Top 5 Reasons Why The Elder Scrolls Online is the Best MMORPG Today

By Titus Abola

My favorite videogame genre is the open world action RPG, with their strong sense of progression and exploration, and therefore MMORPGs have always appealed to me. From vanilla World of Warcraft to Guild Wars 2 to EVE Online to Final Fantasy XIV, I’ve tried probably every popular mainstream MMORPG released. But only one has kept me playing for more than 2,000 hours (and counting) – The Elder Scrolls Online (ESO).

Here are the top five reasons why I absolutely love ESO and why it has kept me playing. For those of you who have not played it and are looking for a great MMORPG to play, here is my case for why you should at least try it out.

  1. Play what you want

This is my number one reason to love ESO. Just like the single-player Elder Scrolls games, you can pretty much build the character the way you want. Unlike most other MMORPGs, ESO has classes but they don’t lock you into specific roles nor do they restrict you in terms of what weapons and armor you can use. Also, any race and gender can play any class. In other words, any class can play any role. You can be an orc sorcerer killing monsters with a greatsword or a high elf nightblade (a class with shadow and lifestealing abilities) destroying enemies from a distance with a flame staff.

The game developers have smartly designed weapon and armor skills as the ways to excel at your chosen role, rather than class. For example, tanks use one-hand weapons and shields and wear heavy armor, while melee damage dealers use two-handed weapons or dual wielded one-handed ones and wear medium armor. Add to that the many other skills available to all classes and you have a great deal of character build diversity.

  • Adventure anywhere with anyone

Other popular MMORPGs have level-specific zones but not ESO. Because the game implements level scaling you can adventure in any zone you want regardless of your level. In other words, you don’t have to follow the same exploration path and questlines when leveling your characters. This also means that a level 10 character can group with a level 50 and their stats will scale to each other so the lower level person will not be completely overshadowed by the other. New to the game and have a friend who’s more experienced? No problem grouping up and feeling you’re more or less on equal footing.

  • Capped power progression

The most obvious way to progress your character in terms of power of course is to earn experience points and gain levels, like most RPGs. However, there is a fixed maximum. That has not increased since the beginning and there is no sign that it ever will. Beyond that there is a more complex incremental progression system called Champion Points (CP) that is shared by all your characters account wide. That system also has a fixed maximum. Items also have levels – you can’t use an item that is higher level than your character. However, there is also a maximum item level that has not been increased in years and again there is no sign that it will ever be. All of this means there is no endless upgrade and loot chase whenever a new expansion comes out, which happens in games like WoW and FFVIX. All the max level gear you’ve collected will be relevant and viable going forward.

  • Easy grouping and socializing

One of the worst things about other MMORPGs I’ve played, specifically WoW, GW2, and FFXIV, is that you have to select a server where your character resides. Progress doesn’t transfer to other servers and transferring characters usually costs money. Not so in ESO. Each platform (PC, PS4, Xbox) has two megaservers, one for North America and one for Europe. Everyone on the same platform and megaserver can play together. This means joining your friends to adventure is way easier. This also means the economy is much more robust as the population is huge.

Another great feature that was surprising to me when I was starting out is that each account can join up to five player-made and managed guilds. This means you can have different guilds for different purposes – two or three for trading and selling stuff, one for group PVE adventuring, and another for PVP, for example.

  • Play how you want

One of the great things about a long-term, evolving experience like an MMORPG is that the developer can mold and shape the game as time goes by. Over the years ESO has had quality of life features implemented and, best of all, features that cater to many different kinds of gamers.

There is the usual high-level group PVE content like dungeons and trials (ESO’s equivalent to raids). There are multiple versions of PVP activities. For those who love to own their own homes and decorate them with furnishings, there are many houses to be purchased with either in-game gold or premium currency. For those who love to play dress up and collect outfits and armor and weapon styles, there are a multitude to hunt for.

And ESO is very solo-friendly too. Many hardcore players scoff at the idea of playing solo in an MMORPG but a significantly large percentage of the population likes to play this way and thankfully the developers cater to them too, with questing being easy enough to solo, a dungeon finder for those who are willing to be grouped up with random strangers to run through a dungeon, solo arenas for those who want a combat challenge, and later this year a new feature called companions – essentially NPCs who can accompany you through activities designed for groups.

All of this means that you, the player, are free to define your own endgame. I, for example, have no interest in PVP and only mild interest in housing, but I love to collect outfits and run dungeons and trials to collect the best gear for my characters. So that’s my endgame. The variety of content and activities, combined with the diversity of characters you can build, allow for a great amount of freedom in terms of how you want to enjoy the game.

And there you have it, the top five reasons why The Elder Scrolls Online is the best MMORPG I’ve ever played. The game is still going strong and has a large and very devoted playerbase. And the base game goes on sale fairly regularly, which are the best times to hop in and try the game out for a low price with no subscription fee required. If reading this has got you interested, fee free to reach out to me. I’m always willing to talk about the game and help beginners get started.

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