What Is The Elder Scrolls Online?
- Zenimax Media is the parent company which owns both Zenimax Online Studios and Bethesda Game Studios. The two sibling studios have a close working relationship which has allowed ZOS to collaborate effectively with Bethesda in order to maintain internal consistency in lore, geography, and art design. Todd Howard is personally involved to sign off on major decisions regarding the direction of the IP.
- Under the direction of Matt Firor (pronounced fire-ore), veteran lead developer of Dark Age of Camelot (and expansions), Zenimax Online Studios has a 250 person team comprised of industry veterans and Elder Scrolls fans.
- Firor was hired shortly after Oblivion was released specifically to lead the Elder Scrolls Online project. His goal is to combine the deeply immersive PvE experience of traditional Elder Scrolls games with the excitement of three faction PvP in the spiritual mold of Dark Age of Camelot.
- The game’s creative director, Paul Sage, was brought on both because of his experience in MMO development and his fanaticism for the Elder Scrolls IP.
- Original titles that were considered for the game included Elder Scrolls: Online, Elder Scrolls: Origins, Tamriel, and Elder Scrolls: Empires.
- The business model and possible subscription fee for Elder Scrolls Online has not yet been decided.
- Zenimax Online Studios (ZOS) was formed in 2007.
- The game is currently in “pre-beta”, the development team is still finishing several core gameplay systems including crafting.
- ESO is actively being tested by hundreds of developers and QA personnel.
- Beta testing will begin sometime in 2013 and will feature both closed and open phases. The game has officially been scheduled for release later that year.
- The game will adhere to genre standards like classes, experience points, and progression. The player will gain experience by slaying enemies, exploring the world, and completing quests or objectives within the world.
- Elder Scrolls Online is designed to provide an experience that feels familiar to fans of the single player games, while providing deep and challenging MMO mechanics for veterans of the genre.
- Key “touchstones” of the Elder Scrolls IP will all be present in the MMO. Daedric princes, eight divines (no Talos in TESO!), constellations, and spell schools will all be familiar elements.
- There will be a level cap, and ZOS expects it to take an average player approximately 120 hours of game-play to reach the cap.
- Elder Scrolls Online will use a traditional class system rather than free-form character progression.
- The Elder Scrolls Online will be playable on PC or Mac only, there are no plans to make it available for consoles at release.
- ZOS originally licensed HeroEngine to use as a development bridge in order to prototype areas and game concepts while the studio developed its own proprietary engine for Elder Scrolls Online.
- The Elder Scrolls Online features an engine that supports a similar real-time combat model to that which has featured in recent TES games.
- The game’s engine is specifically designed to stably support keep sieges displaying up to 200 concurrent players on-screen. Zenimax Online’s design goal is to create the largest (stable) player battles of any MMO.
Unlike most MMOs which feature separate “shards” or game server, the entire player population of The Elder Scrolls Online will coexist within one single “megaserver”. This single server will remove barriers to grouping with friends, as well as eliminate issues related to server capacity like queues or mergers.
- The megaserver relies on intelligent placement of players into game spaces, where your assigned instance is contingent on the presence of friends, guildmates, and gameplay preferences which you specify prior to launch.
- A design goal for ZOS is that TES:O be playable on both PC and Mac, and have unrestrictive system requirements such that any modern laptop can comfortably play it. In order to accomodate both this lower hardware threshold and high performance users, the TES:O engine is designed to feature a high degree of scalability in graphical and rendering capability.
- TES:O will be playable in both 3rd and 1st person views, however; while first person view is supported, the game is primarily designed with the third person perspective in mind. The player can zoom all the way in to first person, but this may place you at a tactical disadvantage on the battlefield.
- The UI is designed to be minimalistic in order to preserve focus on the game environments rather than interface elements. ZOS is emphasizing that visual cues for enemy abilities that require various player responses are prominently displayed in the world rather than simply as a UI element. Instead of using interface prompts like cast bars or text warnings, players will be required to watch the physical movements of enemies in order to anticipate their attacks.
- For balancing and security reasons, TES:O has no plans to directly endorse community modding at release. However, ZOS recognizes the strong role of the modding community in Elder Scrolls franchise, and certain aspects of the game experience, like the UI, will allow for user customization, reskinning, and limited modification.
- Entire provinces are not seamless, but rather feature short (but unobtrusive) loading screens while moving from zone to zone. Various reasons for this decision include meeting performance and instancing requirements for the megaserver, as well as enabling more efficient phasing of locations.
