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Zenimax announced that the “One Tamriel” update for The Elder Scrolls Online hits PC on 10/5/16 and consoles on 10/18/16. While a lot of people are excited about the update, I’m a bit more hesitant. I’ve already written about this and had some people disagree with me, pointing at Guild Wars 2 as a game that works the same way and that is successful.

Since that time I’ve spent a lot of time in Wrothgar, one of the DLC packs for TESO that works very much the same way One Tamriel will work, and so far I’m standing by my hesitance.

It was when I hit Wrothgar after playing through the Daggerfall Covenant that my interest in TESO started to wane. I would hit content I couldn’t complete and knew I’d never be able to solo it so I’d just write it off. I mean I already had written off Dungeons, but now I have to write off world bosses and delves too. There’s no more leveling up a bit and going back to try again since there’s essentially no more leveling up. (You’ll still have levels for some reason but will get bolster to 160 Champion Points from whatever level you are.)

So One Tamriel, for the solo player, means less content that you can do. That’s my biggest concern. Maybe once you get more than 160 Champion Points you’ll be able to do it? We’ll see. I’m only to 65 or so Champion Points so far.

A more subtle concern is that I personally kind of enjoy gated content. It feels aspirational to me. I enjoy entering a zone and running deep into it until I am over my head and then backing off, getting stronger, and heading back into that content now that I can tackle it. I also like how monster levels can help guide you through a zone. Now everything is the same level so that goes away as well. In Wrothgar all my quests are the same level and I wind up spending more time running back and forth across the zone than I do playing since there’s no logical grouping of quests based on level any more.

I certainly understand why people who love to group in TESO are excited about the change. You can now play with anyone no matter their level or alliance. I’ve just always enjoyed TESO because it felt like a hybrid of a single player game and an MMO and I have solo’d 99% of the time. One Tamriel feels like they’re pushing harder into MMO territory and de-emphasizing the solo game. That probably makes sense from a business standpoint and I don’t fault them for it; I’m just a little sad.

The one bright spot is that Craglorn is getting a make-over. Currently you need a group to do Craglorn. And when I say need I mean it; there are places where you have to stand on 4 spots concurrently to proceed. Now the story mode of Craglorn will be solo-able so I’ll be able to go and experience that.

I guess that’s the take-away. Solo players will be able to do all the story content in the game and pretty much nothing else. Everything else sounds like it is now scaled to groups.

On the bright side, the re-mastered Skyrim will be out soon and I can get my single player Elder Scrolls fix from that.



Comments:
4
  • I know this strays away from the One Tamriel topic (I have the same concerns you do), but I’m super glad you mentioned the Skyrim Special Edition. I didn’t realize it was coming out, and I honestly never got into Skyrim as much as I wanted to years back.

    I did some looking around on Steam and realized since I own Skyrim and all the DLC, I’ll be getting the new Skyrim for free! Now I’m stoked about it, and planning to actually delve into Skyrim like I keep wanting to. 🙂

  • The thing about GW2 is that (in the base game at least) it’s a one-way “one Tyria”. Going up the level ladder you still have all that level-gated, aspirational content ahead of you. The game levels you down to match lower content but not up to match higher. And it doesn’t do that great a job of it so although the number next to your name may say 40 the mobs you’re fighting know darn well your not a real 40 because no 40 hits that hard.

    If TESO goes for a genuine all levels are equal, all zones are the same level set-up I think it will be the first MMO to try it. I’m not convinced people will like it as much as they imagine, either, but I guess we’ll have to see exactly how it’s implemented to find out for sure.

  • I already avoid zones that level-balance me, I hate it personally. Sounds like once this goes live, there’s no “old way” option? This might be what makes me quit. 🙁 On the plus side, I have PS4 Skyrim pre-ordered and would probably be distracted by that anyway. 😀 I find this is what I miss most from dropping the PS3 and can’t wait to have it back. Fingers crossed they didn’t ruin it with the ‘enhancements’ or whatever they’re calling it.

  • I wonder if maybe Zenimax has been overly influenced by YouTubers and Streamers who post footage of themselves soloing Veteran dungeons and stuff. I just don’t think those folk represent the typical player. For one thing some of them literally play TESO for a living, from what I can tell (thinking of folks like Deltia of Deltia’s gaming).

    It often seems to be the case that the solo players are the quiet segment of the audience that gets overlooked, but Zenimax can spend our money too. You’d think they’d want to keep it flowing in.

    @bhagpuss Good observation about GW2; that is a really significant difference and not one I’d stopped to think about. I guess we’ll see how things play out!