A Lot Of Tamriel Estate: The Elder Scrolls Online

By Adam Smith on May 4th, 2012 at 11:30 am.

The whole of Tamriel! That’s what The Elder Scrolls Online will contain, so you’ll be able to stride your way through Morrowind and shiver your way through Skyrim. Disclaimer. The whole of Tamriel except for the bits that are going to be chopped out to make room for expansions and Skyrim won’t be as detailed as in Skyrim: The Game of The Place. A lot of Tamriel then. There’s a great deal of player on player action promised, although no NPC marriages. Oh, and you can become the Emperor. What else can be learned from an American magazine’s leaked coverage?

It’ll be a World of Warcraft style game. That’s not based on an analysis of the facts and careful comparison, that’s based on the fact that it’s described as having World of Warcraft-style mechanics. Toolbars with skills loaded onto them, third-person perspectives for all and a concession to classes and levels. That said, every player will apparently be able to develop a broad range of skills, as well as having every guild in the game open to them.

There’s a big emphasis on exploration, with dungeons, caves and entire quest lines hidden from view until a player stumbles across them, rather than being referred to by an NPC, marked on a map with a big ‘X’ and then pointed to a bloody great floating arrow. That’s how most things will be handled but there will be actual discoveries to make as well.

As for the plot, it’s 1,000 years before the events of Skyrim and, wouldn’t you know it, a great evil is rising and three factions, each containing three races, are trying to stop it. While squabbling and warring with one another. So you’ve got your nords, dark elves and argonians in the Ebonheart Pact, high elves, wood elves and khajiit in the Aldmeri Dominion, and bretons, redguards and orcs in the Daggerfall Covenant. In between all the questing around, characters will be able to fight for the Imperial seat.

just one of the areas you'll be able to visit, although it might not look quite like this anymore. More crowded I reckon.

Here’s a question: would you rather be a homeowner, a vampire, a werewolf or the Emperor? In TESCO (credit to @davescarborough) you can only be the latter. No vampires, no werewolves, no homeowners, just power-hungry leaders with little regard for the democratic process. It’s a lot like the real world.

To become Emperor you’ll have to conquer Cyrodiil, taking forts, mines and farms in many-on-many PvP scraps, eventually attacking the Imperial City and engaging in a 100 vs 100 battle, the winner of which becomes Emperor. Not all 100 of the winner, obviously, but instead the member of the victorious faction who contributed most in the conquering process. Not sure how that works but it could lead to some delightful arguments.

It’s a shame that the whole Being The Emperor thing will apparently be for bragging rights rather than political power. The development team is the 250-strong Zenimax Online with Bethesda providing lore assistance but not actual development assistance. There are veterans of Dark Age of Camelot at the team and although I’m allergic to PvP, it’s the faction against faction struggle for supremacy that has me most interested.

these mushrooms might look even more impressive, although probably more cartoony as well

The rest sounds fine. It does seem an awful lot like WOW, although that doesn’t hugely surprise me. A stamina bar that dictates how many blocks and dodges a character is capable of should make combat a little less like forming an orderly queue and the removal of aggro and claims of more interesting than MMO standard artificial intelligence could give fighting a different feel. There are also public dungeons, ‘phased questing’, which sees the world change for players involved in certain quest lines, and full voice acting.

There’ll probably be an avalanche of details and screenshots any day now. There might even be an announcement of an announcement of a teaser trailer for a trailer.

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129 Comments »

  1. Crimsoneer says:

    God, why? Why why why?
    Just take Skyrim, and stick Guild Wars 1 style city hubs, and let us take 4 friends out questing. THAT’S a good recipe for capitalising on the strengths of the Elder Scrolls and MMOs. Not just cookie cutting WoW.

    • Premium User Badge Screwie says:

      This, this so much. It’s a perfect fit!

    • psaldorn says:

      They should know by now: If i wanted to play WoW, I’d fucking play WoW. If I want to play an open-ended sandbox game with other people.. I should.. play Wurm Online? *twitch*

      Let’s just hope they shove some netcode into Skyrim along with a nice big chunk of land to explore. That’ll do.