The Timeline of TESO
- Elder Scrolls Online is set approximately 1,000 years before the events of Skyrim, during the Second Era. The game occurs during a previously unexplored period of the Elder Scrolls timeline known as the “interregnum”. It is recorded that these years marked a period of great conflict in Tamriel, but otherwise the setting was an ideal blank slate to use for MMO development.
- The throne of Cyrodil and control over the empire is in constant conflict during this time. The Imperial faction is becoming active in Tamriel, but the game takes place before the ascendancy of the Septim dynasty in the Third Era.
- The Akaviri Invasion occurs just before the time frame of the MMO, and serves as a political motivation for the formation of player factions, the Ebonheart Pact in particular. The repercussions of this invasion are still being resolved during the scope of TES:O.
Geography and Provinces
- The game world consists of most of the continent of Tamriel. Including the provinces of Skyrim, Morrowind, Summerset Isle, Elsweyr, Hammerfell, and Cyrodiil.
- Not all provinces will be fully included at launch, in order to reserve ares for use in game expansions. Zenimax Online wants to adhere to a high standard of quality for the areas which are included at release, therefore certain areas will be initially unexplorable.
- The game’s art style is designed to give each province a distinct feel. Zones within a province are further differentiated to feature variety while conforming to the overall provincial theme. Due to Zenimax Online’s high degree of cooperation with Bethesda, many of the art assets from Oblivion and Skyrim were able to be adapted or directly utilized for the Elder Scrolls Online.
- The climate of Cyrodiil will be portrayed in the same way it was presented in Oblivion. Some lore resources reference Cyrodiil as originally featuring a jungle climate and ecosystem. According to legend, Tiber Septim transformed Cyrodiil into a temperate province following his ascension to Emperor and Divine. Despite this legend, ZeniMax Online has decided to make the appearance of Cyrodiil comparable to the vision presented by Bethesda in TESIV – Oblivion.
- The primary force of evil driving the plot events of TES:O is the sinister plot of the Daedric prince of domination, Molag Bal, who seeks to subjugate all of Tamriel under his will.
- Playable characters in TES:O are adventurers whose souls have been stolen by Molag Bal. This procedure explains player resurrection within the fiction of the game.
- Mannimarco, King of Worms has been enlisted to provide the Imperial armies with a constant supply of reanimated corpses. Unknown to the Imperials, Mannimarco is secretly conspiring with Molag Bal to assist the prince’s plot to dominate Tamriel. Mannimarco is a pivotal figure throughout Elder Scrolls lore, and TES:O will give players the chance to confront him at the height of his power.
- The Maormer or “Sea Elves” of Pyandonea will appear in the game as an NPC race.
- The main story line of the game is balanced to be completely soloable, although the game is tailored to provide a social community experience.
- There exist certain quest choices which mold your character as a result of your decisions. The outcome of certain quests will cause a tangible impact on areas of the world.
- Four classes have been confirmed for the Ebonheart Pact: Dragonknight, Templar, Sorcerer, and Warden. The Dragonknight is an offensive warrior with many controlling abilities, the Templar is a stalwart defensive fighter, calling upon the power of the sun to damage foes and heal allies. The sorcerer is an offensive mage unleashing elemental damage on his foes. The warden is a more defensive spellcaster.
- Each class can use every type of weapon in the game as well as every type of armor. As the player uses a particular weapon type they gain skill and further proficiency with that type of armament. All weapons will require practice to master. Mastering a weapon can unlock additional alternative melee attacks that can be slotted.
- Each class can unlock a wide arsenal of skills and abilities, from which players may choose three to actively use at any given time. These class abilities can be changed on the fly, and reflect a players current “loadout” that can be adapted to various situations. Skill selection is one way in which players can differentiate themselves from others of their class.
- Weapon attacks, class skills, and ultimate abilities all level up as you use them in combat. Advancing these skills unlocks improved versions as your mastery improves.
- The major attributes of the game are health, stamina, magicka, armor, and power. At each level up, you can place an attribute point into either health, stamina, or magicka. The placement of these points additionally unlocks additional passive perks which allow you to further customize your character’s role.
- Perks exist and will be similar to talents in previous MMOs. Paul Sage emphasized that perks will provide substantial benefit and be pivotal in character development and growth.
