Elder Scrolls Online: Gone To The Dark Side

game image

Last weekend, as Syncaine reported, Elder Scrolls decided to start spamming players with advertisements in game — in the middle of their screens randomly while they are playing, I guess “just” once per day.

I just now uninstalled ESO, and I’m going to re-install Guild Wars 2 at some point. It’s so ironic that at launch Zenimax made a big deal about the minimal, non-intrusive interface in Elder Scrolls: Online. They were showing it off in videos.

Now they are plastering ads onto that beautiful, smooth game world they created. (The image has a UI mod…) The only real problem with the ESO UI for me is that you can’t tell who is who, or who is an NPC or monster.

In my last play session in ESO, I was fighting up some stairs in an area at night, attacked the next group of monsters, and oops – they were guards. No clue. Now I’m a wanted murderess with a bounty and/or fine to pay.

So. Unexpected bright flashing ads in the middle of my screen while I’m playing is far past the line in the sand. Neverwinter did the same thing in the beta, and I never played the game after that.

Please, game developers. Find a way and go the extra step people are asking for – offer paying customers the option of not having to see ads. This is what we expect in entertainment, just like Netflix/Cable subcription vs. free rabbit ears.

In other news, NVIDIA dropped hard today despite the market rising, after AMD posted weak results. I spooked, sold for a small profit halfway through the drop, and switched that money over to Blizzard.

(This is the problem with being an MMO player and also a clueless kitty. Oh look – that one is shinier! Meanwhile, each stock trade is $10.)

Anyway, I think Blizzard, like Zenimax/Bethesda apparently, is still in the early stages of following Electronic Moriarty on the dark path of exploitation of innocent pixies, so we’ll see if they can catch a wave this year.

They also still have the World of Warcraft movie coming, in addition to Heroes of the Storm launching June 2 (the date was announced today).

I wonder if Blizzard will cannabalize players by using the same game lore again and again, or the lore serve as leverage and conversion of new players? I love the idea of creating strong NPC characterization through repetition, but it seems concerning to keep attaching more big games onto their old creaky old cash cow.

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About Silverangel

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6 responses to “Elder Scrolls Online: Gone To The Dark Side

  • iamthetruthseeker

    I was hoping this was some 4/20 pot-infused bad trip hallucination. No such luck. What’s next, reintroducing pop-under banner ads while I’m on the quest boss?

    (But seriously, I left ESO even before the beta ended when they had the stones to offer a launch subscription rate as high as WoW without the same user and customer support, no significant 6 month or 1 year discount, and knew they would fail in this ending up as a F2P game with this crap happening in the first place.)

  • SynCaine

    Nvidia didn’t drop, still at $22ish.

    Also ATVI imo isn’t a great buy right now. WoW numbers will drop, HotS is a dud, and HS launching on iPhone hasn’t seen it crack the top 10 despite being a fresh launch AND having Blackrock just out. Plus the ‘big’ announcement was the return of Rock Band, and I’m not sure that fad is going to come back around again.

    • Silverangel

      Nvidia ended down on a big up day, which is a bad sign. I saw the stock dropping straight down on my lunch break while everything else was going up. I didn’t know why (and the graph scale over-exaggerated I think), and I still had a small profit. Meanwhile, the chart looks like a bad time to want to go down and not up. The Blizzard catalyst is earnings results from this last quarter (including Blackrock), which I’m hoping to be better than expected. Nvidia has a little more time to catalysts? Would love to hear your analysis. Thanks for the note SynCaine 🙂

      @ truthseeker Someone in the ESO forums said the ad actually popped up in the middle of his screen while he was fighting a (raid?) boss. Pass the skooma.

      • SynCaine

        Yea I’ve owned Nvidia for a while now, not a great stock but it has been improving a bit. I wouldn’t call it a buy right now, but I also wouldn’t sell unless its to put into something you strongly believe is stronger. It’s a surprisingly calm stock for a div paying tech stock, and with AMD further declining, they are getting closer and closer to a monopoly on video cards. Wish they didn’t go with that gaming system thing, but so far I haven’t heard anything about it being a total disaster.

        The big thing going for Nvidia long-term IMO is 4k resolution, as anything that pushes hardware further is a boon for them, and for a minute it seemed that 1080p was going to be it for a while. I also think the dropping price of 27″+ monitors also helps push people to buy bigger, higher-margin video cards.

        As for ATVI, I don’t think Blackrock will be a big revenue driver. It’s a one-time buy piece of content that likely cost a decent amount to produce (new voice/visuals and mechanics), and most veteran HS players have the gold to buy it for ‘free’. Bit different than gnomes which was a card pack people could dump hundreds into, and that’s much harder to get fully for free.

        • Silverangel

          NVDA is maybe a more interesting and solid long term holding than ATVI, and the div is good. There is also DX12 and Windows 10 coming. Sorry if my comment raised a false alarm. :3

          It’s hard to say whether another bad quarter in sales for AMD is a good trending sign or a bad short term sign for NVDA. There is weakness in PCs and chips right now. I like ATVI’s chart here a little more. If ATVI breaks down from its current range instead of up, I’ll be out.

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    […] mean at least The Elder Scrolls Online says they are limiting their on screen ads to once per day.  Daybreak pops that “Go Gold!” ad (and why is it “Gold” […]

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