Elder Scrolls Online's First Microtransaction Is a Horse

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Elder Scrolls Online's First Microtransaction Is a Horse

Elder Scrolls Online horses

The Elder Scrolls Online is a big game - why walk when you can ride?

Things are not looking good for the wallets of Elder Scrolls fans. In addition to the standard MMO subscription model, The Elder Scrolls Online will feature microtransactions in an online shop. There won't be very many options for real-money purchases at first, but two items have been confirmed: an unsurprising upgrade to the digital special edition, and an "entry level" horse mount.

Game director Matt Firor spilled the beans on what the Zenimax store will look like when the game launches. "The purpose of the store is to offer interested players a variety of additional services," he says. The Imperial Edition of the game gives players a fancy white horse, a mudcrab pet, and the ability to play as the Imperial race. Upgrading from a standard game to the Imperial Edition will get you all those treats, but if you're just interested in the horse (let's face it, Imperials are boring), you can purchase one a la carte. The price hasn't been specified.

The Elder Scrolls Online isn't out yet, so the in-game economy is subject to change, but horses in the beta were pretty expensive. Earning the gold to buy yourself a mount was something of an achievement, and offering horses as a bonus for players with a little extra cash is a slippery slope. It's worth noting that the Imperial Edition specifically grants you an exclusive white horse, while the microtransaction horse is Palomino, so I guess you could figure out who the big spenders are from the color of their steed.

Be careful, Bethesda. You're dangerously close to your Horse Armor days, and nobody wants to revisit those memories.

Source: ZAM

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Everything I've seen, played, and read about ESO screams cash grab that's going F2P in like a year.

Seriously, fuck off with a cash shop ON TOP of a sub and then offering something like a horse.

Are you telling me I have to pay real money to get a mount in the game? If that is the case, fuck zenimax. Because that is just messed up. It's almost like they want to ruin their IP with this game.

And this isn't dangerously close to horse armor, it has surpassed it. A mount is a must have in most MMOs, I'm assuming this game isn't any different.

Really? I have to buy a Horse after I buy the game? That's ridiculous!

I was thinking about buying it, but I certainly won't now.

....I don't.... This.... I don't even.....

I'm sorry but The Elder Scrolls Online is going to fall flat on it's face moments after coming out.

People will pay subscription for a game that looks this good, sure. But it won't last if you're cramming this crap down our throats.

'Some' people will pay subscription. I'm not one of them.

Bring me Fallout 4!

The thing is that most people wouldn't actually care about horse armor, which would be just a simple skin for the mount.

Offering an entry level mount, however, is different. I don't know what the normal requirements for mounts are in this game but how can we know the requirements (level, cost) for normal mounts were not artificially inflated to increase the incentive to buy this mount?
This is ultimately one of the main problems of micro transactions: It can compromise the game's design, or at least make people think so.

If it were free to play to begin with, people would surely be much less opposed to the idea of their ingame shop. But they are basically trying to tripple-dip with a purchase cost, monthly fees AND micro transactions right from the very beginning. Other games implemented micro transactions as an after-thought and thus the chance (or possible perception) that the game design might be compromised to fit them is much lower.

Are they expecting people to be pleased by this news? I'd bet that they've lost a few more sales with this. The only people that would want to get this are those that didn't get the Imperial Edition and aren't willing to purchase a horse in-game (usually around 42,000 gold! And enemies drop an average of one coin!).

It's a shame, because the game on its own is actually decent. It's the business practices that are painting it an ugly colour.

What bothers me most about the increasingly scummy decisions surrounding this game is that people might get Bethesda Softworks (the publisher) mixed up with Bethesda Game Studios (the developer that has no involvement with ESO).

I want this game distanced from the original Elder Scrolls series as much as possible, and I'd really hate to see the next Scrolls single-player game suffer due to this crap.

So let me get this straight.

1. Full retail up front cost.
2. Monthly subscription fee.
3. Microtransaction store for non-cosmetic items.

...

Just seems a little bit greedy Zenimax. That's a lot of money you're asking for, especially when compared to something like FF XIV.

Is this the only way to get a horse?

WoW sells mounts in the store but there mostly just cosmetic upgrades, not something that drastically changes the game play.

