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I've now played 24 hours total in The Elder Scrolls Online. I've been there before long-long ago during beta, until I tried FINAL FANTASY XIV. They had free weekend though, so I got it from Steam, linked accounts and tried again. Especially, since they now have proper gamepad support, which was one of the reasons I preferred FFXIV. So a bit of comparison between the 2.

I started in Morrowind (because I did not purchase any expansions at that time and it was the starting zone for a new character). It hit right in my nostalgia of TES3, because it looked so familiar, until I reached Vivec from Seyda Neen in like 2-3 minutes. It's scaled down quite a lot compared to original. Although, I can't say that Vvardenfell is that small still, and if you consider the rest of the world out there, you will definitely have something to explore for quite some time.

And this is the main attraction here it seems. TES games were about exploration, after all: you set out on a main quest, but before you reach your next main quest destination you visit a few caves or ruins and, maybe, pick up a few side-quests. Those side-quests are slightly better in terms of story quality and somewhat depth (voice-over helps a lot) compared to FFXIV, but they are still not that intriguing for me. They felt shallow. I did not feel involved in them, I had no stakes in them. In FFXIV it was clear, that I am a "mercenary", you pay me - I do. In ESO, I am sometimes called hero, but... It does not have any weight to it, especially, since I have not done anything in this region, let alone in the world.

"Main quest" (or rather the zone quest) is not that better, too. To be honest it seems on par with some of the larger side-quest chains in FFXIV and it definitely does not come close to their main story (which is not perfect, still, but it is consistent, as well as the whole world around). I think, one of the reasons to that is lack of "cinematics". This was also true for previous TES games, but somehow it did not stick out that much. Perhaps quests were better then, thus there was simply no need to have some action movies being played back, as is done in FFXIV.

Speaking of actions: ESO feels repetitive. Do not get me wrong, FFXIV has a bit of that, too, but... You have skill chains there and buffs, not on global cooldown... Here, skills are not on global cooldown formally, but they are locked still (animation lock perhaps?) and you can't chain them. In the end fighting feels more like a button mashing, and not an actual tactical fight. Granted you may have some skills to be used at more specific situations and you need to watch your mana and stamina, but otherwise... Weapon-swap unlocked at level 15 does not help here much either, at least because you still have a lock even if your are swapping only your skills. FFXIV is more streamlined in that regard.

And I think this is what makes FFXIV a better MMORPG in general: it does guide you better. It explains. It teaches. The best example for me here is dungeons. I've went to a dungeon in ESO, notified, that I am a newbie. No response in chat (in FFXIV, at least, people great you). And then... Just clicking stuff to death. There are roles in this game, same as in FFXIV, but they are so... Irrelevant. You do not feel any sense of teamwork here, which is the point. And it's barely understandable where you even need to go in this dungeon. And people are rushing ahead even more that some do in FFXIV (rarely, but happens).

So, in the end, ESO feels like a good game to explore it in solo mode, while getting aggroed by everything around you, lagging (which seems to happen more often than in FFXIV and looks really weird in 1st person mode) and getting stuck in "in-combat" mode (looks like a very old bug, which no one is fixing) and use quests as means to an end of a better loot. You do that until it gets too old and then forget about it, until you get another case of nostalgia for the sights. As an MMO, though? I do not know. I did not feel it. It did not get me involved with people as FFXIV did. And as an RPG it's not as immersive, too, even though you have tons of stuff to do, that you do not even know about, until you try doing it.

I think I will finish up all my active quests chains and then... Probably forget about it. FFXIV is still the MMO for me, even though it gets a bit grindy in places. I am selecting "not recommend", because this is MMO, which does not feel as MMO. For exploration - go at it.