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EDIT: I replaced my original 1 with a less biased version...thanks Sovrath.
ESO forum metagames...what a lovely way to pass the time before the release of the game!
So here's my attempt to summarize the two opposing POVs that turn every thread here into a rehashing of the same arguments.
1. On the one hand you have the people who argue that ESO has to, first and formost, be true to the TES IP. This includes complete freedom to go anywhere and do anything. The Alliances, the alliance wars and anything related to that are not seen in Elder Scrolls game in a manner that is as restriced as the current system. This is a group of players/fans who would like to facilitate anything that makes this MMO Skyrim Online. They have been fighting an uphill battle since Zmax announced their vision for the game: 3-sided AvA, 3 alliances, 3 separate PvE areas, one massive AvA area, with a notable concession fron Zenimax. They have been using every bit of logic as well as their knowledge of past Elder Scrolls games to rail agains Zmax's core design vision... in this forum, they are legion. They consider themselves TES fans first and MMO fans second.
2. On the other side you have those who have played TES games but prinarily play a lot of MMOs. These guys are MMO fans to whom ESO is just the latest in a long string of MMO projects. They are intersted in this one prinarily for 2 reasons: it's a big-money AAA project and they seem to have a different approach than WOW and all its clones. This is a group that wants to try something truly different and is open to change. The TES IP? A nice bonus but not a big consideration. When Zmax announced the 3-sided AvA as the centerpiece of this MMO they became more, not less, interested because this is clearly not WOW and is reminiscent of a much beloved old game that did it this way, DAoC.
Although I'm definitely in camp #2, I'll admidt that both versions of ESO have merit.
#1 would be very Skyrimish. A world where there are bad guys, beasts and monsters one can fight--some more challenging than others that would require large groups to defeat. They need nothing else to have fun. They are not unlike the majority of WOW players who spend 95% or more of their time in PvE pursuits...it's a popular MMO model. If this is the design model chosen, then factons don't exists and obviously there is no need for faction locks and everyone would be able to talk and group with anyone of any race and go everywhere--nothing else would make any sense.
#2 would be unlike any current game (although GW2 has attempted something similar recently with their 3-sided server wars.) There would be PvE to be sure, but the primary activity is meant to be participation in the Alliance battles in Cyrodiil. This is the model Zmax chose and has been working on for several years. In this world, it would be inconsistent for Aliance enemies to call a time-out and group with each other to kill big bad monsters--that would make no sense. For this to be consistent, the Allaince Wars would need to impact the behavior in the whole world--not just Cyrodiil. Otherwise thhat world would lack integrity and cohesive design.Chatting and grouping with the enemy makes no sense in that design model. Visiting the other sides PvE areas? Sure, that could happen but you'd have to be PvP flagged there for this to be consistent.
Mind you some people could care less. This is the "it's just a game, dude!" crowd. They don't want worlds. They just want to have fun. I think Cindy Lauper is the inspirational leader of this crowd. "What could be simpler," they say, "give group 1 the PVE they want and group 2 the PvP they want...problem solved!" Well...not really. What this would do is take credibility away from both concepts...none of it would make sense. I would be willing to bet that this is the path that the shortsighted moneygrubbing suits would prefer. Shortsighted I say because with this mishmash, serious MMOers would just laugh at the obvious cash grab of trying to be everything to all people. This "compromise solution" would be doomed at birth. It would be yet another 3-months and out release. I guess we could say that this is group #3 but they'd probably hate that since this is a fiercely individualistic forum faction.
What do you think?