      • sabrage says:

        As for your second point statement, Mortal Online is much more worthy than Wurm.

      • OutcastSpartan7 says:

        Comparing this MMO to an MMO that was made 11 years ago isn’t fair. MMO’s have advanced much since WoW.

    • BoZo says:

    • spelvin spugg says:

      Something terribad this way comes.

      The ONLY way this could be done without it being a complete laughingstock (aside from Borderlands style gameplay, which would be quite amazing) would be to make it a brutal Eve-style freeform game.

      But they will never do that. They will turn it into an instance themepark. This is a money making scheme and that’s all it is.

    • TheEndlessGrey says:

      Actually sounds more like they’re updating the Dark Age of Camelot formula (especially given the people involved) rather than cloning WoW again, but I agree. I don’t think TES is the right property to cram into that formula, but if it recaptures some of what made DAoC fun I’ll forgive quite a bit of IP pillaging. I’ll just have to find a way to file it in my brain so it can exist as similar but separate from TES proper.

  2. Mordsung says:

    “It’ll be a World of Warcraft style game. That’s not based on an analysis of the facts and careful comparison, that’s based on the fact that it’s described as having World of Warcraft-style mechanics. Toolbars with skills loaded onto them, third-person perspectives for all and a concession to classes and levels.”

    *facepalm*

    From potentially awesome to nearly guaranteed crap before it’s even out of the gate.

    • Premium User Badge AlexClockwork says:

      Yep… If I want a MMO about TES, I want it to be TES style. Not WoW style. That’s just using the name to get some easy money. >.<

    • Chizu says:

      Yup, that paragraph pretty much killed my interest.
      If they coulda found a way to have skyrim like gameplay (obviously would require tweaks to skills and how they work) from a first person perspective and take it online, I’d have been straight at the front of the queue. But now.. meh.

    • S Jay says:

      +1 (my comment is as interesting as the announcement of a WoW: TES)

    • WeeCapo says:

      +1000

    • Vorphalack says:

      I treat the announcement of ”a WoW style MMO loosely based on The Elder Scrolls” with as much disdain as ”a porno loosely based on The Wire”.

    • Davee says:

      http://www.nooooooooooooooo.com/

      I had to use this after reading that paragraph.

    • jrpatton says:

      +1

      Let me tell you about all the f&#%’s I give after reading that paragraph.

      Not one.

    • Mattressi says:

      Yep, completely killed it for me. Already know that I won’t be buying or paying any interest to it now :(
      I wish they’d make a persistent multiplayer (NOT an MMO – too many people removes both the RP and the G) Elderscrolls RPG, with emphasis on the RP. As in; my goal isn’t to kill everyone, it could be to be a hunter, farmer, etc. This happens in Skyrim, but it’s a bit lonely, what with only yourself and all :/

  3. f1x says:

    Lets see how it goes, it definitely has good ideas

    For example – Public dungeons, thats something I was longing for, its not an innovation, but a return
    Phased Questing – The best thing that wow introduced (mostly in WOTLK) yet the one thing that the others didnt copy…

    On the other hand its a shame they want to fall on the classical-wow combat, classes, levels scheme, they could’ve at least followed free-class system from skyrim (not the combat tho, which is… too simple)
    and also factions opossed, I’m a bit tired of that model, and also its gonna be 3 factions, which might sound like a twist but its gonna be impossible to balance population, I dont know…

    • sneetch says:

      Based on experience with Dark Age of Camelot the news that there will be three factions is fantastic.

      Although I’m on the fence about this game until I see some more, the limited details so far make it sound more like GW2 than WoW and it could be great fun, I don’t see any problem so long as it doesn’t prevent the next single player TES (and it shouldn’t, this is being developed by a different team and based on past releases TES 6 is roughly 2-4 years off).

