The Elder Scrolls Will Go Online On….

…DAHN DAHN DAHN…. April 4, 2014. There, look, I know was a big old tease in the headline but at least I didn’t make you wait long, did I? 4/4/14 is indeed the release date for Bethesda’s MMO adaptation of The Elder Scrolls RPG series, and that’s for PC and Mac – next Jennifer systems will follow in June.

Here’s a PVP trailer, too.

Apparently the player vs player aspect of TESO entails “allowing hundreds of players to fight together, and against one another, in a quest to claim the Ruby Throne.” The Ruby Throne sounds like a magic toilet to me, but I imagine it’s actually a lot more powerful and magical than that.

There’s not too much infoprotein to be absorbed from this devblog about the release date, as it’s primarily celebrating the road the game’s taken to this point, but it does reveal that some four million people have applied for beta access to date. That’s almost equal to the number of cats I shall one day own.


  1. Neurotic says:

    “The Ruby Throne sounds like a magic toilet to me, but I imagine it’s actually a lot more powerful and magical than that.” LMAO :D

    • bstard says:

      Then again it are details like this we usually do not hear bout magic castles and wizard towers, but fascinate me greatly. Someone can turn fat ladies into frogs and spoiled princes into an endless sleep, but not able to solve the missing sock problem or being late at the Evil Laughter meetings?

    • Loyal_Viggo says:

      A Ruby Throne… imagine the majesty of a solid ruby shitter!

      Superb. If I was a King, (after having been elevated to such status after a watery bint lobbed a scimitar at me), one of the first things I’d do is commission my minions to build a mighty ruby throne.

    • rustybroomhandle says:

      The Ruby Throne IS a magic toilet.

      It doesn’t take shit from anyone, and whomever sits on it doesn’t give a shit.

  2. Stochastic says:

    I wonder how well the game will play on next Jennifer systems without a keyboard and mouse.

    • DatonKallandor says:

      Going by how bad Bethesda is at interface design, probably going to control better without MnK.

    • The Random One says:

      Xbox, plink. Xbox, plink. Xbox, plink. Xbox, heal. Xbox, plink.

  3. db1331 says:

    Man, if you go back and watch that awesome CGI trailer from a few months back, then watch this, it’s pretty underwhelming.

  4. DantronLesotho says:

    May the scrolls help us all. I sure hope there is a septims currency market because I surely will lose my job over this.

    • Nickless_One says:

      Since this takes place in the second era before Tiber Septim united the Tamriel under the rule of Septim dynasty, the use of septims are highly unlikely :P

      • DantronLesotho says:

        *commits seppuku*

        • Nickless_One says:

          no no, this takes place in Tamriel, for asian-inspired stuff you’d have to go to Akavir, the continent in the east :D

  5. RedViv says:

    Man, Elric is going to be livid. More than usual.

  6. Tei says:

    So basically the publisher as said “Release this thing”.

  7. tumbleworld says:

    That looks gorgeous — for 2006. Do you think someone should tell them that not all English voices sound impressive or menacing?

    But then again, nothing screams Elder Scrolls as loudly as a huge swarm of playable-race characters beating up another huge swarm of playable-race characters. Really cutting through to the heart of the franchise there.

    HahaHA! TESCO! /PhilKenSebben

    • James Kulas says:

      I think calling this an English accent is a bit of a stretch. This is more like an American doing an impression of an Australian attempting an English accent and failing miserably.

  8. The Random One says:


    [This post has been taken down due to a copyright claim by Zenimax Media.]

  9. Shakermaker says:

    Predicition: February next year the game will be postponed for at least six months after a less than satisfactory beta test.

    • DatonKallandor says:

      No it’ll come out on time. Stay in Open Beta while. 6 Months from then, at the latest, they’ll go Free to Play.

    • DigitalSignalX says:

      Played the last weekend beta almost 30 hours (no life) and am very surprised to see that date – I don’t think it’s realistic in the slightest given the state of the game at the moment.

    • neonordnance says:

      At which point it will be turned into a MOBA.

  10. Megakoresh says:

    They could have spent that time and money at making an actually enjoyable melee system, animation engine, AI and character designs for a proper ES game instead of wasting their resources on this…

    • nrvsNRG says:

      Only in our dreams would this happen.
      Not having a semi decent melee/combat system is the only thing stopping me from being able to play more then 1 hour of Skyrim.

