You can play The Elder Scrolls Online for free until April 26

Polycount

Posts: 3,013   +589
Staff member
In brief: One of the better modern MMOs, Elder Scrolls Online, is going free-to-play for the next week and change, and its various DLC packs are getting steep discounts. This means you'll have access to all of ESO's core premium features, such as crafting material storage and its Morrowind DLC, at no cost.

When ESO first came out, it wasn't exactly well-received. It had its core fans, but the multiplayer features were rather buggy and unfinished and many fans didn't find enough content variety to keep them hooked. Vast swathes of land around Tamriel weren't yet finished, preventing players from exploring them.

These days, ESO is much, much better than it was before. I've returned to it multiple times and enjoyed myself. I have a few complaints regarding the combat and writing (I think both are a bit dull) but, overall, it offers a massive world to explore with plenty of compelling quests, characters, and gameplay systems to uncover.

Normally, ESO would run you $20 for the base game. During this week-long free trial period (plus one extra day), that price has been slashed to $6. This nets you both the Morrowind expansion and all of the content in the vanilla experience.

ESO's "Blackwood" DLC, which includes the Blackwood, Greymoor, Elsweyr, Summerset, and Morrowind expansions in addition to the base game, has also been significantly discounted to $16.49 (from its usual price of $50). That's a pretty decent value. As an ESO fan myself, that's probably the pack I'd recommend to new players, provided they enjoy what the trial has to offer.

Zenimax Online Studios is using this F2P week as an opportunity to hook new players into its upcoming expansion, known as "High Isle," which launches on June 6. High Isle will take players back to the land of the Bretons and the "seat of chivalric culture" as they seek to confront a new evil known as the "Ascendant Lord." This expansion can be pre-ordered for $40 right now, though we'd obviously recommend trying the base game before purchasing extra content.

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Squid Surprise

Posts: 5,335   +4,981
It’s still not a true multi-player experience... but I wish they’d just hurry up with ES6.... I don’t want multiplayer anyways...
 

yRaz

Posts: 4,529   +5,399
It’s still not a true multi-player experience... but I wish they’d just hurry up with ES6.... I don’t want multiplayer anyways...
It being not a true multi-player experience is my favorite thing about ESO. It's a single player game you play with other people. Frankly, that aspect makes it a more believable world. Other players each with their own goals that seem insignificant individually but collectively make immeasurable contributions to how the world runs.

If anything, my advice for people playing ESO is to forget about the quest guide or leveling and just let your curiosity take over
 

mrvco

Posts: 175   +172
I didn't make it past the early beta, but I thought ESO went F2P a long time ago?
 

m4a4

Posts: 2,943   +3,801
TechSpot Elite
It being not a true multi-player experience is my favorite thing about ESO. It's a single player game you play with other people. Frankly, that aspect makes it a more believable world. Other players each with their own goals that seem insignificant individually but collectively make immeasurable contributions to how the world runs.

If anything, my advice for people playing ESO is to forget about the quest guide or leveling and just let your curiosity take over
If they kept the action-oriented combat (instead of the WoW style with action bars), I might've liked it. Just not a fan of pressing numbers...
 

psycros

Posts: 4,259   +6,088
If they kept the action-oriented combat (instead of the WoW style with action bars), I might've liked it. Just not a fan of pressing numbers...

That would actually make me MORE interested. The reactive combat didn't work well when I tried it during the beta. Granted, that was ages ago but I can't stand real-time melee in any ESO game - the NPCs always cheat like crazy.
 

yRaz

Posts: 4,529   +5,399
If they kept the action-oriented combat (instead of the WoW style with action bars), I might've liked it. Just not a fan of pressing numbers...
It's not fair to compare ESO combat to WoW. Go watch some PvP video. Actually skill and timing makes a huge difference. There are veteran rank dungeons where you can't just gear and click your way through it.
 

m4a4

Posts: 2,943   +3,801
TechSpot Elite
It's not fair to compare ESO combat to WoW. Go watch some PvP video. Actually skill and timing makes a huge difference. There are veteran rank dungeons where you can't just gear and click your way through it.
I know it's more nuanced than that, but it gets my point across. Don't like the combat style, especially when it's an ES game coming after Skyrim's action combat system.
 