    • f1x says:

      Glad to hear that, I didnt play Dark ages of camelot so cannot say,

      The point is the 2 opossed factions system that WoW introduced is extremely boring in the end, but yes maybe 3 factions can be interesting,

      Lets see how that copes with the rest of contents, as said the less interesting stuff is still getting a combat-class-levels models inspired from WoW, ok its the biggest monster out there but its definitely … obsolete… I dont know
      You cant simply grab WoW and reskin it with Skyrim models/lore its not gonna success

      • sneetch says:

        The whole it’s “World of Warcraft” seems to be is based on assumptions made by Adam.

        “Toolbars with skills loaded onto them, third-person perspectives for all and a concession to classes and levels.”

        Sounds like most games that fall into the RPG umbrella category. WoW, Dragon Age, Mass Effect, Diablo 1/2/3, Guild Wars 1/2 and so on. All of those have those basic features. Personally I think Adam is being a bit of a negative Nancy here and assuming the worse.

        • Adam Smith says:

          When I get to see it/play it I’ll be as open minded as ever, but these are the first details to be revealed and “World of Warcraft-style mechanics” is right in there. I am a negative nancy though, granted.

          • spelvin spugg says:

            I totally agree that it sounds like a certain recipe for kiddiefied theme park disaster. They essentially have to do that if they want to turn it into a cash cow, which they would be stupid not to do.

            A far better move for the franchise would be to release a 32 player client/server game. They could do this easily by leveraging Carmack’s deathmatch expertise.

            But they’ll never do this, they want to release something completely feminized and sanitized and lame and boring and same.

      • f1x says:

        I’m not negative but it sounds surprising,

        problem is not exactly about WoW itself,
        but for the description (on the leaked gameinformer pages) its like they are going for the “stand still to cast skills”, “mana bars”, “talents”, “etc”, and in my opinion thats obsolete, when the forthcoming games(mmos) are struggling to run from that, this game is going straight for that, dosnt make sense to be honest

        Of course, cannot judge until we can see the game itself, but also the graphics they have shown… are not too good looking

  4. kukouri says:

    This is going to be wait and see. Everyone seems to be discrediting it before it is even out of the gates tho.

  5. iARDAs says:

    Everytime i hear about this game i have a e-hardon.

    Does this happen to anyone else?

  6. Premium User Badge RedViv says:

    Battle somewhere between Age of Conan and WoW, cartoonish stylised graphics, no housing, no vampirism or lycanthropy, no actual TES-style progression… Well, the meh just got meh-er.

  7. alexsanchez508 says:

    I laughed so absolutely hard when one of the first things I read was “it will be a World of Warcraft style game”. Oh man that’s not a good sign at all, but of course we should wait until more facts come out and we can have a better explanation of what that exactly means.

  8. Tretiak says:

    Bullcrap.

  9. Araxiel says:

    Sounds like that Age of Conan that failed like Dovahkin failed at not robbing the people of Skyrim to their bare cloths…not even letting them keep those.

    To use Yatzhees allusion here: This MMORPGer will be another head on the pole outside of WoW’s cave. Why am I saying this? Well, what I heard thus far is everything I heard from all the WoW rivals already. And we all know how that turned out (poles, heads). A Elder Scrolls MMO would have to be like…well like Guild Wars 2.

    And the diffrence between The Elder Scrolls Online and Guild Wars 2 is that TESO seems over ambigious and trying to be the better WoW-clone than WoW. Guild Wars 2 however is going to be released this year and seems to be what they promise it is.

    Not saying an online feature for TES would be bad. But all I want is the ability of having a friend hop into my game. Darn balance and logic, it’s not like that’s very prevalent in TES in the first place. I just want to goof around with friends in Skyrim. That’s all I want, not some WoW-clone.

    • Runs With Foxes says:

      But the actual details in the article do make this sound a lot like GW2.

  10. Mokey says:

    Did anyone really expect any better? MMOs cost a RIDICULOUS amount of money to make, and an absurd number of them fail – a large proportion of which are the ones that claim to be “innovative.” It’s just not a sound financial investment to go for anything other than a cookie-cutter WoW-like (an obvious exception being Eve Online).

    And did anyone really expect innovation from Bethesda? They’ve been putting out the same game in different colours for more than a decade.

