The Elder Scrolls Online Finally Looks Like An Elder Scrolls Game

They said they weren't going to do it. People objected. They changed their mind. And now, behold: The Elder Scrolls Online has a first-person-with-hands mode. Ahhh. This game now looks like a Skryrim MMO.

Add +100 to me giving a damn.

I explain what the deal is in the video, which you really should watch to see how this all looks. But in case you can't listen, here's what happened: ZeniMax Online Studios starts making an Elder Scrolls MMO and presents it last year as a third-person game. Typical MMO stuff, but not typical Elder Scrolls, since the beloved single-player RPG series has long enabled gamers to play in first-person. The ESO developers say they want you to have situational awareness. They emphasise that the game is multiplayer, that you'll be surrounded by enemies. The game does first-person, but without hands. You don't have your bearings. You can't fight well from it. It's no good.

I wrote about this last June. Look:

As I tried to kill stuff, I asked [Elder Scrolls Online developers Matt] Firor and [Paul] Sage about one of the big this-doesn't-look-like-Elder-Scrolls hang-ups. This game isn't in first-person. It's in third.


Well, you can actually zoom in and try to play, more or less, in first-person. It's a bit of a disaster. The developers pointed out to me that you want to be able to see characters in your peripheral vision. You want to see who is flanking you. In their more open-ended combat design, a third-person camera view is needed for this.

But Skyrim was open-world, I observed.

It is, they said, but its encounters don't involve the kind of surrounding crowds seen in an MMO. The other hang-up with first-person in ESO is that the first-person zoom you can use in the game doesn't show your character's arms, which you can see in the likes of Oblivion, Skyrim and similar off-line Elder Scrolls. It's hard to judge an enemy's distance if you can't see your arms. Adding the sight of your arms to that vew, the developers told me, is not something they're focusing on.

People complained. The devs listened. The result: you will be able to play the MMO from the same perspective you played Skyrim, Oblivion, et al.

Happy news! (Unless you're a grouch who wants to point out that we always want what we're already familiar with and get angry about things that are different. Oh, shush.)


    OK, this now intrests me alot, even more so if the combat is like in skyrim or mount and blade and not wow like

    Woohoo. Was already interested but this has sealed the deal.

    Cannot really understand their initial logic anyway, and perhaps someone should have called them out on that straight away: .Oblivion and Skyrim both allowed you to play 3rd person as well as 1st person, just scroll out (have not played MW, so dont know on that). Their logic to sometimes be in 3rd person in order to get an idea of your surroundings is sound. It just does not make any sense whatsoever in regard to the franchises existing standards. It also doesnt make sense to force the player into once role with a crap solution as backup. Seems like they simply wasted time and money trying to re-invent the wheel...

      pretty sure MW was the same, i remember both 3rd and 1st perspectives in it. memory is a bit fuzzy though

        MW had both, I always went third person and only saw third person viable in wide open areas with a melee class.

    Offically now on my radar, since a new Elder Scrolls single player game is years away as they have been rumoured to have just started on Fallout 4.
    My only concern is I hate both monthly subscricption fee's and micro transactions, so the meta game concerns me.

    my interest in this has gone back up again. Before it just looked like an average MMO in Elder Scrolls clothing. Nothing out of the ordinary. I've no doubt that if the option to play TES games in first person wasn't there, would it be as successful? It'll make playing as a group more interesting too as you now need someone to cover your rear (easy now) as you obviously can't see. It adds that extra dynamic that makes it that bit more personal while playing. Lag will now be a big issue though in first person. Hopefully we'll have some dedicated Australian servers

    Hooray for them finally realising what everyone was saying immediately and only taking around 3 or so years to get to it.
    If they’re this slow and stupid on something so obvious, how are we to expect them to get the slightly more complex mechanics right?

      Didn't they announce this last year?

        Yes but they said they had been working on it for 2 years by then.

          I get the feeling there's been some crossed wires on this topic. I remember interviews with (I think it was) Nick Konkle just after the announcement, right up through to the Yogscast interviews at E3, saying it was always their intention to have the hands visible in first person mode, or it wouldn't have felt like a TES game. In fact, I'd never heard anyone on the game say otherwise until I read this article today.

    I'd say initial move was for 3rd Person as primary view type because it's an MMORPG standard even if it's not an ES standard (Thereby making it more accessible to the wider MMORPG market). That said, not having the ES style FPS view as an option from the start was a bit silly considering the potential alienation that could have caused from the existing ES fan-base.

    But, it's all moot, problem solved :).

    Personally, I'll likely stick to 3rd Person a lot of the time because I'm NOT an old fan of ES, but do like the idea of ESO. So for me, it's what I'm used to. However using a bow, or magic, I'll be more likely to move into FPS view =).

    Aha! Something that should've been standard and a given from the start, but it's good to see it added. I'd like to see more gameplay focused around first person view, but it definitely makes it much more interesting to me now.

    Ok, i'm a little more interested than before, but it still just looks like MP Skyrim. What other features will entice me to buy this game?

    if they get the pubs right, this game might be OK.

    YES! I understood why they didn't want to do first-person (MMO combat animations normally don't sync well, so up close they always look either dated or goofy). But this looks pretty good!!

    The field of view needs fixing, but it's awesome that they listened. The new character bodies / models look quite impressive too!


    We already have plenty of MMOs that play like MMOs, how about making one that doesn't?

      So you want an MMO to not play like an MMO? Are you requesting they make it singleplayer?

        I'd like an MMO that doesn't play like every other MMO, more of those would be nice.

          Then try FFXI. It came out before WoW, so you don't have to worry about it being a clone.

    hmmmm. Somewhat interested, i guess. Generally, I would be Uber hyped after seeing a game like this, but after seeing Wildstar, I'm not too sure where to place this.

    did he say this was coming to consoles? it would have to be next gen ones right? Theres no way this could run on current gen consoles

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