We learned a lot during the last media blitz in May and June, but there’s still a lot more we’d like to know. Here are what we think are the top topics that will be on everyone’s minds:
Show us the gameplay!
This one should go without saying, but here it is anyway. We need to see more than a dozen-plus screenshots, a flythrough, and a CG trailer of characters standing around. The game is about a year out, so there should be something ready to show.
We don’t need a full half-hour dungeon run or intricate boss fight, but at least a five- to ten-minute glimpse of what combat is, what animations look like, and maybe highlights of some of the cool stuff you can do.
How hard is your trinity?
The holy trinity is under fire these days. This sort of goes hand in hand with our first point, but even if we see in-game action, it might be hard to judge exactly how close the game is to needing tank/healer/DPS roles.
We already know that weapons will be usable by anyone, so you can have an axe-wielding mage if you want. But can he tank? Will he need to?
These days, the best way to cement your status as a “WoW clone,” fairly or not, is to have a hard trinity with rigid class roles. People will spend the lion’s share of their time in an MMO in combat, so expect it to be scrutinized like nothing else.
What’s your signature feature?
Even if TESO suffers from WoW-clone-itis – and we’re not saying it does – it needs something to stand out. And, sorry Matt Firor, but that needs to be more than, “Well, it’s Elder Scrolls!”
Recent big-ticket MMOs have all had that special something, that one (or more) unusual feature that distinguished it from the glut of MMOs out there that the marketing folks could hang their hats on and push as a unique design point:
- Star Wars: The Old Republic has fully voiced and acted cut scenes.
- Guild Wars 2 has dynamic events.
- TERA has action combat.
- The Secret World has its conspiracies and overall different sort of genre.
- Rift has, well, rifts.
You can debate how good these features were or if they made the games better, but they were at least something that got people talking. TESO doesn’t seem to have anything like that.
Spell out the lore
Hardcore Elder Scrolls fans love the lore and history of Tamriel, and we’re stoked about being able to forge our own history during the Interregnum. Right now, we know the general details, but we want to know more.
This is a case where a snazzy, action-packed trailer might actually do more than words. Who can forget the first time they saw the “Deceived” trailer for Star Wars: The Old Republic? That told you as much as you needed to know about the current conflict and, if you were like me, really got your blood pumping to play.
These days, snazzy trailers are practically a necessity for an MMO launch, and even if you can’t afford one as shiny as BioWare, you can still craft a decent story to go along with semi-impressive video. If story’s a major part of your game, let us see it.
That one little detail…
We know ZeniMax won’t give out a launch date – not for a while yet – but there’s one other major question that everyone wants to know the answer to:
Free-to-play or subscription fee? Or some kind of model like Guild Wars 2?
You should already know by now, so don’t keep us in suspense.