    • Araxiel says:

      First I’ve read “Blizzard” instead of Bethesda. Then I read EA. Then I read Ubisoft.

      I should get myself some good glasses maybe.

    • Jimbo says:

      Most of them claim to be innovative, sure, but they usually fail because that claim isn’t true and they are actually just cookie-cutter WoW-likes. You can’t beat WoW (or even compete with WoW) at their own game, and this time won’t be any different.

      • Stromko says:

        This is what the bean counters don’t realize. Hardly anyone even wants a new-and-improved WoW, and even if they did, no one’s going to spend the bazillion dollars to make it. I doubt even Blizzard could make a successful competitor / follow-up to WoW.

  11. Surlywombat says:

    Are they Morrowind screens?

  12. Snidesworth says:

    What is tedium squared?

  13. stahlwerk says:

    Choose Adam, for all your quality pun needs.

  14. Premium User Badge Makariel says:

    I was intrigued, until I read: “[...] it’s described as having World of Warcraft-style mechanics [...]“, where I completely lost interest. Why? WHY?!?

  15. Jimbo says:

    “It’ll be a World of Warcraft style game.”

    Just when I thought I was in, they push me back out.

  16. Iskariot says:

    Oh please not another fantasy MMO….
    I am so, so, so sick of it.

  17. rustybroomhandle says:

    I don’t remember ever reading that there was an emperor named XkillersteveX or fluffyfishpants.

    • mentor07825 says:

      I intend to do the same as I did in Eve Online. Create a character called iTouch YourKids and see how far I get. If I get as far as Emperor then I know I have beaten the system.

      • Premium User Badge Malibu Stacey says:

        GoonSwarm probably elevated you to godhood with that name.

  18. Tafdolphin says:

    Having seen the GI screens I’m amazed at how bad this is looking. Remove the TES prefix and you have something that’s almost identical to all the other f2p WoW ripoffs doing the rounds.

    Seriously, 5 years?

  19. Bostec says:

    I thought it would be somewhat ambitious, something like Motal online or Darkfall, a couple of features taken from them and polished with a load of money but lo! instead its WoW again. If it ain’t broke,why fix it? taken to the extreme and hit with a big pile of boring. A real shame.

  20. Premium User Badge DrScuttles says:

    Second screenshot: Is this a DaggerXL I see before me?

  21. Walter Heisenberg says:

    The Ouroboros logo is very fitting, represents the publishers dreams of getting truckloads of money monthly from obsessed indoctrinated subscribers for years and and also the endless cycle of WOW wannabees.
    Do you know what the definition of Insanity is?

  22. Sinkytown says:

    The Old Republic proved that a WoW clone won’t cut it, and TERA that an Action MMO is possible. Why abandon TES’s core tenets?

    Here I was thinking the Everquest model was dead or dying : (

    • Premium User Badge RedViv says:

      This is the thought that saddens me. That Penny Arcade cartoon from a few days ago was on to something, and I was thinking that the only existent setting with the right background in gameplay and story for a combination of GW2, TOR, and Tera, would be Elder Scrolls… And now this happens. Fling it to heck.

    • TillEulenspiegel says:

      It’s dead insofar as it’s been lacking any kind of vibrancy for years. It’s certainly not dead commercially, nowhere near.

    • Kapouille says:

      Here I am *HOPING* the Everquest model is dying or dead… (unfortunately, it’s not, and it’s going to rot a generation of games)

    • Grygus says:

      The original EverQuest model was rarely copied, and even EQ has left it. Originally, EverQuest was a virtual world first and a game second. EQ had double death penalties (you had a naked corpse run AND lost experience.) It had important spawns on random timers, often with placeholders, so you could not reliably walk up and kill something like clockwork. It had no instancing at all, even for a while after instancing technology was available. Even though there were definite sides (you started as hostile to multiple races regardless of your starting race,) you could group with any player you liked. If you wanted to travel to another continent, and you weren’t one of the two classes who could simply teleport there, you could pay another player to teleport you, or you could take a fairly long boat ride. You would not implement any of those things in a game where gameplay was paramount.

