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The Elder Scrolls Online Review: Epic Adventure Or Epic Fail?

PvP And Grouping


At level 10 you get to participate in PvP, which, depending on your alliance, can be an experience in short-lived ecstasy or overwhelming suffering. For me, the width and breadth of PvP constituted a good day’s worth of engagement, though your mileage may vary. The system doesn’t mix it up too much from a baseline Realm vs. Realm, borrowing heavily from MMO greats of yesteryear like Dark Ages of Camelot and Shadowbane. Roving zerg balls of players in each alliance take on one another and there are some rather interesting siege effects that make checking it out entirely worthwhile. 

Unfortunately, PvP in The Elder Scrolls Online commits one of the classic offenses in MMO design as gameplay starts to boil down and one alliance steamrolls over the entire campaign map, forcing an exodus of opposition players to other campaigns. All the keeps look the same and have the same interiors, distance between points of interest is vast, and nearly all siege engagements repeat in much the same way. If you are keen on displaying an earned title from your PvP campaign, you could get great enjoyment out of the system as it stands. The key to victory is simple: follow the zerg ball and you’ll win, unless their zerg ball is bigger than your zerg ball.


I can’t say enough how truly terrible grouping is in The Elder Scrolls Online. Except for a small portion of the eight-minute-long group dungeons, of which there are only a small handful, grouping is utterly pointless. All quests throughout the game are completed singularly, and cooperative play is non-existent. Players are playing a single-player game next to other people who are also playing an unrelated single-player game. If both players in a group are not on the precise same objective state in a quest, they will see different instances of environments. Half of the time, players in groups can’t see the other person in the group due to the flakey way in which instances are handled. Players do not get credit for the kills of group members, whether it is against standard enemies or bosses.

There are no parts of quests where players need help from other players, and there aren’t any quests that you can do with another person. Grouping is boiled down to just being able to track where another player is in the game world that you’re both playing simultaneously. 

Unless you have a very strong pre-nuptial agreement in place and your marriage lacks drama, do not play this game grouped with your spouse.

Joe Pishgar is the Community Director of Tom's Hardware US. He oversees the number one tech enthusiast forum in the world.