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The Elder Scrolls Online: Why I’m Sceptical

December 12, 2012


Little is still know about upcoming MMO The Elder Scrolls Online, but a month ago today this video introduction was released to the anticipating fans. I’ve been fairly interested to see what Bethesda and ZeniMax are going to bring to the MMO table, since I enjoyed playing Skyrim quite a lot. But the feeling after having watched this video is down to boredom and unexpected disappointment. I hope the developers have more to offer than this, and that they are going to show us soon, if I’m going to be interested in buying this game.

From the video we can tell that The Elder Scrolls Online is going to be build as we know it from other MMOs. We are going to divide into factions, team up, do dungeons, heroic dungeons, PvP, collect resources for crafting etc. What is going to be different is that everyone is going to be on the same mega server. Okay, very nice. Another thing is the way you build your character. You can be a heavy armor class using a bow or a caster class with high defensibility etc. Kinda like we know it from Skyrim. Okay, very nice. A third thing is the combat system. You have to actively block, aim and control the force of your blows. For some reason I’m not excited. But I wasn’t impressed with the fighting in Skyrim either. It was slow. And the system in ESO seems even slower. If a block is automatic, you can use your energy on taunting or getting some good hits in instead. Advanced fighting is nice, but you don’t want every fight to last for ages.

These new things are partially nice adds to an MMO, but they are quite minor, and I can’t help but feeling that it’s just the same old overall. And in the end, the choice of which MMO to play is just down to what universe you like best. But I keep feeling Bethesda and ZeniMax could go and do better.

This might be down to my own general feeling about MMOs at the moment. I’m a long time player of World of Warcraft, and I think I’m going to be on and off it for many years to come, but for different reasons than it being an MMO. I use World of Warcraft much as a single player game. I get on, I do some quests or some dungeons, I craft some items, and I get off again. All quite solitary when I need a break in the evenings after work. But I’m bored of the multiplayer aspect and have been off it for a while.

I feel like this with ESO. This way of setting up an MMO is not new, and I sense I’m not the only one being bored of the old ways of doing things. Being developed in 2012, I’m disappointed that Bethesda and ZeniMax are not thinking newer. But of course we haven’t seen everything they have to offer yet. Hopefully.


Argonian soldiers.

I think ESO is going to attract fans of the series. There is going to be a lot of lore to explore, and I think roleplayers are going to experience a nice universe to unfold in as well. But I can’t see why other players should be attracted. Most MMO players are by now used to and expecting high standards and innovative gameplay if they are going to put in countless of hours. Being as basic and old-fashioned as an MMO as it looks to be, ESO will attract based on story and universe, not exciting new gameplay. And if the gameplay is nothing particularly new – why create an MMO at all?

The Elder Scrolls Online is scheduled for release sometime during 2013 and will require a subscription to play.

Image Link: The Elder Scrolls Online: Media: Screenshots

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Kaplan MacGuffin permalink
    January 1, 2013 3:48 am

    Two things interest me about this title, First making 3 factions rather than 2 is huge. The two faction system is tired and the shifting alliances of 3 factions ah la DAoC should be interesting. Second frankly they had me stealth heals.

    Hopefully they can take some queues from GW2 whose quest system, or lack thereof is the most fun I’ve had with an MMO in a long while. That and not having to worry about kills getting stolen and the actually camaraderie built because everyone gets something when they help each other make GW2 the game to beat for me. WoW may be the most popular but is is not the best IMHO.

  2. cwkunkel permalink
    May 9, 2013 5:49 am

    It looks like the beta has just opened. I think it will be a nice way for them to expand on the ES lore that many find so rich. Personally, I believe it will go the way of Star Wars: The Old Republic and be snazzy at the start but a moneyhog and 2-bit mmo with flashy graphics.

    If you’ve been a lifelong fan (which I almost am), it’s almost impossible to say no though. You win, Bethesda… You win.

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