This last week has been information overload. I’ve been sitting here at my makeshift kitchen table turned computer desk reading and watching interviews of the ESO Dev team. Buffed.de was at the Role-Play convention in Germany and they had the opportunity to do a Skype Call with Paul Sage and I’ll go through each question (almost each question) they asked and discuss it in a bit more detail.
Did Lawrence Schick Lead Loremaster perform any voice acting for Elder Scrolls Online?
“He does have a silky smooth voice, but with The Elder Scrolls online you have to have a SAG Card (Screen Actors Guild) and I don’t know if Lawrence has one, so I don’t believe he is acting in the game, but certainly if he got his card he could.”
This is interesting, ESO is requiring all the voice actors to have a SAG Card.
Is it going to be possible to do Role-Playing in between factions?
“Right now we’re keeping our factions separate. The reason is we want people to have a kind of Alliance pride that we think aids PvP. I don’t know what the future will hold but right now the answer is no”
We know from the 50++ zones that we’ll be able to experience the other faction zones and quest lines. These quests are given to you by members of the opposing faction, and if we are experiencing the same quests as that faction where is the alliance pride coming from? I believe they are striving for the type of Alliance Pride I experienced, and I believe most people experience when they played Dark Age of Camelot. With DAoC you had no options to experience the other realms zones unless you created a character on that realm. In ESO it is the opposite and I think by letting us experience that alliance and all the quests it offers there is no alliance pride, your overall experience is blended into one big messy picture. Again I ask, where is this sense of pride coming from? The sense of ownership, this is my alliance, and I will defend it with my last dying breath.
What about the day and night cycle in The Elder Scrolls Online? Can you give us some details on how long it will be day or night?
“The day/night cycle is definitely there, roughly it’s four times as fast as it passes on Earth. So you’ll see roughly six switches between the day/night cycles.”
Wait, what? It is roughly four times faster than it passes on Earth, but there are six cycles? So we’ll either see a four hour cycle between day and night or a six hour cycle between day and night.
Elder Scrolls game traditionally have a huge moding community that create new content is there going to be a way to do that for the MMO?
“The first and easiest way you’re going to see is through the UI. The UI is done through LUA, which allows people to mod the UI, from there we’ll see what happens as the game progresses, but that’s how we’re going to start out by allowing people to edit the UI at first.”
If you are unfamiliar with what LUA moding is, think World of Warcraft mods. WoW mods are LUA mods as well and they edit the UI and how we interact with the game itself. It doesn’t add new content or change the overall game, just how we interact with it. I have no issues with mods, I’m glad they are allowing it as it lets the community build some great additions to the game, my only concern with mods are the ones that make the game easier to play. Any mod that takes the player skill out of the game in my mind should not be allowed. If you need a mod to tell you when you’re standing in potential death instead of using your eyes there is an issue.
Will there be an Auction House in the game?
“There will be what we call a large player trade mechanism, we haven’t really released details on it yet, we want it to be something a little bit more focused than a huge broad scale one. We want to keep that smaller community growing outwards”
Sounds to me that they are going to be introducing an Auction House but have it set to only your campaign instead of being able to view items from the entire player base. This idea will be good when it comes to selling your items as it you won’t have millions of people to contend with. If you have ever played World of Warcraft and tried to sell trending items on the auction house (Gems, Food, Crafting Materials etc) you are consistently being undercut, imagine trying to manage your auctions when there are thousands of player trying to sell the same thing. With that being said it could also make it a lot more difficult to find that specific item you are looking for, as you have a smaller group of people who would be selling it.
Are there going to be raids in ESO?
“What we’ve talked about is Adventure Zones, so I will try to give you a little bit of detail about Adventure Zones and a bit that’s known. Adventure zones are really for a group of four, and there will be certain areas within the Adventure Zone where you’ll get a large group together of 24 players. There will be a lot of different activities for those different sized groups, but we do have special things planned for those really large groups.”
In an interview, Matt Firor told Connected Digital World, “don’t think WoW Raids, as Elder Scrolls does not have 50 foot tall gods that you go fight against”, that I agree with, my concern is the End Game they are referring to, just Adventure Zones areas? Guild Wars 2 tried this type of “End Game” and unfortunately Guild Wars 2 flopped hard on the End Game aspect of it. An MMORPG is designed for the long haul 90% of your time in the world will be at level cap, end game. Of course that small 10% has to be exceptionally detailed and immersive but that 90% needs to be the same. Players need something to strive for; a reason to login. Star Wars: The Old Republic once you hit level cap, you were pretty much finished. It came to a point where people were only logging in for “Raid Night” and that is not the way a MMO should be designed. And from everything we know I’m really worried about ESO’s end game goals.
Will there be any content especially for role players, special zones or adornments to show off?
“We absolutely want to appeal to everybody, and with role players one of the things we are introducing is costumes. So we actually have a slot on our character that you can put a costume in, so with one quick drag you can change the entire way your character looks with a different costume, and so there Is a collection game that falls into different costumes, that’s just a hint at what we’re doing for role players, there is going to be a lot more features for Role Players.”
