So, how about that Elder Scrolls Online? It sure is... um. It sure has... er. What I mean to say is, well... at least it looks nice. I really, honestly think it could've been great too, and maybe it still can be with time and work. Lots of time and work. Is Zenimax Online on the right track? It looks like we'll find out sooner rather than later, as the the developer has laid out its immediate plans for TESO's future. Highlights include Dark Brotherhood and Thieves Guild quests, a Justice System that lets you steal the pants off NPCs, better guild functionality, and horse racing (!!!).
Zenimax began its "Road Ahead" post by apologizing for gold farmer bots, spam, and launch bugs. Those things are all apparently in various phases of getting beaten up and dumped into a river. The developer then rolled right into a list of new features planned for "2014 and beyond." Here's what's in the pipeline:
- A system that allows grouped players to see each other even when they’re in different phases
- A justice system—steal from and kill NPCs and deal with the consequences if you are caught
- Migration of European Megaserver to our European datacenter.
- Field of View (FOV) adjustment
- Armor dyeing and tinting
- Two new Veteran Dungeons: Crypt of Hearts and City of Ash
- New region of Craglorn with a new Trial (the Serpent)
- Increased ability to pick up items in the world
- Thieves Guild and Dark Brotherhood storyline and quests.
- Horse Racing
- Dragonstar Arena—similar to Trials, but built for a group of four
- Improvements to fishing
- Crafting system improvements
- Improved Looking for Group system
- Better NPC facial animations
- Guild functionality updates: guild store interface updates, customizable guild insignias, tabards, and guild ranks, and Guild Kiosks—guild stores open to everyone that are available to the highest-bidding guild.
- Auto-leveling dungeons that level to your group leader
- Awards when you repeat dungeons
- Imperial City PvP dungeon
That's a lot of stuff, though none of it strikes me as immediately game-changing. But really, you don't change an MMO overnight. Or well, sometimes you do, but we call that Star Wars Galaxies' New Game Experience, aka "NGE" or "Don't." Also, it seems like Zenimax is bound and determined to stay its current course for now, and why not? It made the game it wanted to make, and it seems to be doing well-ish. For now. Rarely does one realize it was a bad idea to bring the elephant that subsists exclusively on bowling balls aboard until the ship starts sinking. So the old saying goes.
TESO players, what do you think of these changes and additions? See anything you particularly like? What do you think Elder Scrolls Online needs most right now?