      That model may or may not be dead; it’s hard to say since there aren’t any MMOs that are not games first and worlds second, with the possible exception of EVE Online. I would have thought that a TES MMO would be an excellent place to bring that concept back, though. Guess not.

  23. Ham Solo says:

    Toolbars with skills loaded onto them, third-person perspectives for all and a concession to classes and levels.

    Stopped reading right there.
    I hate those things, and they aren’t typical for TES.
    Instead of doing something more original that coule be truly magical, the whole TES world in a (new) TES game, without classes and tens of crappy toolbars with skills, and where I can play a hunter/thief and aim the gundamn bow from the ego-perspective… they will do a wow/tor ripoff. And why wouldn’t skyrim be as detailed as in skyrim? Seems like a step backwards.

    • Kyril says:

      100% percent in agreement here. I found this very depressing. One would think the market would be saturated with these kinds of mmos.

  24. Vegard Pompey says:

    At the very least they’re setting it 1000 years in the past so it won’t fuck up the Elder Scrolls’ games lore and make new singleplayer entries in the franchise impossible (like WoW did)

  25. catmorbid says:

    No surprise here.

  26. Salix says:

    So this is basically Zenimax attempting to jump on the bandwagon a little too late?

    • Tafdolphin says:

      Well it did start development in 2007, at the peak of WoW’s success. Unfortunately, it seems to have stayed there.

    • Premium User Badge RedViv says:

      Well, development began in 2007. So it’s more like finalising the product is taking too long, not the jumping action itself. That said, this is the source of failure for many of the other games. Having begun development and not being able to consider all the changes that WoW itself went through, so you’ll inevitably end up with a product that can’t compete on many levels.

      €: Ha, delayed by verbosity.

  27. aliksy says:

    I have 0 interest in another WoW clone. Something more like Guild Wars (1 or 2) or Eve, maybe. But not WoW.

  28. Premium User Badge The Sombrero Kid says:

    They’re really going out their way to prove me right that it’s going to be terrible.

  29. Premium User Badge Durkonkell says:

    “wood elves and khajiit in the Aldmeri Dominion”

    Whaaaaaaaaaaaaat?

    The Bosmer (wood elves) and Khajiit hate each other. They’ve been warring since pretty much the dawn of time. The Khajiit creation myth even mentions the animosity between them! The most famous piece of Khajiit art – Cherim’s heart of Anequina – portrays a great battle between the two.

    Dunmer working with Argonians…

    Have they actually done any research into the setting? Are the faction assignments completely random? I’m not terribly hopeful about this.

    • Simas says:

      Writers doing a bit of rape to TES lore to fit within 3 faction system. Nothing new here. Their excuse will be that “the story takes place 1000 years before Skyrim events” line.

      • Tyraa Rane says:

        There’s more than a bit of lore rape going on here. The whole concept of Molag Bal trying to yank Tamriel into his realm is…boggling, not to mention impossible per the established lore. First of all there’s Sotha Sil’s pact with the Daedra at the end of the First Era, and then there’s the pesky matter of the eight towers that keep Mundus from falling into Oblivion–or being invaded by it–are all active during the Second Era. We know what (most) of the eight towers are, and all of them stay intact until the Oblivion Crisis…obviously, or the Daedra would be invading Tamriel every Tuesday. So how is Molag Bal supposed to pull off this scheme without destroying towers we know are active until the end of the Third Era?

        I won’t get into the Dunmer-Nord-Argonian alliance. Except that those three groups have legitimate reasons to hate one another rather than be allies, and why are they calling it the “Ebonheart Pact” when the city it’s named after (Ebonheart, in Vvardenfell) won’t exist until Morrowind joins the Empire in the Third Era and ARRRGH.

        The “1000 years before Skyrim” excuse doesn’t hold water either. Most of the lore and history actually covers the Second Era (and even the First) very very well. If they’d set it in the Merethic Era, then yeah, they’d have a leg to stand on with that excuse. This is just taking lore out back and beating it with a shotgun for the sake of a WoW clone. The lore nerds of the TES fandom (me being one of them) are significantly less than impressed. Already. I don’t see this ending well.

