Bleakrock Windmill

ESO’s PvP: “Massive and Epic!!”

October 22nd, 2012 Posted by News Archive 55 comments


n. Acronym for Player Vs. Player

1. A type of game wherein human opponents primarily compete against one another.

In a world where gaming has moved from the 8bit sprites of our heros to the highly detailed and evolving worlds in MMOs, most players play games now to have a rewarding experience, enjoy a great story and to have a pleasing social experience. Other players play for one reason: to beat you. Player v. Player, or PVP for short fills that void in the gamer’s life. Not all players who play MMOs enjoy PVP, but there is a large number of the gaming playerbase who love and thrive in this environment.

There is something to be said about playing against another player, rather than learning how to defeat a boss and then knowing what he will do over and over again. Playing against another living, thinking human being adds a challenge not found while questing throughout the gaming world. PVP allows us to really see “who is the better of us?” and do so in an environment that is first legal, and ever changing.

CrowsWood2 300x168 ESOs PvP: Massive and Epic!!

Making PVP Meaningful

Most games try to give their PVP some explanation in the story. TESO is no different.

As already stated in previous articles, PVP in TESO will mainly take place in the province of Cyrodiil. The three factions of the game are currently in combat vying for the imperial throne of Tamriel. As stated in our original article detailing the “goals” of the development team, the game wants to make PVP “meaningful.” It shouldn’t be viewed as just going into Cyrodiil and combating other players. There are real goals, and consequences for the actions taken place there. As the factions vie for the throne of Tamriel, they will use Cyrodiil as the major combat zone for the culmination of that conflict. Whoever takes over the Imperial Throne ends up actually becoming Emperor in game!

The Nitty-Gritty: What We Know, and What’s Coming

So what do we know about PVP so far in TESO? Here are some facts already detailed in former articles to bring you up to speed:

  1. The entire province of Cyrodiil is your battle ground. The topography of the land is copied off of The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion so those who played the game should be familiar with it. Also, the size of Cyrodiil is larger than the province of Skyrim in TESV.
  2. The province will also have smaller towns to capture and help with the strategic flow of PVP.
  3. All three factions will be involved, creating some of the largest PVP battles we have seen in a MMO to date.

Some new information was given to us at last week’s summit regarding PVP:

  1. You can start PVP at level 10
  2. As of now there are not specific stats or attributes that will directly effect your PVP prowess
  3. Also as of the publication of this article, there is no PVP-specific gear. This doesn’t mean that there won’t be at launch, but the design team is still fleshing out this idea.  When asked why, Matt Firor responded: “There’s good reasons to have it, and there’s good reasons not to have it.” We’ll let you know if this changes the minute it’s released.
  4. Siege engines are used in massive battles and certain elements of the environment are destructible.

Bleakrock Windmill 300x168 ESOs PvP: Massive and Epic!!
I would like to reiterate that last statement: “Siege engines are used in massive battles and certain elements of the environment are destructible.” This was on display during Thursday’s preview day presentation. Brian Wheeler, the game’s Lead PVP Designer, showed a video displaying the awesome capabilities of PVP in the game. For starters, PVP is supposed to be a massive ordeal, pitting players versus each other to achieve a goal. So the video showed a massive battle for a city featuring 200 different players in the battle at once. Yes, 200! Now one might be skeptical about this, maybe some of the characters shown on screen were computer AI controlled sprites, but we were assured this was not the case. “Each player is an employee of Zenimax Online Studios,” Wheeler iterated. None of the other devs even showed a hint of disagreement on that statement.

So as the attacking force neared the city, siege engines were fired up to start battering the walls. The minute a wall was destroyed by the siegecraft, the melee was joined. 100 v. 100 battle going on seamless in front of us, the attacking force rushing through the newly created “door” to the keep. As battle was joined, pockets of 1 v. 1,  10 v. 15, and 20 v. 20 fights broke out as each person fought for control of the city. As the camera panned out, you were treated to an all out war scene unfolding in front of you. While capturing cities might be a strategic advantage to your faction’s claim to the throne, this doesn’t mean all massive battles will be held in cities. Open field battles will also spark up across the landscape of Cyrodiil, making the province an all out warzone.

