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[Column] Elder Scrolls Online: Give Me Nooks and Crannies

SBFordSBFord Associate Editor - News ManagerThe Land of AZPosts: 16,619MMORPG.COM Staff Uncommon

One of the most compelling feature of any Elder Scrolls game is the challenge of ferreting out all the hidden nooks and crannies as well as nuggets of information and items to find. In our latest Elder Scrolls Online column, we offer a few thoughts about why this game needs the same. Read on and then let us know what you think in the comments.

You know what one of my favorite parts of Elder Scrolls games? Setting out into the world, looking forward to working on some quest or mission I’ve set my sights on... and then completely getting sidetracked because I wound up finding something else to dive into.  If there’s one thing Elder Scrolls Online needs to get right (hell, there are likely hundreds), it’s that exploring the world needs to feel like something that can happen organically.  Getting lost in Tamriel is half of the fun in TES, and if we can’t do that in ESO, it won’t truly be an Elder Scrolls experience.  So let’s go through a couple of things that the MMO Tamriel can do to avoid this pitfall. 

Read more of Bill Murphy's Elder Scrolls Online: Give Me Nooks and Crannies.

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Associate Editor: MMORPG.com
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Comments

  • SovrathSovrath Boston Area, MAPosts: 18,455Member Uncommon

    During the preview at PAX I played in "just that way". I didn't enter the city but set out to see what I could find.

    The first try I was dissapointed as I didn't really discover anything except an abandoned tower by the water that had nothign in it and nothing to interact with.

    The second try I did discover a secret door that led to the bowls of another tower.

    I must admit I was a bit dissapointed becuase in most elder scrolls games you see something in the distance and wonder "what is that?!?!" I didn't quite get that in this early stage of ESO. Hopefully that will change as development proceeds.

  • BamboozledBamboozled Minneapolis, MNPosts: 29Member

    I totally agree with your standpoint on "getting lost in the world", and it is something I find myself doing every time I load up skyrim. It takes superhuman willpower to not explore that cave or tower that has just appeared on my HUD and stay "on-mission".

     

    I truly hope that TESO takes this mechanic to heart. I would really hate to see a drab, barren world with nothing but the clear path from quest chain to quest chain.

    “He felt that his whole life was some kind of dream and he sometimes wondered whose it was and whether they were enjoying it.”

    - Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

  • mxmissilemxmissile Layton, UTPosts: 267Member Uncommon
    does WOW have nooks and crannies? No? Then why should TESO (wow 3.0) have them?
  • BamboozledBamboozled Minneapolis, MNPosts: 29Member

    Did Warcraft have nooks and crannies? No?

     

    Did The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim have nooks and crannies? Yes.

     

    It's about paying proper homage to the IP that you are placing online. TESO just isn't TESO without the nooks and crannies and side quests. I feel the OP has a good point.

    “He felt that his whole life was some kind of dream and he sometimes wondered whose it was and whether they were enjoying it.”

    - Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

  • Brabbit1987Brabbit1987 Ontario, CanadaPosts: 729Member Uncommon

    No the OP does not have a point. First of all the OP is basing all his opinion on old information. An incomplete game, and the starting area. This is a horrible article, and the only ones who really are going to agree are the people who are already negative about the game to begin with.

     

    The reason I say this is because I have heard the complete opposite from others who have played the game.

  • VorthanionVorthanion Laguna Vista, TXPosts: 2,119Member Uncommon
    I don't have high expectations for this game anymore.  The developers seem to be more hell-bent on making Dark Age of Camelot 2.0 than making a true to IP Elder Scrolls game.

    image
  • ste2000ste2000 londonPosts: 4,705Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Vorthanion
    I don't have high expectations for this game anymore.  The developers seem to be more hell-bent on making Dark Age of Camelot 2.0 than making a true to IP Elder Scrolls game.

    You wish..............

