So... Beyond the base game but not fully new, some more thoughts.

Continuation from Part 1.

I have just finished Markarth and now about to get started on Blackwood, the newest story expansion (until June that is)... So I think it is time continue my small thoughts on ESO from beyond the base game.. Shall we? I'll try my best to avoid spoilers just in case any new players does read this but that will be hard, so be warned.

Going to discuss Craglorn real quick first since it isn't technically base game (again, it was added in a free update, not in the original release). As I said in my last post, the zone is weird but also not after finishing it. Craglorn is, the only zone to do many things but one important and possibly underappreciated aspect of Craglorn is that the Trials are part of the zone's story. If you want to truly finish the story of Craglorn, you have to do the Trials in that zone. While many of the group content in the zone are side stories, which do support the main story, but you absolutely need to do the three trials to finish the story, restore the stars, and defeat the Serpent. This is very special since this is the only zone to ever do that, and this is usually common practice among other MMOs, so the fact that ZOS tried this method and ONLY did it once was quite interesting to see. The story overall was also quite nice, and it is quite interesting on how much Craglorn's story actually gets referenced to some degree due to how important the stars are to almost every culture of Tamriel. You see references to the potential story in the base game and in future DLCs you get to see a few different perspectives from other cultures of the overall status of this ordeal which is honestly quite nice. Since Craglorn is theoretically an end-game zone, having it reference a lot in both old and new content does decent justice to the idea of any new player eventually making their way to Craglorn... Anyways, very good zone despite how weird it does a lot of things...

After Craglorn, the first major story zone we got was Wrothgar and oh boy, ZOS really knocked it out of the park with their first real outing after the base game. They nailed Orc culture pretty well, had really good stories to tell in many ways with great characters, to a point where the ending of it felt actually sad cause in all honesty, I didn't want to kill a very specific NPC at the end because I didn't truly blame that NPC for the wrong doings (as a bartender would say, it was their mother's influence that corrupted him). The world itself is great and believe me, I died the most to fall damage in this zone than any other... We also got our first introduction to Solo Arenas in this zone and it is pretty fun. Taking Craglorn's Arena concept but turning it into a Solo only mission was a great idea, sadly they didn't do this again until Markarth but it is something I wish we can get more of in all honesty. I feel like the only problem with this expansion is the introduction quest being in your face in every city you go to, which can be annoying to alts. Luckily they fixed this for literally every other expansion from here on out, but it still plagues the game to this day... Oh side note, this was the first expansion with a Museum collectible system, which I think has became a tradition for most expansions and I am happy with this personally.

I am going to skip the Thieves Guild and Dark Brotherhood but will say that both have decent zones overall, especially DBH. Seeing Kvatch and Anvil again is a huge nostalgia trip, if you ask me. Now if only we can have a home in the actual city of Kvatch, haha... The reason why I am skipping these two is because I didn't do them. My main, in his own personality and character will never join the TG or DBH. Instead, I will do those again with an alt sometime in the future and give them their own separate thread...

Now, it's time for the big nostalgia... Vvardenfell. I'll be honest, they knew what they were doing. The team over at ZOS must have been huge fans of the Morrowind game because they stayed perfectly truthful to Vvardenfell to a point where it is the only zone to have extra hidden delves essentially because they knew to that they needed to make sure every location from the original Morrowind has to make an appearance of some kind, even if very little or just be locked up. I even love how they used Ancestral Tombs as the collectible system, which was a good way to give them purpose into the zone without having to make an interior for every single one, and you get a cool map for your houses too. On top of doing an amazing job remaking Vvardenfell, they also continue doing a great job with the cultures. Almost every Great House has their own side quest with House Redoran and House Telvanni getting the two big side quests while House Dres and House Hlaalu got some of the more smaller ones. I guess House Indoril was left out a little bit but in a way, they were more represented in the zone's main story? Still, all Great Houses were fully shown to both their strengths and weaknesses very well (except for House Dres. House Dres has no strengths, they are very well hated for very good reasons). Overall, extremely well cared for and well loved zone by ZOS if you ask me. They did an outstanding job with it. As for the side stuff that came with this expansion... I love the Warden class obviously since this new main of mine is a Warden and Battlegrounds is honestly a great addition to the game (though I wish I can get other gamemodes in it. Getting sick and tired of TDM). Lastly, Vivec is the best city hub period. Everything you need is in one small spot, making it easy to get everything done. It takes me less than two minutes to do all four crafting dailies that I do due to how well everything is together here, love it. Absolutely do.