Now Cyrodiil may be the province under the most constant siege of PVP armies, but that’s not all you can do there. According to the developers, there will be content for both solo, small and large groups, and raid sized groups. Dungeons in Cyrodiil will be public, so the same social experience will apply here as they do the rest of Tamriel.  In addition to PVP, there will be some PVE content in Cyrodiil as well, making the area feel like it is not a “PVP-only” zone.
Daedroth 300x187 ESOs PvP: Massive and Epic!!

Tackling Lag Head On

One of the major sticky points in any MMO is the issue of server lag. While server lag is a game-wide issue, it is more prominently felt during large sequences of combat during PVP. Having 200 players on screen at any given time can do a number on any server, so how does the development team combat this? First of all, it should be noted there are not multiple servers for the game. North America and Europe will have separate servers, but other than that all you need to do is log in and play. This is possible due to what the development team calls “Mega-server technology.” While they didn’t go into great specifics on how this was done, the game runs smoothly despite all of the unique connections running off the same server. Also, the game developers have stressed in previous interviews and articles that the game is being developed with lag and lower end machines in mind. Taking lag and performance into account when you build something makes it a lot easier to iron out issues when they arise.


While PVP was not available to play during ESOTR’s gameplay at the media summit last week, the video shown was definitely makes our mouths water when we remember that the video shown isn’t even the final product. Many additions and refinements will obviously make their way into the game to help make this feel even more fresh and exciting!


Stay tuned to The Elder Scrolls: Off the Record for all your latest news on anything The Elder Scrolls Online!

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marshallgame says:

gotta say as a ps3 owner of skyrim I was ready to write of bethesda completely but if they are putting us off to release this game for pc and it comes even close to the claims it will be worth it… they have their work cut out this is a huge step in gaming period let alone mmo’s. gotta say though if this is before septim there better be dragons and bare bone shouts to be had possibly shouts for those in emporer guilds like unrelenting force and disarm…. some incentive… the 3 faction war/8 hour mega war was done before in rf online (freaking awesome concept) but the bases of the game needed to be leveled and westernized hopefully ESO does this

Petrose says:

Marshallgame, it’s a completely different development team (Zenimax) that is working on TESO. Bethesda is not working on it except as a lore reference for the Zenimax team. This project does not impede Bethesda’s ability to work on issues regarding Skyrim and the PS3.

While they said elsewhere that dragons would not be part of the game because the lore for that time period was after dragons were defeated, they hinted that there would be some presence of dragons. Obviously, they won’t be cruising around everywhere, but we know from Skyrim that Paarthurnax was still alive and the Graybeards as well, but there’s no indication that shouts will be in game yet.

Perkele says:

There will not be shouts

Nightingale says:

Actually ESO is set 1000yrs before the dragons even appeared, so there will most likely not be any dragons, or shouting. I say most likely, because there may be that one case where there is an undead dragon at the bottom of a dungeon.

skroeso says:

that is actualy not true at all. Dragons have been around in the ES universe for a long time before the ESO. They were gone for such a long time that in the time of TESV they were more of a legend than history, which doesn’t mean that they did not egzist at all during the time between (parthurnax ec.).

Dustborn says:

This is wrong. This isnt long after Tiber Septim who died just over 1000 years before Skyirm. Tiber Septim knew how to shout and dragons were around long before Skyrim. They were thought to be extinct at this time as Tiber Septim had slain the one they thought was the last dragon while he was alive.=

tiaggo says:

RF online has the best pvp I have ever experienced in a mmorpg, not only because the combat is fun, but mostly because the war has a meaning, you are there to fight for your race. If ESO can tranfer this concept from RF to itself , it will probaly have the best PVP experience in any modern mmo.

C says:

500vs500 & beyond was done in Knight Online. So 200 isn’t a big deal. Guild wars can do 200vs200, not well though. Project Reality for Battlefield 2 has tested up to 300+ people on one single server. MAG had 256 people. While it’s awesome & sounds interesting. It’s not a game changer aside from among newer MMO’s which are finally catching up in the most important areas.