- There is an alternate advancement system called Alliance Points which are acquired through PvP in Cyrodiil. There are 23 (subject to change) alliance ranks, and players can spend their Alliance points on equipment and character upgrades.
- Constellations and birthsigns are incorporated into TES:O in the form of Mundus stones, which function similarly to guardian stones in Skyrim, allowing the player to choose a permanent buff associated with a particular constellation. Some Mundus stones also unlock an additional ability for players who have them active.
- The currently equipped weapon determines the player’s available left mouse attacks, a normal left-click triggers a precise “light” attack, while holding left mouse initiates a hard-hitting “heavy” attack.
- In order to enhance the action-combat feel, combat focuses around the opportunistic use of a stamina bar which allows the player to sprint, block, interrupt, and escape crowd control. By selectively using these strategic abilities, combat in TES:O feels dynamic, despite adhering to turn-based fundamentals which are critical to MMO design. All classes have access to block, sprint, and crouch.
- Holding right mouse button engages active blocking mode, intercepting incoming blows at the cost of stamina. While blocking, a left click executes a shield (or weapon) bash, interrupting enemy spellcasting or breaking free of crowd control effects.
- Each class slots five hotbar abilities which chosen from their class pool. These abilities have no cooldown, but cost either stamina or magicka to activate. Each ability is designed to have a substantial impact on combat, so the selective use of when and how to use these skills plays a major role in combat success.
- The final (sixth) hotbar slot for every class is filled by an ultimate ability which is usable after the player accumulates sufficient “finesse”, a resource mechanic that builds through successful performance in combat.
- Every class has multiple ultimate abilities to choose from, but may only utilize one at a time. Bonus finesse is awarded for “playing smart”, for example interrupting an enemy spellcast or blocking a dangerous attack. Groups can rapidly accumulate finesse by performing attack combos that use synergistic abilities to produce a special effect. Completing an encounter with high finesse yields additional rewards ranging from a small experience boost to additional magical loot. When you first slot a new ability in your hotbar, you only possess a novice level of skill using it. As you gain expertise in your abilities you can improve and enhance them in various ways.
- Combat, class, and ultimate abilities may be changed whenver you want, provided you are not in combat. Because TESO uses a smaller number of active combat abilities than other games, the design team is ensuring that every ability a player can use is awesome and powerful, while eliminating filler abilities that provide only supplementary benefit.
- A quick potion slot allows players to drink an alchemical mixture in the middle of combat, although the use of this potion slot features a short (20-30 second) cooldown. In addition to these instant-use potions, there are also draughts and foods which can buff the player for a longer duration and are useable before combat.
- There exist potent synergy abilities, where multiple players working together can create a powerful magical effect by combining multiple abilities. These cross-class combo opportunities will prompt visual cues on-screen to help parties effectively combine powers. For example, a mage may combine a fire storm with a warrior who can run into the area of effect and use bladestorm, spraying fireballs in a 360 degree radius. Adventurers should take caution, however, because the game’s enemies can and will exploit the same synergies against the player.
- A side effect of the stamina system is that groups are somewhat less restricted to utilizing rigid roles in composition. Since all players have the ability to block and escape crowd control, players are more responsible for their personal well-being and less reliant on a dedicated healer to carry them through fire.
- Enemies are designed individually pose a challenge, and be more than “speedbumps” in the player’s quest. Groups of foes will work collectively to support each other and use control abilities to counter a player party. The behaviors of enemies in PvE are designed to mirror player classes. The same abilities and mechanics are therefore important for both PvE and PvP. It is an important design goal that combat versus monsters has the same feel as combat versus players. Monster AI is also designed to emulate player behavior; ranged attackers will fan out, sturdy meleers will protect fragile casters, and healers will seek cover behind other mobs.
- “Aggro” tables of NPC enemies are less rigidly defined, and they may systematically switch targets in combat. This further emphasizes the need for players to assert personal responsibility for defending themselves in combat, rather than relying on traditional aggro management.
- ZeniMax is developing tools to allow players to quickly switch weapon and ability sets in combat, but the details of this system are not yet finalized.
- Players are restricted to exploring the lands of only their own faction, as well as the contested RvR area of Cyrodiil.
- The world is split up into provinces, regions, and zones. It is not fully seamless, and some short loading screens are present when moving between zones.
- The in-game map will mark key locations, quests, and places of interest. Many caves, ruins, or dungeons will not become marked on the map until they are discovered by the player, or described by an NPC. The map icons for various locations are familiar to players of Skyrim, denoting caves, towns, shrines, and more with their own identifying markers.
