Games this Week… Goodbye WoW, Hello ESO

I know I said I planned to play Warcraft III: Reforged this week once it launched on Tuesday, but… I kinda just played Elder Scrolls Online all week. And I mean all week. I was sick for most of the week, so work was not really an option since I was pretty tired and miserable during my awake hours (sick brain is not conducive to writing; I’ve learned that the hard way) and on anti-nausea meds that make me ultra-tired anyway. (Still not 100%, so apologies if any of my writing is nonsensical.)

So, instead, I played ESO because it made the day suck less when I was awake and I could concentrate on throwing lightning bolts and defending queens instead of the horrible nausea and stomach pain. My sudden bout of illness is also why I did not stream at all this week because I look terrible and none of you are likely very interested in the hours I spend in silence, crafting items and decorating my collection of tavern rooms.

At the beginning of this week, I had one character, Skjorna Wolfheart, a level 19 Nord Warden, who is basically my self-insert character and makes decisions like I would; she just wants to explore the world and meet people and craft things. As of writing this, I have five characters, one of each class (but two of them I only made yesterday and only spent enough time on them to give them gear, so they don’t really count, I guess). The other two, I’ve been playing back and forth this week, as my husband wasn’t able to play with me due to work, and I didn’t want to level my Warden beyond his character. So I rolled two new ones, Durgza Kagath, a level 19 Orc Sorcerer who is in it for power and knowledge above all else, no matter the consequences or the price, and Azriiah, a level 16 Khajiit Dragonknight, who fights for noble and just causes and puts her alliance and duty to her people before herself. My other two characters are both level 3; one is a Dark Elf Nightblade, who delights in subterfuge, revenge, and political maneuvering, the other is a High Elf Templar, who I can’t quite decide if I want to be a bleeding heart with a dream of peace, or a super detached neutral character who works toward the greater good, even if it costs others their lives. (I don’t have to come up with these personalities, but I like to. It helps with making decisions in gameplay.) 

Anyway, between Durgza and Azriiah, I played 27 hours in the last three days or so. I know that on Tuesday, I put in at least 12 hours.

I might like this game.

So, as per the title, I unsubscribed to World of Warcraft for the time being because after playing ESO with my husband and having just so much fun playing—like… SO MUCH FUN—I realized just how not fun World of Warcraft had become. WoW turned into a chore. I had to log in and do these dailies because… reasons that amount to pointless gear grinding… and by the time I was done, I just felt so drained. The story failed hard this expansion, and without a compelling story to keep me going, I just didn’t care to continue. And with my WoW subscription cancelled, I subscribed to ESO+, and got all of the benefits of extra storage that was my only real complaint about the game as a non-subscriber. Considering how many hours I’ve put into the game, and how much I’m enjoying it, $15 a month is a fucking steal, and I even get in-game currency to spend on my favorite thing of all time: furniture.

Call me a geek, if you must—you’re not wrong—but I cannot adequately express just how much joy I get out of decorating my little home spaces in game. This is my fucking jam. And I can even craft furniture! I can make stuff to put in my houses! IT’S LIKE THIS GAME WAS MADE FOR ME. I mean, I used to play with house-planning software when I was a teenager, because I liked building and decorating hypothetical houses. I get a stupid amount of joy out of placing furniture and artwork just so, and making a space feel like a home. I am a dork.


I have been a huge Elder Scrolls fan since Oblivion came out a thousand fourteen years ago, and as I said in my last post, I put well over a thousand hours into Oblivion and Skyrim both, and I even picked up Morrowind for a bit (though I never finished it because of technical hurdles). I have been hankering for Elder Scrolls VI since I finished playing Skyrim, and as I said last week, I feared that Elder Scrolls Online just wouldn’t be able to deliver the same feeling I experienced playing Oblivion and Skyrim, that it just couldn’t match up.

But it does. Elder Scrolls Online manages to replicate the feeling of playing one of the core games, that sense of slipping into a familiar, both beautiful and terrible, fantasy world where you get to decide what you want your character to be, this sense of a whole world of people beyond your character, with questlines that change based on the choices that you make, stories that matter, and this just awe-inspiring sense of exploration and delving that feels so characteristic to Elder Scrolls. I am so invested in the stories that are unfolding as I adventure through these different areas with my characters, and the flow of gameplay is so smooth with the way quests are handled, pulling you along what feels like a natural progression through each area. One quest leads to another, which leads to another, and another, and there’s just such a sense of story happening as you play.

With my new characters, I decided to depart Vvardenfell, where my Warden is currently questing, and chose a different zone for each character so I could do different quests and get a different story with each one. There are so many zones in this game, it is absolutely bonkers. And because everything scales to your level, you don’t have to worry about being too low- or high-level. You can just enjoy the story and progress your character according to your play style.

So Durgza was my first new character, and she ended up in Daggerfall, the very characteristically medieval capital of Glenumbra, and the setting for Elder Scrolls II. The story of Glenumbra—so far as I’ve seen—is focused around the emergence of werewolves and blood cultists led by a necromancer, who have sinister plots to conduct, and a battle between the Wyresses (nature folk) and the blood cultists as they fight to take control of the land. There is a lot of other stuff going on as well, but that’s the central plot of the area, as far as I can tell. I am loving the gothic-werewolf-cultist-necromancer-medieval vibe going on here, and the stories that revolve around the different characters involved is really enthralling. As Durgza is a Sorcerer, I’m also looking forward to progressing in the Mages Guild; I just haven’t made it very far in their questline yet.

With Azriiah, I traveled to Vulkhel Guard in Auridon, one of the Summerset Isles. It has a very characteristic elven feel to it, but like, if you mixed elven architecture with a Tudor aesthetic. The story in Auridon so far has been to support the new queen and leader of the Aldmeri Dominion, Ayrenn, as she seeks the support of her ancestors to confirm her rule and tries to quash a rebellion by the Veiled Inheritance, who seek to supplant her with their own “rightful” queen. In the meantime, there is also an invasion of Sea Elves going on, some disturbed and corrupted spirits, and a plague. As a Dragonknight, I also started the Fighter’s Guild questline, and the Dragonguard’s Legacy questline, which leads to a fun archaeological adventure in trying to find artifacts to fight the invading dragons, while learning about the failed Dragonguard of old. I had a lot of fun with that one.

I’m having so much fun with both of these characters, it’s really hard to walk away from the game. There is just so much to do, and the quests and storylines are so well done, I don’t want to stop playing.

I’m looking forward to more adventures in Tamriel to come, and I hope you all enjoy hearing about my adventures week to week.

Until next time.