While Elder Scrolls Online had a rocky start with its raiding, along with having population problems (relatively, compared to some other games), its sieging is still alive and well. In fact, it is better than just “well,” because it is to the point where it represents what it should have felt like all along. It’s all due to the population within the game, and this is an area where its downfall to some has turned into a benefit to many others.
Pushing Out the Zerg
Zerging, for the most part, is something most players despise. It takes away any sense of planning and instead just replaces it with “everyone rush in, attack someone without caring who it is, and we should walk out victorious.” From guilds and groups to games that help promote this behavior, it’s something that has been present in pretty much any game that offers sieging. ESO went through the same thing in its beginning, as well. It isn’t the queues that are the issue, it’s the simple fact that in a zerg vs. zerg match, there’s just no challenge. An individual player has almost no real sense of accomplishment, aside from being on the winning team. This can be of a benefit to players that are just looking to knock out the PvP quests or just want that feeling of power, but past that, it doesn’t really allow you to do much as a single player. You’re basically bound to the zerg from your side, as deviating from them will only lead to being up against the enemy one on your own – and that is nothing but a waste of time, considering there’s really no way to win.
Smaller Populations Mean More Strategy
Because of the smaller population taking part in ESO’s sieging, it means that things are much more finely tuned when it comes to things like organization and progression. A single player can start to sway the victory from one side to the other, and players are much more vocal and willing to help each other out and work together to take down the enemy structures or defend their own. In the past, the sieging system mostly consisted of joining the map, doing a shout to look for a group, joining one, and following around while attacking whatever you saw that looked like an enemy. Now, instead, there are many groups that run voice chat and keep everyone updated on exactly what the plan is and just keep each other in the loop. For once, it actually feels like a team game, rather than a “randomly group up and hope you win” one. With various siege weaponry and a lot of different structures to take over, small groups against small groups create a much more fun and challenging atmosphere. Can it get frustrating at times? Sure. But you also learn a lot from it and get better at the game in the process.
Late Night Sieging
Late night sieging has shown itself to be extremely fun. While not everyone is going to be able to take part (depending on time zones and what players have to do in the morning), it’s a great way to link up with others on a much more small scale battlefield – as in one raid or fewer worth of players, even. This adds yet even more strategy to the game, and gives something fun to do when the alternative may be playing off on your own somewhere. And if you are looking to get in contact with other siege lovers and get to know more people, this is a great time, due to its heavy turnover rate (people come and go pretty much non-stop). While definitely not for everyone, it’s a great experience, even if it’s only done once.
Bringing the Fun Back
Let’s face it: ESO definitely has its issues. Its rocky start and questionable balance issues (especially when it came to things like vampires) were a huge issue with sieging in the beginning, pushing away a lot of players that otherwise may have enjoyed it. Even since then, sieges have been holding a fairly decent population of players, though not anywhere near where they were. And now, with even less players taking part in sieges, it is more noticeable than ever. But despite all of this, it has created a system where you can actually join in on a siege and feel like you matter. You can analyze your team’s tactics and find a new way to attack or defend and actually alter the outcome of the battle. You can hop in voice chat and see your teamwork actually take you to the next level and watch the map slowly turn the same color as your team. These are all things that, for most of us, make the game much more enjoyable, give a feeling of true accomplishment, and keep us hungry for more. And how the system is working right now is just the perfect match for th