June/ July, started at 1 made it to mid 20s. It was like I described gameplay wise.
so in other words 4 months ago, and with beta's they tend to have new builds every 2 - 4 weeks, so youve easily missed atleast 4 new builds. and since that time, im pretty sure it was august, they reported UI improvements, gameplay improvements, etc. The game wont be out until next year still, so your beta test might be a year off, and an MMOs gameplay, while LIVE can change drastically in that time, so I wouldnt write off ESO yet.
Betas at that stage are designed far more to be played by people like me, who will do stupid shit on purpose to see if I can cause bugs. oh, theres a mountain there that should act as a zone wall? ill climb it. invisible wall at the top? ill jump about pushing forward to see if I cant find my way into unfinished areas beyond it. (ever watch the old videos from Vanilla World of WArcraft of people accessing places like Hyjal?) the MMO 'fun factors' interesting quests, challenging fights, an actual mass of people, and dungeons to run with them, are generally added in piecemeal for every area, so you may not have seen half of the content they have designed for the area.
As for Zones, you will never find an mmo without some sort of zoning like barrier, wouldnt want players to accidentally run into an end game zone at level 1.