Well, I decided to not take this sitting down and complain about it on a forum, I decided to send a mail to Zenimax explaining why this whole this is a terrible idea.
I send it to Zenimax's own mail: http://www.zenimax.com/contact.php
And Zenimax Online's mail: http://www.zenimaxonline.com/contact.php
This is the mail I send, if anyone else wants to send them a mail to try and prevent the release of this game, feel free to use whatever parts you want from my mail.
I hope this mail will get forwarded to the people that run this company since this message could prevent this company from getting a significant loss.
As I see it, The Elder Scrolls Online will fail and become a significant financial loss to the company and will damage the name of The Elder Scrolls game line as a whole. I will explain this.
The announcement of The Elder Scrolls Online has recently come to my attention and after examining the news and screenshots a very troubling scenario has come to my mind that I have seen before.
From the news I have read the developers have described The Elder Scrolls Online as similar to World Of Warcraft, and will have functions similar to World Of Warcraft to make it easier to play for people that are already familiar with those features.
From what I can understand from this is that The Elder Scrolls Online aims to draw people away from World Of Warcraft and into this game.
This is something that I have seen many times before with MMORPGs and almost all of them have failed, for very simple and understandable reasons.
I'm probably right in guessing that the financial plan for this game is a monthly subscription based payment for players, similar to World Of Warcraft. This means that it is in complete competition with that game.
Now here are the problems with this.
To get new players.
1. TESOnline as I have noticed will look and play similar to WoW, however it is an untested game that hasn't been around for many years, like WoW. People have seen many MMORPGs fail in the past while WoW kept on going. They are not inclined to invest money and time in a new game that is in a field that has seen a great deal of games go bankrupt, many of which have had large names behind them (like Richard Garriott's Tabula Rasa). People would much invest in a game that they know will be around in several years.
2. WoW is the biggest game out there, with the largest player base, this is a very attractive idea for many players since there will be people that they can get along with and accept them into their group. There is no assurance that the same can be said of TESOnline.
3. If someone wants to play a game like WoW, they will play WoW. It's like someone who wants to buy a Mars bar. If you let them choose between a Mars bar and a knock-off copy of a Mars bar, everyone will choose the real Mars bar, since it has brand recognition and they know what to expect. This is similar with MMORPGs.
To draw away player from other MMORPGs
1. People do not play multiple MMORPGs at once, they usually stick to one game and keep playing it. They do not switch between games easily and certainly won't keep up with multiple MMORPGs.
2. People have invested a major amount of time and money into a game such as WoW, they are not inclined to throw all that time and money away to start over in a new game completely from scratch. That is why WoW is so successful, players keep playing and paying since they don't want to see all the time and money they put into the game as a complete loss, so they will keep on playing that game.
3. To draw away players, you'll have to offer a significant difference or improvement over the game they are playing now. Creating a WoW clone does not offer much of a difference or improvement over their current game.
4. People that play MMORPGs have their friends, guild and clans in these games. They have a community there. They are not inclined to switch to different games because of their ties to that community and their friends. They rarely leave their groups, since they create a familiar setting and place for those players to which they will stick. They might rarely leave their community to try out something different, however this usually is only for a short time and then return. The only way in which you can keep those players in your game permanently is to draw in the whole clan/guild/group and due to the other reasons, this is highly unlikely to happen.
Drawing in Skyrim fans.
1. Skyrim was a massive hit, and quite probably something that draw a lot of new players into The Elder Scroll series. People that would want to play TESOnline are expecting it to be like a Skyrim Multiplayer game. TESOnline is not that. The playstyle, artstyle and everything else is much more like WoW than like any Elder Scrolls game. This is not what Skyrim fans want to play.
2. Skyrim is a one time money investment, like all of The Elder Scrolls games, people that play those games are much less likely to accept a monthly subscription fee. They are much more likely to buy Guild Wars 2 than play TESOnline as it stands now.
3. People that play Skyrim almost always explore that world with one companion that they attracted in the game (or several ones in case of a few very popular mods), a world like TESOnline is now showing does not seem very appealing and is a huge break from their normal experience while playing Skyrim. A system like Guild Wars uses (instance based) seems much more in line with the way they experience Skyrim.
Well, those seem to be my points. I hope people will read these and understand my points and the consequences of the current designs of The Elder Scrolls Online. I do hope things can still be saved since it seems like a good plan, however as it is now a very badly thought through and executed one.
I thank you very much for reading, and I hope to see that the people in charge can see my points and reason.
I think this is a pretty good mail, I hope this will also inspire other people to send their own mails to the company to prevent the release of this game as it is now.
I hope we can get a game out of this that honours the Elder Scrolls name and does justice to that game line, and not some cheap WoW knock-off.