ESO Tamriel Unlimited (Buy-to-Play) Explained to New Players

eso buy to playWe are now just a day away from Tamriel Unlimited & ESO Buy-to-Play. Tamriel Unlimited will be available on PC and Mac on March 17, 2015 and on Xbox One and PlayStation 4 on June 9, 2015.

Tamriel Unlimited will undoubtedly bring lots of both new and returning players to the game. This article explains the buy-to-play model of The Elder Scrolls Online and provides some resources and tips for new players to help get started in ESO.

First of all: Welcome to all the new players and welcome back to the returning players! Whether you have been a subscriber since the release of ESO, are just about to return to the game or have decided to give the game a try, Tamriel Unlimited is a reason to get excited.

No Subscription Required

  • Come March 17 and Tamriel Unlimited, players will NOT need to pay a subscription fee in order to log on ESO. Every player who owns the game can log on.
  • ESO is not going free-to-play – you still need to own the game, but once you have bought the game, you can log on whenever you want.
  • If you bought the game before Tamriel Unlimited, there is no need to purchase the game again.
  • There is an optional monthly subscription fee which gives access to the future game DLCs.
  • The game places no restrictions on players who do not subscribe. Non-subs will get the full version of the game including the new Justice and Champion systems.

ESO Plus Membership

ESO Plus is an optional premium membership offered to players with the launch of The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited. ESO Plus memberships will be offered in 30-, 90-, and 180-day durations.

30-day Membership:

  • 1500 crowns at the start of each 30-day membership period
  • Access to all downloadable content for the duration of membership
  • Exclusive character progression bonuses for the duration of membership
    • 10% bonus to experience point gain
    • 10% bonus to crafting research
    • 10% bonus to crafting inspiration gain
    • 10% bonus to gold acquisition

90-day Membership:

  • 4500 crowns at the start of each 90-day membership period
  • Access to all downloadable content for the duration of membership
  • Exclusive character progression bonuses for the duration of membership
    • 10% bonus to experience point gain
    • 10% bonus to crafting research
    • 10% bonus to crafting inspiration gain
    • 10% bonus to gold acquisition

180-day Membership:

  • 9000 crowns at the start of each 180-day membership period
  • Access to all downloadable content for the duration of membership
  • Exclusive character progression bonuses for the duration of membership
    • 10% bonus to experience point gain
    • 10% bonus to crafting research
    • 10% bonus to crafting inspiration gain
    • 10% bonus to gold acquisition

Crowns and the Crown Store

The Crown Store is an in-game shop that allows you to buy convenience and customization items for your characters, as well as services and content.

Crowns are a new virtual currency in ESO which will be introduced with Tamriel Unlimited. Crowns are used to buy in-game items, services and content via the Crown Store interface in the game. Crowns are available for purchase separately and are included as part of an ESO Plus membership.

When you purchase crowns, you receive a license to use them in the game; therefore, they are not sellable, tradable, or usable outside of the game.

How to get crowns:
1) As a new player: New players will be given a one-time gift of 500 crowns for buying the game and creating a game account.

2) As a current subscriber: If you are an active subscriber when Tamriel Unlimited launches, you will receive 500 crowns for having a game account, plus 100 crowns for each 30-day period you have been an active subscriber. In addition, you’ll be automatically enrolled in ESO Plus for the remainder of your subscription period. You’ll receive the full benefits of membership, and 1500 crowns for each 30-day period remaining on your subscription. For example, if you have 30 days or less remaining, you will receive 1500 crowns. If you have between 30 and 60 days remaining, you will receive 3000 crowns. 60 to 90 days, 4500 crowns.

3) As a returning player: If you’ve previously played The Elder Scrolls Online, but are no longer a subscriber, you’ll receive 500 crowns when you log in for having a game account, plus 100 crowns for each 30-day period you were a subscriber.

4) Purchase Crown Packs: PC/Mac players will be able to purchase crown packs from The Elder Scrolls Online PC/ Mac Store. Console players will be able to purchase crowns via the Xbox Live or PSN stores.

What happens to gold? Are crowns the new currency?
You will keep and use gold as you always have in the game. Gold is still the main currency you’ll use in transactions with NPCs and other players. Crowns allow you to purchase convenience and customization items (such as pets and mounts) and to access content offered in the in-game Crown Store.

See the official ESO FAQ for more information on everything buy-to-play related.

Is ESO Worth Buying?

With no monthly subscription fee required, the threshold of picking ESO up and playing hasn’t been this low. Whilst there’s of course no categorical ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer, I can say that new players will get an enormous amount of game content with Tamriel Unlimited, and will possibly log hundreds of hours to the game before even reaching the level cap. ESO is also now an infinitely more polished game than it was at launch.

The levelling up process, the alliance story lines, Fighters Guild, Mages Guild and Coldharbor story lines provide easily hundreds of hours of gameplay. This is excluding all of the group dungeons and other group activities you can do on the way and at end game.

The in-game Tamriel is a vast world worth exploring. If you don’t own the game but are into Elder Scrolls even in the tiniest bit, I strongly recommend you to purchase the game and try it out. The game is amazing bang for buck with no subscription fees.

Your class doesn’t define your playstyle

    If you have decided to purchase ESO, one of the first decisions you have to make is choosing your class.

  • Every class can fill the damage dealer, healer and tank roles. Some class abilities suit certain situations better than others, but in general you will do just fine regardless of your class.
  • Unlike in most MMOs, in ESO class abilities represent only a small fraction of available abilities in game. It doesn’t mean class abilities aren’t used, it’s just that many of the skills you will be using are universal to every class in game.
  • Every class can wear any armor type and use any weapons. You can also mix and match between armor types. In general Medium Armor works out the best for for Melee / Bow users, whilst Light Armor is the way to go for players who use lots of Magicka-based abilities. Heavy Armor is usually the way to go for tanking.

Play how you want

… But take your time!

In all seriousness, in the end you choose how to play the game. If you want to rush to level cap and experience the end game content, by all means do it. If you want to explore everything and go through every dialogue option, knock yourself out.

In hindsight, the levelling up process is something you do not want to rush too much. That is the time you’ll experience the great majority of the game’s better storylines and lore. Whilst I can’t and won’t tell you how to take your dose of ESO, I personally feel you’ll get more out of it if you do not rush to the end game.

Useful links

Here’s a selection of useful resources and guides to help you get familiar with ESO and its mechanics!

  • Airyln

    Thanks for huge tips regarding the game. I got the game back then when there’s big sale and played it for a short time. Been wondering if this game is worth to play for the long run. After that class explanation and the extra gifts of crowns, I think i’m going to give it a shot. Thank you again, you helped a lot with my decision.