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The Elder Scrolls Online: You Got Elder Scrolls in my MMO

SBFordSBFord Associate Editor - News ManagerThe Land of AZPosts: 16,610MMORPG.COM Staff Uncommon

During this week's E3 convention, our team had the opportunity to check out a developer presentation about Zenimax Studios' The Elder Scrolls Online. We've got a lot to say about one of the most hotly discussed games of the recent past. Check it out and then let us know what you think!

Elder Scrolls Online is the kind of thing MMO gamers have been dreaming of since Morrowind landed on the RPG scene years ago. "A long time coming" doesn't begin to cover it. Finally, after years of speculation and lots of doubting Thomases, ESO was announced and the gaming world ate up every bit of info they could get their hands on. Then, almost as quickly as you can say "Arrow to the Knee" the fan backlash began to surface. "It uses the Hero Engine!" (No, it doesn't.) "It's not Elder Scrolls enough!" (Yes, actually it is.) "It will be WoW all over again." (Not even a sliver of a chance.) After our presentation from Game Director Matt Firor (of Dark Age of Camelot fame), we quickly became believers in Zenimax Online's vision for the MMO version of Tamriel. No, it really won't be Skyrim Online. But that's okay.

Read more of Bill Murphy's The Elder Scrolls Online: You Got Elder Scrolls in my MMO.

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Associate Editor: MMORPG.com
Follow me on Twitter: @MMORPGMom

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Comments

  • punkrockpunkrock va, VAPosts: 1,777Member
    Loved it! The more news i hear the more i like so far. I also like the part about hat classes! cant wait to see what that is lol.
  • RohnRohn Saint Peters, MOPosts: 3,740Member Uncommon

    Nice article, Bill.  It gives a better picture of what ESO is and isn't.

    There are design choices that I wish had been different, but I also realize that it's very important how they fit the elements and systems together.

    Hell hath no fury like an MMORPG player scorned.

  • BigCountryBigCountry Charlotte, NCPosts: 478Member

    "Is it Skyrim Online? No. Is it Elder Scrolls Online? Most definitely."

     

    I hear ya Bill, but If it's not Skyrim Online I will not be playing it. Sorry man, the industry already has crap like this. Way too much of it...

     

    Skyrim was the last of TES to have come out. So the online game has to be on par with that. Just like Ultima Online was. You can't go backwards and half ass a clone of all the garbage that is already out that noone wants to play longer than a month.

     

    Skyrim Online would be new and fresh. Anything less will be "meh - I have seen this, done this, no thanks".

    :(

     

    BigCountry | Head Hunters | www.wefarmpeople.com

  • WhiteLanternWhiteLantern Nevada, MOPosts: 2,732Member

    Nice write-up, Bill. I've never been a big fan of ES, but some of the mechanics here sound interesting.

    I want a mmorpg where people have gone through misery, have gone through school stuff and actually have had sex even. -sagil

  • TridianTridian Plainfield, INPosts: 274Member

    I was a little disappoitned at first, but it does keep looking a little better. Only time will tell I guess.

  • FredomSekerZFredomSekerZ Long Beach, CAPosts: 1,156Member

    Nice previews, expect for 1 thing. So, an mmo is social now because it has open world dungeons and pvp and you can help other players? So, other mmos aren't social, because that's already there. Pretty sure a bunch of people rp'ing in the middle of town, getting to know each other, etc is a far more social event than people zerging an open world boss without wanting to even look each other in the face.

  • BigCountryBigCountry Charlotte, NCPosts: 478Member

    Yeah, the only way to create a truely socialable mmorpg is to simply provide no rules, and let the players govern themselves. AKA sandbox - UO, Shadowbane, EvE Online, Darkfall etc and now DayZ (which is an experimental FPS mod for f's sake! lol)

     

    You cannot have natural socialism in a themepark game. Everyone just waits in line to ride the next ride. Pretty much keeping to themselves, unless a "group ride" (mob boss instance) becomes available, then they are forced into talking/interacting with each other for an hour or so to get the gear/item drop. lol

     

    And from what I have read/heard on the podcast, TESO looks to be nothing more than a cloned themepark game, no matter how they keep spinning it not to be. :(

     

    I wish planning/development of TESO would have started after DayZ came out. Perhaps it would have motivated the producers to take slightly different direction....producers/investors would KILL to have the crowd playing DayZ right now...we are talking MAJOR numbers here, and they are not backing down, only growing...

