Oddly enough, after a few rounds in the TESO beta and some postings around, I’ve more or less come to the conclusion the game is a mashup of GW2 and TSW.
And I have a massive dislike for GW2, hence my issues with TESO. PvP has no value for me in MMOS, outside of filler content. The simplistic controls and lack of class structure make for a bunch of monkeys on keyboards. I’m sure people love it (Bhagpuss sure does) and I do like reading their stories – but they are their stories, not mine.
That leaves TSW and the other half. I played at launched, played at B2P and a few other times. Each time I left was due to other commitments. Summer breaks, holidays, work hours and so on. My fallout from Rift is quite parallel. Reading my RSS feed of late and seeing the Monday night crew in TSW, I wanted to go back and I did.
Apparently I had a full roster of characters too. I wanted a fresh start though, to see with a new set of eyes. Plus I wanted to keep my nickname (going on 20 years using Asmiroth now) so I deleted my old guy and created a new one. Templar on Arcadia.
Off to Kingsmouth, to live the nightmare.
TSW has 2 unique properties. First is the lack of levels and rather a system of skill points and skill trees. It’s complex due to skill synergies but if you pay attention, it’s a whole lot of fun. Plus I like Meta. The second part is quests.
Quests in most MMOs are a means to an end. Either the reward is the prize or the destination is. I have a new sword or I’ve found a new zone. No one pays attention to the quest itself. TSW is different in that the rewards and negligible. The quest itself however, is multi stepped and complex.
For example, one quest had me chase down boxes of eaten squid to reach a big bad guy. No quest trail, no arrows, just me looking at the ground. Another asked for zombie body parts (like slow and dry) so I had to find them. They were not very close to the quest giver.
Investigation quests are mini sleuth exercises. While on their own they are fun (you can cheat but it’s way more fun to give it a shot) they really shine in a group. I tagged up with Septakill for some other quests and we fell on this murder investigation. Went to city hall, found some records, went to prison and talked to a ghost, looked at a wall (which was oddly the most complex part) and followed some pigeons. The pigeons were the best part. 7 of them, each saying a different thing. Based on the clues given previously, you needed to touch the pigeons in a certain order. Each of us took a few stabs at each step and it was a lot of fun figuring it out.
Long story short, I remember why TSW hooked me previously. It’s an experience rather than simply a game. You feel a part of it. Skipping quest intros makes no sense because that’s the point of the game – to be a part of the mystery. If ever you’re around, feel free to send me a message.