Knowing we’d have almost two weeks off work, just before Christmas I decided to dedicate some time to playing new video games during the holidays. I managed a good start: after enjoying the strangeness of The Infectious Madness of Doctor Dekker last year, I purchased Wales Interactive’s next full-motion video (FMV) title The Shapeshifting Detective in the Steam sale and completed it two days later.
That’s where progress stopped however, for my other-half had other ideas. He’d bought himself a PlayStation 4 Pro in October and now that we had two consoles, he wanted to bring a second television into the living room temporarily so we could play The Elder Scrolls Online (ESO) together. After a cup of tea on Christmas Eve morning Pete went about getting everything set up and creating an account for himself, bouncing around on the sofa like a little kid (before getting fed-up with the character creation screen and hitting the ‘random’ button).
He’d never expressed an interest in playing before but I myself have had an on-off addiction to ESO for several years now. I explained how this started in my answer for November’s QotM: after gifting our original PS to my other-half and stepson in 2014 and the flu then putting Pete on his back in bed, I’d decided to occupy myself by checking out the game. Once he’d recovered several days later I was still playing, and eventually I managed to persuade him into joining me as backseat-gamer.
Although he was happy to watch, he’d never mentioned trying ESO out for himself and didn’t seem particularly keen to do so. I was therefore surprised when we first mentioned us playing it alongside each other but, with my addiction softly saying sweet-nothings in my ear, I agreed to give it a go.
And I have to admit that it’s been great. If adventuring through the Elder Scrolls lands was fun before, it’s even more fun now having Pete there by my side. We’ve been levelling up alongside each other and completing all the quests together; and when a solo one comes up, we’ll wait for our comrade by the exit once we’re done. It’s nice having someone there to explore the world with, celebrate in-game accomplishments with, and trade loot with – and it’s an added bonus that he’s sitting right next to me on the sofa.
When my mother-in-law came to stay with us for the weekend recently, she noticed the second television in the living room and asked what was going on. She knows we play video games but has no interest in them whatsoever and initially thought it was strange when we told her about ESO. But after I’d explained that the game gave us something to enjoy together – and got us talking way more than watching a rubbish programme in the evenings could – she totally understood. (We haven’t managed to persuade her to buy a PS yet though.)
I can see Pete and I continuing our adventures throughout the rest of the year. We’ve almost hit our characters’ level caps and are now starting to refine our roles; he’s decided to go tank and concentrate on stamina, while I’m trying to take on more of a magicka support role. I say trying because I forget sometimes and go rushing into fights where I’m so used to playing ESO on my own. It usually ends up with myself dying because I’ve disregarded now squishy my character now is, or Pete dying because I’ve forgotten to heal his warrior. It’s a learning curve.
My blogging-other-half Ben sent me the Summerset expansion through the post for Christmas (he’s so awesome) and I don’t think it’s going to take much to persuade my other-half to get himself a copy too. As mentioned in an article last month, I’ve never come anywhere close to completing every quest despite starting the title a number of times. Maybe that will all change now I have my partner-in-crime by my side to keep me motivated (and back me up when there’s a massive enemy on the horizon).
So that’s the story how I found myself spending the holidays playing a game I keep going back to, rather than the new ones I’d planned to complete. The second television is still in the living room and I have a feeling it’s going to be there for some time yet. The only thing I’m worried about is blogging; how on earth am I going to be about to find games to write about if all my time is taken up with ESO?
Video game lover, Later Levels blogger and SpecialEffect volunteer. Big fan of wannabe pirates and fine leather jackets.