Rather A Lot Of Stuff About The Elder Scrolls Online

By John Walker on November 8th, 2012 at 3:18 pm.

You want to go out on a date with The Elder Scrolls Online? Not until you’ve been formerly introduced. Which you can be below as Bethesda people talk you through the online version of their long-running series. With an awful lot of footage.

Set 1000 years before Skyrim, it’s… er… an online game where you can explore the place from the other games, but in the past. Actually, it does eventually move on from showing that you can run, to some of the combat, especially the attack/block mechanic they’re using. They also talk about the lack of server shards, the MEGASHARD! Which sounds like a system that automagically reassigns you to the server most convenient for you and your chums to be on at any one time.

There are details about classes and skills below too, and the rather favourable news that quests are based around exploring. And, they seem to say, that quests will present you with permanent results – ie. If you clear out a story-based enemy, it won’t reappear when you go back. If that works, that’s good, innit? And stick with it for level 50+ information, the PvP which seems to borrow from Dark Age Of Camelot, and their version of raids.

I’m not convinced by boasting that the game “really opens up” at level 50. Open up near the start, dammit! Unless that’s hyperbole to make it sound like they’re all over the end-game – and thus suggesting they’re not making the same mistake as every other MMO and trying to tack it on later.

There’s been some cynicism about this one – the sense that it’s going to be too much of a solo MMO for a start. Has the above made you feel any different?

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120 Comments »

  1. Addict7 says:

    NOPEFACE

    • Lobotomist says:

      Scrollface

      But honestly the game is pretty much “Been there , done that (hundred times allready)”
      It also looks outdated as every Hero Engine game does. Just look at choppy “stick up the butt” animations.

      Just one server (with heavy instancing-sharding) and only one PVP area. Seems like another hit in the face for complex community building in MMOs.

      Its like hybrid of SWTOR and GW2 that wants to be like WOW

      People are allready dead tired of these kind of MMOs. I dont predict to bright future to this one (unless it will be B2P/F2P)

      • morgofborg says:

        It’s a bit disingenuous to complain about there being “only one” pvp area, when that area is the region that comprised the entire game of Oblivion.

      • frightlever says:

        Dunno if you can talk about “every” Hero Engine game when there have only been a couple and only one of note.

        If Simutronics had pulled off what they wanted to and made a fully realised 3D Dragonrealms that would have been worth 25 quid a month.

        • Strangerator says:

          I’d pay that much for 3d Dragonrealms as well…

          I think there is a smaller niche market for people who are willing to pay more for a game that asks a bit more of its players. Imagine the delightfully complex DR combat, with all it’s balance, position, and many different styles of attack… instead of a homogenized bar of numbered abilities. Experience by performing actions, not all of which are combat. Empaths? Invasions!

          A lot ot the concepts in DR are so alien to the mainstream MMO, but I wonder what would happen if someone had the cahones to try it out? The thing that has been removed is the feeling of actual achievement… some small shred of an idea that your progress was not inevitable, but the result of planning, skill, knowledge, and hard work. Maximizing accessibility probably maximizes profit… for WoW, but a “3d DR” could tap into a different type of player base. Not necessarily more hardcore, just looking for a more mature type of game.

      • razgon says:

        Its still not the Hero Engine, but keep effing that chicken.

      • Premium User Badge

        Foosnark says:

        That’s not HeroEngine. Zenimax used it to prototype their stuff while building their own engine.

        Also, the version SWTOR uses is not very much like the current HeroEngine; they licensed a very early (and frankly, unready) version and forked it in their own direction, not taking a code drop for years before their game was released.

        I am a current HeroEngine client developer (and a former DragonRealms senior GM, for what that’s worth). When I see SWTOR, I still see some semblance of my own work in it. When I see ESO, I don’t.

    • Jenks says:

      Argonianface at 2:56

      I’ll just wait for ES:VI to see if they fix it.

      • Lev Astov says:

        Really, what were they thinking?

        • Zyrusticae says:

          The failure to make aesthetically pleasing Argonians is even more galling when you consider they had a perfectly good baseline in Skyrim.

          That alone convinces me not to touch this game…

        • kio says:

          Trying to avoid the extra workload of helmet clipping issues by making all heads have a similar mesh?

    • Premium User Badge

      Smashbox says:

      My projections were wrong. Rather than getting slightly funnier, per my earlier projections based on comment-section exit polling, these comments’ humor value rating is plummeting at an alarming rate.

    • RandomGameR says:

      I’m with nopeface.

      Every article I see on this damned game makes me terribly sad and angry. There is only one thing about the game that piques my interest, and that’s exploring all of Tamriel. Every other detail of this game makes me want to punch each and every one of the developers right in the calipers.

      Seriously… third person only? Classes? Race-based factions? Lock-on spell targeting?

      GAH!

      • skittles says:

        You do realize that the Elder Scrolls games have had classes and race-based factions for a long time right? For classes you have always picked one, you just aren’t limited to class skills, which seems to be the same as what they say they are doing here. And race-based factions have always had a role in Elder Scrolls (although most haven’t been stated as such), it is certainly a bit too simplified for this game.

        I haven’t seen anything saying 3rd person only, but it is certainly looking that way. I am reserving judgement until I see some actual gameplay though. All their videos so far have simply been cinematic type shit which shows nothing of actual play.

