10 MORE Reasons Why The Elder Scrolls Online Will Rule 2013

April 1st, 2013 Posted by Opinion 35 comments

Back in January when I gave you 10 Reasons Why The Elder Scrolls Online Will Rule 2013, much of the game was still a secret, or in development. And while that’s still the case for the most part, fans are finally getting the chance to play it for themselves  at events like last weekend’s PAX East in Boston. So I thought it would be a good time to update this list, and while I have yet to experience the game myself, I am basing this updated list on what developers have told us and what we know from Elder Scrolls Off the Record’s play time at PAX.

So, in no particular order, let’s dive into 20 reasons why this game will rule 2013.

20) Adventure Zones

While we don’t know a lot about adventure zones yet, what little they’ve told us sounds exciting. The impression I get is they are zones out in the world that you can enter with a number of other people and take on new content. I’m imagining that this content will be dynamic and different from time to time, or maybe it won’t change at all, but either way, they will be new places to dive into some extra content outside of your PvE leveling experience. Stay tuned for more news, but count me intrigued.

19) Jeremy Soule

While we don’t know the extent of his involvement, we do know that Jeremy Soule will be involved in the creation of the soundtrack for ESO. That alone is reason enough to get excited! Hopefully we’ll be able to pre-order a special edition of the game that comes packaged with the soundtrack in some sort of massive 5-disc set, but even if not, just knowing he is involved with the project should make long-time Elder Scrolls fans ecstatic. His music has helped create the mood and environment ever since The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind.

tesopoint 10 MORE Reasons Why The Elder Scrolls Online Will Rule 2013

18) Looks Even Better Than We Thought

I took a lot of flak in the comments of my previous “10 Reasons” article from people saying I was crazy that this game could possibly look as good as Skyrim. After PAX East, wherever you look on the internet, people are praising how good the game looks.

How do you like me now?

Nearly every account from someone who has played the game has said it looks just as good if not better than Skyrim. Granted, graphic quality is a very subjective matter, and the art style in ESO will be different from Skyrim, but nevertheless, this game is going to be pretty. The computers running the game at PAX East were only being run on medium settings, and people were still saying the game looked gorgeous.

17) Plays Just Like Skyrim

We’ve always known this was going to be an Elder Scrolls game that also happened to be online, but ZeniMax has really outdone themselves and stuck to their word. Almost everyone I’ve spoken with who has played the game said it felt more like Elder Scrolls than an MMO. And let’s face it, that won’t be good for some people. If you’re looking at ESO to replace your current favorite MMO, that may not happen. ESO is Elder Scrolls first, MMO second. You could almost coin it an action RPG, but the depth of character development and the size of the world are enough to qualify this as an MMO – just not an MMO you’re used to.

In my opinion, that’s a good thing. I don’t play a lot of MMOs, but that’s because I haven’t liked a lot of them. It’s high time for a game to come along that changes the way we think about MMOs. There’s no rule that says ZeniMax has to follow a certain design in order to please us. They’re making the game they think will please as many people as possible – whether you are an Elder Scrolls fan or an MMO fan. Just beware, if you’re not already an Elder Scrolls fan, and are simply looking for the next great rotation-based blah-fest of an MMO, this game may not be for you.

One last note, because I know this point has stirred up some controversy. I know people love the tried and true formula of the MMO, and I’m not knocking you for that. It’s just that I, personally, have moved on, and am ready for something new.

16) First-Person Perspective

Do we really have to go into much detail here? The most important aspect required to make ESO a true Elder Scrolls game was a functional first-person perspective, and ZeniMax recently announced that it would not only be included at launch, but would be a viable way to play the game. Done deal, sold.

Elder Scrolls Online Introduction Sieging 600x331 10 MORE Reasons Why The Elder Scrolls Online Will Rule 2013

15) Play YOUR Story

During the ESOTR playthrough at PAX East, Dave and Lou were partied up and doing some quests together. Their storyline reached pivotal moment at one point, where both players had a choice to make. Would they let the NPC die, or give them an antidote to save them? Each of them chose a different course of action, but they saw the story play out the way THEY chose.

