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The Elder Scrolls Online: I told you so.

April 11, 2014

A friend of mine asked me why I was so hesitant to pre-order The Elder Scrolls Online (TESO). I told him quite simply that I was skeptical that the game would be any fun.

Apparently my skepticism was well founded, at least if this PC Gamer article is to be believed. This isn’t the first time that an offline-only experience has been modified into a MMO game. In fact, one of the great-grandfathers of the modern MMO genre, Ultima Online (UO), went through the exact same thing.

Before UO was even released, I was following an alpha / beta player’s impressions of the game. He ran one of the best Ultima fansites on the internet at the time. Before the first expansion was released he rage-quit, and quite permanently too. Before quitting, he took his character through the woods, creating a path of discarded highly valuable items (and this was back when you could eBay your game belongings for real cash – i.e. this stuff had REAL value)… Including the key and deed to a castle – which was worth quite a bit at the time. His words about why he quit: “It just wasn’t Ultima”. I read that as: “the game wasn’t fun to play”.

I’ve been excited about quite a few other MMOs before their release, only to end up disappointed by them at some point. Star Trek Online, Warhammer Online, Guild Wars 2, Star Wars the Old Republic, and so on… Each of these games I believed would break the trend of boredom and grind that is the norm for MMOs. Unfortunately, each was just more of the same.

So why should TESO be any different? Apparently it’s not. That’s greatly unfortunate, as the source material is so fantastic that it could have been a unique break from the trend of MMOs.

I started doing Jiu Jitsu at work. Our medic / PA is a 6th degree blackbelt with experience in Judo and Jiu Jitsu. We also have an experienced MMA fighter at work who will be teaching classes whenever the PA isn’t available to instruct. I’m pretty excited about it. I’ve gone three times now and I’ve learned quite a bit. I’ll be picking up a gi and a book to learn some more.

I really wish that I had done this in the past. While I enjoyed kickboxing, I always felt like I needed to take some kind of grappling classes – and now I have the opportunity to do so. It’s a fantastic cardio workout that works out all areas of the body – which I really enjoy. My only problem is that many of my joints are aching quite bad, and my throat hurts like hell from all the choking!

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