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[Preview] The Elder Scrolls Online: The Comprehensive Preview

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  • ThillianThillian BratislavaPosts: 3,143Member Uncommon

    Instead of turning TES into an open world sandbox style game with player driven politics and wars, for which the setting was made, they are turning it into story driven themepark rubbish with heavy phasing and instances on every step. This is aiming to be the same debacle as SWTOR.

    Their best bet is to offer cheap lifetime or no subscription to squeeze as much money from initial sales as possible and forget about longevity.

    REALITY CHECK

  • JonokuJonoku Cool, PAPosts: 645Member
    Originally posted by Thillian

    Instead of turning TES into an open world sandbox style game with player driven politics and wars, for which the setting was made, they are turning it into story driven themepark rubbish with heavy phasing and instances on every step. This is aiming to be the same debacle as SWTOR.

    Their best bet is to offer cheap lifetime or no subscription to squeeze as much money from initial sales as possible and forget about longevity.

    Pretty much this^^^^^^^

    Looking at: The Repopulation
    Preordering: None
    Playing: Random Games

  • VorthanionVorthanion Laguna Vista, TXPosts: 2,117Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by BillMurphy
    Originally posted by Dakirn

    I had some hope that maybe this would be worth playing but the phasing is honestly a deal breaker for me, someone who plays MMOs with other people.

    Hey Dakirn,

    I can say that the phasing as you go through the story was jarring.  But they maintain that you'll be able to group with your friends no matter what path they take through the main storyline.  How they do is?  I assume you'll just "join" your friends through the UI.  Definitely not the best solution, but at least you can do it.

    That's the problem with today's developer mindset.  This phasing thing has gotten out of hand.  It presupposes that people actually want to take the time to hunt down grouping partners for their phasing.  Yet history has proven that most people want to run across others while they are out adventuring without having to pre-group to do it.  Phasing eliminates the drive by buffing and healing during those critical moments when they actually can save you.  These are bonding moments that truly change the aspect of a game.  I haven't seen a game yet that hasn't overdone the phasing to the point of the game always feeling empty and lonely with very little random interaction and very little chatter.

     

    I won't deny this is a deal breaker for me.  I will no longer buy or play games that depend on phasing and instancing.   I had some hopes for this game, but they have ruined it for me.  Zones are fine and I see no reason to phase or instance when you already have public zones.

     
    On that topic,  GW2 managed to phase individual gathering nodes, why can't games use this technology to eliminate griefing in that manner without alienating people from each other with artificial world barriers?

    image
  • AdamTMAdamTM Frankfurt Am MainPosts: 1,376Member

    My concerns from your writeup, point by point with quotes (in green, bold for emphasis, yellow, my comments):

     

    The three playable factions (Ebonheart Pact, Daggerfall Covenant, and Aldmeri Dominion) each have their own entire 1-50 leveling experience. Yes, this means that you'll be able to replay the 1-50 game three times in three completely different ways if you're the sort that loves leveling through the theme-park more than anything else. 

    How do you know they are "three completely different" ways if you only played one faction?

    Remeber SW:TOR?

    Remeber "your story" SW:TOR? Of which only 20% was actually unique.

    Remember?

    This is where the first interesting design decision of ESO is seen. The game uses a form of "phasing" for the lack of a better word. As you complete missions, the world changes, and choices you make stay in that zone throughout the rest of your character's life. [....] You might wonder how you'll be able to group with friends who choose the opposite. I wondered too, and was assured by ZOS that there will be a work-around so that you can always help your friends and group up even if your "statuses" in the world differ from one another. 

    "Interesting" design decision? Phasing has been around from WoTLK. I.e. 2008

    What is "interesting" about it? A lot of games use this technology.

    So, if I kill the emperor in my playthrough (hypothetical), then there will be a workaround to help my buddy with a "workaround" where the emperor still lives?

    Way to make my choices meaningless. Can we have some permanence please? You killed the emperor, the emperor is dead, for everyone.

    They're littered across the map, and each quest has a purpose to drive the story or that area's overarching story. Simply put, the quests in ESO are quests, but just like in Skyrim they're there for a reason and to entertain you... not just push you along some leveling path.

    Thats actually not how Skyrim works (I see a lot of Skyrim comparisons in general, you -do- know there were other -better- TES games?).

    The (side-)quests in Skyrim do not have purpose to drive the story not even localy. Quite the contrary, some of the quests are only there to push you along the leveling path and give you nice loot. Most of the sidequests are simple things, fetch this, escort that, go here.

