The Elder Scrolls Online: So Much Cognitive Dissonance!

Before we get to what I really want to talk about, can someone tell me when the decision was made to call the game “ESO” instead of “TESO?”  Anyway…

We have a date! 4.4.14 will mark the launch of THE Elder Scrolls Online.  I am so torn on this one guys.  In yesterday’s WildStar post I felt reasonably confident saying my chances of playing were zilch because the game is blatantly going a direction that bores me.  I really can’t figure out what I think about TESO, though.

I can’t shake this feeling in my gut that an epic fail is sneaking up on us.  I feel like everything related to The Elder Scrolls Online is ‘murky’ and a half-truth.  Is it an MMO or a multiplayer Elder Scrolls?  We’ve been told both to appease both camps.  We’re told the PvP is massive and open-world, but then we se it’s lobbied and looks like WoW’s Wintergrasp.  Every time I read something from Matt Firor I’m questioning whether or not what I’m reading is total BS to sell boxes.  At the end of the day I am still sitting here shaking my head thinking, “WTF is The Elder Scrolls Online?”

TIP: That’s not a good thing!

I watched the above trailer and wasn’t impressed at all. Actually, let me clarify something. When I first watched it I let the “omg omg omg it’s The Elder Scrolls with other people and catapults!” cause me to start shaking with anticipation. Didn’t take long before the janky looking slide-turning animations to take hold. Then I realized what they’re doing is making the same type of gameplay I remember from WAR look better by using cinematography. Am I jaded or just being real here?

There’s a strong themepark arcade feel to what I’m seeing, and that is NOT what The Elder Scrolls is about.  I feel it in my gut.  I’ve learned to trust that feeling as the warning signs for impending buyer’s remorse.  Curse this cognitive dissonance!

  • I’ve yet to talk to a single person who has beta experience that really liked the game. The ‘best’ I hear was that it was alright for a themepark.

  • Trust in your feelings padawan. This one has flop written all over it. You have to remove some of the best parts of elder scrolls games in order to fit the theme park mmo mold. Maybe it will do ok on consoles since choice is limited but I predict crash and burn on PC.

  • The only real factor to decide whether or not to play TESO is whether you enjoyed games like Morrowind/Skyrim etc. If you did, then TESO will not be for you.

    The reason is simple. Skyrim/Morrowind and all of the Elder Scrolls games were amazing because they were singleplayer. You affected the world, you affected yourself, you did what you wanted when you wanted. And the worlds reacted.

    Any multiplayer variation of these games simply WILL NOT HAVE THAT.

    So, to summarize: Everything good about the Elder Scrolls will not be in TESO.

  • This so called siege trailer gave me a WAR feeling indeed, but even less effort put into it.
    Oh and your not jaded just realistic.
    i have no hopes or interest in the elder scrolls online.

    If you really want to see what jaded people are like, then visit the forums.
    Yes I admit I like to lurk there from time to time. (used to post)
    its the home for jaded mmorpg players it seems where they share the frustrations.


    Been in the toy store today and seen gran turismo 6. I can hear you wonder thats not a big deal.
    Tru but there where also 2 other gran turismo 6 games right next to it. Well games.. they where prepaid buy 1 million or 2.5 million ingame currency.
    Right there in the game section in between the games looking like games.

    I felt offended. If this is the way next gen turns out, then I hope for a mayor crash like in the 80ties.
    Let indie games climb their way back up.
    We would be better off.

  • That trailer looks terrible. All those little stick figures with their scrawny arms and legs. Labored animation on the siege engines. It looks old and tired. Usually games trailers give the impression they’ve been gussied up to look better than the game – if that’s the case here then TESO must look really ropey.

    On the other hand, Rawblin’s comment above is interesting. I disliked Morrowind so much that I never even looked at another Elder Scrolls game. Maybe I’d actually like TESO…

  • Pretty much what I expected.

    All the things that made the other games good had to be taken out for this. Not that Skyrim would have to be single player to be good, but lets be honest here. Combat animations and character animations were not Skyrim’s strong suit.

  • I beta tested this the last beta weekend they had. It is crap and I think your right in saying it will be a huge flop. It is NOT a multiplayer Skyrim. It is a half assed attempt at an elder scrolls game.

    That whole epic feeling you get when you escape the dragon attack and are left to your own devices in the world, thats gone and non existent, the UI is atrocious, the character advancement is shit.

    That sums it up, its missing the EPICness that made Skyrim and Oblivion awesome.

  • I ve seen the video 2 days ago on massively…Characters, animations, turning, gameplay seem so ugly,bland and un-polished. Not to mention that pvp has nothing to do with Elder scrolls. Instead of making a “sandboxy” pve game with a huge immersive world, they did what? A themepark with a RvRvR. I guess the name ESO is only for the possibility to sell as many boxes possible before they follow swtor into the “minor leagues” as Syncaine say and write “the adventures of a Hotbar salesman part II”.

  • If it is only 4 months away from your release date and most sites/blogs are trying to discuss/debate even what your game is you are doing something seriously wrong.

    Of course doing things wrong seems to be the only way they know how to do things… which is a shame since I live in Baltimore where Zenimax is located and have meet some of the staff and they seem like nice people.

