We’re finally getting a better look at how Elder Scrolls Online plays. In the video above, we’re given a glimpse at some combat, PvE, PvP, and a vague description of what we can expect from the game as a whole.
The biggest takeaway from the video for me was that Elder Scrolls Online will be a themepark. The giveaway:
“Once you hit level 50, that’s where the game really opens up.”
Probably a poor word choice, but revealing nonetheless. Exploration is mentioned in the video, but in the sense that you’ll roam to find quests or points of interest. Public quests are mentioned, and from what I gather it sounds like there might be a mix of WoW and GW2 questing models. Not enough details to really say for sure.
The world is so beautiful, and so rich with story and detail from so many past games, that I wish it were going to be more ‘virtual world’ than what it sounds like so far. I want it to be a game world where I’m actively utilizing the entire continent at once instead of progressing through content. So many neat towns and places are forgotten and never visited again in a game that progresses players down a path. I want those hype statements about the world being ‘alive’ and ‘lived in’ to be true in Elder Scrolls Online. I certainly get that feeling from their RPG’s.
I think the Mega-Server technology mentioned in the video can go two ways: Huge open-world so big that we can accommodate everyone, or highly-instanced and phased. There will only be one server, but I fear that means we will have instanced zones and areas with only a few people in them at once. Technically, if they stay true to Tamriel, the world is large enough to accommodate everyone. Given enough starting areas, there would be minimal overcrowding. My gut and common sense tell me this is not a reality, and we’ll see instancing and lobbying.
The PvP details included sieging keeps, controlling territory, and having hundreds of players on the screen at once. Vague, and awfully scripted in the video, but I’m eager to see it in action. Again, my gut radar (which is almost always accurate when it goes off) is telling me to be wary of this PvP. I can imagine an open-world PvP environment of owning territory and squaring off against other kingdoms. I can also see something like GW2 (less permanence) or worst case scenario like WAR where it all feels shallow, temporary and arcade-like.
I hope they can maintain the sense immense scope of Elder Scrolls. I want to go on journeys, travel to truly distant lands, and feel like I’m a visitor when I travel too far from home. Being totally honest, when I watch the video I do not get that feeling. Granted, that video is so vague — and rightfully so at this time — that I can’t glean much. I want so much from this game. My fingers are crossed tightly because we’re going to need it.