     

    I am predicting the DayZ experiment will inspire some truely awesome mmporpgs to form up in the next few years. Least I hope so. If I read correctly, DayZ will be an official map/gametype bundled with Arma III. And if that happens, Arma III will be the best selling game of 2013. And it's not even a mmorpg!

     

    People need to wake up. Cloning item grinding themeparks over and over again is slowly staking the term "mmorpg" deep into the ground. Outside of Blizzard, there is no money/future in it at the moment. It needs to take a rest/break. It's way too played out. Grow a set of balls and create something new. Selling out is lazy. :D

     
     

    BigCountry | Head Hunters | www.wefarmpeople.com

  • ThaneUlfgarThaneUlfgar Akron, OHPosts: 283Member

    I for one think this game looks pretty good and I am excited for it.

  • rawfoxrawfox HamburgPosts: 647Member Uncommon

    Im happy im not into this ancient Elder Scrolls theme at all.

    Spare me my complaints ^^

     

    Good Luck, TESO :p

  • General-ZodGeneral-Zod Zod, CAPosts: 743Member Uncommon

    Thanks Bill, the more I see the more I like

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  • ABRaquelABRaquel Minneapolis, MNPosts: 541Member Uncommon

    Colour me interested, but time will tell.

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  • MephsterMephster Tyria, NJPosts: 1,188Member

    Nice article but design choice will be its ultimate failure. No way you can take an Elder Scrolls ip and mesh it in as a theme park mmo. It needs to stay single player with freedom or add a 4 player coop.  We need a Skyrim Online instead of this.

    Grim Dawn, the next great action rpg!

    http://www.grimdawn.com/

  • TheLizardbonesTheLizardbones Arkham, VAPosts: 10,910Member

    This sounds interesting. I like the trend towards having fewer active skills at any given time. 40+ keybinds is just ridiculous. I also like the open world wandering around bit. That sounds right at least. So it's still a themepark, but it's not WoW.

    I can not remember winning or losing a single debate on the internet.

  • KuinnKuinn MestaPosts: 2,093Member

    Sounds great. Reading stuff like this really allows you to ignore each one of the million "TESO is a WoW clone waah waah"-threads :) This and the fact that this game will have 3 factions really makes it sound nice, on paper at least.

  • BrokenSpoonBrokenSpoon LondonPosts: 205Member

    Would love to get a hold of how the game will work! A faction system? based after skyrim?! to many questions!

    All hail the Barn Owl! oh.. and the RED SQUIRREL!!!

  • TimothyTierlessTimothyTierless Columnist M, ORPosts: 2,163Member Uncommon

    I'd love to say I'm happy but I don't trust smirks, smiles, and coy responses from company heads. We had plenty of them from the WAR and SWTOR heads and look how that turned out. When I see it in game, I'll believe it.

    I'm ok with parks but without sandbox elements and SOME forced social interaction this will just be another clone that gets a big launch response then goes ftp in a few short months. How can I say that having seen so little, because it's following the EXACT same path as Rift, SWTOR, WAR, Aion.

    Step 1. CG trailers with no gameplay and lots of "innovative" promises.

    Step 2. Promise more and more but show nothing.

    Step 3. Talk about how you didn't try to make a WOW clone (despite it being one) then talk about how you expect to get many WOW players (despite not "trying" to appeal the them) and talk about how your MMO will have 5-10 mill subs at launch.

    Step 4. Talk about 1 innovative feature that has already been done (WAR-PVP!!!, SWTOR-STORY!!!) and claim to have done it better or for the first time.

    Step 5. Fend off rumors of beta players hating the game, promise more but still show nothing.

