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The Elder Scrolls Online Second Impression - E3 2012
06.13.2012

CHRIS PRIVITERE
RPG CAST PRODUCER


The Elder Scrolls Online

The Elder Scrolls Online has been sparking some controversy among RPGamers ever since it was announced. On one side, being able to bring friends into your Elder Scrolls game so that you can show them the kingdom that you have wrought has been long requested. On the other side is the fact that once you have multiple people in your fiefdom it is no longer your land, but instead full of other people vying for your glory.

The Elder Scrolls Online hopes to find a way to successfully navigate the rocky shoals of fan expectations. RPGamers will be able to choose from one of three factions that war against each other as well as the corrupted undead army lead by the mad emperor of Cyrodil. The Ebonheart Pact, the Daggerfall Covenant, and the Aldmeri Dominion form a triangle surrounding the lands of the crazed monarch. But lest you think the game is only about large scale politics, rest assured that ESO will very much still be your story, as your character has had his or her soul stolen by the emperor and needs to get it back. This campaign will be completely soloable, but if you'd prefer to get help with your quest, that's fine too.

And you'll need help when it comes to doing things outside of the campaign. Unlike many MMOs where it can be considered inpolite to interfere in someone else's battle, here there is no plenalty for helping others. It is highly encouraged to help others kill monsters and explore points of interest. Just like in Skyrim, a point of interest usually indicates a dungeon full of treasure and monsters for you to explore. Unlike most MMOs where grouping up requires a tank, a healer, and some number of damage dealers, ESO lets any assortment of classes get together and be effective.

The combat in ESO is partially action based, with blocking and sneaking not only being something that any class can do, but something that should be mastered by the player to ensure safe passage through Tamriel's lands. Footage was shown of a warrior leveraging the block ability. When a skeleton came up and whacked him while his block was up, the skeleton was knocked off balance, enabling the warrior to ready and use a powerful attack to destroy the creature. Of course, beyond these basic abilities, one can develop their character to specialize in blocking, sneaking, magic, and more.

ESO rounds the above out with quests where choices you make cause NPCs and entire quest lines to permanently appear or disappear from your world. It includes large scale PvP with 200 players duking it out with siege weapons. And it has graphics that, while lower resolution than Skyrim, form a pretty representation of Tamriel that will run well on machines from the past four to five years. All in all, The Elder Scrolls Online is promising a lot for fans of the Elder Scrolls titles. If its E3 showing is any indication of the final product, those fans will finally have a good way to share their Tamriel adventures with their friends.



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