- A compass will help direct the player towards nearby towns, dungeons, and places of interest, this feature is intended to preserve the feeling of a traditional single player TES experience. The compass is one of many UI elements which may be disabled if the player prefers.
- ZOS is designed to reward exploration with “vignettes” that are small events or challenges which are hidden off the beaten path around the world. Additionally, exploration will lead to the discovery of additional quests, loot, and possibly achievements throughout the world.
- Fast travel as existed in Oblivion and Skyrim will not be allowed in the MMO. Instead, Wayshrines will allow players to traverse large distances between a set of fixed points, however, players must discover the target Wayshrine before using it for travel.
- Mounts will be in the game, but will conform to existing Elder Scrolls lore. Horses are the primary mode of personal transportation in Tamriel, and TESO will remain consistent on this point. Players should not expect to obtain flying mounts or other exotic steeds.
- Crafting, alchemy, and soul stones will all exist in the MMO.
- Crafting will play an important role in optimizing the players equipment. Items that drop within the world can be augmented and upgraded by a player crafter. Therefore, the economic and mechanical importance of crafting will remain relevant even at endgame.
- ZOS wants to preserve a high degree of interactivity within the world, so crafting, hunting, and gathering resources will be important features of the game’s economic system. The ability to use and interact with mundane objects throughout the world is an important way to connect the game to the Elder Scrolls IP. You will be able to loot crates, barrels, and chests, and harvest resources throughout the world.
- The Elder Scrolls Online features a three faction system, with geographically separated factions comprised of three races each. Races are restricted by faction in order to generate and enhance faction identity. Each race is physically distinguishable from each other so in world PvP players can easily distinguish friends from foes.
- Each faction’s home area is unique, and the distinct identity of a factions native provinces helps to foster realm pride amongst players and enhance the meta-conflict which fuels the social side of a three faction realm war. For prolonged success of the RvR meta-game within the fan community, it is very important that players can identify themselves with their alliance and faction.
- The Imperials constitute a 4th non-playable faction who have made a pact with Molag Bal and Mannimarco. They serve as a NPC enemy faction throughout Tamriel.
- In the southwest, Altmer, Bosmer, and Khajiit have united to form the Aldmeri Dominion, a new empire intent on imposing unflinching order on the continent. They control the provinces of Valenwood, Summerset Isles, and Elsewyr.
- The leader of the Aldmeri Dominion is Queen Ayrenn, an Altmer. Their capitol of is Elden Root, a great city in the heart of Valenwood. The sigil of the Aldmeri Dominion is an eagle.
- In the northwest of Tamriel, the Daggerfall Covenant is a democratic alliance between Bretons, Redguard, and Orcs, convened to utilize their collective military might in securing their lands and establishing a safe and profitable hub of commerce. Formed in Wayrest, High Rock under the guidance of High King Emeric, The Daggerfall Covenant controls the provinces of High Rock and Hammerfell. The sigil of the Daggerfall Covenant is a lion.
- The Daggerfall Covenant appears to control a smaller area of land than the other factions, but since not all areas of Tamriel are fully explorable at release, the playable landmass available to each faction will be roughly identical.
- In the northeast, the Ebonheart Pact is a warlike coalition of Nords, Dunmer, Argonians who have temporarily allied in order to fight for their homelands. This uneasy alliance struggles to maintain control of the provinces of Morrowind (and Vvardenfell), Skyrim, and Blackmarsh.
- The Ebonheart Pact is led (in name) by Jorunn the Skald-King, however a moot of three leaders, one from each race jointly dictate the Pact’s military decisions. The sigil of the Ebonheart Pact is a dragon.
- Character advancement will revolve largely around “hubless quest design” in order to preserve the sense of freeform exploration and progression which is an iconic feature of the Elder Scrolls. The game uses focal “points of interest” which are self-contained adventure modules that players may encounter during their travels. Townsfolk will direct players towards nearby POIs, but Zenimax Online is trying to shy away from quest hubs and breadcrumb chains. Many NPCs can direct the player to the same quest, so the player can easily find nearby quests without needing floating exclamation marks or strategy guides.
- Many quests are simple bite-sized adventures, however there are also quest sagas which span entire zones and tell grand tales which reveal segments of the overarching plot line of the game.
