Guild Wars 2 VS The Elder Scrolls Online

Guild Wars 2 and The Elder Scrolls Online are two large-scale MMORPGs in fantasy-setting that, while having many similarities, differ in many features. First of all, these games are parts of the popular game series. Guild Wars 2 is a continuation of the online role-playing game developed by ArenaNet and published in 2007. The Elder Scrolls Online is an independent project and the first MMORPG in the Elder Scrolls series. Both projects have large fan bases and a wide variety of content while differing in many aspects.

Briefly about Guild Wars 2

Guild Wars 2 is a Buy-to-Play MMORPG, created by ArenaNet. The events of the game are set in the fictional world of Tyria. Players can change it through dynamic events. The action of Guild Wars 2 will unfold in the kingdoms of Ascalon and Kryta, a few hundreds of years after the events of the first part.

The game is famous for the innovation in game design: no traditional class system, advanced skills, and a personalized storyline.

Guild Wars 2 does not have a classic MMORPG quest system; instead, there are dynamic events that happen and affect the world, regardless of whether the player is involved in them or not. The player, through the participation or non-participation, can influence the outcome of the event, which will affect the world.

There are several types of PvP in the game, such as a classic arena where two teams fight and capture control points. Unlike PvP in other MMORPGs, it's one of the most hardcore game modes. The leading PvP entertainment in Guild Wars 2 is an epic World vs World vs World confrontation. In this mode, up to 500 players can fight on huge maps of the continents. There are roadblocks, towers, siege equipment and other key points and positions scattered over the locations. And the most exciting thing of GW2 is that you can join WvWvW from the first levels of the gameplay because it will be automatically raised to a maximum of 80.

Screenshot of the expansion Heart of Thorns in Guild Wars 2
Guild Wars 2 has a huge open world full of beautiful locations

Briefly about The Elder Scrolls Online

The Elder Scrolls Online is a multiplayer online role-playing game. As in other games of The Elder Scrolls series, the action takes place on the fictional continent of Tamriel. The game's events take place around 1000 years before Skyrim, during the Second Age. Many powerful factions of Sirodil try to seize power in the empire. At the same time, the planet Nirn is getting close to the plan of the Daedric Prince Molag Bal; taking advantage of this, Molag Bal is trying to take over all of Tamriel and make it part of his kingdom.

The entire Tamriel is divided into four large warring parties. Players can join this protracted war for the three main factions: the Ebonhardt Pact (Nords, Dunmers, Argonians), the Aldemer Dominion (Altmers, Bosmers, Khajiits) and Covenant Daggerfall (Bretonians, Orcs, Red Guards) - Players can complete the story quests, join guild or fight for control of Syrodyll with other players in the PvP Arena.

PvP in The Elder Scrolls Online is designed in the format of Realm vs Realm fights. Each faction has its territory, and Syrodiil is a disputed area where all PvP battles take place. The objectives of these battles are to take control of control points, watchtowers and fortresses, and the siege of the fortresses involves hundreds of players.

Screenshot of the expansion Morrowind in The Elder Scrolls Online
World of The Elder Scrolls Online is full of unique picturesque places

Guild Wars 2 VS The Elder Scrolls Online: Quest System

Quests are all kinds of tasks to be received and performed by the main character. They are given by various NPCs and can be found in books or, in the case of the Elder Scrolls series, simply by studying the locations. Usually, there is an award for completing the quest. All ESO plot quests are played exclusively for one person. Almost all of the quests, even the simplest ones, eventually turn into interesting in-game events. They progress, divide into new tasks and often involve a broad non-linearity. What's more, you can use conversational skills to persuade or intimidate others. At the same time, all the dialogues, even the smallest lines of an ordinary NPC, are voiced, and each alliance has its unique quests and exclusive locations.

