TESO gives you a reason to go through every crate and take stuff in Tamriel.
I don't know what kind of player you are, but when I click through Skyrim or any single-player RPG really I end up opening every single chest, crate or bushel to take all the random stuff inside. Of course, I usually end up with tons of useless crap like stale bread or moldy vegetables that I just try to vendor anyway, but according to Creative Director Paul Sage in The Elder Scrolls Online there will be something you can craft or make with almost every single thing you pick up. Exploring your surroundings will also reap rewards like special books for the Mage's Guild, or special stones to increase your stats and skills.
"When you dive into Elder Scrolls Online, one of the first things you notice is there's a lot of interactivitiy in the world," Sage said. "There's barrels and crates around and you're like 'What's going on here?' You start to click on them and you say 'Oh, there's items in here.' There's fruits, there's vegetables, there's grains, but it's not just useless stuff. Right now, you can take any item you find and it's going to be part of a recipe, it's going to be part of our crafting system."
Explore the rich world of Tamriel with your friends in The Elder Scrolls Online. The elements that make TES a unique experience will be there, includes an emphasis on exploration, visceral real-time combat, and immersion into an ancient world. Set a millennium before Skyrim, TESO is a rich world where three factions vie for throne of an empire. It's an ancient time of heroes an legends. It's time to make your mark.
There's also fishing - blame WoW for this - but at least in TESO there's some variation in what you can catch based on the lures or bait you use.
Sage went on to describe locations discoverable in Tamriel through exploration that will increase your power. Mundus Stones give you special powers, and Sky shards will let you boost your skills. Secret chests will require a high lockpicking skill to open - and a minigame apparently - but the more difficult locks will give you better loots.
What excites me about all this is beyond just the cooking or alchemy you did in Skyrim, you'll also engage in the economy of a server in The Elder Scrolls Online. I really hope TESO fulfills my dream of a truly immersive world and doesn't end up just like a WoW 1.5.