        • Tealtonic says:

          I’d just like to say that the game does use First Person, for more info on the game and smaller yet important noteworthy things check out this video made by Jesse Cox (TGS) – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SLp0ykvotEI&feature=plcp – He was invited by Bethesda to test the Alpha, keep in mind that if he seems slightly biased he has a very long playthrough of Skyrim, hence Bethes chose him as they knew he was slightly bias.

        • Brun says:

          You’ve always picked a class up until Skyrim, in which you make no formal choice, instead your “class” is defined by your perk choices. In Oblivion you chose a class, which defined your major skills, which your character gained levels by leveling (you could still level skills outside your class, or Minor Skills, but they did not contribute to increasing your character level and stats). I can’t remember how it worked in Morrowind, I think it was similar to Oblivion though.

          None of these systems are suitable for an MMO right out of the box though, as they all allow the player to level all skills to max level.

          • RandomGameR says:

            I think the disconnect here is semantic.

            Yes, there have been “factions” in the stories told in the elder scrolls games. They, however, didn’t prevent you from crossing those boundaries and choosing sides with whichever faction you wanted. This game does not give you freedom of choice. Your race is locked into your faction. This is very different than what “faction” means in an elder scrolls game, but it’s exactly what “faction” means in an MMO.

            Secondly, World of Warcraft has a “first person camera” option, too. It’s irrelevant unless the game is actually playable in that manner. It’s further irrelevant unless you can use your skills without picking a target and have to have your aim matter. The system shown in the video is clearly default MMO, not Elder Scrolls. Just look at how the spells hit the bosses in exactly the same point on the boss model every time.

            Finally, Elder Scrolls was essentially classless in Morrowind on (I’ve not played before that). You not only had the ability to make custom classes in any configuration you wanted, but really no class limited you in any real way. This game is clearly being described as class based and it sounds a lot like Guild Wars 2′s system but without limited weapon choices.

            I could be very wrong about this, but from what I’ve seen and what I’m hearing there doesn’t seem to be anything of what makes the gameplay of the Elder Scrolls games fun at all in this game. It just sounds like they threw out everything except for the setting and taped on MMO concepts. Jesse Cox in that video says that they didn’t do that, and then he goes on to describe exaclty that. The questing is exactly like Mysts of Pandaria. The skill system sounds like it’s just Guild Wars 2, etc, etc. The basic story he describes sounds tonally completely out of theme with the Elder Scrolls as well.

    • Metonymy says:

      The part that troubles me is that they feel the need to point out ‘this game has features that every MMO MUST possess in order to succeed, but we’re going to pretend that this is an important, noteworthy thing that should be mentioned, or is new or significant in some way.

  2. The Visible Man says:

    You want to go out on a date with The Elder Scrolls Online?

    Nah, she looks exactly like someone else I dated for years.

    • Safewood says:

      I feel just like you do, not all that dovahkeen for this one…

  3. Choca says:

    The world doesn’t look so bad but I really don’t like their characters.

  4. clownst0pper says:

    My colleague over at Ten Ton Hammer had a hands on with this a few weeks ago. You can read his extensive coverage over there. Anyway, he said the amount of Phasing was frightening.

    • Choca says:

      I rather dislike phasing when it’s overdone.

      It just ends up putting each player into his own little boxed version of the world, making interactions unneeded or a negative endeavour.

      In my opinion, seeing another player in a MMO should be good news rather than bothersome.

      • pupsikaso says:

        Only way to do that is to make solo play undesirable. Think Demon’s Souls or Dark Souls.

        • thebigJ_A says:

          Barring being invaded or summoning for the occasional boss, and occasionally being summoned, my Dark Souls play was almost entirely solitary. At a guess I’d say 80-90% of the time I was alone in that bleak, lonely (amazing) world.

          I guess what I’m saying is, “solo play undesirable” in DS? What on Earth are you on about??

    • Ateius says:

      Between this trailer and the TTH article, I’ve gone from “Disappointed disinterest” to “Cautiously intrigued.” Looking forward to more details as development continues.

  5. Noburu says:

    I better be able to go to Morrowind damn it.

    • Rovac says:

      You can. They said it’s the whole continent or something, with three way war raging all over the place with cyrodil(?) being the center of it.
      at least that’s what OMFGcata said on his video

  6. Cooper says:

    2:20:
    “This is an Elder Scrolls combat system. Moving your mouse will make you look around and aim your weapon. You can tap your left click to attack, hold it it to power. Hold your right click to block. And, of course, sprinting, crouching, sneaking around.”

    Revo-fucking-lutionary

  7. wanderjahr says:

    This seems pretty uninspired.

    • Chalky says:

      Yep. Any reason besides bandwagon jumping that this is an MMO? :(

      • Vorphalack says:

        Well, they probably wanted more mileage out of the ES franchise, but can’t make anything that will compete directly with Skyrim or whatever the next ES single player game will be. Sad thing is that this game will probably still make a reasonable amount of money even though the WoW-a-like bandwagon has burned down, fallen over and sank into the swamp.

        • The Random One says:

          Considering how expensive it is to make a game nowadays, will it really?

          • Hmm-Hmm. says:

            As The Random One says. I do hope this doesn’t get Bethesda into financial worries as MMOs are generally rather costly affairs to produce.

