So, we’re quite excited about the development of this little title, one to which we are bound to loose a frighteningly large number of hours… so, mainly to satisfy our own interest, and in “our” we include you, we’ve put together this page as a repository of all The Elder Scrolls Online / MMO related knowledge we can lay our grubby, adventuring, little hands on!
Obviously we will be updating / refining this information as and when more becomes available…
(If you are feeling in a more fanciful frame of mind, check out our “Skyrim Sequel Speculation” page for a bit of everything from definite to extremely unlikely… )
So…… (Oh, before we forget, italic text is unconfirmed speculation, you’ve been warned! We will be drawing on every ounce of knowledge and experience we have, but obviously we’re not psychic… sadly… )
Game: The Elder Scrolls Online (Working Title)
Release Date: 2013 (Q4, based on current rumour)
Platform: PC and Mac
Developer: ZeniMax Online Studios (On behalf of, and supported fully by, Bethesda)
Team: 250 individuals led by the venerable Matt Firor, veteran of the highly regarded Dark Age of Camelot. (And a bit of a PvP expert)
Setting: Tamriel, 1,000 years before the events of Skyrim, set throughout all of its lands. So that’s 12 million square miles split into 9 provinces; Skyrim, Cyrodii (Oblivion), Morrowind, High Rock (Daggerfall), Hammerfell (Daggerfall), Summerset Isle, Elsweyr (Arena), Black Marsh (aka “Argonia”) and Valenwood have all been basically confirmed. Many of these areas will be either level specific or reserved for later expansions.
Plot: Molag Bal, the Daedric prince of domination (oh, and enslavement of mortals!) seeks to pull all of Tamriel into his Daedric realm, it will require not one lone hero, but many, to defeat him and save Tamriel, indeed “respawning” is justified by Molag Bal’s theft of player’s souls, ensuring they can now be “rebuilt” without lasting problems. Storyline wise the current projection is at 120 hours of fully voice acted content.
Playable Races: Based on the “factions” detailed below;
- Humans: Breton,
Imperial (Not listed in official “factions” members), Nord and Redguard.
- Elves: Altmer (High Elves), Bosmer (Wood Elves) and Dunmer (Dark Elves)
- Other: Argonian (Reptilian), Khajiit (Feline) and Orsimer (Orcs).
Playbale Classes / Skills: Classes will be used, as per MMO traditions, so no classless “progression by use” approach as has been the case in past Elder Scrolls titles, however the “constellation” skill organisation method is being retained; The 5 core classes already leaked are most likely to be something like;
- Healer / Buffer
- Tank / Fighter
- Rogue / Thief
- Mage / Wizard
- Ranged / Hunter
If we look at what’s come before we can make some pretty solid assumptions (based on what we’ve seen in Morrowind, Oblivion & Skyrim and what we know about fantasy MMOs);
- Magic: Alteration, Destruction, Conjuration, Illusion, Restoration
- Defense: Block, Light Armour, Medium Armour, Heavy Armour
- Offense: Unarmed, Blunt, Bladed, Two-handed, Archery
- Movement: Sneak, Athletics, Acrobatics, Pickpocket, Security
- Utility: Enchanting, Alchemy, Smithing, Speech, Mercantile
Further deriving possibilities from the existing worlds of TES and MMOs we can definitely see ZeniMax supporting the traditional Elder Scrolls “1-100″ skill range system, with various “mastery” options / perks available for each skill, this would, again, be perfect for an epic MMO.
Gameplay: A fully soloable storyline, experienced from a third-person perspective employing a skill bar populated with skills featuring cooldowns indicating the now familiar MMO mechanic has been chosen as opposed to fully realtime combat as is employed in previous Elder Scrolls games. There will be no “aggro” mechanic. “Standard” single-player RPG MMO, public dungeons and optional open-world PvP divided between three playable factions;
- Aldmeri Dominion: Altmer, Bosmer and Khajit
- Daggerfall Covenant: Bretons, Orcs and Redguard
- Ebonheart Pact: Argoninans, Dunmer and Nords
Customisation: Players will not be able to own housing.
Social: Whichever of the three player factions controls Imperial City will be able to select a player from within their faction and appoint them Emperor.
Screenshots: Checkout our screenshots preview here.
Video: (Warning: It’s a nice narration and music over the logo… so cool… but a bit meh…)
OK, so that’s about it for now, as we’ve said we are very keen to find out more, so consider us your own personal ESO (Yup, that’s our new name for it, spread the word!) news hunters! We’ll be bringing you more as soon as there is any more more to be had…
- Richard “Rax” Burley