This is a picture of a choke point in a low level quest. We’re waiting for a crate to spawn. Sometimes when the crate spawns, it does not contain the mook we are looking for. When it does have the mook we want, only one of us gets the credit for quest completion. It can take up to two hours of crate camping to complete the quest. At the level you get this quest, there are no other quests you can do safely (they are orange or red difficulty). In my feedback on this I noted that this is not compelling gameplay.
So, much as I wanted to play some more TESO this weekend, I’m found it hard going with numerous broken quest chains. I wanted to try playing a Dragonknight Imperial with sword & shield. I emerged out of the introduction quest with only a sword, and some skimpy light armour. Maybe there was a shield somewhere, but I didn’t find it. But wandering around in a dress without a shield did not make me feel heroic. Still, a nice touch for the armour was that it had broken handcuffs attached.
A recent design decision was to ditch the introductory island zones in favour of starting people in a town, but this means you don’t have any crafting materials ready when you find the workstations, and you have little coin for buying anything … like say a shield. On the plus side, without the hand holding, you get the opportunity to explore the world in any direction you like (although eventually all roads led to a wayshrine for resurrection)
The Imperials do look like a strong choice for a tank playstyle, with an experience bonus to sword and shield and other racials that boost health. Visually they were pretty bland, the design screen was so dark I couldn’t discern a difference in their hair, eye or skin colours.
The white horse mount from the Imperial edition is functional, but fades away at the first sign of damage. Mounting/dismounting still has that awkward pause from Skyrim, and is cumbersome for NPC interaction. Collision detection is on now, which means you can’t barge through NPCs – but its still fine to run right through other PCs (if PC collisions were enabled I would bet money that packs of Trolls would lock down key NPCs and quest locations so they were unuseable).
Once you have played through the tutorial, you get an option to skip it on future characters, starting at level 3. I appreciate this … almost wish it would repeat with the mage/fighter guild quest chains.
So with the Dragonknight locked out, I decided to try a Nord Templar with two-handed weapons (again a 15% xp racial bonus). Where the Dragonknight has a pull ability, the Templar has charge and push away abilities. I like this mobility, charge someone, push them away, charge them again! It also has access to a set of healing abilities, so I may just have found the combination of Warrior/Paladin abilities from WoW that I have wished for in a character. Definitely a fun feeling, and its going to be a hard choice choosing that initial character.
Another annoying bug is when the Escape key stops working. Pressing full stop (.) key seems to help here. My other tip for taking screenshots is to bind UI On/Off to a key (I used U).
This screenshot is of a nice formation of rocks. Wandering up to it I discovered an interesting travel back in time to learn some lore/summon some Daedra quest. Which was a lot of fun until … it bugged out halfway through. I wandered on down the road some more, and quickly found myself in a zone where the mobs killed me easily (two mobs of 2+ greater levels when you don’t have an ultimate ability yet is asking for trouble). Unlike WoW, Rifts, or SWTOR, you can’t just go and grind mobs to level up when the quests are broken. Quests and exploration are your main sources of experience, so when every single damn quest chain is bugged, you’re screwed for progression. Lets hope these get fixed before release, but with less than a month to go I’m focusing on keeping realistic expectations – which is to say that when TESO falls over I will be happy log out to play WoW or World of Tanks until the broken is repaired.