The Elder Scrolls Online Beta – A Rocky Start

[Blog] So, the final beta test for ESO begins and so far, well, it's not going well for me.

So, a few weeks ago our Lozzykinz slapped out some words onto this very website, carefully detailing her thoughts and feelings about her first time with The Elder Scrolls Online. I didn’t really get a chance, she just stole the my screenshots. Well, the final (and our second) beta started yesterday and so far, well, I can’t say I’m impressed.

Before I begin, I’d like to point out that I’m fully aware that this is a beta, I’d also like to point out that this game ships out in 2 weeks, it should be finished with only minor bugs remaining.

So, my story begins, I launched the ESO launcher, swigging some well deserved beer in anticipation. “Oh!” I exclaim, “they’ve turned the European servers on!” This was magical news, meaning better connection speeds and better gameplay as a result. This is also where my woes begin.

The launcher appeared, in the slow and clunky manner that it always does, after doing some checks it decides to allow me to choose whether or not to migrate over to the European server, of course, I said yes. Unfortunately, what it didn’t mention was that by doing this it would re-download the entire game all over again, all 22 Gigabytes of it. Well, it was attempting to do this, except every time it tried, I was greeted by an error stating that I don’t have the “correct permissions to access this folder”. So, I checked all folders, ran in admin mode. Nothing wrong, of course. Tried again for the 5th time, same error, but this time it’s downloading.

Of course, downloading the entire game again simply wasn’t acceptable to me, all it’s doing is downloading the same files and placing them in the same folder, only this one ends in “EU”. Being the smart-ass I am I decided to do the old Steam trick, copy the contents from the old folder to the new, then it’ll just update the files that it needs to update, hopefully saving a large amount of time. Did it work? Did it f…!

Hmm, duplicate folders?! Why not just use the same one? All that's changed is the server I'm connecting too, not the game?

Hmm, duplicate folders?! Why not just use the same one? All that’s changed is the server I’m connecting too, not the game?


Simply put, the launcher is sub-par, bugged and completely unreliable. Instead of doing what I had predicted it decided to free up some space on my hard drive. It deleted the entire games content. This left me with no other choice but to download it all over again, just like it wanted to in the first place. Again, this game is 22GB. Not exactly small, is it? Luckily I have a relatively fast connection, well, it is for UK standards peaking at around 5MB/s. Still, this would take around an hour and a half if it downloads at it’s fastest. Unfortunately I was still getting the error above about permissions, so it decided that 700KB/s was sufficient. At that speed, we’re looking at over 12 hours, add in the regular dips in speed and I was looking at well over 14 hours. Oh and the news will no longer load. Another nice basic, unfixed bug.

Oh dear, oh dear… I hope this is better at launch.


So, after some hours and being 3% complete, I called it a night and went to bed. I decided to take up downloading it again today, to my surprise the error message was no longer showing, unfortunately, it decided once again to free up some hard drive space and delete itself. I’m sure this game is suicidal. So I began all over again, but, another error, rubbish download speed and I give up. I decided to reinstall it from scratch. But no, even this most basic and vital feature is bugged.

Error 5, you don’t have permission. Say what? I don’t have permission to choose what’s on my PC? Manual delete, eat that you virtual shit! After scooping up the skid marks left behind by Bethesda’s amazingly bugged steamer, I decided to reinstall the launcher. This time things went smoothly, the launcher still acts clunky, but now the errors have gone and it’s downloading at a more reasonable speed, not the 5MB/s I’m used to, but I suppose 2.9MB/s will have to do for now.

So, I’ve still not managed to get into this beta, but I am enjoying finding out all the ridiculous bugs that still remain in the vital areas, such as the uninstaller not functioning, at all. This thing is out there in 2 weeks, wanting your money, but again, Bethesda seem content in allowing bugs to live freely and peacefully within the game and even with the basic programs functionality. These things should not be present at this stage in the games development cycle, they should have been fixed before they began thinking about doing stress tests on the servers.

One thing I did find funny, during this ordeal it insisted on showing me a pop-up telling me to pre-order the game (shown in the image above). I already have it pre-ordered, the collectors edition actually (as does Lozzykinz), but right now I’m wondering if giving that amount of money to them is a mistake? Especially with the disgrace I’ve just witnessed.


If you would like to read about gameplay instead of me ranting, go check out Lozzykinz’s first impressions: Elder Scrolls Online Beta – Our Thoughts


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