The Elder Scrolls Online
Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
Developer: ZeniMax Online Studios
Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One, MAC
Genre: Massively Multiplayer Online
Release Date: PC, MAC: 4th April 2014, PS4, Xbox One: June 9th 2015
The Elder Scrolls Online is a massively multilpayer online game set in the Elder Scrolls universe and is one of the largest games and the first project of Zenimax Online Studios which was set up in 2007.
The game allows players to join one of any three factions, with which they can, bring harmony to the land and put a stop to the evil that is trying to conquer it.
It was in development for 5 years according to Zenimax, and ever since the studio was founded they have started working on the game. It is quite similar to Skyrim in gameplay mechanics but offers more interaction and features the entirety of Tamriel. Skyrim was only one part of Tamriel, so you can probably expect to play in a massive world.
However, the other regions are to be locked for expansion packs and you will initially only able to play in a sizeable land, which is quite big in its own right.
The game launched for PC and Mac OS X in April 2014 and is due for the PS4 and Xbox One in 2015. It was first revealed by the GameInformer magazine back in may 2012. [reference]
The game was in development for 5 years ever since the studio was set up in 2007, and being an MMO of such a prestigious franchise, this was very much expected.
The main pitch of the game is this: “This time, saving the world from the awakening of ancient evil is only the beginning. What happens when hundreds or thousands of prophesied heroes all think that they should be Emperor?”
Creative director Paul Sage has explained a lot of the gameplay mechanics ever since the game was revealed. He says that the main priority of the team is to create a compelling game first.
He also said that: “It needs to be comfortable for people who are coming in from a typical massively multiplayer game that has the same control mechanisms, but it also has to appeal to Skyrim players. You want to hit those touchstones, but more important than that, you’ve got to create an experience that’s unique and fun.”
The game runs on the HeroEngine, so you’d know what to expect graphically considering SW: TOR ran on the same engine. The game features a 3rd-person camera and is fully voiced.
Unfortunately, there won’t be any dragons, but there are be mounts in the game, and not of flying variety — well you can’t have all the good things, can you? You can also say goodbye to player housing and in-game romances/marriages. [reference]
Since its announcement, the game has gone through various states of closed beta builds that various industry specialists have been included in. Feedback from these beta builds has been positive with special attention being paid to the inclusiveness of the gameplay. The game can indeed be tackled from a single player perspective, but they found themselves “wanting” to make small groups and clans.
The game uses a hubless design, and the reason for this according to the game designers was: “Recreating the freedom Elder Scrolls players expect within the World of Warcraft-style mechanics Zenimax Online is using for this MMO would be impossible without changing the way that players interact with the world.”
The game also features a three faction PvP and they are also adding a balanced version for people who prefer eSports. The game has a competent AI which will react to your every move and will be aggressive.
It has been revealed that it takes you 120 hours to hit the level cap, and there is a lot of leveling mechanics. There are plenty of towns in the game as well: Imperial City, Windhelm, Daggerfall, Sentinel, Mournhold, Ebonheart, Elden Root, Shornhelm, Evermore, Riften and more — and most ES fans should be aware of these names.
The Elder Scrolls Online is set in the continent of Tamriel and will feature a storyline that would be connected to the other games in the series. It takes place 1000 years before the events of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and around 800 years before The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind and The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion in the year 2E 583 during the Second Era of Tamriel. The Daedric Prince Molag Bal will be featured as the main antagonist as he attempts to beat all of Tamriel into submission. In addition several factions will fight against each other for the supreme right to sit on the throne of the Emperor of Tamriel.
In the midst of this chaos, three alliances vie for control of the Imperial City and the White-Gold Tower. High Rock, Sentinel, and Orsinium stand as one, united under the rule of the High King in Wayrest, Valenwood and Elsweyr have forged an alliance with Summerset, and Black Marsh, Morrowind, and Skyrim have joined forces and formed their own uneasy pact.
The Daggerfall Covenant. The Aldmeri Dominion. The Ebonheart Pact.
The main three factions and the races representing them are as follows:
- Ebonheart Pact: The Nords, Dunmer, and Argoninans
- Aldmeri Dominion: Altmer, Bosmer, and Khajit
- Daggerfall Covenant: Bretons, Redguard, and Orcs
In a recent developer post, Zenimax Online explained more about the Daggerfall Covenant. [reference]
- Fighters Guild
- Mages Guild
- Thieves Guild
- Dark Brotherhood
The gameplay will be just like the one you saw in Skyrim, although, modified for PvP and multiplayer. There is a stamina bar now which is said to be a key here with which you can sprint, block, interrupt and break incapacitating effects. There is also said to be a healing mechanic in the game.
