Archive for July 3rd, 2021



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If you’re buying from Steam, the base game is usually pretty cheap ($20 or less, most of the time). There is usually a bundle deal of some sort going on where you can pick up the base game, the most recent chapter, plus the previous chapters for the price of a new-release game (about $60). Buying just the most recent chapter will normally set you back about $40. Unless you buy them as part of a bundle, the individual previous chapters are usually only available for purchase in the in-game Crown Store. You get access to them as part of an ESO Plus subscription, though.

There is enough content in the base game by itself to keep someone occupied for several hundred hours, but the chapter bundle really does seem to provide the biggest bang for the buck if you are a new player. If you are an existing player, the $40 for the current chapter is cheaper than a subscription, but buying the most recent bundle or chapter will leave out a lot of other content that is only available through the Crown Store or to ESO Plus subscribers. This makes the real question whether it’s better/cheaper to go with just the base game and a subscription or something in-between.

An ESO Plus subscription will set you back anywhere from about $15 per month (if paid monthly) to  $11.66 per month (about $140 per year). The content is not “necessary,” but it does provide a few perks.

Probably the biggest perk is that you get access to all that other content without having to buy it and you retain access as long as your subscription is active. If you cancel your subscription, you will lose access to the other content, but you will keep whatever gear and items you picked up while playing it.

In addition to the major chapter expansions (Morrowind, Summerset, Elsweyr, Greymoor, and Blackwood) that would be included in a bundle, there are several minor expansions, such as The Imperial City, Thieves Guild, Dark Brotherhood, Clockwork City, and several others that someone would need to purchase from the Crown Store if they wanted to keep access after cancelling a subscription. Once purchased from the Crown Store, they remain associated with your account regardless of whether or not someone has am active subscription. They all have an interesting story to tell, but a few of them provide a useful bit of something. Clockwork City, for example, has a publicly accessible Transmute station.

Subscribers get 1,650 Crowns per month, but the full amount is paid up front for a multi-month subscription. I’d also point out that it took the better part of a week before the crowns for my subscription showed up, so you might have to deal with customer support to get them and the support folks are SLOW.

There are a few under-the-hood perks that go with a subscription. Subscribers get a 10% bonus to experience and gold gained while they are out adventuring, so they are going to level up faster than non-subscribers. Subscribers get double the bank space of non-subscribers (you can stash more stuff for later), the ability to change the appearance of their outfits at an Outfit Station, can hold twice the number of Transmute Crystals (500 for non-subscribers and 1000 for subscribers), can place more furniture and stuff in their home(s) (yes, you can have more than one home), and that kind of thing.

As far as I am concerned, though, the biggest boon to subscribers is the craft bag. This is basically a bottomless storage container where your crafting ingredients go. So ores, wood, food, alchemy ingredients, enchantment runes, and the like to no eat up your limited inventory or bank space. Yes, inventory management is a thing in ESO. If you later decide to cancel your subscription, you do not lose whatever is stored in that extra bank space or in the craft bag. You will still be able to access it as you normally would, but you will not be able to add more to it. If your bank space is below the non-subscriber number of slots, it will work like it normally does and you just lose the extra slots.

Note that if your friends and guildmates have access to content that you do not have access to, you will not be able to join them in that content. That’s kind of a bummer if you’re playing it for the MMO aspects.

For the amount of content, the base game is a pretty good deal. The same can be said for the chapter expansions. You are still looking at a lot of play time for a fairly minimal investment. The subscription is the iffy part. You can live without it and the worst that will happen is that you will have to play the inventory management game more aggressively than a subscriber would. At the end of the day, however, it’s your money and your game, so you do you. I’m just here to explain some of your options.