Friday, February 8, 2019

Starting To Climb Off The ESO Wagon

One of my New Year's resolutions wss to reach max level in Elder Scrolls Online. I reached level 45 over the weekend and know there is a long slog through a different leveling system once I reach level 50. But do I really want to grind that high? The story really isn't that great and the combat is a bit off. Either that, or I put too many skill points into crafting and need to use the free respec scroll I received a couple of levels back to refocus my character. I'm mainly slogging through the game because ESO is one of the big MMORPGs that I probably should play through.

Another reason my attention is drifting is due to the coverage that Square Enix' Final Fantasy XIV Paris Fan Fest garnered over the weekend. I recall playing FFXIV for 30 days just to see what the game was like  With the next expansion, Shadowbringers, scheduled for a 2 July release, I think I will put ESO aside at that time to give FFXIV a real try.

Why Final Fantasy XIV? First, like Elder Scrolls Online, FFXIV is part of a beloved series of video games that I never got into. I tried Final Fantasy 15, but I don't really like console games. The controllers are just too awkward to use. Plus, I know that Square Enix knows how to make MMORPGs, with Final Fantasy XI doing well, even in "maintenance" mode.

Another reason is the graphics. ESO has some pretty bad textures on characters and I understand that was intentional. In fact, I hear that players grumbled about the characters looking too good. I guess really bad graphics and the Elder Scrolls series just goes together. If I recall FFXIV, the graphics were really pretty, and that was before I bought a computer able to run an Oculus Rift. I wonder what they look like now.

One other thing that I'd like to experience is the story in FFXIV. Playing through ESO, I know a main story exists. Somehow, I seem to have lost the main questline. My time is spent wandering the map looking for quests. The questlines I find are nicely put together, but I don't really see an overall pattern. I wonder if the same is true in FFXIV.

I don't plan on dropping ESO right away. My subscription is due for renewal next week and I plan to purchase another 90 days of ESO Plus. But my time in Tamriel is coming to a close. I started my current playthrough in May 2018. I reached level 46 last night and still find the game engaging, although I don't have the urge to play every day. Honestly, I never did. But getting a year out of the game I think is pretty good. Not as good as EVE (9 1/2 years) or EverQuest 2 (3 1/2 years), but still pretty good.

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