E3 Preview: The Elder Scrolls Online

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I was kinda skeptical about making a MMO out of the Elder Scrolls, a series that seems rooted in its single-player experience, but after the preview, this does sound like it might stand a chance to, at the very least, not get killed the first six months in.

Still, the MMO market is still dominated by World of Warcraft and, to a lesser extent, The Old Republic. What the Elder Scrolls MMO is good, but not something that WoW or TOR haven't already done, so unless there some other unique feature, I doubt that the Elder Scrolls fanbase that would play a MMO would be enough to support this project.

Whhhhyyyyyyy Bethesda? Why? Do you want your company to sink like a rock? MMO's cost gobs of money and don't tend to get the subscribers they need. Even TOR is only doing ok and they own on the biggest I.P.'s ever. Hope its a free to play model for your sakes. Micro transactions for soul stones sounds like a pain but at least you would make your monies back.

Pssst... silver arrow to the knee.

9thRequiem:

But on the other hand, I despise even two faction stuff in MMOs; three is just stupid incarnate. The point of MMOs is to play with other people - why designate a huge chunk of players I can't play nice with just-because?

This, so much of this. If I want to play with people I know, I will have to be the same faction thereby limiting myself to only 3 playable races. Limiting the player to race-specific factions looks like a really bad idea and not allowing for much diversity and choice, things that TES is known for. When I think of an Elder Scrolls game, I don't think about graphics or the story, I think of an open world with everything to explore and discover, going where and when I want and helping/not helping whomever I want. These limitations combined with the look of the game (based on the few screenshots I have seen) make me pretty uninterested. I never play MMOs but I hoped this one would bring something new to the market. Though we still don't have much info, what we have is not really optimistic in my book.

If this was last year or 2 years ago, I'd be excited. It's not, so I am not.
It sounds like it's taking elements from the latest MMOs and not really doing anything new, or much newity.

I like the sound of the whole, take over towns and regions thing, sounds more intresting than KILL 10 MUDCRABS

imnotparanoid:
I like the sound of the whole, take over towns and regions thing, sounds more intresting than KILL 10 MUDCRABS

Same here, i also like how your faction can be in control and set it's own Emperor, it sounds a lot more interesting than i had predicted it to be.

Have any other MMO's done anything like this? where you can set your own "leader" of a particular area that everyone is fighting for? Not sarcasm, i'm genuinely not sure, if not, then at least they are trying something different xD

arc1991:
Have any other MMO's done anything like this? where you can set your own "leader" of a particular area that everyone is fighting for? Not sarcasm, i'm genuinely not sure, if not, then at least they are trying something different xD

Yes actually, it was called archlord and the guildleader of whatever guild conquered the most castles or whatever that month, would be the archlord for a month. A titel that came with all sorts of crazy bonuses, both cosmetic and direct power-ups.

But going by the reviews it was a terrible, terrible game. Barely better than those shitty scammy free-to-play mmo's you see in banner ads. It's only noteworthy achievement is being featured in the Belgian movie BenX, an honor it did not deserve at all.

Numerous other Korean mmo's feature somewhat similar systems where a guild can conquer an area and that gives them some control over it. Like setting taxes.

I'm completely, and entirely uninterested in ESO. I've been playing the Elder Scrolls since Morrowind (missed the Daggerfall et al ship) and enjoyed them immensely. I have over 100 mods in Skyrim and I've been playing "my own story" for a few weeks now. Quite fun.

That being said, ESO is.. just... "another MMO". If you're going to ride on the back of an incredible franchise, at least innovate or do something interesting with it. Don't just make another cash-in themepark simply because the template is there, and you want to make even more money than you do from Bethesda's Elder Scrolls. Which is absurd, Zenimax.. stop it.

Have they even factored in the idea that if this tanks (which it will), that it could seriously diminish faith in the highly profitable, critically acclaimed Elder Scrolls series? Like, at all? That ol' franchise that has neatly cemented itself as being "unsinkable", still innovative, wildly profitable, critically successful. With a community that wants to "Create Content" for you, via mods, for years.

Well, there is always Fallout 4 . . . . .

I hope this doesn't turn into a button mashing game like WoW, please keep the same combat mechanics. That is what separates Elder Scrolls from all other games...

Still cautiously optimistic. This game will live or die on its combat system

Zaik:
Race determines faction...they'll finally have to balance the redguard and breton racials with the garbage everyone else gets.

Or everyone will just play redguard or breton, whatever works.

It won't be an issue, this is basically them using the property as a giant piece of toilet paper.