If it's just a better looking horse then fine, if not then this game is going to fail faster then the Star Trek MMO did.

Fail all you want, TES Online, as long as I get my single player titles.

Retail fees + subscription fees + microtransaction??!

HA! Good luck guys.

Headsprouter:

Fail all you want, TES Online, as long as I get my single player titles.

I'd say it failing will actually harm the franchise (or will be perceived as such) and thus decrease the chance for a new Elder Scrolls game. Its pure existence probably also means that they won't be starting development of any single player Elder Scrolls games anytime soon.

I'd expect this game to be blamed quite a lot for not getting another single player Elder Scrolls game. Just think of SWToR and how we could have gotten KotoR 3 instead.

Achievement: Old Spice - "I'm on a horse."

Look at your game, now look at me, now look at your game again. Sadly, it's got microtransactions. Look down, now look up again. It's your horse, the thing you use to get around, AND it's behind a paywall. Look away, look back. It's a a load of angry Elder Scrolls fans outside of a building, and you're helping them burn an effigy. Look down once more, and back again. You've returned to your home where you haven't bought this crappy game, money still in your pocket. Always vote with your wallet. I'm in a powersuit.

Ouch.

This is sounding like a game that Zynga would make.
Just...damn.

Second microtransaction: armor for the horse! The armor makes it die in one hit, and any plot horse that was once invicible becomes vulnerable once it is worn. :D

OT: Well...seems like I might be avoiding this game some more then. Really for me, I love the Elder Scrolls series and was hoping that ESO would be the first full on MMO for me to get into, but sadly it seems like that's not the case. If I didn't have to buy a subscription after buying the initial game then I wouldn't mind, but I can't justify paying $60 for a game plus a subscription fee along with it. It's honestly why I don't really play MMOs in general.

Zenimax is really trying to get as much money as they can huh. Sadly as well Bethesda's gonna get the blame on this since many people can't tell the difference between Zenimax Online and Bethesda Game Studios.

A horse should be basic in an elder scrolls game, you should be able to buy one in game with ingame money. But have us buy the game full price and then a subscription per month and expect us to then pay for stuff on top. Thats just stupid, greedy and a big negative against the game. This is becoming a dangerous trend for games and it will spend the end to gaming if companies continue it.

direkiller:
Is this the only way to get a horse?

WoW sells mounts in the store but there mostly just cosmetic upgrades, not something that drastically changes the game play.

If it's just a better looking horse then fine, if not then this game is going to fail faster then the Star Trek MMO did.

Don't worry, you can buy the horse with in game money...so long as you don't mind spending a few days grinding for cash (last I checked it cost 4000 gold). Playing the beta though makes me wonder why anyone would pay for a mount, the map is not very large and the game is very average.

OT: So who's placing bets for when this becomes F2P?

Elfgore:
Are you telling me I have to pay real money to get a mount in the game? If that is the case, fuck zenimax. Because that is just messed up. It's almost like they want to ruin their IP with this game.

And this isn't dangerously close to horse armor, it has surpassed it. A mount is a must have in most MMOs, I'm assuming this game isn't any different.

You don't -have- to pay real money to get a mount in the game. Buying a horse in game will set you back a few pretty denariis, yes, but you can buy them with in-game money without too much difficulty.

This is no different than WoW, where some mounts can be bought from the online store, but the game gives you plenty of chances to not do that.

Elfgore:
Are you telling me I have to pay real money to get a mount in the game? If that is the case, fuck zenimax. Because that is just messed up. It's almost like they want to ruin their IP with this game.

And this isn't dangerously close to horse armor, it has surpassed it. A mount is a must have in most MMOs, I'm assuming this game isn't any different.

You can buy horses with in game currency as well but they're kind of extremely expensive. They cost 17,000 gold if I remember right, and considering monsters hardly drop any gold and items sell for pitifully low amounts that will take a while to reach.

Y'know what's funny about that whole Horse Armor thing? That shit would be acceptable today. Pointless cosmetics are the norm for DLC nowadays, not to mention how ludicrously overpriced DLC has become in recent years. It just goes to show how shitty our standards have become when no one bats an eyelash at Sims 3's DLC costing over $400 in total, but everyone still shudders at the mention of Oblivion's Horse Armor.

