The Elder Scrolls Online: Exploring the End Game

After reaching veteran rank 12 and spending some quality time with the endgame content in ZeniMax Online's The Elder Scrolls Online, AusGamers has editorialized about whether its worth the time investment and whether the game could eventually be headed for a free-to-play business model. A sampling:

Veteran ranks 11 and 12 then, are intended to be earned in Craglorn -- the veteran adventure zone recently released as the game's first additional content update. Craglorn is populated with an assortment of interesting group-based quests and dungeons, many of which can be repeated daily. It's also home to some of the most lucrative grinding spots, so has become the most popular place for people that want to brute force though the lower veteran ranks with repetitive boss farming.

Once you get to veteran rank 12 however, the clouds clear and the opportunities for meaningful gameplay open back up again. The level-appropriate gear you collect becomes worth something again, and you can finally start to gather and hone the best equipment and skill builds for your character in earnest.

There are currently three main ways to spend your ongoing subscription time when you reach vet 12, and those are PvP in Cyrodill -- which although you can enter as early as level 10 (scaled to level 50) is a much more enjoyable experience when you can survive more encounters with other maxxed players -- the veteran level four-man dungeon challenges, and the most recently added 12-man trials dungeons.

The four man dungeons are more accessible by the lower veteran ranks and feature enough unique encounters to stay interesting for a while, but the 12 player trials raids are much more challenging, and groups running them are very selective about even the classes and builds of veteran rank 12 players they invite, so will rarely consider inviting lower leveled players. Even if you're not concerned about your completion time in trials, there is a very limited number of resurrections for players that only allows for about three full group wipes per run, so most groups will have little patience for weaker players.

Some of the best gear in the game can be found in the trials however, and although some teams of finely-tuned players have mastered them and set some crazy fast completion times, even they will still find a challenge if they instead opt to have a run with or lead a pickup group. Careful delegation of roles for each group member is required and some of the boss encounters can be approached in a couple of different ways.