    What Skyrim does great are quest-chains for the major factions (mage guild, blades, etc.), but they are not about the areas overaching story.

    I even distracted a bartender by making a drunk man sing so I could steal his prized Tears of Amaya wine when I was in Morrowind. Yes, they’re still quests in the very traditional sense. But you don’t just round them all up and go do them like some quest-monkey.

    Why? Whats stopping you from mindlessly doing quest-stacking and blowing through them in 2 weeks?

    TSW for example does have a failsafe with its quest system that allows only one quest-type active at a time.

    COMBAT AND GROUP PLAY

    Do I understand correctly that this is a soft-target mechanic like DCUO with the flavor of AoC?

    If it is, im generally underwhelmed because those combat-systems aren't very engaging.

    It seems very GW2 in a sense, which isn't a bad thing in of itself, but its not TES.

    PS: Are there bows? You didn't talk about classical ranged combat at all.

     

    In general, you said very little about the game itself if you strip away all the superlatives.

    image
  • ElikalElikal ValhallaPosts: 8,063Member

    I am positively surprised, both by the report and the screenshots. The shots look much better now than previously.

    Two comments: I LOVE PHASING. Yes, I know some don't like and because of the "maybe we can't group together". But first, I NEVER had that issue in WOW, and second, IMVPO it is the best way to allow players to have some impact. So I love the decision, and hope they stay with it! :)

    Second, making only one Megaserver also is a grand idea.

     

    Good good. Keep up the good work.

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

  • sapphensapphen Madison, NCPosts: 911Member Common
    Originally posted by popsideath

    Sounds to me like they're taking everything that makes The Elder Scrolls series different and homogonizing it into something very similar to the current 'standards' in the genre.  Basically trying to make the game recognizable to the average mmo gamer who are used to classes and hard-coded factions and fixed-target combat.  What will happen is fans of the series, or gamers wanting a sandbox game, will be turned off, and all those average gamers they're trying to appease will do what they always do in playing for a few weeks and then moving on.  In trying to please everyone, they'll please no one.

     

    And yeah, I understand the reasoning behind having overly-gushing positive reviews to appease the average mmo-site reader, but see above, the same effect applies.  At this point this site compromises any and all integrity by no longer being remotely objective or critical; everything sounding like it's written by a lobbyist for the gaming industry or PR agent from the game company.  I guess they're happy to rely on the endlessly rotating turstyle of casual gamers/readers that just want to hear happy things about the products they already love.  Which leaves a site with nothing but fanboys, instead of being happier with a smaller, but dedicated group of gamers that stick with the site for the long term and actually discuss things in more depth than "omg looks awesome WoW killer for sure!". 

     

     And so too, I feel this is the similar direction of this abortion of the Elder Scrolls franchise.  Instead of having a product with a smaller scale be more respected and gain more dedicated followers over time (ala EVE), this game will shoot for the moon and end up so far short nobody will end up playing it long term (like so many other terrible games that try to appease everyone only to fizzle out almost instantly).  [mod edit]

    I agree, it feels like they are compromising rather than innovating.  My biggest issues are classes, factions and abilities.

    TES does not need classes.  That was a MAIN SELLING POINT of the game for me.  Sure they could have a basic archetype but they should've just expanded on that.  Give it more dept and build on that system rather than just accepting the traditional 'pick class' mmo dribble.  Even if they did something similar to GW1 or Rift where you could mix different archetypes they should've improved on what they was working with instead of trying to apply a generic model to it.

    Factions by race/area?  Are you kidding me?!  How hard would've it been to make everyone neutral and have to choose a faction to align.  Even mmos do this for faction reps, why restrict players like this?  It is unneeded.

    Ability bar... why?  You could add abilities by movement/mouse combinations.  Double tap forward for a charge, double click, click hold and drag mouse in a particular direction - off the top of my head I can think of at least 16 easy to use combinations that could be considered an ability without adding an ability bar.

    It just feels like they sold out rather than trying to give us an elder scroll game.
  • psykobillypsykobilly NYC, NYPosts: 338Member

     

    Wow-clone is dead.  Tab-target is dead.  Quest-based MMO is dead.

    Long live the sandbox...  I'll be waiting for a true open world sandbox elder scrolls.  This is just a joke.

  • adam_noxadam_nox hays, KSPosts: 2,035Member Uncommon

    To the Writer

     

    The dodge mechanic as it's implemented in GW2 actually kind of sucks.  Just moving out of the way without a leap or a roll should be possible, and the leaping and rolling should not make one invulnerable, it should simply facilitate moving your character's hitbox out of the way. 