Headsprouter:

Fail all you want, TES Online, as long as I get my single player titles.

I agree. I couldn't give two royal fucks how badly this games goes.

They lost me at 'MMO'.

Just hurry up and bring me Fallout 4 or Elder Scrolls 5.

And there had BETTER be an Elder Scrolls 5.

Or there will be slaps.

GrinningCat:

Elfgore:
Are you telling me I have to pay real money to get a mount in the game? If that is the case, fuck zenimax. Because that is just messed up. It's almost like they want to ruin their IP with this game.

And this isn't dangerously close to horse armor, it has surpassed it. A mount is a must have in most MMOs, I'm assuming this game isn't any different.

You don't -have- to pay real money to get a mount in the game. Buying a horse in game will set you back a few pretty denariis, yes, but you can buy them with in-game money without too much difficulty.

This is no different than WoW, where some mounts can be bought from the online store, but the game gives you plenty of chances to not do that.

Except mounts in WOW don't cost you an arm and a leg. You now get you're first level of mount training for free and pay about ten gold for a mount. Which every player should have at level twenty. The purchasable mounts for WOW are purely cosmetic as well, as mounts you earn in game do the exact same thing. And the mounts require you to have a mount of the same level to use it.

So my options are spend a long ass time getting money to buy a horse or pay them money, great choice.

grey_space:

Just hurry up and bring me Fallout 4 or Elder Scrolls 5.

And there had BETTER be an Elder Scrolls 5.

Or there will be slaps.

You mean Elder Scrolls 6 right? We already have an Elder Scrolls 5, and it takes place in Skyrim. :P
Personally I want my Fallout 4 already, with both Obsidian and Bethesda working together on the story and atmosphere.

Elfgore:

GrinningCat:

Elfgore:
Are you telling me I have to pay real money to get a mount in the game? If that is the case, fuck zenimax. Because that is just messed up. It's almost like they want to ruin their IP with this game.

And this isn't dangerously close to horse armor, it has surpassed it. A mount is a must have in most MMOs, I'm assuming this game isn't any different.

You don't -have- to pay real money to get a mount in the game. Buying a horse in game will set you back a few pretty denariis, yes, but you can buy them with in-game money without too much difficulty.

This is no different than WoW, where some mounts can be bought from the online store, but the game gives you plenty of chances to not do that.

Except mounts in WOW don't cost you an arm and a leg. You now get you're first level of mount training for free and pay about ten gold for a mount. Which every player should have at level twenty. The purchasable mounts for WOW are purely cosmetic as well, as mounts you earn in game do the exact same thing. And the mounts require you to have a mount of the same level to use it.

So my options are spend a long ass time getting money to buy a horse or pay them money, great choice.

I think the time needed is greatly exaggerated. I had 10,000 gold by level 12 and the required 17,000 by level 15 without even trying. Within three days of playing, I had more than enough money, and that was when I was playing to quest, gather, and explore, not to actually make money.

If you're smart about it, by the time you're level 20 you'll have more than enough money to buy a mount and you don't really need the mount until then.

Queue the gamer misanthropy!
Honestly, I can't think of the last multiplayer game I played that didn't have pay shop of some kind.

WoW, Tera, Neverwinter, Borderlands 2 etc etc.. It is a common theme of games these days.

Neronium:

grey_space:

Just hurry up and bring me Fallout 4 or Elder Scrolls 5.

And there had BETTER be an Elder Scrolls 5.

Or there will be slaps.

You mean Elder Scrolls 6 right? We already have an Elder Scrolls 5, and it takes place in Skyrim. :P
Personally I want my Fallout 4 already, with both Obsidian and Bethesda working together on the story and atmosphere.

Arargh! This is what happens when you leave comments at 3am. It makes you look like you can't count. :)

Fallout 4 be great though. I recently played through both 3 and las Vegas. Both were awesome.

Particularly I'd be interested with what they'd do with the next-gen consoles.

Could we be finally saying goodbye to the dreaded uncanny valley of Bethshedas' NPC interactions?