Freehill says:

To be honest it is enought 200 vs 200. You dont really do much in battles like that. Just mainly spam buttens. And if a group targets you just die. Thats my opinion – its now quite fun.

Dustborn says:

It said 200v200 in the city. Not 200v200 altogether. There could have been another 50v50 outside the walls and another 100v100 on the attackers lines. There will prolly be a lot more then just 200v200

kiawan says:

correction, 100v100. and i do believe that there will be lag. It is impossible to avoid in any scenario. PROVE ME WRONG ZENIMAX

Scott says:

MAG had 256 person PVP, however not all 256 were going at each other directly. Instead they had “four sections” of 32v32 compared to the outright engagement of 100v100 in one open straight up battlefield.

skroeso says:

what you are refering to is their claim that the game engine is designed to have 200 players ON SCREEN at all times, which doesn’t mean that the pvp fights won’t include a much higher number of people than 200. If you think about it, considering the size of cyradil I think the numbers will be much higher, in the thousands most likely…

Darkwise says:

1,000+ vs 1,000+ alliance fights is what kept me plating EvE Online for so long. If ESO can pull that off I will be super happy :)

Rokurou says:

Too bad, There won’t.

Perkele says:

I seriously can’t wait for this! The only thing I’m worried about right now is that will my PC run the game. Everything in ESO seems perfect to me!

Elder says:

My main issue with this, is if Pvp and large scale raids are going to become nessessary in order to keep up with other players…. take WoW for example… you can claim there is content outside of PvP and raiding all you want, but if the players are force to use these options to keep up with everyone else, the content outside of it becomes meaningless. An example would be not getting good enough gear thru the solo and small group end game contents.
An MMO quickly loses its appeal to players like me and my girlfriend that “mostly” want to just have a quiet game with the opportunity to add others to our adventure if we feel like it… we do not want to constantly be in an end game race for all the best gear thru raiding and PvP. It’s annoying! your entire game experienced gets dedicated to WORKING in raids and PvP,.. not playing and enjoying yourselfs.

So yea… please remember to reward your players who choose options outside of PvP and raiding… please,… the endgame gear race is NOT FUN!

Frissen says:

The gear race is not fun, and because Matt Firor has a hand in this I dont think you should worry. He was the producer of my all time favorite MMO game for 11 years, which i’d say were some of the best years for that game. If you can read about it, please do… this game isn’t going to be a DAoC clone, but DAoC is a great example to reference and learn from, because it was a good MMO. In DAoC gear definitely had an effect on your playstyle, but it didn’t make or break you. It was one variable in the entire equation of what could lead to your success, or demise. You relied more on support from your factions, or groups and their decided strategies for battle.

I’m excited to play a well balanced, well thought out MMO that has great character development, storyline immersion, and depth in battle, which I think this team can deliver on.

Elder says:

this is re-assuring. And I am glad I am not the only one fed up with what MMO’s have turned into.
Hopefully zenimax is aware of how we feel on that. They seem to genuinely care about what they are doing. But looks can be deceiving, especially when it comes to developers trying to paint up their products in a positive light.

atlas says:

I believe that a good way to get around the “end game gear race”. Would be to have the best armor come from smithing and enchanting. That way players have to work for the best gear. Not just raid and PvP. Also like to state I cannot wait for this MMO.

Mitchell says:

So you want good gear without the effort? If you aren’t going to do raids in large groups or pvp, why do you even need good gear? It’s not like you will need end-game gear to beat the game.
Putting in some effort, dieing 100′s of times just to beat 1 boss and finally getting that reward you wanted. That’s what makes games like this enjoyable.

Hayden says:

Are you serious? It’s people like you that make me hate MMO’s. I’d really like to know where you get the sheer audacity required to basically call this guy lazy. Some human beings, do have lives outside of the gaming world. I for one completely agree with Elder, and think that if this game does balance things out and abscondes from the stupidity of grinding, it will stand head and shoulders above its competition. Theres nothing I hate more than having to come home from work and then work some more to make a game fun. That is ignorant, wasteful, and completely pointless. If I buy a game, and choose to put time into it, shouldnt it entertain me? Shouldnt it entertain anyone that plays it, not just the choosen few who have no life outside the gaming world?