- While some quests are acquired from NPCs in major cities and towns, many quests can only be encountered through exploration. Quest givers are often near the enterances of dungeons or other points of interest, where enterprising players can seek them out.
- Quest areas are phased, such that depending on a player’s progress through the game’s story arcs he or she may experience a modified version of towns, dungeons, and NPCs. In order to avoid many of the past pitfalls of phased content, ZOS is allowing any player who has previously completed a story arc to repeat the content with friends.
- Quest rewards and public boss drops are individual specific and linked to the player’s class. This is to encourage grouping without penalizing players by forcing them to distribute shared loot. Additionally, many quest objectives are automatically shared with nearby players in the world to encourage cooperation, even if players don’t actually form a group. Furthermore, there are no kill lockouts. If you assist a fellow player in slaying monsters, both of you will recieve experience and quest credit even if you are not grouped. Zenimax wants to discourage competitiveness within ones own faction, and encourage players to work together against common enemies.
- Almost all of the iconic opponents from previous Elder Scrolls games will be present in TESO, including daedra, giants, and mudcrabs! Each monster type has its own unique and distinct behaviors.
- Dragons will not feature in the MMO at launch, as they are not involved in the history of Tamriel at this time.
- Endgame PvE content will be periodically released in the form of “adventure zones”, which are dangerous and uncivilized regions of Tamriel within which many dangers lurk. These adventure zones will feature content ranging from solo play, to group encounters, and even additional raid content.
- TES:O will feature both public and instanced dungeons. Public dungeons are not separated from the regular world via instancing, and allow for organic cooperation, grouping, and even competition between players. Instanced dungeons also exist, which will deliver a more contained, story driven experience to a group of players. Public dungeons are excellent at providing “drive-by” social experiences with new players by facilitating spontaneous group formation with fellow gamers.
- Most small public dungeons located throughout the world are balanced to be challenging for 1.5 players, where they will provide a significant challenge for a solo player, but be comfortably clearable for a small group.
- Endgame PvE will feature heroic modes of each of the game’s instanced dungeons, which are more than simply more difficult versions of the same content. These heroic dungeons extend the story of normal mode dungeons by adding a climactic and challenging endgame experience. In addition the game has large raids that pit multiple groups of players against powerful and iconic bosses.
- There are a large number of public dungeons within Cyrodiil as well, which will combine exciting PvE storylines with the challenge and danger of encountering hostile player opposition within. In addition, ZeniMax are working to develop a mega-dungeon, reminiscent of Darkness Falls in Dark Age of Camelot, where access to this dungeon will depend on your faction’s success in the realm war.
Loot and Gear
- Many of the other Daedric princes appear in the game in some capacity, although players should not expect to accumulate a all-powerful collection of Daedric artifacts.
- The player will be able to join one (maybe more) of the iconic guilds of the Elder Scrolls lore. In order to join and progress within these NPC organizations, the player must first prove himself worthy.
- The Fighters Guild is predominately interested in repelling the attempts of Molag Bal to dominate Tamriel. By destroying the demonic Dark Anchors that Molag Bal sends forth from his plane of Coldharbour the player can gain favor with the Fighter’s Guild. These Dark Anchors are semi-random dynamic events which require small groups of players to assemble to destroy.
- The Mages Guild works to collect and catalogue the many arcane tomes which are scattered across Tamriel. By finding and collecting these books, a player can ingratiate himself with the Mages Guild.
- The Thieves Guild will be in the game, but the means of joining this organization are not yet known.
- The Dark Brotherhood will be in the game, but whether the player can join this organization or the means of doing so are not yet known.
- PvP comprises a major portion of endgame content in TES:O, with a mix of open-world RvR and instanced arenas. No one will be forced to PvP if they do not wish to do so, PvP participation is purely voluntary either by entering a battleground or Cyrodiil.
- The focal point of PvP in TES:O is the war between the three player factions in the central province of Cyrodiil. This entire province is the stage for endgame PvP, and its geographic map is inspired directly from that used in TES4: Oblivion. The full size of the playable area of Cyrodiil is even (slightly) larger than the landmass portrayed in Oblivion, all Cyrodiil’s major geographic landmarks and points of interest are present and will be immediately recognizable to fans of Oblivion.
- The three faction system is designed to naturally balance and lend political intrigue to the persistent PvP endgame. If any one faction becomes too powerful, the other two factions naturally tend to work together to turn the tide of battle.