      • fish99 says:

        One answer is to play Skyrim as an archer/mage hybrid. Of the 250 hrs I played Skyrim I used melee less than 30 minutes and never even carried a melee weapon or shield beyond the first hour. The game accommodates this play style just fine.

        • Metr13 says:

          Your loss. The melee is pretty fun in vanilla skyrim.

          That said, you’ll need to put some levels into shielding before it becomes terribly usable, unlike stealth-bow-killing, where you can just hide.

          Oh, and you will not believe how efficient stealth-dagger stabs are.

      • Stompopolos says:

        Look around the nexus some. There are some brilliant mods like Requiem and some other combat enhancement mods I can’t remember the name of that make the game absolutely fantastic.

  11. Loyal_Viggo says:

    That’s crazy, four million cats?

    Where would you house them and consider how expensive vet bills will be.

    And how do you corral four million cats? They’d take over. There would be anarchy in the streets.

    I can barely control my two cats.

  12. floweringmind says:

    What a waste of Elder Scrolls. The game has never been about PVP and yet they reduce it to this just to be another MMO. I guess PVP is the excuse for not having enough high level content and giving your players something to do.

  13. hypercrisis says:

    Always a good sign when the trailer shows lag.

    Also, why did that man grow wings for his special move?

  14. Zepp says:

    Another MMO with swinging sword in the air combat and generic spell effects. Whoah…

  15. Turkey says:

    I think I’d feel less bad for them if this side project was Elder Scrolls Adventures: Redguard 2 instead.

  16. Nevard says:

    I really don’t like the implication that you can’t have a Khajiit and an argonian on the same team due to WoW-style faction alignment

    • Arglebargle says:

      It’s DaoC, but without even taking the trouble to rub off the serial numbers. Not much in the way of innovation. The alliance excuses are fairly pathetic. They baked in a lot of poor decisions.

  17. aliksy says:

    Looks pretty bad. Not surprised.

  18. Freud says:

    I know it’s supposed to be an epic trailer, but it looked wooden, awkward and low budget. I didn’t mind Skyrim, but why would anyone want to play a MMO from the people behind it?

  19. benjaminlobato says:

    I have a sincere question. Why are MMOs always not good games? Like, why does this game look and play worse than Skyrim, even though its coming out a couple years later?

    • aliksy says:

      Several reasons. Mostly scope and budget. Also technical limitations.

      It’s a much bigger kind of project than a single player game, which means it needs more resources (money and people). You need to work on all the networking stuff so the players can actually connect to your servers. You have to have servers. You need more art assets for a bunch of different outfits, because players don’t want to look like all the other players. Security is a bigger concern- no one really cares if you cheat in a single player game, but cheating in an MMO is usually a big deal. There’s just a lot more crap you have to work on, so your effort and budget is spread out across more things.

      A bigger budget means the people funding it are less likely to take risks. Given the choice between trying a whole new model of progression or sticking to the usual “+1 sword -> +2 sword -> +3 sword” model, the people signing the billion dollar checks are more likely to push for the boring, “tried and true” option. Amusingly, this often leads to a less interesting game and may hurt their long term profits. But it’s probably perceived as safer than trying to develop something different that may flop outright (instead of flopping in 6 months when people realize it really is a reskinned WoW).

      There’s also technical problems that aren’t present in single player games. There’s lag that can’t be avoided. In a single player game it’s easy to add twitch elements so you can actually dodge fireballs or parry their attacks in real time. In an MMO, that’s going to be frustrating for players with bad connections (or if you’re not paying for powerful hardware on your end). Again, budget. You want as many players playing as possible, so you don’t want to exclude people with crap connections. Sadly, that’s most of the US. It’s also easier to make yet another game where the animations are independent of the server’s reality. It’s easier, but also unsatisfying. This is part of why hotkey combat is so common.

      A single player game like skyrim can also cheat and avoid having too many things on screen at once. Just be careful with your encounter design, and the player never sees too many things on screen at once. An MMO needs to be able to handle lots of players on screen, all doings and wearing lots of crap. That bumps up the system requirements, or the graphics quality goes down. Since they want as many players as possible, the latter is an attractive choice.