Considering that horses in this game can be 'leveled up' once per day to give them more stamina, speed or bag space, you're at a definite disadvantage if you opt to grind for the horse rather than just throw cash at one. This game is pretty scummy.

grey_space:

Arargh! This is what happens when you leave comments at 3am. It makes you look like you can't count. :)

Fallout 4 be great though. I recently played through both 3 and las Vegas. Both were awesome.

Particularly I'd be interested with what they'd do with the next-gen consoles.

Could we be finally saying goodbye to the dreaded uncanny valley of Bethshedas' NPC interactions?

Ah don't worry, I've been known to post typos and things like that when I'm tired too. It's worse for me though because I'm usually typing the late night messages from an iPod Touch. :P

Anyway, I don't think Bethesda will ever leave the uncanny valley, they've already set up a manor down there. I'd assume that when they leave the uncanny valley they'd also hire a QA team to fix most of the bugs before the games launch. XD

ShakerSilver:
Y'know what's funny about that whole Horse Armor thing? That shit would be acceptable today. Pointless cosmetics are the norm for DLC nowadays, not to mention how ludicrously overpriced DLC has become in recent years. It just goes to show how shitty our standards have become when no one bats an eyelash at Sims 3's DLC costing over $400 in total, but everyone still shudders at the mention of Oblivion's Horse Armor.

It really depends on the game. If you're talking about Microtransactions for something like Path of Exile where effectively all microtransactions are a fancy way of donating money to the devs for a game that is otherwise free, I'm more than happy to fork over cash for something that doesn't actually do anything - They charged me $0 for the entirety of the game, so I'm happy to give them $15 to make my fireballs look cool - In my mind that $15 is really my way of saying 'This game is awesome and you guys deserve my money' not 'this animation on these fireballs is worth $15.'

The key point is that Horse Armor type stuff is completely optional - If you think it's shitty and bad and you don't think the devs deserve more of your money, you can not buy it and not feel that you've lost out on something. If you think they're money grubbing bastards for trying to charge you money for cosmetic stuff after you paid them full price for the game, then great! Don't give it to them - You still have the full experience, just minus that particular bit of (fairly minor) shiny.

There will be people who complain about everything because this is the internet and that's what we do, but personally I don't think it's worth complaining about a company giving an option to pay money for extra unimportant things. I do have a problem with cutting out something gameplay affecting (Or making it harder to get) in order to get more money.

Neronium:

Ah don't worry, I've been known to post typos and things like that when I'm tired too. It's worse for me though because I'm usually typing the late night messages from an iPod Touch. :P

Anyway, I don't think Bethesda will ever leave the uncanny valley, they've already set up a manor down there. I'd assume that when they leave the uncanny valley they'd also hire a QA team to fix most of the bugs before the games launch. XD

Actually I'm typing this on my girlfriend's tablet at the moment. The touchpad is rather unforgiving of my meaty fingers pawing at it. I'm having to recheck almost every second word between my typos and the predictive text's creative interpreting of my use of language.:)

I've kinda made my peace on the fact that Bethsheda games are going to be buggy as hell. That NPC death-stare though... *shudders*

And more that four freaking voice actors would be nice as well now that we're compiling a wish-list.

Oh and OT:
Having to buy a horse is still wank.

Bad idea is bad. Paying to get game-changing gear early in a multiplayer game is a good way to divide the game into the haves and the have-nots. I might still pick this game up just to try it for a month or two, but this is seeming like the first crack in a dam, and all the bad ideas are about to come spilling through.

My cousin and friend are dead set on getting ESO but everything I see and read tells me its going to be a waste of 75+ dollars. I've played the beta and I was bored out of my mind being a huge Elder's Scroll fan but hate MMO's.

This is one time peer pressure ain't going to work. Focus on making a great game Zenimax before you try and line your pockets, I am not sold on even supporting your game before you pull stupid shit.

Headsprouter:

Fail all you want, TES Online, as long as I get my single player titles.

tbh, there are a few cute mudcrabs hanging around eso, like a mudcrab trying to get to a rack of fish but it can't reach it because it has stubby arms, and a pair of mudcrabs just hanging out and clacking at each other, but yeah, everything else you said

It's Oblivion's Horse Armor DLC all over again. Memories.

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