     

    I don't know if it's the horrible dissapointment of GW2, but to ESO, I now say, bring it on.

  • RandaynRandayn Sellersville, PAPosts: 883Member Uncommon

     

    The dodge mechanic as it's implemented in GW2 

     

     

    Just a small gripe to the writer, do you not realize that TSW had a similar dodge mechanic prior to GW2 coming out?  It actually felt more useful than GW2's as well

    image
  • DeniZgDeniZg ZagrebPosts: 669Member Uncommon
    A lot of good and promising information about the game.
    Two questions:
    Does the game use down leveling when entering lower level area/zone similar to GW2?
    Any hints on structured/arena PvP?
    Like it or not, we all know that good PvP is mandatory for succesfull MMO.
  • BillMurphyBillMurphy Managing Editor Berea, OHPosts: 2,356MMORPG.COM Staff Uncommon
    Hey Adam, I'll respond in the white.  I may not change your mind, and I don't really intend to. Just hope it clarifies.  I'm not "championing" the game here, just giving details when asked.  

    How do you know they are "three completely different" ways if you only played one faction?

    This is just what they told us. They said quite plainly: "Each alliance has its own 1-50 leveling experience." I assume it's akin to how Horde/Alliance, Republic/Empire are different.  On the maps too, it seems that each Alliance has its own section of the game world, so I don't think you'll run into the others' areas unless you first cross Cyrodiil (the AVA area).  Whether they copy and paste, we'll have to wait and see.

    "Interesting" design decision? Phasing has been around from WoTLK. I.e. 2008

    I might retroactively "edit" the word interesting to read "puzzling".  Because I'm very cautious as to how it will work throughout the game, or if it was just a facet of the early story-oriented portion we played.

    Thats actually not how Skyrim works (I see a lot of Skyrim comparisons in general, you -do- know there were other -better- TES games?).

    The (side-)quests in Skyrim do not have purpose to drive the story not even localy. Quite the contrary, some of the quests are only there to push you along the leveling path and give you nice loot. Most of the sidequests are simple things, fetch this, escort that, go here.

    What Skyrim does great are quest-chains for the major factions (mage guild, blades, etc.), but they are not about the areas overaching story.

    I can eat crow a bit here.  They "tie in" to the general theme of the area.  Does that make more sense?  Even editors need editors.  And from what I understand the Guilds are all present in ESO, and have their own storylines.  It's sort of a mix between traditional MMO zone design and ESO quest design.

    Why? Whats stopping you from mindlessly doing quest-stacking and blowing through them in 2 weeks?

    TSW for example does have a failsafe with its quest system that allows only one quest-type active at a time.

    They're quite like TSW's, in some ways.  In general, you won't walk into a town and see 10 quests waiting for you.  You'll find them as you explore.  Often without pre-requisites (main story withstanding), and sometimes they're triggered by your actions.  I honestly don't know if there's a limit to how many quests you can take, because I generally had no more than three at a time.  They're spread over a wide portion of the game map, so it makes little sense for you to run around collecting quests, and then doing them.  You could I guess, but you'd spend more time running around getting quests, and little actually doing anything.  

    COMBAT AND GROUP PLAY

    Do I understand correctly that this is a soft-target mechanic like DCUO with the flavor of AoC?

    If it is, im generally underwhelmed because those combat-systems aren't very engaging.

    It seems very GW2 in a sense, which isn't a bad thing in of itself, but its not TES.

    PS: Are there bows? You didn't talk about classical ranged combat at all.

    Nope, it's not soft-targeting.  You have to be aiming at your enemy to hit them.  From what we were told in the presentations, some spell effects might have splash damage, but if a fire-ball misses... it misses.  If an arrow misses, it misses.  As for bows, we didn't get to try them.  Again, just going by what we're told.  Spells could miss though, the few we tried.  So while you can "target" an enemy, it seems to be just for calling targets out.  You won't hit it with anything unless you're aiming at it. 

    Hope that helps!  

     

     

  • BillMurphyBillMurphy Managing Editor Berea, OHPosts: 2,356MMORPG.COM Staff Uncommon
    Originally posted by DeniZg
    A lot of good and promising information about the game.
    Two questions:
    Does the game use down leveling when entering lower level area/zone similar to GW2?
    Any hints on structured/arena PvP?
    Like it or not, we all know that good PvP is mandatory for succesfull MMO.

