Due to the always-online nature of The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited, we wanted to wait a while before publishing a final review. Throughout our PlayStation 4 playthrough, we’ll be publishing short articles that let you in on what we’ve been experiencing so far.
During the first twenty-four hours after launch, The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited saw countless players completely locked out of their brand new games. Unsurprisingly, Bethesda and Zenimax Online reported that this was due to the massive amount of players attempting to log in all at once. While this is an MMO during its launch window, there’s been a fair amount of outrage towards the development team for not anticipating this level of server load, especially after a Beta testing period earlier this year. Granted, even though a number of assumptions could have been made about the sheer amount of players interested in The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited, dealing with the actual server load in real time is an entirely different proposition.
Two days after launch, a brand new problem has arisen during the login process. Now whenever players log into a given server, they are placed in a queue with a seemingly arbitrary number indicating their queue position. From my personal experience, this number is either 1, a number in the 5000s or a number greater than 30,000. The wait time attached to this queue position is almost always one second, which couldn’t be farther from the truth, as players are experiencing extremely long wait times before actually jumping into Tamriel. When you first pick your server, there’s a short paragraph apologizing for the inconvenience that this is causing players, but it does seem as though Zenimax Online has created a new problem by attempting to solve the original login issue. The queue process, as it stands, doesn’t provide players with accurate information (after all, would I be writing this article if the wait times were actually one second long?), and it seems to institute a second hangup without fixing the initial issues that came with logging in.
On top of this, there are instances where, after being placed into the login queue, the connection is dropped entirely and players are forced to restart the whole process over again. Whenever this occurs, the queue screen feels like it’s an added step into a process that was largely broken upon launch. It’s no longer completely impossible to log into The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited, but it’s definitely not as smooth of a process as it should be (though, again, this is an MMO at launch).
This isn’t a title that’s completely free of problems once you finally are able to log in, but these log in problems completely detract from the game that’s behind that dreaded black screen. It’s not difficult to lose yourself in this world, as there is a downright insane amount of things to do at any given time. Whether any of those things are actually meaningful is a conversation for another day, but it’s tough to argue that The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited isn’t immersive. Unfortunately, the seemingly endless login hangups that Bethesda and Zenimax Online are facing are definitely souring the initial experience.