Elder Scrolls Online

As Gary Gannon said in the video: Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last week, you know that an Elder Scrolls MMORPG is in the works. Our panel for This Week In MMO would be remiss if it didn’t talk about this franchise hitting the MMO space.

When shifting to a massively multiplayer environment, some of the core features of the series have to be changed. The first on the list is the player’s perspective. The single-player games for Elder Scrolls have always been a first-person game, but the MMORPG version of the game will be in third-person. Even though it’s completely possible for player to change that perspective in the single-player game, many players consider the first-person POV to be the way Skyrim and other Elder Scrolls games are intended to be played — despite Mike Schaffnit saying that he plays from third-person all the time. However, Gary thinks it would be extremely innovative for Elder Scrolls Online (ESO) to have first-person as the default perspective, and he wants “to be ganked from behind” — take that as you will.

ESO tops our news for this week, but don’t miss out on the latest news from Star Wars: The Old Republic, The Secret World, and WildStar. Gary Gannon leads the panel of Mike B and Mike Schaffnit from GAMEBREAKER and ZAM on This Week In MMO!

  • http://twitter.com/ookamiwing Phillip Rushing

    Gary just wants to be ganked from behind. SOME ONE GET ME A SHIV!

  • http://www.facebook.com/fredrik.gardsio Fredrik Fronken Gardsiö

     About TESO not being in first person, saying that they need to play it safe is just stupid, nothing against you Mike, but that’s exacly what they Shouldn’t be doing, they will end up with just another MMO that will be popular for a while then die out, having done nothing but mock the series it was based on. Instead of playing it safe, they should make it into an actual Elder Scrolls game, not a standard MMO with Elder Scrolls flavour…

    • scottsummer

      TESO looks nothing like TSE (the combat, art direction and pretty much everything).
      For me it looks like another generic fantasy MMO, and without the First person view the game becomes even more generic! Thus far TESO sounds like DAOC wanna be rather than a TES series game.

      Hell, even Darkfall and Mortal Online reassemble TES series more than this TESO (judging from the screenshots)

    • MMO_Doubter

       I am not a fan of TES at all, but I completely agree with your post.

  • QSatu

    If they really are going to “play it safe” and stick to the tried formula ESO will fail. Will get big initial sales and then loose 50% of population while WoW still will be happy with 10 mil subs. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/bertob64 Robby Brown

    I like how Starwars claims that they lost people who played the free month but never resubed. How can you claim people who never subbed to begin with as a subscriber to the game.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/7MPGC5FCQJZGFKICKCMALR3AYY Eric

    MMO’s are all about showing off you pretty gear to everyone else, if TESO is a 1st person game. how can you see your pretty armor.

    • Deathstar2x

       I sure love them dragon armor, but vanity is never a primary reason for me to play a MMO.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/David-Soholt/635835851 David Soholt

    Doesn’t the first person perspective limit combat animations too much?  Lots of games, and gamers, are focusing on combat style and mechanics.  Would they use a fixed view with limbs flashing quickly across your field of view or would your view bob and turn with your characters motions?  Or would they just forget complex combat animations all together and just have basic arm movements without variation or flourish?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=724962502 Joakim Dalle Dahlin

    Does Gary’s Wife know he like to get ganked from behind?…

  • ArcherAvatar

    “ganked from behind”

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/David-Soholt/635835851 David Soholt

    Haha, “There is no way they are going to F this franchise up.” — Gary
    Three words for you Gary, Final Fantasy IV

    • MMO_Doubter

       You mean XIV?

    • Jado Cast

      Ha Ha good point.

  • MMO_Doubter

    The authorities don’t like MikeB crossing state lines. ;)

  • QSatu

    Ok I watched the ending.. wtf guys XPPPP Poor Mike =P

  • MMO_Doubter

    Too jarring to play in FP? Not for the average Elder Scrolls player.

    Once again, the IP is just a way to sell the box. The MMO will piss on the franchise. Just as STO did. Just as SWTOR did.

    What if FP turned off typical MMO players? Well, maybe, but WTF is SPECIAL about yet another third-person fantasy MMORPG?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Tom-Attwood/100001020053333 Tom Attwood

    The Elder Scrolls mechanics have always been their weakest aspect, they are good because of the whole immersion creating aspects of the games. An MMO has a hard time being immersive because of the amount of other people around you, so alternatively they need to have solid mechanics… I have my doubts.

    • MMO_Doubter

       One thing they could do to help with the immersion is get serious with naming conventions.

      I very much doubt that they will – as some people think that would hurt the game’s popularity.

