For me, one of the most important parts of an RPG or MMO is the ability to create, customise and edit my own character. In an ideal world, I’ll be able to pick from a variety of different races, classes, heights, builds, faces and hairs (especially beards) and Elder Scrolls Online lets you do just that, and more! In an MMORPG, having your own unique character helps you to stand out from the crowd, and Elder Scrolls Online gives you a whole range of customisation options, both at the beginning of the game, and during your playthrough too.
At the start of the game, you get to create your character. You’re met with the initial choices of gender, voice, alliance, race and class. From there, the choices start to get a little more detailed. But these first choices are very important, depending on how you want to play the game and who you want to play the game with. If you purchase the basic version of Elder Scrolls Online, your character will be locked to one alliance, depending on their race. The Daggerfall Covenant is for the Bretons, Redguards and Orcs, the Aldmeri Dominion is for the High and Wood Elves, as well as the Khajiit, with the Ebonheart Pact taking the Nords, Dark Elves and Argonians. Whichever race you choose, with the basic edition of the game, will lock you to one of those alliances. Your alliance means very little, other than which areas of the games that you’re allowed to play in before reaching level 50, as well as the people that you’re able to play with. So, if you’re planning on playing alone, you might want to pick an alliance with a nice starting area. Or, if you’re hoping of playing with friends, you’ll need to make sure that you all pick the same alliance, as otherwise you won’t be able to play together. If you buy one of the other editions of the game, it will come with the ability to play as any race in any alliance. It’s pretty handy, but you’ll still need to pick the same alliance as your buddies if you want to play with them.
The next game influencing decision is which class you want to play, but your class doesn’t have a gigantic influence on how you play the game. For instance, if you pick ‘Sorcerer’ you can still use a sword and shield if you want to. It just means that your special abilities will be geared towards magic rather than mêlée. Mainly, it depends on how you want to level up your abilities. If you want to be a powerful mage, picking ‘Sorcerer’ and using a staff will mean that your skills in that area will increase quicker. In general, combat is much easier if you keep your class in line with how you like to play. I picked ‘Nightblade’ which is pretty much the rogue class. However, as an Orc my character is quite prone to levelling up heavy armour pretty quickly – so I tend to play with double swords and heavy armour. Not an ideal combination, but it seems to work for my guy!
Now that I’ve talked about the boring bit, I’ll move on to the exciting stuff – customisation! Customisation in ESO is pretty vast. You can change anything from the style of your character’s hair, the harshness of their facial features, the size of their chest, the size of their feet, their height, even their voice! You can make some really unique characters, which is great in an MMO because people like to let their individuality shine. It’s important to remember that these decisions are final, once you leave character creation and start the game (for now, as far as I can tell), so you’ll want to take your time searching through the various races, styles and options.
Once you start the game, your character customisation hasn’t ended, because there are a tonne of other options for making your character even more unique as you explore Tamriel. Crafting brings one of these options (which I’ll expand on in a later article), as it gives you the ability to create your own armour and weapons. For the weapons, you’re able to craft in a number of different styles which are unlocked by reading books on crafting. The books are tough to come across, but they can be purchased from other players or from the in-game store (which uses real people money), that’s if you don’t fancy the gruelling but rewarding task of searching them out for yourself. Each style will give you a variation of the weapons, armour or clothing for your character, and any race can wear any style of clothing or armour. At the moment, I’m able to craft in the Orc, Breton, Bosmer and Argonian styles, so my guy is decked out in steel Bosmer heavy armour with double Argonian steel swords. Obviously, you’re level locked for the better equipment, but it doesn’t stop you from making it and storing it in your bank for a later date – or selling it!
Once you’ve crafted or purchased your armour or clothing, you’re then able to dye it in different colours. You do this by part, with each piece of armour or clothing having three separate parts to dye. I’ve opted for a green-blue colour for my armour, with a black trim (as you can tell from the last image), but you can get creative with lots of other really cool colours (as you can probably see below) – some of which you start with, and others you’ll unlock as you play the game. This keeps the game, and your character, feeling fresh, as you’re able to personalise your armour sets to really stand out from the crowd (or blend in, if that’s more your style!).
That’s about it for character customisation! There’s a lot of customisable elements to this game, and you can even take your character’s individuality further with various mounts and companion pets. Thanks for reading, and I hope that it was a little helpful, especially for those of you who are still looking to be convinced of the merits of this game. Next time I’m going to be looking at combat, so stay tuned!