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Default Elderscrolls Online - Preview @ Edge-Online

May 2nd, 2013, 02:46
Edge-Online has a short preview of Elderscrolls Online.
Zenimax bills The Elder Scrolls Online as a seamless merger of a sandbox singleplayer RPG and the best aspects of an MMOG. The game’s detractors have written it off as World Of Warcraft with a Tamrielic paint job. As you’d expect, the reality is more complicated than either take.

Structurally, The Elder Scrolls Online is an MMOG. Content is divvied up along well-understood lines: a main storyline for solo players, group content, dungeons, crafting, and large-scale player vs player combat. Despite top-level conservatism, however, a knife has been taken to the genre – not simply to better fit the Elder Scrolls mould, but to rethink long-standing orthodoxies
MMOGs are necessarily the product of compromise between the needs of the individual and the needs of the many.

In making a multiplayer Elder Scrolls game, Zenimax Online has chosen to compromise on dynamic town life, crime and physics, among other features. If that’s the sum of what the series means to you, then this is not the game you’re looking for. If you are willing to focus on other aspects of the Elder Scrolls formula, however – combat, questing and crafting in particular – then this is an MMOG with real promise, one that not only inherits mechanics from its source material, but also seeks to improve upon them.
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Last edited by Couchpotato; May 2nd, 2013 at 03:02.
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May 2nd, 2013, 02:46
"a main storyline for solo players"

That's what killed Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic for me. If you wanted to play with your friends you were relegated to a single, group dungeon and you wouldn't see a new one for another five levels or so. Basically, if you play with your friends then you have to repeat the same content a dozen times. (There were some "heroic" areas but those weren't all that big and seemed designed more for pick-up groups.)

After all those years in City of Heroes where I could play the storyline content with all my friends (whether higher or lower level), I'm really spoiled on this. I fear it may turn me off from MMOs completely.
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May 2nd, 2013, 13:50
Originally Posted by Zloth View Post
"a main storyline for solo players"

That's what killed Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic for me. If you wanted to play with your friends you were relegated to a single, group dungeon and you wouldn't see a new one for another five levels or so. Basically, if you play with your friends then you have to repeat the same content a dozen times. (There were some "heroic" areas but those weren't all that big and seemed designed more for pick-up groups.)

After all those years in City of Heroes where I could play the storyline content with all my friends (whether higher or lower level), I'm really spoiled on this. I fear it may turn me off from MMOs completely.
About a year ago SOE opened a new 'legacy' server for Everquest 1, in which you would play the game as it came in 1999, with expansions added in the chronological order they came out about a month at a time. I tried it just for the heck of it, and had more fun than I've had playing any MMO in the last 5 or 6 years (since I stopped playing City of Heroes).
No 'storyline', no 'single player campaign', nothing of that. You just went out, made or formed a group and had fun. Since grouping is pretty much mandatory, everybody groups and it's much easier to find groups to play with. In all MMOs since WoW, most people play solo until max level and then raid. That grew old pretty fast for me.
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May 2nd, 2013, 14:09
I'm in the other camp - I hate being forced to group up. I don't mind it as far as end game goes, and I'm still an active raider in WoW, but I don't like relying on anyone when levelling.

In most MMOs, I'm a fairly fast leveller and often end up among the first at max level - having to group up when there are only 5 people on your own level makes levelling extremely painful, so I like being able to do it all on my own.

SW: TOR probably had the smoothest levelling I've experienced. I loved it. I have a level 50 of every (base) class now. Age of Conan had even better levelling for about 20 levels, but then it fell apart completely.
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May 2nd, 2013, 14:35
Originally Posted by Maylander View Post
I'm in the other camp - I hate being forced to group up. I don't mind it as far as end game goes, and I'm still an active raider in WoW, but I don't like relying on anyone when levelling.

In most MMOs, I'm a fairly fast leveller and often end up among the first at max level - having to group up when there are only 5 people on your own level makes levelling extremely painful, so I like being able to do it all on my own.

SW: TOR probably had the smoothest levelling I've experienced. I loved it. I have a level 50 of every (base) class now. Age of Conan had even better levelling for about 20 levels, but then it fell apart completely.
I don't really understand this view point. Why do you play an MMO, as opposed to single player games, if you don't like the social aspects the MMO brings. Requiring groups are huge part of the social aspects.

Please don't misunderstand me, I am really trying to understand

I come from EQ and that required groups. My best memories of that game always revolves around groups. I understand that groups requires lot of time and social obligations from the players and people donít always have the time. Right now I donít have much free time for games, so playing a game like EQ is not possible. So I end up playing games likes WoW, GW2, TERA etc where groups are not needed (so requires less time) and in some cases discouraged. I always get bored of these games very quickly. I find that most of these new MMOs are poor version of single player games when you remove the social aspects.

So again, why play an MMO if you donít like the social aspects?
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May 2nd, 2013, 14:49
Originally Posted by lostforever View Post
I don't really understand this view point. Why do you play an MMO, as opposed to single player games, if you don't like the social aspects the MMO brings. Requiring groups are huge part of the social aspects.