    Hey Denizg:

    1.) Not that we saw for PVE, but you will be up-leveled for the AVA (RVR) in Cyrodiil.

    2.) No hints yet. I'm wondering if it's just not going to be a focus, as much as AVA.

  • AsamofAsamof La Canada, CAPosts: 738Member Uncommon

    I give it 6 months before going F2P

     

    then another 6 before it shuts down permanently

  • bbbb42bbbb42 none, FLPosts: 297Member Uncommon
    They can call it elder scrolls all day but its not elder scrolls, I'm not the type to fall for cheap marketing tricks. With that said i hope its a good game and that they do well , but I won't be buying it thats for sure.

    image
  • AdamTMAdamTM Frankfurt Am MainPosts: 1,376Member
    Originally posted by BillMurphy
    Hey Adam, I'll respond in the white.  I may not change your mind, and I don't really intend to. Just hope it clarifies.  I'm not "championing" the game here, just giving details when asked.  

    How do you know they are "three completely different" ways if you only played one faction?

    This is just what they told us. They said quite plainly: "Each alliance has its own 1-50 leveling experience." I assume it's akin to how Horde/Alliance, Republic/Empire are different.  On the maps too, it seems that each Alliance has its own section of the game world, so I don't think you'll run into the others' areas unless you first cross Cyrodiil (the AVA area).  Whether they copy and paste, we'll have to wait and see.

    "Interesting" design decision? Phasing has been around from WoTLK. I.e. 2008

    I might retroactively "edit" the word interesting to read "puzzling".  Because I'm very cautious as to how it will work throughout the game, or if it was just a facet of the early story-oriented portion we played.

    Thats actually not how Skyrim works (I see a lot of Skyrim comparisons in general, you -do- know there were other -better- TES games?).

    The (side-)quests in Skyrim do not have purpose to drive the story not even localy. Quite the contrary, some of the quests are only there to push you along the leveling path and give you nice loot. Most of the sidequests are simple things, fetch this, escort that, go here.

    What Skyrim does great are quest-chains for the major factions (mage guild, blades, etc.), but they are not about the areas overaching story.

    I can eat crow a bit here.  They "tie in" to the general theme of the area.  Does that make more sense?  Even editors need editors.  And from what I understand the Guilds are all present in ESO, and have their own storylines.  It's sort of a mix between traditional MMO zone design and ESO quest design.

    Why? Whats stopping you from mindlessly doing quest-stacking and blowing through them in 2 weeks?

    TSW for example does have a failsafe with its quest system that allows only one quest-type active at a time.

    They're quite like TSW's, in some ways.  In general, you won't walk into a town and see 10 quests waiting for you.  You'll find them as you explore.  Often without pre-requisites (main story withstanding), and sometimes they're triggered by your actions.  I honestly don't know if there's a limit to how many quests you can take, because I generally had no more than three at a time.  They're spread over a wide portion of the game map, so it makes little sense for you to run around collecting quests, and then doing them.  You could I guess, but you'd spend more time running around getting quests, and little actually doing anything.  

    COMBAT AND GROUP PLAY

    Do I understand correctly that this is a soft-target mechanic like DCUO with the flavor of AoC?

    If it is, im generally underwhelmed because those combat-systems aren't very engaging.

    It seems very GW2 in a sense, which isn't a bad thing in of itself, but its not TES.

    PS: Are there bows? You didn't talk about classical ranged combat at all.

    Nope, it's not soft-targeting.  You have to be aiming at your enemy to hit them.  From what we were told in the presentations, some spell effects might have splash damage, but if a fire-ball misses... it misses.  If an arrow misses, it misses.  As for bows, we didn't get to try them.  Again, just going by what we're told.  Spells could miss though, the few we tried.  So while you can "target" an enemy, it seems to be just for calling targets out.  You won't hit it with anything unless you're aiming at it. 

    Hope that helps!  

     

     

    So the combat is like TERA? RaiderZ? A sword has a hitbox and when it connects it does damage?

    This seems to be contradicted by what you said later about not being able to swing when you are not targetting someone.

    Sounds like a soft-targeting mechanic.

    PS: If you walk into town, do you -see- the quests?

    i,e, do you have quest-markers over peoples heads, or can you interact and talk with everyone, and only some will have quests for you?

    Because if you get ushered from npc to npc and find quests on the ground glowing, then thats incredibly un-TES like.

     

    Your article presents information like the "Each alliance has its own 1-50 leveling experience." as a fact, and you embellish it with "completely different", even though that information isn't confirmed. This is bad writing, and bad journalism. It creates completely false expectations.