Lore wise, the Orcs are a "monster race" not really viewed as a people until much later and shouldn't be playable just as they weren't for the beginnings of the series. Indeed "your" actions in making contact with and peace with the Orcs is one of the things that comes up in an earlier Elder Scrolls game.

The Redguard in their current form, black, carribean themed sailors and master warriors, do not exist at this time period. The Redguard are the Dwarves pure and simple. Arena and Daggerfall make this 100% clear, including the lore books and such about them. Being dwarves is also why the province/country they are from is called "Hammerfell" which sounds dwarven for a reason.

The situation with the dwarves disappearing was covered in Morrowwind which is what changed the races, but long time series fans have long mused that by definition reality must have been altered, creating this new race at the time of their disapperance.

If this is before even Tiber Septim, this means that Hammerfell should be a thriving dwarven nation, with the Dweamor being called "Redguards". If the race we think of as Redguards in the later games exists, it would be a fringe prescence and not anywhere near as prosperous or powerful until the reality alteration happens... probably not playable, and limited to sword fodder enemy tribals or whatever (similar to The Forsaken).

So, pretty much this whole thing is a joke. To be honest they shouldn't be messing around with prequels unless they want to stay loyal to their own property. The first thing that anyone developing this should do is go back and read EVERY book in the game, including those in Arena and Daggerfall... or especially those because they are closer to the time period they are dealing with.

Simply dumping Elder Scrolls-seeming trappings onto an MMO and stamping the name on it is unlikely to garner much interest from me. If the selling point is to play in that world (which I have gamed in for a loooong time) I want to actually play in that world, not something someone farted out to maximize sales. If they want to use all of the current trappings that most people are familiar with, then they should be making the same a sequel
of sorts NOT a prequel.

Having experienced both "Battlespire" and "Redguard", I can sort of say that when Bethesda decides to develop seperate products, expecting them to sell because they drop some of the terms and slap "Elder Scrolls" on the front, it rarely works out.

Last I checked, Cyrodiil wasn't a city...

I weren't really very interested in this game in the beginning, but now that I know that it will follow the generic old hot key route, have a monthly sub and not even be developed by Bethesda... My low interest is rapidly shrinking.

Probably going to be another incredible disappointment. Just playing the odds.

Selef:

Jester Lord:

Dr Jones:
The article mentions "There is not much left of the city of Cyrodiil", but Cyrodiil is a region of Tamriel! :O

Cyrodiil City is another name for the Imperial City.

I might check this out if the price is right. Label me as cautiously optimistic.

ive never once heard the Imperial city referred too as the city of cyrodiil, though ive heard cyrodiil referred to as the Imperial Provence

Clive Howlitzer:
When he opened with "I've always felt that the Elder Scrolls games are sort of like single player MMOs."
I stopped caring about his opinion.

pretty much agree with that, elder scrolls has always been far too interesting to be compared to an MMO.

Well that is another name for it. Not sure what games called it that however.

Whew, almost forgot for a moment there, everyone is a cynic on the internet. I hope that this game is awesome and incredibly successful, just to give a big middle finger to everyone already claiming it will be a failure.

Zmazur:

Same here, the Imperial city was always noted as such in the empires and before that was an Ayleid monument. Aside from that, it's kind of weird seeing the Nords being cooperative with both Dunmer and Argonians albeit tense. Also, no mention of Altmer in the Aldmeri Dominion? Kind of hard to miss the premier fascist race of a nation of fascist elves and cat people.

Texas Joker 52:
Is it strange that I read no mention of the Imperials or High Elves? You would think that they would each be core to their own factions, especially the High Elves for the Aldmeri.

The Aldmeri Dominion is the High Elves. The description in the article meaning that the High Elves unite the Khajiit and the Wood Elves under the Dominion.

It's just a matter of wording. But the point about the Imperials is right, that nothing is said about them. One wonders if they will be given a NPC role. Or, since adding the Imperials to one of the three factions would leave an imbalance, because ten races don't split three ways, it could be that Imperials could also fall under an race that could join whatever faction they want.

9thRequiem:
My reaction is mixed. The stamina meter sounds great - anything that adds some measure of skill to combat is a Good Thing.
But on the other hand, I despise even two faction stuff in MMOs; three is just stupid incarnate. The point of MMOs is to play with other people - why designate a huge chunk of players I can't play nice with just-because?

As far as I've been able to tell from what I've played of Lord of the Rings Online, it runs like what you want MMOs to be.

Yes, people can play as a minion of Sauron, but that is only when they reach a certain level in regular play. This ability is called Monster Play(http://lotro-wiki.com/index.php/Monster_Play), and the evil character that the player creates can only be used in a small section of the game world, The Ettenmoors. It takes up only around 1/15th or less of the game world.

