Elder Scrolls Online is set to rock the world of MMORPGs, establishing a new standard and breaking many of the obsolete traditions of current MMOs. Here is a list of ten reasons why I think ESO will be something special.
[ 10: NO SPECIFIC GEAR ]
One of the frustrating things about PvP is that players who would like to do some, but not a lot, are always outmatched by players with PvP specific gear. In Elder Scrolls Online there will be no PvP specific gear, just gear. You can wear whatever you want, whether you found it in a dungeon or crafted it, and you’ll be on the same level playing field as everyone else.
[ 9: DUNGEONS ]
Dungeons in Elder Scrolls Online are something to get excited about: not only will they be filled with terrifying monsters, deadly traps and epic loot, similar to those found in previous TES games, but once you finish one you’ll be able to return to it to continue its story. In the dungeon’s second ‘level’ you may encounter new monsters and perils that were previously locked out, including new areas.
[ 8: CHOICES ]
Skyrim is one of the greatest RPGs ever made, however in the roleplaying choices aspect, it isn’t the best, with your choices not really having much impact on the world. In Elder Scrolls Online, your choices will affect the world around you. What’s even better though, is that when playing with friends, whatever choice you make will only play out on your screen. If your friend makes a different choice, the result will be different for him or her but you won’t see it. This is excellent because it means that rather than having to vote or make a consensus each player can make their own choices without affecting anyone else.
[ 7: THE ENTIRETY OF TAMRIEL ]
Post-launch, the entire continent of Tamriel will be available to explore: so not just Morrowind, Cyrodiil or Skyrim like in the single player Elder Scrolls titles, but every province. In addition, the provinces will be bigger than their previous incarnations, so for example, Skyrim will be far bigger than it was in TES V: Skyrim. That is a huge world to explore, with hundreds of hours of gameplay.
[ 6: CHARACTER CREATION ]
Character creation is a very important part of roleplaying games because your character represents you, it’s your virtual self in the world. I personally base my character, in every RPG I play, off Aefion, my own fictional character. So I’m very conscious about the way he looks, I want him to look the best that he can be. Even if I’m playing in First Person Perspective, I love to take screenshots, and in ESO other people will be seeing me. So a robust character creation screen is a must. ESO will have this, with a whole multitude of options. You can check out the recently released character creation video here: http://youtu.be/Qr4KnUSGOtI
[ 5: UI ]
Something I hate about MMORPGs is the large amount of icons, text and other details clogging up the screen. It really is an immersion breaker, and since MMOs are usually centred around massive worlds of larger size than in other genres, having more icons onscreen undermines the immersion. Piano key action bars are frankly, quite ridiculous, especially when most of those skills hardly ever get used. I would rather have a completely minimalistic user interface, with a select bunch of skills that I can swap in and out depending on who I’m playing with or what dungeon I’m exploring. I would also like my UI to fade away when not in use. Elder Scrolls Online provides all this.
[ 4: FIRST PERSON PERSPECTIVE ]
There is something incredibly immersion-breaking about seeing yourself in an rpg, running around like as if you are controlling a person from behind. First person perspective in First Person Shooters and in Elder Scrolls games particularly, enhances the experience massively because you see a view far more similar to real life than when playing in 3rd person. When you look in front of you, you see an awesome, snow-clad mountain or a vast, forest-filled valley instead of your own butt. ESO will come shipped with First Person Perspective, and while in PvP it will probably be favourable to use 3rd person due to the situational awareness, for questing with your friends or on your own out in the wilderness first person will immersive you in the world much more.
[ 3: 50++ ]
Playing WoW, I always thought about making an Alliance character, purely to experience all the quests and zones that weren’t really available to me as a Horde player. Now, to those of you who have played WoW, just imagine if, once you reached the level cap, you could do all the Alliance quests in the entire game (ruling out racial starting zones), with your Horde character? That would be massive, a huge amount of new content. That’s basically what you’ll be able to do in Elder Scrolls Online. Oh and there are two other factions, not just one. Once you’ve hit the level cap, feel free to head on over to another faction’s zone, and do all their quests. And these are fully voice acted quests not agonizing quests that involve reading walls of text.
[ 2: PLAYS SIMILAR TO SKYRIM ]
While I haven’t had the opportunity to play Elder Scrolls Online myself yet, many of the accounts I have read state that the game plays like Skyrim. This to me is very promising, as this means the game will play more like an action game than a traditional MMORPG. Instead of staring at cooldowns on your action bar in clunky, almost turn-based combat system, Skyrim has excellent, action combat that uses a reticule instead of tab-targeting and uses the mouse in an intelligent way for attacks instead of the redundant system of clicking to move the camera.
[ 1: SKYRIM WITH FRIENDS ]
So what’s the number one reason why I am looking forward to Elder Scrolls Online? I love Skyrim, it’s so vast and detailed, there are so many adventures to be had, but I always thought wouldn’t it be really cool to have multiplayer. Now, I know TES games are traditionally single player games, and always will be, going along with Todd Howard’s epic vision. But it still would be very awesome to have one Elder Scrolls game in which you could share this amazing, beautiful world with your friends, and go on adventures with them in this virtual world. When I was first introduced to MMORPGS I was blown away by the epic experience of being able to do that, to be able to actually step out on my own adventures with my close friends, people I know and trust and care about in real life. So to have adventures with these people in a fantasy setting was kind of like a dream come true. This, combined with the fact that Elder Scrolls Online is set in my favourite fictional universe, means it’s the number one reason why ESO will rock.
[ Further Reading ]
Why Should I Quit My MMO for ESO?
The Story of Elder Scrolls Online
Is Subscription The Right Choice For Elder Scrolls Online?
Andy Lex Bain is a 31 year old writer who resides in Tasmania. He enjoys writing, reading, writing video game reviews, gaming, writing fiendish campaigns for his roleplaying club "The Blades of Valour", cosplaying, bushwalking and watching movies, DVDs and anime. He aspires to be a full-time published author and basically spends his days slaving away at his computer, ShadowLord.