Sunday, March 2, 2014

Elder Scrolls Online Beta Screens!




A Skyrim-ish MMO?  What's not to like?  Well....now that the NDA has been lifted on the beta, I can tell you!


Actually, I have been enthralled with this game.  It is gorgeous, as you will see.  Yes, there were tons of bugs, but that is kind of the whole point of the beta.  And even though some of them kept me from progressing, I still enjoyed playing immensely. So here is a little peek at what you can expect from ESO:

Character Creation

One of my main pet peeves about Skyrim...and the entire Elder Scrolls franchise...is that it is incredibly difficult to make attractive looking characters.  I guess it sounds shallow, but I want to be able to make a pretty heroine.  Yeah, she can kick some butt, but she should look good doing it.  Needless to say, the character creation of ESO makes me very happy!

There are tons of sliders that allow you to truly customize your character.  You can adjust the size of the hands, arms, chest, waist...even the butt.  And on the face, there are plenty of options to play around with...even the tilt of the eyebrow.  I was very satisfied with the kinds of female characters I was able to produce...which is a first for me with this series.  Heck, even the Orc characters looked pretty good, and you know how hard that can be.  In fact, I saw someone griping in-game that they felt the Orcs looked too good.  Pfft!

Orc

Redguard


Khajiit

Although I don't play male characters, I was curious to see how the guys fared.  Lots and lots of facial hair, for one thing.  A hipster's dream of beard and mustache choices, scars, sideburns, and more were available to make the men manly.  That being said, I didn't feel like it was possible to make a hunky hero.  But maybe the guys don't really worry about that?  

Redguard

Norn

High Elf

Breton


All in all, there are 9 different races to choose from.  Between that and all of the sliders and options available, there should be something for everyone.  I had so much fun making characters that I spent most of my first beta session doing nothing but that.

Environment

Once I got into the world itself, I was delighted by how beautiful it is.  Your character starts out in a "tutorial" like area that is the same for everyone, but once you get out of that...there are very different environments depending on which race you choose.  I was able to visit the Khajiit homeland, an Argonian village, a coastal Norn fishing village, a shipwreck ridden Elven island....all of which were distinctive, evocative, and lush.





(now that is what a castle should look like!)


the water textures are lovely

One thing I did not care for regarding the environment is the repetition of  interior sets for the buildings. The world environments are so lush and varied, but the interiors of the buildings are highly repetitive and too homogeneous.  Detailed and beautiful to be sure, but very much the same. If you know the layout of one house, you kind of know what they all look like inside.  All Orc long houses look the same on the inside, all Elven cottages are pretty much the same, and so on.  Exactly the same.  I am sure this has something to do with cutting down the rendering time, but it would be nice if there were a little more variety.  In any case, the lighting and detail gives the interiors tons of atmosphere.  Dungeons are gloomy with richly textured stone, homes are warm and cozy, castles...well...exactly what you want from a castle.










The UI was clean, simple and minimalistic.  No special effort here but it gets the job done.  I appreciated that it was fairly unobtrusive during game play and didn't encroach on the screen more than it needed.  Here are a couple examples

The inventory system


 The map

So, there you have it...a small glimpse into the massively entertaining visual world of ESO.  I am so looking forward to this game!  Elder Scrolls Online drops on April 4th, 2014.










3 comments:

  1. Very comprehensive Ruthy! Great screens!

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  2. Yeah, I have the same issue with most MMORPGs: fugly toons. & God forbid you make a male toon, because it's 10x worse! ^^
    What's sad is that the hubby & I both signed up for the beta test & I can't get past the character selection screen because I can't make a good-looking avatar! If I can't make something fairly impressive then I just don't feel like investing much in the rest of the world, especially since there are so many MMOs out there to choose from. Most of what we see while we play is our avatar, or at least our av's ass anyway (which is why I play dudes. ;))

    (I'm also a female online gamer, since '96, but most of the time I play male toons since I have to look at them for many hours of play time & I'd rather play a type of toon that I'd find myself attracted to as well as to keep sexism & flirtation to a minimum.)

    Thankfully the hubby was able to cobble together a lil hottie for himself & make it out to explore the world for both of us! XD I really like how the world looks overall. I hope you find some awesome inspiration for Sims stuff as well!

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About Me

I build lots for people to use in the Sims. I have created hundreds of lots that have been downloaded by people all over the world. My work has been featured on the official Sims 3 site, several Sims 3 fan sites and in Game Informer magazine.
I am a mom...a gamer...a book worm...a worrywart...a fan of architecture, interior design, and all things Grumpy Cat.