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The Elder Scrolls Online (Windows)

76
MobyRank
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
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MobyScore
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Description

The Elder Scrolls Online is an MMORPG and the first game in the long-running RPG series not only to feature multiplayer, but also making it a multiplayer-only environment. The game begins with character creation with four classes (Dragon Knight, Nightblade, Sorcerer and Templar). The game consists of three factions with three races each: Aldmeri Dominion (Altmer, Bosmer and Khajiit), Daggerfall Covenant (Breton, Orc and Redguard) and Ebonheart Pact (Argonian, Dunmer and Nord). A tenth race, Imperials, is exclusively available through a collector's edition of the game. Regardless of the chosen option, the story always starts with the character as a prisoner with amnesia in Coldharbour. Just like the other games in the franchise it is set in Tamriel with many ties in the storyline to the other games. It offers the entire content for players to explore, with a specific region for each of the three factions, and certain regions locked off and saved for future expansions. It is set 1,000 years before The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and circa 800 years before The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind and The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. The main antagonist is the Daedric Prince Molag Bal who attempts to fuse Tamriel with Coldharbour through dark anchors. These giant anchors are shot at random intervals, can be seen from a large distance and act as large events similar to those in RIFT.

The game does not entirely follow the open environments and storyline from the previous games. Instead, each faction has its own campaign with a linear progress through regions. They consist of elements typical for the series, such as large cities to visit, dungeons, quests, and various characters to talk to. Eventually the campaigns bring the three factions together in the central region of Cyrodiil to join the Alliance War that provides the PvP section of the game. In that area each faction wrestles for territory control, resource nodes and travel routes with its own strongholds. It also emphasizes control over the Elder Scrolls, powerful artifacts that can be stolen and need to be taken to the faction's stronghold, and benefit every member of the faction that holds them. The idea is that power and balance will constantly shift as two factions will work together to retrieve the scrolls from the one that holds them. There are siege weapons to attack strongholds and the highest ranking player of the faction that controls the Ruby Throne in Imperial City is crowned emperor. When fighting for a faction points are earned during scouting or bounty missions that can be used to buy resources for the faction. The game uses a scaling battle system where lower-ranked players can still take on higher level players, starting from level 10.

Other game elements where players can work together include boss monsters, Delves (mini-dungeons), regular dungeons (for four to twelve players), and Dolmens, a cycling sequence of waves of monsters. Unlike many other MMORPGs players are not divided over separate realms tied to a server, as the game puts all players together in a single environment with dynamic population assignment. Attacking does not rely on auto actions and automatic targeting. Instead, it puts more emphasis on movement (positioning, evading) and free-flowing attacks based on magic, ranged, light and heavy weapons, but there is also a timer system where a cycle of skills is activated automatically. Visual elements show where opponents will strike and this can be used to dodge and evade. During fights up to five skills can be used, along with a special, powerful skill called Ultimate.

Each character class has three specializations, but separate weapon and armour specialization paths with their own set of passive and active skills. These are further determined by race and guild alignments and like previous games these can eventually open up new lines such as vampire or werewolf. Leveling up is generally done by completing quests, gaining experience and locating skyshards. A new level is awarded with skills points spent in a skill tree. Different resources and recipes are used to craft items.

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The Press Says

GameStar (Germany) Apr 17, 2014 84 out of 100 84
4Players.de Apr 04, 2014 83 out of 100 83
PC Games (Germany) May, 2014 82 out of 100 82
Absolute Games (AG.ru) Apr 25, 2014 75 out of 100 75
PCGamesN Apr 18, 2014 5 out of 10 50

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Sciere (269140) added The Elder Scrolls Online (Windows) on Apr 25, 2014
Other platforms contributed by Sciere (269140)