The Elder Scrolls is kind of an odd series, when you think about it. As players, we expect that we should be able to fly careening off-rails from the get-go, ignoring whatever fantasy story domino chain the writers have conjured up in favor of venturing off into any three-eyed gorilla murder cave we please. “Fuck being the hero,” we say. “I’m gonna punch horses until an army of hooved hellions chases me across the countryside.” But the very fact that Bethesda’s games actually allow for that is a key reason many of us love them so much. So then, with TES charging into MMO territory under Zenimax Online’s steady whip, can it hope to adapt the elements that keep the series from simply blending in with a suffocatingly samey fantasy pack? I ventured to Zenimax’s frigid Baltimorian lair and went hands-on with The Elder Scrolls Online to find out.