  8. Emeraude says:

    You can hear a variation of such in every thread about the game but, while I’m willing to believe there is a market for this game, I just personally can’t understand the appeal.

    The whole/main shtick of the Elder Scrolls games happen to be exploration. Unless they manage to pull out an incredible game design around it, I just fail to see how it would work in MMO format – especially with the wiki, everything needs to be know, crowd.

    Or maybe people actually *are* interested in more of the same MMO formula, only with another scenery ?

    • nizzie says:

      I’ve yet to come across an mmorg in which exploration is actually FUN and exciting. I’ve never felt as an explorer in mmorpgs, more like someone who does stuff that anyone else did before me, and that’s pretty much the opposite of exploration. Finding rare stuff, not because you farmed trolls for the last 2 hours, but because you actually went out into the world and explored, that’d be something new.

      • Beelzebud says:

        This is what the early MMO’s had, that the new ones do not. If you had played something like Asheron’s Call you’d see how generic and hollow these new MMO worlds are.

        SKOTOR didn’t even feel like a multiplayer game, for the most part.

        • Brun says:

          This is what the early MMO’s had, that the new ones do not.

          I call “baby’s first MMO” on this crap. I see it all the time and the people who keep spouting it are those who started playing MMOs in DAoC, Ultima Online, and EQ. But I plenty of people who started out on later MMOs have those same feelings – same excitement for exploration etc. Lots of people felt that way aobut WoW as well.

          My point is that your first MMO is always going to give you those feelings, because of its novelty.

          • hitnrun says:

            No, I think there’s a rather strong demarcation between “Before Golden Exclamation Point” and “After Golden Exclamation Point” in MMOs.

            In new MMOs, the world is the setting where you run the fetch quests. In older MMOs, the world was the game.

            Also, the theme park design means every square inch is filled up with mobs, and balancing those mobs for gets the bulk of the man hours. You can never look at your map of a newer MMO and say “gee, let me see what’s over there!” You already know the answer: an ocean of mobs that will kill you instantly if you haven’t been told to go there yet, and a hub asking you to kill the same.

            That’s not to say early WoW didn’t retain that. I remember feeling excited to explore in early WoW. But successive MMOs have not.

      • Anzcm says:

        Lord of the Rings Online was (and is) all about exploring familiar places and lore, at least for me. I’d recommend it to any LotR fan for that reason alone.

        That said, no other MMO I’ve tried have come close in that respect.

      • Hahaha says:

        “I’ve yet to come across an mmorg in which exploration is actually FUN and exciting. I’ve never felt as an explorer in mmorpgs, more like someone who does stuff that anyone else did before me, and that’s pretty much the opposite of exploration.”

        Like 99% of things in life

      • gritz says:

        Asheron’s Call was pretty excellent for exploration, back in 2000.

    • Pockets says:

      The problem isn’t that it wouldn’t work as an MMO – its that it wouldn’t work as an MMO in the strict EQ/WoW vein they’ve gone down.

      With an absolutely huge world and a game design that draws from the likes of UO, Eve and Day Z for the multiplayer aspects instead of WoW WoW and more WoW, plus drawing on the exploration and sense of place that the single player ES games are about, that would create something that even if imperfect would be a million times more interesting.

      Huge missed opportunity to do something new with the genre given the possibilities of the licence, I’d say :(

      • Emeraude says:

        I’m not convinced. One quality of MMOs is that they form dedicated communities with high sharing of info. Unless you’re there from start and voluntarily insulate yourself from the rest of the community, there won’t be much time where something will be new, fresh, and here to be discovered.

        And I don’t see a satisfying solution to that. Randomization sure isn’t one.

        • Pockets says:

          Procedural generation has come a long way and can definitely be used to create sufficient content & drop the population density in remote areas adequately. Hand-created content can then be used as a rarer reward – there’s no need for a Skyrim level of density.
          The challenge with the approach is actually more to do with access – all areas local to a major city will of course be very heavily travelled so its about how you introduce systems that make exploration possible without a huge investment of time simply walking around to get far out into the wilderness.

          • Emeraude says:

            The problem isn’t that I think procedural content unable to be produced satisfyingly, it’s that I don’t think it can be ingested satisfyingly in MMO format. What’s the point of the community and sharing as far as exploration is concerned when everything is randomized ? What’s the point of massive communities when your aim is to keep them as small and segregated as possible ? I’ve yet to see a satisfying plateau.

            *Could* (not convinced myself, even rogue-likes aren’t strictly *about* exploration I’d say, but I can see the possibility) work for a solo or multiplayer game. For a MMO ? I don’t see it.

          • Ritashi says:

            If you’re procedurally generating the world and only spending a relatively small amount of time manually checking everything, you can create a massive amount of content. You wouldn’t need to have randomization happening during the live game. If you used procedural generation to create most of the game world (and hand crafting special areas after the generation completes), you could create absolutely massive worlds to explore. Sure, people are constantly trying to document everything, but if you make the world big enough then there will always be something that no one’s spotted yet. Maybe there are secrets that no one has discovered in a lightly traveled area, or maybe there are whole areas of the world that no one’s been to. Maybe you need to bring certain skills/items/spells/whatever to find everything in an area, or even to notice that it’s there. Maybe you have some areas that are ridiculously dangerous or difficult to explore, requiring great skill on the part of the explorer (and I don’t mean like a raid equivalent, but something like GW2′s harder jumping puzzles/mini dungeons on a massive scale). Basically, given a limited world there will come a point where everything has been explored. But if it’s big enough, that point won’t come for a very long time.