It isn't integral to the game and the player can go about playing in all the other sections oblivious to the stuff that goes on there.

Not to be a downer, but this game sounds like it's going to fail- somewhat. I hope to be wrong and the game is a major success but from what I have heard- seen, and looked into... nothing makes me hyped for this game. It's not even being made by Bethesda, and an Elder Scrolls game to me takes many years of development before it can be released.. so, yeah I don't like this.

Sounds like Skyrim is the way to go until Elder Scrolls 6... then everything will change (I am an Elder Scrolls fan so doubting a game based on Elder Scrolls is pretty bad for a company to deal with in all honesty) again, hope I am wrong but.. can't see anything I like about this game so far.

remmus:
sorry, this is 2012, you don't have a excuse not giving us fps combat in a mmo anymore, whatīs the use playing a Elder Scrolls mmo if I canīt do so threw the eyes of my character? Like I done since Oblivion.

You mean for a whole TWO games? Yeah...

Zachary Amaranth:

remmus:
sorry, this is 2012, you don't have a excuse not giving us fps combat in a mmo anymore, whatīs the use playing a Elder Scrolls mmo if I canīt do so threw the eyes of my character? Like I done since Oblivion.

You mean for a whole TWO games? Yeah...

well technically the FP view has been part of the series for many more games then that.

When first announced it sounded like a disastrous idea, but it is starting to sound better with every new info. I'm not gonna get hyped for it though cos TOR has pretty much killed the entire concept of hype for MMOs.

Sounds like its at least 2-3 years off release though so by then either there will be too much competition for it to do well or everyone will be bored of other MMOs and jump ship by default.

The 3 factions thing does sound like shooting themselves in the foot a bit. Yes, its something no other MMO (TIKO) has done but the balancing and designing PVP will probably be very difficult and doesn't really add anything to the game over just 2 factions.

remmus:

well technically the FP view has been part of the series for many more games then that.

Yes, but you were complaining about it not being true to the way you played over the course of two whole games.

Caramel Frappe:
Not to be a downer, but this game sounds like it's going to fail- somewhat. I hope to be wrong and the game is a major success but from what I have heard- seen, and looked into... nothing makes me hyped for this game. It's not even being made by Bethesda, and an Elder Scrolls game to me takes many years of development before it can be released.. so, yeah I don't like this.

Sounds like Skyrim is the way to go until Elder Scrolls 6... then everything will change (I am an Elder Scrolls fan so doubting a game based on Elder Scrolls is pretty bad for a company to deal with in all honesty) again, hope I am wrong but.. can't see anything I like about this game so far.

Two points:

1) It's being made by Zenimax Studios which is under the same parent company as Bethesda, so it's not like its a completely random 3rd party. Also apparently a lot of the devs in the team of about 200 people are big elder scrolls fans and want to remain as faithful as possible to the lore and they reportedly maintain regular contact with Bethesda Game Studios to ensure that what they're doing is consistent with the lore/ permissible by them to make sure they dont ruin anything too badly.

2) this game has been in development since 2007 and is slated for release in 2013. That means they've already been making this game for 5 years. Hardly a rush job imo.

Crazy Zaul:
When first announced it sounded like a disastrous idea, but it is starting to sound better with every new info. I'm not gonna get hyped for it though cos TOR has pretty much killed the entire concept of hype for MMOs.

Sounds like its at least 2-3 years off release though so by then either there will be too much competition for it to do well or everyone will be bored of other MMOs and jump ship by default.

The 3 factions thing does sound like shooting themselves in the foot a bit. Yes, its something no other MMO (TIKO) has done but the balancing and designing PVP will probably be very difficult and doesn't really add anything to the game over just 2 factions.

May I add another couple points here.

It's slated for release in 2013, so next year.

And apparently the 3 faction system lends itself to strategizing across factions. Apparently, if one faction is seen as too powerful or is a threat, it is possible for the other two factions to band together to fight the third faction. In my opinion, this might make it easier to balance the game, since the players themselves can fight down any overly dominant faction. It is less likely that one single faction will be able to completely dominate two other factions unless one faction has a serious shortage of players.
It also possibly opens some possibilities for some pretty complicated "double agent" type scenarios where one faction pretends to be joining with another only to stab them in the back in some fashion. The possibility of these dynamics make the 3 faction system seem a lot more interesting to me than just two. It is still too early to say a whole lot though.

