Thinking about subscribing to ESO+, but you're not sure whether it's worth it? Well, you've come to the right place! With the recent ESO+ free trial coming to a close a week ago, I thought it might be helpful to provide a breakdown of all the benefits and drawbacks of the service, as well as some examples of when it might not be needed.
Now, if you're not familiar with ESO+, it's a subscription service offered on top of the basic price of the game. The subscription provides several perks that, if I'm being honest, I don't think I could live without at this point in my ESO career. With that said, I can see how some players wouldn't get enough use out of the features of the service to justify the cost.
Drawbacks Of Subscription
And that leads me into what I want to discuss first—the drawbacks of subscription, of which there is really only one—the cost. ESO+ is going to run you $14.99 per month, or $139.99 if you choose to pay annually. While some might not bat an eye at these prices, I know people who are on a tight budget and would have to cut something else out to afford the service. If you're in that boat, I hope my explanation of the benefits and use cases helps you make an informed decision about whether to pay.
Benefits Of Subscription
Next, I'll go over each of the benefits. There are several features of ESO+, but they come in varying degrees of relevance for the everyday player. The benefit that is probably the most valuable for most players is full access to all DLC packages. This doesn't include the most recent chapter, but all prior chapters and DLCs are included. The current chapter of my screen is High Isle, so that means that everything before High Isle is included with the subscription.
You could essentially buy a copy of the base game and, through ESO+, get access to everything up through Blackwood and its associated DLCs. You even get access to the most recent DLC, Firesong. We're talking about Imperial City, Wrothgar, Vvardenfell, Summerset, Murkmire, Northern and Southern Elsweyr, Western Skyrim, the Reach, Blackwood, the Deadlands, Galen, and everything in between. These storylines equate to hundreds and potentially even thousands of hours of playtime.
Additionally, you get access to all the sets introduced through the previous chapters and DLCs, which is a huge benefit. That means fantastic sets like Pillar of Nirn, Drake's Rush, False God's Devotion, Spell Power Cure, Elemental Catalyst, and the list goes on. While you can absolutely do just about anything in the base game without these sets, the added damage and survivability you'll get from some of these DLC sets can really make things a lot easier when you get to harder content.
Next up on the list of benefits, and one of those perks I couldn't live without in ESO, is the craft bag. The concept of the craft bag is pretty straightforward. It's a separate storage area outside of your regular inventory that holds all of your crafting materials.
Mats go directly into the craft bag when you gather them, and the bag's storage is infinite. The craft bag doesn't just store materials related to the crafting skill lines, it also holds all of your bait, furnishing materials, style materials, and trait items. Materials are accessible any time you need them, and you don't have to withdraw mats from the bag when crafting, as they automatically get used as you make items. You can also easily retrieve materials from the bag if you ever want to donate some mats to a friend or sell them in a trader.
If you like purchasing items from the crown store, you're in luck, as the ESO+ subscription also includes an allotment of crowns. You get 1650 per month if you pay the monthly pricing, or 19,800 per year if you pay annually. You also get periodic deals on various items in the crown store, as well as a free statuette or painting from time to time. If you're keeping score, you can buy 21,000 crowns for about $150.00, so the crown allotment you get with the subscription is worth the annual cost of ESO+ if you would end up buying the crowns, anyway.
One thing to note is that the annual allotment is deposited into your account all at once, so you'll need to have a bit of self-discipline if you want to have a few crowns leftover for anything you might be interested in later in your annual cycle. Next up on the list are the various increased storage perks that come with the subscription. You get double furnishing and collectible space in your player homes, double bank space, and double the currency cap for transmute crystals. I consider inventory management to be the bane of my existence, so these are a few more of the ESO+ benefits I personally cannot live without.
The penultimate perk of ESO+ is increased progression speed. Ten percent boosts to ESO Gold, XP, crafting inspiration, and research timer speeds don't seem like much, but they really make a difference. For example, your last traits on each piece of gear will take three days less to complete with ESO+ active.
And finally, the last benefit on the list, and the least useful from my perspective, is costume dying. I typically choose to dress my characters with styles from various motifs, so I get little use out of this feature myself, but I'm sure other players really love customizing the costumes they collect. It just goes to show that everything is a matter of perspective.
Why You Might Not Need ESO+?
Now that I've gone through all the benefits the subscription has to offer, I'll discuss some reasons you might not need ESO+. Maybe you're a brand new player and you're still trying to learn the ins and outs of ESO. The game can be a little overwhelming when you're just getting started, so you might not need access to all the DLC content while you get acclimated to ESO's core mechanics.
Also, if you've purchased a newer version of ESO, such as the High Isle chapter, for example, you'll get access to all previous chapters and the base game, anyway. That'll give you plenty to do even without DLC access. To this you might say, “but Trav, what if I want to learn to craft? Won't it be impossible without the craft bag?"
And to that, I say absolutely not! It will take a significant amount of additional effort, but you can be a successful crafter without the craft bag. Non-ESO+ crafters will typically max out their bank slots and inventory capacity, at least on their main character, then create several alternate characters on which they'll store all of their excess or less-used crafting materials. I've seen some players create a spreadsheet to keep track of which character has what materials.
Then, when the free trial of ESO+ comes along, which happens about every six months, you can offload all your mats into the craft bag for easy use after your trial is over. You can't put things into the bag after your subscription ends, but you can take items out and/or use the items as you wish. For non-crafting items, you'll definitely need to find ways to add storage to make up for the double bank capacity of ESO+. To achieve this goal, you have several options.
As mentioned earlier, a quick way to increase your storage is to max out your bank slots. You can buy bank upgrades with ESO Gold at any banker. Each upgrade is 10 slots, and the cost goes up every time you purchase. Maximizing your bank slots is quite expensive, with the total cost of all upgrades coming in at a whopping 769,200 ESO Gold. I'd recommend purchasing the slots gradually instead of all at once, as your storage needs will probably increase gradually as well. At the end of your bank upgrading journey, you'll have 240 slots to enable that inevitable hoarding habit that we all experience at some point in ESO.
Keep in mind that bank space is account-wide, so all of your characters will share those 240 slots. Increasing your character's inventory or bag space is another great way to add storage, especially if you can do so on several alternate characters. Similarly to bank slots, you can increase your bag space by 10 spaces per upgrade at increasingly expensive rates. The maximum 140 slots you can get to through a pack merchant will run you a total cost of 180,600 ESO Gold, but you can increase your space even further through mount training with the stablemaster.
The additional 60 slots from the stablemaster will only cost 15,000 gold, but it'll take you at least 50 days to get all the upgrades, even if you train your mount capacity every 20 hours on the dot. You can have up to 8 characters without purchasing additional character slots through the crown store, and up to 18 if you choose to buy those additional slots. Even with just the base 8 characters, once you get to the maximum of 200 carrying capacity on each, you'll have access to 1,600 inventory slots!
If that's still not enough for you, your last option, other than subscribing to ESO+ or buying additional character slots, is getting all the various coffers you can put in your player home. You can gain these coffers through completing master writs or by purchasing them in the crown store. To purchase all available storage coffers and have 330 storage.