Sausagemeat

Posts: 1,597   +1,422
As a massive elder scrolls fan I refuse to call this abomination “the elder scrolls”. It’s wow with an elder scrolls “theme”.

I wouldn’t bother playing it, even for free. The game is amongst the most boring gaming experiences out there. Some of the lore is good but that doesn’t make up for how wooden the game is to play, how little atmosphere there is. It is absolutely nothing like an actual elder scrolls game.
 

Ludak021

Posts: 710   +532
If they kept the action-oriented combat (instead of the WoW style with action bars), I might've liked it. Just not a fan of pressing numbers...

Good thing you haven't played (I assume) Lost Ark.
It's an MMORPG, it's how they are made...
 

MaitieS

Posts: 167   +185
It’s still not a true multi-player experience... but I wish they’d just hurry up with ES6.... I don’t want multiplayer anyways...
The F are you talking about? It's not like these people that are working on ESO has anything to say about ES6... Also ESO is kind of cool. It's a SP but that is basically the biggest bait they could ever make. A lots of plebs will leave the game very quickly (Usually only "Skyrim" plebs).

"I don’t want multiplayer anyways..."

World is not rotating around you... :)
 

Squid Surprise

Posts: 5,335   +4,981
The F are you talking about? It's not like these people that are working on ESO has anything to say about ES6... Also ESO is kind of cool. It's a SP but that is basically the biggest bait they could ever make. A lots of plebs will leave the game very quickly (Usually only "Skyrim" plebs).

"I don’t want multiplayer anyways..."

World is not rotating around you... :)
But it’s my opinion… we’re all entitled to them… and play a different MMO and tell me that this is a true multiplayer experience…

Sure, plenty of people like it - plenty of people like just about ANY game… but far more people will play ES6 whenever it comes out… and yes, they come from the same company…
 

MaitieS

Posts: 167   +185
But it’s my opinion… we’re all entitled to them… and play a different MMO and tell me that this is a true multiplayer experience…

Sure, plenty of people like it - plenty of people like just about ANY game… but far more people will play ES6 whenever it comes out… and yes, they come from the same company…
Oh boy you really are the type of person who would insult a cleaning lady cuz Bethesda delayed the game. Impressive. Thinking that "same company" = "same people" is really just showing how bad gaming community is. I guess they really released Cyberpunk because of similar complains.

Hopefully I didn't offend you cuz you know, it's my opinion or something
 

Squid Surprise

Posts: 5,335   +4,981
Oh boy you really are the type of person who would insult a cleaning lady cuz Bethesda delayed the game. Impressive. Thinking that "same company" = "same people" is really just showing how degenerated gaming community is :D I guess they really released Cyberpunk because of people like you :D

Hopefully I didn't offend you cuz you know, it's my opinion or something
See... this is where it's important to have a skill called "reading comprehension"... clearly, when I said "they", I was talking about Bethesda... not the actual programmers of ESO...although I'm sure there is a bit of overlap between the games...

I believe the type of person who would insult someone for no reason would be... wait for it... YOU!
 

MaitieS

Posts: 167   +185
See... this is where it's important to have a skill called "reading comprehension"... clearly, when I said "they", I was talking about Bethesda... not the actual programmers of ESO...although I'm sure there is a bit of overlap between the games...

I believe the type of person who would insult someone for no reason would be... wait for it... YOU!
/r/iamthemaincharacter It's not even funny to discuss it further with you because I already said that same company =/= same programers are working on the same project. Your first comment tried to imply that if they would stop working on ESO that they would magically have ES6 ready for YOU...
 

Squid Surprise

Posts: 5,335   +4,981
/r/iamthemaincharacter It's not even funny to discuss it further with you because I already said that same company =/= same programers are working on the same project. Your first comment tried to imply that if they would stop working on ESO that they would magically have ES6 ready for YOU...
Everyone knows they aren't the same people responsible for the coding.... BUT... the same COMPANY is responsible for both games (that's why they are both called "Elder Scrolls") and THEY (Bethesda - in case you've forgotten) are the ones who decide how much money to pour into each project.

If Bethesda decided to cut the funding of ESO and pour those resources into ES6 - ES6 might come out sooner... I'm sure I'm not the only person who would want that...
 

