For what is most likely the first time in the roughly two years since the game launched, I found myself actually paying attention to something to do with the Elder Scrolls Online the other night, when Bethesda announced an upcoming expansion for the game that would take players to the mysterious Morrowind.
Now, this is actually a slightly odd occurrence, since I’m a die hard Elder Scrolls fan and have been since I first exited that sewer back in the Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion (which also happened to be the very first video game that I ever played). As such, it’s strange that I’ve never felt the urge to delve into the Elder Scrolls Online, since the game first released back in the Summer of 2014.
I can’t even blame this occurrence on the fact that it’s an MMO game, since throughout the latter stages of my childhood I frequently became utterly obsessed with Runescape, until I hit that paid content barrier, since you can’t exactly fulfil an online purchase with your pocket money. But, despite my adoration for the Elder Scrolls series in general, I’ve never paid attention to the Online entry in the franchise, despite the promise of entering into territory never seen before in the main entries in the series, such as Valenwood.
But, now that Bethesda have announced this particularly juicy looking DLC expansion pack for Morrowind, I’ve found myself with an urge to pick up a copy of the game on the cheap, especially when you can come by a second hand copy of the game for less than £8 on Amazon. The trailer, seen wherever I eventually decide to insert it in this post, intrigues me even more into picking up the game prior to the launch of the expansion.
However, as I mentioned at the top of this article, it’s been well over two years since the Elder Scrolls Online originally launched on consoles, and this presents a certain barrier to entry for me. Attempting to get into a game after so much time has passed inevitably means I’ve got a mountain to climb to obtain the very best equipment for my character, on top of seeing thousands of players running around with that very gear, after having put hundreds of hours into the game.
This can be a particularly daunting task to undertake, as I found when I tried to board the Destiny bandwagon after roughly a year and a half of the game on the market. I found that every simply outmatched me from the very beginning, meaning I was instantly placed at a disadvantage through online events such as Iron Banner, when I attempted to go toe-to-toe with players that had been obsessing over the game ever since it first launched.
Needless to say, I failed to get over this mountain facing me from the the beginning of the game, and handed my copy off to someone else after merely twenty hours playing Destiny. It’d be fantastic if I could avoid meeting a similar fate with the Elder Scrolls Online, but I’m not even sure how to go about getting into a game that so many players have already conquered.
This problem isn’t actually exclusive to online games however, as I’ve also experienced similar feelings when thinking about playing through the entire Mass Effect trilogy before the fourth game launches next month. I’ve had the first game in the series sat on the home page of my Xbox One for the better part of two months now, but every time I reach to play it, the memories of heated debates between fans over the ending of the third title all come flooding back to scare me off.
There’s also the issue of time to consider when jumping into a game such as Mass Effect or the Elder Scrolls Online. I don’t exactly have a plethora of free time on my hands at the moment, and my gaming backlog is looking more and more daunting with every week that goes by. These games inherently require time to get the most out of them, and that’s not always something that everybody has to spare.
There certainly isn’t any line in the sand as to whether you can jump into a game after a certain amount of time has passed since the release date, and as such, there’s always the possibility that I could find the time to jump into the Elder Scrolls Online, and not let all the veteran players surrounding me put me off from enjoying the game. It’s going to be an upward battle to find people of a similar level, sure, but it definitely isn’t an insurmountable task.