The Elder Scrolls franchise is a popular one. A series of games that started with Arena way back in the hay days of 1994. From there came Daggerfall and after that the much more known and popular, Morrowind, Oblivion and finally Skyrim. All these games brought something new and never before seen to gaming, with increasingly wonderful technology with each release.
Now it looks like the Elder Scroll series is finally making the leap into the online universe, with Elder Scrolls Online. They’ve done expansions and recently with Skyrim they’ve accepted the modding community with open arms and have thousands upon thousands of community made innovations for Skyrim, but of course there is nothing like Elder Scrolls Online.
This is a big step for the franchise as well, there hasn’t been any online components for any of the Elder Scroll titles before and it looks like the franchise isn’t even bothering to get it’s feet wet and is just jumping right into the deep end. The question is whether this online title is going to sink to the bottom or become an amazing online title that rises to the top?
As it stands, Elder Scrolls Online certainly has some stiff competition to live up to. With so many MMO games out there now, with developed environments, worlds, characters, gear and player bases already well established getting a game like this off the ground is a tough nut to crack. If that isn’t enough to deal with, ZeniMax has to fill the shoes of some of the most in-depth, single player experiences that have ever been created.
With so much riding on this game, it’s no wonder they’ve kept it under wraps for so long and have been very careful about who has beta access and what information gets out to the public. As much as people try, some simply don’t get beta invites to the game.
At first, plenty of people were interested, but weary of the announcement of Elder Scrolls Online. Some folks viewed it as a simple “cash-in,” for a game that people all over the internet had been wishfully asking for, for years.
Once that announcement was made people’s tunes suddenly changed, fearing the worst with plenty of them expecting to just turn the game into another World of Warcraft clone.
While there have been plenty of developers who’ve made this mistake, it’s always something gamers worry about; especially when it’s about about a franchise that many people love. After the demos at E3 and QuakeCon this year though a lot of those worries have been put to rest, with a great twitch-based combat system and even the ability to quickly switch between third and first person views.
Luckily for us, ZeniMax has made this game a labor of love that they have, so far from what we’ve seen put a boatload of time into it. Elder Scrolls Online is going to have all the same classes we’ve enjoyed throughout the series.
The setting of the game also takes place about a thousand years before Skyrim, so all those ruined cities, villages and those old Dwemer will be pretty lively this time around. ZeniMax is also paying very close attention to all the lore of the Elder Scrolls universe. They really have to with this particular title, people aren’t going to accept some half-baked online spin-off. ZeniMax knows this and they are taking it very seriously.
They are certainly doing their very best to bring the full, single player experience from games like Oblivion and Skyrim. There is going to be plenty of sneaking, pick-pocketing and lock-picking too. So there is definitely more to this game than just grinding your way to the top and hoping that we’ve got some friends to play with along the way. The world is certainly complicated too, with three factions all vying for the Emperor’s ruby throne there is going to be no lack of players the fight with as you explore the world. As big as Tamriel already is based on what has be released this far it is just going to keep getting bigger as the developers over at Zenimax unlock more areas in updates and expansions.
Staying true to the Elder Scrolls series, there will still be plenty of small but interesting quests to send players out into the world, either together or by themselves. The player can choose to be a part of the Fighters, Assassin’s, Mage’s guild and many more. While the player may pick a class to start in, just like the single player games, you will have your choice of what skills and abilities you focus on. So there are plenty of options to make your character different, even if your friends decide to play the same class.
There is going to be plenty to do in the this busily populated title with gamer’s who can’t wait to have a chance to get into this game. The game is still a little ways off, and plenty of people are waiting patiently for a beta invite and for a chance to get a bit of a hands-on preview with the game instead of just watching videos.
Even with all these great features though, making a great MMO title is a difficult nut to crack and there will be no shortages of critical eyes looking at this title under a microscope. As long as the Elder Scrolls online can stay true to the series that plenty of gamers have grown to love than we should get a great MMO experience, and finally one that we can also share with our friends, instead of just trading stories. We’re also getting this MMO on our next generations consoles and even OSX, so it doesn’t look like anyone is going to be missing out on this exciting game.