Quest system in The Elder Scrolls Online
In ESO, you can track down the quest progress and see current tasks in the top right corner of the screen

As in ESO, the quest system in Guild Wars 2 has unique mechanics: the game lacks a traditional quest mechanics. Instead, the game has dynamic events, non-linear quests and a personal story. Dynamic events occur in random order, and players are notified when they appear. An area on the map shows where it is happening and the player's purpose. In Guild Wars 2, players can participate in different types of events starting from the first hours of the gameplay.

The personal story is the main storyline of Guild Wars 2, along with dynamic events, it makes up most of the PvE content. It is independent of random events and is always available for completion. Personal story events take place in instances and become individual for each character through decisions that the player makes in the course of the game. There are potentially hundreds of options for developing personal stories. One character cannot live through all the variations of a personal quest, each of which plays its role in the main storyline of Guild Wars 2.

Quests and World Map in Guild Wars 2
You can see all quests and locations on the world map in Guild Wars 2

Guild Wars 2 VS The Elder Scrolls Online: Character Customization

The process of customization is one of the most important in the MMORPG; you choose what your character will look like all along the way and express your personality through it.

Customization in Guild Wars affects the starting position, personal story, race skills, appearance, sound and animation. The very first step in creating a new character will be choosing your race. Guild Wars 2 offers five playable races. Each race has its starting position, personal history, racial skills and other differences. All races are balanced, and none of them has advantages over the others. When choosing a profession, it is essential to understand that Guild Wars 2 does not have the usual class system. Almost any class can play any role.

Character customization in Guild Wars 2
It's possible to customize all details of appearance – for example, change the character's height

  • Charr is a belligerent race of large, ferocious, cat-like creatures that occupy most of the eastern Tyria. They have abandoned all gods, declaring them false, and look at everything in life, from magic to battle, with a stern, cynical look. Their culture has become a war state, where they have been raised as warriors from birth.
  • Asura is a race of miniature artisans who secretly lived underground for thousands of years until Great Destroyer minions forced them out of underground homes. Since then, they have adapted to life on the surface and quickly established themselves as one of the most powerful races in Tyria.
  • Human is once the most powerful race in Tyria, whose kingdoms now lie in ruins. Only Kryta has survived. When previous threats disappeared, another one appeared, this time the most deadly: one of the Senior Dragons threatens the existence of the race of humans.
  • Norn is a race of tall warriors who now inhabit part of Kryta and the abandoned fortresses of the Doorfs in the Shiverpeak mountains. Independent Norns live for hunting, so their tracking, trickling and killing skills make them invaluable allies in any combat situation.
  • Sylvari is a young, curious race of humanoids born at Pale Tree in Arbor Bay. The tree was planted by a member of Shining Blade Ronan and raised by a Ventari Centaur Elder.

The customization of the game character in The Elder Scrolls Online is as deep as in other Elder Scrolls games. The nine notable races known from previous games in the series are grouped into alliances (three in each):

Character Customization in The Elder Scrolls Online
Character editor of ESO features all playable races of previous games in The Elder Scrolls series: you can choose from Nords to Khajiits

  • Daggerfall Covenant — Bretonians, Orcs, Redguards.
  • Aldmeri Dominion — High elves (altmers), forest elves (Bosmers), Khajiits.
  • Ebonheart Pact — Nords, Argonians, Dark elves (dunmers).

The Imperial race, available in the Imperial Edition, can join any of the alliances. Players who receive the Imperial Edition can also choose any of the alliances, regardless of the race they choose.

Customizing the appearance of the hero allows you to choose Body Type and advanced Face Type settings. In this section you can adjust your age, eye colour, which tattoos will be on your character, choose a beard or a decoration, and choose your hair. Here you also select one of the voices of your playable hero, which you can only hear during the battle, and also to perfect your character's face.

Guild Wars 2 VS The Elder Scrolls Online: Battle System

The combat system is the most significant aspect not only in the MMORPG but also in other game genres.