- Players may begin participating in Cyrodiil from level 10 onwards. Players who are below level 50 recieve “battle-leveling” which enhances their attributes so they may participate and contribute to the alliance war. Battle-leveled players do not recieve the full complement of abilities, perks, or gear that a naturally leveled player would have, therefore a strong incentive to level and optimize your character remains present.
- Because of the megaserver technology, Cyrodiil needs to be separated into multiple instances. However, instead of random assignment of players, ZeniMax recognizes the importance of having static PvP communities for the sake of rivalry and investment in the state of the realm war. Therefore, players are assigned (or may select) a “campaign”, which is a permanent parallel version of Cyrodiil’s realm war to which they belong. Campaigns will be named after the major cities in the region.
- Guilds can collectively select a Cyrodiil campaign, and players will be able to switch campaigns, however this will impose some meaningful alliance point cost. However, you are prohibited from having characters from different factions in the same campaign.
- In order to maintain the PvP focus on the massive realm war in Cyrodiil, ZeniMax has elected to not include any form of structured or instanced PvP at launch. They want players’ focus to be on the alliance war, which is the crowning facet of TESO’s gameplay.
- The control of major keeps throughout Cyrodiil will be the primary objective of the warring factions, but mines, towns, and outposts present smaller objectives for individuals and groups to capture or defend. Any objective held by your team boosts the overall score for your faction. This score grants faction-wide bonuses to all players and determines if any of the three factions is able to take control of the Imperial City. The faction war requires a tactical alliance-wide effort to win. While the main battles will occur on an ever-shifting front line, a number of critical support tasks are available to players who do not want to participate directly in PvP. Setting up siege weapons, reinforcing keeps, and upgrading guards all offer ways to improve your faction’s position in the realm war without engaging in PvP directly.
- The Imperial City is initially held by Molag Bal and his Daedric minions. Accumulating sufficient control points allows your faction to invade the Imperial City and attempt to wrest it from Daedric control. This will be a dramatic and dangerous gameplay sequence for the faction involved, and constitutes one of the major endgame moments of TES:O.
- At launch, the Imperial City itself will be locked, and the campaign victory is achieved simply by controlling a large portion of Cyrodiil’s keeps and cities. After the game’s initial launch, the sieging the Imperial City itself and the armies of Molag Bal which lurk within it will be added to the culmination of each PvP campaign. If the Imperial City is successfully captured, the player with the highest contributions to the war will be crowned emperor for a period of time. This title is primarily for bragging rights rather than special powers, but will also convey some gameplay benefits.
- Siege weaponry will play a vital role in keep warfare, with both offensive and defensive war machines to strengthen a side’s position. Parts of a keep can be destroyed completely, eliminating bottleneck situations. With enough firepower and determination, a group of players can effectively demolish an entire keep by destroying its walls and towers.
- Each faction controls a “home” portion of Cyrodiil, and the cities and towns within your home portion are more valuable than those of your enemies. This makes it important for each faction to defend their homelands, instead of simply cycling control of keeps.
- Natural fortifications and chokepoints are scattered throughout the map. These are not necssarily tied directly to any objective, but provide substantial strategic value for roaming groups. If used properly, the terrain can be used to set up ambushes, or repel a much larger force at a natural bottleneck.
- Guilds can claim control of any objective in Cyrodiil from keeps to small outposts. Control of an objective allows the guild to further upgrade its defenses, and customize the placement and role of NPC guards which defend it. Guild members recieve immediate notification if their objective comes under assault from enemy forces.
- Keeps and smaller objectives are captured by flipping a series of banners which are captured by holding their immediate vicinity. There are no keep lords or other required NPCs which must be killed, this keeps the emphasis on player vs. player combat.
- ZeniMax Online is working on a way to allow players to infiltrate a keep by scaling the walls. The brave (or foolish) can attempt such an assault to catch the enemies unawares.
- Stamina management will be a decisive factor and indicator of player skill, as the ability to conserve stamina to perfectly time interrupts, blocks, and CC breaks can be pivotal in resolving fights.
- There is no separate gear progression for PvE gear and PvP gear. TES:O there will have various tiers of powerful gear, some of which will be acquired through PvE, while other pieces will require PvP participation to earn. In order to obtain the best possible equipment for your character, you will need to complete a mixture of all types of game content. Loot from PvE will be useable in PvP and vice versa.