    This is going to be SWTOR 2.0

  • Brabbit1987Brabbit1987 Ontario, CanadaPosts: 729Member Uncommon

    Anyone who is smart would know better then to listen to this crap. 

     

    "One thing I remember annoying me in my time with ESO last October (granting the game has likely changed a lot since then)"

    OCTOBER! It's July already! How can you even make an article based on such old information???

  • BamboozledBamboozled Minneapolis, MNPosts: 29Member
    Originally posted by Brabbit1987

    No the OP does not have a point. First of all the OP is basing all his opinion on old information. An incomplete game, and the starting area. This is a horrible article, and the only ones who really are going to agree are the people who are already negative about the game to begin with.

     

    The reason I say this is because I have heard the complete opposite from others who have played the game.

    Actually, I was referring to the point of "Setting out into the world, looking forward to working on some quest or mission I’ve set my sights on... and then completely getting sidetracked because I wound up finding something else to dive into.".

     

    Which is valid, and important to making a great MMO for The Elder Scrolls franchise.

     

    The aspect of whether or not the current game has this aspect, I can't really respond to. I am not in the beta and have not played one minute of the game. Apologies if this came across as me trashing the game. I'll leave it up to the OP to respond to that.

    “He felt that his whole life was some kind of dream and he sometimes wondered whose it was and whether they were enjoying it.”

    - Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

  • BillMurphyBillMurphy Managing Editor Berea, OHPosts: 2,364MMORPG.COM Staff Uncommon
    Originally posted by Brabbit1987

    Anyone who is smart would know better then to listen to this crap. 

     

    "One thing I remember annoying me in my time with ESO last October (granting the game has likely changed a lot since then)"

    OCTOBER! It's July already! How can you even make an article based on such old information???

    I've also played the game at E3 in June, and my worries were the same here.  The point of referencing my October visit was to talk about the starter experience.  You might want to check those rabies out.

  • Brabbit1987Brabbit1987 Ontario, CanadaPosts: 729Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Bamboozled
    Originally posted by Brabbit1987

    No the OP does not have a point. First of all the OP is basing all his opinion on old information. An incomplete game, and the starting area. This is a horrible article, and the only ones who really are going to agree are the people who are already negative about the game to begin with.

     

    The reason I say this is because I have heard the complete opposite from others who have played the game.

    Actually, I was referring to the point of "Setting out into the world, looking forward to working on some quest or mission I’ve set my sights on... and then completely getting sidetracked because I wound up finding something else to dive into.".

     

    Which is valid, and important to making a great MMO for The Elder Scrolls franchise.

     

    The aspect of whether or not the current game has this aspect, I can't really respond to. I am not in the beta and have not played one minute of the game. Apologies if this came across as me trashing the game. I'll leave it up to the OP to respond to that.

     

    Well yes, I agree. However the OP is making it seem like it's not in the game based on his experience in October >.>.

  • Brabbit1987Brabbit1987 Ontario, CanadaPosts: 729Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by BillMurphy
    Originally posted by Brabbit1987

    Anyone who is smart would know better then to listen to this crap. 

     

    "One thing I remember annoying me in my time with ESO last October (granting the game has likely changed a lot since then)"

    OCTOBER! It's July already! How can you even make an article based on such old information???

    I've also played the game at E3 in June, and my worries were the same here.  The point of referencing my October visit was to talk about the starter experience.  You might want to check those rabies out.

     

    Ok, well then may I ask, how come others who have played the game state other wise? I have watched many videos, and I have heard many good things about this particular feature. Many say it feels like elder scrolls and plays like elder scrolls. Also, how long did you play for at E3? How large of an area did you cover?

    Also, you do realize just by you writing a topic like this, most people see it as a negative review of Elder Scrolls Online even if that isn't what you intended to do.

  • desirieldesiriel PisaPosts: 98Member

    I feel for you Will and I subscribe your article "in toto".

    Unfortunately all arrows here point to a classic experience where exploring is little more of an afterthought to give a little child gift to TES "hardcores" (sic).

