For the most part when I see other players as my Dragonknight runs around Tamriel, I’m happy for whatever chance encounters that come along. This being a MMORPG, one would almost hope for some multiplayer element to the gameplay, and like any modern game there are several content types that bring players together.
The most obvious and type that I regularly engage with are the Dark Anchors, it’s always obvious when a Dark Anchor is active. They’re usually well attended and relatively easy to jump into at a moments notice.
A lot of instanced story areas are actually like public dungeons in Everquest (1 or 2), in that they are instanced from the world but are shared spaces. This means that a playthrough of such a space can be very varied depending on whether other players are also there – you might have a monster-free romp straight through to the end boss, you might be fighting the odd monster but catch up with someone else just before said boss fight, or you might slog through the entire place alone. This kind of variation actually doesn’t bother me in the slightest, if anything it adds a layer of variability to what could be somewhat formulaic sub-zone design.
I recently stumbled across a boss fight just as it started out in the world, and joined in with a couple of other players to take this skeever-loving vampire down. It took a while even with three of us but we triumphed. I’ll look for more of these as I explore new zones as I do like world boss fights in games (e.g. big demons in WoW Legion or the end bosses of an invasion in Rift).
For the most part seeing other players around is a positive experience, the only real instance where there is competition, and thus a potential negative consequence, when meeting another player is when gathering crafting resource nodes since in ESO this is still competitive (compared to e.g. Guild Wars 2 or World of Warcraft). I’ve played MMOs for long enough to be used to this situation though and from the encounters I’ve had, players do not seem particularly aggressive or angsty over such nodes.
The main hubs that I frequent (Mournhold and Elden Root at the moment) are always buzzing with players, which puts me in a good mood simply by seeing all the activity and interesting transmogs and mounts. Equally the older zones themselves are still busy despite the recent release of completely new zones and content. All in all player interactions in ESO strike me as being positive and plentiful.