This Is The Way The World Ends, Not With A Bang But A Whimper

Happy weekend TAY and happy long weekend to my friends south of the border in the U.S.A. (and to anyone else that gets an extra long weekend).

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I didn’t have a lot of time for gaming this week outside of our Twitch testing with The Elder Scrolls Online, but we’ve finally made it to the last area of the game: Craglorn.

...and it kinda sucks.

OK, it doesn’t really suck. Actually, there is a marked improvement in the difficulty and I’m dying more often which is awesome. Since the game was relaunched and hit over the head with the nerf stick, my buddy and I have basically been able to play on autopilot. Forget strategy, worrying about upgrading armour, and optimizing your character skills. Previously, we’ve just been able to wade into battle and destroy anything that comes along with little thought.

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Now in Craglorn, thankfully even the regular roaming baddies are at least something to be concerned about and dungeon mobs now deal out death with great regularity and require some serious strategy to defeat.

So what’s the suckage I mentioned? The area is designed for more than two players.

I understand the game is an MMO. I’m “supposed” to be grouping and playing with others. However, it was the ability to play solo or as a duo that attracted me to The Elder Scrolls Online in the first place.

My buddy and I have been essentially playing together since the game was in beta and we have been an army of two the entire time. I’ve always sold the game to other people on the premise that you can play the game completely solo barring some trials and dungeons, but you can just ignore these group missions in the PvE adventure and not feel left out. At the very least, you can usually go and look at all the “group” content even as a solo player...you just won’t likely make it out alive.

Now Craglorn is forcing me to play with more people. We are being physically barred from certain areas because we don’t have enough players. Thankfully, one of the viewers watching us on Twitch graciously came in with his veteran level 14 character and helped us out with the area that required us to have three people, but we still remain locked out of the four player area.

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Sure, I can always pick up people from my guilds or the zone to play with, but I shouldn’t have to since I’ve played the game with just my buddy for the whole time. It should be up to us if we want to constantly throw ourselves on our swords in battles that are designed for four people. We’ve done other missions in the game that were designed for four players and succeeded with just the two of us.

It feels wrong to lock us out of content. Make it too hard for us to complete with two people if the idea is to get us to group, but make it my choice. Don’t lock me out of content just because I want to continue playing the way I’ve always been playing. I’d at least like to enter these areas to see if I care enough about the content to find strangers to play with us.

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We are almost done everything in Craglorn that we can access, so I imagine my time with The Elder Scrolls Online is coming to an end. I don’t have an interest in making alts and to continue on playing once I’ve seen all the content. I imagine we’ll be able to eke out maybe another month of ESO at the slow rate we play, but I’m looking forward to new adventures with other co-op games.

Last week I also managed to get a little further in Halo 4 with my son and I had a couple sessions of Homefront with my solo gaming time. I’m still enjoying Homefront, but I’m glad I didn’t pay full price for the game. It is fun but I can see why people could be disappointed in the game, especially after all the hype surrounding it when it launched. It is dreadfully linear and a little generic, though I did have a lot of fun with the helicopter escort mission I just completed.

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So, hopefully I’ll have a chance to polish off Homefront this weekend, but I imagine there will be more Twitch testing.

What are you playing this (long) weekend?