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The Elder Scrolls Online Imperial Edition- first impressions
Sun, 6th Apr 2014
FYI, this story is more than a year old

Friday saw the release of The Elder Scrolls Online, the latest title in Bethesda Softworks’ award-winning fantasy role-playing game franchise.

For the first time players can enter the world of Tamriel alongside thousands of players in a huge swords and sorcery epic.

As a fan of the series, I was keen to get the special Imperial Edition of the game complete with obligatory statue, book, map and some very helpful in-game items.

Unfortunately EB Games in Australia were sold out pretty much straight away. Thankfully New Zealand’s Mighty Ape was on hand to ship a copy over to me here in Sydney just in time for the launch.

The Elder Scrolls Imperial Edition is also available in digital form, obviously without the statue etc. You still get the in-game items which offer players a distinct advantage, especially in the early game.

Players can choose from a number of different races such as the Nordic-influenced Nords of Skyrim, the dark-elven Dunmer of Morrowind and the cat-like Khajiit.

These races of Tamriel have divided themselves into three alliances. This means that in order to play on the same side as friends, players can only choose certain character types.

The Imperial Edition does away with this restriction allowing players the freedom to create any character they want and join any alliance they want. The Imperial Edition also grants exclusive access to the Imperial race and the ability to purchase a horse for the bargain price of one gold piece.

I’d been playing on the pretty-much empty press preview server for a few weekends prior to the game’s launch. With the game released, what was almost a solo experience is now a mad and slightly overpopulated frenzy.

What should be a foreboding journey into a spooky dungeon is now punctured by a throng of sword waving lunatics racing through killing everything in sight. Quest loot intended as the reward after a tense battle is currently more akin to robbing from the dead. Every dungeon has a legion of players descending on the poor quest target, dispatching him in an instant.

Having experienced the game on a sparsely populated server, I know what the game is going to be like once the early adopters and power-levelers have dissipated amongst the higher level areas. Whilst an empty server is not much fun, things are a bit chaotic right now.

I’m not saying that the situation at the moment is bad; in fact, now’s a good time to get in there and take advantage of the extra help from other players doing the same missions as you. There’s safety in numbers and new players always need all the help they can get.

If you fancy getting into an accessible massively-multiplayer role-playing game now’s the time. There are no problems with the servers and the story of The Elder Scrolls Online has just begun.

The Elder Scroll Online is out now for Mac and PC with the PS4 and Xbox One versions coming out on the 4th June.