At first sight Star Trek Online and The Elder Scrolls Online share only one thing in common, they are both online MMOs. On the surface that is true for sure, there are no Star Ships in ESO (or TESO). But what it does have are many of the things that STO does not despite our asking for them from the get-go.It is a very rich world with vast areas to explore, and each of them has a very different environment from jungles to deserts, from sprawling cities to desolate arctic wastes. This is a game in which exploration, the one massive component that any Star Trek game should have, is front and centre. You can spend hours exploring an area and still only scratch the surface. The Skyrim Red Shirts back story is about a group of Federation officers who were pulled through a wormhole and thrown into an alternate universe, their ship badly damaged crash-landed on the planet Nirn and found themselves in the continent of Tamriel. Isolated from their own time both geographically and temporally there was no hope of ever returning home and so they settled down to life on this planet which was so very different to their own. Whilst many things were similar, there are humans here for example, many things are very different, even the laws of physics, what we would call magic is a well-utilised fundamental force of nature in this alternate universe.
Like our own universe, there are many different species of intelligent animals, mostly humanoid and some quite familiar looking, such as a race of intelligent cats, the Kajiti, intelligent Lizards, the Argoinians, and many races of humanoid creatures, some with remarkable powers and abilities.Technologically the world is equivalent to our medieval times with castles and markets everywhere, however harnessing the power of magic or scientifically the fifth force of nature has allowed incredible structures to be built with simple technology.Back to why I love playing ESO. It's probably easier to list why I enjoy this game more than STO now. Whilst I still love Starships of course and still watch Trek (I just watched The Doomsday Machine from TOS), a game has to be more than just Space Barbie and repeating the same tired old TFOs a million times.
Here are my top 10 reasons for choosing ESO over STO
1. Quests/Mission - STO has about 150 missions, ESO has around 4,000 quests
2. Updates - STOs updates are one mission and a TFO every 4-6 months, ESO's updates are 30-60 hours of quests, a new country, new mechanics, and new rewards spread over the new year which runs from June to October. It will take you from October to the following June to play all the new content if you are the average player, a brand new player could not, in my opinion, ever have the time to play everything if you game a couple of hours a night.
3. Lore. The Star Trek Lore is rich and Cryptic has had 50 years plus of content to draw from but it is poorly utilised and there is little to see of it in the game bar references to it in some story missions. ESO has a team of 40 people
whose job it is to write the Lore for the game. There are thousands of books scattered everywhere for you to read and once read are recorded in your journal for future browsing. The ESO lore goes back to around the early 90s.
4. Bugs. Let's face it STO is riddled with bugs, I can barely play an hour without getting kicked out of the game. ESO has bugs also but I can't think of any off the top of my head and generally playing is a bug-free existence.
5. Addons. For PC gamers addons or mods are amazing, everything from mini-maps to DPS counters, automation, and QoL improvements, these are all allowed by the game. STO doesn't have mods or addons really, VERTIGO that I made is probably the closest.
6. Loot. Loot in ESO is stuff you want and need. There is always a chance you can pick up something extremely valuable and I usually find something every day worth around 10-20,000 gold (equivalent to around 20 million EC). Much of the gear you find is useful either to use, break down for components, or research for your crafter.
7. Account wide. Almost everything you create or earn in EOS is account-wide. E.G. make yourself a BiS component on your main crafter and you can then recreate a copy of it to slot in your account bank and use on your brand new character. This goes for mounts too, the equivalent of a T6 Promo Ship in ESO is the Radiant Apex Mount, once you win it or earn it with in-game rewards you have access to it then for all your characters, and the Endeavour system means you can earn two per year!
8. ESO is not pay to win, STO is. There is not a single thing in ESO you can acquire from the loot boxes or Crown Store that gives you any advantage whatsoever. All the best in slot (BiS) gear is either crafted or acquired from the toughest content. Unlike STO where a massively important console or ship trait can only be acquired from a T6 Promo Ship which you have to gamble for or pay extraordinary amounts of EC for. The crown store and any loot boxes only offer aesthetic items.
9. Exploration. There is no exploration in STO as such, ESO is the exact opposite, the entire game is about exploration.
10. Safe future. The Elder Scrolls was created by Bethesda which falls under Zenimax Studios and all are owned by Microsoft. MS allows Zenimax to carry on doing what they do best, telling great stories and allowing their 2300 devs the freedom of expression to create the games they want to create. STO's future is uncertain, we know they fall now under Decca Games which has been described as a "nursing home for old games". Almost every dev at Cryptic has "open to work" on their LinkedIn profiles, the latest episode has been delayed and Jonathan has recently stated on a live stream that everything he was doing is now on hold. I do not want to sink money into a stagnant game with no apparent future development. I hope that changes but if it does I doubt it will be soon.
So there you have it. I could add another 50 things to this list but that would be boring even to me, I haven't even mentioned the 600 build sets, crafting, upgrading, the tailor (that works), companions, exceptionally challenging content, player homes, furnishing crafting, and trading to name but a few. If you are thinking of dipping your toe into the water please do come and join us, we can help you level up, build your character, use addons, and have fun together. It is a very different game of course but that is one of its great appeals, after 14 years of flying star ships and seeing the game gutted when they removed the foundry and go on a downhill spiral ever since it is so refreshing to play something that has a real buzz about it.
See you in the game.