        • gritz says:

          ^^^ I love this post. TES lore buffs are awesome.

        • Premium User Badge Durkonkell says:

          I didn’t even notice the Ebonheart bit. Good grief. They just haven’t bothered, have they?

        • Grygus says:

          To be fair, it is possible that the city and the pact are named after a common source, e.g., a great warrior named Ebonheart, that existed during or before this time frame. As far as I know, we’ve never been told where the city got the name.

          • gritz says:

            It’s also fair to say that racial/ethnic/national enmities and alliances have been known to change over time. Just because the Khajiit and Bosmer fight a lot doesn’t mean they fight always.

            But there are still tons of problems with what we’ve heard so far, and I have very little faith that any of these details will be satisfactorily explained.

          • Tyraa Rane says:

            @ Grygus – Good point.

            @ gritz – Trouble is, the enmity between the Nords and the Dunmer is well established, and is pretty well at its peak in the First and Second Eras, with the Nords invading Morrowind repeatedly. That’s why the Nords basically ceding Solstheim to the Dunmer after Red Mountain erupted, as well as opening Skyrim’s borders to take in refugees, was such a big deal.

            As for the Dunmer and Argonians…well, slavery was a huge part of Dunmer culture–there’s even a Great House (House Dres) whose economy was based almost entirely on it–until it was finally banned after the Nerevarine Crisis. Most of those slaves? Hauled over the border from Black Marsh. The Argonians have good reason to hate the Dunmer, and the Dunmer have little to no respect for the Argonians. It’s why Black Marsh invaded Morrowind at the start of the Fourth Era.

            So yeah, racial/political moods change all the time. Trouble with the “Ebonheart Pact” is…well, those “moods” were not exactly conducive to a Skyrim/Morrowind/Black Marsh alliance, and we know that. Which is why people are going “WTF” at these factions.

  30. Lemming says:

    This has to be have been pushed by suits rather than developers. Has to be. It screams “terrible idea” too loudly to have been thought up by the proper Elder Scrolls team.

    • Kapouille says:

      They say it’s made by ex DAoC people. I think that places a low creativity bar from the start, with the evidence being this sales pitch we seem to be (mostly) all appalled by,

      • Lemming says:

        Makes sense. We all know how willing they were to bend the knee to management pressure. That’s why WAR ended up trying to ape WoW instead of being its own thing.

  31. remoteDefecator says:

    Dammit. I’m an MMO fiend, it’s hands down my favorite genre, the only kind of game that can devour large chunks of my life, but I really don’t want to play another WoW clone. If I want WoW, I’ll resub WoW, because only Blizzard does WoW correctly.

    I just can’t fathom the Bethesda board of directors looking at what EA just did with SWTOR and going, “yea, that looks good, let’s do that.” I guess there’s no substitute for persistent income, even if it is from a B-rate title.

    • Stromko says:

      My thoughts exactly. Excellent single-player RPGs do not translate to good MMORPGs, at least not in any form I’ve yet seen. If Bioware threw scads of talent and EA threw scads of money at the idea and the result was an overwhelming ‘it’s ok I guess’, I’ve no hope for Bethesda or the DAoC team. Bearing in mind they’re just doing this to please a bunch of suits at Zenimax. MMORPGs are not labors of love.

      Furthermore, I’ve been playing Elder Scrolls since Arena, I’ve even suffered through bits of their awful spinoffs (Redguard, that Battle Tower bullsh*t), but I still think the setting is rather generic. The only thing that made Elder Scrolls great was the game mechanics. They’re going to get shot to hell when the designers introduce the inevitable treadmill, class restrictions, and competing with a dozen players to kill 10 mudcrabs so you can turn in their testicles to a static NPC with a ! over their heads.

    • gritz says:

      They began production on this game 5 years ago. The MMO landscape was much different in 2007.

  32. Pardoz says:

    Wonder if, unlike Bethesda, Zenimax actually has a QA department? Being an MMO they won’t be able to follow the usual Elder Scrolls route of “rely on people downloading a dozen gigs of fan-created mods to fix the game’s problems” approach.

