Sunday, March 9, 2014

ESO - review pt 7: Story, quests and NPCs

What's the story?
The story? Well, nothing amazing here again. Some months ago, I told some people that, given that the prisoner start is getting worse and worse (Morrowind: you're freed, Oblivion: you were left to rot in a cell, Skyrim: you nearly go executed) the next TES game would start by the prisoner being executed, going to Aetherius, and then being resurrected by a Necromancer or something. I didn't have ESO in mind, but turns out I was right:
As the game starts, you stand in a line with hundreds of other people, who are being sacrificed by Mannimarco one after the other. Your turn comes and you end up in the Wailing Prison, in Coldharbour. So far, if we forget that Mannimarco is being OOC as fuck by dealing with Bal, well it's ok, we have an explanation to the MMO part: you're one out of many others. And then, it gets all ruined as a Prophet appears to you and starts to act like you're special. So every player is the one. Fantastic. Ensues the tutorial part of the game, which would be nice if you could skip it for your next characters.

Then you end up in an alliance-related area, and you can start doing some quests.

How are the quests?
Boring for most of them. Everybody assumes you're a good lad who's gonna help them, and you rarely have the occasion to be an ass. Not that I want to be an ass, but I'm sick of being given dumb answer choices. It already annoyed the sixteen realms of Oblivion out of my skin in Skyrim, and really shows who the games are targeted to: people who never played TES games. Wtf. Is it so hard to include a wise answer in the dialog tree?
For some strange reason, although NPCs told what they wanted me to do, it was done in such a way that even though they mentioned the place, the thing to do, etc, by the end of the discussion I wasn't sure what I had to do, because I just didn't give a damn. So I just followed the arrows. The quests were both over-guided and completely obscure to me. I had no reason to do anything I did, aside from breaking boredom.

And what about NPC?
Regarding quests and NPCs, I found them much better in Stros M'Kai, the characters were nicer. I shouldn't go as far as to say they were deep because that would be too much, but in comparison to the rest...? They were. You know this feeling when everything is shitty and suddenly you find something less shitty and it looks AWESOME? That was my feeling. "Omg, a womanizer thief who's totally trying to be a badass jerk! Wow!" "A nice Altmer scholar who can repair a Dwemer spider but unable to pull a lever, so cute!" "A sneaky pirate who love disguises and has a monkey pet! Such kickass!" ...I feel bad for liking them! They are mainstream as hell!

Part 1 - Introduction
Part 2 - How is the gameplay?
Part 3 - What does it look like?
Part 4 - Aldmeri Dominion visuals
Part 5 - Ebonheart Pact visuals
Part 6 - Daggerfall Covenant visuals
Part 7 - Story, quests and NPCs
Part 8 - How lore-friendly is it?
Part 9 - Conclusion

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