With E3 just a few weeks away Zenimax opened its doors once again for a press preview. I’m going to list all the information that has been released thus far regarding the press preview and discuss parts of it in a bit more detail.
Let us start with the Crème dela crème, Gametrailers.com had the opportunity to talk with Paul Sage (Creative Director) about Elder Scrolls Online. In this video we see and hear a bunch of new information, including the first person view with hands. This is the first time ESO has provided anyone with footage of the infamous first person view with hands and I have to say, I think they are certainly on the right path. When I first saw the video I thought creators just captured some footage of Skyrim with some mods but after looking at all the details in the background, it is Elder Scrolls Online, or a very elaborate mod.
In the interview Paul Sages talks about certain topics of interest;
- 0:23 – Confirms ESO is in fact an MMORPG.
- 0:50 – Great scene of First Person View Combat –Making combat more involved.
- 1:19 – How do you make the world Balance? But allow for exploration and progression.
- 1:56 – Immersive combat – How to do it with a minimalist UI
- 2:43 – Quests – How to stay away from the typical quest grind and promote exploration
- 3:32 – How will the world be unique to me in a MMO environment?
- 4:51 – How will instances/layering and dungeons work?
- 5:23 – Cyrodill – trying to take Elder Scrolls
- 5:49 – 50++ playing a different alliance with the same character (Read this article for more information)
- 6:21 – Master Dungeons – Groups of 4
- 6:46 – 3 Alliances, 9 Races, 1 Emperor
- 7:36 – What makes ESO Stand out?
- 8:31 – SIGN UP FOR BETA!!!
- 8:50 – PC / MAC Release
MMORPG.com’s Suzie Ford had an opportunity to give ESO a try and this is what she had to say. Full article here
Our journey began on the character customization screen where we could choose class, race, gender and more. The customization in Elder Scrolls Online is top notch. I can guarantee that players will spend a lot of time dithering with just the right look for their characters, something that I probably could have spent a lot of the allotted time doing. Still, in the interest of actually playing with the game, I left most options on the default setting though I did manage to get a great hairstyle and face on my Breton.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, character customization is one of the most important aspects of an RPG. It is one of the few things in the game you’re forced to look at from the time you log in until you log off. The character needs to look and feel like you want him to. ESO I think has definitely hit the nail on the head with customization.
The looks and colors of Daggerfall and the way that characters and NPCs look is very much Elder Scrolls. There is no bright color palette here except in places where it fits in one sense or another. Lots of browns, blacks, tans and darker, muted colors abound and it’s all fitting somehow. Even with only an hour of Skyrim under my belt, the city of Daggerfall felt familiar. Players can enter houses and businesses and pick up all the little things like plates and cups, even loot the family’s wardrobe looking for that old sword passed down by Grandpa. Simply put, there is a lot to do in Daggerfall and its immediate surroundings, only one tiny area of the larger games.
Daggerfall sounds exciting, but my biggest concern and a future topic for Immersive Details is, how lively is Daggerfall? Are we going to experience a city full of NPCs that just stand in one spot and present no real form of life? I understand that NPCs need to stand in a specific spot to be found when returning for a quest or to buy/sell items, but when it comes to immersion an NPC that stands in one spot and never moves day in and day out breaks the immersion. Bring life to the cities, have NPC going about their daily “lives” as they would in real life.
Jeffery Wright over at Massively was also at the press event (all these lucky people where was my invite?). See full article here
ESO features a few creative limitations, such as the ability restriction. Characters can use only six abilities at one time, but the harmony of those effects pays off. Just like its single-player predecessors, the game ensures skill-leveling is use-based, but sadly the acrobatics skill won’t see a return (sorry, no castle-jumping in MMOs).
Coming from previous MMOs I have to agree that only 6 buttons was a big concern of mine as well, I felt as if I was going to be a bit limited with my abilities, a very cookie cutter character. But during my play time I noticed a lot of people didn’t go with my build or any others for that matter, there was a small sense of uniqueness with my character even at the lower levels. The feeling of being limited lifted when I saw the versatility I could do with my abilities.
