ESO: Homestead Impressions and Morrowind Thoughts

One of the potential player houses in Elder Scrolls OnlineBeen a lot of big news from Elder Scrolls Online lately. It’s finally launched its much anticipated housing feature, and announced its first expansion.

Homecoming:

ESO’s housing is a lot worse than I hoped, but a little better than I feared.

The biggest problem is that the houses are massively over-priced, regardless of whether you’re spending real world or in-game currency. Even the smallest homes cost tens of thousands of gold, making housing out of reach of leveling players and pretty much the sole domain of dedicated end-gamers.

This might be justified if housing was a powerful character perk, but instead it’s a purely fluff feature with little to no practical benefits. At best you can put target dummies or crafting stations in your home, but aside from being fairly weak perks, those are all quite difficult/expensive to acquire.

You do get a room in an inn for free once you complete the introductory quest, but it’s so tiny that even calling it a room is bordering on false advertisement. It’s more of a closet.

Your free

This is the entire room. And keep in mind my character is a Bosmer; she’s pretty tiny.

Furniture is a bit of a better story. While there are still some insanely expensive pieces (thirty-five thousand gold for a single tree), there are also a lot of more affordable options, so if you ever do manage to get a home, you should be able to decorate it without breaking the bank too much.

The controls to place furnishings aren’t the most intuitive, but you do have a lot of options for how to orient them. Can’t scale their size, though, which is unfortunate.

I do like that you can fully explore every house before deciding to buy it. That’s a nice touch.

For all my complaints, there is one house in particular I’m thinking of getting: Autumn’s Gate in the Rift. It’s still a bit on the small side, but it’s not as claustrophobic as some of the other basic homes, and it also has a small yard, which is a great perk. The Rift is my favourite environment in the game, so I’d love to own a bit of it.

It costs 60,000 gold, which may just barely be within reach for me. I’d also have to play through the Rift’s main story to unlock the option to buy it, but again, I like the zone, so that’s not too onerous a task.

Morrowind thoughts:

A screenshot from the cinematic trailer for the new Morrowind expansion for Elder Scrolls OnlineI feel obligated to give my opinions on the newly announced Morrowind expansion, but to be honest I don’t have a lot of strong feelings on it.

I imagine it will be a solid expansion, and the new environments look interesting, but it’s mainly a play to nostalgia for a game I never experienced, and I don’t know much about Dunmer lore in general, so it’s not really grabbing me out of the gate. The main character is supposedly a fan favourite, but I’ve never met her. I’d have been more interested in an expansion set in Elsweyr or Summerset (for the lore), or Skyrim (for the environments).

The new warden class looks fun. Actually it fits my concept for my main better than sorcerer does, but progression in this game is far too slow for me to consider rerolling.

I’ve seen some people asking for a paid class change option. In most games I’d consider this a ridiculous idea, but class is a relatively small part of each character in ESO, so it’d actually make sense here. Of course, there are a lot of things that would make good sense that Zenimax is dead-set against, so I wouldn’t bet on it actually happening.

I roll my eyes a bit at the developers’ insistence that this is a “chapter” and not an expansion, but I do like the idea that this game’s expansions will be somewhat standalone affairs. Fits well with the game’s existing structure.

My main in Elder Scrolls OnlineThe developers have confirmed there will not be a gear reset with Morrowind’s launch, but their statement also indicated that a gear reset will happen at some point. After spending so much effort to maxing out my current gear, this is not welcome news. A gear reset might just drive me away from the game entirely, to be honest. The current level of effort it takes to get everything maxed out is only justified by the promise of some level of permanence.

Odds are decent I may buy Morrowind some point, but probably not at launch. I’ve got way too much left to do in the game’s existing content.

One other thing…

Altitis strikes again.

As predicted, I now have a Dunmeri templar, my first non-Dominion character. I’ve only just started the character, and it’s very early going, but I’m actually really enjoying it so far.

I managed to luck into a pretty fun and satisfying build right out of the gate. I load the enemy up with debuffs from the one hand and shield skill line and then nuke them down with my Aedric spear skill.

My new Dunmer templar in Elder Scrolls Online

Being super over-powered from my 130+ Champion Points doesn’t hurt, either, I suppose.

Her backstory really came to life for me in character creation, too. I already have a pretty good image of who she is and her history.

It’s entirely possible my interest in this character will wane — again, it’s very early going — but so far, so good.

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