If you follow me on Twitter, you know that there’s one MMO that I’ve been playing on and off (mostly off) over the last four years since the game was in beta: the Elder Scrolls Online (ESO). In the past, since my play was so erratic, it was difficult for me to get to a point where I felt sufficiently versed to craft a worthwhile blog post. Well, I’ve been playing (and enjoying) ESO for about three months now. Including the 6 month stint I played a little over a year ago, I now feel like I can speak somewhat intelligently about the game. It’s been a very long time since I documented my initial impressions on Contains Moderate Peril.
I could write a long and glowing piece about all of the things that the game does right, but what fun would that be? Inspired by a Facebook post I read with many good, and bad (*cough cough* flying mounts) suggestions for improvement, I’ve decided to nit-pick ESO to death and post eight of my favorite suggestions. This is the Internet, after all, and complaining is so much easier! Some of the following suggestions are mine, and some were posted by other players on Facebook.
Advanced Searches in Guild Stores
I understand that there’s an addon for this, but does there really need to be? This one’s honestly kind of baffling. Currently, the player is able to search for specific types of items by using drop-downs and item categories. But there is no text box search. Meaning, if you know the specific item you’re looking to buy, you still may need to scroll through several pages of items to find the one you’re looking for. Even better, they’re listed by asking price, not alphabetically, so it literally is a matter of visually scanning page after page. It seems like this is something that would have been corrected in early beta testing.
More Custom NPC Dialog for your Character
I always enjoy it when the NPC dialog makes reference to something specific about my character, such as race or class. Makes it feel more like a genuine conversation and less like a predetermined dialog tree. A few additional tweaks here and there in ESO would go a long way towards immersion. Such as referring to certain quests you’ve completed, or areas you’ve visited. Also, if my character is a vampire or werewolf, don’t badmouth vampires or werewolves to my face! Sheesh, the nerve of some NPCs!
Global (or copy) Chat Box Preferences
Since guilds are account-based (not character based) it makes sense that if I change a chat box preference for one character, I’m also going to change it for all of the others. Unfortunately, all chat box preferences in ESO are per-character, so you’ll have to make that same setting change across your entire herd of alts. Worst case, there should be a “copy from character xx” option for chat box settings.
Cosmetic System: Hide Any Piece
When the long-awaited outfitting system was recently released, it was met with nearly universal praise. Personally, I think they did a great job tying it into existing crafting motifs, though changing and dying pieces in an outfit set does require quite a few in-game gold pieces. One glaring omission, however, is the fact that a player can “hide” a helmet on an outfit, but no other pieces can be hidden. Shoulder pieces, in particular, do a great job of turning an otherwise amazing looking sorcerer’s robe into one more befitting Jafar from Aladdin. Why only helmets? I mean the tech is right there, just let players hide whatever outfit pieces they want to. The game is already rated “M”, what are you afraid of?
Include Crowns with DLC Purchases
Being an ex-LOTRO player, this is one difference that surprised me just a bit. LOTRO expansions were always bundled with a certain number of Turbine Points (now called LOTRO Points) for cash-store purchases. Granted, ESO DLC’s are priced more reasonably than the LOTRO expansions were in its heyday. For this reason, and the fact that I feel like I get a good amount of content value for ESO chapter purchases, I won’t complain too loudly about this. But, considering subscribers do not get access to DLC chapters without purchasing them, it would be a nice little bone to throw out to loyal customers who are willing to fork out cash for your game (again, and again, and again).
Skill Respecs Free to ESO Plus Members
And speaking of ESO Plus benefits, why not make skill respecs free for subscribers? Again, a nice little perk that wouldn’t make much difference in the grand scheme of the game. Respecs can be purchased with in-game gold (or via the cash shop) currently, but why make your most loyal customers pay to play around with our builds? While we’re on the subject of respecs, can we also please have the ability to remove/add one skill point at a time instead of completely zeroing out all of our skill points? Whenever I’ve respecced, the purpose was to try one or two new things. This means I’ve got to remember where the other 60 or so skill points were previously allocated. I understand this was a design choice meant to drive the cash shop sale of respec scrolls, but please Zenimax, give your subscribers a reason to cheer!
Put Our Non-playing Characters (or our married partners) in Our Houses
I can’t take credit for this idea, but I thought it was genius. The housing system in ESO is pretty good. It’s customizable and it gives us a reason to keep on crafting. But how cool would it be if, upon visiting your house, you could “hang out” with your other characters, who might be sleeping, cooking, or just sitting out on the lawn enjoying the sunshine? Now we’d know where all of our other characters go when we’re not playing them! Thanks to the Scrolls of Mara, this concept could also be extended to our married partners. If we owned multiple houses, we could choose where to assign each character.
Race-specific Pets for Wardens
Last is probably my favorite suggestion because not only is it creative, but it seems fairly doable. We’ve already seen destruction staff skills change depending on what type of staff we have slotted. What if the Warden’s animal companion ultimate changed based on your race? A Polar bear for Nords, Cliff Racers for Dunmer, etc. Each race would have a different animal ultimate based on where they hail from in Tamriel. Combat skills could be pet specific, with some better at tanking, some better at healing and some better at damage.
There you have it, Zenimax: some top-notch games consulting, free of charge. We don’t want any credit, we just want an amazing Elder Scrolls MMO!
What do you think? Do you have any suggestions for improving ESO? Comment below!