            On a related note, I think it would be awesome if players could map out areas and then sell those maps to other players (or possibly to an NPC establishment which will then sell maps to players with a cut of profits going to the original contributor, to regulate that economy a little bit). I can’t think of anything more awesome than looking at this map that I bought and realizing that I’ve crossed the line into territory that has never been successfully explored before.

        • Hmm-Hmm. says:

          The problem here isn’t that it can’t be done, but the MMO audience. It’s perfectly doable to make such an MMORPG. What you want is a dedicated roleplaying community.

    • mittortz says:

      If you were curious about the market for this game, I might be in it. Here are some of my characteristics that could relate to that:
      *Only Elder Scrolls game ever played is Skyrim, which I really enjoy
      *Very little experience with MMORPGs, including…
      *WoW. Never liked the look, feel, stigma, or gameplay. Friends have made me play up to level 14 or so, but I just never found myself caring enough to go back. I find it boring.
      *Still interested in an MMORPG that “fits” me

      Which means I’m open to something like this. But you’re right when you say that it kind of hinges on the exploration aspect. That’s one of the main things I liked about Skyrim, and if that isn’t translated well then I highly doubt I’ll be on ESO very long. On the other hand, if they get the exploration right, I am very attracted to the look and feel of this and it’s entirely possible I’ll jump in this time.

  9. Curly says:

    Standing in a field, killing trash mobs by pressing the number keys. More WoW. Screw you, games industry. Stop making this game.

  10. int says:

    As much as I don’t need another WoW, exploring the entire TES world is enough for me to buy it.

  11. aliksy says:

    sigh. MMO heuristic:
    Does it have level scaling so I can play with any friend no matter how much they’ve played?
    Does it have autogrouping so seeing other people isn’t bad?

    Why is there a class system in Elder Scrolls online?
    The animations look pretty bad.
    It looks like everything takes a lot of hits. Boo damage sponges.
    Fuck quests. Fuck quests so hard. They don’t work well in MMOs.
    Fuck “end-game”.

    Bleh. I’ll just stick to gw2 for my mmo fix. Does most things right.

  12. Drinking with Skeletons says:

    At the end of the day, there are two things that keep me from enjoying MMOs:

    1) The pace. Every MMO I’ve tried eventually gets to the point where I feel like my ability to move through the game is STOPPED until I go clear some level-appropriate zones. What’s the point of having a huge, open world if I have to more-or-less do things in a set order? Single-player MMO Kingdoms of Amalur (because let’s be honest about what that game was) avoided that problem with fairly generous XP rewards but failed to sidestep a related one: the perils of out-leveling content. Whole zones that you’ll skip over because the quests are too low-level to be fun or beneficial? Maybe it fosters replayability, but it means that stretches of the game can feel like missed opportunities.

    2) Other people. Yes, I understand that an MMO is, by definition, about playing with others. But you know what? I don’t really like doing that. Playing with a few friends, ok, that’s fine, but for the most part I like my games as solo experiences where I get to do things the way I want to and don’t have to accommodate/put up with other people. I don’t like having quests (or at least story quests) which require me to work with other people. Why should I pay money just to be forced into waiting for some random jagoff to stop being AFK and another jagoff to actually use his damned healing skills effectively? Similarly, I don’t want to feel like I have to compromise my gameplay style to accommodate some group of gung-ho min-maxers who won’t wait around while I look around an environment when there’s a quest to be done in the shortest time possible.

    Needless to say, this doesn’t excite me.

    • CrazedIvan says:

      I couldn’t agree more.

    • Brun says:

      1) The pace. Every MMO I’ve tried eventually gets to the point where I feel like my ability to move through the game is STOPPED until I go clear some level-appropriate zones. What’s the point of having a huge, open world if I have to more-or-less do things in a set order? Single-player MMO Kingdoms of Amalur (because let’s be honest about what that game was) avoided that problem with fairly generous XP rewards but failed to sidestep a related one: the perils of out-leveling content. Whole zones that you’ll skip over because the quests are too low-level to be fun or beneficial? Maybe it fosters replayability, but it means that stretches of the game can feel like missed opportunities.

      Because the whole point of leveling up in RPGs is so that you can progress from relatively safe, “civilized” zones to more dangerous, “frontier” zones. The transition parallels that of your character from green newbie to hardened veteran. This is far from unique to MMOs – Dark Souls is a great example of this in a single-player game.

      If you can progress by simply sitting in the safe zones all day, what’s the point of even making those other zones?

      • aliksy says:

        Because the whole point of leveling up in RPGs is so that you can progress from relatively safe, “civilized” zones to more dangerous, “frontier” zones. The transition parallels that of your character from green newbie to hardened veteran. This is far from unique to MMOs – Dark Souls is a great example of this in a single-player game.

        If you can progress by simply sitting in the safe zones all day, what’s the point of even making those other zones?
        I’m sorry, your comment made me throw up everywhere.

        Those other zones exist because they are interesting and have interesting things to do in them. Maybe if all you care about is GETTING TO MAX LEVEL and BIGGER NUMBERS you wouldn’t check them out, but that’s your loss. If you want to sit in SafeTown grinding levels on bunnies all day, you go ahead. I’m going to go see what’s going on at DangerCity. I’m certain I’ll have more fun than you.

