Elder Scrolls MMO Won't Use The Old Republic Engine

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Elder Scrolls MMO Won't Use The Old Republic Engine

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The HeroEngine is only being used as a "whiteboard."

When ZeniMax announced The Elder Scrolls Online, grumpy fans around the globe immediately started voicing concerns that the tile would be another uninspired, by-the-numbers MMO with a popular license slapped across it. It didn't help that early reports claimed the title would be using the HeroEngine, the same engine that powers Star Wars: The Old Republic, which is hardly being held up as an exemplar of MMO innovation. However, it turns out ZeniMax is only using the engine to prototype the game.

"Our plan is for ESO to be a world class MMO, with the most advanced social features found in any MMO to date - so while we were prototyping the game on HeroEngine, we were simultaneously developing our own client, server, and messaging layer that were specifically designed with ESO in mind," game director, Matt Firor told Game Informer. "Think of HeroEngine as a whiteboard for us - a great tool to get some ideas in the game and start looking at them while the production engine was in development."

The HeroEngine was originally developed by Simutronics for use in a title called Hero's Journey, which never saw the light of day. Thus far, the only released projects to use the engine are The Old Republic and an MMO called Faxion, which chances are you've never heard of because it lasted about as long as a mildly-impressive fart.

Regardless, Firor argues that a game's content and quality isn't dictated by its engine.

In general, a game's engine doesn't really define what kind of content, or even what type of game, you can make," he said. "The real factor in stability, graphical awesomeness, and other features is the ability of the programmers and designers that you have working on the game - and the ones here at ZeniMax Online are some of the best in the world. They are what it's going to make ESO stable, beautiful, and fun - not the engine."

A "stable" Elder Scrolls game? Well at least you can't accuse ZeniMax of not adding anything new to the series.

Source: Game Informer

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Grey Carter:
A "stable" Elder Scrolls game? Well at least you can't accuse ZeniMax of not adding anything new to the series.

To be fair, it can't be worse than Diablo 3 on opening day.

RaNDM G:

Grey Carter:
A "stable" Elder Scrolls game? Well at least you can't accuse ZeniMax of not adding anything new to the series.

To be fair, it can't be worse than Diablo 3 on opening day.

well >.> it IS an elder scrolls game, so yes, yes it can.

oh god .... o.0 Bethesda's bug problems + MMO problems ..... o.o;;;

i had totally not thought about that till now

You get a "Cannot connect to server error" and then it crashes to the desktop.

I've always loved "Big World" MMO engine technology. But every "large" game that I've seen try to develop for it has gone bust, most recently Copernicus, so it remains untested on a large scale.

Still it remains officially a bad idea.

Going to need to sell it alot better guys, I'm waiting.

Going to fail, MMOs are on the way out, worse, the elder scrolls universe is not that bad ass that i would want to play an mmo, also, mod support for these games is what keeps people playing them, not the story.

Well since it's already Doomed three MMOs it would be Unreal for them to use it again so it's nothing to Cry over.

I must be one of those few who did not really mind the graphics from TOR.
Also I am still flip flopping between this being a good idea and not being a good idea.

FogHornG36:
Going to fail, MMOs are on the way out, worse, the elder scrolls universe is not that bad ass that i would want to play an mmo, also, mod support for these games is what keeps people playing them, not the story.

According to whom?, last time I checked, for good or ill, WoW still houses over 10 million subscriptions, not to mention the overwhelming beta weekend that Guild Wars 2 had, because the only people allowed in that open beta, had to preorder the game first and while they hadn't released exact numbers on how many people bought the game, they had to temporarily stop selling the game because their servers simply couldn't handle that many people.

And also, last time I checked, The Elder Scrolls is still quite popular, even if a few people think "it's not bad ass".

OT: A game engine doesn't determine how a game will run or how's it going to play and look like. I've played many Unreal Engine 3 games and they wildly range in the performance and aesthetics department, for example, Unreal Tournament 3(wich still has amazing graphics) and Mass Effect 3 run like butter, but Blacklight Retribution is completely unplayable in my computer.

These guys are right, a good programmer determines how's a game going to be played and how's it going to look like, not the engine.

DVS BSTrD:
Well since it's already Doomed three MMOs it would be Unreal for them to use it again so it's nothing to Cry over.

Yo, everyone's gonna need ice for that sick burn!

SupahGamuh:
snip

Don't get me wrong, I loved the last 3 elder scrolls games, but i don't exactly play it for the story, i play it for the fun game play, and the big world to explore/lute, it just won't be the same in am mmo, although i still think that the modding community is what keeps players coming back to the game, at-least for me and my friends it is.

