More TESO impressions from my first week playing.
Armor dyes are free! HUZZAH! Very cool. But there is an evil, clever catch....
The dyes you have access to are determined by your achievements/badges. If you are an MMO completionist (cough like me cough) this is both a wonderful and maddening thing.
The crafting system is intricate and fun but definitely a time sink. Every MMO that offers crafting designs it as a time sink, but most veil that time sink as a monetary investment. You have to make the money to do the crafting.
TESO keeps crafting relatively cheap, but it also gates the really cool stuff behind learning 'attributes', special powers, for each item slot of each kind of armor and weapon. But then it rewards that by scattering 'secret' crafting areas throughout the game that let you make cool armor and weapon sets with very potent abilities.
The dye and crafting system together have convinced me that one of the reasons I suspect people have problems with this game is that it is designed for the long haul. Personally, I don't mind that.
Also there is a diversity in quests that is a bit unfortunate. You have the main story, 'major' side quests and minor side quests.
The main story is about the last emperor getting duped into essentially opening a gate to hell and the lord thereof attempting to drag the whole world into his plane.
The major side quests are a zone based set of quests that make up a (thus far) cool story in which the character gets to be a big damned hero. Or at least save the day. They reward the player very nicely.
Minor side quests are missions granted by NPCs in the environment which almost always start off as a fetch or kill X quest and then progress to a dungeon and/or boss fight. These don't reward well, but they are fun.
After a week of playing at least a few hours a night, I am still only 8th level and feel like I've just started to scratch the surface of the game. ON the other hand, my little 8th level sorcerer is a tough guy, able to take out level 13-14 mobs if I watch the adds and agro.
Also, lock picking is your friend. Just if it is for the (MANY) chests found in the wild, it is your friend. But if you indulge in the shadier side of Tamriel life, lock picking will get you into private houses and offices as well as let you crack very rewarding lock boxes. Yes, if you aren't careful, you can run afoul of the law, but the risk is worth the reward.
I dedicated a skill point towards doubling the amount of items I can fence at the local thieves den and am pulling in about 4-5k a day, thus far. To put that in perspective, the average player is expected to have saved 20k or so at level 20 to buy a horse but the good ones start at 40k.
Also, it's just a little thrilling to see what you can get away with. :D