I logged into Elder Scrolls Online as planned to check out the week’s free trial of the ESO Plus subscription. It’s not something I’ve honestly looked at before with this game, I only started playing ESO properly when it went free to play so hadn’t subscribed before.
The game has a nice summary screen of the attendant benefits, some of which are more relevant to me than others. The 10% bonus to experience stood out to me as it’s a common benefit of subscribing with optional-sub MMOs – a minor benefit I suppose if I go back to soloing again, but actually a minor nuisance if my trio leveling group ever comes back to Tamriel – even if the “One Tamriel” level-syncing means my characters gradually out-leveling my compatriots won’t be a group-breaker.
In older MMORPGs if you out-leveled your group-mates you’d ruin their experience gain or, at least, make content too easy by being too high for it. The more accommodating MMORPGs with level-sync (either optional or mandatory), allow you to avoid this, but I guess it’s not great for fellow adventurers to see my character gradually accelerating away level-wise (this happened in our last major stint in SWTOR for instance).
The account-wide unlimited crafting storage bag is, however, a massive perk from my own perspective. This solves two major issues I have when playing the game, firstly that my characters are forever running out of handspace far away from a bank or vendor, and secondly that the shared bank space is relatively stingy and expensive to expand (for someone who hasn’t played for years actively). Another related benefit of ESO Plus is the doubled bank space, so the shared bank space you have purchased will stretch that much further, and it won’t be full of crafting mats!
So, currently my main characters have suddenly empty hands and my bank is also looking capacious and rather light. The account-wide nature of the crafting bag would save a lot of character swapping to shift tradeskill-specific items between an actively adventuring character and the crafter who needs the mats I stumble across. Inventory management headache solved!
Like all subscriptions the biggest issue I have with ESO Plus is not that I do not find the benefits worth paying for, if anything I was simply ignorant of them in this case. The problem at the moment is my limited playing time and the fact I’ve other games that I have committed to play already. I made the decision years ago in certain games, like Everquest 2 and SWTOR, that I’d only play if subbed – the free to play experience simply wasn’t for me at least on high-level characters. So this week’s trial may not immediately encourage me to sub up or even return to play actively. I’ll have to look into what will happen to the items in the crafting bag when the week’s trial runs out, losing access to all those mats wouldn’t be pleasant. The convenience is pretty amazing though compared to the F2P gaming experience; when I do come back to finish the Morrowind content or to carry on levelling my Dragonknight, I suspect it’ll be as an ESO Plus member.