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[Column] Elder Scrolls Online: Immersion in ESO

SBFordSBFord Associate Editor - News ManagerThe Land of AZPosts: 16,633MMORPG.COM Staff Uncommon

MMO developers want their players to be invested in the game. To that end, they try to create ways to immerse players into a living, breathing world. In today's Elder Scrolls Online column, we take a look at the ways ZeniMax is planning to immerse players in the game. Read on and then tell us what you think in the comments.

There’s something we talk about pretty often in the MMO world: immersion. It’s one of those “little things” that makes such a huge difference in how we play and experience any game, not just our MMOs.  It’s about getting lost in the experience, having the world surround you, the narrative envelop you, and finding out several hours later that you skipped dinner and are now going to get three hours of sleep before you have to wake up for work the next day. The Elder Scrolls Online is in a unique position to capitalize on immersion in the MMO space, and today I’d like to point out a few reasons I think this is Zenimax’ unmentioned “killer app” in ESO.

Read more of Bill Murphy's Elder Scrolls Online: Immersion in ESO.

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Look familiar? This is The Elder Scrolls at its most quintessential.

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

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Comments

  • NaddabNaddab Orlando, FLPosts: 5Member
    I am really excited to play this game. The one thing I hope they can replicate is having PS4 players and PC players on the same server like FF14. This is a game I could really enjoy sitting on my couch playing through story or just exploring. Then grab my computer and get on vent with my friends to do raids, dungeons, and pvp.
  • LordSneergLordSneerg Lorton, VAPosts: 119Member
    I just hope this game delivers. I wss hyped initiallybut now I am just being cautiously ooptimistic.
  • IselinIselin Vancouver, BCPosts: 5,616Member Uncommon

    The minimalist UI is a great trend in many new and upcoming MMOs and ESO is taking it to a different level by fading skills and stats when not needed or at max.

    Fully voiced NPCs --whether important or just miscellaneous ones that are there for flavor, was a great feature in Skyrim and will be here as well. MMOs that don't do this (e.g. FF XIV where not even cut scenes are voiced) are looking as dated as text-only adventures.

    If only they would add an in-game voice chat system with game-appropriate voice morphing (like SOEmote)...

  • DAS1337DAS1337 Parma, OHPosts: 2,404Member

    Until a game has realistic world housing, I can't be immersed.  Where is everyone living?  Are we all wandering warriors who vanish when we log off?  Do we all stay at inns?  If that is the case, let us rent instanced rooms from the inns, and have them act as banks.

     

    Something.  Anything..

  • RexKushmanRexKushman lake como, NJPosts: 28Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Naddab
    I am really excited to play this game. The one thing I hope they can replicate is having PS4 players and PC players on the same server like FF14. This is a game I could really enjoy sitting on my couch playing through story or just exploring. Then grab my computer and get on vent with my friends to do raids, dungeons, and pvp.

    This would be awesome but it has already been confirmed that the game is platform locked.

    PC with PC

    PS4 with PS4

    X1 with X1

  • DestaiDestai Detroit, MIPosts: 574Member
    Any chance at immersion is ruined by the faction lock. They have such a great game otherwise.
  • EcocesEcoces Chicago, ILPosts: 879Member Uncommon

    who cares about immersion nowadays? just give me a fun MMO with quite a bit of depth. Immersion is just a MMO Hipster word when people have to mindlessly hate on something. "omg the graphics in this game ruin my immersion!" "Omg holiday events ruin my immersion" "omg easter eggs ruin my immersion"

     

    and no immersion does not equal depth.

     
  • crack_foxcrack_fox WellingtonPosts: 402Member
    Immersion is not one of the "little things", it's the big thing. The fact that Zenimax appear to understand this is the reason why this game is the only major MMO that I'm excited by. Also very glad that it is platform-locked. 
  • EndoRobotoEndoRoboto Silverdale, WAPosts: 275Member
    ^ amen brother
  • DarkcrystalDarkcrystal st clair shores, MIPosts: 809Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by crack_fox
    Immersion is not one of the "little things", it's the big thing. The fact that Zenimax appear to understand this is the reason why this game is the only major MMO that I'm excited by. Also very glad that it is platform-locked. 

    Bad idea to platform lock something, if people try say the reason they like it is because of annoying console players, well guess what PC players are just as bad, I'm a console gamer and been  a PC gamer since I had my commodore... So people need to get that out of there head right now... Stop with those worthless reasons.