I'm ambivalent about this.
On the one hand, I'm always going to be excited about a new TES game, since it's the series that got me into RPGs, Morrowind along with Fable Lost Chapters were the first 3D RPGs I really played and I owe a lot of my genesis as a gamer to both franchises.
However, and this is a big however, I've just always been a single player. Sure I dabbled in WoW for three or four years on and off, but I think I've probably done a dozen co-operative dungeons in all of that time, and perhaps one raid. The majority of my time in WoW has been spent building characters and solo questing.
So while I'm not saying that it will fail, I am saying that I feel I'm not alone in the "Single Players" club when it comes to Role-Playing Games. I felt that Morrowind, Oblivion, and Skyrim all benefited from their focuses on single player experiences, and it's going to be a challenge to adapt the feel of the games, I believe.

"Regardless, Firor argues that a game's content and quality isn't dictated by its engine."
....yes it is.
The fact that they are using such a shitty engine as an alpha engine is worrying as it shows what style of gameplay they are aiming for (crap hotkey), and that the graphical fidelity will be dire. This looks like yet another EQ/WoW clone that will fail miserably.

SupahGamuh:

FogHornG36:
Going to fail, MMOs are on the way out, worse, the elder scrolls universe is not that bad ass that i would want to play an mmo, also, mod support for these games is what keeps people playing them, not the story.

According to whom?, last time I checked, for good or ill, WoW still houses over 10 million subscriptions, not to mention the overwhelming beta weekend that Guild Wars 2 had, because the only people allowed in that open beta, had to preorder the game first and while they hadn't released exact numbers on how many people bought the game, they had to temporarily stop selling the game because their servers simply couldn't handle that many people.

And also, last time I checked, The Elder Scrolls is still quite popular, even if a few people think "it's not bad ass".

OT: A game engine doesn't determine how a game will run or how's it going to play and look like. I've played many Unreal Engine 3 games and they wildly range in the performance and aesthetics department, for example, Unreal Tournament 3(wich still has amazing graphics) and Mass Effect 3 run like butter, but Blacklight Retribution is completely unplayable in my computer.

These guys are right, a good programmer determines how's a game going to be played and how's it going to look like, not the engine.

But what similarity will this shitty mmo hotkey game have with the ES series? Fuck all from the looks of it.
And a game engine determines exactly how the game will run. It just changes on how much tinkering is done on it by the devs.

I can see this turning out just like The Old Republic. It will do well at the start simply because of the name, but eventually the name won't be enough to keep people interested. It will turn out too much like World of Warcraft, it will bring little to no new features to the MMO genre, then subscriptions will drop sharply.

Well, at least that's something. The less similarities it shares with TOR, the better.

The engine isn't my main concern. My main concern is that there doesn't seem to be an original feature in the entire game.

Judging by their press releases and comments on what is included and omitted from the game, it really does sound like they are making this as WoW player friendly as possible.
Every game mechanic common to TES has been removed, essentially making it WoW with TES skins.

No Player Housing. No NPC romance. No Radiant AI. Stealth will be dealt with in much the same was a the Rogue class in WoW.

These quotes are taken from the devs;

"It needs to be comfortable for people who are coming in from a massively multiplayer game that has the same control mechanisms... "

i.e. the UI will be the same as WoW.
It will be hotbar based AND turn based, basically being as far from TES UI and combat system as you can get.

"After revovering artifacts from the battlefield and ghostly ectoplasm from the hostile spirits for the embattled mages in standard MMO kill and collection quest fashion."

So there will be generic collection quests.

Basically, they did the math and they came up with this;

WoW + TES franchise + generic fantasy artwork = PROFIT

What makes TES games fun is going out and exploring the world.
Having no path to follow, and tons of things to do.

I dont want to be ganked by some OP bastard when taking in the view.

Grey Carter:

A "stable" Elder Scrolls game? Well at least you can't accuse ZeniMax of not adding anything new to the series.

I protest. Skyrim and Oblivion both had stables in them.

tmande2nd:
What makes TES games fun is going out and exploring the world.
Having no path to follow, and tons of things to do.

I dont want to be ganked by some OP bastard when taking in the view.

Which will inevitably happen of course.

No matter what what new info or details are released I'm not going to get it, because I play Elder Scrolls games to

1: Explore the world
2: Exploit the world's rules
3: Be a child killing, mass murdering Douchebag for 15 minutes before resetting the world. (admittedly I needed a mod but that idiot must realise that an Orc in full Deadric is NOT a F###ing servant).

I'm only limited by a modders imagination and the game engine, why would I give up that freedom?

Hopefully they won't go with the WoW graphics and have their own nice style. Hopefully more news will sell the game better.

Did he really say graphical awesomeness? That really makes me even less interested in this game.

Also hot keys.