Let me explain. In a game like Star Wars: The Old Republic, there is a morality, choice-based system included. You can make decisions in your game that either align you more with the light side, the dark side, or to stay neutral. But when playing with a friend, the game mechanics randomly select one person who gets to make the decisions for the entire party. So if Lou and I are playing together in SWTOR, we may encounter a similar situation to what he and Dave faced in ESO. But instead of both of us getting to choose and have the game seamlessly carry on our own story, regardless of what the other person chose, I would have to sit and watch as Lou shamelessly runs a light saber through the dude’s face – even though I would have saved him.

So while you may make one choice in ESO and your partymates may make another, your decisions will not affect what they see on their screen, and vice versa. Brilliant.

14) No Raiding

I am prepared to take a lot of flak for this one as well. After all, the fact that the game doesn’t have “raiding” shouldn’t really be something for me to celebrate, since I could simply choose to not play raids. But in today’s MMOs, if you’re not playing raids, you’re missing out on some of the game’s biggest content; what the developers have spent most of their time creating. So for ESO to say that raids, as they are currently known, are not in the game, just means they’re catering to the hardcore Elder Scrolls player even more. They’re not telling me, “Hey, so I know you like to solo and stuff, but you’re going to miss out on the game’s coolest stuff if you don’t do raids.” They’re saying, “Hey, we’re developing this game so everyone has something to do. Solo player? Go crazy. Group player? We’ve got our end-game dungeons.” And as they stated at PAX East, they are listening to fans. So if you DO want big group raids, let them know. After launch, they just may add them in if enough players (subscribers?) want them.

But as for me, I do not care about raids. I want to explore Tamriel, craft unique items, dabble in PvP, and try out the other factions in 50++ content. I’m glad to know that I won’t be missing out on a huge part of the game.

13) 50++ content

ZeniMax announced recently that once your character reaches level 50, you’ll be able to visit one of the other factions’ territories and continue your story there. Once you finish that faction you can then go into the third faction. As much as I’ve decided I’m not going to rush to reach level 50, this is almost reason enough for me to change my mind. How awesome, that despite what we initially heard about not being able to explore in enemy territory, your character WILL be able to explore all of Tamriel. It’s just that you’ll need to work your way up to reach that point.

This is another one of those points that was necessary to making this a true Elder Scrolls game. Open up the world to me, give me the ability to see everything. Thank you, ZeniMax.

9edd6efbf8349eaf28 600x450 10 MORE Reasons Why The Elder Scrolls Online Will Rule 2013

12) 2nd Level/Story of Dungeons

In addition to exploring other factions after hitting max level, you can also return to all those dungeons you cleared earlier in your leveling process, and experience the second part of the story. Monsters will be back, but not just more difficult versions of creatures you already killed. The dungeon will have new monsters, new bosses, and new layouts (due to rooms that were previously locked now being open, or natural events occurring, like cave-ins). It will be a new experience, and a continuation of the story you started when you previously played through it.

11) No PVP/PVE Specific Gear

All players should rejoice about this, as it basically boils down to one simple point. You don’t have to have one set of gear specifically for PvP and another set specifically for PvE. This will eliminate the negative effects on PvE players that comes from the developers tweaking and nerfing PvP gear (and vice versa). Since you can wear anything you want, regardless of class, race, weapon type, etc., there will be no reason to need two different sets. Use crafting to improve gear you’ve found in the world or made yourself. You’re certainly welcome to swap out gear for the different play types as you want, but it won’t be required in order to be successful in either scenario.

The ORIGINAL 10 Reasons



Many people may scoff at this, but being able to be connected to the outside world while still in game, to me, is a great thing. Whether it’s sending out a tweet while fending off some wolves to invite my friends to join my game, or updating my Facebook status so my high school friends can see just how nerdy I really did turn out, this is a great idea. To me, it doesn’t have to have a lot of features, just let me connect my accounts in a menu somewhere, and then in the chat window just be able to type “/tweet” or something, and my next 140 characters will be sent out into the world.


Elder Scrolls games are known for being massive, and this game is incorporating the entire continent of Tamriel, meaning the game will be so big there are no words to describe it. With so many place to visit, explore, and adventure through, The Elder Scrolls Online is prepared to offer players years of entertainment. In fact, the scale of the game is said to be even larger than that of existing games, meaning as big as Skyrim is in its current form, it will be even bigger online.


