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[Column] Elder Scrolls Online: All About the Gameplay

SBFordSBFord Associate Editor - News ManagerThe Land of AZPosts: 16,632MMORPG.COM Staff Uncommon

It seems that players increasingly like to focus on one or two aspects of an MMO and, if expectations are not met, tend to brand the game a failure. But there's more to a game than one or two things, most importantly how "playable" it is. See what we have to say about this issue in our latest Elder Scrolls Online column before heading to the comments.

I define playability as “am I having fun in the moment?” When I log into the game what is there for me to do?  Many MMOs act as grindfests where you are repeating a process to reach a single goal. Is the process that you are repeating fun? Probably for a while, but it will soon become boring. Elder Scrolls has shown its quest system, its open world maps, and its ability to accomplish character goals through different ways. These three systems can take the grind out of leveling in the game. On their own they work well, but it is the balance of the three which allows you to have fun from moment to moment. If I log in any random night, I should be able to pick any one of these three options and play. If I am in the middle of a quest chain, they I can complete it. Or maybe I just want to explore the world tonight and not follow a quest. That choice for a player is very important and how a game like Elder Scrolls allows for players to make that choice is important to their success and retention.

Read more of Garrett Fuller's Elder Scrolls Online: All about the Gameplay.

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

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Comments

  • marz.at.playmarz.at.play Mississauga, ONPosts: 912Member
    After the leaked video, is anyone actually still excited about this game considering it's going the subscription model route? Just curious as a game would have to blow me away to justify a subscription anymore. Most MMO's are going the B2P or F2P route, plus there's so many choices now as a result.

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  • alias333alias333 tbilisiPosts: 24Member Common
    where is a leaked video can you please give the link to me?
  • SIRKRASIRKRA ItalyPosts: 60Member Common

    Why this post saying almost nothing?? To keep high hype and compensate what we've seen in the leaked video or to say under courtains that ESO is more that what's there was in that video ( old beta build?? ), who know.

    ( I think someone who was there like me, can say that was looking like AoC beta in 2008 )

  • AddersAdders LauncestonPosts: 28Member

    Well yes, but 'fun' is a complex and ever-changing beast.

    I hope they can get it right, fingers crossed because I want to love and live the game!

    Fallen Earth, back in the old days, was fun because of the different setting, huge open world, 6-faction PVP, free aim, vehicles and the deep-as crafting system.

    Guildwars2 is pretty fun because of the dynamic events, different ways to complete quests, story and graphics etc.

    SWTOR had story, but wasn't fun because it's standard themepark full of identical characters and the worst ever feature of MMOs - tab targeting.

    TSW had story but it's uber-themepark, you can't interact with the world, and has the worst ever feature of MMOs - tab targeting.

    But maybe you disagree, maybe you think Korean-style grind is worse than tab targeting? A game where you just push some combo buttons and watch health bars, hoping the enemy's falls faster than yours, is not much of a game IMO. That's one thing TERA improved upon. Shame about the grind.

    So... if TESO has story, free-aim, no grind, beautiful graphics, character customisation, open world, great crafting... I guess it has to be a winner.

    Still haven't got a beta invite.

  • IncomparableIncomparable KuwaitPosts: 872Member
    It should be interesting to see the balance of themepark and sand box. Its a large budget mmo, so it might be worth it. I am in no rush fir this game to be released under cooked, so hopefully its fully incubated to hatch and ruffle some feathers in the mmo market. My interest is how they develop theur engine using the hero engine as a skeleton. It would be a comparison to that for performance and stability.

    “Write bad things that are done to you in sand, but write the good things that happen to you on a piece of marble”

  • BetaguyBetaguy Halifax, NSPosts: 2,590Member
    Originally posted by SBFord

    It seems that players increasingly like to focus on one or two aspects of an MMO and, if expectations are not met, tend to brand the game a failure. But there's more to a game than one or two things, most importantly how "playable" it is. See what we have to say about this issue in our latest Elder Scrolls Online column before heading to the comments.

