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For all intents and purposes, we now know ESO will be the trinity style combat system a lot of us (even fans of it) have grown tired of. Most trinity style games are simply stat based. The fight is decided simply on who can out dps/tank/heal who. Some games can do this nicely. But in the end, I'll admit, I'm looking for more.
I don't think a game needs to be a sandbox if it's gonna be elder scrolls. Sandboxes are intriguing, but as a fan of them, I ask others to be honest who also like em: most sandboxes have had mechanics that have been one hot stinking mess. yet if you aren't going to have sandbox gameplay, at least give me something compelling. I played POTBS for 3 years. It wasn't a sandbox by any sense of the imagination. Yet it did have some really innovative combat mechanics which were a tactical guys dream in pvp. I even liked WoW for the open world and great sense of polish it had, and respected it for accomplishing what it set out to do. GW2 won't be a sandbox, but if I have time, I'll be giving it a play.
The question is: what does ESO bring to the table that every other MMO hasn't already done? The 3-way pvp in one massive zone? GW2 will have (at least) a year head start on making it better. If I really want dungeons and instances, I'll go play WoW. The ability to become Emperor, while nice, is actually just who can grind out pvp the most. Maybe in the future there will be a more robust politics system. It's a nice feature, but not something that is blowing me away. 3-way pvp can always be hot and fun, but am i just being an eeyore here?
Finally, the confirmation that the company who made everything we love about the Elder Scrolls series...... will have basically nothing to do with the game. Bethesda will be doing consulting on the accuracy of the lore, nothing else. Even then, wouldn't be shocked to see some pretty whopping warpings of Elder scrolls canon, which is actually pretty nicely developed if you get bored enough to actually read it.
This doesn't mean the game will fail. It just means that for fans of the series, we have to resign ourselves to this fact: This game is a continuation of the style of gameplay we came to love in the Elder Scrolls series. This is the work of a completely different company without the years of investment in the series who is going to make their own game. It could be good. It could suck. but it's not going to be a game that would basically be the best of TES III-IV, just in an online world.
Hopefully the economy they introduce will be interesting. Crafting has always been fun in the TES series. Honestly, it has. Not much has been revealed about econ. Maybe that will hype me back up. I want to like the idea of a TES online. Yet this is shaping up to be a themepark with trinity combat mechanics. In other words, I've seen this movie before.