The Guild Wars 2 Battle System is an action-oriented battle. The skill system is easy to learn. In Guild Wars 2, you start with a compelling basic set of skills, but the game allows the player to make more in-depth adjustments to the abilities. You will get the necessary skills depending on the weapons you use, and then you can change your skill set by adding healing, racial, class and even incredibly powerful, elite skills.

Change the outcome of the battle with improvised tactics, combine the attacks of different professions for more damage, or send your pets through a poisonous cloud to spread poison in the ranks of the enemy.

No profession can use all types of weapons at once, but some can use more types of weapons than others. Many specializations allow you to carry a one-handed weapon in your second hand. Paired weapons will have skills different from those used in the main hand. For example, a warrior can learn to fight with two hands and carry two swords, which will give three skills in total from the sword in the main hand and two abilities from the blade in the second hand.

Battle System Guild Wars 2

The combat system in The Elder Scrolls Online is also very similar to Guild Wars 2 and the one used in previous games of the series. The game uses a system of pseudo-non-targeting. The player captures the target, but not the usual highlighting of the opponent, and pointing a gun at him. The character has a skill panel where you can place five active abilities and one absolute ability. You cannot change the placement of chosen skills during a battle. Level 15 allows you to carry two sets of weapons simultaneously and switch between them during combat.

Each weapon will have its skill panel, which allows up to 10 abilities and two absolute abilities to be used in combat. The game has an active block, kicks/rolls and interruptions, a normal attack and a force attack. However, the basic abilities don't cause lots of damage to the enemy; you have to use the skills to fight more effectively. You can put 1-2 damage abilities on the skill bar and use them in battle.

Dungeon System in The Elder Scrolls Online
The essential aspect of the combat systems in Guild Wars 2 and The Elder Scrolls Online is cooperation between players

Guild Wars 2 VS The Elder Scrolls Online: Dungeons and Raids

Dungeons in Guild Wars 2 are optional command PvE instances, each with its unique history. During the completion of your questline, starting from level 30 inclusive, one dungeon is opened every ten levels, and three more dungeons are only available from level 80. Each dungeon has two modes: the history mode and the learning mode, which requires more coordination between the members of the squad.

Dungeons in ESO are places with a high concentration of enemies and at least one boss.

The game has Delves where you can randomly meet other players, Public Dungeons with public competitions, Group Bosses and Group Delves for small groups, more complex challenges for groups in Group Dungeons. Veteran Dungeons available only for players above level 50; there are also elite Trials dungeons and Arenas with unique combat tasks.

Raids and Dungeons in The Elder Scrolls Online

An essential aspect of the dungeon system of ESO is the roles that players choose for the adventure. As in any game, each player has a necessary function that their character will perform, but the distribution of gameplay roles in the dungeon system of The Elder Scrolls Online is more flexible than you might expect. In ESO, any player can change the position during the battle, so that the damage-dealing player can take over the healing of allies until the end of the fight, or choose the part of the support player - so you can fix any situation.

Teamwork is a crucial skill for successful completion of the dungeons. No matter how much damage you do to your opponent, how much damage you can suppress, or how many health units you can repair, you will not be able to achieve your goal without a well-organized team.

Dungeons in Guild Wars 2 are designed for teams of high-level players who will have to act together to overcome all the dangers. Each dungeon is divided into a history mode and an exploration mode. In History Mode, you'll get into an exciting story that will reveal the secrets of Tiria. When you pass History Mode, you will be able to unlock a more complex exploration mode. The Explore Mode has several strategic options, each of which will create its own set of obstacles and goals in the game.

Guild Wars 2 VS The Elder Scrolls Online: PvP

The Elder Scrolls Online is a game that focuses on a developed and dynamic PVP system. At the very beginning, players will learn that the war for power covers the land over the central province of Sirodiil, which followed the recent assassination of the Emperor of the region. Three factions are fighting for domination of the territory and possession of the Ruby Throne, which can be captured and occupied by any player with enough outstanding qualities to lead his faction to victory and circumvent opponents.