This doesn't seem anything like the Elder Scrolls games. From the screenshots, it seems to have departed from the land of Tamriel and gone straight into Generic Fantasy Land.

Jimmy T. Malice:
This doesn't seem anything like the Elder Scrolls games. From the screenshots, it seems to have departed from the land of Tamriel and gone straight into Generic Fantasy Land.

Because all the elves, dragons, dwarves and heroic tales of a lone individual saving the world from evil weren't generic fantasy before? lolwut

Jimmy T. Malice:
This doesn't seem anything like the Elder Scrolls games. From the screenshots, it seems to have departed from the land of Tamriel and gone straight into Generic Fantasy Land.

Take those screenshots & go find images from DDO. The Eberron based D&D MMO. They are very similar.

Grey Day for Elcia:

Jimmy T. Malice:
This doesn't seem anything like the Elder Scrolls games. From the screenshots, it seems to have departed from the land of Tamriel and gone straight into Generic Fantasy Land.

Because all the elves, dragons, dwarves and heroic tales of a lone individual saving the world from evil weren't generic fantasy before? lolwut

There are no Dwarves in The Elder Scrolls.

"stability, graphical awesomeness,"

Oh right! Those are TOTALLY not things the engine brings to the table.
Has this person ever PLAYED a game, let alone developed one?

Of course the engine is the main pillar behind those things.
And then they screw it up with terrible programming and we get the infamous bug ridden Elder Scrolls games....

And hey, developing an engine is VERRRRY expensive.
You license one for a million bucks, dude...

So, they will be all noble and "make our own stuff!", until someone tells them that new stuff costs a lot of time, which equals MONEY. And then they stick with HeroEngine and be forever silent. When called out they say "Yeah, we had good intentions, but stuff was expensive, so..."

The lengths they are going through to avoid comparisons to TOR are becoming pretty hilarious.

It'll take more than an engine change to cover the fact you were heavily inspired by TOR guys!

People begged and begged and begged for a god damned TES MMO. Enjoy what you get. You'll get an MMO set in the TES universe, not a multiplayer TES. This is because TES is designed around ultimate flexibility-- kill anyone you want, live with the consequences. Fill your house with sweetrolls and cabbages.

A TES MMO will let you play a khajiit, and let you act out your lusty argonian maid fantasies all day long in the town square, but we will say goodbye to most of what makes TES stand out from all other games.

I can't wait to see the 30 nude nords in the town square jumping around in circles spamming HOW U MINE FOR FISH??

PrinceOfShapeir:

Grey Day for Elcia:

Jimmy T. Malice:
This doesn't seem anything like the Elder Scrolls games. From the screenshots, it seems to have departed from the land of Tamriel and gone straight into Generic Fantasy Land.

Because all the elves, dragons, dwarves and heroic tales of a lone individual saving the world from evil weren't generic fantasy before? lolwut

There are no Dwarves in The Elder Scrolls.

There are Dwemer ruins and Dwarven weapons, though.

I'll probably check this game out for the sole purpose of seeing someone figure out how to clone thousands of watermelons in the game and crash the server.

thebobmaster:

PrinceOfShapeir:

Grey Day for Elcia:
Because all the elves, dragons, dwarves and heroic tales of a lone individual saving the world from evil weren't generic fantasy before? lolwut

There are no Dwarves in The Elder Scrolls.

There are Dwemer ruins and Dwarven weapons, though.

But aren't they elves?

This guy really said this?

"In general, a game's engine doesn't really define what kind of content, or even what type of game, you can make,".

And this....

"The real factor in stability, graphical awesomeness, and other features is the ability of the programmers and designers that you have working on the game"

Ya, my faith in gaming programmers and producers is waaayyyyyy up there. *Shakes head sadly*

This is a negative statement to that dev for those not "getting it".

Jimbo1212:
"Regardless, Firor argues that a game's content and quality isn't dictated by its engine."
....yes it is.
The fact that they are using such a shitty engine as an alpha engine is worrying as it shows what style of gameplay they are aiming for (crap hotkey), and that the graphical fidelity will be dire. This looks like yet another EQ/WoW clone that will fail miserably.

[...]

But what similarity will this shitty mmo hotkey game have with the ES series? Fuck all from the looks of it.
And a game engine determines exactly how the game will run. It just changes on how much tinkering is done on it by the devs.

The engine really is not the be-all-and-end-all. It's just a construct. The engine does not dictate the playing style, else it would not be possible to have DotA 2 and Half-Life 2 running on the same engine. (at least, I didn't notice DotA 2 becoming an FPS when it was ported over to the Source engine...)

Surely the fact that they've said they'll be using a different engine means in itself that they're aiming away from that anyway... but until they've got something else to work with, it's going to be a good jumping-off point.

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