ESO – Level 36

So it’s been a few days with me running around ESO.  Well to be honest, the weekend was a WildStar beta and I tried a few more classes out.  Other than being themeparks, I can’t stress enough how dissimilar these games are from each other.  They are not aiming for the same market.

So, Molabal Tor is the zone for 30-37 I hear.  At least the enemies are that level.  I must have messed up somewhere because I’ve been at least 2 levels under since the early 20s.  I explore every nook, find every part of the map.  I don’t avoid combat but I’m not grinding either.  I’m just “playing”.  Still enough experience though.  At least to keep pace with the content.  There is some debate about level balance in that you aren’t penalized for level differences, so I can take on enemies 4-5-10 levels above me.  They hit harder and have more hit points but it isn’t like I miss every attack.

While some bloggers have found the difficulty to go down as they level I have found the complete opposite.  I will admit, I am a massive MMO meta fan.  I play them for the numbers and the tactics.  The numbers in ESO make no sense to me.

A solid 20% of my skills don’t appear to be working, or the wording is simply wrong.  This applies largely to morphed skills.  I have a charge that should stun for longer the larger the distance.  It doesn’t.  I have a blade attack that hits 6 times, 4% chance to disorient.  Now, you’d think that would be 4% per hit but it’s 4% for the entire skill…completely negating the point since I can just slot a stun attack instead.  Attack numbers are just not intuitive.

Defensive skills are also simply broken, there’s just no other explanation that I can come to.  I have a full tank build.  All heavy armor, shield, skills that increase my armor and decrease enemy attack power.  I still die at the same rate as if I was in medium armor.

Valley of Blades

This is the level 35 main quest.  I’m 36, so should be ok.  I enter the zone, nothing much going on.  I do have 3 DPS companions though, so I figure this should be fun.  Complete some basic tasks and then this dragon shows up.  Who proceeds to kill me in a few shots, including some stuns that I can’t avoid.  Fun times.  I do manage to take him down eventually.

Big Boy

Big Boy

The next part is just a walk down a tomb to get a ring.  Simple.  Turn around and I have to “protect the tomb”.  So, ya, fun times right?  Not so much.  What occurs now is what I consider “tested but unbalanced” content.  I get to attack a few undead.  First a knight who, even though I’m in full tank gear after 1 death on the dragon, proceeds to kill me in 4 hits.  Ok.  That’s not right.  I try again.  Dead.  4 times.  Dead.  I then decide to cheap it and stack stamina regen and just chain stun him and run away.  He dies.

Great, fight done!  Nope.  Next is another undead knight.  Cheap him out.  Then a knight and a mage.  I die twice avoiding the magic and then just hide in a corner and wait 5 minutes for the companions to kill him.  Next is either a bug or something, because the original knight is back.  I run like mad.  Thinking I’m clear, I walk a bit and end up with 2 mages and another knight.  I mean really?!

Hide to live another day!

Hide to live another day!

Screw that.  10 minutes go by for the companions to kill them while I hide.  Finally done.

So grand total is over an hour for a quest where I spent ~45 minutes just standing there watching because the content was so overtuned there was no real possibility of success.

Grouping

I wanted to add this previously but here it is.  I have never played an MMO where grouping is a bad thing.  Outside of AvA, grouping is a massive negative in ESO.  There is not a single item in the game that scales to the players around the content.  If you do not have a ranged attack, then you should avoid other people as much as possible.  Now, I’m not saying they are being malicious but if you have 20 people attacking a creature with 500hp, good luck seeing him run a single animation.  Dark Anchors are a joke.  It looks like they were designed for 3-5 people.  Instead because they open so rarely, you’re going to have 20-30 people around.  Public dungeons are the same.  Quests aren’t so bad as it’s rare enough to have more than 2-3 people around you due to the massive phasing for quests.  So even if I try to play with friends, I really can’t for half of the content.

I just don’t see how that makes sense.

Conclusion

I think I’ve reached the end of this road.  There is a lot to enjoy but it has absolutely nothing to do with being an MMO.  AvA is the exception but if the PTS patch notes come through, I think that’s done too.  I’ve cancelled my subscription and have 7 days to go.  I am honestly disappointed. There was/is a lot of potential here but it just feels wasted.  I do hope that the rest of the players still logging in are having fun and that ZOS can tweak it enough to keep the player happy.

PS.  Interesting note.  ESO doesn’t have a feedback form for cancelled subscriptions.

2 thoughts on “ESO – Level 36

  1. Yeah, that quest in the tombs there with the mobs coming back constantly like that … I think I was 38 when I did it and I died several times. When the mobs spawned they’d beeline for me. After I died and they reset, then I could pull 1 at a time. I definitely thought that that quest was bullshit.

    The level 40 quest isn’t much better. I did it at 45 and it was still very very tough. Final boss is a caster. I can heal myself plus I’ve got soft-capped spell resist, and I still popped a couple of health potions during the fight. Did I mention he had 20K hit points and thus took a very long time to kill? Plus he’d call adds from a portal you’d have to deal with, then 1 companion would “hold the portal shut” so you kept losing companions as the fight progressed. Not that they did much, but every little bit helps, ya know?

    I see from your twitter feed there that you’re done. Sorry to see you go, but there are enough bugs that I can see why you’d be doing that too. For myself, the frustration doesn’t exceed the fun factor yet, but who knows where I’ll be in a month or so.

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    • It sure does make you wonder if ZOS played any of the content without god-mode on. Heat maps (who doesn’t have these nowdays?) should be clearly showing massive death spikes in these areas. It’s a relatively “easy” fix. The mechanics are fine, just the numbers are wrong.

      If I was playing ESO under the concept of a single player ES game, then I think I’d be ok with the bugs and balance issues. The game is fun in long bursts, even with the frustrating issues mentioned. I just blew a gasket on this particular one, took a step back and thought “is this worth paying $15” and the answer was a clear no to me for multiple reasons. Primarily that ESO is not an MMO, or at least most of the MMO parts don’t work. I guess it was the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back.

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