Now that I have quite a few days under my belt in Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited for consoles, it is quickly becoming a deep rabbit hole that I will likely sink many hours into and I am okay with that. I reached my first major milestone in the game over the past few days, which occurred at level 10 and got really addicted to the crafting system.
Skills are setup like other Elder Scrolls titles and new skill lines can be unlocked by joining NPC guilds, reading books, or by simply using certain weapons & armor, such as the case with skill lines for heavy, medium and light armor. It really takes a lot of player preference into account. I personally always play as a tank-like character in MMO’s and RPG titles. So I built my character with sword and shield in mind with a heavy durability, so heavy armor was a must.
After exploring and questing for a few hours, I wanted to explore crafting, which I heard while preparing myself for this game, was a very large aspect. I was not disappointed. You can essentially become a hired hand for your friends by creating high level gear if that is the life you want in Elder Scrolls Online. There are six main crafting facets that can be broken down into the following categories, food, blacksmithing, carpentry, tailor, enchantment and alchemy. They are referred to other things by some characters, such as cooking, or wood working, or clothing, but it’s all the same. Creating food requires recipes which you will find as you explore or sometimes earn from quests or NPCs. Blacksmithing, woodworking and tailoring all require 10 pieces of the given catalyst be it ore, wood, or rawhide. All which can be foraged within Tamriel by exploring and interacting with various resources to harvest them. Alchemy & enchanters are slightly different as they requires three different pieces to mix and match. Alchemy usually can be done by finding plants, or mushrooms in the wild and mixing them with a liquid that acts as the base for the concoction. Enchanters require different shaped stones to create enchantments that can be used to add magic elements to weapons and armor.
Each crafting category has its own skill line that can be upgraded as you progress and in turn help for easier gathering and crafting. Once you find the request board in major cities such as Daggerfall you are able to go through a mini-quest which serves as a tutorial for crafting in each of the six facets, once you complete it you can begin to do daily requisitions for experience, gold and material caches. It can become quite addictive as it allows the player an easy way to gain experience.
Soon after I crafted everything I wanted, I decided that since I am level 10 it is about time to explore what else Tamriel has to offer. At this milestone, the game actually offers quite a bit to the player, they can join several 4-player dungeons via group finder, or they can join in on the campaigns which can last seven, fourteen, or thirty days. These campaigns are large scale PvP battles that occur during the given amount of days where the goal is to control the most forts on the map. There are also mini-quests that players can take part in to help their faction during the campaign. It’s rather neat and just adds even more depth to the game, although fans will be hard pressed to spend a whole lot of time there unless they enjoy PvP that much.
I was also able to take part in my first dungeon which was quite different than most MMO’s out there. I joined the group menu and went searching for a random group to join, as it is still in the early days of the game it took quite some time. I finally was able to get in the group and decided to strike up a conversation in the group chat channel. At that point we were all confused as to what to do, Elder Scrolls Online doesn’t explicitly tell you what to do. It doesn’t hold your hand like most MMO’s out there, so we had to figure out that not only did we have to join the same server world, but we also had to meet up at the entrance to the dungeon and then enter, or alternatively have someone enter it and use the group menu to teleport to them. Most other games of the type just instantly teleport you to the required dungeon. This is a bit more atmospheric I guess, requiring the player to travel, but it doesn’t streamline it as much as I would have hoped.
The dungeon itself was Spindleclutch, a claustrophobic spider-infested cave that was very linear as one would expect, but challenging as the enemies attacked in mobs, the bosses and mini-bosses however are where it shined. Each having a unique set of moves and area of effect attacks that your group will have to avoid. It made for some rather fun learning experiences until we finally slayed the beast. The bosses always drop loot, but it is different based on the player so feel free to trade if your friend has something that you want and visa versa.
Now that I have experienced a little bit of everything, expect the review soon. So far though, I am rather enjoying my stay in Tamriel and there is plenty more to talk about.