Will there be a return of the Thieves Guild?
ZeniMax: Not at launch.
This was not a flat out No, so we could expect a Thieves Guild post launch. If there is one thing I have learned with my years in the MMO genre, don’t hold your breath for promises post launch until they actually release it. I’ve been waiting for housing in World of Warcraft since they said during the closed beta that it will be released after the game is shipped, it is not a priority at this time. Apparently 7 years later one of the most wanted features in World of Warcraft is still not a priority. Please Zenimax don’t dangle the carrot in front of us, give us a straight answer.
Dalmarus over at Ten Ton Hammer wrote this about his playtime. Full article here
The first few times I tried to take on groups of two or three mobs, or perhaps didn’t see the add walking towards me, the battles were extremely frustrating. After a couple lessons from Maria (lessons the game and its tutorial would have provided had I not skipped 6 levels), I found I was able to use careful planning, timing, and resource management to get through them successfully, even if only by the skin of my teeth.
ESO is going to require thinking and planning, a game of skill. Many MMOs come out that require button smashing, banging your head on your keyboard could put you top of the DPS list. I’ve seen people in a WoW Progression Raids doing top DPS while playing another game on a different screen. ESO is trying to put you in the center of the fight making you stay focused and watch everything.
Tim Turi of Gameinformer talks about his experience with the quests. Full article here.
I wander along the main road, which stretches out from a nearby castle city. I accept a quest from a man with a ghost problem. This frightened individual has inherited an estate that lays mostly in ruin. Nevertheless, he’s interested in the land and wants me to drive out a malicious spirit. This sparks a chain of quests that sweetens my barebones combat options with an engaging story about love, betrayal, and revenge.
If Elder Scrolls is known for one thing, it’s be the ability to tell stories in detail. ESO even though not developed strictly by Bethesda seems to have stuck to its roots and is delivering on their promise, an Elder Scrolls game first and MMO second.
As you can tell by my impressions here, Elder Scrolls Online’s storytelling has left an impact on me. I was more impressed with the tale told in this brief quest chain than I ever was in my hundreds of hours exploring World of Warcraft’s barebones stories [...]
Rus McLaughlin of VentureBeat. Full article here.
I swear, all I wanted was to try my hand at crafting something. Instead, I got sucked into the ever-distracting world of The Elder Scrolls. Again.
You know how you hear about people passing out from lack of nutrition, because they were too distracted by a video game? Enter Elder Crack Online -oops Elder Scrolls Online, this game has an addicting quality to it that should come with a warning label like they do on cigarette packages.
It’s important to note that all my adventures in that 90-minute session happened either inside or within shouting distance of Daggerfall [...]
So Rus was able to do a 90 minute play session and barely leave the area outside the city. Sounds like the world in Elder Scrolls Online is massive and I’ll be lost within the world of Tamriel for some time. Goodbye life.
Lydia Sung from Neoseeker. Full article here.
I’d certainly like for theft to be made a thing,
You are not alone Lydia, I strongly believe that stealing is a very important aspect to the Elder Scrolls, even though I do not have much time in the single player versions I know that stealing and repercussions of those actions are a big part in how people play the game. As said above in the article written by Jeffery Wright of Massively we could see a Thieves Guild introduced post launch. Don’t get me wrong, in Elder Scrolls Online you can take items off tables and from the night-stands but without the worry of being caught, it’s the same as a gathering profession.
The Escapist Video Interview
In this interview, Paul Sage confirmed that for adventure zones (the raids of ESO), they are first aiming at 24 people for the group. They may add larger adventure zones for groups bigger than 24 players but that’s left to be confirmed later on.
This article will be updated as more press event articles are written and released. Stay Tuned for more Pre-E3 Information, and be sure to watch TESOELITE.COM for all the E3 information.