The Elder Scrolls Online: What We Know So Far

The Elder Scrolls Online is an upcoming fantasy MMORPG by Zenimax Online. Set in the same universe as the insanely popular Elder Scrolls series, players will be able to embark on an adventure together for the first time in this previously single-player only universe. The announcement of this project, which has already been in the works for several years, is both exciting and absolutely terrifying at the same time.

Details are pretty scarce at the moment, but we’ve managed to dig up a small amount of information thanks to the beautiful invention known as the internet. The Elder Scrolls Online dev team is being led by Matt Firor, who was responsible for a popular little title called Dark Age of Camelot. The game will be set roughly a millenium before the events in Skyrim and players will be able to explore all of Tamriel, not just one region like in current Elder Scrolls titles.

Zenimax Online has stated that while the entire world is in the game, not all locations will be available upon launch. The MMO will try its best to stick to the traditional TES formula, however our first disappointing news is that it won’t be action combat, rather the traditional hotkey system we’re all very, very familiar with. With that disappointment, let’s kick off into what we know so far.

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Playable Factions

Ebonheart Pact
Races: Nords, Dunmer (dark elves), Argonians
“Their ancestral hatreds still burn – particularly in the opressed argonians – but each warlike race recognizes the threats posed by their unified eniemies.”
Aldmeri Dominion
Races: Altmer (high elves), Bosmer (wood elves) and Khajiit
“A nascent empire that rules its holdings with an iron fist.”
The Daggerfall Covenant
Races: Breton, Redguard, Orcs
“An egalitarian democratic association, uses its military might to secure lucrative trade routes to and from its northwestern dominions.”
MMO Games The Elder Scrolls Online Screenshot

  • There will be classes and XP-based levelling, no more skill-based levelling.
  • You play as a character whose soul has been stolen by Molag Bal, the Daedric prince who is trying to pull all of Tamriel into his demonic realm.
  • Exploration will play a major role, many hidden parts of the game can only be found by poking around in dungeons and off-the-path areas.
  • Towns include: the Imperial City, Windhelm, Daggerfall, Sentinel, Mournhold, Ebonheart, Elden Root, Shornhelm, Evermore, Riften, and more which are yet to be announced.
  • Mounts are confirmed, flying mounts however will not be included due to lore restrictions (no dragons).
  • Fast travel will remain but will be restricted to Wayshrines, which also serve as resurrection points. No fast travel from map.
  • No player housing or NPC romance will be included, but could possibly be added later on.
  • There will be full voice acting for all NPCs.
  • The average player will be able to reach the level cap in roughly 120 hours of gameplay.
  • Mundus Stones will replace Guardian Stones found in Skyrim and will offer various buffs.
  • The Thieves Guild and Dark Brotherhood have been confirmed.

MMO Games The Elder Scrolls Online Screenshot

Player Vs. Environment
  • Endgame content will feature heroic dungeons and large-scale raids.
  • There will be both instanced and public dungeons. Public dungeons are dungeons with only one “instance” meaning everyone who enters will be in the same instance.
  • Skills are still based on stamina/mana.
  • Sprinting, blocking and interrupts will remain in the game.
  • Blocking still plays a large role, players can block with a shield, 2H Sword or Force Field. Blocking an enemies power attack will still potentially throw them off balance, like in Skyrim.
  • Traditional aggro mechanics are non-existant, Zenimax Online is promising “player-like” AI. For example, when entering a room in a dungeon you won’t be able to pull a group of mobs back and pick them off, rather they will all react at the sight of you and begin performing their designated role (NPC tanks rush forward, healers and ranged move away from players).
  • There will be a finess system which allows players to execute an ultimate skill. Finess points are built up by being effective in battle, encouraging players to play smarter.
  • One example for building finess is, a rogue drops an oil slick, and a mage sets it on fire. Bam, Finess.
  • Questing is “hubless” unlike games like WoW, it is apparently more like TES, in which players can go anywhere and do whatever piques their interest. This of course will still be limited by level requirements.
  • Elder Scrolls Online will use a phasing system, much like WoW.
  • It’s confirmed that there are “fetch x of y, kill x of y” quests although they are said to be the minority of the quests.

MMO Games The Elder Scrolls Online Screenshot

Player Vs. Player
  • There will be three faction PvP, just like DAoC.
  • Instanced PvP arenas are confirmed.
  • Open World PvP and Free-Form PvP will be included and is said to also be similar to DAoC.
  • Siege weapons and destructible terrain are confirmed.
  • Endgame PvP will involve players fighting to take control of Cyrodiil, conquer the Imperial City and crown the most accomplished player in your faction the Emperor. That’s right, you can be come the Emperor.
  • The ultimate goal is the Imperial City, however there will be other capture points such as forts, farms, mines, castles etc.
  • Player-politics are confirmed and are said to be closely related to DAoC and UO.
  • There will be a system in place which will facilitate a players holdings being attacked, allowing players to organically defend their turf without the game enforcing scheduled assaults.

MMO Games The Elder Scrolls Online

There we have it, the information we have been able to gather so far for The Elder Scrolls Online, along with the first screenshots to be seen from the game. The Elder Scrolls Online is set for release in 2013 on both PC and Mac. So there we have it, Elder Scrolls Online has the chance to be amazing like Dark Age of Camelot or terrible like, well just about 90% of adaptions that have been attempted before. What do you think? Are you excited about this upcoming MMORPG? Let us know in the comments below!

MMO Games The Elder Scrolls Screenshot
MMO Games The Elder Scrolls Screenshot

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