I’m a little torn when it comes to The Elder Scrolls Online.
On the one hand, as a decade-long Elder Scrolls fanboy, I’m anxiously looking forward to it like the Dragonborn would look forward to appearing on American Idol.
On the other hand… well, I share a number of the reservations that have been voiced by the gaming public regarding the game, which you’ve probably heard – or offered up – countless times.
But for now, let’s focus on the positives, shall we – or at least what we think will be positive? Here are some of the things I’m looking forward to seeing in The Elder Scrolls Online:
Being set a thousand years before Skyrim, there won’t be very many notable characters from the “later” Elder Scrolls game to interact with.
Three notable exceptions will be the immortal living gods of the Tribunal, who achieved their powers in the First Era and should be solidly entrenched in their positions of power by the time of TESO, several centuries later.
Creative Director Paul Sage has said that one storyline in TESO will revolve around a pretender trying to “insert” himself into the Tribunal, so there’s a very strong chance you’ll be able to personally interact with its three members.
Does Vivec still stay cooped up in his little room (with an unpickable lock)? Is Almalexia insane yet? Is Sotha Sil… well, alive?
Morrowind was my first Elder Scrolls love, and I’ll be most interested to see how ZeniMax has updated the iconic continent and how it’s handled these three pivotal characters.
How will stealth be implemented in TESO?
In Elder Scrolls games, you simply press the stealth button, which puts you in a crouch and, depending on your actions, like moving quickly, and external influences like lighting, you can sneak right up to a monster and stab him in the spleen for big damage.
I’d like to imagine that some aspect of this will still be valid in TESO. MMO stealth is usually just some kind of temporary invisibility that can be activated even in the middle of an open field at the height of daylight.
Imagine if walking into a dimly lit area in PvP actually meant checking the corners for hidden enemies. What if walking through tall grass or underbrush meant taking your life into your own hands? That would sure beat the heck out of “Oh, I’m fighting this rogue and suddenly he vanished.”
Unless he had an invisibility potion, of course.
In Elder Scrolls games, daedric artifacts are immensely powerful weapons, armor, and other gear gifted upon mortals by the daedra, immortal extraplanar beings who are roughly analogous to the modern-day concepts of angels and demons.
So how do you incorporate these potentially game-breaking lootz into an MMO? Answer: You take them away every now and then.
The reason you can get the same daedric weapon in different Elder Scrolls games is because, according to lore, the daedra hand these goodies out and then, according to their whims, take them away.
So imagine that you acquire Dawnbreaker with its flaming nastiness and bonus damage to undead. Maybe a month after acquiring it, Meridia decides you’ve had it long enough, and “poof,” it disappears. Only one of each artifact could ever exist in the game (per server), so now it’s left for someone else to find.
Obviously, this means that these artifacts couldn’t be immensely difficult to obtain; nobody wants to grind out dungeons for weeks only to get a weapon that’s gone shortly after obtaining it.
But nothing would be cooler than wielding your own unique, divine weapon – even if only for a little while. And any excuse to interact with Sheogorath is a good one.
It’s been confirmed that there won’t be dragons in TESO, at least initially… but I’m pretty sure they’ll sneak one — or more — in someday.
Skyrim players probably know that the dragons were “asleep” for thousands of years and only reawakened during the events of the game, in the Fourth Era. That would seem to put them out of reach in the Second-Era MMO, taking place just a thousand years before Skyrim.
But in the Skyrim book “There Be Dragons,” it’s revealed that the last dragon was seen during the time of Tiber Septim – the man who united all of Tamriel at the end of the Second Era – thus putting dragons firmly within reach of the game’s timeline.
Just don’t expect to consume their essences and start shouting all over the place – there isn’t room in Tamriel for several thousand Dragonborns.