    At this point I only see myself trying the game again about 6 months after launch when they restructure their payment model.

  • The siege looks like Dark Age of Camelot……actually it looks like it was taken straight from it. The one thing I cannot stand is generic or canned combat animations (wildly swinging). I think I may pass on this one until its been out for a while….possibly late in the summer.

  • I will believe that a AAA-budget MMO is not a theme park only when it actually launches. It’s in their interest to market as widely as possible because then at least they get your $60 for the box, but there is zero evidence anyone is willing to spend $100 million on a sandbox.

  • It makes me sad that this game has a subscription, because it’s yet another pile of crap besmirching the payment model of choice for sandboxes and meritocracies. Here comes another hundred years of stupid people claiming subscriptions are dead and can’t work for an MMO ><

  • I’m not really a fan of any of the Elder Scroll games. This trailer didn’t convince me to give the online version a shot.

    The only thing that may save the game from being a total failure is it’ll be the first MMO on an XBox console. You already have better options on the PS4/3.

  • The pvp trailer looked terrible. When you consider that a company is going to try and put out it’s best effort with something like that in order to entice people to play, the fact that what we see is the best they could put together is pretty pathetic.

  • Both games are going to be on the avoid list. I think themeparks have lost all creative desire now, even the last love affair with FFXIV has turned out to be god awful after some meaningful time under the hood. Fool me twice.

    I think I’m going to stop referencing them as a themepark sub-genre, instead calling them as many have coined ‘3-monthers. Just as a real life themepark, the initial rush is very high but after you’ve walked around the park there isn’t much motivation to get back in line and you leave.

  • I played a weekend of beta.

    I’ll say I’m thrilled to have a non-specific mmorpg release in 2014 to really look forward to.

  • “If it is only 4 months away from your release date and most sites/blogs are trying to discuss/debate even what your game is you are doing something seriously wrong”

    I would agree with this assessment.

    This was similar to how I felt about SWTOR months before launch; “…so it is a story-driven RPG with a monthly subscription, that has theme park elements like mini-games, as well as open world PvP?”

    It didn’t make sense to me, but I figured the capable hands of a company that previously released sterling titles such as KOTOR and Jade Empire must have hit upon some novel game mechanics that would allow them to meld together seamlessly, …yep.

  • Played the beta, will stick to playing TESV when I need my ES fix. I might would have picked it up if it was going to be like GW and Buy to Play, but I didn’t see anything worth subscription. The game looked very pretty but outside that nothing really ground breaking if you ask me.

  • If I was looking at ESO as an exclusively PC based MMO I’d feel the same reservations as the majority of posters on here. What excites me about this title is that I can play some RvRvR battles on my PS4 from the comfort of my couch and know that those battles will be optimized for my system.

  • All phases of the Beta have been terrible. It’s like they tried to make a multiplayer Skyrim, but add MMO elements. The mash of the two is just implemented poorly. MMO players will hate the lack of depth and interface. Skyrim players will hate the linearity. The interface is just terrible. It’s like they ignored all the mods needed to make Skyrim playable, and just stuck with terribad.

  • @sneth if you played the game you’re violating the nda.

    sooo…maybe you need to go take a bath or shower or something?

  • I had hopes for it years back, pretty much everything they showed in last year puts it on: DO NOT BUY ever.. list

  • The trailer was pretty insipid so I’m even less interested in the game than I was.

    This one won’t even last 3 months.

  • While I’m not sure either way on Wildstar until i get to try it, i can say i have absolutely zero interest in ESO after playing it.

    TES fans will want the essence of the franchise which simply does not work as an MMO. MMO fans will want smooth fluid combat which TES has never been known for.

    In the end, i think they’ll piss off both parties enough to lose both. I’m not even mentioning the DAoC RvR focus that the devs seem to be focusing on, which again makes no sense.

  • this game is a totally failure. dont ever think about to buy it.
    /facepalm for the animations…its like darkfall + themepark.

    its the first game in beta stage that nobody likes it even fanboys

  • @Ald

    I agree that they will end up lose both type of players and also RvR makes no sense in a TES game. Althought, I don’t think it is impossible to create a beautiful immersive world on an MMO. After all TES games are “sandboxy” pve games, with beautiful immersive world, adult stories, dark theme and total freedom on character progression/class build. They definitelly could make an MMO like this.

  • @Ald
    You bring up a good point. It’s split into 3 realms by races. So if your friend wants to play one race and you dont, there’s a good chance you can’t play together.

  • Horde of people standing on the walls and lobbing down lightning bolts? Trebuchets? Battering rams? Walls breaking down into debris that vanish in mid-air (probably after being DPSed for 20 minutes, but hey, we don’t get to see that exciting video!)

    This looks just as terrible as GW2’s WvW.

  • I also have this sinking feeling in my stomach that TESO 😛 will be a failure.God I hope I’m wrong.

  • I played the weekend beta and don’t understand all the criticism and hate for this game. For me it was the best MMORPG experience I have had in a long … long… time. I think I had more fun with it in those 2 days than I have playing any mmo in th past 5-10 years other than the DAoC freeshard servers.