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November 2nd, 2007, 09:39
You'll probably recall that Bethsoft's parent company - Zenimax - recently launched an online division replete with $300M of venture capital. Now look what VoodooExtreme has dug up:
While doing a little domain crawling, we noticed that ZeniMax Media, the parent company of Bethesda Softworks, recenly purchased ELDERSCROLLSONLINE.COM. Combine this little acquisition with the fact that it recently opened up a online game division headed up by Mythic co-founder Matt Firor, and I think we might have made a love connection. We contacted Bethesda about this, but have yet to get an official response.
More information.
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November 2nd, 2007, 09:39
Interesting. Given the fact that Oblivion already sometimes felt like a solo MMORPG *g*, this could be something to watch out for.
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November 2nd, 2007, 09:49
GREAT MAKER! A dream come true? Oh man, seems the MMO future has something to wait for.
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November 2nd, 2007, 10:05
I think they're just covering their tracks. Get the domain in the remote possibility that there will ever be an Elder Scrolls online game. I don't think there are necessarily concrete plans to do it and for all we know, the domain will never even be used. Bethesda has always said that their focus is with great single-player games.

On the other hand, it could be true and it could be good…
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November 2nd, 2007, 10:32
Not a big step from designing a Massive MultiNPC Offline RPG like Oblivion to an MMORPG. Seriously, identical design. Though they'll have to tune down those insanely badly optimised system specs.

Still, I don't get it. What makes ZeniMax thinks this is a good investment? The MMO market isn't as swamped as people think it is, but it's still a hard and risky business to find a niche in, which is why the onrolling MMOs try to find a different niche (Tabula Rasa, KotOR MMO). But fantasy? That's like throwing TES in there to compete with Warcraft, Warhammer and LotR. That's insane.

But it just might work.
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November 2nd, 2007, 10:36
I thought it as obvious from the start. Zenimax online division. $300M. Elder Scrolls Online.

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November 2nd, 2007, 10:39
Originally Posted by elikal View Post
GREAT MAKER! A dream come true? Oh man, seems the MMO future has something to wait for.
Yup: Tim Caine is working at NCsoft

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November 2nd, 2007, 10:46
Originally Posted by Morbus View Post
Yup: Tim Caine is working at NCsoft
Tim Cain has been working at NCSoft Austin since the closing of Troika. I don't expect that means Tabula Rasa will be a great MMO.

We'll see what he does at Carbine, though.
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November 2nd, 2007, 11:22
If they keep the twitch based ES combat (and possibly the quests too) that might fun. Allthough they are not alone from new mmogs AoC has that too.

Good combat can make a major difference. Just look at FPS games. They have a story but rest is just combat. You can make simple games where all you do is kill stuff that sell well if only the combat is fun and action-oriented. Thats the thing that originally started me to play arena. The game was like heretic with extra rpg elements.

In comparsion everquest 2s combat is like you just stand infront of an enemy and press buttons 1-9 repeatetly in different patterns. Its kinda dull.
Last edited by zakhal; November 2nd, 2007 at 11:32.
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November 2nd, 2007, 15:44
Disgusting heresy.
Just the words "Elder scrolls" and "Online" in the same sentence
are making me sick.

I want my games singeplayer & offline thank you very much
Well.. LAN is fun sometimes.. but with 2-3 people max.
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November 2nd, 2007, 18:15
Well, it's not as though their single-player titles will die off just because they do an MMO version. I don't see it as a bad thing, though the downside is: no modding an MMO, heh.

It could be quite good, I'm willing to wait and see how it turns out. I do like the Elder Scrolls game world in general.

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November 2nd, 2007, 18:38
I've mentioned this a couple of times before, but a middle ground between the two would be a great way to go, IMO. And I can't think of anyone in a better position to do it.

Bethesda should get into the business of developing game worlds and offering access to them instead of developing individual games. Then they could offer access to them for a monthly fee, but without client-server architecture. So players would still play single-player games that are hosted on their own computers.

