Elder Scrolls Online and other single player games

Both readers of this blog may recognize that I occasionally drift away from writing about EVE Online and venture into other games and genres. Never for long, no other game so far had the staying power with me but yes, I did write about World of Warcraft, Fallout 4, Planetside 2 and of course my anticipated disaster playing No Man’s Sky.  Likely quite a few others but those are the ones that I remember a little more.  Common to all these games is my lack of attachment, an “aloof” attitude, an unwillingness for me to get serious about the game, nothing compares to you, EVE Online in depth and complexity.  Case study Fallout 4.  I picked it up over the Thanksgiving Holidays and played it a ton. The captivating storyline, the excellent (in my opinion) combat, crafting and interaction system and the detailed post-apocalyptic, believable world drew me in.  Its an awesome game.  Last time I played? January 23rd according to Steam. Its not that I don’t like the game, I just “got it”, i.e. I understood how it works and where it will go eventually.   Sure, there are mods (which I downloaded), new questions, more villages to free etc but overall, I have all the content that I wanted – (discounted) money well spent.  In the future, I will likely go back and replay it in Survival Mode for the additional challenges but currently I see no need to continue.

Still my favorite companion

Still my favorite companion

Similarly with Skyrim.  Every time I log in, I love the game, the atmosphere, the scenery.  Skyrim as a game is just straight gorgeous, the quests are interesting and some are challenging.  It feels like I am reading a long, deep fantasy book, something I have not done since Lord of the Rings when I was 15 or so.  But I lack the tenacity to really read all about the Companions and other factions.  Just to know that the lore is there if I wanted to research it is awesome but also quite overwhelming.  Every time I find a lore book in the game and I read only the first sentence, I feel guilty.  As if I owed the developers to read the book.  I am level 38 ish in Skyrim and have many hours still to go.



Enter Elder Scrolls Online. I bought it on a whim 2 (?) years ago when it went from recurrent monthly charge to a single payment.  I can get behind that model and bought it full price if I recall correctly.  I bought it because I had fond memories of WoW and wanted to recreate those memories in an updated game.  For a short while it worked, I even joined  a guild (they were super nice on TS until I mentioned that I am an EVE Online player.  Dead silence. Apparently, we have a reputation) but of course I couldn’t handle two MMORPGs at the same time and I quit soon after.  However, I recently logged in again and found the game and the graphics much improved (maybe my new graphics card has something to do with this).  The game looks good, the quests are interesting and deep, I have the feeling that there is a story behind every hill and the leveling is slow enough to enjoy the ride.  ESO is basically what WoW should be and I am having fun in small doses – never more than 30 minutes.  The crucial difference to my last attempt is that I play it literally as a solo game.  I don’t group, PvP, trade or craft with others, don’t care about guilds or dungeons, leveling or being social.  If I log off in the middle of a quest, so be it, no ties, no commitments.

Elder Scrolls Online

ESO has interesting and engaging quests.


Lastly, I had bough the indy game “Space Engineers” years ago for something like $19.  Basically, its “Minecraft” in space from a small software team who – predictably – develop content much faster than help files, resulting in an interesting game that is literally choked by its own features.  From reading the internet, I “knew” what amazing things you can do in this game but I had spent hours trying to connect a reactor to an engine.  I really wanted to love this game, build spaceships, crash them, show them off, shoot stuff and other people but the famous learning cliff was way too steep for me.  I wrote the game off until yesterday when something prompted me to log back in and give it a second, third, twenty fifth try.  And man, has the game changed since I last logged in. There are planets!   There is actually a tutorial!  I did the tutorial, a true mission where I have to drive, shoot and repair stuff.  When the tutorial ended, I was dumped at the old log in screen, asked to fend for myself in the old system.  Does this sound familiar to EVE players?  Anyway, Space Engineers is back on my list.

Space Engineers - my first ship.  She is ugly but she is mine

Space Engineers – my first ship. She is ugly but she is mine


Well, this concludes my current list of on/off games, likely taking a week break since I will be traveling, no games on the road..



4 responses to “Elder Scrolls Online and other single player games

  1. I did what you were doing in terms of ESO. However you’re missing some of the complexity if you’re not grouping up. The roles of tank, healer and DPS working together produce some wonderful synergies.

    Speaking of non-optimal gameplay, some of the best dungeon runs (either vet or normal) I’ve ever been involved in is when either the levels, skills or gear have not been the greatest, and I’ve still managed to pull the group through.

    As far as a good guild, I finally found one I’m enjoying that have people with very good skills playing in my TOD, and with whom I tackle some of the high end content. It’s been a blast.

    For what is ostensibly a simple game, it has some remarkable depth to it once you start digging a little deeper. Give it a go.

    • Thats good to know, I haven’t really experienced ESO group interaction but its good to know that it is possible. I raided quite a bit in WoW and assume the experience is similar. (I quit WoW before Cataclysm, so its been a while)

      The issue is time and focus, I play EVE Online as my main hobby and don’t really have energy to invest myself into another game fully. MMORPG with their social interaction inevitably bring social pressure, gear scores, ranks, DPS and so on. Its automatic and there is absolutely nothing wrong with it, wanting to perform better as a team is awesome. But again, with limited time, I don’t think I could manage it in ESO. However, I will keep your advice in mind, if / when I burn out of EVE next time round, maybe I switch in a period of ESO.

      • I’ve never played WOW so can’t compare. The high end guys can be a wee bit obsessive about extreme DPS, but for almost everything else, if it works, we don’t care. No gear scores as such, and the game auto levels you to the highest level member in the team (iirc) for group runs. In other words, it’s a surprisingly level playing field. It’s more about gameplay, timing, and having the right skill/morphs on your bar. If you do want to try something, I can be reached on @Aeralas in game. See if we can tee up a TOD that works,

        • WoW is was just like ESO, just much simpler quests, blocky graphics and irrelevant crafting. ESO is far better designed in these aspects. WoW did have deep and fun dungeon and raid content. Rumor (not experience) says that ESO’s dungeon content is extremely repetitive in comparison.

          I definitely will look you up, thanks for the invite. @Blaubart, looking forward

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