First Elder Scrolls Online Details Make It Sound Like Just Another Fantasy MMO

First Elder Scrolls Online  Details Make It Sound Like Just Another Fantasy MMO

The issue of Game Informer packed with info on the newly-announced Elder Scrolls MMO is already in some people’s hands and, well, if you were hoping for a game that was basically Skyrim only with real people, you’re in for one hell of a disappointment.

From everything contained in the article, it sounds like “Elder Scrolls Online” is basically “Just Another MMO”.

Things start going wrong on the very first page of the story, as ZeniMax Online’s Paul Sage says “it needs to be comfortable for people who are coming from a typical massively multiplayer game that has the same control mechanisms, but it also has to appeal to Skyrim players”.

A page later? You’re playing the game in third-person, and its combat centres around hotbars activating skills. Your attacks have cooldowns. In clear terms, that means no real-time combat. It is literally explained as using “World of Warcraft mechanics”.

You can’t do something or go some places in the game unless you’re appropriately levelled up, just like a regular MMO. ZeniMax is “keeping large areas inaccessible to save them for use as expansion content”. Only “some fraction” of the caves and other landmarks in the game are waiting completely unmarked and unexplored. You can’t own a house because it’s “too hard to implement in an MMO”. NPC characters don’t run on the same clockwork schedules they do in the main games.

Oh dear.

It’s not all doom and gloom. Some aspects, like the fact the game has public dungeons (ie, dungeons part of the game world and not separate “instances”) and a system where the faction which controls the Imperial City gets to name an Emperor from amongst the playerbase sound kind of cool.

But overall, my heart, it is sinking. Why, exactly, is this game being made if, a few bells and whistles aside, it’s just another fantasy MMO, and retains so little of what it is people play Elder Scrolls games for? It even looks like just another fantasy MMO, losing much of the refined elegance of Bethesda’s games in exchange for a simpler style that looks little like the past few games in the series.

If I sound overly negative on this game based solely on someone else’s preview, well, that’s because I am. I don’t play conventional MMOs because I find their tropes, especially their combat, to be tiresome and artificial. To hear those bones will be propping up this game is all I need to hear to already be more than a little bummed out.

People always wonder why no MMO has ever beaten World of Warcraft. It’s because the people who want to play World of Warcraft…already play World of Warcraft, and don’t need to play something built using the same system. This franchise, like Star Wars: Old Republic before it, was a great chance to try something new, something that can capture the imaginations of the hundreds of millions of people who don’t play WoW, not the 10 million who do. To hear it won’t be, as a massive fan of the Elder Scrolls series, is disappointing.

Subscribers to the magazine should be getting their hands on the mag over the next few days. Everyone else, info like this will be added to Game Informer’s online hub in the weeks to come.

Elder Scrolls Online [Game Informer]


    • It’s not really a knee jerk reaction. It’s just a ‘well, they went a totally different way to what I was hoping for, and it’s a way I know from experience that I don’t enjoy… damn’ reaction. He’s not making broad assumptions about the game based on screen shots. They’re making it very clear combat will play like World of Warcraft and after almost a decade of World of Warcraft most gamers know exactly where they stand on World of Warcraft combat.

  • i love it, take everything that the fans enjoy about elder scrolls and make the multiplayer not like it.

  • Dam, when I first heard of Elder Scrolls online I was thinking of a large open world filled with players running around doing quests, with safe towns with guards but open wildness full of enemies and players, so to avoid running into a mean player, players band together to move from location to location, and teams group in raiding parties on other players etc. It would of been most likely absolute madness but sometimes madness is really fun.

    Then again implementing such a game like above would be a challenge and a big risk, but it would of been different, then again I am not the person for these types of games, so I will past on it for sure now. One thing for sure tho, this is not what Zenimax/Bethesda publishing wanted when announcing the game, and this is probably going to end up worst than Syndicate being converted into a First person shooter because around 12+ million have played Skyrim.

    • We cant judge it yet, it has the same combat machenics but the game could pack loads more content into it then wat WoW did. We have only heard a handful of the game yet and wouldnt be surprised if Zenimax end up making an appearance at E3 and surprise us all. I really dont think that it will be just another MMO with Todd Howard over looking the game. Im not gonna even
      Make assumptions yet knowing that the elder scrolls games have always surprised everyone

  • did anyone expect anything less/more?

    Every licensed MMO out there is basically “WoW but with a couple tweaks” and unfortunately it doesn’t seem like that’s going to be changing any time soon. Its just very disappointing that the Elder Scrolls IP is now associated with one.

    • I don’t think anyone was expecting it to go down differently, hoping maybe but not expecting. Still, having it confirmed is still a bit of a letdown. I guess at the very least they announced it early and didn’t lead people on with a bunch of action packed trailers. Watching that SWTOR trailer where the Sith bust up the Jedi temple was just painful. Sitting there watching this awesome freeform brawl and having to remind yourself not to get too excited because in-game it’ll probably just be the done to death ability spam system.

      I think Eldar Scrolls has a lot of charm that’s going to be lost bringing it over to the typical MMORPG template. You can’t just run out and do your own thing in a MMORPG with level based gated areas and that’s a major part of what makes the series great. Without that charm it’s going to rely very heavily on it’s lore which, no offense to TES lore fans, isn’t that great until it’s wrapped around an brilliant game.
      When people are telling you about how much fun they’re having in the game it usually involves doing something ridiculously free form. I just can’t picture that coming from a World of Warcraft-like MMORPG.

    • I agree and disagree at the same time, I just started playing TERA absolutley fantastic the combat system is fluid interesting and battles are always different it takes away from the same combat regime because you actually have to dodge and pay attention to enemy movements.

      However questing is the same old story fed ex here get me 10 of those kill 15 of those, it’s a real shame but its the hand we were dealt and personally im going to keep going its what i have come to terms with and I have almost reached a point where I don’t really expect a different questing system.

  • As soon as I read no real time combat, i’m out. “also has to appeal to Skyrim players”, they definitely lose that one.

  • Housing “too hard to implement in an MMO”? WTF?
    I guess Paul has an extremely narrow idea of what an MMO can or should be.

  • Why didn’t they just make the next Elder Scrolls game have co-op? MMO is not the way to go with this franchise.

  • Why make something just for a sake of making it? If its a pile of turd like this why even invest time/energy. The developers think they are onto ‘a winner’ but frankly their vision is clouded by all the steam coming off their hot steamy pile of turd game which shouldn’t be devleoped by someone who thinks ‘solo MMO’s are the jizz’. Another wasted game title. We can just archive this along side 1000 other MMO’s which started with their CEO saying “we build MMO’s and we know what players want”

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