My biggest question for this, does it take up inventory space? There is nothing worse than having a collection aspect within a game and having it take up very valuable bag space. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve sat and starred at my inventory space looking for an item to throw away just so I can pick up something to add to my collection.
Will there be classic boss fights or will it be more open zone and little mobs?
“To delve deeper into it, it is going to be a large open zone. When I mentioned before about four player is kind of the launching point for that zone and from there what we do is have areas where there are these big raids. What we’re looking at is less about single monsters and more about a full experience where people might have to go off in different directions. You might have to branch off five people from your group over here and five people here and attack things in parallel and with timing.”
Still has be slightly worried about End Game, these areas are sounding a lot like Guild Wars 2 area Cursed Shore, where you have areas that require large groups and other spots for single groups. As fun as this sounds I think the replay ability of these zones will be low due to it being an Open Zone. They can’t do too much phasing or as they call it layering, with these areas as it will than began to limit the people who can do the encounter with you. Only time will tell on how these areas roll out, and I know the ES fans out there that haven’t played an MMO before don’t care to much about the raiding aspect of it but that type of end game is what we’ve come to know and love and to have something new is scary.
Will there be mounts in the game?
“There will be mounts in the game. So here is a little sneak peek. Our mounts aren’t just mounts you pick up. Players will be able to feed their mounts and the way they feed their mounts will determine how their mounts will grow, so they will actually get to determine certain paths of their mounts and how they behave.”
Praise the eight, we can feed our mounts and it will determine how it will grow. I showed this to a friend and this is what she had to say, “So if I overfeed my mount it will become obese?” I hope so, if ESO is that detailed that we have to feed our mount I really hope we can make it fat, or if we forget to feed the mount is becomes really skinny. It also determines how they behave, so if we forget to feed it, will the mount begin to hate us and bite us? Not come when we summon it? Perhaps run away? This sounds exciting. Another thing to note is Paul specifically said mount, didn’t say horses in an interview last year they said there will only be horses, now they use the word mount instead of horses, makes me wonder if they have changed their stance on the “only horses”.
Is it going to be possible to have a guild from all three factions?
“Yes, it is going to be possible to have a guild with all three factions. The reason is because your guild affiliation, you can have 5 guilds you can join and the guilds that you join will be based off your account and so any of your characters can be in any of the guilds you choose to be in.”
It has finally been confirmed. We’ve been hinted towards this a bunch of times but they have never really came flat out and said yes. This idea again sounds similar to the way Guild Wars 2 did their guild system. You can join multiple guilds, even if you join a different server your guild is tied to your account, all of your other characters were still able to join the guilds you’re a member of without having them another member send you an invite.
Can you tell us anything about the PvP Rewards?
“Right now PvP there are several different rewards have what we call Alliance Points which you get from various activities, taking keeps, killing other players etc, The Alliance Points can be used to buy different things like different armour or different weapons. […] You have four different skill lines associated with doing well in the alliance war”
So you’ll be able to buy Weapon and Armour with Alliance Points, but will there be a rank system similar to Dark Age of Camelot? With each rank you were you able to use points to purchase additional abilities, such as being able to climb keep walls, or a purge to remove any CC abilities. Four skill lines associated with doing well in the Alliance war, well we know one is the Emperor Skill Line, what could the other three be?
Will there be any special PvP Gear with special PvP Attributes?
“There will be gear which you can acquire in PvP but that is different than gear that’s special for PvP. We want to make sure our game doesn’t have special PvP Attributes because we want people to be able to go back and forth very easily. It’s been tough but we’ve been very conscientious of wanting all the gear to have the same stats.”
I can’t tell you how much I loathe the PvP Stat. Certain games like World of Warcraft, Star Wars: The Old Republic have a stat dedicated just to PvP, this stat typically reduces the amount of damage you take from another player by a drastic amount. In ESO they are doing their best to not introduce a PvP dedicated stat to make it easier for player to jump into PvP/PvE whenever they wanted to without having to have two completely different sets of gear.
If you’re a crafter is it possible to put your name on the armour or in the description of the armour?
Literally that is all he said. With a resounding Yes, I couldn’t be happier about this, I just hope they add a bit more than just adding “Made by <insert name here>” into the tool tip. Make it so we can in some way identify our crafts, perhaps when we choose weaponsmith we can pick what type of hilts we want to create so all of our weapons would have that style of blade, give it a wavy inlay or an etched look. Of course at some point someone will choose the same design as us but at least it would allow us to build a bit more sense in our crafts.
After watching this interview ESO seems to be on the right track they are listening to the fan base and doing the right changes that we as players want to see. The mount information has me super excited to feed my pet and see how I can personalize him. Still worried about the overall End Game experience, the PvP seems to be heading down the right path, but I did say that about Guild Wars 2 prior to release. The end game “raiding” is still a concern and I think it will be a major concern for me until a lot more information is released or I get to try it at release. I am really enjoying the way the character progression is turning out, ESO is trying to remove the “cookie cutter” idea and actually allow us to build our characters with the skills we want and still be viable in both PvE and PvP. If this is what they release for a “Pre-E3″ event, I can’t wait to see what they release at E3!