part of the problem seems to be that game developers no longer use beta as a period for testing the game. Instead it is used as a perk to market the game. What results is a launch that alienates players resulting in a mass exodus at the end of the 30 day free period included with games. This game will be no exception. There was a time I thought this game would be free to play within a year; now I doubt Elder Scrolls Online will last that long. The basic problem is this: as riveting as the story is that is told in the game, the performance of what was released by developers doesn’t merit the $60 dollar price tag let alone a $15.00 subscription. The intellectual property that is the Elder Scrolls Story line is not enough to carry the game forward on the it’s merits alone. Unless things change, Elder Scrolls Online is rapidly heading for a tagline that says Much Ado About Nothing.
I hope Bethesda and Zenimax and pull their fat out of the fryer as Grandma used to say but if this continues I doubt it.