Why my ESO core has taken a hiatus – and why it’s important.

It’s been the elephant in the room when we’ve been raiding for the last week and a half. I’ve been leading a core group for just over 2 years now and though the roster has changed quite a bit, we’ve all become really great friends. Unfortunately the stability of trials right now, even though it has improved since Markarth DLC dropped, is still detrimental to game play.

It has made endgame progression nearly impossible. Disconnects are rampant. Our core is at the point where we are very knowledgeable about mechanics, and how to combat them and progress in the game. Since Markarth DLC dropped, all we’ve been doing are craglorn trials, because we have tried DLC trials with little success. The craglorn trials seem to be the safest in terms of having game stability and the least impact on the team if someone has connection issues. How can we progress and do more challenging content, if what we are fighting is not mechanics but in game stability?

Real talk: you can’t. You can’t even file a crash report, because one of two things happen:

  • The first thing that can happen is that your game will just freeze. Your only options are to wait to be kicked for inactivity, or to ALT+F4. This does not formulate a crash report that ZoS can look at.
  • The second thing that has been happening is that you crash to desktop. That means that your game will just randomly close. Again, this does not generate a crash report that ZoS can look at.

Burnout is a real thing. I really, really love Elder Scrolls Online – the quests are great, the zones are well crafted, and trials really are my jam. Not really my jam, more my bread and butter, and the people who make up the amazing teams I am part of are the jam.

But we’re frustrated, Zenimax Online Studios. It’s really unfortunate that these issues are plaguing a part of the community that thrives on competition, learning, and improvement. I had a long discussion with my core group, Keepers of the Flame, and we came to the conclusion that our current progression path – which was supposed to be Lokkestiiz Hardmode in Veteran Sunspire – was ill-advised. Members were frustrated and tired. Why should they play, if the thought of dealing with such instability left them with a bad taste in their mouth or a feeling of dread? Many had already cancelled their subscriptions.

Even the knowledge that a hiatus like this meant that the core would likely have to be rebuilt once stability (hopefully) returns could not prevent me from having the conversation with my teammates. If I was feeling frustrated, and I knew that there were a few other people who were also frustrated, then there would likely be others. Even though we’re all really good friends and don’t want to feel like we’re letting the other people in the core down, no one should be expected to play a game they’re not having fun with.

Here’s why this is important. I understand that everyone is working from home during the pandemic. I understand that the people who work on this game work very hard. My fear is that in the interests of making money, which is what a business is supposed to do, quality is being sacrificed in some way, shape, or form. I’ve played for four years, and this is the worst stability I’ve ever seen. Personally, I have limited time to play and obviously limited “fun” money. If I’m not going to spend it on a game that is fairly broken (especially with an event coming up) then other people aren’t going to want to spend their money either. Many trial groups, that have worked together for a long time, are being forced to take a break.

I really hope that the incremental on December 7, 2020 fixes things. If not, I’ll likely be taking a hiatus from the game entirely in favour of games that have more stability.

Edit: the incremental on December 7, 2020 did not fix anything trial related unfortunately, so although I will still be posting ESO related guides and my remaining videos, you’ll see more of a shift in content to other things such as The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt and World of Warcraft as I wait for performance in The Elder Scrolls Online to improve.

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