This is why community managers are so important: The Elder Scrolls Online Game Director Matt Firor is quoted in an interview today saying the following:
“This is more a multiplayer Elder Scrolls game than an MMO. [You’ll see] very limited UI, nice and clean, not a lot of bars.. the combat system is very much action-based. It’s also soloable… you can solo almost the entire game. […]” [Source]
He has a point. TESO has already been outed as highly-instanced, and that’s not the first time Firor has come out to saying the entire game is soloable. The thought crossed my mind to go to their site and look for any references at all to TESO being a MMO, and sure enough I wasn’t able to find a single reference; not that there’s much info on their site at all, though. But they haven’t really been honest in their marketing either. ZeniMax has taken every opportunity to feed major MMO sites with TESO info, their videos emphasize MMO, and the beta application is clearly MMO bait. Ask 9/10 people and they’ll tell you TESO is going to be a MMO.
I should be really happy, though. I don’t want TESO to be an MMO. TESO should never even have hinted at MMO design, even in the vaguest possible sense. They should have always marketed and designed TESO to be a multiplayer RPG. If TESO even smells like a MMO then it will be judged like one, and I can already tell you the crippling wave of fear is settling in on the ZeniMax team, likely fueling the backpeddaling, that being a MMO and falling short of the mark will be the kiss of death.
Someone needs to take charge and get the MMO community some much needed clarification. You’re confusing the hell out of people, Zenimax. You’re sending mixed messages, designing it like a themepark MMO, but calling it multiplayer RPG. TESO has SWTOR written all over it, and that’s horrifying.