Tuesday, February 19, 2013

ESO to Include Skyrim Plus Combat Tweaks

The trail for ESO hasn't gone cold yet as new information has now surfaced from the game's director, Matt Firor. Previously, Matt Firor shed some light as to the PvP mechanics in the game suggesting players will have the ability to do what they please with the Elder Scrolls Online classes.

According to iDigitalTimes.com, Firor has noted the inclusion of Skyrim as the dev team tries to model it into the game. However, Firor didn't note exactly what is expected for Skyrim but it's only speculative at best that quests or something big will happen in the region of Skyrim.

The game is currently under testing and the dev team had already made some tweaks toward the combat mechanics. Considering the magnitude of the game, players are required to report issues or bugs if come across. Hence, player feedback is utterly important if they feel something within the game is out of place. With a constant flow of feedback, the dev team can focus their attention to fixing those areas and make the game much more enjoyable.

Although no release date is confirmed for the game, the short interview alone brings good news the game is being polished for its undisclosed release date.

If you haven't checked out the TESO cinematic trailer, I suggest you all check it out to relive the hype!

Monday, February 11, 2013

The Elder Scrolls Online Food Truck Tour

In association with Fearless Media, Bethesda Softworks has teamed up for a nationwide food truck program spanning across the US landscape. The food truck program is aimed to 'feed' TES fans across the landscape. In addition to announcing the program, fans of the game can check in on the status of the truck by utilizing a Facebook app to determine the location and time the truck will appear. The truck will be giving out free food; players can come and bring their friends and family along for the tasty meals!

The date of the locations and stops are listed below: 

SXSW 2013 – Austin, Texas (March 10)
PAX East – Boston, Massachusetts (March 22)
University of Massachusetts Amherst – Amherst, Massachusetts (March 29)
Michigan State University – East Lansing, Michigan (April 12)
University of Colorado – Boulder, Colorado (April 26)
University of Arizona – Tucson, Arizona (May 3)
E3 2013 – Los Angeles, California (June 12)
Comic-Con International – San Diego, California (July 18)
PAX Prime – Seattle, Washington (August 31)
University of California, Los Angeles – Los Angeles, California (September 20)
University of California, Berkeley – Berkeley, California (October 4)

News piece courtesy of this press release. Thanks!


Thursday, February 7, 2013

TESO Classes Won't Be A Big Feature in the Game

The Elder Scrolls Online is doing something different this time around; skill trees of all classes will be open to all types of customization. Yep, you heard right: skill trees will be open. With the ability to utilize all types of skills, builds are now extremely flexible depending on the player's style of play.

What does this mean for TES: Online? That means players can basically play how they want in search for an awesome build. In a way, having all the skill tree at your disposal isn't a bad thing; your class can take the role of multiple classes all in one character! From what I understand is the possibility of having a stealth healer or a warrior who can act as a tank. For gamers who are familiar with TES universe, it's all about diversity. It all comes down to mix and matching between an offensive or defensive build. And of course, sharing the build so others can benefit or tweak it to make it better!

Since no information is available about how the skill tree will look like or how it will function upon an OBT, we can only speculate that gamers will have the ultimate customization freedom. Couple this with the character's racial abilities, there can be additional boosts as well. Steering away from the traditional class-locked abilities, Elder Scrolls Online aims to make the game fun for everybody while eliminating the need for wanting an ability possessed by another class.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

The Elders Scrolls Online, F2P or P2P?

One of the biggest questions about any new MMO is the pay model. Will The Elder Scrolls Online follow the World of Warcraft model and charge subscription fees to access their content? Or will they go the route many other MMOs tend to take, offering content for free with micro-transaction support?

Official Statements

So far, all indications coming from the TESO development team point to a WoW-style subscription service. Purchase the game, buy a year of subscription and renew month to month to get the most out of the game. World of Warcraft has obviously enjoyed significant success with this model. World of Warcraft also has an immense amount of resources to dedicate to content development, as well as a decade of previous games building dedicated fans. Very few franchises other than the Elder Scrolls can hope to match this dedication.

Other games, however, tend to falter after a year or so. The most notable recent conversions are Lord of the Rings Online and Star Wars: The Old Republic. LOTRO enjoyed a long run as a subscription-based MMO, but time and the decline in subscribers led to a transition to free-to-play. The Old Republic barely lasted a year before switching to a freemium model.

Trend Analysis

Given the history of other big-name MMOs, TESO is a high chance of transitioning to a freemium model over the course of its lifetime. Why? Gamers simply don't care for the subscription model any more. If they're paying a monthly fee, they expect a significant amount of ongoing support and content additions. At the same time, the first few months after release are notoriously the buggiest time for any MMO. This means gamers would be asked to pay extra to play during arguably the worst time to play. A bad opening experience and a high price point mean gamers will cancel their subscriptions in record numbers.

On the other hand, Bethesda and Zenimax have the resources to make a high quality game that will draw in new gamers. They don't have to switch to freemium, as long as they can entice enough gamers to subscribe. The Elder Scrolls series has enough die-hard fans and untapped potential to pull it off. They just have to avoid their own reputation for making buggy games. If any franchise is going to develop into a serious P2P competitor to World of Warcraft, the Elder Scrolls Online has the best chance.