Hen632 says:

woah calm down bro. its people like you who make forums suck. stop raging.

bebebee says:

Sry but he’s dead on.
take GW2 for example, you have to do you’re dailies, and daily always include WvW shit.
If you want to get hold of a ledgendary you either have to be rich beond means to buy it in the trading post, or have to play pvp. There are PvP only armor, but no PvE only armors.
And the WvW in GW2 is the worst kind of PvP i’ve ever seen. only zerging wins.
PVE content in PvP area, please tell me i do that without having to deal with PvP-play, so I can enjoy everything the game can offer me, without having to deal with PvPer who kill me on my way to a quest or even worse in the middle of a quest.

and finaly plz let me choose which spells my staff/sword can do and not ONLY those predetermined skills like in GW2.
ok a staff can’t do “a 1000 blades” skill, but a staff or scepter should be able to use the same spells, maybe a staff can have more concentrated power to compensate the offhand.

I’m looking for a GW2 replacement, but it has to offer me a better alternative as a pure PvE player.

Hen632 says:

woah calm down bro. its people like you who make forums suck. stop raging. why are bringing up that he has no life? If you have a life why are you on a forum for a video game. clearly you should have better things to do

skroeso says:

I agree and i think it would be much more interesting if the gear didn’t play such a big role as in wow. Make the search for gear rewarding, but not necesitty number one.

Klaskovilte says:

“An MMO quickly loses its appeal to players like me and my girlfriend that “mostly” want to just have a quiet game with the opportunity to add others to our adventure if we feel like it…”

Someone misunderstood the whole concept of MMO’s there my friend.
What you are looking for is a single player game with a multiplayer function(Neverwinter night springs to mind).

Also what makes mmo’s survive longer then single player games are their end game content for the more “no life gamers” as u people like to call us. THe fact however is that we make up to large a portion of the customers to ignore, and we are also the ones staying in the game making it live longer. If there is no hard content in the end of the game thats worth your while doing, people will simply stop playing. Did you see what is allready happening to Guild wars 2? Sucky PvM content basicly ruined it.
YOu can stroll around exploring for 10 minutes a day thinking you somehow played the game all you want. But noone is going to cater to you. Sorry

dreamsxord says:

I agree with the “no-lifers”. If you don’t put in a comparable amount of effort you shouldn’t have as good of gear. Guild wars 2 tried to cater to casuals by having the same level gear for people no matter how many matches they had played. They did a really good job of it and people got bored saying there was no incentive to play pvp.

WoW rewarded people who put in more time, and that is still the most popular game say what you will. I don’t agree with busy work but I think the challenges should deepen as you get further along in the game.

If you get the best gear after playing for 30 minutes what incentive do you have to keep playing? Personally the gear gap in some games made me want to put a lot of time into improving my character and find creative ways to overcome overpowered classes and builds. It makes sense that if you put in more time you become better. This also creates a degree of excitement for people who are behind who now have to come up with creative ways to even the odds.

Ultimately you can’t please everyone.. and gamers these days are entitled morons with unrealistic expectations.

Chris Comerford says:

Best comment I have seen regarding MMO’s. Truer words were never spoken!

Aceit says:

I disagree, people hated the WoW grind. The incentive isn’t to get batter its just to grind as many BG’s as possible to get the best gear, just so next season you can do it again. You could be the worst player in the world, but if you have no life you can just grind BG’s.

GW2 does a great job. While I do agree that I find there match system too rinse and repeat. It encourages players to be creative and smart rather then grind gear. while you can get the same stats as another player that doesn’t mean that you can beat them. There is still a large skill difference.

