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So as you may or may not know, Zenimax Online Studios recently confirmed that the newest addition to The Elder Scrolls series would be an online MMO. There have been mixed feelings about this, but I think an Elder Scrolls MMO is long overdue. When I played Oblivion and Skyrim I couldn’t help from feeling those experiences could have been improved with online aspects. On a scale less massive I imagined battling in a friend’s world along their side in Skyrim, much like that of how the multiplayer features of Fable III works. However, an online MMO would be very easy to imagine, as The Elder Scrolls have always been fantasy RPGs. And what is a better partner to a fantasy RPG than an MMO?
If you think of the style of MMO we see in games such as World of Warcraft and Rift, this would be how The Elder Scrolls would play. Initially when I heard about the play and feel of The Elder Scrolls Online the first emotion I felt was joy, but following that I felt fear. The reason for the fear is because all I could imagine was a Runescape-style game with outdated 8-bit graphics and minimal character design. Another worrying feature is that it will be out next year, which poses the question: is that enough time to make a successful MMO? That said, Runescape is an online MMO which has thousands of fans worldwide and has done extremely well for itself.
Paul Sage who is Zenimax Online Studios’ creative designer said “We have to make our own game” and he also stated “We want to make a good game first. Not a good MMO, not a good Elder Scrolls game, we want to make a good game first, a great experience for the player”. These statements help subside my fears, but it is also important that the online experience retains that Elder Scrolls feel while also bringing familiar MMO gaming features. The Elder Scrolls Online will still feature the infamous daedric princes and Zenimax have explained the MMO will still contain many typical features such as endgame raids and player versus player combat that’s indicative of the MMORPG. Paul Sage and Zenimax realise that the way to create a successful Elder Scrolls MMO is to combine familiar touchstones with MMO mechanics.
The thing that excited me the most about the upcoming MMO was the knowledge that it would still be set where all The Elder Scrolls games have previously taken place – Tamreil. From the Khajiit homeland of Elsweyr to the snowcapped mountains of Skyrim and everywhere in between, fans will be able to explore their favorite cities and towns with friends in an online environment. Set a millennium before the events of Skyrim, the daedric prince Molag Bal tries to pull all of Tamriel into his demonic realm. Players will discover an entirely new chapter of Elder Scrolls history in this ambitious world.
I for one can say I’m over the moon to learn that The Elder Scrolls will be going online and meeting the realms of the MMORPG. I think it’s long overdue. Those who loved the franchise as much as I did will see that this game is not to be missed. I can’t think of any better way to keep the series alive than to introduce the concept to the online world. However, as I previously said, there are many elements of it that could go wrong, and I will be the first to say that it will be a terrible shame if it does indeed go horribly wrong. Not only would it be highly disappointing, but could potentially ruin The Elder Scroll’s good name. I hope that isn’t the case, being a huge fan of the franchise myself. Only time will tell…
If you haven’t already seen it, then check out the stunning teaser trailer here: