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?
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?