They should do gear similar to GW2. This way you never get the best gear and become OP keeping the game fun and challenging. Glory ranks should be more in depth and intricate. They will help to give players a sense of progression.

zilot says:

question about pvp : is it open wotld in cyrodiil or just arena pvp like in continent of the ninth for exemple can i go solo in cyrodiil jungle and kill enemies doing pve?
200 player in a siege isn’t that too small number in aion we can do 2k or more for a siege
thx and sry my english

Elder says:

don’t quote me,.. because I havent played and theres little way of knowing for sure until its out.
But from what I can tell, cyrodiil will be like an open world giant PvP grounds with multiple large scale and small scale battles in various locations. While at the same time hosting areas for PvE content. The rest of Tamriel will be normal PvE.
This is all based on what I have read so far,.. any of it could easily be wrong.

Cyrodiil will be massive open world PVP with PVE content in the region as well. PVP will be open in other provinces, though it will be between factions. Basically as it was explained to us if you are travelling in Skyrim as a Dunmer and happen upon a Breton, since you are both parts of different factions you could PVP each other there. Dueling will also be in the game.

Insane On Fire says:

I have a question, the PvP area is the whole cyrodil right? So if we’re just doing nothing there, just plain nothing. We suddenly attacked and boom you die. Doesnt that a bit… not good. Just thinking bout it makes me kinda annoyed. Does that means you cant enter cyrodil at all if you dont want to get attacked or die? And another question. If I die, what happens? Well, in skyrim, nothing really happens but you respawn at the time and place you last save and i love that. Less risks and ive almost never die

skroeso says:

there are respawn areas just like in wow

Ravacyz says:

Now my question is even though its open world will we be able to siege from any angle. Example: My guild is participating in a raid and we decide to concentrate trebuchet fire on one side. If this distracts the enemy faction could i say take some people to another part of the imperial city and lay siege to that side as a make shift feint tactic or is everything restricted to a set area and have to make do with?

N69ky says:

Cmoon now. Ability to loose your gear! Do it the Ultima online way and there’ll be no end gear whining because you can actually get downgraded! ;)

JS48 says:

I can’t believe I’m asking but… Anyone know if it’ll be the same as all the other MMOs and you can’t party with people on other alliances, or will it be different on that front? Cause me and my friends all have different preferences for the race (Argonian and Orc for example), and I can’t help but wonder if we’ll be unable to party.

DontTazeMeBro says:

The devs said that to balance PvP and ensure no one faction becomes too strong, the other two underdog factions can group up and fight the stronger faction. So to answer your question to the best of my ability, I’d say they will, but at the same time they might mean only during the certain fights against the strongest faction. Hope I helped

Danny says:

were is the beta

there has been no official BETA timeline announcement, though the ESO twitter keeps stating that it will be coming “soon.” So keep your eyes peeled, we will be reporting on it the min it happens!

Justin says:

I hope its soon, i want to play this game so bad. everyone dont be speculating too much, who cares……This is and ELDER SCROLLS MMO, its gonna be the best MMO to date no doubt about it. Elder Scrolls is awsome

Aramas says:

I was talking to a friend about this earlier and I made myself rather annoyed thinking about it… So they’re thinking of not even having PvP specific gear… And as far as I can tell from reading and watching the videos, there will be no sort of dedicated level 50 ranked PvP areas… except for maybe, hopefully, the pvp dungeons… Now, what in the hell is the point of playing the game at end content if there is no ranking system, no sort of gear dependency (I’m not talking about gear>skill, just some degree of gear dependency) and anywhere you go, wether you’re 50 and play alot or 15 and play every other weekend, you are all “equal” and what not??? To me, this is a perfect way of killing an MMO real fast. I myself do not like overly grind games, but I certainly do prefer for there to be some sort of reason to even play at end game. In any GOOD MMO, in my personal opinion, ultimately the goal is to attain the best gear by gradually becoming better and climbing the rank ladder. It makes a game exciting and purposeful. Not “oh hey im gonna not put any effort into this game and achieve the same level of success as that other player that truly emerges him/herself into the game to fully enjoy it”. Anyways, I am excited for this game, I just reaaaally hope they can find a balance between fluffy super casuals and hardcore “no-life’s”.