    I've no doubt TESO will be a polished product which will sell a wagon of copies at release but I doubt it'll be anything like a TES experience.

    Anyway, for one I would be glad to be wrong. That is if Zenimax started lifting this shroud of secrecy on the actual game: it's not conforting at all. 

  • BillMurphyBillMurphy Managing Editor Berea, OHPosts: 2,364MMORPG.COM Staff Uncommon
    Originally posted by Brabbit1987
     

    Ok, well then may I ask, how come others who have played the game state other wise? I have watched many videos, and I have heard many good things about this particular feature. Many say it feels like elder scrolls and plays like elder scrolls. Also, how long did you play for at E3? How large of an area did you cover?

    Also, you do realize just by you writing a topic like this, most people see it as a negative review of Elder Scrolls Online even if that isn't what you intended to do.

    Because everyone has their own opinions?  I played at E3 for an hour or so, three hours back in October well into the Ebonheart's starting area, and  the first land after starting zone. I didn't say the game DOESN'T feel like an Elder Scrolls title. In fact, in many other articles I have said just as much. But the area of bountiful exploration with meaning is one part of ESO I've yet to see an example of within previews and hands-on play.

    It's cool if you're a fan and don't want to hear anything potentially negative, but as the managing editor of this site and the guy who will eventually review ESO, I'm quite positive that it's my job to be critical of my current experiences with the game.  So if someone thinks this is a "negative review" (it's not, because it's just an op-ed), that's okay by me. I'd rather we question games on the horizon than blindly and fanatically champion them.

  • ElikalElikal ValhallaPosts: 7,906Member Uncommon
    I agree with the OP that size, scope and detail, much "stuff" to find is a must for an Elder Scrolls MMO. It can't be big and filled enough.

    People don't ask questions to get answers - they ask questions to show how smart they are. - Dogbert

  • Brabbit1987Brabbit1987 Ontario, CanadaPosts: 729Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by BillMurphy
    Originally posted by Brabbit1987
     

    Ok, well then may I ask, how come others who have played the game state other wise? I have watched many videos, and I have heard many good things about this particular feature. Many say it feels like elder scrolls and plays like elder scrolls. Also, how long did you play for at E3? How large of an area did you cover?

    Also, you do realize just by you writing a topic like this, most people see it as a negative review of Elder Scrolls Online even if that isn't what you intended to do.

    Because everyone has their own opinions?  I played at E3 for an hour or so, three hours back in October well into the Ebonheart's starting area, and  the first land after starting zone. I didn't say the game DOESN'T feel like an Elder Scrolls title. In fact, in many other articles I have said just as much. But the area of bountiful exploration with meaning is one part of ESO I've yet to see an example of within previews and hands-on play.

    It's cool if you're a fan and don't want to hear anything potentially negative, but as the managing editor of this site and the guy who will eventually review ESO, I'm quite positive that it's my job to be critical of my current experiences with the game.  So if someone thinks this is a "negative review" (it's not, because it's just an op-ed), that's okay by me. I'd rather we question games on the horizon than blindly and fanatically champion them.

    Well I agree with you on that. I don't know, I just am so irrtated at all the negative crap on here that seems to be a constant popular thing to do. People see someone give an opinion, a very minor thing that could be improved, and they go all "This game sucks! It's a wow clone!" and so on and so fourth.

    I am sorry if it seems like I have rabbies lol. I also do not mind hearing anything negative, it's more like i do not want to hear all the stupid comments from people who have no idea what they are talking about.

    It's like me commenting on a minor flaw of a game and everyone starts shouting at how bad the game is because of it. Really? What about  .... I don't know? The REST of the game, that is good?

    Anyway, sorry for the rant. Sorry if i got a little to hot headed too.

  • MondoA2JMondoA2J Henderson, NVPosts: 258Member

    The game has levels doesn't it?

    So hence there is a linear path of play. So exploration = death if you enter a high level area?