        • Brun says:

          Er…if you read my comment more closely I think you’ll see that we’re largely in agreement, actually.

          Making yourself powerful enough to survive in those interesting zones is part of the satisfaction in progressing through an RPG.

      • LintMan says:

        “If you can progress by simply sitting in the safe zones all day, what’s the point of even making those other zones?”

        I think his points are that 1) the player level outpaces the content of an area, leaving a lot of the content under-leveled and boring, forcing the player to move on without having fully explored the local content. And 2) this need to move on to “the next higher level area” in some proscribed sequence/progression defeats the point of having an open world to explore.

        Compare this with the SP Elder Scrolls games, where you can go mostly anywhere at any time, and the content generally scales in difficulty to the player’s level, so areas don’t really become under-leveled.

        • Brun says:

          SP Elder Scrolls games, where you can go mostly anywhere at any time, and the content generally scales in difficulty to the player’s level, so areas don’t really become under-leveled.

          The level scaling in the SP Elder Scrolls games (especially Oblivion) was one of the most-hated features of those games, and it’s something that quite annoyed me about Guild Wars 2. Returning to a low-level zone after becoming more powerful in the higher-level zones and being able to one-shot mobs, explore with impunity, etc., is satisfying and enhances that feeling of progression. With level scaling, you’ve got this great open world, but exploring it starts to really become annoying after a while because you’re constantly having to carve your way through level-scaled mobs to get ANYWHERE.

          In GW2 the use of level scaling is a bit more understandable and acceptable (letting you play with friends at any level is nice), but it still started to annoy me that traveling anywhere, exploring, or farming resource nodes became a trudging slog through mob after mob.

          • LintMan says:

            I agree that the level scaling in Oblivion was poorly done and was a problem. Skyrim is far far better in this regard and was really what I had in mind – I should have said “Skyrim” instead of “Elder Scrolls games”.

            All that said, I don’t think level scaling is the perfect solution; I brought it up basically to contrast the difference with MMO-typical tightly leveled areas, in particular because the MMO in question here is itself an Elder Scrolls game.

    • aliksy says:

      Play Guild Wars 2. It solves most of these issues. It adjusts your level when you go to lower-level areas so you can still enjoy them without being super powered. It’s not perfect, but it’s a start. I’d like it to scale players up when they go to advanced areas, but it only does that in PvP areas (which are separate)

      Also it’s the only MMO I’ve played where seeing other people is good. They dont take your resources, and everyone gets credit for whatever they’ve done. Each character is self-sufficient, so you don’t have any stupid “holy trinity” nonsense. Other people help but are not necessary.

      Hopefully other MMOs will catch on and stop being so awful.

  13. DiamondDog says:

    Seems a bit weird to be releasing a video about Guild Wars 2 so long after launch.

  14. TheRediLich says:

    “Set 1000 years before Skyrim”
    As far as I know, at least 3 TES games so far show Dwemer technology that is borderline steampunkish, yet within 1000 years between this game and Skyrim there’s been barely any technological advancement? I mean, if you look at the armour and such, it’s barely changed at all.

    • RaytraceRat says:

      Same thing with Star Wars. It might be 1000 years or 10000 years in the past/future, but the technology won’t move an inch.

    • Koozer says:

      This is why fantasy/sci-fi settings get on my nerves most of the the time. At least the W40K universe has an evil theocracy with humanity in a new dark age as an excuse for snails-pace technological advancement.

    • gritz says:

      The Dwemer, and all of their secret knowledge, were zapped out of existence. On top of that, their empty cities in Morrowind were taken over by House Dagoth and vampires. On top of that, once Dagoth was gone, all civilization on Morrowind was wiped out by the Red Year. On top of that, the Empire’s Mage’s Guild, likely the only useful source for that kind of research, disintegrated at the end of the Oblivion crisis.

      So by the time we get to Skyrim, all we have is a few court magicians taking an interest in things.

    • Brun says:

      1) The Dwemer were pretty much the only game in town as far as technology goes (i.e. no other races developed non-magical technology, more on that below). Therefore, when they went extinct, they cast the rest of Tamriel into a “Dark Age” of sorts, at least technologically. Technological development stagnated or even regressed in the thousands of years after the Dwemer vanished.

      2) The other races of Tamriel rely heavily on magic, in contrast to the Dwemer, who used very little magic of their own. The use of magic is a disincentive to technological development because they both serve the same purpose to a civilization. Why invent guardian robots when you can just summon Atronachs or Undead to serve the same purpose? Why invent guns or explosives when you can cast fireballs at your enemies?

  15. JoeGuy says:

    According to Jesse Cox’s last TES: Online Q&A he said the combat and visuals is really nice, it has all the standard end game stuff but the questing is the boring samey quest chains we all know and mostly collect/hand in. Questing, adventure and just plain randomness is really important to TES!! I hope they fix that.

  16. ScubaMonster says:

    I never bought the line about the real game in MMO’s starting at high levels. That’s complete bull crap. There is absolutely no reason why at low levels I have to be a complete weakling fighting stupid crap like rats and pigs. Why can’t you just start fighting cool monsters out of the gate? Get some cool abilities right away? That doesn’t take away anything at all from progression. Basically I look at it this way. In a game like Diablo, you don’t start out fighting really boring stuff and doing boring tasks, having boring monsters and boring fights. There is absolutely no reason an MMO couldn’t adopt that same philosophy.

