ESO:Every new Armor and Weapon in Orsinium (IN GAME FOOTAGE)

Disclaimer: Balancing is not nerfing, nerfing is making something trivial to the extend that it’s not worth it. Don’t mix the 2 up.

To me, Veteran content seems fairly unbalanced at times. You have the easy going parts that certainly could have been adjusted up a notch without any difficulty. Though, then you have certain quests that are so ramped up in difficulty that it’s close to say impossible for certain classes.

As an example: I am currently in Reaper’s March, doing quests here. One of the main story line quests takes you to a ruin where you have to kill a Dark Mane. Which also turns out to be rogue that does very heavy damage. One hit can do upwards to 1480 damage on 7 light armour. With 2k HP, that is over half your life. To top it of, kitting around isn’t an option either as there are adds spawning, so the best strategy is to stay in a corner and don’t aggro the adds. This one becomes increasingly difficult very quickly and it boils down to having as much healing up while not going totally defensive. I had to have 2 healing spells, a clanfear and the curse up.

Another example: Antronachs. Who the hell designed these types into solo quests? On Veteran rank, they are close to impossible for me, simply because they are immune to CC. 2 times now on VR content have I come across quests that are insanely impossible for me to complete because I have to kill storm or frost antronachs (or both) in order to proceed. Another irritating moment is when you have to fight summoners that end up summoning what seems like the Lost Legion of minions, each hitting pretty hard on themselves. To top it all, the boss in question peppers you with spells that also hits hard. And the cheery on the sundae is AoE effects that have to be dodged …. from all minions. So there you are, spending more dime dodging things than you are twiddling down the boss’ HP. Heck, I had one boss I ran around dodging for 10 minutes without doing that much harm. I had to spend my magica just keeping alive. And to top some of the bosses, they heal. Wuhu, how much fun there is to twiddle a boss down to 20% only to have them restore to full health before you can do anything, wuhu.

As said, I don’t mind difficulty, don’t get me wrong, I like a challenge. I’ve grown up in the NES era (and many of you probably have no clue what I’m referring to here) so difficult and challenging I’m used to. The difference though, is that difficult and challenging you can overcome, with the right strategy and using the tools to your disposal. Impossible comes into play when those tools are rendered inert.

So in my honest opinion, I don’t mind a certain level of difficulty, but I think that the quests must be gone through a bit and balanced out on the veteran content, and that is both ways, some quests can easily be made a bit more difficult while other quests can be tuned down a bit. Right now it seems like the quests and difficulty was run through a scripted “ramp-it-up”o-meter and left without testing. Some didn’t get enough juice while others took the whole dam keg.

The “big” companies in the Elder Scrolls Online are the majority of operators left

I have been researching the bots and RMT lately and it seems that today the reality is that MMO’s require RMTs to be a success. at least 30% (according to most estimates) of MMO subscribers make use of RMT services.

Second, it appears there is a growing batch of what in the IT business we would call “script kiddies” – people that don’t have a clue how to hack, but use other peoples scripts/programs to do hacking. These script kiddies do it for a wide range of reasons – bragging rights, they can’t afford to pay for services, they feel entitled and believe all products should be free for them, etc…

From my researching online, it appears that the problem we are experiencing here are script kiddies – which I will also lump together with small RMT startups.

All MMOs have botters and RMT dealers, and in most cases their presence (when only the “big” companies are the majority of operators left in the MMOs after startup) is tolerable and an acceptable part of the game. Those of us that do not want to buy our way to to the top, just don’t, and those that do want to buy it all just do.

The "big" companies in the Elder Scrolls Online are the majority of operators left

However, here in ESO we appear to be experiencing the startup invasion of small RMT shops and script kiddies. This is evidenced by the many different naming conventions we see bots and spammers using. It is also obvious by the ways the bots operate. And lastly, it is obvious if you go read some of the botting forums, and read all the tales of people running a few to 5 or so bots each. Remember these script kiddies can number into the thousands, each running a few bots which would result in the swarm we see.

Also, it is my contention, that ESO can not afford to stop all RMT – even though I personally would prefer it, I believe it would not be a viable business plan for an MMO to not allow RMTs to operate. However, it is also my contention that the big companies that have been in the business for 10 years or so have it in their interest to not disrupt the in-game economy or cause mass defections of players by disrupting the game experience. It is in these big companies best interest (financial interest) to keep a lower profile and help the game be successful and so to expand their own market place.

The problem we are experiencing at the moment, in my humble opinion, are the script kiddies and their focus on the short term. Some of these would even love to destroy EOS purely for the bragging rights of how much damage they were able to inflect.

The good news is that I also witnessed expressions of concern over being banned by the script kiddies in the bot forums. It would seem that even though ESO does not give us any feedback about the success or lack of success of our reporting bots, the reporting is in fact affecting this group of botters, and ZOS is in fact banning (some) of them.

I guess I don’t really have a point to this post – just my observations. If anything, I think the issue is more complex than the simplistic “solutions” I see posted here. In a perfect world (my perfect world, not yours 🙂 ) ZOS could lock the game up tight and we would not have to deal with these bots. But, I think in the real world, we need ZOS to find solutions that allow us to play with a minimum of disruption, while allowing for the “needs” of at least 30% of their subs.