Posts Tagged ‘tesop’

Zenimax On TESO’s First-Person Mode, Mudcrab Armies

I recently ventured to Zenimax Online’s mighty fortress in the fantastical kingdom of Baltimore, and I was very good. I only spent 40 percent of the time incessantly quoting The Wire. When not explaining to random passers-by why you best not miss when you come at the king, I even played some videogames! Specifically, The Elder Scrolls Online, because Zenimax kinda makes that and stuff. I did, however, come away with quite a sizable list of concerns, as this one’s DNA struck me as decidedly more MMO than TES. But a promising-looking first-person mode suggests Zenimax is paying attention to the wishes of the fantasy titan’s truly colossal fanbase, so I decided to air my grievances directly. Click past the break for lead gameplay designer Nick Konkle’s responses to Zenimax’s almost comically abrupt turnaround on first-person, TESO’s ability (or lack thereof) to replicate the moments of AI-driven randomness TES players so love, PvP’s potential for maniacal politicking, the open class system, and – of course, most importantly – mudcrabs. Mudcrabs, mudcrabs, and more mudcrabs.

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Zenimax: Elder Scrolls Online Will Become More Open

For me, going hands-on with The Elder Scrolls Online yielded a dishearteningly un-Elder-Scrolls-y experience in places. Admittedly, however, it was only the first few hours, and – even in rooms so quiet that everyone angrily shushes mice for skittering by – MMOs don’t generally demo well. With those things in mind, I aired some of my concerns to the game’s developers – the full results of which you’ll see at lunch today. For now, though, here’s the big one: Why does everything feel so rigid? Where’s the organic madness, the giants playing continental golf-hockey with wolves, pelting me with pelts while I fearlessly press on in a single cardinal direction, constantly stumbling into random adventure? Why not replicate that openness with actual, you know, people instead of NPCs? As part of a group interview, creative director Paul Sage explained the rather large gulf between the two experiences.

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What Happens If You Play Elder Scrolls Online Like Skyrim?

The Elder Scrolls is kind of an odd series, when you think about it. As players, we expect that we should be able to fly careening off-rails from the get-go, ignoring whatever fantasy story domino chain the writers have conjured up in favor of venturing off into any three-eyed gorilla murder cave we please. “Fuck being the hero,” we say. “I’m gonna punch horses until an army of hooved hellions chases me across the countryside.” But the very fact that Bethesda’s games actually allow for that is a key reason many of us love them so much. So then, with TES charging into MMO territory under Zenimax Online’s steady whip, can it hope to adapt the elements that keep the series from simply blending in with a suffocatingly samey fantasy pack? I ventured to Zenimax’s frigid Baltimorian lair and went hands-on with The Elder Scrolls Online to find out.

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