    • takfar says:

      Eh. Try and have a look at Guild Wars 2, man. First significant enemy you fight, regardless of your race/origin, is one of 5 huge giant beasts. You then procceed to unlock your main weapon skills very very quickly. It completely fixes the stuff you’re talking about (but then some people go and complain that there’s no feeling of progression afterwards; people *do* like to have that carrot hanging in front of their noses…)

      • Ritashi says:

        GW2 did some of it right, but there really was no sense of progression. Everything I did in that game was more of the same, and there was no promise of that ever changing. It’s not the fact that you started off facing cool things (which, lets be honest here, you didn’t – those fights are impossible to lose), it’s the fact that nothing changed. Nothing got bigger, or noticeably stronger, or anything. The open world bosses were nothing but “stand here and press some buttons for free loot”, with personal skill mattering not at all for most of them. The dungeon bosses barely felt like real bosses, and the ability to rez and run back to a fight really killed the in-combat rez dynamic for me.

        Honestly, I’d like to see an MMO where there’s really not much difference in power between a player just leaving the tutorial zones and a max level player. Get rid of that power grind, and you open up a lot of possibilities. It makes the world really open for you. It lets you go and run around and do cool things without feeling like you need to do some specific set of things to keep progressing. If the game itself is fun, then it will be way more fun when you take away the burden of progression. If it isn’t fun, then players will figure it out faster because they’re not expecting the gameplay to significantly change.

  17. mrmalodor says:

    Yay, my favorite generic MMO number 5473921!!!

  18. Chandos says:

    If only it was just MO, not MMO, like Neverwinter Nights servers.

  19. Trent Hawkins says:

    If it’s an Elder Scrolls fighting system, then why is everyone standing still?

    • Premium User Badge

      Makariel says:

      Why do you want to move? Are you some coward that wants to run away? Real dragonborn just stand there and do canned combat animations.

  20. laijka says:

    Wait.. did I see Dwarves?

    • DanDeath says:

      Where? But I doubt it, the Dwemer disappeared well before end of the First Era. Elder Scrolls Online will take place in the Second Era. But during that time, there may be some left somewhere. Or they can just screw with the timeline, which wouldn’t surprise me, to make the Dwemer present in the Second Era

    • TheL says:

      I imagine the Dwemer probably look near identical to the Bosmer or Altmer anyways, so I’m not sure how you’d notice one.

      • thebigJ_A says:

        You’d imagine wrong. They did not look like that.

        And why are you imagining them at all? We have images of them they drew themselves! And statues, and their ghosts. Hell, you can even meet and talk to one (although good ol’ Yagrum isn’t *quite* the elf he used to be…)

        They looked…. like this: http://elderscrolls.wikia.com/wiki/File:MW-Dwemer.png

  21. gladius2metal says:

    exploration based + third person view… I haven’t found a game yet that offers an exploration experience without a first-person mode :(

    • Flank Sinatra says:

      Guild Wars 2. The whole PvE game is based on exploration and the graphics and art style are gorgeous, yet there is no first person view. All I can see most of the time is my Norn warrior’s massive backside. Destroys immersion and makes taking screenshots difficult. I hear they are working on it though, but it’s low on the priority list.

  22. The Random One says:

    So is this Mojang’s new card game?

    (Alert readers will notice I made this exact same joke on a post about Scrolls. That, friends, is called intelligent humour.)

  23. Blackcompany says:

    What I want to know is: how exactly is this game supposed to entice fans of mostly moddable, sp TES games to give up time playing them, in Exchange for this. Why would I turn down a chance to play Skyrim with mods, in an Immersive world, to play WoW-in-Tamriel?

    Or perhaps they are trying to grab up the sick-of-wow crowd? In which case, as history has proven, they have already failed. Since snatching wow players by remaking wow does not work.

  24. DaWalrus says:

    IMO it shouldn’t have to support “over 100 online characters on screen at once”…

    If I made the decisions, it would have Skyrim-like high quality models, animations, environment and gameplay, even if the players-per-cell had to be limited to 15.

    Quality over quantity, to say it shortly.

  25. db1331 says:

    If you keep taking out the things that make an Elder Scrolls game an Elder Scrolls game, like the first person perspective, solo play, and mods, how long until it becomes NOT an Elder Scrolls game?

  26. CountVlad says:

    It’s looking better than it was, but I’m still not convinced it won’t just be WoW in Tamriel. I think I’ll have to wait until the game comes out and there are a lot of good reviews before I’ll be convinced.

  27. Westcreek says:

    They talks about classes? Granted i havnt played elder scrolls since morrowind days, but i thought that one of the lures of the game was that it offered you the freedom to select your skills and thus make a custom class? Is this not going to be a thing in the MMO?

  28. Tei says:

    Time To Crate of this video: 1 minute 7 seconds.

  29. epicedion says:

    Why on earth would they want to put together a game that neither looks nor acts like any previous Elder Scrolls game? Leaping flaming attacks? Swat at the enemy in ridiculous battle stances? Elder Scrolls has generally been built on a model of high-fantasy quasi-realism.

