News

Playing ESO solo (single player story)

By: Ambuaz
Will Elder Scrolls Online be playable solo? Will there be single player story? Read the article to find this out.
Posted in: News

There are many MMO games and each online game offers you to play in a group of friends or just with other people. This is the main difference between MMO games and single player RPGs. Some online games even force you to search for a group. For in Lineage 2 single player style was very unpopular because of game mechanics. The game didn’t allow player to complete quests if he is alone because of the difficulty. It was very difficult to get good armor, weapons and gold if you play alone, especially at high levels. The higher you climb the more difficult it was to progress without help of other players.

There are many different points of view and some players may like such mechanics. As for me, I don’t like when the game forces me to look for a group, for a healer or for a buffer in order to just play. I want to have freedom and I would like to decide whether I need a group for this quest or not. Of course there must be quests that require several people, for example killing a big boss. But there must be balance between solo and group content. I am expecting to see this balance in Elder Scrolls Online.

Main story in ESO will be 100% solo.

Yes, it will be possible to complete all quests in ESO without joining a group. Sometimes it will be rather difficult but not always. The level of difficulty will be reasonable. Sometimes you will face with really difficult quests but you will be able to complete such quests alone.

The question of playing in a group in Elder Scrolls Online is connected with other very important question – keeping TES feeling in ESO. In all single player TES games you were the main hero. You were the one who could save the world and you felt that. Many of TES fans are thinking that this special feeling of a single hero will be lost in ESO because it is an MMO. But Matt Firor in one of his interviews confirmed that they are going to do as much as possible to allow player to feel his awesomeness. For example when you are confronting a major foe in the game you are in the instance alone. In all other MMO games you need to search for a group to kill big boss. But ESO will offer you to do it alone. I am sure these fights will be spectacular and you will have to use all your skills in such encounters.

Moreover, the game will place you in the dungeon where nobody will be able to kill your boss. This is a very smart decision to avoid queries of players willing to kill the same enemy. This will help to keep the atmosphere of a single hero.

It doesn’t mean that you will have to fight alone every time. No. There will be situations when you need to be alone, but there will be a lot of time for playing in a group. It is an MMO and groups are a part of the game. The general feature of Elder Scrolls Online is to give you choice. And it is about everything in the game including playing in a party.

Comments

  1. apple.snowsong 20 february 2014, 19:01 # 0
    That's really cool choice to have! Thanks :)
    1. Ted Siniscalchi 03 march 2014, 05:36 # 0
      I really wish this was the case, but I'm afraid that to this point, it has not been so. I've played at least two-thirds of the hours of the last 4 beta sessions — I slept about 4 — 5 hours/night, so I'm a big fan of the series. I found that beating the bosses in most of the solo quests is all but impossible.

      The most recent beta just ended a couple of minutes ago. As an example, I have been trying to clear the Spindleclutch cave — the first quest for the Mercenary group that you find in the Tavern in Daggerfall — for the past two betas. There are three caves and I couldn't make it past the first one. I'm level 21, and I have a good build. I also have over 2,000 hours into Skyrim (that's not a misprint) and at least that in Oblivion and Morrowind. But no one can overcome a couple of dozen poisonous spiders swarming you.

      I went in with groups of two and three and got very close. Only when I grouped with three others, however, was I able to clear the three caves (well, almost: the server kicked us all out just before we finished the last fight. That was really, really disappointing after trying for so long.) Anyway, the point is, we needed to go in with multiple people to survive long enough to do any significant damage.

      Now there are adjustments that the developers can put into practice that would make a solo playthrough possible. First, they could simply make the boss fights easier or harder based on the number of players. Even five or six spiders would be a challenge, not a massacre.

      Another thing that is already in place is that when you manage to kill an enemy, they do not respawn. So, if you begin with 20 enemies, but you can kill at least one on each try (before you get killed), then the next time you play through the fight is a bit easier. Playing solo, in fact, this actually happened to me — for a while. I got the number of spiders in the first cave down to one or two, plus the «boss». I thought I was in for one, last fight. But NOOOOOO. The next time I revived and went back to the cave, the spiders had brought their cousins, uncles and aunts. Big party, and I was dinner. I cried foul, and for a series and company with a wonderful history of catering to solo gamers, it seems to me that you do not want players feeling cheated this way.

      Another example, I thought, was the «Fungal Cave.» This is the bottleneck (that's right) through which anyone wanting to go from Glenumbra (with Daggerfall) to Wayrest must pass. I don't know why the Fighters and Mages Guild quests were set up like this. For those who haven't progressed to this point just let me say, Goblins suck. Yeah, that's right. After clearing almost three rooms full of goblins, I'll be fine if I never encounter one while gaming again.

      The thing with the goblins, though, is that once you kill them, they have the good grace to stay dead. So, if you kill one, that's one you don't have to face next time. The problem here, though, is that the king and his bodyguards are so difficult at the end. Also, if you leave the cave and come back, they miraculously respawn. «Why leave the cave?» you ask. To repair equipment. If you are the ESO equivalent of Bill Gates, you might be able to afford a few dozen repair kits to do the job. Otherwise, there are no blacksmithing stations or any other help available in the cave, so bring what you need.

      These are hardly the only two examples of this, but to be fair, I failed a lot more quests because they were broken than through difficulty. The main quest, for example (the MAIN quest!!), where you stand in a pillar of light expecting to end up in Coldharbour but instead get a mild sunburn while going nowhere. Then there's the quest where you have to ring the «cave-in bell» to get the foreman to come running, only to be slain by a tricky player. Problem is, the bell is broken. Lucky miner. Then there's the arrow pointing to a mage at the fort where werewolves have been attacking. Except the arrow points to the ground and the only person to pass over the spot is a rather grumpy woman who has nothing to do with the Mages Guild. I could go on (I really could) but you get the picture. Lot of work to do.

      So I think in the end, I think the game CAN be tweaked to allow for solo players to complete every (or almost every) quest on their own. But we're not there yet, and there are only 3 or 4 weeks left before release. (Depending on whether you bought an Imperial Edition (as I did) to get the game 5 days early. That doesn't leave much time, but hey, this IS Bethesda. They WILL release it anyway. Then they'll fix it, we'll love it (even while complaining) and the debates will continue.
      1. edo999 04 april 2014, 05:34 # 0
        Why choose a mmorpg to play alone? The community is enhanced if it is encouraged to collaborate and grow together. And this creates the most fun. On the contrary, if people group sporadically and in an impersonal way the game becomes poor and is certainly better to play a single player game.
        Of course a mmorpg must give all the freedom to play even in solo a part of the contents, but, maybe, with fewer rewards and possibilities. We ask for more and more easy games, but paradoxically these games become very soon superficial and less exciting.
        I hope that Teso will be able to give me thrills and challenges and I hope too to find adventurers with whom to share the fun. Of course This is just my personal opinion and I do not want to create any flames.

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