What Makes Elder Scrolls Online Different From Other MMOs?

No doubt you guys have heard of Elder Scrolls Online at some point. Maybe you gave it a try back in the day and you’re probably sitting there wondering why is this game still so popular even to this day? 

If you haven’t tried it, maybe you’re sitting there thinking: what makes this game special? Why do people play this instead of playing World of WarCraft, Final Fantasy, Guild Wars or another MMO? Let’s go over the several points that differentiate ESO as an MMO and what makes the game just so good.

What Makes Elder Scrolls Online Different From Other MMOs

1. Rich Lore

If you’ve ever played an Elder Scrolls game, whether it’s MorrowindOblivionSkyrim, it doesn’t matter. You know that the Elder Scrolls Universe has a massive amount of lore going on for it. Each race, location, deity and hero has these extensive backstories behind them and Elder Scrolls Online is no different.

This game has a massive amount of rich and extensive lore. That’s been built up over the course of the game’s lifetime and of course this lore draws from the previous Elder Scrolls games, taking inspiration, but it also has introduced a ton of new stories, characters, and locations to the Elder Scrolls Universe.

ESO Morrowind

One of the main reasons why people play this game so much is because it is so story driven because of the lore of Elder Scrolls Online. And if you’ve never given gaming lore a chance, Elder Scrolls is a great place to start, whether it’s this game or the single player games.

2. Level Scaling 

This is something that’s either you love it or you hate it when it comes to MMORPGs. But Elder Scrolls Online uses a level scaling system instead of a traditional MMO, where you level up a character, you ultimately out level zones and you sort of end up at the end of things in a select couple of zones that are the max level areas.

Elder Scrolls Online doesn’t do this. Instead, they have a level scaling system that allows their players to explore any part of the game world regardless of their level and it keeps every corner of the game relevant. This means that you can always find a challenge regardless of where you are in the game. 

If you’re a completionist or an explorer or whatever, this game is definitely right up your alley because it keeps things interesting with its scaling technology. Not everybody is a fan of horizontal progression, but in regard to the world, ESO does it very well.

3. Massive World

If you’ve ever played a previous Elder Scrolls title, you know that this is the kind of game that goes out of its way to be big and detailed and Elder Scrolls Online is no different.

The game world of ESO is massive, and players are free to explore it at their own pace. There are no level requirements for the zones either because of the scaling, so players can explore wherever they want. If you’re somebody that you want to quest and level up in Morrowind because that was your favorite game in the Elder Scrolls series, go over there and explore it or go to some of these regions where Bethesda hasn’t made a single player version of The Elder Scrolls at yet.

ESO Oblivion Gates

It’s completely up to you wherever you go. Across these zones, you’ll find everything from dragons attacking some areas to Oblivion Gates opening in others...... There're tons of stuff to find in each zone. Each zone has its own unique personality. It’s a world worth exploring. 

4. Player Choice 

Elder Scrolls is not a game where you just choose a class, level up the class and you’re stuck in that particular play style.

When it comes to ESO, you can play this game however you want. In Elder Scrolls Online, if you want to be an Argonian Thief, who wears heavy armor or who runs around healing people while also poisoning them with your daggers, you can do that. If you want to be a Necromancer who uses a bow and poisoned arrows, you can do that, too. 

ESO Argonian Thief

You really can create whatever character you want in Elder Scrolls Online, which can lead to a little of a learning curve. But as you go through the game and as you gather points from leveling up or discovering Skyshards, you can spend them however you want in your skill trees that you unlock as you play the game. It makes the replayability of this game really good.

It also is cool because you’ll probably get to max before even exploring a fourth of all the zones in this game. So, going and checking out new zones and trying out new builds and new styles of playing your character. It’s awesome. 

5. Player Housing 

Player housing is a thing in Elder Scrolls Online and it is very expansive and it is very immersive. In this game, you can purchase tiny houses. You can purchase massive homes and with whatever your creativity desires. 

I’ve been in player homes that are completely vampire themed homes that are all like hunting with animal heads and stuff everywhere to even homes that are pretty much like entire castles that players have made within the giant landmass that you can purchase to customize your home on. It’s pretty wild how in-depth the player housing system is within ESO and I feel like I only scratched the surface of it despite my hundreds of hours in this game. 

6. No Subscription Required 

Unlike a lot of other MMOs, ESO does not require a monthly subscription, and the game is in no way paid to win.