  • BladestromBladestrom edinburghPosts: 4,946Member Uncommon
    Depth without immersion a contradiction (or delusion)

    rpg/mmorg history: Dun Darach>Bloodwych>Bards Tale 1-3>Eye of the beholder > Might and Magic 2,3,5 > FFVII> Baldur's Gate 1, 2 > Planescape Torment >Morrowind > WOW > oblivion > LOTR > Guild Wars (1900hrs elementalist) Vanguard. > GW2(1000 elementalist), Wildstar

    Now playing GW2, AOW 3, ESO, LOTR, Elite D

  • CecropiaCecropia Posts: 3,472Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Ecoces

    who cares about immersion nowadays? just give me a fun MMO with quite a bit of depth. Immersion is just a MMO Hipster word when people have to mindlessly hate on something. "omg the graphics in this game ruin my immersion!" "Omg holiday events ruin my immersion" "omg easter eggs ruin my immersion"

     

    and no immersion does not equal depth.

     

    What in the world are you talking about? Immersion is not an "MMO hipster word", lol.

    When you are immersed in any type of entertainment whether it be mmos, movies, a book, a sporting event etc. that particular entertainment product is doing it's job and it's doing it well. When you lose track of time that's when you're really having fun. This is essentially what entertainment is striving to achieve. I've gone to movies and found myself checking my watch within minutes; I was simply not enjoying the film and was certainly not immersed. When I saw World War Z in 3D, I was immersed from the opening scene until the credits rolled up. I actually wanted the film to keep running. Now that was entertainment!

    I am genuinely sorry for you that you cannot seem to get immersed (especially in an mmo), but I assure you there are many who do not struggle with immersion and in turn derive much more fun out of a quality entertainment product.

    "Mr. Rothstein, your people never will understand... the way it works out here. You're all just our guests. But you act like you're at home. Let me tell you something, partner. You ain't home. But that's where we're gonna send you if it harelips the governor." - Pat Webb

  • LeitheudhenLeitheudhen Van-Alstyne, TXPosts: 2Member
    I agree about housing, or Campsites.
  • LeitheudhenLeitheudhen Van-Alstyne, TXPosts: 2Member
    I agree 100%. ESO, say no to "Jingle all the Way." (unless it's Krumpus) Or Easter/holiday crap. Unless you make it "completely" LORE friendly, I don't want to see it. I would like an adult MMO please.
  • marcustmarcust AdelaidePosts: 467Member Uncommon

    Please tell me there is no global chat.

    All the immersion in the world cannot save us from ourselves.

    Playing: ESO, Submerged
    Favourite games have been: UO, Lineage2, WoW, Darkfall, Lotro, GW2

  • DrakephireDrakephire Fontana, CAPosts: 445Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by marcust

    Please tell me there is no global chat.

    All the immersion in the world cannot save us from ourselves.

    Pointless. People will just use Skype, or Vent, or any other chat utility. Having a global chat in game that players can disable is fine.

  • erikkennedyerikkennedy daytona beach, FLPosts: 6Member
    while the voice overs may have been good in skyrim, there were not enough voices. I got real tired of the same voice actor for so many different npcs.
  • ArglebargleArglebargle Austin, TXPosts: 1,418Member Uncommon

    This article reads a lot like someone saying how immersed they were at a football game because of those cool big hot dogs you can get at the concession stands.   

     

    All games are abstractions.    Now everything's a trade off, but I don't think they're doing a good job of it.  At least not for what I'd prefer to play.   If the main parts of the game are  done poorly, it really doesn't matter much how well they've done the ancillary bits.

     

    I've written this one off:  I predict a big spike of sales at release and then a large drop off in players on the computer end of things.  They should really focus on the console market imo.

     

     

    If you are holding out for the perfect game, the only game you play will be the waiting one.

  • SatyrosSatyros Posts: 134Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Destai
    Any chance at immersion is ruined by the faction lock. They have such a great game otherwise.

    Faction lock this and faction lock that.. Have you all ever sit back and thought that, maybe, having that rivalry and sense of belonging spicing up and giving meaning to what you do in the game while bringing people together is what's missing from otherwise quality modern mmo?

    I remember a hundred people in a raid screaming "For the horde" and playing one game fanaticly for many years. I don't actually see anyone tattooing neither "Proud  Elin" nor "HerpDerp realm for the win!" (gw2) on their faces.

    And for that matter, NO, player made guilds-alliances are not the same. No artwork, no lore, no music, no quests to back it up, softcore gamers denied the fun.. The list goes on and on. 

    And the worst.. Sub+ box + cash shop. And you keep on crying over your faction locks.

  • OlgarkOlgark BostonPosts: 319Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Satyros
    Originally posted by Destai
    Any chance at immersion is ruined by the faction lock. They have such a great game otherwise.

    Faction lock this and faction lock that.. Have you all ever sit back and thought that, maybe, having that rivalry and sense of belonging spicing up and giving meaning to what you do in the game while bringing people together is what's missing from otherwise quality modern mmo?

    I remember a hundred people in a raid screaming "For the horde" and playing one game fanaticly for many years. I don't actually see anyone tattooing neither "Proud  Elin" nor "HerpDerp realm for the win!" (gw2) on their faces.

