Playing The Elder Scrolls Online Single Player is like discovering a whole bunch of new Skyrim content

I grew up reading fantasy books written by people with initials instead of first names (JRR Tolkien, CJ Cherryh, RA Salvatore, MC Hammer, etc.).I think that’s why I’m so in love The Elder Scrolls game forget Then, skyrim. These open worlds allow me to fully immerse myself in the world of everything I love about these stories. sword! magic! Elf! Dragon! Strange and wonderful creatures! Epic quest!

By the way, I didn’t play The Elder Scrolls Online When it just came out. I think I’ll hate it. Mandatory monthly subscriptions just to play and piles of content locked behind a painfully slow grind? no thanks. Today, however, it’s a very different game. Gone are the subscriptions, replaced by a one-time payment that God would have expected. In fact, buy the latest “Compilation” edition and you’ll find that this includes all previously published chapters. Most importantly though, the world can now expand to your current level.

The Elder Scrolls Online – commonly known as TESO – is the best MMO I’ve ever played because most of the time, I completely forget that I’m not the only one playing. I’ve put 80-90 hours into this game so far. I know, MMO rookie numbers, but it’s still an amazing time for two reasons. First, I have two jobs and three kids. It’s basically ten years of free time for me. Secondly, during all this time, I didn’t even speak to the other players once.

A generation Look Other players are fairly frequent. People with character levels in the triple digits, wearing lavish costumes that take hours to acquire, and sometimes riding beasts I didn’t even know existed in the game. Generally, they ignore me and I ignore them, and everyone is happy. Rather than breaking the immersion – for me – the bustling, city-like vibe enhances it. It’s other people living their own lives and getting motivated through their own adventures, all of us in the same world going our own way. If Skyrim ever made you feel sparsely populated or sparsely populated, seeing people live their lives in this world is the perfect tonic.

Oh what a wonderful world. The graphics haven’t improved much since 2014, but I don’t care. It’s a huge fantasy world that would surprise my spotty teenage self. Towns, dungeons, wet swamps, lush fields, hills and deserts: tons of locations and biomes that won’t stick to cold forests or harsh mountain peaks. My favorite area by far is Summerset Island, with miles of greenery and colorful trees. If you crave the mountainous setting of Bethesda’s last killer RPG, fret not – TESO allows you to literally relive Skyrim. Well, kind of.

Players who own the Greymoor chapter can access Western Skyrim locations. However, in The Elder Scrolls lore, TESO takes place thousands of years before Skyrim – so there are some differences in the layout of the locations (for those who may have a degree in drafting in Skyrim after playing so much). TESO also features expanded Blackreach, Solitude, Dragon Bridge, and a new vampire lair made of stalactites. It’s a better DLC than the vest, for sure.

So, while I might be talking to an NPC named Mizzik Thunderboots the minute before and see a guy named COOLMAN69 running through town, to me it all forms a cohesive whole. I usually avoid solo PvP modes, or even team dungeons. Instead, I see TESO as a single player game, and I’m very happy to do so. I actually suspect that a lot of people play that way; the game knows this – the Blackwood chapter even introduces the option to unlock AI companions on adventures with you.

While leveling up still brings many benefits – more health, magic and stamina, new and upgraded abilities, and more – your current level will never be a hindrance to where you want to go. Ironically, TESO is less restrictive to single-player than offline games that mimic MMO designs; I love Assassin’s Creed, for example, but I hate Valhalla for locking large chunks of the map behind ridiculously high character level requirements The way. Level scaling makes this frustration pointless in TESO.

So, I’m always alone when I’m chatting with NPCs (each with full voices, by the way), and when I’m running off to perform the various tasks they send me. I’d love to see how TESO matchmaking works, as it clearly puts players as close to each other as possible on the same mission. While most of my missions are single player missions, finding a stronger player in some part of the dungeon clears the way for me, or someone jumping in in a tricky fight and starting to help my situation and Not uncommon. It feels like adventurers are crossing paths on their own mystical voyage, as if they were in a real, honest-to-God fantasy world.

I am not selfish; I also help others! Many times I’ve crossed fields on my way to my next goal, spotted someone fighting a monster, and took a detour to help (though this may usually be “help”, as a toddler might “help” a parent do) cake). Then there are group activities. Just the day before I wrote this, I saw a group of people fighting a dragon nearby and bravely swooping in in the last 30 seconds for my loot. I am a hero through and through.

I remember playing DC Universe Online once. It promises that you can make your own hero or villain and start an exciting superpower adventure. I made a tiger man in a cape that could fly, I called him Evil Dave, and I loved him. Until, that is, I actually started playing. He is less powerful than a tiger and can fly only a little faster than a baby who has just taken its first steps. Obviously, my dream could take dozens of hours to come true. I gave up quickly.

TESO, on the other hand, promised a fantasy world where you could make your own – and boy, it came true. Each new character needs to complete tutorial missions to get their first weapon and experience the game; but what happens after that is entirely up to you. For those who want it, there’s huge depth: there’s cooking, crafting, enchanting, treasure hunting, player guilds, homestead decorating, and more. But you don’t have to do all of them, or even any of them. Just want to talk to NPCs and kill enemies? Go for it.

You get tons of ridiculous content when you also have access to all the chapters of the game. In fact, I have two characters going through two completely different adventures. My Khajiit wizard mainly used his bow and his magic to protect himself and save Summerset from disaster. On the other hand, my wyrm necromancer – Deidre spiky – uses magic wands and bone-based black magic to destroy her enemies, using the corpses of her enemies for healing. She has just been crowned Vivec Champion.

Did TESO give me an idea of ​​the genre and encourage me to try some other examples? Gosh, I hate MMOs. But that’s exactly why I love The Elder Scrolls Online.