Clockwork City... Um... Okay, this is weird one. World wise, I love the main city and the overall theme but the wilderness section of the zone feels too boring... Too Eh. It also didn't help that the side quests in this zone was rather disappointing, too predictable, and just kinda shrugged. However, the main story was quite nice, especially in the character department. This is mostly due to Divayth Fyr and the Blackfeather Court mind you... Also, the ending my god. Despite only talking to him for a tiny bit in all of the entire franchise but Sotha Sil has pretty much instantly became a fan favorite character of mine in the whole franchise. Talking to him felt amazing, listening to him speak and his unique view on the world, and all. They really had done an amazing job with him and I wish we could've more discussions with him but due to his character, it wouldn't make much sense and I respect that. They could've gone wild on overusing him and making him go against his own established character but they didn't and did him well. So, despite not liking much of this little zone, experiencing meeting this one character makes the zone very much worthwhile. That and the Transmute Station is a godsend. Top tier must have access to crafting table.

Summerset. The finale of the original Daedric War storyline. Firstly, yay for Jewelry crafting... Now onto the world itself. Summerset is honestly absolutely stunning and beautiful, and the world is extremely full to the brim with side quests, and they are all pretty good. Granted, very small side quests and while they do go deep into Altmer culture, their culture doesn't have the same interest as the Dunmer to me but Summerset is still amazing with it's side stories and by having a lot more tinier but good side stories, it felt like it had more content than previous expansions, which is good. It feels properly rich, and great. The main story itself is nicely done overall and a great ending to that storyline, though a little bit of a cliffhanger with Meridia... But overall beautiful zone. We also finally got to see Sloads again, or well Sea Sloads specifically this time around, and that's a nice added bonus... Also, more Razum-Dar is always welcomed. This was also the return of the "Dolmen Mechanic" but I honestly enjoy the dolmens in Summerset. They're pretty simple, having appealing visual effects, and are easily manage-able alone but do get "harder" with more players; just need a clear way of telling which wave we are on.

Murkmire... Honestly, Murkmire is great little adventure into Black Marsh and explored well into Argonian culture if you ask me. Love the music, enjoy the new gameplay mechanics it adds with traps, deadly plant-life that you can assassinate essentially if you're sneaking, and overall enjoyable experience. I really don't have much to say about this one cause it's a solid experience but also nothing truly sticks out to me... Oh wait, it has the absolute worst world boss in the entire game... A world boss with a strong % heal that cannot be easily countered is extremely annoying.

Time to go Elsweyr... I'll put both of the zones in here since the opinion is overall similar for both. Simply put, I was surprise how amazingly well they were done. Once again, ZOS showed a lot of care for the culture that the zone represents, and seeing so many different types of Khajiits, their world and towns was honestly great. The dragons were weird but somehow fitting and the overall story was great. The side quests were good and engaging overall, maybe not as good as previous expansions but still good in their own right. Cadwall's return was unexpected but a welcoming one at that, I'll let ye' know that for sure. Fighting the world dragons themselves are great, and am glad that dragons are actually extremely deadly for us since we aren't Dragonborn. Much to love in these two zones in all honesty...

Greymoor... Okay, I'm just going to say it. I hated this expansion. Redoing this one felt like a chore. Pretty much everything in the entire expansion falls flat for me... The world is nice and all but it isn't different or interesting from what we have saw before in Skyrim. The story is honestly horrible, uninteresting for the most part... The side quests were mostly alright at best but nothing really stands out... And dear god, Harrowstorms... Screw Harrowstorms with a huge passion. They need a heavy rework if I ever will re-engage them ever again. I think the only good thing I want to say here is that the new area of Blackreach is amazing to look at it and explore, but that's about it, and in a way they ruin the secret feeling of Blackreach...

However, as for Markarth... While a lot of Greymoor's horrible story elements ended up plaguing Markarth... Markarth thrives in how well the world was made, the side quests were really good and got me heavily invested into. The music of the zone is top notch and amazing. I absolutely love this zone to death in all honesty. It makes me want to see a Reach overhaul mod for Skyrim now, haha. So, I guess some big good things did happen for this overall year but the main meat of it was bad which makes me afraid for Blackwood but I will hope for the best here and see...
  • Necrotech_Master
    personally i found that the "main" story quest quality dropped significantly with greymoor (the side quests were fine and more interesting i think)

    i would agree that markarth zone story was better than greymoors
    plays PC/NA
    handle @Necrotech_Master
    active player since april 2014
  • ice34697
    Jusey1 wrote: »
    Continuation from Part 1.

    And dear god, Harrowstorms... Screw Harrowstorms with a huge passion.

    Facts. I literally just did them once each in order to get them done for Zone Completion. If I have the choice, I'm avoiding them like the Knahaten Flu

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