    And for that matter, NO, player made guilds-alliances are not the same. No artwork, no lore, no music, no quests to back it up, softcore gamers denied the fun.. The list goes on and on. 

    And the worst.. Sub+ box + cash shop. And you keep on crying over your faction locks.

    As a player of DAoC I welcome the faction locks as I loved the RvR battles and sieges we had.

     

    As for the cash shop in TESO there will be no cash shop Paul Sage confirmed this in a interview a earlier this week. There will be basic account services bought like name changes, but no in game cash shop.

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  • sudosudo Tel-AvivPosts: 697Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Vivasvan
    Immersion is when your running and a wolf in the trees is attacking a deer and when he sees you he runs,

    Immersion is when your travelling through the woods the sky turns dark and you hear a faint distant thunder and it then slightly starts to rain,

    Immersion is when you need to cross an island you wait for the boat to arrive and while u wait you can drink ale, and so some fishing..as it arrives you wait for people to get off and then get on your self and enjoy the journey as it ventures to the new land,

    These things are immersive. I only ever experienced these things in EQ1 a long time ago. And it was the most immersive world ever.

    Exactly.

    Think I'll stick to single player games until one like this arrives...

    "Only in quiet waters do things mirror themselves undistorted.
    Only in a quiet mind is adequate perception of the world."
    Hans Margolius

  • SiugSiug TallinnPosts: 1,236Member Uncommon

    After I saw what EQN will be like with Lion Kings parkouring around I think that ESO will be the only new playable MMO in coming year or two. I'm just keeping my fingers crossed that the devs can think more out of Daoc box, and some changes like 1st person view and talking more about ES are encouraging. Also, I really like minimalist UI instead of 5-6 hotbars to manage.

    Also, one of the biggest plus for me personally is sub and no CS. Just hope it will stay that way.

  • daltaniousdaltanious waPosts: 2,145Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Naddab
    I am really excited to play this game. The one thing I hope they can replicate is having PS4 players and PC players on the same server like FF14. This is a game I could really enjoy sitting on my couch playing through story or just exploring. Then grab my computer and get on vent with my friends to do raids, dungeons, and pvp.

    I just hope they will not create interface for console and then somehow tried to match it for kebyoard and mouse as FF did.

  • daltaniousdaltanious waPosts: 2,145Member Uncommon
    Khm, any1 calls "immersion" that hand at bottom of screen sending bolts all around? Meh. Just hope TESO have decent 3rd person view WHICH gives feeling of immersion being able to see all around my avatar. 1st rule for me to consider at all to try any game is 3rd person view. 2nd: to be able to use mouse to move. All the rest is discutable.
  • lindhskylindhsky Helsingborg, FLPosts: 129Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Vivasvan
    Immersion is when your running and a wolf in the trees is attacking a deer and when he sees you he runs,

    Immersion is when your travelling through the woods the sky turns dark and you hear a faint distant thunder and it then slightly starts to rain,

    Immersion is when you need to cross an island you wait for the boat to arrive and while u wait you can drink ale, and so some fishing..as it arrives you wait for people to get off and then get on your self and enjoy the journey as it ventures to the new land,

    These things are immersive. I only ever experienced these things in EQ1 a long time ago. And it was the most immersive world ever.

    I agree! The players in todays games, or let me re-phrase that, the developers believes that ALL GAMERS want everything served on a plate. Teleports, easy mobs, easy leveling, marks on maps to find exactly where questmobs are, instanced pvp so it's always 10vs10, 20vs20 and so on, action the moment you step into the game, everyone should be able to get the exact same loot, general zonechat, everything is soloable, easy crafting so all can pick up the skills etc etc that destroys the feeling for me.

    Sure it's nice at times to know that when you join a scenario/battleground that you wont get zerged. But then again, how fun is it when you enter versus a full premade? Or when you are in a premade facing 20 "n00bs"?

    Sure its nice to teleport from south to north in 5 seconds. But this is also a thing that takes away the immersion for me. Yeah, I know magic is magic, but I would much rather take the horse and if I want to take a quicker path it might be a dangerous one.

     In Dark Age of Camelot and also in LOTRO I got quite a good feeling from time to time. DAOC had teleports as well when the first expansion arrived but before that you went from place to place on horseback. The PVP was fun because it was not instanced. You could have a day when you faced 200 people and needed to sneak around and face smaller groups to have fun but I liked that. You didn't know what you got when you entered the pvp-zone and some days you didn't get much action at all. I don't know why but I liked that and I missed that.

    In LOTRO I think I got my good feelings from the world itself. I actually took time to sit down on Weathertop with my pipe and just enjoyed the view just because it felt "roleplayish".

    But I must be honest as well. When I play and the games have all fast teleports, fast leveling, instanced PVP i use it as crazy because I don't want to fall behind. It's just that I know I wouldn't complain if everything wasn't served on a plate in a new game.

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