It’s pretty exciting to me how they have divvied up the races. The Aldmeri Dominion, the Daggerfall Covenant and the Ebonheart pact will be warring with each other, which creates the drama that is needed between payers online. Additionally, it’s great they have a common goal of rising against the Empire, which should provide some fun interactions as each side fights to become the superior faction on the (mega) server.


Speaking of the mega server, this technology amazes (and admittedly) baffles me. I don’t truly understand how I’ll be able to be online with everyone else all at the same time, but not really all in the same place… I don’t know, I’m not even going to try to explain it, I just know it’s cool. So even though I’m on the west coast, I can join up with my east coast friends without having to worry about whether or not I’ve created a character on the right server. They’ll just be there.


Whether you’re interested in your faction’s story, or the personal story of your character, there is sure to be an amazing show unfolding before your eyes. The Elder Scrolls games have not exactly been lean on the storytelling in the past, and there’s no reason to believe Zenimax Online Studios will be skimping here either. Whether it’s enjoying whatever road you take in your quest to get back your soul (which we know is stolen from you at the beginning), or just filling your days with “side quests” and exploring the wilderness, you’ll be able to make your character truly your own, and unlike any other in the game.


From what we’ve seen so far, ZeniMax has been pretty modest. At one point they said they would have to tone the graphics down from Skyrim’s levels in order to make the game playable on most machines, but it’s looking more and more like they’ve found a way to work some magic, as the graphics don’t appear to be dumbed down at all. Whether this is just for show or if the game really is being developed this way remains to be seen, but it has me incredibly optimistic that I’ll be playing not only an amazing MMO, but a beautiful one.


I’ve never been much of a PvP player, but The Elder Scrolls Online has me thinking differently. From the small amount of video footage we’ve seen of huge armies storming the Imperial City, I want to be a part of that! I don’t even care what kind of missions or objectives are put into place, I just want to get in the middle of that epic battle and be a hero, be the one to fend off the last attacker, or be the sole survivor that brings down the wall. Whatever the objectives are in PvP, I can’t wait to get in there and tear it up.


One of the things that has always bugged me the most about MMOs is the incredible amount of icons necessary to have on screen at any one time. My Star Wars: The Old Republic characters have more skills on their hotbar than I do in life (ok, maybe that’s not saying much). It’s overkill, it’s distracting, it ruins the immersion, and it’s just ridiculous.

In The Elder Scrolls Online, players will have a minimal amount of icons on-screen. You’ll use your small selection of skills on-screen, and level them up by using them. You don’t have to worry about paying a trainer to level up a skill that you might someday, possibly use. You level up what you use, and whatever else is in that small hotbar at the time. This is such a great idea, and it’s one that will hopefully going a long way towards keeping players in the game, and not being distracted by what skills they need to put where, and in what order to use them. Just go kill something!


Back when news of The Elder Scrolls Online gameplay broke, I wrote an article on how combat would work. Not much has changed in terms of what we know, but it bears repeating that this will revolutionize MMOs. You engage in combat in this game much like you engage in combat in Skyrim – in real time. You click your mouse to use your weapon, and depending on how well you aimed, you will hit or miss your target. The more successful you are at attacking, and even dodging attacks, you will build up “finesse” points, which you’ll be able to apply to a power move of sorts. Once you deliver this killer blow, you can begin refilling your finesse points and use the move again.

Additionally, as you are playing in the world, whether by yourself or with friends, any time you happen to be engaged in a battle with another player, your attacks have a chance to work together – “in synergy” – and create some amazing attacks. For example, another player may cast a spell that when combined with one of your moves, creates an even bigger, more devastating attack. The game will notify you that this ability is ready to use, and you can wail away on your opponent. It should create a lot of motivation for either grouping up, as it creates a huge benefit to both parties to work together.


Last but not least, it wouldn’t be an Elder Scrolls game if you couldn’t play the game the way you wanted. You want to take a race that is predominantly known for being an archer and turning him into a two-handed sword warrior? Go ahead! Maybe you start the game as a sword and board kinda guy, but decide you’d rather switch to archery. Don’t worry about finding someone who will do a skill re-speck for you, just switch! The way the leveling system in this game is designed, any player can use any weapon at any time, so there’s no reason to get rid of the epic axe you just found, even if you think you probably can’t use it. In this game, you can.