If you join a game with a lower level, your character's strength increases dramatically. You can easily face an opponent of level 50 without having to worry about being immediately killed. However, a battle with this kind of force distribution will be quite challenging, as the increase in force only affects characteristics such as Health and Magic; it does not increase the skill points available, so your abilities will be limited. Despite this, the increase in strength is quite useful in warfare.

PvP Battles in The Elder Scrolls Online

As with ESO, the basis of PvP in Guild Wars 2 is the realm-vs-realm system. In addition to large-scale factional battles, there are also local Challenge and Arena facilities that allow players to fight one-on-one. The most affordable option is PvP in the arena, where you kill everything you see or die without losing anything and without getting it.

In addition to other features, GW2 has Unranked and Ranked game modes. In Unranked, you apply and wait until your opponents are selected according to your level and rating. In this mode, you can already receive significantly more daily rewards. There is a unique Stronghold map for this game mode. You can join the unranked mode either alone or in a group of up to 5 players. You already receive a small cash reward for winning in this mode. In Ranked fights, you can register as a group of only two players and once you reach the Platinum level, only a solo. When you win, the progress of the awards raises higher.

GvG Battle System in Guild Wars 2
Guild vs Guild PvP is the most epic and immersive part of Guild Wars 2: it unites dozens of players in fierce battles

Guild Wars 2 VS The Elder Scrolls Online: Music

One of the fascinating features of such games as Guild Wars 2 is their soundtracks, immersing players in the atmosphere of fantasy universes. Even though these two projects have many differences, their musical accompaniment has a lot in common. The main tracks of Guild Wars were created by Jeremy Soule, who previously worked on other games of the GW series, as well as on projects of the Elder Scrolls: for his authorship was created music for Morrowind, Oblivion, and Skyrim. In addition to GW2, he composed the title soundtrack "For Blood, for Glory, for Honor" for The Elder Scrolls Online, the music for which Brad Derrick worked.

In addition to the leading composers, the soundtracks of ESO and GW2 was created by many talented musicians. Jeremy Soule and Julian Soule designed the core music; Maclaine Diemer and other composers composed the soundtrack for Heart of Thorns and Path of Fire. Rik Schaffer and Malukah worked together with Brad Derrick on the soundtrack of The Elder Scrolls Online.

In both games the soundtrack became an integral part of the gaming environment: the game loses many colours and immersion when you turn off the background music. Soundtracks of GW2 and ESO bring together living worlds, beautiful graphics, environmental sounds and visual effects, and an exciting story into one, allowing players to enjoy the whole world. All of this brings you into the game, and even the routine world exploration becomes something special.

Guild Wars 2 VS The Elder Scrolls Online: Graphics & System Requirements of ESO and GW 2

Despite the extensive updates with improved graphics for Guild Wars 2 and The Elder Scrolls Online, the visual style of both games has a relatively simple semi-realistic visual style. However, Guild Wars has lower system recommendations: this game can be run with NVIDIA GeForce 8600GT and Intel Core 2 Duo, while ESO requires to have at least NVidia GeForce 460 and Intel Core i3 540.

Guild Wars 2 also has a simple stylized graphics style, which looks especially nice on curious miniature Asura and catlike Charr. Despite its simple design, the graphics of this game is easy to distinguish from other projects — unrealistic proportions of characters and easy animations are combined with hyper-realistic textures and perfectly designed locations. GW2's music, history and visual style are perfectly connected to each other, which allows you to believe in the history of this world and stay in this project for a long time. In addition, despite its high-quality performance, GW2 has quite low system requirements and can run even on weak computers.

Guild Wars 2 Recommended Requirements

  • Memory: 4 GB RAM
  • Graphics Card: NVIDIA GeForce 8800GTS
  • CPU: Intel Core 2 Quad 2.4 GHz
  • File Size: 50 GB
  • OS: Windows 7 (64 bit only)

Graphics in Guild Wars 2

The Elder Scrolls Online, like previous games in the Elder Scrolls series, has a recognizable style that distinguishes it from other MMOs. Features of the visual style of the game are authentic HUD inherited from the TES series, simple motion and combat animations, as well as realistic armor and items. This MMORPG can be run with medium-high settings even on an older PC, so you don't have to worry about picture quality. In addition, one of the features of ESO is the ability to install addons that change different aspects of the game. With their help, you can improve the visual style and update the picture, making it more pleasant and less demanding.

