Horses Of Courses
I didn't have a chance for much in the way of gaming this week. There was a whole load of parent council stuff to do at Xander's school and I have a wedding to prepare for on Saturday, but I did get in my weekly session of The Elder Scrolls Online.
We finally saved up enough money to buy some horses. $17,000 each! That's an awful lot of money in ESO at our level (level 26).
You don't really need horses, much like other Elder Scrolls games. You move quite quickly on foot and I find that horses can make resources a little harder to spot. What a horse provides is an unlimited "run" since on foot you can only run as long as your stamina bar remains. With a horse, there is no limit to the running and the stamina bar for the horse is an indication of how much you can be hit without being thrown off the horse. If you run flat-out for a long time, your horse's stamina bar will be zero and the first hit will dismount you.
My favourite use for horses is moving around in town. Some of the cities are enormous and much of the crafting, banking, shops, and other points of interest are spread out all over the town and generally not near the town's Wayshrine (teleporter). It is really nice to be able to call your horse and blast through town from vendor to vendor.
Horses can be upgraded in three ways by feeding them every 20 hours (for $250 of course). You can choose to upgrade the speed, stamina, or carrying capacity of the mount. I have elected to go completely with carrying capacity. As long as I am designating that horse as my active mount (you can have more than one horse), I will get one inventory slot for each time I feed the horse up to 50 slots I believe. As you only have 50 "points" of upgrades for these horses, you'll need to plan ahead for what you intend your horse to do.
This is where the first horse you can buy is a little gimped. The later mounts have bonus upgrades of either 10 stamina, 10 speed, or 10 carrying capacity. This would mean they have 60 instead of 50 possible upgrade "points". However, at a cost of $42,700 there is simply no way we practically could have saved for those advanced horses. Maybe the veteran levels will give more money to save for another horse.
Like I said before, you certainly aren't really at any disadvantage in the PvE game for not having a horse. Maybe there are advantages for mounts in the PvP sections, I haven't looked in to these areas yet.
There was some backlash initially with ESO having the Imperial Edition upgrade at an extra cost of $20 and that included a white horse. There is also a separate Palomino horse that you can purchase for $15 on your credit card. This is all of course on top of the $60 entry fee you pay just to get into the game. The horses that you can buy with real world money are gimped just like the one I bought with in-game money, so really those mounts are just there for people who don't want to wait to get a horse. I don't have a problem with that at all but I don't think it is at all necessary to buy a horse with real money as you can certainly save for an equivalent horse in the game. It is nice too that the horses are different colours so you can tell who paid for their horses and who earned their horses.
I'm still surprised I am having so much fun with an MMO, I was sure by now that my interest would have waned. Hopefully I'll have a chance to play some ESO on Sunday after we are back from the wedding.
What are you playing this weekend?