    Step 6. Launch, flop, blame the Avengers 2 movie.

    Step 7. Fire people. Go ftp and claim it's the correct model for the current state of the industry.

    Step 8. After a few years close said MMO and blame the economy (never yourself).

    Lets see if they right the ship or continue down this path.

  • KuinnKuinn MestaPosts: 2,093Member
    Originally posted by theJexster

    I'd love to say I'm happy but I don't trust smirks, smiles, and coy responses from company heads. We had plenty of them from the WAR and SWTOR heads and look how that turned out. When I see it in game, I'll believe it.

    I'm ok with parks but without sandbox elements and SOME forced social interaction this will just be another clone that gets a big launch response then goes ftp in a few short months. How can I say that having seen so little, because it's following the EXACT same path as Rift, SWTOR, WAR, Aion.

    Step 1. CG trailers with no gameplay and lots of "innovative" promises.

    Step 2. Promise more and more but show nothing.

    Step 3. Talk about how you didn't try to make a WOW clone (despite it being one) then talk about how you expect to get many WOW players (despite not "trying" to appeal the them) and talk about how your MMO will have 5-10 mill subs at launch.

    Step 4. Talk about 1 innovative feature that has already been done (WAR-PVP!!!, SWTOR-STORY!!!) and claim to have done it better or for the first time.

    Step 5. Fend off rumors of beta players hating the game, promise more but still show nothing.

    Step 6. Launch, flop, blame the Avengers 2 movie.

    Step 7. Fire people. Go ftp and claim it's the correct model for the current state of the industry.

    Step 8. After a few years close said MMO and blame the economy (never yourself).

    Lets see if they right the ship or continue down this path.

     

    WAR and SWTOR never claimed they'd have 3 factions. Or limited abilities at a time and more action oriented combat. Or weapon based abilities. Or public dungeons. Or more freedom in character progression.

     

    If you thought WAR or SWTOR had much differences outside their "one awesome innovative thing" you were living under delusions. It's not my opinion, this is a fact. TESO promises something different on core level mechanics and beyond that, WAR nor SWTOR never did it. Facts, not opinions.

  • KhinRuniteKhinRunite ManilaPosts: 879Member
    Originally posted by BigCountry

    Yeah, the only way to create a truely socialable mmorpg is to simply provide no rules, and let the players govern themselves. AKA sandbox - UO, Shadowbane, EvE Online, Darkfall etc and now DayZ (which is an experimental FPS mod for f's sake! lol)

     ..

    ....

    Meh, the day pure sandbox MMOs become all that's in store will be the day I might stop playing MMOs. I already have to deal with other people power tripping in real life (politics, competition, business, etc) to subject myself to yet another form of lawless-palooza in a game that's supposed to make me relax and have fun.

    Something in between would be nice.

  • BigCountryBigCountry Charlotte, NCPosts: 478Member
    Originally posted by KhinRunite

    Something in between would be nice.

     

    Agreed. Something inbetween would be perfect. But outside of EvE (which is a weird gaming platform), it's never been done (least in a standard platform). Producers either cater too much to the themepark, or too much to the sandbox. And one side gets left out. It takes major brain power (and balls lol) to pull something like this off. No doubt.

    BigCountry | Head Hunters | www.wefarmpeople.com

  • jiveturkey12jiveturkey12 You havent heard of it, FLPosts: 1,262Member

    This game just keeps getting better! Im so glad they decided to go with a themepark style game, with limited hotbar skills, static classes, and locked races for each of the (THREE!) factions...

     

    ...Yeah in case anyone of you WoW kids didnt realise theres three factions now, get over the days of Two factions being the norm, everyone knows adding an extra faction automatically makes your game way more intense and in depth, Im just glad they locked the races for each so I dont get too confused, I mean what else could they have done??? Let people pick a race and then join a faction of their choosing?? Howwould I ever be able to tell whose on whose side then??? A different color name over each persons head to signify the difference between their unique choices allowing for a more accurately portrayed Lore-Based game??? Wow thats just way too out there to even comprehend for me why people would even want that many chocies in a game!