If they continuously designed huge worlds with narrative spanning over a period of decades, then players could pick their starting place in that history and their starting location. If there were enough adventure to be found, and if it were taylored for specific characters (and maybe even specific styles of play), then players would experience something unique the entire time they played. Each character's life would be like another book in a series of well-written adventure novels.

There would need to be huge emphasis on narrative, some very clever software development, and a new way of tracking versions and handling downloads and installations. It makes my head hurt thinking about it, but I think it would be very cool.
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November 2nd, 2007, 19:30
Regardless if an Elder Scrolls MMO is a good thing.

To me it sounds good that a different Zenimax division is doing the MMO. It keeps Bethesda doing what I like them to do (Massive Singleplayer RPG's).

If (a big IF) the MMO becomes very succesfull, then I might get worried about Zenimax going all-out on only the MMO and dropping the Single-Player RPG development.
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November 2nd, 2007, 20:23
I think that I'd like a TES MMO
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November 2nd, 2007, 22:08
This might make an Elder Scrolls game playable, really. Morrowind already felt like an MP world without any players.
Given the amount of character customisation possible in an ES game, an MMO could be quite interesting, and open up groups to being more inclusive.

If any MMO has a good chance of succeeding, it's an ES MMO. Huge built-in fanbase that would largely welcome the transition to on-line gaming.

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November 3rd, 2007, 00:38
Originally Posted by Gallifrey View Post
This might make an Elder Scrolls game playable, really. Morrowind already felt like an MP world without any players.
Given the amount of character customisation possible in an ES game, an MMO could be quite interesting, and open up groups to being more inclusive.

If any MMO has a good chance of succeeding, it's an ES MMO. Huge built-in fanbase that would largely welcome the transition to on-line gaming.
I actually turned to Morrowind when I left the MMO genre disgruntedly behind.

[This was in 2001, EverQuest]

I couldn't stand the lack of impact I had on the world. (I thought I killed that dwarf at the docks yesterday, now he's standing there again).

And If you didn't comittedly play much you were more of an extra in other people's adventures than being a here yourself. (I was not a member of any guilds and prefered to go at it solo).

L33tsp33k. Out of character really broke the game for me. To me the RolePlay servers were the whole extreme other end of the spectrum and overkill. But there was nowhere room for some l33tspeaking middle ground. It broke the experience for me.

The costs were brutal, subscription plus the cost per minute of the phoneline (this was before glorious ADSL).

The fourth point is moot nowadays. The first two are possibly different because new MMO's use things like instances and new scripting techniques. Point three has probably not changed much.

I prefer my ES just the way it is: a massive solo experience. So if it's an ES MMO, I hope they co-exist and my trusty Sinlge-Player ES will see a new itteration appear every 4-5 years.
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November 3rd, 2007, 05:20
These people don't even care enough to get patches out and the only reason the game is playable is due to fan fixes in mods.

Hence the first MMOG where the fans will be responsible for fixing the broken game, while the developers scheme to grease the orifices of the press!

Weee, fun times ahead!

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November 3rd, 2007, 06:25
Originally Posted by Brother None View Post
Still, I don't get it. What makes ZeniMax thinks this is a good investment? The MMO market isn't as swamped as people think it is, but it's still a hard and risky business to find a niche in, which is why the onrolling MMOs try to find a different niche (Tabula Rasa, KotOR MMO). But fantasy? That's like throwing TES in there to compete with Warcraft, Warhammer and LotR. That's insane.

But it just might work.
Sounds trivial to me. Bethesda has a good name in the business and they own an AAA RPG franchise. Making an MMO out of it will give them much better chances than 95% of their competitors. Sell 1M, keep 200k subscribers and they´ll print money. Even more so with add-ons and other creative sales tactics they´re famous for.
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November 3rd, 2007, 08:04
Ah, but that's the trick, isn't it? Too many of these games want to be WoW-killers, or at least aim way too high (1M+ subs — like Vanguard). If you cost to break even at 100k-150k and make a nice profit at 200k, that should be easy for a quality TES MMO.

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November 3rd, 2007, 10:44
Nice engine, large landscape, respawning monsters, decent inventory/looting/skill system, no content. Wonder why they did not add online play at once so that other players can replace the lack of singleplayer content.
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