OT: I am getting more interested in this game the more I hear about it. When I first heard about it I was super excited, but then heavily disappointed with the initial dump of info on the project that seemed like it was straying away from being a true ES game. However I am now looking forward to seeing more about this game. Not a sure buy for me yet by any means, but I'm definitely intrigued by the ideas shown thus far.

I am very skeptical about this and given the track record of almost every other MMO to come out since WOW hit it so big I really hope this doesn't end becoming a really expensive boondoggle for Bethesda.

SirBryghtside:
I'd say I'm still cautiously pessimistic about this. Still have zero idea of whether or not I'm going to buy it.

Magichead:

...class based...

Aaaaaaaaaaand interest dies. Seriously, if even an Elder Scrolls MMO can't be arsed to employ a skill-based system, I weep for the final and unequivocal death of sandbox MMOs.

I don't really know... anything about MMOs, so what's the difference between a class-based system and the one that was in, say, Morrowind?

Class based means that at the start of the game you pick a class and you're locked to certain skill sets and or strategies right from the start. In Morrowind even though you pick a class, all it did was determine which skills you needed to level to get a level up. You could still do everything and get every spell.

In a class based MMO, typically each class has a specific set of skills and often one or a couple main purposes that they are to achieve, and they dont have access to the skills of other classes.

fuck this game. I cannot stress that enough.
Instances only reinforce the pointlessness of the player actions.
the gameplay is still wrong
I want this to go away even more than the fallout MMO.
Actually no, I also want the fallout MMO to die out of spite, because I met a man who has a personal stake in it, who i want to die penniless in the street

still, fuck this game.

Clive Howlitzer:
When he opened with "I've always felt that the Elder Scrolls games are sort of like single player MMOs."
I stopped caring about his opinion.

Well that's just rude and not the least constructive. You could at least have given reasons for your opinion.

Therumancer:

Zaik:
Race determines faction...they'll finally have to balance the redguard and breton racials with the garbage everyone else gets.

Or everyone will just play redguard or breton, whatever works.

It won't be an issue, this is basically them using the property as a giant piece of toilet paper.

Lore wise, the Orcs are a "monster race" not really viewed as a people until much later and shouldn't be playable just as they weren't for the beginnings of the series. Indeed "your" actions in making contact with and peace with the Orcs is one of the things that comes up in an earlier Elder Scrolls game.

The Redguard in their current form, black, carribean themed sailors and master warriors, do not exist at this time period. The Redguard are the Dwarves pure and simple. Arena and Daggerfall make this 100% clear, including the lore books and such about them. Being dwarves is also why the province/country they are from is called "Hammerfell" which sounds dwarven for a reason.

The situation with the dwarves disappearing was covered in Morrowwind which is what changed the races, but long time series fans have long mused that by definition reality must have been altered, creating this new race at the time of their disapperance.

If this is before even Tiber Septim, this means that Hammerfell should be a thriving dwarven nation, with the Dweamor being called "Redguards". If the race we think of as Redguards in the later games exists, it would be a fringe prescence and not anywhere near as prosperous or powerful until the reality alteration happens... probably not playable, and limited to sword fodder enemy tribals or whatever (similar to The Forsaken).

So, pretty much this whole thing is a joke. To be honest they shouldn't be messing around with prequels unless they want to stay loyal to their own property. The first thing that anyone developing this should do is go back and read EVERY book in the game, including those in Arena and Daggerfall... or especially those because they are closer to the time period they are dealing with.

Simply dumping Elder Scrolls-seeming trappings onto an MMO and stamping the name on it is unlikely to garner much interest from me. If the selling point is to play in that world (which I have gamed in for a loooong time) I want to actually play in that world, not something someone farted out to maximize sales. If they want to use all of the current trappings that most people are familiar with, then they should be making the same a sequel
of sorts NOT a prequel.

Having experienced both "Battlespire" and "Redguard", I can sort of say that when Bethesda decides to develop seperate products, expecting them to sell because they drop some of the terms and slap "Elder Scrolls" on the front, it rarely works out.

You're wrong about Orcs being a "monster race" at this point. This games takes places around 800 years before Daggerfall. Around the time this game takes place, Orcs were respected by the local Bretons and Redguards as champions of Trinimac, knight of the Altmer time-dragon god Auri-el but, over time, the local Bretons forgot this and came to see the Orcs as a monster race. It was the Nords who hated the Orcs because they also hated Auri-El and all other representations of the Time-dragon because their representation, Aludin,is evil. Bretons accepted Auri-El though because of their Elven blood and close association with the good time dragon of the Imperial patheon, Akatosh. See: http://www.uesp.net/wiki/Lore:The_True_Nature_of_Orcs for how Orcs were seen before by the Bretons they were seen before.
Anti Orc propaganda such as this;
http://www.uesp.net/wiki/Lore:The_Pig_Children
was not popular until many years after the MMO takes place.

