Elder Scrolls Online Pre-E3 2013 Preview: On to Daggerfall

In March, ZeniMAX Online allowed me my first look at Elder Scrolls Online. I got a taste for the combat, classes and the first 5-6 levels of content.

Earlier this month, I got another look at the MMORPG set in the land of Tamriel. While I didn’t see the introduction of any major new features — turns out, this preview was the same build showed off in March — I did get to run amok in the level 5-10 area surrounding the city of Daggerfall, and saw some new bits of the game. Content spoilers ahead.

New Content Needs a Push

When entering the city of Daggerfall as a level 5 Templar in this latest build, I was put on a fairly straightforward track. A dog immediately greeted me at the city gates and led me to its dead master. On the corpse, I discovered a note that took me throughout the city, learning of a plot against the king which I, of course, thwarted at the last minute. While it was a fun quest, there were no side quests in the city and I found that disappointing.

Exploring and discovering new quests is one of the hallmarks of the Elder Scrolls series and I didn’t get a sense there was much of that in Daggerfall. Granted, this is still in beta and both the Mage and Fighter guildmasters were unavailable, but I still felt a little too railroaded into a single path at this stage.

Outside the city proper, however, were a few new things to do and places to explore. But even still, the next few adventure areas, a local village and grove of nature worshipers suffering (surprise!) corruption, also held the same lack of surprise, providing instead lengthy, multi-part quests that required running around the area, solving various problems. At this point though, I decided I was going to find something off the beaten track to explore, aand walked toward an icon on my mini-map that my current quest line wasn’t leading me toward. I was rewarded with the discovery of a tower under siege, but nothing too exciting.

Talking to a developer who was on-hand at the preview, I complained of the general lack of sidequests and surprises and he directed me toward a dungeon in Daggerfall I had ignored earlier since I wasn’t in a group. And I’m very glad he did.

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