Another day, another interview with the Elder Scrolls Online design team.

The latest one comes from Lead Gameplay Designer Nick Konkle, who dives into the UI and hotbar of the game. Exciting stuff!

Seriously, Konkle says that the goals of ZeniMax Online‘s design team is to create a world in “which I look at the world, not at my hotbar. Not at numbers that are flying up.”

Game Director Matt Firor also says TESO has a smaller interface, designed to “make it very accessible to the player who’s only experienced the console versions of The Elder Scrolls.”

An interesting take when you consider that TESO won’t be launching on consoles.

Minimalist hotbar design does seem to be all the rage these days, as indicated by several newer games, like Guild Wars 2 and The Secret World. However, one commenter seems to hit the nail on the head in summarizing why long-standing Elder Scrolls fans are dissatisfied with what they’ve heard about TES Online so far:

Alternately, you could, I dunno, not even have a hotbar… y’know, like how the actual TES games did it? *sigh*

Jason Winter has held several positions in the tabletop and video-gaming industry since 1996, including writer, editor, marketing coordinator, and game designer. He's the former editor of Beckett Massive Online Gamer and almost considers himself competent in PvP. In addition to his work with, he also blogs about video games at
  • QSatu

    It’s cool that so many game companies finally came to the same conclusions when it comes to mmo design. it really feels like mmos are moving forward or at least in different direction.

  • Sathure

    What are these guys releasing three interviews every week now? It’s been what less than a month since the announcement? Are they desperate for attention? 7 years of development and not a single ounce of game play footage.

    I get the inkling that these interviews are some sort of white washing due to negative backlash they got at the announcement. None of them go into actaul detail. Just a lot of ambiguous generalization on features.

    • Elias Rowan

      I think it’s more likely that they are nearing the closed beta stages of the game and drumming up attention in order to get players into those betas rather than anything to do with white washing. Time will tell, though, eh?

  • Corey Jenkins

    I cant see myself playing this game hardcore or anything when it comes out but I’m going to give it a try for sure, I feel like this game could make or break peoples perception of Bethesda though much like swtor did with Bioware. Seems as though the gaming industry in general is moving towards more online/MMO based games. Just hope developers just remember to make the game fun first before anything else, but ya the quotes they’ve been saying are a little weird. Makes me wonder if they are just trying to bend to to the community and gauge their reactions as opposed to having clear reasons in mind or clear goals as far as their development. going to be interesting to see what happens.

    • chumppi, Riku M.

       Zenimax, not Bethesda. People need to get this difference.

  • pandora005

    I really hope “minimized UI” isnt just a cheap excuse to lack complexity in an attempt to make the game console-friendly. Skyrim showed how abysmal that kind of concept is when you try to combine it with a decent number of different skills and items to use.

  • Elias Rowan

    What now? Have you guys not seen the new videos about combat? The MEAT? I’m shocked! I’d think GB would be all over those talking about the given info. :)

    I appreciate the smaller hotbar idea. Small amount of abilities. Easy to remember what ability is on what key and none of the : okay in situation 3452 I need to remember I can hit quick button 127 OR 375 type scenarios. I can LOOK AT THE GAME and not the friggin UI. Yep. Like it.

  • Old Ben

    Whenever the words words “Zenimax (Bethesda)” and “User Interface” appear near each other, I find myself wincing.