The game director wants the game to be something that will provide a proper solo experience. “The part of the IP we worked with the most to ensure it was the closest we could get it in an MMO to what it would be to a console, solo game, was, I’m a hero,” game director Matt Firor revealed in an interview.
“In the Elder Scrolls games you’re always the hero, whether you want to be or not. You go out there and you kill the dragons; You kill Mehrunes Dagon in Oblivion; in Morrowind, you’re up there fighting the Tribunal – those are huge, global, epic things that you don’t want to stand in line to do in an MMO. The last thing you want to do is have the final confrontation with Mehrunes Dagon as he’s stomping across the Imperial City, and you see like 15 guys behind you waiting to kill him because they’re on the same quest.
“As MMO online designers, the thing we wanted to make sure we hit the most was that feeling that you’re awesome, you’re the hero. And we do that through a mix of technology, where when I am confronting a major foe in the game, I’m doing it in an instance where I am alone.
“And we have a whole part of the game that is 100 per cent solo,” he said, “which is the main story, where the world focuses on you – you are the hero, everything you do is solo and the world reacts to you that way.” [reference]
Matt Firor stated in an interview that, “It is a crowded space, but this is Elder Scrolls. One of things of having a huge IP like Elder Scrolls is it cuts through the noise. It’s safe to say – looking at the lines for people to play – that everyone knows about it. That is the first step to getting a lot of people into the game. Part of the crowded landscape is it’s hard to get your message out there. When you say ‘Elder Scrolls’, we don’t have a problem getting the message out, which helps us immensely.”
He also stated that The Elder Scrolls franchise has a huge fan base and stated that, “Elder Scrolls is definitely a quality target, but everything it brings with it intrinsically is almost perfectly suited for an MMO. Giant open world, lots of cool classes, lots of history and depth, the cool combat system that you just experienced. That came from Elder Scrolls. That by far outweighs the expectations of the crowd who hear Elder Scrolls and want to come in. We want to make it meet their expectations.” [reference]
Gameplay designer Maria Aliprando has mentioned that they do not want the players to feel that fighting monsters are boring, and they can do miscellaneous activities like eating something while fighting them. “We want monsters to be a challenge to the player every single time you fight them, not a speedbump for the player. We don’t want fighting monsters to be boring or you can eat a sandwich or do five other things while fighting a monster,” she revealed.
“We want to reward you for executing moves and fighting against monsters as well. So when monsters present their dynamic behaviours we don’t want to confuse you with UI all over the screen; we want you to be in there fighting with the monster at the moment.” [reference]
Time-travel will be featured in the game. Example: The player puts on some old armour and is put in the owner’s role, participating in a battle of long ago.
Zenimax released a new video which shows The Dreugh, the spider type creature shown above. [reference]
The quests the player pursues can be done alone, but the option to play with friends or with other people and pass your quests as a team is also available. The game will feature three major playable factions: The Aldmeri Dominion, lead by Queen Ayrenn that consists of Altmer, Bosmer, and Khajiit forces and which holds sway over the Summerset Isles, Elsweyr, and Valenwood; the Daggerfall Covenant, an alliance of Orcs, Bretons, and Redguards lead by King Emeric which controls High Rock, Hammerfell and the province of Orsinium; and the Ebonheart Pact, which controls Skyrim, Morrowind and Black Marsh with Jorunn the Skald-King leading the Dunmer, Argonians, and Nords.
The developers also explained why they feature a not so dominant race, “As a race, the Orcs have what we would call an inferiority complex. They’ve been kicked around Tamriel and looked down upon by the other races since the beginning of time, and they crave respect. It was a big deal for the Orcs when, in relatively recent history, Orsinium was finally admitted into the Second Empire as a full province. The clans that have joined the Daggerfall Covenant remember that period of recognition, and seek to revive it. The Bretons promised the Orcs could revive Orsinium unmolested, and that once the Covenant re-established the Empire, Orsinium would once again be an Imperial province.” [reference]
The game will also feature many quests, each different and unique in its own way. There will be plenty of emphasis on the plot as well as exploration since the player has the option to explore all of Tamriel (though some portions will be locked from the beginning). The player can also loot food and small items from crates that they find during their exploration. Creative Director Paul Sage explained that anything the player finds in terms of plants or other objects, is not useless and could be used in a recipe for a powerful potion or spell. [reference]
This wiki was last updated on 1st January, 2015.