Rayne says:

People always seem to forget games like one of my favorite. MMOs of all time. UO, had some of the best pvp in the early years. It was based on things like the more you used a weapon the more skill you gained with it. Granted the way you attacked in it was a bit different then what will be used in TESO, the concept is still valid. While armor should play a role in things like pvp, it should not be the end all be all.

Aramas says:

Oh absolutely, I don’t think armor should be all you strive for at end game, especially since in TESO you actually have to have skill to be good; this in turn means, the better you are as a player(meaning skill) the more you’ll progress and the better gear/content/satisfaction you’ll get. There are people that simply like exploration, which is another huge part of the elder scroll series and certain of TESO, so these folks will get their enjoyment from exploring the open world content…. Clearly you do not need the best gear in the game to do this. I am still curious as to how the attacks will dish out in final product though, how many attacks are available to each “class”, how stunning with a bow will compare to blocking or parrying, etc etc.

Dany says:

I have one wider question.

It’s about basic PvP and BALANCE in PvP

Do you thinking about cleanly basic PvP: (1v1/duels/arenas etc.)?

For ex. in future: “Rated Arena in Imperial City etc.” We know from(TES:oblivion). Where players can be join and fihght between themselves?

Balanced PvP is very problematic, but ESO fight system can be unique. Mega-battles with hundreds/thousands players are very popular, are “everywhere”. But popular balanced basic PvP isn’t.

It is Easy – it is Adrenalin:
Players requires compare between themselves

This is a new chance too create a next social connection, something as: “ESO STREAM” (arena spectrators, video uploader/creator etc.)
Players can watch and study fight with top players between themselves in RATED arenas in real-time or from records.
More possibilities = more players = more chances survive between competitors.


PileOfMidgets says:

I want to know if the different races will have abilities like water breathing or mana regen etc.

Paulm says:

Open world PVP! Don’t get me wrong, it’s nice to have an area where teams, players, and guilds can compete in massive, glorious, siege filled battles! It’s great. However.. only have 1 zone or 1 area where PvP can take place is kind of lame. Take EVE online for example. Almost every area, zone, solar system, etc (excluding newbie zones) has an element of fear. That surprise lurking around every rock and tree. The one that says “If your not paying attention, you will get stabbed in the back. From the front or back, with a group of my buddies or by my lonesome sneak thief self. You will be killed”. It’s that fear and excitement that I enjoy with PvP. So in short, please offer open world pvp servers. Thanks!

DontTazeMeBro says:

Only 1 zone…. the WHOLE world is only one zone and PvP is available everywhere (excluding starting areas I’m sure)

Shadowfoe says:

Races will still keep abilities, and most loot isn’t obtained from pvp other than gold really, the loot will be obtained from questing and free-lancing across tamriel, if some of you don’t know cyrodiil has giant stone walls around it with various gates that will most likely be closed, so you probably won’t just walk in and get killed defenselessly and there really is no best or greatest weaps and armor because they really on skill trees like in skyrim plus they will reintroduce classes if it smoothed over with beta testers

Dany says:

“Not all players who play MMOs enjoy PVP” = This is a sentence from some radical PvE man.

* He has a true, but not all enjoy just PvE and mega epic battles too.

Yes, awesome combat system and more and more epic battles… But ESO must simply apply and use this opportunity and create popular (1v1+) duels or arenas and next more simple alternatives in PvP with massive battles together…

More alternatives=more players=more chances survive different projects.

PvP with PvE is in symbiosis and only both together do a EPIC MMORPG
Bad PvP or PvE = community loss

Brandon says:

I think PS4 might be-able to handle this game.. I mean not very one owns a Computer that can handle a game like this.. and/or still get the graphics the designers wanted you to see.. I know a few of my gaming have the money for the Computers that can.. but some are just like me broke as hell.. all I’m saying is what about the poor gamer… Minimum requirements for the computer thus far? and the poor Console Gamer?

Brandon says:

Now for the subject on hand.. I’ve seen the PvP.. video on YouTube and from What I can tell people it.. my mouth is watering for more!

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