Additionally, you don’t have to follow linear quest paths to make progress in the game. Maybe you don’t even want to quest at all? That’s ok! Just head off on an adventure all your own, hunting wildlife, bandits, and who knows what else. You can spend your time in-game any way you want, and you’re not punished for doing so. You’ll still be able to level, you’ll still be able to PvP, and you’ll still be able to hop in with your friends at any time as well. This game will not restrict you in that sense, and players will be wise to spend some time on their own, just seeing what Tamriel has to offer.


Well that’s it guys, my top-10 (now 20) reasons why The Elder Scrolls Online will rule 2013. I’ll admit, I selfishly wrote this post, just because I wanted to talk about ESO some more. I didn’t have any news to share, but any reason I can come up with that gives me a chance to talk about this game is reason enough for me. I hope you’re all excited for this game, and either way, let me know what you think in the comments below. Remember, this game is being made as an Elder Scrolls game that just happens to also be online. I hope all you doubters out there will give it a chance, and hopefully be blown away by what it has to offer.

Here’s to hoping 2013 hurries up and gets to whenever The Elder Scrolls Online is released…

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Xaxxus says:

The first person perspective is the same as it is in WoW you can’t see your weapons in your hands. It’s not a real skyrimesque first person view.

This is stated by the TESO devs on one of their FAQs on the website.

CURRENTLY that is the case yes, but they have also stated they plan on having it fully functional like in Skyrim in time for launch. Good news!

Andy says:

At PAX Matt Firor showed journalists video of a working version of the game that was in true TES first person mode , they have confirmed it will be available at launch.

Aillorian says:

this is actual;ly rong, they said a little before pax that they were going to add hands to the first person view, so there you go, Skyrim :)

This is not true. I played the game during an extensive press-only hands-on preview at QuakeCon 2013 and the first-person view was fully animated, just like previous TES single player games.

You can read my full preview at: http://thekoalition.com/2013/08/the-elder-scrolls-online-hands-on-preview/

Well to be fair, you’re responding to a pretty old article. :) Thanks for sharing your preview!

westlander says:

Wouldn’t we; while us being all soulless , be gingers until we got our soules back from molag bal?

Zinja says:

Government should ban this game it will increase divorce rates and broken relationships not ro mention people loosing jobs. This game is an incoming catastrophe. I am sweating under the collar just reading the previews. Please Obama please do something to save our RL.

Zinja says:

Government should ban this game it will increase divorce rates and broken relationships not ro mention people loosing jobs. This game is an incoming catastrophe.

Zinja says:

Government should ban this game it will increase divorce rates and broken relationships not to mention people loosing jobs. This game is an incoming catastrophe.

[...] An updated version of my Top-10 reasons why ESO will rule 2013 [...]

Shank says:

True first-person perspective sold me on this. Apart from creating my character, I don’t see myself utilizing third person perspective. For me, true first-person is a pillar of any Elder Scrolls game.

Great article dude! ESO is featuring it on their site!

Dumbledore says:

I’m with Shank, I never use the third person view. And if they can include all these things AND orient them around a player? That’s ninja-muffin awesome. This is probably the most anticipated game of my entire life.

Jones says:

No raid? inc before TESO is only successful as GW2. Its not bad, but without raid, you wont be able to get some of the WoW fan base.

Trathrona says:

However most WoW fans will not care for this game either. This is not a game that will appeal to the mass of current MMO players so Zenimax will need to think outside the box to draw fans to this style of game.

DeFeCT says:

About the Mega Server, its nothing new, EVE Online has been doing it for over 10 years running….. 50 000+ online on the same server at high peak hours

ESO will probably have more people online at the same time than that

And how they will manage that? Just look at Star Wars – The Old republic. They will probably use “layers” or instances that you can “teleport” between if your friends are on a different “layer/instance”

But, im looking forward to this game so much it hurts =)

Sorcerer says:

I prefer the 1st person too, more immersive and more consistent with the other TES games.