      Some games are starting to depart from the animation-reality disjunction. GW2 lets you dodge, but it’s really a hack (just invulnerability and a special animation). I think Tera had dodging, but I never got that far in that game. Will ESO have dodging? Probably not. I expect arrows to curve 90 degrees to hit their target because the to-hit was already calculated server-side, and the client is just catching up.

      If it’s a subscription game, there’s a huge temptation to pad things out. If you add a few extra hours of padding, that’s potentially a whole lot of extra months of subscription time. Longer travel times, time gating, slow xp rates, and so on. These are things you wouldn’t do in a single player game where you’re trying to make something fun, but they can be good for short term profit. And since you want people to keep playing instead of play->finish->buy sequel, it makes sense to stretch out the game as much as you can.

      So there you have it. Bigger scope means you have to work on more stuff. Bigger projects are more difficult and more expensive. A bigger budget means the people signing the checks are likely to be more conservative., and push for more conservative design. And then technical limitations.

      • Arglebargle says:

        Nicely put. Also, given the tremendous amount of work needed, most MMOs are 3-5 year projects. What seemed like a great idea then might founder in the present situation. I suspect their paint by numbers DaoC2 plans have run afoul of actual Elder Scrolls fan preferences.

        My best guess is high initial sales and then sharp drop off in players. I’d suggest a console focus, where the expectations are lower.

      • Premium User Badge

        gritz says:

        “There’s also technical problems that aren’t present in single player games. There’s lag that can’t be avoided. In a single player game it’s easy to add twitch elements so you can actually dodge fireballs or parry their attacks in real time. In an MMO, that’s going to be frustrating for players with bad connections (or if you’re not paying for powerful hardware on your end). ”

        Planetside 2 is doing quite well. Asheron’s Call 1 had real-time dodging/cover/projectile physics back in 1999, when a ping under 300 was considered low.

        The business side of your argument is much more compelling than the technical side.

        • Seiniyta says:

          Having played both ESO online and Wildstar I think I’ll probably play Wildstar which is by far the better game in a landslide (from the slice I’ve played of course! Maybe ESO has incredible end-game which is super iimportant for an mmo)

          Combat wise ESO doesn’t really advance anything whilst Wildstar feels like a more advanced version of GW2’s combat (positioning and dodging is much more important and really fun)

          I want to see a good The Elders Scrolls Online but I’m afraid this one won’t be it.

  20. krisk7 says:

    So sad it ends this way. I like good/healthy competition among MMO/RPG

  21. tomeoftom says:

    This should never have happened, was a terrible idea from the beginning, and will fare very badly in terms of critical reception and sales. What a sad waste.

    • Blackcompany says:

      Sadly, you’re probably wrong. At least regarding initial sales. And this is all that matters.

      More and more, I think that this is what modern MMO games really wish to achieve. Make a WoW clone. Its relatively easy. The tech and the template exist. Make some vague statements about how it will be different, or better; how it will revolutionize this or that aspect of the extant template.

      Spend about 5 years and, say…$20 million, as a round figure. And you make what, in initial sales? $75 – $100 million?

      The the game goes Free to Play, and closes out in one to two years. No more servers to maintain or content to create. And you’ve made your money back and then some.

      The Modern MMO has become a quick cash grab made by publishers with no real desire to keep playing for the long haul.

  22. Blackcompany says:

    I hate to change the subject here, but…does one actually OWN cats?

    I only ask because its been my experience since rescuing a pair of them, that once you bring them home, you’re pretty much just borrowing/leasing whatever available floor space and/or furniture remains after they’ve had their pick of the stuff. So I’m still not certain whether “owner” is the correct term.

    I will have to go and consult Mr. Terry Pratchett’s wonderful The Unadulterated Cat on this issue, I think.

  23. Caiman says:

    Trying to download the beta for this game was the slowest experience since my 56 k modem died. Seriously, it took days (and it was on for about 8 hours a day). And that was on a 50 Mbit connection too. I predict launch day Internet tears.

  24. JamesTheNumberless says:

    I can’t see the abbreviation TESO without wondering if I need to do any grocery shopping.