Thursday, 15 May 2014

The Art of Sneaking

Ragnar Grimhammer, Dragon Knight
of the Daggerfall Covenant
I had my first taste of PvP in The Elder Scrolls Online the other night. After my little static group had been adventuring around Auridon in the Aldmeri Dominion for a few hours on Saturday night we were joined in our Mumble channel by a few other folks who were going to take their Daggerfall characters to Cyrodiil to partake of some PvP. I'd recently got my own Daggerfall alt, a fierce Nord Dragon Knight called Ragnar Grimhammer, up to the required level 10 and so for the first time was able to join them.

First impressions are good. In principle it has a lot in common with the old Warhammer Online RvR gameplay; a huge open map with keeps and outposts for the teams to capture. In this instance though there are three teams instead of Warhammer's two, meaning there are usually multiple fights to choose from rather than just steamrollering or being steamrollered in one huge zerg. Cyrodiil, the map in which the PvP takes place, is gigantic. So much so that I felt totally out of my depth without a horse and I feel I really need to get one before I go back again. Fortunately I have the Imperial edition of the game meaning I can pick up a basic horse for the princely sum of 1 gold piece, so that's not a problem. The fights themselves tend to be of two types; large zergs attacking and defending keeps, and smaller skirmishes out in the open countryside between small bands of players. I prefer the latter, although the former is far more productive as far as XP and loot is concerned.There are also several PvE missions available whilst in the PvP zone, and this adds a sense of purpose to the proceedings, giving you something else to do other than tagging onto the back of your Empire's main zerg and hanging on for dear life. We spent a good deal of time doing these missions and so didn't really see too much of the huge pitched battles, though we did take part in a few keep defences. We spent a lot of time out in the wilds creeping about either trying to get to our quest destination without being spotted, or trying to get close enough to a group of enemies that we had a chance of taking down ourselves.

Sneaking outside an enemy Keep.
The sneaking mechanic is what makes the game so fun for me. As long as you stay crouched and far enough from an enemy player you won't show up on their screen. This makes for some fantastic moments of gameplay. Such as crouching behind a tree as dozens of enemy players stream past on horseback, just praying one of them doesn't stray too close. Or the time we spotted a couple of enemies lurking around some rocks on the brow of a hill, we fanned out to surround them, crept up as close as we could without being spotted and then all charged in for the kill with arrows whistling, spells crackling and swords and hammers swinging. It felt really epic!

The respawn map. I see a lot of this.
It's very fun, although with only limited ranged attacks available to me at the moment some of the fights, (mainly the big Keep defences/assaults), can get a little frustrating. I'm going to get a little more time sunk into that character I think to get him up to level 15, meaning I can have a bow and a melee weapon equipped at the same time and maybe even spend a couple of skill points on some bow attacks. All in all though, the PvP game in ESO gets a big thumbs up and Im looking forward to our next outing!

1 comment:

  1. I feel the balance of the keep battle is quite nice and in fact reminds me of the PS1 battles with initially defending the courtyard then retreating the inner base to try and hold them off from the keep.
    Additionally it has that back and forth feel that given more friendly players and you can repel them and live to fight another day.