I am not yet sure if The Elder Scrolls Online is a good game. But if you have any interest in MMOs from an observational or theoretical point of view, you really should give this game a spin.
ESO does so many things differently from what has become the norm. It is worth seeing exactly how things change.
For example, there is no minimap. I found this to be a surprisingly huge change. Apparently I primarily navigate by minimap, rather than looking at the world. The loss of the minimap seems to force you into the world a bit more, make you navigate by recognizing landmarks.
It's also amusing that your character uses a map animation when you bring up the map. So a very common sight is seeing other adventurers standing around looking at their map. Everyone is slightly lost and trying to figure out where they are.
ESO is the first game in a while that feels like it is in a world once again, rather than a highly-choreographed play or façade.
Character creation is pretty extensive. There are 9 races (though most are variants of human and elf) that give you a base to work with. There's a billion sliders where you can change your face and body shape.
I'm beginning to hate these slider-based character creators. I'm terrible with them. I simply cannot make a decent-looking character. I'll get something that is not bad, but then I'll log in a day later and it just looks worse and worse.
Sadly, I'm beginning to look at extensive character creators as a negative. The game company artists are much better than me at this sort of stuff, and I would prefer to leverage their expertise.
The game can be played in first or third person. I switched to third person pretty quickly, mostly because it is what I am used to. The mouse is locked to the center of the screen, and pretty much everything is handled by targeting the element and pressing E.
The color scheme is more towards the realistic, rather than the cartoony. It seems fine to me.
There are tons of barrels and bags that you can ransack. Most of them have pretty useless stuff, but this seems traditional for an Elder Scrolls game.
The ability system is pretty interesting. It's a cross between a point-based system and a use-based system. Basically skills come from a lot of different areas. Some come from your class, some come from the type of weapon you use, some from armor, some from your race, etc. You can invest points in picking up skills, and put 5-6 skills on your bar. Those 5-6 skills level up as you do stuff.
The skill system is a bit wide open. You can take healing abilities as any class, or tanking abilities. Of course, the class skills emphasize the role, so I don't know how effective going against type will be.
Combat consists of your hotkeys, plus left-click to attack, hold left-click to do a big attack, right-click to block, right-click + left-click to interrupt. It is certainly serviceable, and is "good enough".
However, my first thought after engaging in combat was "I wish the TERA team had done this combat." Combat is very similar to TERA combat, only TERA combat is far superior in performance and responsiveness.
Heh, in a lot of ways, ESO world-building and design, combined with TERA combat, would have been an amazing game.
Quests are interesting. There are relatively few of them, but they are long, multi-stage affairs. You can only track one quest at a time, which somewhat forces you to focus.
As well, there's lots of activities that aren't tied into the formal questing system. For example, I found a treasure map on a pirate I killed. It showed a sketch of a tower on a hill, with several large rocks in the foreground. As I was wandering around, I saw the tower. I found the correct perspective that matched the sketch, and dug where the map was marked. And I found treasure!
All that didn't involve the formal quest system at all.
I am not very far in yet. I cannot tell you whether The Elder Scrolls Online is a good game or a bad game. But I can say for certain that it is an interesting game. And sometimes, that's enough.