OneTamriel (patch 12) will go live on Oct. 5, and I’m excited. The biggest single change will be the elimination of fixed zone levels – everything will scale. My biggest issue with ESO so far is that zone levels and forced alliance membership both limit the “open sandbox” effect I have always loved in the solo games. It’s also been frustrating because it makes it difficult to play with friends who are newly entering the game, due to the level difference. And the alliances meant people couldn’t group cross-alliance for smaller dungeons, world bosses, or just questing. OneTamriel will change that.
There are other benefits that affect solo play. Being an ESO monthly subscriber gives the account a 10% exp bonus, which was – weirdly – a detriment for me, because it meant that my characters leveled so fast I couldn’t do all the quests in any zone before the zone turned grey, and that was a rolling snowball – the next zone would be green to start with, at best, and went to grey even faster than the previous. And so on. I really like to be challenged by the world bosses and dungeon group events, but both my mains waltzed through their final couple of zones without ever breaking a sweat, and I was always feeling rushed to finish and move on, never fully immersed in the story. Now I’ll be able to go back and do the side quests that I left behind in order to get to bigger challenges.
I am also really looking forward to the holiday events. I used to participate in them in WoW, and I missed not having them in ESO. The Hollowjack armor is great; Zellfire will love wearing it. (ESO Fashion has screencaps from the PTS, if you haven’t seen it.) I’m hoping there will be specialty holiday foods, too.
Downside is that we will no longer be able to scale trials to a low level character for easy motif farming, so I’ll be spending this Saturday night running all my alts through baby Maw runs to complete my Dro-m’Atha motif sets. Both ‘Fire (clothier) and Issa (blacksmithing) are missing the leg recipes, and I’ve got 8 more tries to get them. Wish me luck!