Elder Scrolls Online: 10 Things We Want to Know

During the past couple of weeks a load of information concerning The Elder Scrolls Online was released by a few MMO guild and news sites after being granted a hands-on preview of the title. These sites reported on all aspects of the game from combat and questing to the server and control mechanics. Much of the information released demonstrated how ZOS planned to keep ESO as close to the original Elder Scrolls titles as possible, allowing many fans of the series to give a sigh of relief. However, all this information has led to an avalanche of new questions and concerns from the Elder Scrolls community.

Alchemy in Oblivion

Crafting has been confirmed, in fact, it has been said that crafting materials will be available everywhere; within barrels, on shelves, in NPC homes and where ever else they’ll fit. Crafting is no doubt going to play a large role in The Elder Scrolls Online, but how exactly will it work? There are many different types of crafters, the ones that enjoy systems similar to that found in WoW and others who enjoy an in-depth process, who will this system satisfy? System aside, will crafted items compete with the items dropped during raids and dungeon crawls? What role will crafters play in RvRvR; could we see building repairs?

Diseases have always been a big part of the Elder Scrolls, from blight to Vampirism – Bethesda made sure the world around us players was as deadly as the creatures in it. The removal of diseases in ESO would be a huge disappointment, although not necessarily the most exciting aspect of the series it does improve player immersion. If diseases are included in the game will they be simple temporary effects or last as long as you let them go? Will alchemists with Cure Disease potions be in high demand?

Alchemy has become a large part of the Elder Scrolls series, and for good reason, everyone knows flowers, bugs and rotten body parts can always be turned into something more useful. The system used in Alchemy is almost its own game, players search for materials not knowing their effects until they test them and they continue this process until they can create a potion. Will we see a similar system in The Elder Scrolls Online or will it be skill level based; will players automatically learn types of potions based on how many fire shield potions they make? Unfortunately MMOs usually end up simplifying certain processes, let’s hope Alchemy isn’t one of them this time around.

Guilds will most certainly make their way back, it has already been confirmed players will be able to fight along side the Fighters and Mages guilds and eventually the Thieves guild and Dark Brotherhood. Guilds are great, they progress the story and allow players to participate in something much larger than their individual characters, so what exactly is the problem here? There isn’t one really, we’ve just been wondering if we’ll see the addition of other factions like the Morag Tong and the Great Houses just to name a couple.

Elder Scrolls Online PvP
Faction Battles in The Elder Scrolls Online

It’s no mystery RvRvR will be one of the most important aspects of ESO, players have the opportunity to join one of three main factions to fight for all of Cyrodiil and the White-Gold Tower. However, how this plays out is a little fuzzy. We know that players can become an Emperor, buildings will suffer damage, PvP will also occur in dungeons and that factions can take over smaller territories like mills. The question is, how much of the fighting in Cyrodiil will be PvP and how much of it will consist of plowing through the Imperial Armies?

The players at the top of the PvP leader boards will be named “Emperor”, sounds cool, but what does this actually mean? Will the Emperor have actual control or is it simply a title? Will there be worthwhile skill boosts to the Emperor’s faction? Can the Emperor leave the RvRvR zone and still remain Emperor? And can the other factions send out assassins (or just a massive group of angry PvPers) to assassinate the Emperor and gain control themselves? Although an awesome concept, there are still quite a few questions to be answered.

The ability to explore is a requirement for any ES title, unfortunately many MMOs gravitate towards a “Theme Park” style guiding players through the “exploration” process. Will ESO grant players the full freedom to roam the land as they see fit, at least within their own faction territories, or will they be guided through the process? Getting sidetracked by a mysterious cave or an abandoned keep is one of the more exciting parts of the series, will ESO continue this tradition?

This might be one of the most innovative things to hit the MMO Industry in awhile. The MegaServer, dubbed by ZeniMax Online Studios, is a single server every player will log into, from there the server will “filter” out the players it feels you wouldn’t enjoy playing with. For example, if you prefer solo-play the server will filter out all of the players who said they enjoy group play during the initial questionnaire. However, what about players that sometimes enjoy solo-play and other times want to group, will server’s filters be detailed enough to allow that play style? Will the server allow you to change your stance, let’s say from a basic play style to role playing even after you’ve been playing for awhile? Overall, the mega server is a great idea – let’s just hope it doesn’t limit our gameplay or create overcrowding issues.

Player housing has been mentioned to be in the works, does that mean player guilds be able to build their own keeps and halls? Just imagine being able to form a guild and eventually build your very own keep, it would definitely be an improvement to traditional MMO guilds. If this becomes a possibility will the opposing factions be able to attack and destroy your Guild’s keep? Will guilds need to recruit crafters in order to produce the materials required to build keeps?

Molag Bal Elder Scrolls Online
Molag Bal’s Undead Army

ZeniMax Online has talked about their dungeon ideas on a few different occasions, they’ve discussed public dungeons, 4-man instances and PvP raids but they haven’t really touched on end-game raids and world events. Taking a look at ESO’s story gives us reason to believe we’ll see random world events throughout our time in Tamriel, I mean, who else is going to destroy Molag Bal’s Dark Anchors? If world events exist, what will the rewards for defeating them be? Will exclusive items drop from theme or will we see temporary buffs? The next question concern end-game raids, how many members will be able to participate in these raids? Will we be required to raid in order to receive the best items in game?

As development for The Elder Scrolls Online continues we’ll receive answers to our questions, until then comment and discuss your questions and theories.

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Phill is a long time Elder Scrolls enthusiast who decided to create a community of his own. He is the founder of both The Skyrim Guild and The Shadowed Mare -- two of the earliest Skyrim and Elder Scrolls Online websites.

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