Video: The White Gold Tower of Elder Scrolls Online
The next Elder Scrolls game diverges from the single-player experience which has always been the hallmark of the franchise, taking the player online into a massive war for Cyrodiil.
The fear here, of course, is that the game will capture the lore of the Elderscrolls world, and otherwise simply play like any other MMO, losing all of the great mechanics and interesting plots that make the Elder Scrolls games so fun to play alone.
The most exciting thing about the game, for me, is that the entirety of Tamriel will be explorable, something never before done in an Elder Scrolls game. It’ll be great finally be able to visit the southern parts of the continent.
As far as story, the game takes place about a millennia before Skyrim, during a time when the empire is weak, and much of what happened is lost to history. Players will choose from among three major factions, each with their own desire for power and claim to the throne. This new video details the motivations of each faction, and shows how the game strives to keep from assigning labels of good and evil within the plot.
Everything we’ve heard about the game so far sounds great, but I’m still not sure it will really break the mold on MMO’s. There are bound to be some mechanics that cause the game to function like a traditional MMO, mostly, the idea that the game doesn’t really begin until character progression ends.
For me, the character progression is the most fun part of the game, and I wish it was the part that received the most attention, but in an MMO, your player base soon becomes populated more with people who have finished leveling than people who are still leveling, and so they get the bulk of the content development.
In a typical single-player Elder Scrolls game, if I reach the end of character progression before I finish the story, I end up quitting because that’s not really fun for me anymore. This preference is what keeps me out of most MMOs. I'd rather just go through the story by myself or with just a few friends anyhow, I don't really get into playing with a bunch of strangers. I'll need to make an exception for The Elder Scrolls Online, however. I won't be able to resist the chance to explore Tamriel again.
And, who knows, perhaps they really have found a way to make an MMO fun for introverts.
The Elder Scrolls Online is currently in development, and no release date has yet been announced beyond a plan to have it ready in 2013. If you're interested in joining the beta testing phase, sign-ups have begun.