The Elder Scrolls Online Recommended Requirements

  • Memory: 3 GB RAM
  • Graphics Card: NVidia GeForce GTX 750
  • CPU: Intel Core i5 2300
  • File Size: 85 GB
  • OS: Windows 7 (64-bit)

Endgame Content in ESO and Guild Wars 2

In addition to the colossal amount of content available in the main versions of the game, both projects have several expansion packs and purchasable DLCs. Since Guild Wars 2 is a project based on the original universe, its expansions added only new content which wasn't presented in the series before. In turn, DLCs for The Elder Scrolls Online are mainly transferred to the game locations that were previously discovered in games such as Morrowind, Oblivion, and Skyrim.

In Guild Wars 2 there are several large plot additions, bringing to the game different locations, quests and new personal storylines. At the moment, the game has two add-ons available: Heart of Thorns adding the jungle of The Heart of Maguuma, and Path of Fire, adding Crystal Fire Desert. Also, the game soon will receive the add-on End of Dragons, announced on March 12, 2020.

The Elder Scrolls Online mainly provides players with the opportunity to explore the locations familiar from previous games of the series. The game has four full expansion packs, including the Morrowind, Summerset, Elsweyr, and Greymoor. In addition to significant expansions, the game has plenty of small DLCs featuring various interesting content, such as Thieves Guild and Dark Brotherhood. Also, there are DLCs adding locations and new quests; in total, the game has 20 content packs.

Expansions in Guild Wars 2

Social Features of The Elder Scrolls Online and Guild Wars 2

Like many other MMORPG genre games, both of these projects have many different social aspects. You will very often have to see other players achieve various goals. For example, the whole system of dungeons and classes is built on the fact that users will have to look for characters with different abilities to the team. The easiest way to find a company in Guild Wars 2 and The Elder Scrolls Online is to start communicating with players in the team dungeons. Since you need to cooperate with their forces to complete the challenge, it will be much easier to start a conversation with the teammates.

Multiplayer Dungeon in The Elder Scrolls Online
You can find friends in the game while playing in raids and dungeons

Another way to find communication in ESO and GW2 is the guild system, which is present in both games. Usually, the description indicates what the guild specializes in: it can be PvE gameplay, PvP battles, hero development, trading, communication or even role-playing.

In addition to other social features, The Elder Scrolls Online has a system that allows you to connect hearts with another player. You can arrange a special ceremony, invite your friends, put on the suits and have fun during your special day. After the wedding, the newlyweds will receive a special bonus of 10% extra experience. Unfortunately, Guild Wars 2 does not offer such an opportunity.

Which one is Better?

There's no obvious answer on which of these games is better: both these projects have pretty similar basic systems and opportunities, but their content differs dramatically. If you prefer less demanding games with a focus on the combat system and mostly PvP, you should pay attention to Guild Wars 2. This game represents RvR battle as its main feature, so fans of complex combats will enjoy many exciting features to explore. The Elder Scrolls Online has much more in-depth lore gathered from other games in the series, as well as an immersive storyline and the opportunity to dive into history with friends.

Moreover, your choice can be significantly influenced by the game monetization system. Guild Wars 2 is free-to-play with purchasable expansions, while The Elder Scrolls Online is buy-to-play with extra paid content. If you're new to the MMORPG genre, you can start your path with the Guild Wars 2, because it's relatively easy to jump in and you won't lose anything. If you're already an experienced player, then choose wisely depending on your preferences.

Who is the winner?

Guild Wars 2
3 votes
The Elder Scrolls Online
54 votes