Gonna give all of you a chance to go ahead and yell at me now, so here's the tl;dr: I have ordered the physical Collector's Edition of Elder Scrolls Online. I will be playing ESO, I will be writing about ESO on this blog, and chances are damn good that I'm going to supplement my EVE player guides with ESO player guides.
Does that mean I'm going to stop playing EVE Online or stop writing about EVE? Absolutely not!
As a matter of fact, once I'm off the CSM in May, I plan in particular to get busy writing my long-promised definitive guides to small-/medium-gang PvP that I promised last year. I'd have been working on them more this past year but when I wrote that post, I completely underestimated the amount of my time CSM duties would take. So if anything, the number of EVE Online posts around here are only gonna increase.
But they're gonna be sitting side-by-side with ESO posts, some KSP posts, probably some World of Warships posts, and almost certainly not a few EVE Valkyrie posts (when the latter two games are released). And my personality isn't changing: I'll definitely be playing all these games with my normal take-no-prisoners, aggressive EVE player style. So have no fear on that score.
And who knows, if things go badly, Garth might weigh in on these other games as well.
In the meantime, I have to admit that I've been enjoying watching the sea change with regard to ESO. People who initially blasted ESO or teased me about being naive for buying into Bethesda's marketing are changing their positions. ESO is not the devil and I've been enjoying my time with the beta quite a bit. Perhaps this is my naivete with the rest of the MMO scene but I don't think so. ESO has a different feel to it than Rift or Guild Wars 2 had, for instance. It's a lot less passive and a fair bit harder, for one thing. ;-)
I even disagree with the accusations that the initial zones are linear. Sure they're linear... if you devote yourself to the main story path. That's been the case with every Elder Scrolls game back to Daggerfall. In ES games, you can follow the bread-crumbs of the main quest if you want and ignore what's going on in your peripheral vision. But you've always been able to have "vegetarian Thanksgiving" with ES games. You can skip the main course and gorge yourself on the side dishes and I'm happy to report I'm finding this is true for ESO as well. The game definitely rewards exploration and getting off the bread-crumb trail.
An example will suffice. Entering the first area, you're immediately surrounded by a flood of other players and thanks to the rewards given on the main quest line, pretty soon 95% of these players are all dressed in the same stuff. I immediately started looking in the direction the main quest wasn't. Before long, I was in completely deserted areas... but yet there were quest flags, things to explore, things to find, things to do. In about two hours, I was still in the level 1-5 area... but I was suited up in a full set of heavy armor unavailable on the main quest line, looking completely different from everyone else. And I'd mastered the game's lock-picking mechanic, which you aren't even introduced to on the main quest line. The chat channel started lighting up: "How did you do that?! How did you do that?!" Answer? I got off the freakin' road. ;-) And this choice in the early game made the later game easier and more fun, the same way it works in stand-alone ES games.
A lot of my questions about the game remain unanswered: how will the game play scale up, particularly in groups? Is the game going to use the same ol' same ol' "threat" mechanic? What is the PvP going to be like? How will PvP and PvE be integrated, if at all? How will control structures within the three alliances be set up? What is the social scene in the game going to be like? What will the community's vibe be? How will the player market work? How and where will micro-transactions be a factor? But there's lots of time to answer these questions. And in learning the answers, I might encounter things I don't like.
But those things -- and things I find I like -- will be worth writing about. Stay tuned!