Please don't misunderstand me, I am really trying to understand

I come from EQ and that required groups. My best memories of that game always revolves around groups. I understand that groups requires lot of time and social obligations from the players and people donít always have the time. Right now I donít have much free time for games, so playing a game like EQ is not possible. So I end up playing games likes WoW, GW2, TERA etc where groups are not needed (so requires less time) and in some cases discouraged. I always get bored of these games very quickly. I find that most of these new MMOs are poor version of single player games when you remove the social aspects.

So again, why play an MMO if you donít like the social aspects?

I agree. I too played EQ a long time ago and where that game really shined was in the group dynamics. MMOs that cater too much towards single player are always doomed to failure, because they all end up feeling very generic. This is because in an MMO, not everyone can be a hero or the central focus of the story and your personal progress really cannot impact the game-world in a meaningful way.

I think Bethesda erred in going the MMO route and it will cost them in the long run. MMOs are very difficult to get right and there is a limited market of people who can devote enough time to play them. Moreover, that market tends to be highly invested in their current game (WoW) and will not just pick up and leave no matter how good the next MMO is.

I just hope the are financially secure enough to absorb the the hit when it flops. They should have tried something different like refreshing some of their current IP. The old Doom formula is getting a bit stale and maybe they could have done something like make Doom 4 an open world game set in hell rather than a jump scare shooter.
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May 2nd, 2013, 14:54
Originally Posted by lostforever View Post
So again, why play an MMO if you don’t like the social aspects?
I do like the social aspect, I just don't like it being forced upon me. Like I said - I am still an active raider in WoW, over eight years after it was released. I've played it without breaks since then. These days I mainly do group content in WoW as I've experienced almost everything else.

When I level, however, I play it the way I do single player games. I get into the lore, the characters, setting, quests and so on and do it at my own pace.

The simple truth is: I prefer single player games overall, but there aren't enough of them to fill my schedule. I have virtually no back log, so I tend to play MMOs and replay old stuff between game releases. Recently I replayed ME1-3 and I'm currently replaying Gothic 1-3. I'm thinking of Skyrim after that, but I'm not sure yet. In addition to that, I'm raiding in WoW, mostly as a filler activity.
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May 2nd, 2013, 15:31
Originally Posted by TimtheTaxMan View Post
I agree. I too played EQ a long time ago and where that game really shined was in the group dynamics. MMOs that cater too much towards single player are always doomed to failure, because they all end up feeling very generic. This is because in an MMO, not everyone can be a hero or the central focus of the story and your personal progress really cannot impact the game-world in a meaningful way.

I think Bethesda erred in going the MMO route and it will cost them in the long run. MMOs are very difficult to get right and there is a limited market of people who can devote enough time to play them. Moreover, that market tends to be highly invested in their current game (WoW) and will not just pick up and leave no matter how good the next MMO is.

I just hope the are financially secure enough to absorb the the hit when it flops. They should have tried something different like refreshing some of their current IP. The old Doom formula is getting a bit stale and maybe they could have done something like make Doom 4 an open world game set in hell rather than a jump scare shooter.
I think more targeted (some call niche) MMO are coming and I think we will soon see another EQ type game. It won't be from a big publisher but I think small to medium size companies will do it. Camelot Unchained's success with KS has given me hopes! I just need to get some free time to play it!
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May 2nd, 2013, 15:41
Originally Posted by Maylander View Post
I do like the social aspect, I just don't like it being forced upon me. Like I said - I am still an active raider in WoW, over eight years after it was released. I've played it without breaks since then. These days I mainly do group content in WoW as I've experienced almost everything else.

When I level, however, I play it the way I do single player games. I get into the lore, the characters, setting, quests and so on and do it at my own pace.

The simple truth is: I prefer single player games overall, but there aren't enough of them to fill my schedule. I have virtually no back log, so I tend to play MMOs and replay old stuff between game releases. Recently I replayed ME1-3 and I'm currently replaying Gothic 1-3. I'm thinking of Skyrim after that, but I'm not sure yet. In addition to that, I'm raiding in WoW, mostly as a filler activity.
Couple of things,

First I envy you! No back log and you have replayed many single player games!!! I wish I can do that.

Second, I think I kind of understand you in that you are playing MMOs to fill time when you don't have any single player games to play. Also I think there is different levels and types of social aspects people prefer. I like to be in groups when I am levelling. I stayed in one spot for hours with my group (sometimes PUGS) and simply killing mobs. These days its called "grinding" but it was super fun back then. The people in the group made all the difference.
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May 2nd, 2013, 16:13
Originally Posted by Maylander View Post
I'm in the other camp - I hate being forced to group up. I don't mind it as far as end game goes, and I'm still an active raider in WoW, but I don't like relying on anyone when levelling.

