Friday, May 04, 2012

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Elder Scrolls MMO: Massively Missed Opportunity (So Far)

After reading early details on Elder Scrolls: Online, the highly anticipated MMO, this seems like an appropriate macro:

Scumbag Elder Scrolls Online

Specifically:

  • No player housing. It's "too hard to implement in an MMO" (yes, an actual quote from one of the developers.) You know that world that's so vivid, you felt like you could live there? You can't live there.
  • Traditional MMO combat: "You're playing the game in third-person," says Kotaku, "and its combat centres around hotbars activating skills. Your attacks have cooldowns. In clear terms, that means no real-time combat. It is literally explained as using 'World of Warcraft mechanics'."
  • No word about crafting or a user-driven economy.
  • No word about user-made mods, sure to disappoint the thriving community around them.

The game is set for release a year from now, and things can always change before then, but so far, the "MMO" in this case seems to stands for Massively Missed Opportunity.

More from my MMO expert Iris Ophelia:

"[Compare this to] Guild Wars 2, they're changing the game and people are frothing at the mouth with excitement. Meanwhile, WoW clones are being cranked out of South East Asia a dime a dozen, free to play. Elder Scrolls has a great world, but if you ignore the gameplay that really makes Skyrim and the previous games such a unique experience, then it's just a huge waste of the IP."

So it seems, so it seems. Someone want to create an SL sim inspired by the Skyrim MMO that could have been?

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Ezra

That sucks. I was hoping they'd approach it from a stance of "Ok, so first off we're making Elder Scrolls, but also lets see how we can add other players as a feature..."

Looks like they're instead applying a Skyrim skin to WoW. I'm sure they're going to do a lot of things true to the franchise but starting with WoW as a basis already removes a lot of possibilities.

DMom2K Darwin

What Ezra said. Dang. This is the chance to make your mark and they already got the eraser out....

Rin Tae

I would not put too much weight on early details .. only when the game nears the beta stage it will be clearer about how it might look once it is done. Right now I would expect many ideas and rumours to make it out of the developer circle into the public where they undergo the usual procedure of people reapeating what they heard form otehrs who too have read it somewhere where the person who wrote it claimed to know the one who heard it from a reliable source ...

But then .. MMO develoeprs seem to fear complexity and well developed, logical worlds and stories like the devil holy water (even when single player games have shown that complex stories can go hand in hand with massive success prooving that at least a big part of the target audience want something more out of a game) so the game might come out being dumbed down to the lowest possible level. All fitting with the recent drop of the 'RP' out fo the name of such games. Today they are all just MMOs since adding the RP might make people ask for a game that goes beyond killing X monsters and having a higher level then the one that is on the other side of the pvp fight.

It seems like the Elder Scrolls MMO is not yet close to a point where definitive things could be said about it so I would rather wait until it is (or some definitive information and gameplay videos are shown) before making any judgment.

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