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The Elder Scrolls Online First Look

Developer: Zenimax Online Studios | Publisher: Bethesda
Players: 1+ Player Game | Genre: MMO

Release Date: TBA

The Elder Scrolls Online definitely brings some of the trademark mechanics and elements that Elder Scrolls is known so well for. Before I go farther, let me say that this is definitely still very much an Elder Scrolls game. But, I know that there are several elements that many people love, that aren’t there - One such thing would be the fact that when in town, and an NPC annoys you, you can’t just decide to lob their head off. In fact, you can’t even attack any ‘friendly’ NPCs. Few other things to mention, would be the fact that the NPCs that you do kill do not drop the items that you see equiped on them - Not so Elder Scrolls-esque, eh? Additionally, the realism aspect of merchants only carrying limited amounts of gold has been removed. Sure, it makes it more convenient to the player, but this has always added to the challenge of the game. And one other thing I’ll mention is, you cannot sit in chairs or benches - Which you gotta admit would have been a pretty cool thing to keep, given the added social aspect of the game, from this being an MMO.

One of the biggest (In many ways) things that players have grown to love about Elder Scrolls is it’s huge, expansive world, and it’s beautiful scenery and views - Something that ZeniMax has definitely delivered on. One thing that may bum some players out, though, is not being able to re-visit low-level areas. Which means no traveling back to low-level areas to recruit members for your guild/clan - But, this also means no need to worry about higher level characters coming back and farming out the mobs in an area that you’ve just entered, thus rendering you unable to progress.

The character creation in ESO definitely surpasses anything previously seen in Elder Scrolls. Whether you want to change your character’s arm length, size of their eyes, or their build - The list goes on and on. One can safely say that ZeniMax is, at least, on par with some of the best character creators out there, in terms of the depth of detail you can put into your character.

Upon creating one’s character, you also choose a class template to start out - Currently, the choices being that of a Dragonknight, a Sorcerer, or Templar. Though you choose a template for your character, you are not bound to build your character specifically into that role - I mean, if you really wanted to, you could choose the Templar template, and eventually build your character into a Sorcerer. What playstyle your character is, and what ‘class’ it is, is up to the player - Something that has always been a hallmark of Elder Scrolls.

Talking about classes, I think is a good way to shift onto the subject of the combat system. In most cases, MMOs tend to lean toward having a more stylized type of combat system, where you mash your skills, and spells, and they usually come out looking like a pretty neat skill combo. Though this is an MMO, ZeniMax has held true to Elder scrolls in most aspects of the combat system - Meaning that most of your attacks will be the same stiff motions that they used to be, with little variation. This may bode well for the fans of the traditional Elder Scrolls, but may not go over too well with the rest of ZeniMax’s prospective crowd, from the MMO world. Additionally, it has been confirmed that first-person play will be possible - An amazing prospective for the Oculus Rift, if I do say so myself. And, also, you will be able to switch between weapon sets - Unfortunately, you have to wait until level 15, in order to utilize this, which, I can assure you, will definitely annoy many Elder Scrolls fans.

All in all, ESO appears to cater, at least, to a degree, to all audiences that might want to play. And as long as ZeniMax can keep up the demand for new content, as things always are, in MMOs, they have a great product on their hands. If you weren’t already stoked for The Elder Scrolls Online, I would sure hope that you are now.

By Davis Wiitala - 06/10/13

Screenshots for The Elder Scrolls Online First Look

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