      Yeah, let’s do everything the same as the other fantasy MMOs. Great plan, there. Look how well it has worked so far.

  • QuartzTooth

     Real-time combat isn’t feasible today?

    DCUO, Tera, DDO, Vindictus, GW2, Dragon Nest, Darkfall, and more have seemed to manage it over the years.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Zackary-Rhodes/100000192033792 Zackary Rhodes

      The real-time combat isn’t possible for Elder Scrolls Online, because ZM decided to go with the HeroEngine. This same engine used by SWTOR. The same engine they claim will be able to handle 100vs100 battles, while in-game evidence (Ilum from SWTOR) points to the engine not even being able to handle a couple dozen on screen at once while also struggling heavily with ability delays.

      The HeroEngine alone is enough for me to consider this game a lost cause before it even hits the shelves.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=754168227 Len Hobbel

    Whos ED Park? I will google it I guess but never heard of him

    • Jado Cast

      taugrim.com  PVP player.

    • Jado Cast

      PVP player.  Taugrim dot com  Since I can’t link without the forum sending my post into oblivion.  No pun intended.

  • MMO_Doubter

    Does netflix work differently in the US? They have been offering a free month to start here in Canada for more than a year.

  • MMO_Doubter

    TSW? Design your own class – with ANY skills you want?

    How many of the skills will sold in the cash shop?

    That’s right – it’s sub + RMT.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Hamad-Ali-Al-Jalahma/512893526 Hamad Ali Al-Jalahma

    I hope it dos not end up like SWTOR, were the only reason 80% bought the game is because of the IP and then they quit when the game wasn’t as good. ;/

  • Revanhavoc

    The dance Shaffnit was doing at the start is the same dance he does when he is taking a Shaffnit.

  • http://twitter.com/crusadernero Crusadernero

    Regarding the screenshots.. Have we seen pictures of all zones, characters, towns, terrains and so no? I dont think so.. Gotta wait a bit and see new screenshots/videos for the whole game.

  • ElderJymm

    I wonder if TESO will embrace the classic skill based leveling system that’s been used throughout all the TES games.  Giving the character a choice of primary, secondary and tertiary skill choices when created.  Will the “action bar” then be filled with skills to be leveled, allowing for a character to advance any skills as it chooses when adventuring?

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_PG4DRLIEDYPSF3YKJW6ZW7UVYM aj

    Schaffnit needs a G13 or a Nostromo.

    Also, Hero Engine. I laughed when I first heard it and it is still hilarious. That is why no action combat, shit game engine.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/7MPGC5FCQJZGFKICKCMALR3AYY Eric

      maybe another reason for the lack of action combat might be because the games been in development for so long already. another story here said the lead dev guy got hired on for TESO right after oblivion released…. back in what, ’06? it might have been a decision they made so long ago back when action combat mmo wasnt as feasible that it was already too late to go back.

      • MMO_Doubter

         I think that is probably a big part of the problem. We are seeing a lot of MMOs released with sub (current) standard content and features.

        I think the whole MMO development process needs to be re-evaluated.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_PG4DRLIEDYPSF3YKJW6ZW7UVYM aj

         How long were GW2 and Tera in development? That is really no excuse and still points to them using a game engines with severe limitations.

    • H S

       I dont know, after watching his epic performance last night in LoL livestream, maybe he doesn’t need one. The boy kicked serious ass.

  • MMO_Doubter

    Playing WoW with addons like DBM was like playing PacMan following those patterns in books. Horrible. It’s the game playing YOU, rather than you playing the game.

    • Jeremy Whallon

       I remember being the only healer in my Molten Core raid not using Decursive.

      • MMO_Doubter

         Yeah. I refused to use combat addons. As a result, I did little raiding.

  • H S

    Hero engine, WoW like features, poor art design…sounds to me like this game has fail written all over before it ever gets started. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/davidallmighty David Cohen

    I think more or less only Blizz has done its brand justice when taking one game and making an MMO world from it. Not sure why, but maybe it was the RTS to MMO that made it work. Games that are closer to MMOs like Elder Scroll will more then likely fail for some people cause it is not like the single player game enough or it is too much that the MMO parts don’t function well enough.
    Just a thought.

  • http://twitter.com/Grulnork Grulnork

    Skyrim is going to make all the mistakes most MMO makers made in the past.

  • Jado Cast

    So the Devs that brought us Dragon Age and Mass Effect couldn’t make Hero Engine work better?  Yeah, sorry not buying it.  

    As a huge TES fan, I’m not even close to excited about this.  I’m more excited about Neverwinter than this with the info I have so far.  

    I just want Multi-player Skyrim!