In most MMOs, I'm a fairly fast leveller and often end up among the first at max level - having to group up when there are only 5 people on your own level makes levelling extremely painful, so I like being able to do it all on my own.

SW: TOR probably had the smoothest levelling I've experienced. I loved it. I have a level 50 of every (base) class now. Age of Conan had even better levelling for about 20 levels, but then it fell apart completely.
Fully agreed - I put off playing SW:TOR for a long time due to all the negative things I heard about it, and finally gave it a try when it went free-to-play. Now I feel I was missing out. I really enjoy the class and planetary storylines and dark/light options, and those are best enjoyed alone, saving the heroic quests and dungeons for group experiences when you feel like it.

Though actually, in rebuttal to Zloth: I don't know how it functioned at launch, but there are lots of reasons to group up in TOR for normal leveling if you so desire. You earn social points, get a group-wide XP boost, and all instances (even regular story quests) are automatically set to a harder difficulty with the inclusion of tougher elite enemies. I've been leveling a character with a couple friends this way, and we've been having a blast.

I think the system works great. Too bad Elder Scrolls Online probably won't have anything like the storyline options because the Elder Scrolls series isn't really known for its choices & consequences…
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May 2nd, 2013, 17:23
I think there are a lot of reasons beyond grouping on why someone might play an MMO. An MMO has more to offer than just social grouping. Having played MMO's since EQ1 I have gone in and out. I think I grouped in WoW about 15% of the time and only did 3 raids total in 6 years. Most of the content I did solo or the real quick "fly-by-group" just to finish a boss on a quest. I didn't do most of the dungeons or instances (not counting returning at a high level to solo a low level one just to see the story).

For me the MMO appeal are things like - dynamic game with regular patches/updates and new additions (at least if game does well); the fact that it feels more alive as there are real people in it; chatting with people in a social guild; the occasional random group with someone sharing a quest that I might bump into; exploration and role playing; and the more intense feeling of playing a game with no save button :-)

Grouping and raiding come at the bottom of the list for me in an MMO.

EDIT: I will say that my guild in EQ1 grouped a lot and I loved it as we were all online friends with similar play styles. I grouped a lot more back then. I am an introvert and have a hard time with strangers (online or off). I find that connection extremely hard to find now a days. WoW had the last good guild I was in. I spent half my game time just chatting with folks in the guild and doing social events … at least until raiding took over and destroyed most of the social aspect.

I do like RIFT and GW2 and how you can contribute to a quest or fight by just joining up - I did a TON of that in RIFT as I really liked the approach. In GW2 I also liked it … but not nearly as much as RIFT for some reason.

Character is centrality, the impossibility of being displaced or overset. - Ralph Waldo Emerson
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May 3rd, 2013, 01:13
Ah, but City of Heroes didn't force you to group! Well, not much anyway. What it did was instance almost all the interesting content. If you go into your mission with six people, the spawns were set for six people. If half the group left the team then you would turn a corner and, poof! The spawns are all set for three people! Even when outdoors in non-instanced hazard areas, enemy spawns would be bigger if there was a large team around.

There were some story finales that had a boss that would just be too much for some specialized classes but my scrapper could play solo or in groups or even switch between the two mid-mission with no trouble at all! Great stuff.

Originally Posted by Saber-Scorpion View Post
Though actually, in rebuttal to Zloth: I don't know how it functioned at launch, but there are lots of reasons to group up in TOR for normal leveling if you so desire. You earn social points, get a group-wide XP boost, and all instances (even regular story quests) are automatically set to a harder difficulty with the inclusion of tougher elite enemies. I've been leveling a character with a couple friends this way, and we've been having a blast.
Maybe things changed? Social points and xp boosts were there but story quests (instanced or not) did not change at all when grouped. I was playing with just one other guy and we would slaughter everything easily. Heck, most of it wasn't all that hard solo, having two made us basically unstoppable. Heaven forbid playing with four people at once! There were heroic areas that were good fun but they were tiny little things you could get through in an hour or less.

If I'm going to do the story missions solo then I would rather it not be an MMO at all. Other people just get in the way, so why have them there?
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May 3rd, 2013, 13:27
Originally Posted by Zloth View Post
Ah, but City of Heroes didn't force you to group! Well, not much anyway. What it did was instance almost all the interesting content. If you go into your mission with six people, the spawns were set for six people. If half the group left the team then you would turn a corner and, poof! The spawns are all set for three people! Even when outdoors in non-instanced hazard areas, enemy spawns would be bigger if there was a large team around.
Maybe it didn't, but to me it was 200 times more fun tackling an instance with a full group. Solo you would fight either groups of 3 minions, 1 minion and a 'lieutenant' or a mini-boss, all usually easy for anybody except controllers back when I played. But in groups you really didn't know what you would find on each encounter, and different team compositions meant different strategies… fighting 20 mobs with 2 tanks, 2 defenders and 2 blasters wasn't the same as one with 2 scrappers, a blaster and 2 controllers. Every afternoon I played meant I had to adapt to different scenarios… and I loved that!
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