The Elder Scrolls Online Preview
Travis Shuman / Nov 20th, 2012 1 Comment
ZeniMax Studios released a lengthy video spanning over nine minutes as an introduction to their upcoming massively multiplayer online (MMO) game The Elder Scrolls Online. The video features a large amount of in-game footage accompanied by words of wisdom from Game Director Matt Firor, Creative Director Paul Sage, Art Director Jared Carr and Lead Gameplay Designer Nick Konkel.
The Elder Scrolls Online’s 2013 release, helmed by MMO veteran Firor, is still a light in the distance but this newest video has shed a lot of light on some of the mechanics of the game. The introduction to The Elder Scrolls Online has unveiled everything from its real-time combat system to a detailed look at some of the luscious landscapes that await future players. With the release of the trailer, it is a good time to go over all the details uncovered about the game thus far.
[adsense250itp]Gameplay is said to span across Cyrodiil, with the full country becoming available through future DLC packs. This means players will be looking at a truly massive open world concept with environments that will change drastically as they make their way to new areas. Everything from the snowy mountains of Skyrim to the swamplands of Black Marsh will be accessible to players sooner or later, making for some visually stimulating gaming sessions. The game’s plot is said to take place one thousand years before the main series, during what is called the Second Age of Tamriel. The story will consist of multiple groups battling to fill the throne of Emperor of Cyrodiil. Details are still somewhat scarce on what role players will fill in the large scale story but it is sure to resemble somewhat their position during the rivalry between the Imperials and the Stormcloaks.
The Elder Scrolls Online will give players freedom of choice as they choose from all their favorite races from the Elder Scrolls series. Classes will be divided into three main groups that are fighting for the throne, as well as a fourth mystery group, which will apparently play the main antagonists in the game’s story.
The Ebonheart Pact consists of Nords, Dunmer and Argonians. The Aldmeri Dominion is made up of Altmer, Bosmer and Khajiit. The Daggerfall Covenant includes Bretons, Redguards and Orcs.
[lijit160itp]ZeniMax has chosen to run their upcoming MMO on a single Megaserver, as opposed to multiple servers. This has been done to optimize the social aspect of the game. Combining all players into one server is often a risky move, as it weighs hard on the performance of the game itself but ZeniMax claims players have nothing to worry about. To ease the risk of any sort of performance issues, ZeniMax has changed the visual presentation from that of the original series. While players won’t be seeing Skyrim quality graphics during their online adventures, graphics appear to best most competing MMOs on the market. The change has been the topic of fan complaints but ZeniMax is comfortable with their decision and believes fans will have no problem adjusting.
Like any other MMORPG, The Elder Scrolls Online will contain all the important aspects of a quality title, including the independent character leveling PvP capabilities and the ability to form groups and work cooperatively to tackle difficult enemies and areas. ZeniMax’s newest introduction video has given players a brief look at some of the content that awaits those who reach the level fifty cap. Similar to other MMOs, reaching the level cap will open up a new PvP-centric gaming experience to players. This allows for continuous expansion and growth for years to come.
Details are still scarce on whether players will be able to create their own arms via a blacksmith but both familiar weapons and armor will be making appearances throughout the game. A wide variety of familiar enemies have been revealed through the latest video as well. Everything from elemental Atronachs to various forms of Daedra (including a nasty looking Spider Daedra) make themselves known, along with an assortment of all the greatest enemies throughout the entire Elder Scrolls series.
One large difference from the original series is the player’s third-person perspective, as opposed to the regular first-person perspective the series is famous for. While the option to change perspectives is present in The Elder Scrolls, few players choose to use it as the game’s overall experience is weakened outside of first-person. Being set in first person, fans are eagerly praying for a comfortable combat system. From what is shown of the battle system in the introduction video, it looks rather fluid and should live up to expectations.
Creating an MMO out of an already massive RPG series is no easy task. There are a million more questions that are still left unanswered and, with TESO already having a whopping 5 years of development under its belt, we’re likely to be finding new details long after the game’s launch set tentatively for 2013.
tags: mmo , preview , TESO , The elder scrolls online , zenimax studios