This complaint is one I’ve had simmering under the surface for a while – but a recent (very) brief excursion back to ESO prior to glomping onto Black Desert Online and Dragon Age: Inquisition resurfaced it. That was a week or two ago, but apparently, it irritated me enough to stick. Because here we are now, deciding out of the blue to write about it.

Here’s my issue: ‘Expansions’ in ESO are single zones. But they hold a full expansion cost — possibly even higher than full expansion cost. (This latter might be a quirk of regional pricing though.)

“But Nait, Elsweyr has two zones! They released Southern Elsweyr later into the expansion’s cycle!”

No! Bad imaginary commenter. Bad!

Although to be fair, is exactly what I would’ve said prior to my last visit.

Because what I didn’t realise is that Southern Elsweyr wasn’t included in the expansion purchase. You needed to either buy the questline for it as a separate DLC or be an ESO Plus subscriber. After already paying (in my region) >$60 NZD for the expansion.

On the one hand — I almost never play ESO without subscribing to Plus anyway. I have no problem paying a subscription for an MMO. Heck, it’s possible I could’ve gone on oblivious to the fact this extra zone was additional DLC.

This visit was just to step in and test the waters and see if such a visit was on the cards.

But running into this barrier immediately put quite a sour taste in my mouth and turned me away.

Is this just me? Is there something I’m missing where it comes to the generosity (or lack thereof) with ESO expansions vs. the asking price? I have to say – that’s entirely possible. But right now I’m just not seeing it.

I’m not seeing how they can justify the annual release of full cost expansions with so little in them. I had naively assumed until now that the year of story content that goes along with the expansions as seems to be ESO’s current model was included in the purchase price. It seems insane to me that they wouldn’t be.

And this puts my once inevitable purchase of the coming ESO expansion focused on Oblivion (officially the expansion is titled Blackwood) into question.

Because as long as this model is supported by us it will make sense for them to continue it. I understand though the need, as a F2P MMO, to bring in revenue as frequently as possible. I don’t object to the cash shop. Or the benefits brought by subscribing. I don’t mind there being dungeon and quest line DLCs. But I do mind being charged so much for an ‘expansion’ which is so stingy with what it brings to the table.

Happy to hear if I’m looking at this wrong though.


Gamer, reader, writer, husband and father of two boys. Former WoW and Gaming blogger, making a return to the fold to share my love of all things looty.


Krikket · February 5, 2021 at 11:52 am

Not wrong, per se, but as someone else who is a sporadic player, I grab expacs a few months later for half price or less, and I’m fine with it at that price. It’s not like I’m doing endgame trials & need to play at release. Honestly, there’s usually at least one major system that the expansion brings, but yeah, they’re a little light at full price.

    Naithin · February 5, 2021 at 12:05 pm

    I think buying later at reduced cost will be the route I take going forward too. And honestly, by far the more sensible option.

    It has been two expansions in a row now, where I bought at release and then didn’t play for quite a long time afterward. Heck, I still haven’t played Greymoor. That was part of what motivated my return visit just now. But I was going to look at Southern Elsweyr first, as I had only just completed Northern on my last visit when group interest started to wane.

    When I thought that the expansions were full price and simply releasing their content over the course of the year; no problem. But this realisation that what comes at launch is essentially it… Eesh.

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