I grew up reading fantasy books written by people who gave their initials instead of their first names (J.R.R. Tolkien, C.J. Cherryh, R.A. Salvatore, M.C. Hammer, etc). I think this is why I fell so deeply in love with The Elder Scrolls games Oblivion and, later, Skyrim. These open worlds allowed me to completely immerse myself in worlds with everything that I adored from those stories. Swords! Magic! Elves! Dragons! Weird and wonderful creatures! Epic quests!
That said, I didn’t play The Elder Scrolls Online when it first came out. I think I would’ve hated it. A compulsory monthly subscription just to play, and piles of content locked behind an achingly slow grind? No thank you. Today, however, it’s a very different game. The subscription is gone, replaced by a one-off payment as God intended. Buy the ‘Collection’ version of the latest instalment, in fact, and you’ll find that this includes all previously released chapters. Best of all, though, the world now scales to your current level.
The Elder Scrolls Online – more commonly known as TESO – is the best MMO I’ve ever played, because most of the time, I completely forget that I’m not the only one playing. So far, I’ve put 80-90 hours into this game. Rookie numbers for an MMO, I know, but this is still a remarkable amount of time for two reasons. Firstly, I have two jobs and three kids. That’s basically a decade of free time for me. Secondly, in all of those hours, I have not spoken to another player even once.