  33. Shooop says:

    “It’ll be a World of Warcraft style game. That’s not based on an analysis of the facts and careful comparison, that’s based on the fact that it’s described as having World of Warcraft-style mechanics.”/cite>

    It already sucks. Nothing from World of Warcraft is a good idea to put in a game because World of Warcraft isn’t a game – it’s a Skinner box.

    • Premium User Badge RedViv says:

      Almost every game is an operant conditioning chamber.

      • Shooop says:

        But most games offer entertainment instead of just being a slot machine with a mouse instead of a handle.

        • Grygus says:

          WoW isn’t even close to the best example of this, though; I take it you’ve never tried any of the Korean free-to-play MMOs, which have all of WoW’s tricks plus explicit gambling mechanics. I’m not talking about randomly getting loot in the first place, or even getting loot and then right clicking it to receive a random item – I’m talking about clicking on an existing item and randomly improving it, making it worse, or even losing it altogether. I’m talking about failing a crafting attempt entirely, losing all your mats and gaining nothing at all. How about purchasing gear from a merchant with hard-earned tokens, but with absolutely no control over what you’re getting? WoW is actually pretty restrained.

          • Shooop says:

            I have, it was called Vindictus. And one major reason I stopped playing it over a year ago.

            WoW has all of the same mechanics minus the cash shop and weapons improvement/destruction in it – go to an area and fight the same enemies repeatedly until they drop an item you need 20 of enough times. That’s a Skinner box – you’re trying to get a specific reward that’s purposely set to appear a very low number of times by doing the same thing repeatedly. They call it “farming”. And just like real-world farming it’s no fun at all. Just ask my mother.

            The fun in it was smashing enemies against walls. And when it became more and more difficult to do that thanks to tougher enemies I lost more and more interest. WoW and other virtual Skinner boxes aren’t so much games as much as they are monthly fee operated slot machines.

        • Adjudicator says:

          Yeah, World of Warcraft doesn’t involve any teamwork with my guild or friends at all, no social element which people find fun whatsoever. I guess I’m imagining all that when I do raids or arena or achievement runs with them. It also appeals to collectors, which has nothing to do with Skinner Box gambling techniques, but I guess I’m imagining that too.

          People who don’t “get” MMOs should stop whining about them using buzzwords like “Skinner Box” which they don’t understand. WoW isn’t even a good example of a Skinner box because the vast majority of the game does not give you variable payouts.

          Diablo games are much, MUCH better examples of operant conditioning.

          • Adjudicator says:

            Which is also, ironically, why many people say that ARPGs are more fun than WoW. Because, amazingly, well done operant conditioning is fun for people, which is why a lot of people enjoy going to casinos.

          • Shooop says:

            It also appeals to collectors, which has nothing to do with Skinner Box gambling techniques, but I guess I’m imagining that too.

            Stopped reading right there because right then and there it was painfully obvious you have no goddamn idea what you’re talking about. Because that is exactly how its Skinner box mechanics work – it encourages people to do the same thing repeatedly by giving them a small chance at getting something they want.

  34. Aloe says:

    From the forum post Fish99 commented about, “Visually it looks like other Hero Engine MMOs like SWTOR”. What a big let down and it’s third person as well, makes you wonder, do they even play TES?

  35. Mulkyz says:

    “It’ll be a World of Warcraft style game.”

    There goes my interest.

  36. ChromeBallz says:

    RIP TES Online.

    Already.

    Hero engine = fail.

    Lorelol = fail (there was no aldmeri dominion 1000 years back in lore, neither was there a daggerfall covenant, and that’s just the big picture).

    Graphical style = fail.

    But above all:

    Wow gameplay? Utter, utter fail.

    This game will tank, badly. I’ll stick to Skyrim, thank you.

    • Hoaxfish says:

      I really wonder if the Hero engine can actually do something other than WoW-clones

    • Tyraa Rane says:

      Actually the Aldmeri Dominion is the one thing they did get right. Maybe.

