We had a weekend to form our Elder Scrolls Online impressions, and in that time I reached grand old level 8. I’d intended to run full pelt through the first 10 and into PvP, but was quickly distracted by flowers and distant towers - the remnants of ESO’s Bethesda DNA.
As such, I’m in no position to let you know when you might expect to hit the level cap. But some beta players - developers’ friends, relatives, and friends of relatives - have been in and around Tamriel since last Summer. They reckon it’ll take you six days straight to top level 50 - though they didn’t reach anything that could be described as a consensus.
A writer from fansite Tamriel Foundry told Elder Scrolls Redditors to expect 144 hours or so of questline-walking and quickbar muscle memory before hitting level 50. That apparently equates to two or three weeks of Actual Life, which necessarily includes mealtimes and sleep and suchlike.
In another thread, a beta tester estimated between 70 and 80 hours for those who like to forcibly end their NPC conversations - while another claimed to have hit the level cap within 54 hours: under two days.
“I have gotten many server firsts for leveling in wow so I am no stranger to leveling in MMOs,” explained morkulth.
The tester noted that XP gain “ramps up very quickly” after level 30 - and pointed to increasingly condensed quests in later zones.
“It’s pretty easy to zig zag back and forth across the maps of all the zone and get a lot of xp while doing,” wrote morkulth.
Playing as a sorcerer, the player was able to gain 35% extra movement speed thanks to a ‘lightning form’ morph.
“So point of the fact is that you can zig zag back and forth across the level 15+ zones very quickly as a sorcerer,” claimed the player. “Almost all of the [Aldmeri Dominion] story quests shoot right down the middle of the zone and you can complete it once you hit it.
“I actually had to skip about 1/2 the zone because leveling was so quick.”
For non-speedrunners, however, even 144 hours will be a push. ESO creative director Paul Sage has previously estimated 150 hours for players killing and questing at “top speed” - and noted that once players have access to other alliances’ areas, they’re looking at closer to 450 hours of solid questing before even tentatively charging into PvP.
My own feeling is that you’d be crackers to rush through ESO. There’s more of Skyrim in this one that you might suspect - and you might find an MMO endgame mentality an awkward fit. What do you lot reckon?