It was open beta this weekend past on Elder Scrolls Online. I had an extra key to share, but none of my friends were able to join me. The exciting thing about an open beta is that I could finally take some screen caps of the character I’ve been playing with these last two sessions.

I give you my Breton mage-thief, Arkarath. Doesn’t he have an excellent beard?

arkarath eso 2

I didn’t play much during this beta, only a couple of hours on Saturday. “Why not,” you ask? Because I had a lot of writing to do, for one thing, and I’m still absorbed in shadows, playing Thief whenever I have a free hour or so to break. This speaks volumes to me about my future in Elder Scrolls Online, specifically to the fact that once this beta testing is over and the game is open for the rest of the world, I will probably neither be dropping $60-$80 on the initial download, nor subscribing.

Again you ask, “Why?” The answer is simple. I am a solo player. While it would be fun to occasionally tromp around one of my favorite virtual stomping grounds with a band of friends, for the most part I game alone. It is a selfish pastime for me, one I like to keep to myself. I don’t want to share bosses or treasure with other people and I don’t want to earn my achievements by standing back as other players perform the actions required to complete tasks. And this is what happened to me once again while in Tamriel. The quest I was glitched on during the last beta test was finally fixed, allowing me to move forward in the game, but as I approached the formerly glitched out boss there were two other players there battling her at the same time. I hardly had time to summon my magicka before she was dead, and yet I got to share in the credit for slaying her with the two strangers who got there seconds before me.

I felt a little cheated. It happened twice more during my play session on Saturday, at which point I shut down the game, picked up my lockpicks and slid back into Garrett’s shadow.

I do hope I get invited back for further testing as they wind down to launch one month from today, as I really don’t think I’ll be joining them for the actual launch. It’s a bittersweet decision, as I love the world and see so much potential in it, but I’d much rather see an Elder Scrolls VI game than combine forces with friends and strangers in an MMORPG.

Did you test ESO this weekend? What did you think? Will you be subscribing after launch?


4 thoughts on “Another ESO Beta Weekend

  1. Carla

    I would have loved to try it, lol! I have been looking at it, but just not sure, I love my wow and the reviews of WOW lovers is not good :(

    1. Jennifer Melzer Post author

      If they do another beta weekend with a key to share, Carla, you will be the first person I offer it to! :)

  2. Wendy

    The good news is that once you have a beta key, you’re in. You don’t have to be invited again. I’m sorry you won’t be gaming when the release comes out, though. It would have been nice to game with you a bit.

    I’m also a solo gamer, and some of it took a lot of getting used to, but overall, I really enjoyed it. Sometimes, especially when there was an area of effect where we had to save or kill so many people or put out so many fires, all the people playing at once could be a bit intrusive. But I never had to share treasure, and if a boss got killed when I was just arriving, I could wait a couple of minutes for him to respawn. I’m just sorry your experience was different. We’ll miss you!

    1. Jennifer Melzer Post author

      I seemed to be playing at high traffic points, dozens of people gathered around the same boss waiting for their turn to kill it. I do think it would be fun for a lot of us who love Skyrim together to form a guild that plays together upon occasion, but the cost is holding me back right now, along with the intrusiveness of having to share a world I love to hide under my pillow and keep to myself.

      I also have a feeling it will be a huge time suck if I give in. I won’t say I’ll never play. I just don’t think it’s in the cards for me right now.

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