MaitieS

Posts: 167   +185
Everyone knows they aren't the same people responsible for the coding.... BUT... the same COMPANY is responsible for both games (that's why they are both called "Elder Scrolls") and THEY (Bethesda - in case you've forgotten) are the ones who decide how much money to pour into each project.

If Bethesda decided to cut the funding of ESO and pour those resources into ES6 - ES6 might come out sooner... I'm sure I'm not the only person who would want that...
It's possible that is why I am kind of glad that Microsoft bought them cuz from what I heard Phil wanted to start releasing all their games e.g. new Fallout, Elder Scrolls, Doom and more... at the "same" time. Where in current Bethesda mindset they are only working on the 1 game which is IMHO THE game issue why we are waiting so god damn long for their games. Hopefully this will be legit and MS will be able to release more Bethesda games without years of waiting between each other.
 

yRaz

Posts: 4,529   +5,399
I know it's more nuanced than that, but it gets my point across. Don't like the combat style, especially when it's an ES game coming after Skyrim's action combat system.
I was going to leave this alone, but as someone who does play on the competitive side of ESO combat I really have to say it isn't anything like WoWs. I also want to compare it direct to skyrim. 1) Skyrims magic system sucked. 2) Skyrims combat system was boring, it was right click and block. You don't really have a magic system, but not having to "equip" spells like you did in Skyrim is a real bonus. Frankly, having to equip spells in Skyrim was on of the most disappointing things and is the outlier in all the elderscrolls combat.

In ESO you don't have to go any further than Skyrim's combat level if you don't want to. If you want to play as a casual and just right click and block, you can. If you want to stay up for 20 hours straight in adrenaline filled 200+ person battles, you can.
It's possible that is why I am kind of glad that Microsoft bought them cuz from what I heard Phil wanted to start releasing all their games e.g. new Fallout, Elder Scrolls, Doom and more... at the "same" time. Where in current Bethesda mindset they are only working on the 1 game which is IMHO THE game issue why we are waiting so god damn long for their games. Hopefully this will be legit and MS will be able to release more Bethesda games without years of waiting between each other.
I'm talking to both of you when I say this, the LORE WRITERS for ESO and the other elderscrolls games are the same. It is THE LORE that makes an elderscrolls game an Elderscrolls game. And It isn't so much as WRITERS are it is WRITER.

His name is Michael Kirkbride, While he no longer works at Bethesda, he frequently writes short stories that end up as books you find in the games. He writes the books for fun and then Bethesda puts them in games for us to pick up in find.

Here is a fun fact for you, many of the books that you find in game are written as passion projects by employees and former employees. Zenimax, who owns Bethesda and Zenimax Online Studios(makes of ESO) share a writing team.
 

m4a4

Posts: 2,943   +3,801
TechSpot Elite
I was going to leave this alone, but as someone who does play on the competitive side of ESO combat I really have to say it isn't anything like WoWs. I also want to compare it direct to skyrim. 1) Skyrims magic system sucked. 2) Skyrims combat system was boring, it was right click and block. You don't really have a magic system, but not having to "equip" spells like you did in Skyrim is a real bonus. Frankly, having to equip spells in Skyrim was on of the most disappointing things and is the outlier in all the elderscrolls combat.

In ESO you don't have to go any further than Skyrim's combat level if you don't want to. If you want to play as a casual and just right click and block, you can. If you want to stay up for 20 hours straight in adrenaline filled 200+ person battles, you can.
Great! I don't care about the nuance, which you obviously didn't get the first time, so I'll say it again: I don't care about the nuance.

Not my type of combat, because the WoW style is boring to me. Already tried it (because I'm a fan of the series), and don't care to go back.
 

m4a4

Posts: 2,943   +3,801
TechSpot Elite
No, but most, if not all, popular ones do.
And that would be why I don't play many MMORPG's lol

A game called Vindictus was super fun when it first went English. But then the power creep ruined it for me,as you could no longer do raids unless you were X power level (and gear crafting and leveling was punishing).
 

Ludak021

Posts: 710   +532
And that would be why I don't play many MMORPG's lol

A game called Vindictus was super fun when it first went English. But then the power creep ruined it for me,as you could no longer do raids unless you were X power level (and gear crafting and leveling was punishing).
That's the problem with games that don't use the popular MMO system - they are predatory, made free to play to lure people in and then rip them off.