- Stealth functions similaly in PvP to past games. A stealthed character is invisible to enemies unless they are detected, at which point they are a shaded outline. Stealthed players are fully uncovered when they take damage or attack an enemy. Since every class in TESO has some basic stealth ability, this creates very interesting possibilities for coordinated ambushes and surprise attacks.
- Alliance points accumulate through killing enemies and taking objectives in Cyrodiil. This constitutes an alternate advancement system through which the player can earn Alliance Ranks. There are 23 ranks planned for launch, although this number is subject to change.
- Players will be able to spend Alliance Points on gear and character upgrades. The details of this system are still undergoing development and balancing.
- Players will be able to join multiple guilds, although each guild is restricted to a single faction for their campaign.
- Guild leaders will be able to register guild lists before the launch of the game, and import all their members en-masse when the game launches.
- TESO features a groundbreaking level of social networking integration. The game will be linked to Facebook, Twitter, or other social media at the player’s discretion. You will be able to import your friends, contacts, groups, and circles directly into TESO in order to preserve your existing social network and merge it into your game experience.
Friend Management and Preferences
- Because of the way the megaserver allocates players to game spaces, management of your friends list and guild connections will be very important. The game server will attempt to place you in a space with your friends and guild mates, or alternatively with other players who have specified similar gameplay preferences.
- You can answer a questionairre before launch (which you can modify anytime) that specifies your own gameplay preferences. Some of the many options you can specifically request are age bracket, roleplaying, looking for guild, or soloing. The megaserver will allocate you to a game space depending on these preferences, so all roleplayers would be grouped within an instance of the world. The system is intelligent, and learns through your preferences and actions where best to place each player. This creates a pseudo-server experience, in which players will begin to recognize and identify others with whom they are frequently placed.
ZeniMax wants to make it incredibly easy to play with your friends in TESO. There is an integrated group formation and management panel in the social window that lets you join up with your friends and teleport to them in the world (not in Cyrodiil).
- Because of the way the megaserver allocates players to game spaces, management of your friends list and guild connections will be very important. The game server will attempt to place you in a space with your friends and guild mates, or alternatively with other players who have specified similar gameplay preferences.
- There is a mentoring system in the game that will allow higher level players to go to lower level zones and re-do content with their friends.
- Speechcraft exists in the game, and can be used to “short-circuit” or sidestep certain quest obstacles, this often opens up alternative means of completing quest objectives.
- There will be a lockpicking minigame. Every character can lockpick to a basic degree, although high difficulty locks may require characters with sufficient finesse to open.
- It is possible to become a werewolf or a vampire in TESO, this grants the player an additional ability which can trigger a transformation. While transformed, the player’s hotbar is temporarily replaced with abilities specific to their werewolf or vampire form.
- Player and guild housing will not be in the game at release.
- The inhabitants of Tamriel will be fully voice acted. Quest dialogue takes place in a mini-cinematic dialogue window.
Game Informer – June 2012 Cover Article [ARTICLE]
Game Informer – The Origins of The Elder Scrolls Online [VIDEO]
Game Informer – The Challenge of The Elder Scrolls: An Interview With The Creative Director [VIDEO]
Game Informer – Faction Profile: Daggerfall Covenant [ARTICLE]
Game Informer – Faction Profile: Aldmeri Dominion [ARTICLE]
Game Informer – Faction Profile: Ebonheart Pact [ARTICLE]
Game Informer – Creating the Story for the Elder Scrolls Online [VIDEO]
Game Informer – Exploring Quests In The Elder Scrolls Online [VIDEO]
Game Informer – Why The Elder Scrolls Online Isn’t Using HeroEngine [ARTICLE]
Game Informer – The Tactical Combat Of The Elder Scrolls Online [VIDEO 1][VIDEO 2]
Game Informer – Special Edition Podcast: The Elder Scrolls Online [ARTICLE]
Machinima E3 Live Show – Day 3 [VIDEO]
G4 Elder Scrolls Online E3 Gameplay Demo [VIDEO]
Gamespot E3 2012 Live Show – Day 2 [VIDEO]
PC Gamer – Exclusive Developer Interview [VIDEO]
Elder Scrolls Online Official Twitter [LINK]
Elder Scrolls Online Facebook – Introduction to the Lore of Elder Scrolls Online [LINK]
Tamriel Foundry – Hands-On With The Elder Scrolls Online [ARTICLE]
The Elder Scrolls Online Official Website [LINK]
MMO Hut – Elder Scrolls Online Reveal Interview [VIDEO]