    I define playability as “am I having fun in the moment?” When I log into the game what is there for me to do?  Many MMOs act as grindfests where you are repeating a process to reach a single goal. Is the process that you are repeating fun? Probably for a while, but it will soon become boring. Elder Scrolls has shown its quest system, its open world maps, and its ability to accomplish character goals through different ways. These three systems can take the grind out of leveling in the game. On their own they work well, but it is the balance of the three which allows you to have fun from moment to moment. If I log in any random night, I should be able to pick any one of these three options and play. If I am in the middle of a quest chain, they I can complete it. Or maybe I just want to explore the world tonight and not follow a quest. That choice for a player is very important and how a game like Elder Scrolls allows for players to make that choice is important to their success and retention.

    Read more of Garrett Fuller's Elder Scrolls Online: All about the Gameplay.

    image

     Good read, glad you are enjoying it.  Game looked great so far from what I seen. Not the standard run of the mill MMO. Can't wait to give it a play through before crying like many others.

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  • BloodaxesBloodaxes ZabbarPosts: 2,651Member Uncommon

    It's all about the $$$

     

    Now we get an article defending a game that has not even released NDA lol.......

     

    Even AoC starter zone was awesome but afterwards? Don't wear rose tinted glasses because you had fun on the pax demo wait for the NDA to drop so people can post real gameplay videos and express their opinions.

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  • TsaboHavocTsaboHavoc PinheiralPosts: 351Member
    .........Leaked video................. Operation Damage control Status = on................ 
  • BetaguyBetaguy Halifax, NSPosts: 2,590Member
    Originally posted by TsaboHavoc
    .........Leaked video................. Operation Damage control Status = on................ 

     The video was made to show a bad light on the product just as every other MMO leaked before release.  This is nothing new, I have been watching this happen since 1999. /shrug

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  • WellzyCWellzyC Stillwater, MNPosts: 557Member Uncommon

     

    If this games goes the SWTOR route and makes it full of pointless cut scenes and shallow plot lines, it will fail hard.

     

    Cut scenes and linear story Does not keep players enganged. It is not very interesting, it does not foster a community, it does not allow a player to set their own goals, it does not allow for choice, and desotroyes the feeling of of a virtual world when you are forced down a linear path of scripted content.

     

    You are basicly watching a movie to where you can sell your loot bags every once in a while.

     

     

    These overly scripted, cut scene MMos, like TSW, defiance, swtor... they are just.. horrible and just because they have a chat box and some shallow multiplayer elements, should not be called MMOS.  Rather multiplayer story rpgs.

     

    All the resources are spent on voice acting, cut scenes and writing story lines, then the remaining 10 bucks its spent on the actual gameplay. If they spent as much time making dungeons, deep crafting, Social innovations, destuctable environments, vast open worlds and the other stuff that innovation was supposed to create, MMos would be the greatest thing over.

    But no... we get cut scenes.

     

    The way mmo's were: Community, Exploration, Character Development, Conquest.

    The way mmo's are now : Cut-Scenes,Cut-Scenes, solo Questing, Cut-Scenes...


    www.CeaselessGuild.com

  • pmilespmiles Federal Way, WAPosts: 383Member

    Fun is subjective... and perhaps the wrong carrot to be chasing.  I think the meat of any MMORPG is social interaction... most MMOs have been designing games that are anti-social by design all in the name of "fun".  Nothing sucks the fun out of a game quicker than a ghost town.  They need to focus on ways to make players seek other players for help/assistance.  It's what MMOs started out with, it's what got us all on the bandwagon to begin with...

     

    Developers have lost sight of that... the players notice that it's missing rather quickly... although they tend to use the wrong words to describe the perpatrator.  Players make terrible witnesses, but they did in fact see the crime.  Everyone wants community and socialization... whether they admit it or not.  

  • RyowulfRyowulf Greensburg, PAPosts: 668Member Uncommon
    Where did the devs say its going to be Sub based? 
  • PanzerbasePanzerbase Chicago, ILPosts: 423Member
    Gameplay is important to be sure, probably the most important aspect of any game, but let's face facts no one wants graphics 10 years too late meshed in with ancient tab targetting. 
  • Eir_SEir_S Argyle, NYPosts: 4,623Member
    Originally posted by Betaguy

     Good read, glad you are enjoying it.  Game looked great so far from what I seen. Not the standard run of the mill MMO. Can't wait to give it a play through before crying like many others.

