The popular MMO The Elder Scrolls Online has reached 10 million users, and developer ZeniMax is celebrating by launching a "free weekend" for the game—we put that in quotes, as you can actually play all the way through the morning of Wednesday, December 6 (ET).
You can start your free adventures on the PC, Mac, and PlayStation 4, though the latter requires a not-so-free PlayStation Plus subscription. ZeniMax is gifting all players 500 free crowns to use within The Elder Scrolls Online's store, and all progress players make carries over to the actual game if they start paying to play following the free weekend's conclusion.
You can also win some pretty amazing real-world loot for taking part in ZeniMax's free weekend. As PC Gamer describes:
"Over the same period of time, players will be able to take part in an in-game dungeon event that will award 'Mysterious Reward Boxes' for completing a random dungeon. The prize boxes will contain items including experience scrolls, pets, mounts, costumes, and 'the jackpot,' a pack of 20 homes or 20 mounts. Completing the dungeons will also earn you additional entries in the 10 Million Stories sweepstakes, which features a grand prize of a trip for two to PAX East in 2018, every in-game collectible in the TESO store, and the opportunity to become an NPC in the game."
Taking your first footsteps in Tamriel
The Elder Scrolls Online has been around since 2014. There's a lot to do, see, explore, swing a sword at, and accomplish. Starting out in a huge MMO can feel a bit daunting, but nobody is going to fault you for doing a bit of quick research before you jump in. In fact, we recommend it—why waste hours figuring out the game's quirks when someone else has already done all that work for you?
If you have a few minutes to spare—or 120—check out Dottz Gaming's absurdly comprehensive guide to The Elder Scrolls Online (for beginners!)
If you don't have time to watch a feature-length movie about a massively multiplayer online game, we won't fault you for that. How about a few quick tips to get you going?
Here's a quick summary of what Deltia's Gaming thinks new players should focus on: loot everything that isn't tied down, don't forget to assign your ability points and skills, check out your local guilds for easy beginner quests, look for skyshards and lore books (or install helpful add-ons that do the work for you), and buy a horse. You'll look like a badass and travel faster.
Once you're ready to head out into the grand world of Tamriel, you're going to reach a point where you're more interested in leveling quickly—to gain access to more of the game's content—than just wandering around the map absentmindedly.
Thankfully, some of the best ways to gain experience at a rapid rate have already been mapped out for you. Just watch, figure out where you have to go, and go swing a sword or blast spells over there. Repeat as needed. Welcome to MMO life.