    The game they should make should mostly be a sandbox, where players can band together and build small towns, wilderness inns, farms, forts, bandit camps, cave lairs, deathtrap crypts, etc, and strap on the ol’ ebony cuirass to go daedra hunting.

    Looking at Skyrim, we’ve already gotten a (heavily fan-modified) fairly rich crafting/hunting/exploring/raiding/delving game. The only thing an MMO can really bring to the table to exceed that is either a vastly overstated PvP aspect or the ability to leave a semi-permanent mark on a shared environment. If it’s just quest-loot-fight, it’s no different from the last dozen fantasy MMOs or the next dozen.

  30. Premium User Badge

    tumbleworld says:

    TESCO.

    That is all.

  31. Flank Sinatra says:

    Al the console kids who’ve only known Skyrim and Oblivon on the Xbox are going to be so confused. “Wait, the sequel to Skyrim is PC only?! Can I play it on my 5 year old laptop?”

  32. Paul says:

    Looks much better than expected. Art direction is beautiful, and it actually kind of makes me want to explore that world despite my hate for all things MMO.

  33. Davie says:

    Well, it certainly looks pretty, but scenery is something MMOs can handle as well as any other game. There’s still no sign that it won’t kill the immersion with public chat and a bunch of players mucking about and whatever else, and the combat looks silly and cartoonish. Also, there’s no way PvP battles will ever look as good as the carefully scripted one in the trailer; doubtless it’ll be the same chaos as any other game.

    I’m no longer horrified like I was when the announcement was first made, but it’s still pretty difficult to have a good feeling about this.

  34. pupsikaso says:

    One very important thing that really concerns me about this is, how the arse are they going to put THAT much content into the game? Most of the newer TES games (Morrowind, Oblivion, Skyrim) have been set in just one part of the world, and each game required the entire Bethesda team and years to create. Now they want to make an MMO with the ENTIRE TES world open for exploration, but they still have the same amount of resources available to them? I don’t reacall Bethesda suddenly growing their dev team any time recently…

    • ResonanceCascade says:

      It’s a different studio and a different kind of game. MMO fetch quests and such.

      A game where you faffed about in all of Tamriel in first person doing Elder Scrolls things sounds a lot more interesting than this though. And that WOULD be truly massive. We kind of got that in Arena, but every area is just a reskin of the other ones, so it doesn’t really count.

  35. 0over0 says:

    I wonder if MMO devs are locked away like a jury in a high-profile trial so they don’t see any common-sense criticism of their game until after it’s released? Or do the marketing suits constantly inundate them with, “It’s great!” “People love it!” “It’s pure gold, baby!” “Pay no attention to that–everyone else loves it!”

  36. Vernalagnia says:

    Look, snark all you want: in Matt Frior I trust. As someone who loved Dark Age of Camelot for many years I have to have hope. EA ruined WAR, but this has been in development for years with Matt at the helm. It can’t fail. It’ll break my heart (again) if it does. All I want is that amazing three faction PvP experience again. Is that so much to ask? Even if we’re all jaded and hollow from years of MMOing – can’t you make it great again? Well, maybe not but we have to try damnit!

    • Epicedion says:

      That’s all well and good, but an epic three-faction PvP war-fest can take place in a better environment than The Elder Scrolls. This smacks of a developer wanting to relive a previous success by recreating it in whatever franchise will take him on.

      • TheL says:

        Yeah, the 3 faction system is so obviously shoe-horned in regardless of how ill-suited this universe is to it. The Ebonheart Pact or whatever it’s called is so bad it’s almost funny: it’s made of 3 races who absolutely could not hate each other more. Nords, Argonians, and Dunmer? Wow. And the Daggerfall faction is just barely a step above that.

        • Arglebargle says:

          Looks like they pretty much just rolled up any groups in roughly the contiguous areas and said ‘Faction!’

          I have continually refered to the team as the Procustean Devs….fitting things to their bed.

          The video did look nice to me, and the graphics artist who showed it to me was real happy with it. We’ll see.

  37. benkc says:

    Formerly introduced? Does that mean we’re no longer introduced?

    (Pretty sure you mean “formally”.)

  38. Brossacks says:

    They don’t seem to even vaguely care about lore, at all, and that really makes me worry about the rest of the game. They’ve said it’s set in 2E 583, but the Aldmeri Dominion was ~formed~ in 2E 830, and they’ve said they copied heightmaps etc to get the exact look of Cyrodill from Oblivion, but the transformation of Cyrodill happens in 2E 896.
    Tiber Septim isn’t even alive in this game, and they’re not using the opportunity to make it a tropic this time?

    • Arglebargle says:

      They’ll claim that they reset the lore each time, but really, they just don’t care. If lore gets in the way of some preconceived mechanic, they won’t waste a minute to demolish it. They are gardening with bulldozers.

  39. Duke of Chutney says:

    hmm this is a risk venture for Bethseda. They could easly just offend both the Elder Scrolls audience and the MMO audience rather than bringing both together. I’ve never bothered with an MMO before and i suspect that a fair number of Elder Scrolls fans like the game because it isn’t ham strung by MMO features waiting in line for quests to reset for instance.

