What interests you most in the Elder Scrolls Online? Does the countless stories, infinite adventures or anything else? Well, it seems that there are easily millions of reasons for our play. The following are the four reasons as a whole that may be one of yours.
Being a massively multiplayer game, ESO includes a social element not found in many other games. That, in turn, brings a unique and dynamic experience where some of the most memorable moments are entirely unscripted.
Take Katie Johnson, for example. She is part of the guild Differently Geared, a close - knit group of busy professionals who play ESO together to unwind from their sometimes - stressful jobs. They've spent many nights adventuring together and experiencing all Tamriel has to offer. But when we asked about the funniest thing they've found in-game, the answer was surprising.
Seems Johnson had spent months and months fishing all over Tamriel in pursuit of the Master Angler title, and had finally caught the last trophy fish. "I mentioned in our guild voice-chat that I was irritated the Wet Gunny Sacks were only worth 1 gold," she said. If you've done much fishing in ESO, you're probably wincing right now. "That's right," says Johnson. "I didn't realize until after my last fish that all those Wet Gunny Sacks I had been selling to vendors for months could be opened for loot. They have yet to let me live it down."
Bonds of Friendship
We heard similar stories from other players - examples of how Tamriel becomes a place where real - world friends spend quality time together. For instance, Seth tells us about a marathon session with a longtime companion. "Before ESO," he says, "we would watch each other play Oblivion and Skyrim for hours, and talk about how cool it would be to play the same game at the same time." When they finally got the chance to join up in ESO, it was hard to leave. "We played for something like seven and a half hours," he recalls about their first session together.
Some of our favorite stories, though, involved players finding new ways to make their own in - game entertainment. Johnson's group, for example, likes to stop in Spindleclutch (a group dungeon in Glenumbra) for shadow - dancing parties. And Seth and his pals like to / playdead simultaneously. "It's pretty funny watching an entire group fall to the floor at the same time," he chuckles.
Lightening the Mood
These impromptu activities tickle the development team's funny bones, too. When we asked them about the strangest things they've seen players do, many gave examples of spontaneous group actions.
"I've seen pretty much every odd player behavior you can imagine," says Senior Content Designer Eric Bakutis. "Fishing in places no sane person would fish. Dancing in underwear on top of tables."
"Naked dance parties in the middle of town!" adds Lead Writer Wynne McLaughlin.
"I'm consistently entertained," continues Bakutis, "by intentionally funny - looking combinations of gear, clever comments in chat - all the ways players find to make their own fun."
Of course, there's plenty of genuine humor in the game itself, too. Sure, Tamriel can be a fairly intimidating place from time to time, but the designers have worked hard to balance its epic scale with some down - to - earth fun.
Senior Writer Bill Slavicsek points out the newly released Orsinium storyline as one example. "We're dealing with religion, invasion and creating a nation - some pretty lofty concepts," he says. "Yet we added the character of Eveli Sharp - Arrow to provide commentary, an outsider's perspective, and just some moments of pure fun to the otherwise tense situation."
McLaughlin points out the Hireling skill as another example. When a crafter acquires a Hireling, they get periodic shipments of crafting components accompanied by mail from the Hireling. "We had a lot of fun creating those characters," he says. "Their messages tell hilarious stories about their travels and adventures. I like to think about these messages as the Tamrielic equivalent of Twitter."
Of course, some of ESO's humor is a bit more... physical. "Every so often," says Bakutis, "you just have to give players a Wand of Fowlfire and let them blow up some chickens!"
Finding the Fun
As serious as ESO's story can be, it seems, there's always some pure, distilled fun to balance things out. So we asked the designers to point us toward some examples that players might have missed.
Bakutis tells us of a young Bosmer who can be found in the vicinity of Ivarstead, in the Rift. "Upon first encountering her," he says, "she seems to be yet another hapless citizen at the mercy of Tamriel's fierce monsters. Once you agree to help her, however, you quickly realize there's a bit more going on than some damsel in distress. It's a small piece of standalone content off the beaten path, but remains one of my favorite quests."
Slavicsek, meanwhile, points us toward Orsinium. "You really need to play through the 'Sorrow’ quest and see the latest ‘Stibbons moment,’" he says. "It's really, really cool - and I mean that literally."
And McLaughlin mentions a contribution from an unexpected source. "When Bill Nighy came in to record High King Emeric," McLaughlin says, "he improvised some musings about his uncomfortably ill - fitting crown, his ‘skeletal’ wife and the difficulty of being the king. They were hilarious, so we ended up including most of them in the finished game."
It's clear that, no matter what your tastes, ESO is packed with entertainment of all kinds. There are earthshaking quests and terrifying creatures, of course - but there are also countless moments designed just to make you smile.
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