The Elder Scrolls Online Vs. The World of Warcraft

ZeniMax and Bethesda are stepping feet into the MMORPG market later this year with their highly-anticipated Elder Scrolls Online. As with any big budget MMO, the comparisons to the World of Warcraft are inevitable. Unlike the titles before it, the Elder Scrolls Online seems to be doing less imitation and more innovation. There are some big differences between the two titles, particularly in the lore, combat, and questing.

The World of Warcraft has a deep and rich lore, built up across three games before WoW, and if you participated since release you actually got to see the world change in big ways. This includes the reopening of the Dark Portal, a huge Cataclysm event that reshaped most of Azeroth (Literally. Most of the 1-60 content from release is no longer accessible, having been replaced with Cataclysm content) and, most recently, the revealing of the previously-unknown island of Pandaria.

That’s not to say the Elder Scrolls world isn’t richly detailed either. There are several hundred page books inside the game for the player to find. There are meticulously detailed cultures, crazy god-beings that constantly dip into and stir up mortal affairs, creation myths and more. The events in the Elder Scrolls Online takes place a thousand years before the events of Skyrim, with the playable races of Tamriel split into 3 factions: The Ebonheart pact, the Aldmeri Dominion and the Daggerfall Covenant.

Although initially complicated, the tactical side of WoW combat has been simplified and refined over the years. Although it varies slightly, at the higher levels most classes will end up managing several bars of hotkeys, juggling upwards of 16-32 different abilities/activated items.

In the Elder Scrolls Online you only manage 5 abilities and 1 ultimate at a time. The ultimate is used by generating finesse points using their finesse system, which rewards successfully attacking, dodging, or blocking attacks. Blocking itself is an active action used with the right mouse button.

Most of the questing in the World of Warcraft is done in ‘hubs,’ where a player will enter an area, gather a bunch of quests, finish them and then move onto the next area. In the Mists of Pandaria instead of large hubs there are smaller nodes, allowing the player more choices in where they want to go and progress.

In the Elder Scrolls Online, the questing sounds fairly similar to the Mists of Pandaria, with a few key differences. Exploring is rewarded more, with the occasional quest finding the player as they wander. The goal seems to be a freer, less follow-the-bread-crumb approach to questing.

As the launch of the Elder Scrolls Online approaches more info will be released. By going over what is available now you can assemble a basic idea of the game, and so far that idea seems to be a significant departure from standards set by the World of Warcraft. ESO has a 3 way faction conflict set a thousand years before their games, WoW has a two sided conflict that launches directly from their games. WoW’s combat offers you dozens of abilities to utilize with a refined combat role system, whereas ESO has a simpler control scheme that rewards more accurate play. WoW questing is mostly stream-lined and centralized, though the Mists of Pandaria allows for some more choice in how you progress. ESO tends to follow the same structure as Mists of Pandaria, though perhaps more rewarding for travelers.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Sneak Peak to the Elder Scrolls Online PvP system

The PVP system for The Elder Scrolls Online is going to be one of the largest in MMORPG history, allowing for hundreds of players in a large, open fight. The game will involve players choosing one of three alliances as they fight for their piece of Cyrodiil, which is the main city and the center point for the game. The best players can even be crowned Emperor through PVP interactions.

Players will be able to choose from the Ebonheart Pact, the Aldmeri Dominion, and the Daggerfall Covenant. All three alliances have unique races included in them. While the specific alliances do not give any bonuses, the races do. The Ebonheart Pact allows players to choose from Nord, Dark Elf, and Argonian races. The Daggerfall Covenant can choose from Orcs, Redguards, and Bretons. The Aldmeri Dominion consists of Wood Elves, High Elves, and Khajiit. Each alliance also gets its own quests and missions throughout the game.

TESO is enjoyable for new players as well as veterans to the game. Players can jump right into PvP battles with a system within the game that makes the characters at equal level when they engage in combat. The characters still have all of their unique skills and weapons, so it is still important to explore Tamriel and acquire better gear. The minimum level to participate in PvP is 10, which gives new players enough time to grow accustomed to the controls and basics of the game.

The ultimate goal is to keep a great territory for the player’s alliance. Resources are very important and the alliance must strategically maintain lumber mills, farms, and fortresses within their territory. Elder Scrolls give the strongholds various bonuses, and these rare artifacts are important for the alliance to protect. Seizing territory leads to power and only one alliance will be able to control the Ruby Throne in the Imperial City.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Bethesda Opens Beta Applications for TES Online

I'm proud to announce The Elder Scrolls Online is finally accepting beta applications for many lucky applicants! To become one of the lucky players to participate in the beta, simply head over to TES Online official website and fill out the questionnaire.

A few selected players will get the chance to try their hands on the first MMO game of the Elder Scrolls franchise which was exclusively on consoles.

However, there is no news of when the exact date the beta will launch so players will continue to stay on their toes. If more information is revealed between now and the launch, we'll cover it!