  • Jado Cast

    So I have a question . . . who at GBTV is still spending significant time playing SWOTR?  I don’t believe in the numbers made public. 

  • Saboteur Sweden

    TESO… sub? B2P? F2P? Any word on that?

  • Sharuko

    The average MMO player wants to get to max level and progress, they are programmed to do it for years and no game will change that overnight.  Players might want to “enjoy” their leveling experience like I did,  but even if they do they want to get to max level and progress.  The story can be amazing and have great cinematics and voice acting (SWTOR) but people will want to hit max level (preferably quickly).

    Progression is more important than story if SWTOR has taught me anything.  These “dynamic” and “interactive” quests only get in the way of leveling and MMO players will rebel against it.  I foresee severe backlash for GW2 questing in which players will complain that it doesn’t help them progress fast enough, it will feel “slow” and “grindy”.  SWTOR learned the lesson the hard way (spacebar), now more will learn they shouldn’t have these artificial barriers to progression.

  • http://twitter.com/SeedEve AppleSeed2148

    I’m still skeptical about this game and doubt that they will deliver.I agree with Gary the screenshots just feel generic high fantasy.

  • http://twitter.com/yarb23 Yadiel A. Ramírez

    After the uber failure from SWTOR… I have lost faith in any “big companies” that come around making MMOs. I mean BIOWARE is supposed to be as if not more awesome than Bathesda and they failed.. So really skeptical here.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/ITHF7XKYGVXFAPCDMDJTKHLBBU Lian Wan

      “It’s a poor craftsman who blames his tools”
      However after looking up some information about HeroEngine I am leaning a bit more towards the tool as being at fault. The way that it makes it easy to make a MMO sounds like the typical tool that will tie you down and force you to do things a certain way.

      P.S. How do I turn off bold on DISQUS?!

      • http://twitter.com/aidshbe hemmer

        Then again…they CHOSE this tool, of course the actual “craftsmen” had probably no say in this decision.
        We’ll see how it turns out, but from the look alone it feels as if they didn’t really think about their preexisting fanbase too much.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Shawna-Daniels/1135007726 Shawna Daniels

    I don’t understand why a TESO announcement was made. Was it forced? If it were me and I was going to announce the release of a game I had be working on for 6 years or so, I feel like I would want to do so by revealing excellent videos and excellent photos of things that are in the game.
      All we got was some weird trailer that showed absolutely nothing, and a few concept images. Something seems very strange about the whole thing.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Kira-Elliott/100002127848678 Kira Elliott

       The last first trailer for a TES game was very cryptic as well.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/7MPGC5FCQJZGFKICKCMALR3AYY Eric

    On Endgame:

    I want to a an MMO built on top of an RTS. Player/guilds/npc factions can all go around collecting resources, building towns, outposts, and bases (read, sandbox-ish like Gary wants) while still doing all the stuff that rpg’s consist of, killing rats or whatever your cup of tea is. You could easily put your story in there as an evil overlord whoever is trying to takeover everything and his enemy npc faction is running around collecting and expanding the same way friendlies are.

    You could have PvE servers where everyone is human for example, fighting together. Other races would be there and available to ally with or fight against if the overlord takes them over or they just join him (could have a neat political system built in there.) Endgame would be beating the map, defeating the evil. There would be a time of peace, idunno like a week maybe, and then a new evil would arise (because they always do) and the map would reset. Oh yeah, randomly generated maps too, that’d be to emphasize exploration to find resources each cycle, it wouldn’t be fun if you knew where everything was right away the 2nd time around.

    PvE servers would be more of a training ground for new players or people who are looking for a more casual experience. The npc AI would be more active in expanding one their own, but player support would still be required to “win.” There would also be PvP servers. On PvP servers, players could choose any of the available races and fight with or against each other to “win” the map, there’s your multi-faction PvP that everyone wants to see. Could be 3, 4, 5-way, how ever many races they decide to put in. AI would take far less initiative in expanding on their own unless server population heavily sided one race or another. If everyone hates gnomes and rolls an orc, gnomes still need a presence in the world and AI would ramp up its meddling to compensate for the lack of real players there.

    And just imagine the social aspects it could include. Big guilds, whole races or multiple races getting together to build this fort to hold the line against the overlord or coordinating strategies with your allied guilds/nations to mount an offensive or sneak in behind enemy lines to disrupt supplies. It could be like GW2′s WvW, except that world and those key points are player built.

