During the last beta, the PTS was updated to a client that was not available to those doing the public beta; however, with the test this weekend the public beta should be able to experience the new fixes and content that those of the PTS have been playing with for the last few weeks.
If you follow me on twitter, you’ll know I also write a bi-weekly column for MMORPG. The last one discussed how I firmly believe that Zenimax is one of the best companies to develop an MMO game based on their community focused attitude. Before you comment here about that bold statement I suggest reading it first. As bold as that statement is, I do believe that Zenimax has its player’s experience as a top priority, giving players a lot more freedom in choices when it comes to character development and progression.
A recent change to the way you start the game has me a little worried that I jumped the gun on that statement. Prior to the change, when you started your character, you had to escape from your prison cell and make your way down to an armoury, of sorts. This is where you got the chance to pick your first weapon type, least the one you’ll be using until you pick up something you like better. This was a small glimpse to the freedom you’re going to have later on in the game. All these types of weapons, available to you, no matter what class, race, or faction you choose.
Now, all those options have been removed, gone, deleted. When start your new character, you still need to escape your cell but you’re no longer presented with those options. Your only option now is a Sword.
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This to me feels like Zenimax has taken a step back. Of course there are reasons to why Zenimax felt like this was a good idea. It’s not like Matt Firor and Paul Sage are sitting at their desks thinking of ways they can piss off the ESO community. Maybe players felt overwhelmed by the choice options, if this is the case, they are going to be REALLY confused later on when they see the crafting system. Whatever the reason is, this change isn’t what players should experience as their first opportunity to witness the vast uniqueness’ that is ESO’s character development.
As I said, Zenimax felt this was the best decision to take, and I don’t think they are right. I’m sure I am not alone on this. We as a community have changed Zenimax’s stance before when it came to developing decisions. Hand in First Person view, the starting zone leveling experience. Now is our chance to do it again.
We need to voice our opinions to Zenimax, and let them know we as a community want our options back. Elder Scrolls Online is all about giving the player the choice to decide what to do. Being forced to use a Sword and Shield as soon as you start the game does not give the player any indication of what they can expect in such an open game system.
This weekend, take your time and immerse yourself into the beginning part of the game and tell me, does the limited options right off the bat give you any feeling of openness that ESO is known for?
Zenimax is one of the best companies I’ve seen when it comes to listening to the community. During the beta, type /feedback, give Zenimax your opinions on this new change. You can go to the beta forums and create a thread discussing your opinions, and after every beta event you’ll be given another opportunity to voice your opinion in the Survey.