On the other hand you lose your peripheral vision which is bad, at least in pvp, i guess in pve everything goes.

Btw they said the 1st wave of invites are out and i stumbled on a few sites that claim to have some beta keys already on their hands.
(they do have txt with a bunch of keys here: http://theelderscrollsonlinefreebetakeys.blogspot.com )

Serythius says:

Will you be able to change the graphics settings to a resolution just like the Skyrim graphics? I have a nice rig and I’d like to play ESO at ultra settings :)

Izik says:

It’s neat to see someone who is not into large-scale PvP keep such an open-minded perspective. While I personally would like to see raids in the game, I feel that the enjoyment you get out of it has a lot to do with what you make of it and who you play with. However, I’ve found it strange to hear statements from the ESO team stating that raiding “isn’t Elder Scrolls”, when large-scale PvP never has been either. But as you said, it is clear that the team is very open to hearing what players have to say, even if they do not necessarily agree 100%.

MARPJ says:

They don’t say it in gameplay perspective, but based in the lore. Large armies fighting to conquest something is one thing common in TES lore, but the concept of “raiding” (instance places to beat boss and get gear) not.
And this type of end game is wrong to TES gameplay too, because in general to get the best gear people are forced to do raids, and to a game with the idea “do what you want” it is wrong.
Of course, raids can be fun, but I agree with ZOS, it isn’t Elder Scrolls

Bolar says:

Thanks for this. Every new item in the list is awesome!

I am so glad to hear these things.

Vincent says:

One of the last things stated in part 13, seems like a really strange concept to me by the fact that you have to have your character maxed out in order to finally adventure how you wish, i think that should be from the get-go. Which also raises a question for me as to how friends who have chosen races of separate factions will be able to play together, it just seems like it would complicate things. Maybe someway to chose a faction after creating a character, but when choosing an enemy alliance one starts out as a prisoner or something similar to that? old-fashioned TES way of doing things, i know.

Joe says:

( This is just me -assuming- what the Mega-Server actually is, and i will relate it, to the best of my knowledge, to World of Warcraft that is using a similar technology. YES I play World of Warcraft because i like the game, and i love MMOs. And yes i am an avid Elder Scrolls fan boy, hence why i am here.)

( I am simply trying to elaborate, compare, and help to understand the idea of the Mega-Server for others that are confused by this method and what it might actually mean, no where in here am I stating facts of what Zenimax is going to do. Go back to section 7 of this article, and see my point there)

The Mega Server thing is, probably, going to be like what World of Warcraft is doing currently. This is sort of new technology. Whereas Wow has over 50 different realms to play on, but when logging on to your character you will see random other players in specific areas of the game, all of them hailing from select servers.

The idea that comes to most players mind when new to the idea and new to mmo’s in general, is that when logging on to Elder Scrolls Online they might think with this mega server they would see billions of players running around and jumping up and down on the screen, making progress a little laggy if you are using a not so decent computer.

This is not the case, as I’ve stated with the method World of Warcraft is using. What Zenimax -might- be implying with this method of server meshing is, that all players will be in the same server. Every single one of them, BUT the server program will only allow certain amounts of players to be visible while all the other players will ” Phase out”.

Phasing is a term commonly seen while playing World of Warcraft, whereas you cannot see them but you might be standing next to 600 people playing the game right now but they are not visible.

The phasing method is used in many other ways in WoW but not solely for realms. Then comes the idea of scripted data logging, as in information your computer receives about your surroundings; counting other players and what they are doing, along with quests givers, monsters and NPC’s alike.

When a player is phased out of view their data session isn’t logged as if they are not logged on, so there for you won’t have to worry about targeting some monster and suddenly it gets killed by an invisible player.

While playing on a mega server you will only see a few maybe up to 50 players, for example, in an area at a time. ( i dunno what Zenimax plans to do but this is all just my assumption)

Seeing only the few players you might wonder where your friends are. You would probably be able to type in their name or their contact information or whatever method is used to register a friend and they will be added to your friends list or w/e. The game will know you are wanting to play with this person so the mega server will show them on your screen or just out in the world somewhere. This will then begin filtering your phased players and show you random players along with your added friends.