    There is a difference between

    "Each alliance has its own 1-50 leveling experience" and

    "you'll be able to replay the 1-50 game three times in three completely different ways"

    thats latter is your own conjecture.

    Rein in your enthusiasm.

    image
  • CoolitCoolit FalkirkPosts: 468Member Uncommon

    ESO is the next MMO I'm going to play for sure. Absolutely love the lore in elder scroll games and personally find it the most complete lore of its kind.

    Still praying they don’t mess the series up making an MMO but this preview at least has gone someway to ease my concerns, thanks Bill and the team!

  • BillMurphyBillMurphy Managing Editor Berea, OHPosts: 2,356MMORPG.COM Staff Uncommon
    Originally posted by AdamTM
    So the combat is like TERA? RaiderZ? A sword has a hitbox and when it connects it does damage?

    This seems to be contradicted by what you said later about not being able to swing when you are not targetting someone.

    Sounds like a soft-targeting mechanic.

    PS: If you walk into town, do you -see- the quests?

    i,e, do you have quest-markers over peoples heads, or can you interact and talk with everyone, and only some will have quests for you?

    Because if you get ushered from npc to npc and find quests on the ground glowing, then thats incredibly un-TES like.

     

    Your article presents information like the "Each alliance has its own 1-50 leveling experience." as a fact, and you embellish it with "completely different", even though that information isn't confirmed. This is bad writing, and bad journalism. It creates completely false expectations.

    There is a difference between

    "Each alliance has its own 1-50 leveling experience" and

    "you'll be able to replay the 1-50 game three times in three completely different ways"

    thats latter is your own conjecture.

    Rein in your enthusiasm.

    1.) TERA - Yes, it's like that. Currently, remnants of the E3 build keep you from swinging a melee unless you're aiming reticle is over the enemy.  This is changing.  

    2.) Yes, I'm afraid you see them on your map, and NPCs that have anything to do with a quest have a glowing outline.  I can concede that this is un-TES. But not a dealbreaker (for me).

    3.) It IS confirmed, by the devs own words.  I could add "If you really want to believe the developers", but it seemed unnecessary and kind of cynical.  If what they said to us last Wednesday turns out not to be true, then we can get pissed.

    As for reining in my enthusiasm. Sorry, it's not my style and I apologize if you don't enjoy it. 

  • orbitxoorbitxo fort lauderdale, FLPosts: 1,405Member Uncommon
    off topic here= when will we hear an (Alpha) WarZ review ?...i have a lot to say abt this game.
  • BillMurphyBillMurphy Managing Editor Berea, OHPosts: 2,356MMORPG.COM Staff Uncommon
    Originally posted by orbitxo
    off topic here= when will we hear an (Alpha) WarZ review ?...i have a lot to say abt this game.

    Mike will kill me for derailing the thread (his banhammer is mighty), but early next month.  ;)

  • EntinerintEntinerint brooklyn, NYPosts: 843Member Uncommon

    Certainly "better" but not quite there yet.

    Unlock those classes, unlock those factions and give us actual melee FPS combat (it's not scary Bill - it's how all TES games have ever been) and then we'll be talking.

    They are clearly making strides toward that end, I just hope they make it all the way.

    As it stands, it's still a "no" from me, but I will follow it and see if they come around finally.

    Also, the art style looks much improved.

     
  • aphydorkaphydork Boring, ORPosts: 133Member

    Fingers crossed.

    I'm sure it will be worth a try, at the very least, but hopefully they have a lot of things to keep people hooked.

  • McGamerMcGamer Fairfield Bay, ARPosts: 1,012Member
    Tera's dodge mechanic ia way better than GW 2's so I really hope TESO doesn't resort to tab-targetting like GW2. It's bad enough they are trying to mimic the multi-guild system which stinks imho because it builds distrust and leeching.  I also really hope that TESO does a better job of building a community that is less anti-social than what GW2 lends to.
  • GrenoybelGrenoybel SomewherePosts: 33Member
    Can we make the PC jump?
  • LanceCLanceC Boston, MAPosts: 55Member
    wish it were classless...but I think skyrim was the first tes that was.
  • BillMurphyBillMurphy Managing Editor Berea, OHPosts: 2,356MMORPG.COM Staff Uncommon
    Originally posted by Grenoybel
    Can we make the PC jump?

    You bet.  ;)

    Heading home folks.  I'll answer more questions about the game specifics as they come.  Feel free to pipe up.

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