    Think they messed up when they introduced levels.

    MMORPG Gamers/Developers need a reality check!

  • reillanreillan Tulsa, OKPosts: 234Member Uncommon
    It's fine to randomly stumble upon quests, and it's fine for waypoints alone so long as "find" is part of the title.   But when I'm supposed to go back to town and talk to whatever person, I want a quest circle.  I've talked to the person a hundred times before, but it's difficult in-game to see or find him/her.
  • RazeeksterRazeekster Solon, MEPosts: 2,201Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Brabbit1987
    Originally posted by BillMurphy
    Originally posted by Brabbit1987

    Anyone who is smart would know better then to listen to this crap. 

     

    "One thing I remember annoying me in my time with ESO last October (granting the game has likely changed a lot since then)"

    OCTOBER! It's July already! How can you even make an article based on such old information???

    I've also played the game at E3 in June, and my worries were the same here.  The point of referencing my October visit was to talk about the starter experience.  You might want to check those rabies out.

     

    Ok, well then may I ask, how come others who have played the game state other wise? I have watched many videos, and I have heard many good things about this particular feature. Many say it feels like elder scrolls and plays like elder scrolls. Also, how long did you play for at E3? How large of an area did you cover?

    Also, you do realize just by you writing a topic like this, most people see it as a negative review of Elder Scrolls Online even if that isn't what you intended to do.

    It's his opinion. You don't have to like it. I don't always agree with the writers opinions on here either, but I don't go "You know you'e making it sound like you're giving the game a bad/good review?" Because that's most likely the point...

    Smile

  • azzamasinazzamasin Butler, OHPosts: 3,058Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Brabbit1987
    Originally posted by BillMurphy
    Originally posted by Brabbit1987

    Anyone who is smart would know better then to listen to this crap. 

     

    "One thing I remember annoying me in my time with ESO last October (granting the game has likely changed a lot since then)"

    OCTOBER! It's July already! How can you even make an article based on such old information???

    I've also played the game at E3 in June, and my worries were the same here.  The point of referencing my October visit was to talk about the starter experience.  You might want to check those rabies out.

     

    Ok, well then may I ask, how come others who have played the game state other wise? I have watched many videos, and I have heard many good things about this particular feature. Many say it feels like elder scrolls and plays like elder scrolls. Also, how long did you play for at E3? How large of an area did you cover?

    Also, you do realize just by you writing a topic like this, most people see it as a negative review of Elder Scrolls Online even if that isn't what you intended to do.

    Based on who's opinions?  Fan boys or wishful thinking?  I will not divulge the name of the site nor will I link it to anyone in a PM but there's a well known Beta Leaker site with a whole sub forum that discusses this game.  One of the negative things about the game from leakers is there isn't enough exploration and the game play and questing feels linear and very much like GW2 running from heart to heart but instead you have hubs to visit because the storyline "bread crumbs" you along this linear path.  In Skyrim you can run off in any cardinal direction of the compass and within a few minutes find some sort of "Point of Interest" such as a cave, dungeon, Ruins, grotto, keep, fort etc. and there's over 200 of those sites to visit and explore in Skyrim.  My current Skyrim character has close to 300 hours, is level 139 and I've barely scratched the surface of the "POI's" I've uncovered.  Until TESO can come close to that mark and remove most of the linear story lines and give players freedom and choice to explore this game will never be an TES game.  Right now the progression of the game plays more like GW2 without the dynamic events and this is a fact from beta tester leaks.

     

    Sandbox means open world, non-linear gaming PERIOD!

    Subscription Gaming, especially MMO gaming is a Cash grab bigger then the most P2W cash shop!

    Bring Back Exploration and lengthy progression times. RPG's have always been about the Journey not the destination!!!

    image

  • Brabbit1987Brabbit1987 Ontario, CanadaPosts: 729Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by azzamasin
    Originally posted by Brabbit1987
    Originally posted by BillMurphy
    Originally posted by Brabbit1987

    Anyone who is smart would know better then to listen to this crap. 

