Making an MMO, Feel Like Elder Scrolls

October 22nd, 2012 Posted by News Archive 24 comments

Stonefalls 600x337 Making an MMO, Feel Like Elder Scrolls
The Elder Scrolls series is known amongst the gaming community for having vast environments with towering mountains, snow covered tundras and terrifying dungeons, all inhabited by vibrant and brilliant characters.

As more and more news is released concerning the Elder Scrolls Online, it is apparent that developers ZeniMax Online Studios is not straying from a staple that has made the series so popular.

The upcoming MMO will not feel like the everyday online game many are used to playing. Much like in Skyrim and other installments of the series, every place a player can see that player can visit and travel to. The game is being designed to look, feel and handle like previous Elder Scrolls games but with the added element of an MMO.

Because nearly all of Tamriel will be accessible in this game, the developers have spent hours researching each aspect of Elder Scrolls lore to make sure the game not only maintains continuity storywise but also in appearance.

Items such as weaponry and armor will not just be random throughout the world, but look as if it naturally belongs there. Dungeons will fit into their environments as well, with enemies and items fitting in naturally rather then something just placed or lost there.

The addition of dungeons is also indication of a distraction based style of game. Games in the past have featured hundreds of side quests, as well as new places to adventure to and explore, that can keep players off the main stories for hours upon hours. ZeniMax Studios are working to keep this style of game play a reality in Elder Scrolls Online. Dungeons will be accessible to all players with rewards and enemies to be shared. A dungeon in Skyrim may be vastly different than a dungeon in High Rock, with a different outcome by venturing through. The MMO-installment to the series will not shy away from side quests and dungeons and keeps filled with glory to be had.
Dreugh 300x187 Making an MMO, Feel Like Elder Scrolls
Skyrim featured dungeons with a lot of interactive elements built in. Whether it was the puzzle solving to get from one room to the next, the countless half libraries scattering the ruins or the abundance of embalming equipment, a character was able to interact with almost everything. This will remain true in Elder Scrolls Online as well.

Players will be able to interact with their environment in ways such as picking up a piece of bread, an apple or a plate. The player will be able to take and leave weapons much like in the past.

To do these things, the key strokes will be similar to those in Skyrim. The E button will be used as the activation key, while the mouse controls where a character looks and the WASD keys will  move the player. While the camera is third person, it is able to be zoomed in or out and panned.

This utilization of the camera can give the Elder Scrolls Online the feel of a medieval FPS as well as making the environment just as much of a feature of the game as ones character. Being able to zoom out and see a Nordic warrior standing on a ledge with a backdrop of a city below is breath taking in every imaginable way. And, as mentioned above, ones ability to then travel to said city helps put the player into the world.

Seeing a city far off in the distance from a mountaintop and then being able to travel there is something Skyrim made an emphasis of. The upcoming MMO is working to keep in line with this ability.

All of these things show how immerse the Elder Scrolls Online environment really is and how a player is able to do and play however they would like.

But perhaps the strongest point to the advancement in the Elder Scrolls environment comes from the PvP zone, which happens to encompass the entire territory of Cyrodil.

While the PvP will be vastly different yet similar to other MMO’s in games, one feature that stands out is the ability to interact with the environment. Even during 100-on-100 battles, it is possible for either side to use a siege tower or weaponry to take out structural weak points on buildings throughout all of Cyrodil. These siege weapons allow even under-leveled participants the chance to make an impact during battles. Walls can be taken down, allowing combatants the ability to invade and overrun a keep or fort.
MournholdNightOrdinator 300x187 Making an MMO, Feel Like Elder Scrolls
This feature adds an element never before seen in an Elder Scrolls game. Buildings have always been fixed points in previous installments, and though it is in the PvP zones, they can now be damaged and destroyed. This feature not only makes the environment a hazard to players, but also aids in the storytelling process. The destruction, even of a forts wall, shows the dangers and struggles of any wartime situation.

If used correctly, these siege weapons hold the ability to turn the tide of a battle in one sides favor.

While there is still quite a bit of time before the game is released, and more news is bound to come out about Elder Scrolls Online before then, the MMO looks like it may redefine not only the genre but the Elder Scrolls series as a whole.

With all of Tamriel up for grabs, the real question is what’s next?




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[...] Among those covering the event was The Elder Scrolls Off the Record, and they definitely went on the record with numerous features on the game, including: Making an MMO Feel Like Elder Scrolls [...]

