Elder Scrolls Online Introduction Video Analysis

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.”

Elder Scrolls Online Introduction Desert
I hope for a world that is vast, ‘alive’, and true to the nature of Elder Scrolls.

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.

Elder Scrolls Online Introduction Sieging
Elder Scrolls has always been about the sandbox PvE world. PvP will be so easily messed up if it fails to capture that same open and permanent feel.

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.

  • I really wanna get hyped for this game, but it all sounds so generic. You have classes, then you choose talents to make your class “unique” yeah, never heard of that before. And that mega server thing sounded like tons of instances. I have a hard time finding anything in that video I look forward to. But the graphics were nice, if a bit more stylished than the single player games, but I guess thats pretty common in MMO’s nowadays. After lvl 50 the game begins? Sounds like lots of raids. The pvp sounded like another laggy zerg fest. Exploration in themepark MMO’s are a joke, there are no surprises. There’s allways a clear indication of which zones you can handle, and which you cant. And offent there’s no reason to explore, other than some artifical reward like an achivements (which is okay, but shouldn’t be the only reason to explore)

    Sorry, this sound like an attempt at getting some easy MMO out of a beloved franchise with lots of fans, like SWTOR tried as well. Unless they do something truly unique (and i’m not talking lore here, I mean gameplay) i’ll never touch this.

  • I was so excited…and now disappointed with GW2 WVW…that frankly I’m just not going to get myself excited about Elder Scrolls.Disappointed way too many times.Soooo..I’ll just secretly hope.Thanks for the great article.

  • I saw the graphics and the world and the first thought was…hmm…I bet this is going to be heavily instanced. Then they mention the megaserver and how it knows where to put you in the world (bc where your friends and guildmates are)…this really sounds like instanced technology. I would think that it doesnt mean that I log in and some of my friends are in town xyz so I get transported there…rather…my friends are in instance 46 and the game is smart enough to put me in the same instance. That alone is a deal breaker for me…

  • I’m with C3 here. There wasn’t anything that excited me. All I have to see is a group of “adventurers” all standing still in a circle around a mob/boss and it makes me want to cry. Why in the world would you build a new MMO and have the exact same combat as WoW etc. There needs to be a term for this outdated combat. It’s like the civil war era when someone realized that everyone standing in a line trading blows until the other side was dead is actually stupid. MMO combat needs to realize this also.

    Sorry for the rant. In all fairness I didn’t really give this video a fair shake. I tried to listen and pay attention, but I just couldn’t. I’ll wait for more info.

  • Having to work on that game must be really depressing, I feel bad for all the developers involved. Oh well, hopefully they just push it out, watch it fail and move on. I won’t rule out that it will surprise me, but let’s just say it’s the epitome of a long shot.

  • I generally agree with Cthreepo here. It might be fun for a bit, worth a romp to see the art assets, but nothing worth getting super excited over.

  • Nothing about what they’re trying to do interests me at all. ESO shouldn’t be a RvR game. It screaaaaaams for a darkfall or shadowbane type open world free-form interaction between players. I’ll wait for the next Elder Scrolls singleplayer game.

  • My radar is saying yes, Elder Scrolls Online has built the technology from the ground up to handle huge numbers of online players in huge pvp settings.

    Because if they didn’t, the game will fail. And if I know that, they sure as heck know that.

    I don’t know about you, but I want the epic back in my pvp.

  • “Because if they didn’t, the game will fail. And if I know that, they sure as heck know that.”

    LOL…no they don’t…Noooo….they dont.

  • If I still wanted to play WoW, I’d play the original, not some 5 year late poor attempt at a clone.

  • I’ve never seen a game concept I wanted to play less. Even TSW, Tera and SWTOR looked more appealing and I never bought them.

  • Not that keen on this one either.

    Looks pretty, but a bit generic in terms of gameplay, which is unfortunate, as the customization does sound good.

    This is guarenteed to be instanced, there’s blocks that simply don’t allow for EVERYONE to truly be in one area together without things falling apart. But who knows, maybe I’ll be surprised, I’ll keep on eye on it. Cautious optimism here…

    But the other thing that worries me is that as it is now an MMO, is that there won’t be mods, and let’s be honest, Oblivion, Skyrim, the REAL treasure for these games is the mods.

  • “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.”

    I don’t think it is possible now to feel the immersion in an MMO…I get immersed in single player RPGs like skyrim and Dragon Age, but in MMO is not possible for me…I feel the pressure to progress and without even want it I feel stressed to do as many things I can in my little free time..add to this people around you that will break the immersion..people that will sit with their mounts on NPC, jumping on top of mailboxes, spamming on chat, e.t.c.

    It is 100 times more difficult in an MMO world to feel immersed than a single player game..at least for me. It happened in the past when I was new to MMO, but it cannot happen any more. The only game so far that is very close to achieve this is LOTRO. I got lost in a storm in Misty Mountains and it was night..I could see the goblin fires from far away and hear wolves screaming here and there..it was one rare moment of immersion in an MMO the last 5+ years..I really hope Elder scroll can bring again that feelings once in a while, but I doubt it..after so many disappointments from hyped games, my hopes are very low but of course I will try it, as I do with all MMOs

    PS. sorry for bad English

  • I’ve been disappointed enough with the last 10 MMO releases that I don’t get excited anymore about this crap. Even when the developers give interviews there’s never a substantial question asked nor a substantial answer given. Videos like this say nothing so why bother? It’s like poltical campaigns, speak to millions of people for 2 years and make sure you don’t SAY anything.

    As for the mega server thing it’s been done before so we are at least somewhat familiar with the possible pitfalls. AC1 and AO both did the 1 server at launch thing and if you played those 2 you guys are missing one of the biggest problems they had, generic geography. Out in the wilderness of both of those games you could feel the computer generated landscape and that was way more depressing then instancing. We also have to watch out for the hub population teleporting, remember in AC1 when the town areas had more people in them then they could handle you would just be teleported out of the zone automatically. Not that ESO will opt for crazy dumb ideas like that but when I hear that they’re taking the megaserver route they have to realize that if they’re going to have quest hubs those hubs are going to hold 1000s not 100s of people.

    The optimist in me is saying, ‘at the very least it’ll be better then SWtOR right?’ Course that’s a pretty low bar to shoot for.

  • I’ll buy it, play it, and tell you guys all about it. If it’s better than SWTOR then it will be worth the purchase. I think they’ll have a fairly easy time accomplishing that given what we’ve seen on paper.

  • I like how they are doing an MMO version of TES classes. Being able to play a class you want (say Dragon Knight) and use any weapon and any armor gives alot of freedom for a class based system. You also get to personalize your skills in much the same way that Diablo 3 works. I also like how exploration is key to leveling, and it utilyzes the TES compass from previous games. It also has open non-instanced dungeons and explorable group areas.

    The negatives is that it relys to much on phasing and instancing, I am not a fan of the proposed mega server technology. I also do not know how this can work in a RvR area, I also have many questions as to power creep since “raiding” is in. Not a fan of vertical progression.

    I fear this will be another “3-monther” because I dont see the longevity. I miss DAoC’s RvR and thought GW2’s would replicate that feeling, but as I have gotten old I have found out I dont care much, actually I dont like PvP at all any more. I want perpetual leveling, with deep meaningful character progression through skills and abilities in an explorable living world.

    I fear for TESO’s longevity!

  • If it’s themepark at all, if it uses instancing and phasing at all, then it’s not really Elder Scrolls. The whole reason to have an Elder Scroll MMO is to have a vast sandbox world simultaneously inhabited by many players. If they can’t (or won’t) do that, then forget about it.

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