    You're not serious, right?  In the same vein as those judging it poorly, how does it look any different from the videos being leaked?  I'd honestly like to know.

  • BadSpockBadSpock Somewhere, MIPosts: 7,974Member

    Elder Scroll games have been engaging and fun for many, many hours despite being single player.

    If ESO can capture enough of that, then they may have a winner on their hands.

    I too worry about the social aspects, but that is true of any MMO.

    We need reason to seek out others and interact with them in positive ways.

     

  • IllyssiaIllyssia LondonPosts: 1,524Member
    Originally posted by Ryowulf
    Where did the devs say its going to be Sub based? 

    I don't think they have actually made a final cast in stone move with regards the sub model. However, a lot of folks seem to think for one reason or another, maybe leaks, that it will start off with the full sub and then later on move to freemium.

  • adam_noxadam_nox hays, KSPosts: 2,036Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Panzerbase
    Gameplay is important to be sure, probably the most important aspect of any game, but let's face facts no one wants graphics 10 years too late meshed in with ancient tab targetting. 

    No one outside of the 10 million people playing such games already.

     

    Final product, I believe, will have targetting, but done via reticle, which is a fair compromise.  Graphics criticisms seem based on one highly suspect video.  It's so weird that people will praise wildstar, a game I could never play due to it's style, and criticize TESO. 

     

    Is all we care about graphics quality, and not style, or potential to immerse?  Did all the real mmo players already move on with their lives?  Because I don't see posts from them anymore.  Instead, all I see are posts from kiddies who only want a fun action game they can play with friends, not an mmorpg that immerses and allows you to make new ones.

     

    I guess this is what happens when the genre deteriorates for ten years straight.

  • Balkin31Balkin31 Citrus Heights, CAPosts: 224Member Uncommon

    Honestly the leaked video did not change my mind as I will always reserve the right to see it, play it and decide for myself.

     

    Good write up BTW...

  • XiaokiXiaoki White Pigeon, MIPosts: 2,606Member Uncommon

    I could make a 20 minute video of me playing any MMO EVER made badly with a level 1 character and it would make the MMO look like the worst thing ever made.


    But, then, the MMORPG.com forums wouldnt exist without uninformed angry hyperbole.

  • koboldfodderkoboldfodder Danbury, DEPosts: 390Member Uncommon

    I didn't really mind the leaked video.  The fonts were old and the graphics were woefully outdated and the gameplay looked really, really bad....but that guy was level one and maybe a lot of the UI stuff were placeholders.  Might be wishful thinking.

     

    Actually the game world and the feel of the game reminded me of EQ running through the Ro Desert area, or AOC.  That is not horrible.  It was not Skyrim though and did not look or feel like Skyrim, but the area was a desert and the guy was a caster.

     

    I don't have any real hope for this game.  No one really wants a TES MMO.  The fans of the single player games will not like the massive restriction and reduced freedom, while the MMO fans do not want another WOW clone or GW2 clone, which is likely what this will end up being.

     

    This will just be a stop gap MMO on the wait for EQ Next.

  • achesomaachesoma Portland, ORPosts: 1,000Member Uncommon
    Social interaction and community are pre-WoW constructs.  Unfortunately, it's only important to those of us that played MMOs before WoW existed and we are a small minority.

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  • BensorBensor GanarethPosts: 59Member Uncommon
    The leaked version is from an early alpha build. Confirmed by an inner source.
  • NitthNitth AustraliaPosts: 3,684Member Uncommon


    Originally posted by Bensor
    The leaked version is from an early alpha build. Confirmed by an inner source.

    Of course it is...let me guess your source cannot be disclosed?

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  • BensorBensor GanarethPosts: 59Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Nitth

     


    Originally posted by Bensor
    The leaked version is from an early alpha build. Confirmed by an inner source.

     

    Of course it is...let me guess your source cannot be disclosed?

    Someone who works on the game.

  • MaelwyddMaelwydd CrawleyPosts: 1,123Member
    Originally posted by Bensor
    Originally posted by Nitth

     


    Originally posted by Bensor
    The leaked version is from an early alpha build. Confirmed by an inner source.

     

    Of course it is...let me guess your source cannot be disclosed?

    Someone who works on the game.

    It might be me but I can't tell you for sure....

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