Wilhelm’s Elder Scrolls Soliloquy

To beta, or not to beta – that is the question:
Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The puzzled apprehension of the outside observer,
Or to download this vast sea of trouble
And by participation, to end all doubt.

TESO-let, Act II, scene 3

There is a beta this weekend.  It starts today.


I have a code.  I have speedy broadband.  I could, should I so desire, participate.

But do I want to?  Do I care?  We are indeed at the point that tests those questions.

I tend to be down on betas in the first place.  If I want to play a game, I will wait until launch so that the game is fresh then.  So betas tend to be for me to check out games on which I am undecided.  My track record on that front favors a “played in beta, avoided at launch” result.

Add in the fact that we are less than two months from the planned launch date on April 4, 2014 and the game is still under a tight NDA and I start to think that my play time might be better spent in Azeroth or New Eden or in any one of the neglected titles in my Steam library.

Soft you now, the fair-to-middling  ESO! —
MMO, in thine temptation be all my sins remembered.

So will you play?

18 thoughts on “Wilhelm’s Elder Scrolls Soliloquy

  1. fabrulana

    I got a key as well – definitely trying it out this weekend. I need to decide whether on buying the collector’s edition or not. Saw a video on IGN and it looks pretty good – an MMORPG with more RPG in it. If it is as good as it seems, I might have found my next game to play.


  2. Pasduil

    I tend to think the best time to get into a game is a fair bit after launch, when it’s been polished up and had some quality-of-life improvements added.

    I’m not keen on being in a beta. If the game is going to turn out to be fantastic, I will have been spoilered by a part-baked version. If it wasn’t going to so great anyway then I wasted my time. So it looks like a no-win scenario to me.

    It’s great that there are people willing to be in betas though, since they are necessary to proper development.


  3. pkudude99

    It’s coming out a mere 2 days from my birthday, so I’ll be getting it as a bday present, even if I don’t end up playing it all that much. If we weren’t still under NDA, I’d tell you more about my past 2 weekends of playing it, but since it’s only the press that’s had it dropped…… glean what you will from the fact that I’ve been in 2 prior weekends and I plan to buy it at launch.

    That said, I also can’t say I particularly disagree with any of this guy’s points either: http://massively.joystiq.com/2014/02/07/the-elder-scrolls-online-beta-is-absolutely-nothing-special/


  4. sleepysam

    Depends on if my buddies are in or not, largely. I would try to the beta, but best I can tell no mac client yet.


  5. HarbingerZero

    At the risk of being an NDA breaker myself…the MMORPG one I think is much more accurate than Massively’s take. I’ve done three stints in the beta so far and have the digital deluxe preordered. Oh, and our little group is planning this as our next home. So…there ya go.

    Tom Stoppard eh? Well, if your whole life is spent waiting for the questions like this to which you have already prepared answers, then I guess you can pass on the beta. But, personally, since its there and free…I’d give it a shot.


  6. bhagpuss

    The Massively pan is a cracker. If I wasn’t aready turned off the idea of playing the beta, that would have done it. Actually, though, I’m so uninterested in ESO I never even applied for the beta and since then my interest has only lessened. I doubt I’ll even bother to download it for any open beta that comes along. I have my hands full with Landmark, anyway.

    That said, I’d be very interested on your hands-on views on ESO because I feel I can calibrate well from them, having read so many of your pieces on other games that I know and don’t know. Consider trying it as a public service!


  7. Asmiroth

    Considering there’s still a rather strict NDA, I doubt we’ll see much on the topic for now. TESO is not doing themselves any favors by keeping it up during these weekends, unless they are aiming at a non MMO crowd (generally speaking).

    I’ve harped on that topic enough.


  8. zaphod6502

    “So will you play?”

    No. And I don’t mean that in any sort of snarky way. I love my Elder Scroll single player games but this does not interest me at all. Turning TES from an interesting “open world exploration do what you want” game to “Yet Another Treadmill” MMO leaves me very cold.


  9. Pingback: To follow the (alpha/beta) crowd or not? | GamingSF

  10. sean

    I’ll be buying it, my wife has already pre-ordered it.. and yet, the RockPaperShotgun review is *very* accurate:

    My take: the beta is buggy as hell; the last beta I played so buggy was TSW, and we know how _that_ launched (it’s worse than TSW was, though). On the other hand, the setting and graphics are very good (also comparable to TSW), and I’m ready for a new low-stress MMO to play, so yeah, I’ll be getting it.


  11. El Mutharino

    I got into last beta knowing little more than the game was crap and a wow clone with TES skin. As soon as the preorders came out I got one before the server crashed under the load. I suppose I’ll never trust others opinion about a MMO


  12. El Mutharino

    Don’t read the massively opinion piece, because Eliot played it like a wow clone, he doesn’t know what he is doing most of the times.

    In my experience, most people who don’t like TESO,do so because they are playing it like a themepark. If you play it like a TES game (with the obvious MMO limitations) it’s very enjoyable


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