     

    "One thing I remember annoying me in my time with ESO last October (granting the game has likely changed a lot since then)"

    OCTOBER! It's July already! How can you even make an article based on such old information???

    I've also played the game at E3 in June, and my worries were the same here.  The point of referencing my October visit was to talk about the starter experience.  You might want to check those rabies out.

     

    Ok, well then may I ask, how come others who have played the game state other wise? I have watched many videos, and I have heard many good things about this particular feature. Many say it feels like elder scrolls and plays like elder scrolls. Also, how long did you play for at E3? How large of an area did you cover?

    Also, you do realize just by you writing a topic like this, most people see it as a negative review of Elder Scrolls Online even if that isn't what you intended to do.

    Based on who's opinions?  Fan boys or wishful thinking?  I will not divulge the name of the site nor will I link it to anyone in a PM but there's a well known Beta Leaker site with a whole sub forum that discusses this game.  One of the negative things about the game from leakers is there isn't enough exploration and the game play and questing feels linear and very much like GW2 running from heart to heart but instead you have hubs to visit because the storyline "bread crumbs" you along this linear path.  In Skyrim you can run off in any cardinal direction of the compass and within a few minutes find some sort of "Point of Interest" such as a cave, dungeon, Ruins, grotto, keep, fort etc. and there's over 200 of those sites to visit and explore in Skyrim.  My current Skyrim character has close to 300 hours, is level 139 and I've barely scratched the surface of the "POI's" I've uncovered.  Until TESO can come close to that mark and remove most of the linear story lines and give players freedom and choice to explore this game will never be an TES game.  Right now the progression of the game plays more like GW2 without the dynamic events and this is a fact from beta tester leaks.

     

    Well if this ends up being the case, then I would be very wrong and I will admit it. However, you have to realize I only know what I am told by others, and I am not just going to randomly believe every random person that tells me a game sucks XD. I will take your word for it, and hope they change that >.>, cause that would suck balls. I would seriously be unhappy with the game.

  • SavageHorizonSavageHorizon ParisPosts: 2,076Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Brabbit1987

    The reason I say this is because I have heard the complete opposite from others who have played the game.

    And i've heard the complete opposite from what you have heard from people who have played the game.

     

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  • SavageHorizonSavageHorizon ParisPosts: 2,076Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Brabbit1987

    Anyone who is smart would know better then to listen to this crap. 

     

    "One thing I remember annoying me in my time with ESO last October (granting the game has likely changed a lot since then)"

    OCTOBER! It's July already! How can you even make an article based on such old information???

    So we should listen to your crap instead, right?

    Coolermaster Cosmos II Case
    Corsair AX1200W Modular PSU
    Intel Core i7 3970X OC 4.50GHz
    Asus P9X79 PRO Intel X7
    16GB (4x4GB) DDR3 PC3-1866MHz
    840 Series 250GB SSDs
    Seagate Barracuda 2TB HDDs
    EVGA SuperClocked GTX TITAN 6GB GDDR5 SLi

  • rojoArcueidrojoArcueid hell, NJPosts: 6,778Member Uncommon

    i want to log in to Elder Scroll online and go exploring and find NPCs living their lives and they dynamically come up with stuff for me to do and i decide if i want to respond. Like in Skyrim.

     

    I dont want to log in to Elder Scrolls online to find out i have to go from Quest Hub 1 to QH2 to QH3 etc. and have a linear progression forced on me. The main storyline has to be linear in order to start and finish, but the middle can very much have many branches, not just one straight line to the end.

    image
  • rojoArcueidrojoArcueid hell, NJPosts: 6,778Member Uncommon

    One more thing..... Personally.
     
    I said this before and will say it again. If TESO becomes just another mmo with generic progression ill go back to Skyrim and stay there with the modding community.

    image
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