An intro to The Elder Scrolls Online – Hell yes! 
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Yolanda Green
November 9, 2012 at 3:00 pm

Bethesda has released an introduction video from the developers of The Elder Scrolls Online (ESO) revealing some basic and key features of the game. And MOTHER OF ZEUS it looks amazing.

Typically I’m really fussy when it comes to MMO’s. I believe that there’s a certain formula to follow, not clone. So when I look for the next MMO I’d love to play, I look for this certain set of features. Bethesda seems to be hitting that right on the spot. Finally developers who understand what makes a great MMO and what is important to present to their audience. The game will bring two audiences together (as mentioned in the video), the Elder Scrolls fans and the MMO fans and I really hope and believe that they’ll succeed in doing so.

There are many things I loved about Skyrim, but the solitude wasn’t one of them. My very first though, and I’m sure the first thought of thousands of MMO players out there, was that this would be and should an amazing MMO and that I’d rather prefer playing it that way. Then ESO was announced and I had some doubts about whether it would measure up, but since seeing this video I just know that it’s going to be a fantastic MMO.

I want to post the video first, en then discuss some of the key featured that impressed the armour bottoms off me. So take a look.

Environments, landscapes and lore

ESO will stay true to the original Elder Scrolls story, but in what I believe to be the exact right way. Instead of just dreaming up a new story after Skyrim, it will take place 1000 years before Skyrim. It draws on everything that you’ve read in the books, meaning every legend and folklore will be a part of the game and story. This is the kind of lore Elder Scrolls fans will really appreciate and the kind of lore that will immerse newer players to series into the story and inform them of the background story. This way, every one stays up to date and get to experience the story they might already now.

The animation of environments and landscapes will be right in line of previous Elder Scrolls titles, so Elder Scrolls fans won’t be wondering off into a different world making the game a completely strange setting and players new to the series will be able to explore these past environments. Even though it’ll mirror environments in previous titles, it shouldn’t be redundant to Elder Scrolls fans, as they’ll get to explore new areas of those places that they’ve never seen before.

Real time combat

With the recent baby boom of new MMO’s we’ve really seen the combat system of MMO’s evolve in a great way. Developers are focussing on real time or true type combat, giving players a more immersive and less mindless combat system. ESO will aim to do the same. Characters will now be visibly and physically blocking their opponents attacks (as in Tera and Guild Wars 2), instead of just using an ability that says ‘block’ and seeing no combat animation to it. Combat is less turn based and more intuitive. We’ve all been bored of just standing around spamming macros and dreaming off during battles and finally we have combat that actually requires us to think. More intuitive combat makes for a hell of a lot of fun.

Megaserver technology

Something mentioned in this video rings very true to every MMO player alive. With the fact that we have to choose a server to play on, comes a lot of complications. Transferring from one server to another is also not always a solution as in many cases you have to pay to do so or in other, you are restricted to only a certain amount of transfers in a certain period of time. Then there’s the case of some servers being more popular than others. Where some are jam packed, others are completely desolated. Meaning it hugely impacts the player’s experience.

In ESO, there will not be different shards or servers. With the megaserver technology being used for the game, every one will be on the same server. The game will be smart as to where to place you, it will place you with your friends or your guild mates, making sure you are in the exact right space. The only concern to me about the Megaserver is latency. What will the effects be on players around the world in places likeSouth Africa?

Multiplay

ESO will have public dungeons and heroic dungeons. Apart from being a very important aspect to an MMO, there’s the always the question of loot. Whether overcoming an obstacle with friends or strangers, players will not have to compete for loot, every one will be rewarded equally.

Races, classes and talent specifications

What’s really bugged me about some MMO lately is the inability to completely customise your talent set and build a hybrid class of your own. More and more classes are restricted to just a one style of play, making PvP and PvE extraordinarily boring and monotonous. In ESO though, you’ll have a lot of diversity and freedom to “create” the class optimal to your play style, which is the exact thing I really love about Rift. ESO will allow you to start off choosing one of nine races and then selecting a class, which will only be the start. From there on, all of your choices will influence what type of “hybrid” class you’ll have. You’ll have the freedom to use any kind of weapon or armour you’d like. Tank with a bow, be a melee mage or a healing rogue, it’s your choice.

End game content

The ESO developers understand what MMO players want. We not only enjoy the levelling process, but what any serious MMO players will tell you is that the game only really starts at level cap. ESO will give players at level cap end game raids and PvP and the option to play solo if you choose, play with a small group of players, or a really big group.

Other impressive features I noticed

So here are just a few random features that I liked:

  • Massive open world
  • Three faction PvP
  • Character customization

Conclusion:

The Elder Scrolls Online might just be the next big MMO, starting off with these features I sincerely hope it succeeds and is executed right!

I like bacon and games, and occasionally I say something coherent about it. I'm not old or cynical, and I'm not the Dork Knight. I AM SHE-RA! Wait, what?