You're also utterly confused about Redguards/Dwemer/Raga Da. The Redguards, known at the time as Raga Da or Yokudans, sailed from their destroyed homeland continent of Yokuda in 1E801, while the Dwemer vanished around 1E700, about 100 years earlier. (source:http://www.uesp.net/wiki/Lore:Holidays_of_the_Iliac_Bay
source: http://www.uesp.net/wiki/Lore:Dwemer_Inquiries_Vol_I)

Hammerfell is called Hammerfell, not because it was largely occupied by Dwemer (which is true), but because it was named after the civil war which occurred on Yokuda, the "Hammer and Anvil" (source: http://www.uesp.net/wiki/Lore:Redguards,_Their_History_and_Their_Heroes)

There's no reason that Redguards would have been any different when this MMO takes place, because the Pocket Guide to the Empire, published around 80 years after this MMO is to take place, describes them very similarly to how they are shown in Skyrim and Morrowind. Why would they change in 80 years? Also, i'm sures there are books from before the MMO is set mentioning Redguards as they are shown in the MMO.

Also, I take issue with your disregard for Battlespire and Redguard. They were both very good games in their own right, but were also the foundation for most of the more interesting lore of Morrowind and Skyrim. Without them, the Elder Scrolls would have continued on as boring Tolkien clones ala Daggerfall's first act, Oblivion and Arena. Just because they're different from the stock series doesn't mean they should be disregarded. Infact, innovation within any series, not just the medium, should be encouraged.

Don Savik:

TConti:
I wish they would stop saying it looks like an Elder Scrolls game. It doesn't. Orcs, Humans, various shades of elves,cat and lizard people (while all part of the Elder Scrolls series) don't make an elder scrolls game. The graphical style they chose is nothing more then the generic fantasy settings seen in countless other fantasy games.From what they've shone there's nothing special that signals Elder Scrolls other then the names of the races and the names of the cities.

Exactly. Elder Scrolls is known for its immersive and open worlds. Yes some complain about the depth, buts its not about the depth. Its about immersing yourself in the world and lore, and you can do anything and go anywhere anytime you want. Making a linear rpg with invincible npcs (no pickpocketing, stealth, sneak attacks, stealing, etc) and probably no speech traits considering the nature of mmos, is the exact opposite of what the series is known for. You can't take away the strengths that the series has and expect the IP to make up for it alone.

Also the graphical style is just wrong. Its too shiny and stylized for Elder Scrolls.

Exactly right, both of you. There doesn't seem to be anything actually Elder Scrolls in this so called Elder Scrolls MMO. A true Elder Scrolls MMO's combat, interface, and so on should just be Skyrim's system with the addition of hundreds of players running around, maybe attacking each other or helping each other occasionally. It should NOT just be WoW with the Elder Scrolls name slapped on it. Newsflash developers, you are NEVER going to make an WoW killer by COPYING WoW, you need to make a unique MMO with it's only original combat mechanics and PVP if you ever want to have a real chance of beating or even just competing with it.

It's bare minimum of an MMO.
Nothing at all innovative.
No player housing.
Everything instanced.
Totallys solo-able (because that certainly has helped things along)
Class system.
I can go on.

Bare minimum of an mmorpg, nothing at all to see here folks.

It still seems like a remarkably bad idea to me. But well see.

Fisher321:
Newsflash developers, you are NEVER going to make an WoW killer by COPYING WoW, you need to make a unique MMO with it's only original combat mechanics and PVP if you ever want to have a real chance of beating or even just competing with it.

You speak the truth and obviously have sense. That is why we must kill you and remove your heretical ideas from public viewing. Repeat after me; MUST COPY WORLD OF WARCRAFT. MUST COPY WORLD OF WARCRAFT. COPYING WORLD OF WARCRAFT EQUATES TO SUCCESS.

Fisher321:
I hope this doesn't turn into a button mashing game like WoW, please keep the same combat mechanics. That is what separates Elder Scrolls from all other games...

They're not keeping the combat mechanics. Apparently it's too difficult, plus they have stated that they don't want to "Alienate" normal MMO fans. The set up sounds very much like what WoW does right now.

And Steve, when are you going to get around to sorting out your errors? It's ZENIMAX ONLINE making this game, not Bethesda. That's like saying Bethesda made New Vegas and not Obsidian.

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