When it comes to this game, if you play it, you can play it as much as you want or as little as you want without having to worry about any sort of recurring fee. 

The only thing really that you get from subscribing monthly to Elder Scrolls Online is you get points to spend in the Cosmetic Shop. You get an infinitely deep crafting bag, which some people would say it’s a little unfair. But it’s just a crafting bag. If you don’t care about crafting, it’s not a big deal. You also get access to all the content and all the expansions up to whatever the current expansion is whatever that might be. 

My first 100 hours in this game or so, I played completely for free with no subscription and I loved the game so much that I did ultimately subscribe to it. But it’s a hundred percent not necessary to progress in this game and to have a good time.

7. World PVP 

If you ever played Elder Scrolls Oblivion, you might remember Cyrodiil, a big landmass with the city in the center. 

ESO Cyrodiil

In Elder Scrolls Online, the three factions are all fighting for control of that city. The massive scale world versus world combat in ESO, the moment that you try it, you’re going to get hooked to it: catapults and battering rams in all manner of fire and magic and fortresses...... It is wild that all of the this fortress besieging and stealing and whatever to claim the capital city right in the center of Cyrodiil and to claim an emperor for your faction.

Imagine a Classic World of WarCraft High Warlord or Grand Marshal. Because the emperor gets their own unique skill tree and abilities that they can use to dominate on the PVP Battlefield. It’s great. The world PVP in this game is so much fun.

8. Living World 

Something that I think a lot of RPG or immersive MMO gamer enthusiasts will enjoy about ESO is how interactable the world is and how immersive it can be.

In Elder Scrolls Online, if you’re walking along and you see a sword on the ground, you can pick it up. You see a potato, you can pick it. NPCs will lock the doors of their homes and you can break in. You can murder NPCs in this game. You can and get a bounty put on your head where guards will kill you on site unless you pay the fine.

If you are particular classes like a Necromancer and you were to use a Necromancer ability in the middle of town, people will freak out and try to attack you because you’re a freaking Necromancer. You’re raising the dead in the middle of the Town Square. 

So many people love this about ESO just how interactable the world is and how you can really play out whatever sort of fantasy that you want. Whether you’re a warrior, that’s going around and killing dragons to being some cutthroat rogue, who breaks into people’s homes and steals ESO Gold out of their treasure boxes, whoever you want to be, you can be that person.

Also Read: Elder Scrolls Online: The Unique Mechanics Of Arcanist Class Will Have A Big Impact On Game’s Resource System

9. Rewarding Exploration

Exploration is rewarded tremendously because Elder Scrolls Online is not a linear MMO. You can just kind of go wherever you want.

This is one of my favorite ways to play Elder Scrolls Online: just abandoning the quest that’s right in front of you and just wandering out into the world to see what you find.

As you explore, you’ll find more quests to take part in. You will find world bosses scattered throughout the world that you can fight. You can find delves, which are like these single player dungeons that you can go into. Fight the boss at the end and get an awesome piece of gear, possibly even a set piece of gear. There’s a ton of sets in Elder Scrolls Online that can all do unique things, like making your abilities poisonous, or you can summon like a Daedra. There are lots of stuff in this game in regard to sets.

You can find Skyshards out in the world, which you can collect to get more skill points. You can meet different guilds and factions. There’s a lot in Elder Scrolls Online in terms of exploration. It’s one of my favorite parts of the game.

10. Constant Updates 

Maybe a lot of you reading this article right now play World of WarCraft or Final Fantasy, which are some really large MMO today. And when you hear the term Elder Scrolls Online, you just think: it’s a dead game. It probably gets no content. Nobody really plays it...... 

You would be surprised to discover that a lot of people play this game. No matter where you go in the world, you’re going to be running into players. 

ESO Necrom

And in regard to the company behind the scenes making the content for this game, they are constantly pumping out updates whether they are new story chapters, dungeons, delves, zones, expansions, new ways to play the game like getting a follower introducing dragons and elsewhere. Whatever you want, these guys are just constantly pumping out new content into this world.

So, there’s always something to look forward to. Even right now in June, the newest Elder Scrolls Online expansion is coming out Necrom with a brand new class. Because the game has this constant steady stream of content, it does not get boring. And even when it does and you decide I’m going to take a break for a couple of months, when you come back, there’s always plenty more to do and plenty more to explore. 

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