[...] Among those covering the event was The Elder Scrolls Off the Record, and they definitely went on the record with numerous features on the game, including: Making an MMO Feel Like Elder Scrolls [...]

Kiki says:

Alchemy. Making and selling potions, and even becoming part of a trade caravan…

Will there be things like that? Things, though small in this world, that will define your character’s personality even more?

I look forward to this Online world of Bethesda’s

Avatar of djdennisoudjdennisou says:

As far as I know, at this point, there is no word on those things. But I agree, the small things in the Elder Scrolls games have always drawn a lot of attention. Every aspect really needs to be included, in my personal opinion.

Kiki says:

So far, from what I have gathered through other official sites for this sort of info, they are trying their hardest to bring a lot of what makes Elder Scrolls so enjoyable…

This said, it’s still time consuming, and so patience IS key!

I have high hopes for this project of theirs, and they haven’t really let us down with a lot of their other products, both small and large! Making anything of this scale takes time and, yes money, but also wit and knowledge.

Dreadwater says:

A very good idea really. I know it sounds silly but in Everquest early days there was a cave in the desert everyone went to sell goods at and you can ask any long term player now and they still remember that. Everyone would hang out there and Druid or Wizard Taxis would port people around. The modern day MMO of having portals for everywhere killed all this. I like having a way to fast travel but not just clicking on a map. I like having to plan how I am going to get back and carry loot etc.

Josef says:

I remember that! It connected the East and West parts of a zone and it was a party the entire time. I haven’t played that game in a long time!

[...] article posted today detailed just how similar the two things will be (besides looking very similar, which [...]

[...] article posted today detailed just how similar the two things will be (besides looking very similar, which [...]

Zelex says:

Do you guys know if theyre going to have Oculus Rift support?

[...] Among those covering the event was The Elder Scrolls Off the Record, and they definitely went on the record with numerous features on the game, including: Making an MMO Feel Like Elder Scrolls [...]

Nob says:

This MMO has dungeons.
This MMO has items.
and my personal favorite
“PvP will be vastly different yet similar to other MMO’s in games”
pro preview. 4/5

Dreadwater says:

Yep the worst preview so far

[...] Among those covering the event was The Elder Scrolls Off the Record, and they definitely went on the record with numerous features on the game, including: Making an MMO Feel Like Elder Scrolls [...]

Jalen says:

This is all good, but though I’ve been a fan of ES since the beginning, I can tell you that if this is just a fighting game I’ll not be participating. Combat is fine, but they better have crafting, and other kinds of activities besides fighting, and have game functions (sitting down, emotes, etc) that encourage roleplaying with others too. This is what forms real relationships and communities.

Insane On Fire says:

Dont worry. I bet they wil. But… does the other ES games have emotes? I think… no. So dont get your hopes up bout the emotes thing, but i can assure you that the crafting alchemy and s on WILL be in the game :D

David says:

Thanks for the articles. They have definitely gotten me excited. My biggest concern though is whether this truly feels like an open world game like the previous TES games. What you wrote at the beginning of this article, about being able to basically travel anywhere you can see is exactly what I’m looking for. However, I’ve read elsewhere that it is following a similar design to Guild Wars 2 with the zones and instancing and for me that just killed the experience. I’m ok with loading screens, I just want it to feel like a big, open world where I can travel anywhere. In your experience, does it feel like that or more like Guild Wars 2 (if you have played it)?

Michael Jones says:

I dare say this is a very interesting article, but in my browser, it’s showing as white text on a very pale blue background. Unreadable.

Thank you for the feedback!

Dreadwater says:

Even as large as Skyrim , Morrowind, etc. is. I would think the MMO version would have to be bigger , way bigger. How else would it accommodate for thousands of players? I know they will be split into factions but still thousands on each faction, the single player Skyrim would be over run with players.

panathatube says:

Guild wars 2 upped the ante in a big way making Star Wars look pale in comparison. They have to take their time and make sure this is even better (which is really difficult of course but i believe in Bethesda).

Insane On Fire says:

The Elder Scrolls Online is being developed by ZeniMax Online Studios, a seasoned team of passionate MMO/video game developers led by Game Director Matt Firor. Not bethesda

FaliusAren says:

Next, I think, should be Elder Scrolls VI?
It is obvious that this game will not show the Provinces in their present form, as this is even BEFORE Tiber Septim. Seeing how the world was before the Empire is nice. Even more, it won’t have that much impact on the main series, allowing the developers to change it however they want. I love how making a game in the past that includes a whole continent still allows you to make a sequel that includes a part of it looking different!

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