  40. 2late2die says:

    To me the appeal of Elder Scrolls games have always been the kind of breadth of world that they build, as well as the ability to go through the story, or sidequests, or neither of the above, at your own pace (my 2nd playthrough of Skyrim I’m just a bloke chopping trees in a village – dragons be damned). They can’t do that with MMO – because they need to make money off of it. Which means it turns into, like people say, “been there, done that, fantasy MMORPG”, and “ain’t nobody got time for that!” ;)

  41. Archipelagos says:

    That looked dated already, especially the animations. And folks, even when you move your camera in a circle, or zoom in, hell you could edit the scene like a Michael Bay film and have explosions with every animation cycle, point is you can’t make static combat like that look interesting. You just can’t.

  42. Xyth says:

    I was down on this game before thinking it smelled a little like SWTOR. I think that was because of the emphasis the earlier info releases by the devs put on “story.” I’m more into player-driven games — hopefully Darkfall: Unholy Wars will satisfy that for me.

    But after watching this vid, how can I not be interested in playing TESO? It looks pretty amazing even if it is not a mmorpg with a “world.” Yes, I would love a world. Yes, i would love a new SWG-type experience, but even if this is just an “online rpg” as they say at the end, I still want to play this and hope it works well. Everything sounds good here and the combat looks pretty fun for an mmo of this type.

    I’m looking forward to this game now.

    • thebigJ_A says:

      I mean no disrespect by this at all, but you’re clearly not the sort of person one would target an Elder Scrolls licensed game at. Like, at all.

      TES is all the things opposite to why you’re no longer down on this game, it’s a rich, story-based, lore-heavy world that we liked to get lost in (just try poking around in The Imperial Library site to see how crazy we can be about that stuff).

      In other words, the reasons you are looking forward to it are the reasons those of us who should be, aren’t. Aren’t, and are confused and bemused, as well as disappointed.

  43. mraston says:

    “When we set out we wanted to create strategic real time combat and a lot of immersion ” if this is a reflection of the games mission statement it’s already in a lot of trouble. Why don’t people realize you need a point of differentiation to exist in a crowded market, it’s business 101. The Elder Scrolls brand name is not enough to keep afloat a float a bunch of generic ideas that a 12 year old would come up with when tasked with creating a MMO.

  44. thebigJ_A says:

    Everything I love about TES games is the exact opposite of the things I hate about MMOs.

    Some people like MMOs for some reason I’ve never understood, that’s fine. Me, I want my giant, lore-heavy, *single player* RPG.

    It’s like all the people that know what TES fans are into were busy making that new DLC with the Redoran buildings and netches, so they got some random dudes to make the most generic fantasy game, in the most generic genre, and slap “Elder Scrolls” on it.

    In other words, yuck.

  45. Megakoresh says:

    The fact that your actions change the world forever and those story-based things aren’t gonna respawn is rather interesting.

    Everything else? Meh. After Firefall, every other MMO I touch, including PS2, Guild Wars 2, SW: TOR and so on seem very bleak and unoriginal.

    If that game is F2P or Buy once then I might play a bit and see how the action commitment system works, as that has never really been done in an MMO properly before (even Firefall has this only on a instance by instance basis at this point in the beta).

  46. Askeladd says:

    I just wanted to point out that Skyrim is a really really boring game without mods.
    The RPG elements are the basic of the basic… it’s linear all the way, but with many ways to explore.

    So… judging by the information given about TES:O it’s generic RPG all over again. Maybe even more generic.

    Oh, and I wanted to say that I’m really sad they only archive the story-telling level and RPG elements which Skyrim has shown us. They have one of the biggest fantasy sagas in the gaming industry..

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  48. pretty fiendish says:

    Maybe I’m just getting cynical in my old age, but I’ve seen so many of these videos over the years that I find it hard to take any of it seriously. I was dubious when I first heard about this game, but I do genuinely hope the developers can create something that matches their vision and that fans like. Past experience suggests that the lofty aims and innovative new systems don’t always translate into the final product so I’m cynical this point. But I’d like to be proved wrong. Although I got bored of Skyrim pretty quickly so maybe I’m not the target market.

  49. nbstrong says:

    No. NO.

    Look, Bethesda, trust me. I’ve played all your games. Ive played most mmos. I have experience at this. This is the wrong direction. You do not want to compete with World of Warcraft. You will lose. I’m sorry. I love you. But you will lose.

    Please, just listen. I am about to tell you how to win.

    If you want to make an Elder Scrolls MMO, you need to go the medieval sim route. Ultima Online and EVE Online. Why would we want to play Elder Scrolls of Warcraft when we can play the real thing?

    Players can own houses. Players can build houses. You can own a shop or a town. You can own a mercenary group. You can manage towns, politics, the dark brotherhood. I want to be a warrior earning gold by going out and hunting monsters. I want to be a hunter that goes out and hunts for food. I want to be a thief that will break into other player’s houses or pickpocket players. You can go to different planes of oblivion. You can fight daedra. You can summon them. You have dungeons. You go there for magic loot. Diablo style loot. Powerful, but not TOO powerful. Because the next part is big.

    PvP. Darkfall style. Guilds versus guilds. Unforgiving. Fighting for control. Do it during a war, I don’t care. A combat system that is skill based and timing based. Cool magic. Mount & Blade combat mixed with Darkfall. Followers of different daedra. Different gods.

    You make the Elder Scrolls into a medival sim type. You do it successfully you win.