     

    People need to realize the Elder Scrolls series was never about choices! just simply giving the player the illusion that he/she was making choices! Why would I want to play an Elder Scrolls MMO where I could change my playstyle at anytime and progress my character in a non-linear fashion?? Sorry but thats just far too much work for me, ive got a wife and like 8 kids and a job, I dont play MMO's to stress myself out with all these choies, and im glad Zenimax is making a game for people like me because there isnt nearly enough Themepark games like that anymore!

    Rift was just way too complex for me, letting me pick multiple classes just got to beoverwhelming in the end, and its ultimately why the game failed. Progress in video games needs to be limited or else the player can just do whatever they want and make hisown adventure and he will never follow the story the developers made specifically for the game! This is an mmoRPG guys, RPG's have and will always be about someone else telling you a story while you sit back and mindlessly enjoy it.

     

    What would Table Top RPG's be like if everyone was the Dungeon Master??? Chaos!!! And I for one am glad they arent bringing such rediculous ideas into ESO... and instead giving me a limited set of coices like all the other Elder Scrolls games (Really) did, even though they hid it very well behind all the "Sanboxy" elements that were obviously there to appease all the whiny sandbox kids who keep begging for a different non-linear game.

    Thank Talos they didnt listen to them this time and decided to stick with a proven method that worked well for other great games like TOR, LOTRO, WAR, all of which are now hurely prosperous and havens for awesome Themepark fans like me!

  • stealthbrstealthbr BrasiliaPosts: 1,053Member

    Interesting. I wonder how well they will fare in their artistic design of the game.

  • apopthisapopthis Hays, KSPosts: 1Member

    I don't think that is what he meant by social.  They said on their interviews awhile back that their idea of bringing back the social game is having people find groups and interact with eachother.  No raid finders, no looking for groups.  I promise you there will be people standing in towns RPing.  

    On another note the game sounds amazing.  I am getting more and more excited about it with everything I read.  If you guys havne't I really suggest watching the videos on TESO from Gameinformer's website...good stuff.

  • Mariner-80Mariner-80 Winchester, VAPosts: 347Member

    If the game feels complete and full were I to play it 100% solo, that'll be the ultimate test for me. I want to see LOTS of group content, I do, but I also don't want to feel gimped if no one else is in my zone or online when I'm playing. This is where many MMOs fail, imo. I am cautiously optimistic that TESO will be better in this regard than most other MMOs.

    I get really frustrated when I have to drop/abandon lots of fun group content/quests because no one else is around or online when I'm playing. Too many MMOs reserve the "premium content" for player groups only, making no allowances for circumstances where you either just can't find a group or for players who often prefer to go it alone.

  • AdamTMAdamTM Frankfurt Am MainPosts: 1,376Member

    Bill, Bill, bro, we know that TESO will not be Skyrim online.

    But it will be compared to Skyrim (Morrowind, Oblivion), because it has the TES name on it.

    If your product is called CocaCola, i don't want Crystal Pepsi when i open the can.

    How hard is that to understand in a marketing-sense?

     

    Nothing you say or do right now will change the fact that people will EXPECT Skyrim online of TESO and will not want anything else.

     

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  • PyrateLVPyrateLV Las Vegas, NVPosts: 1,096Member Common
    we quickly became believers in Zenimax Online's vision for the MMO version of Tamriel

    Just like you quickly became believers in Biowares vision for SWTOR.

    All Aboard the MMORPG.com marketing hype train. CHOO CHOO

    You guys are worse than the fanbois

    Tried: EQ2 - AC - EU - HZ - TR - MxO - TTO - WURM - SL - VG:SoH - PotBS - PS - AoC - WAR - DDO - SWTOR
    Played: UO - EQ1 - AO - DAoC - NC - CoH/CoV - SWG - WoW - EVE - AA - LotRO - DFO - STO - FE - MO - RIFT
    Playing: Skyrim
    Following: The Repopulation
    I want a Virtual World, not just a Game.
    ITS TOO HARD! - Matt Firor (ZeniMax)

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