      There was a “first” Aldmeri Dominion at some point during the Second Era, although the game’s supposedly set around 2E 500 and the best guess date we have for the First Aldmeri Dominion was around 2E 800-ish. So there may be some fuzzy math going on there.

      But yeah. The Aldmeri Dominion in Skyrim is actually the second, and a deliberate attempt to recreate the first one that existed in the Second Era. It’s not well explained in the game, unfortunately. The other two factions in TESO, though? Rrrrrrrgh. Epic lore fail.

  37. Premium User Badge Bluerps says:

    I think I could live with WoW mechanics (whatever that means, exactly), but this game still does not sound that exciting. It simply lacks a feature that seems exceptional. Faction based PvP sounds nice, and I really like the Tamriel setting, but that alone does not make me want to spend time with this game.

    However, this was just the first announcement. Maybe this game will look more interesting when more information is revealed.

  38. Adekan says:

    My reactions: “The whole of Tamriel! That’s what The Elder Scrolls Online will contain, so you’ll be able to stride your way through Morrowind and shiver your way through Skyrim.” Oh, sold!

    “It’ll be a World of Warcraft style game. That’s not based on an analysis of the facts and careful comparison, that’s based on the fact that it’s described as having World of Warcraft-style mechanics.”
    Oh, not interested in any way, shape, or form!

    Sorry Bethesda, you’ve just lost a sale.

  39. jellydonut says:

    No, no, no, no.. and no.

    World of Scrolls. Go away.

  40. ain says:

    Sounds awful. I’ll stay as far away as possible.

  41. derbefrier says:

    arghhh!! was really hoping they wouldn’t go with the WoW formula. now its just another fantasy MMO. I’ll still give it a chance but my expectations just drop waaaaay down

  42. Drinking with Skeletons says:

    The ONLY thing I care about is whether or not this will impact single player Elder Scrolls titles. The fact it takes place 1000 years before any of the games is a good sign, since it seems to indicate a conscious desire to keep the two branches of the franchise free of each other, but until an announcement about TES VI, I remain only cautiously optimistic.

  43. Daryl says:

    I don’t want to get so down on it yet. I’d like to this this still has some potential. However, if it truly is a WoW-style MMO, it will fall flat on its face. There is only one WoW, and nearly every MMO since has failed when it tried to take on that formula. I think it will sell well initially, but struggle to keep players interested when they realize it’s just another loot grind.

  44. Premium User Badge tumbleworld says:

    Bleh. Dire. If they have any sort of sense whatsoever, they’ll delay another year, and try to fight the mechanics into something that might actually attract a subscriber or two.

    Also, the level of lore-fail is just epic. SW:TOR may be a big pile of steamy pants, but at least it made an effort not to annoy the core fans of its world too much. TESCO clearly doesn’t care what existing Elder Scrolls fans think — so who do Zenimax think they’re selling to, I wonder.

    Also, as someone moderately aware of TES lore… CHIM, ffs!

  45. Flavioli says:

    Saw the Morrowind-looking screenshot and got excited until I noticed it’s just a screenshot of Morrowind.

    As for this game, the fact that it’s in the “hype stage” right now and it’s gathering so many “meh” and “pass” reactions bodes very poorly for the game. This is the stage when people are supposed to be getting their hopes up.

  46. TwwIX says:

    Hero Engine? Check. Themepark design? Check. No real time combat? Check.

    Have fun fading into obscurity just like SWTOR.

  47. drewski says:

    This cannot possibly be a good Elder Scrolls game. The best you can hope for is a good game which happens to use Elder Scrolls lore.

    So, good luck to the developers but I have so little interest in this it’s not funny.

  48. neonordnance says:

    I would prefer an arena-based FPS set 5000 years after Skyrim in a gritty urban environment with heavy sci-fi and crime noir elements.

    I would prefer a horse-racing simulator where you compete to have the best and fastest breed. You could throw in swords.

    I would prefer ANYTHING THAT ACTUALLY HAD ANYTHING TO DO WITH WHAT MAKES TES GREAT