    That’s what I see for breaking the “kill dragon, loot dragon, kill bigger dragon” mold. Someone go make it.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/GBIIKVWMC72LMBODGDAFQSZ52Q Kitty

    Sounds like what everyone wants in an mmo still has at least a year & more to even reach NA…

  • integerx

    I’m with Gary on the first person view. The whole Elder Scrolls franchise gained popularity because it was a first person dungeon crawler outside of the dungeon. Also, first person did work in Everquest for years and third person wasn’t viable in it for the longest time. The sheer fact that it isn’t first person really causes me to lose all interest in the game.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jan-Lappalainen/882015623 Jan Lappalainen

    “wouldn’t a first person view be jarring to the average player” I think that comment really encapsulates what is a big problem in the mmo industry. If game developers are that focused on keeping mmo players comfortable, and always aim to provide gameplay that we are already used to, there is never going to be an mmo that really feels like something new. It just stagnates the whole thing.

    • MMO_Doubter

       Exactly. These companies think they are playing it safe by doing what everyone else is doing, but that gives players no reason to switch to their game.

      Lots of players switch for a month or two, because they like to see new locations and character designs, but return to their old game, because they have time invested and friends playing there.

      The questions is: do devs NOT GET IT, or is this exactly the way they plan to operate and the box sales and a couple months of subs (or a few months of cash shop purchases) is all they require for a good return on investment? I don’t know, but it is one or the other.


  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ryan-Johnson/1395245456 Ryan Johnson

    i want a TESO show!

    • MMO_Doubter

       They’ll just spend half of the time talking about GW2. ;)

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Kira-Elliott/100002127848678 Kira Elliott

         Definitely would at this point. Maybe when there’s some actual information about TESO. Not enough info on it yet at all.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_R35J5EUERGS3E6JRIQMBCDTRRY Nathan I

    Hero engine is actually not bad. Bioware bought an unfinished version of the Hero engine to save money, then modified it in incompetent ways to the points that they can’t update the engine to the current version of the engine.

  • DoctorOverlord

    I did not know Elder Scrolls was based on the
    Hero Engine.   I would feel much better
    if Elder Scrolls had their own engine 
    but I’ll still keep an eye on it.  
    GBTV is great how it summarizes all this spread-out information, I’ll
    keep looking here for my Elder Scolls info.  

    I think Elder Scrolls has a good chance because
    even if the MMO is horrible, I think they have the money to never release it
    rather than letting it damage the IP and property.

    Good to see you calling out a dev when you caught
    them stretching the truth about player numbers.    Sure we all know they do it, but that doesn’t mean we should just accept it.    
    And that was the weirdest TWIMMO ending ever lol   I’m guessing you’ve heard Mike’s rant before?  Funny how the GW2 stress test news came in during the episode. 

  • http://twitter.com/NattyKungFu Matt

    Third person. Hot bars. Over. Abandon all hope… There will be no dawn for MMOs.

  • pc11

    Totally called it at the start of April that SWTOR subscription numbers where “inflated” by the free time offers so they could report a high number in Q1 and now here is the real number.

    Also called it when the analyst said that in 2013 SWTOR will have 1,3M. It will be much lower. It is on 1.3M now and dropping. The game is buggy, boring after the first playthrough, and not worth a sub.

    2013 = free to play with transactions

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=862175353 Gavin Morgan

    I thought that it looked more like Lotro than Rift.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Kira-Elliott/100002127848678 Kira Elliott

    I am skeptical. There’s too many things they said in the the article in GameInformer that just left a bad taste in my mouth. The “WoW-like” combat reference. The ridiculous latancy claims. The comment about housing. I feel like Zeni-Max has NO CLUE what’s been going on in the MMO world over the last decade and a half and will, if they don’t screw it up royally, it will be a WoW clone, or at the very least loose everything ELDER SCROLLS about the franchise and I will be very very sad about that. However, if I am wrong I will happily eat my words. But tbh, everyone thought SWTOR would get it right for the same reasons Garry mentioned and yet it still had major issues. So, Skeptic. And it makes me very sad because I have loved the Elder Scrolls series since I discovered it with Morrowind, I would hate to see them screw it up or loose the feel and integrity of the game simply to appease those fans who have been screaming for an MMO. I only hope they’ll continue the single player franchise as well.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/BGTGZYBGAD7U6SYYUSKNRKBWQI Saria

    Hmm i was excited when i heard that elder scrolls was making a mmo, because I loved the first person on skyrim, but now that i know that it’s 3rd person. I’m perfectly fine with Guild wars two…. If elderscrolls online had first person I would buy it in a heart beat and quit GW2 but sadly they didn’t

  • James Lightfoot

    No first person – it’s not Elder Scrolls. I won’t be buying.

    All I’ve ever wanted is a first person mmo. Would it be that hard to have it as an option.