While questing with the mega server, take note that there could be hundreds of thousands of players in the same area you are in–doing the same thing you are doing. Just remember you are phased out from them and you are only being seen by just the few the mega server wants to display.

You are in a phased area– Imagine a layered cake with hundreds of layers of delicious icing and bready colored sweetness. The cake is the same flavor and has the same type of icing through and through. This cake represents that phased area. The hundreds of thousands of players in that area want a slice of this cake and so they take a slice of it and begin to nom on it.

You cannot see the invisible players eating the cake because they do not exist on your screen, the cake is too big to see other players. Only you know about this cake, and so you take a bite of it. The phased out players do not see you eating this cake because, again, the cake has many many layers in it and they are eating a completely different layer of the same cake.

Phased areas work like a multi layered cake, everyone is doing quests, killing the same monsters and performing the same quests. the mega server will decided what layer of this cake you get to partake, and it will decided which layer of the cake the phased out players get to eat. All in all you are eating the same cake, performing the same quests, and killing the same monsters. The phased out players are doing the exact same thing, eating a delicious cake, but you simply do not see them and they you.

If you want to see them add them to your list if you happen upon them in the wild, or in a dungeon. The mega server will randomly populate the areas of the world that you enter with random players that just so happen to be doing the same thing that you are doing….and that is eating this awesome multilayer cake….made of awesome.

I really hope this helps those of you who might be baffled by this Mega-Server method. Again i am not stating facts about what Zenimax plans to do with the game’s mega-server. I am simply trying to elaborate, or explain it as best as I could.

Yamjisaka says:

Are we able to learn and wield a magical power like a Shout as we did in TESV Skyrim?

MARPJ says:

Shouts? No
First it is a MMO, a power like shout is something who don’t work because is too OP, just imagine 10 players going out and Fus Ro Dah in all directions, now imagine 100 or 1000 doing it, simple don’t work.

Now, in lore perspective, the Dragonborn closer to the time of TESO is Talos (aka Tiber Septim), who will be born 300 years later.
And to normal people learn how to shout takes years of training, what don’t fit in TESO (a MMO with a lot of soulless people).
To finish, the only place where people can learn how to shout is in Skyrim, what will be bad to AD and DC.

And to others OP powers, think about how balance it in a MMO :)

Cancrizans says:

Good summary of what looks good and unique in this game. I would like to point out one thing concerning #15. I am not the biggest SWTOR fan for various reasons, but IMO going by what you described I would find the system implemented there more realistic. You do not receive dark side points if the person in your party who won the roll chose the dark side option and you the light. You receive points for whatever YOUR choice was. Seeing the scene play out according to who won the roll adds an element of surprise and interest to the grouping dynamic in SWTOR, and in fact makes grouping more fun and interesting. Why be in a group if you are just going to see your own thing play out just as if you were soloing? Rather than seeming a better idea, it just seems flat and uninspired to me.

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Cya Wells-Redoran says:

I can agree with what you’ve said. just last sunday my X-box remote charger broke and it’s not coming until tuesday so no skyrim for me so I thought why not triple the pain by looking at the next game after skyrim(; Elder scrolls online). Also is Elder scrolls online going to eventually be on X-box because that is my preferred gaming device. Iv’e never looked at MMO’s but I love the Elder scrolls series.

Cya Wells-Redoran says:

I can agree with what you’ve said.My X-box remote-charger broke and it’s not coming until tuesday so no skyrim for me! So I thought why not triple the pain by looking at the next game after skyrim(; Elder scrolls online). I am steaming through ANY info on Elder scrolls online, I absolutely love it and I plan everything I do so I already know my play-style and armour and race and Ebonheart but I don’t want to look at or plan any quests to keep it natural.

Zeke says:

Aren’t “It Looks Better Than We Thought” and “Graphics” to similar to be categorized as different arguments? Also “Freedom” and “Play Your Story”?
Either way, I hope the game works out, if not, it won’t effect the real TES series so who cares.
We still have ACIV: Black Flag, Total War: Rome II, GTA V, Watchdogs, and probably a lot other games to look forward to in 2013.

Jake says:

I pre-ordered the game and then heard no raids and moved my preorder to FF14. RIP TESO

[…] An updated version of my Top-10 reasons why ESO will rule 2013 […]

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