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Elder Scrolls Online: Optimistic or Skeptical?

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  • I am definitely looking forward to ESOnline! Zenimax has been working with Bethesda for a long time, by now they know the ins and outs of how the Elder Scrolls work and be able to follow that vision. I have no doubts that they will deliver on the world... It's the game play where my worries lie.

    The Maps will need to be instanced. There is no way they could fit the entire world of Tamriel into one instance. There will be loading screens, whether they be hidden and run in the background as you move in between zones or lock you out of the game while the new region loads. Personally I would prefer that loading new instances would be a hidden process where the next zone is loaded in the background as I transition between the zones as opposed to having "portals". Portals would just kill the emersion, though they do have there places. That being said the whole entire map of Tamriel will never be completely available to every player. Bethesda/Zenimax has said that depending on your starting faction you will only have access to that third of Tamriel and the PvP zone of Cyrodil. So Bretons will not be able to venture into the Ebonheart's territory and so on.

    With the TES 'feel' I'd say they will make that happen. The team working on this MMO is dedicated, they believe in the game and they will probably play it themselves. Bethesda will probably make sure they get it right too. They have a solid writing team so I don't doubt they can make you feel like the Hero of Tamriel. That being said it is an MMO and every player will be the hero, and you will see them running around as well. So it is a bit difficult to feel like you are the 'chosen one' when an orc runs past you naked with the name "Ihumpbeef" and in the back of your mind you know that he is the "chosen one" as well. For me it is just a state of mind sort of thing, I just have to forget that "Ihumpbeef" is also the 'chosen one' and focus on my story and the way I play. It is an inherent flaw in the MMO equation, that you will never be the only hero running around in the game. It just comes down to either, excepting that you are one of many, or forgetting that you are one of many and rising above the rest.

    The stealth game play is touchy at the moment and being on the game play side this is where I have my doubts with TES being an MMO. They have to make a lot of compromises to how specific mechanics work in game. They can't implement the same stealth mechanic that worked on light levels and audibility from Skyrim into ESOnline. I researched this one and at the moment It works on line of sight and audibility when it comes to npc's. They are also implementing a disguise system where you can find or pickpocket a disguise from a 'camp' or 'fortress' and walk around in that zone undetected. I think it will make things more interesting with a line of sight system, it will definitely make things more challenging having to plan out routes and such. For PvP there isn't any solid information at the moment. There are speculations that it will run off a stealth mechanic that works while in shadows but nothing has been confirmed 100%.

    Matt Firor in an interview did say that "Every character can stealth and it takes a lot of stamina, if you want to get your stealth good enough to be effective in PvP you need to devote a lot of your skill points, which means you’re a sneaky guy, but you're not quite as good as a fighter. Yeah, you can get the first shot off and you might be able to kill someone but you're not going to live very long when you're visible. You want to give them a role and be disruptive but not be overwhelming." ( http://www.zam.com/story.html?story=32077 )

    It will be interesting to see how stealth works in PvP but I don't think it will be a very powerful tool. It will have it's uses in certain situations but I don't think it will be a good idea to spend the whole time sneaking while in PvP. Maybe for an Ambush?

    I don't think it really matters which camera you play in. Whether you prefer 1st person or 3rd person it is up to the player. Sure it might have an advantage to be in third person zoomed all the way out so you can see that rouge sneaking up on you but the combat is real time so being in first person might help you see when to block or strike more easily. It comes down to player choice and how far they are willing to go for immersion. 

    I am very excited for ESOnline! I have faith in the team and writers and I have no doubt that they will capture Tamriel and the TES feel. My concerns lie more in there localisation. Living in Australia we usually get the short end of the stick when it comes to servers. We aren't a large market when compared to America or Europe and so often we don't get localised servers! The combat is real time and having 210 ping will probably break the game for me. It really is daunting that most companies don't recognise the Australian market. We are small compared to America but that is more a matter of perspective; if companies are waiting for the market over here to grow it won't happen until there is room for us to grow into. So unless ESOnline is released with or at least get Oceanic servers early on Zenimax will have a hard time finding a market in Australia!

    Other Sources

    http://www.shoddycast.com/2012/11/20/stealth-in-the-elder-scrolls-online/

    http://www.pcgamer.com/previews/the-elder-scrolls-online-hands-on-first-person-mode-skills-stealth-and-more/

    http://elderscrollsonline.com/en/news/post/2013/05/29/eso-coverage-from-e3-preview-events

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  • Nice post! I can see that you are very optimistic!

    And sorry that you may have to suffer because of the country you live in! Me being in the U.S., i never really thought about that.

  • I think first of all they have to deliver on scale. The scale of Morrowind, and Cyrodil aren't large enough. Think about the size of World of Warcraft with all of its zones. The entire game scale needs to be larger to accommodate raids and group questing. I think that they might get carried away with the new game and lose some of the lore they had.

    Another thing is that they might lose the intricacies of prior games. They need to port that same level of detail to something over 10x that size.

    And they have to do all of this in a free to play model. If the game isn't free to play, it won't take off. We saw this problem happen with the Old Republic.

  • As an avid fan of the single player games I naturally reacted to the announcement with real hostility and negativity. However as time went on and I learned more and more about the game and how a completely different developer was responsible for making it I began to warm to the idea.

    The more I hear about the game the more interested I become (and I'm already very interested) and I'm satisfied with the developer's claims that they're making it as true to the single player Elder Scrolls experience as an MMORPG can be. The fact that you can play in first person as well is just icing on the cake.

    I'm certainly buying ESO and I'm almost definitely going to spend hundereds of hours playing it.

  • It doesn't have to be a free to play game to be successful. It has to be a good one.

    The Old Republic failed because it was just another WoW clone wearing Starwars colors. It also felt much more like a single player game than an MMO. Sure you could bring your friends along to make life easier, but unless you were doing the raids you didn't need to bring anyone ever.

    That being said! The Free to play and  Buy to Play models are either very prevolent if not becoming more so these days so it is getting harder to justify the cost of a subscription.

    EVE can get away with it because it's an incredibly unique game, a sand box, and every single expansion has been included with your subscription. Players also have the option to use their in game money to pay for their subscription rather than cash.

    TESO hasn't really impressed me enough to warrant a subscription but I'll have to wait and see how the game does and is handled. Maybe even play a few free trials before I'll start considering it though.

  • Kabump

  • I would believe that Elder Scrolls Online would be a great thing, if they manage to get it done right.

  • I saw my friend playing TESO: Online and honestly my excitement for the game diminished...I understand that the graphics aren't going to be as great as Skyrim since its an MMO but I still can't help but feel disappointed with this aspect. Also, I don't really see a significant change in combat which was a little stale in Skyrim. Hopefully I'm just being really dumb and pessimistic because I am still really looking forward to this TESO: Online!

  • Pretty skeptical, but I am very impressed at the cinematic quality of the game. They've really improved the production a lot from when it was announced, I'm just not sure it will be very fun.

     

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