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General Discussion  » Zenimax Online has crippled ESOs core player base

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  jiveturkey12

Advanced Member

Joined: 12/22/04
Posts: 1284

 
OP  10/13/12 5:18:22 PM#1

Elder Scrolls Online's core player base has been crippled from day one of the games annoucement. Here are my reasonings,

1. Hero Engine Debacle

When the game was first announced, one of the key features toted was the use of the same engine as Star Wars: The Old Republic, the very controversial "Hero Engine". As soon as the Game-Informer Article hit the internet forum posts blasting the use of the engine shot up right here on MMORPG.com; along with articles confirming this fan outry on Massivly and other major MMO publications. 

Here is where I give the ESO Devs some credit, as they quickly dispelled the previously announced feature as nothing more than a simple "Whiteboard" which they used to make the "Real Engine". But suspicions had already begun in the community since the original announcement, even diehard Elder Scrolls fans reamined wary, with features like "Voice-Overs" and All-Age Appropriate Graphics still confirmed, things started to seem too similar to other projects from the Hero Engine.

2. Game-Informer speaks Candidly about lack of Core Elder Scrolls Series Features

Along with the Game-Informer article also came a further hit to not only Hardcore Elder Scrolls fans, but also to the general fans of megahit "Skyrim"; the ES series most accesible link to the gaming community. Features like Player-Housing, Were-wolves, First-Person combat, wernt making the transition to the Elder Scrolls MMO "Because of the constraints inherent to an online game" according to the games developers, but Zenimax Online assued the fans they would be "including everything that makes sense."

3. Three-Factions, Race-Locked, No Imperials

So it wasnt long after Zenimax Promised to "Include Everything that makes sense", that they gave us information on the games core mechanics, which included Three Factions at war against each other. DAOC fans quickly flocked to the games forums and other sites giving the game its most solid boost of concurrent fans since the previous announcments. 

But even with the small impact the DAOC community gave to ESO, it was completely overshadowed by the complete abandonment of many Core Elder Scrolls fans, who saw the three race locked factions as a complete deviation from the games well standing lore, as well as a limit on player interaction between all races which had never been seen in a full fledged ES game before. 

The lack of a core ES Race (Imperials) from the mix, placing them instead as a more antagonistic NPC roll, also came across as a strange decision as they had always been a default choice for many first time players of the game not familiar with the ES lore. (This is because of the overtly "European-American" look Imperials have)

In Conclusion - A Mature Audience detracted by an Adolescent game

So now what we are left with is a completely divided community, ESO's target audience has been consistently shown to be All-Age Appropriate, even though the core features of the Elder Scrolls Franchise have always been more adult-themed/ oriented. The advent of DAOC fans to the game is a fair audience but incomparable numbers wise to the outflux of core Elder Scrolls fans, and Adult Gamers who made up the games Core Audience.

Does anyone feel that ESO can recover from such poor early development/PR choices?

  AdamTM

Novice Member

Joined: 5/05/05
Posts: 1395

I'M PUNCHING YOUR SALAD!!!!

10/13/12 5:21:10 PM#2
Originally posted by jiveturkey12

Does anyone feel that ESO can recover from such poor early development/PR choices?

How can you "recover" from the truth?

  ShakyMo

Apprentice Member

Joined: 11/21/11
Posts: 7246

10/13/12 5:23:47 PM#3
1 its using a heavily modified version of the skyrim engine.

Tes core audience is CONSOLE GAMERS
  User Deleted
10/13/12 5:29:42 PM#4
I could care less what TES fans think or believe.  As a fan of RvR content, and open world PvE freedom of exploration style content I coudlnt be happier.  IMO they have the best of both worlds in TES and DAoC while culling the stuff that sucked.  Like DAoC's grind centric camp spawning PvE and TES FPS combat and boring and archaic combat.
  ghettoceleb

Apprentice Member

Joined: 11/18/11
Posts: 73

Old enough to know better, Young enough to not care.

10/13/12 5:32:51 PM#5
I am a PC gamer, but I do also have a XB360. All age graphics is like making adults watch cartoons.  I used to like cartoons as  a kid, but I have to say in my 30's I hate cartoons.   EXCEPT family guy.
  Entinerint

Advanced Member

Joined: 5/06/12
Posts: 716

10/13/12 5:39:16 PM#6
Originally posted by ShakyMo
1 its using a heavily modified version of the skyrim engine.

Tes core audience is CONSOLE GAMERS

LOL no it is not using a heavily modified version of the Skyrim engine, NOWHERE does it say that.  They built their own engine from scratch after the Hero engine was used as a prototyping system.

Of the 11 million Skyrim sales to date, approximately 2.5 million of those were on the PC.  That's more users than any MMO has ever launched with.  SWTOR came close at 2.1 million.

Also, the move to add Mac support will allow many console gamers, who might have a Mac instead of a PC, to connect as well.

There is no solid dividing line between PC and console gamers, I have a PC, a 360 and a PS3.  My girlfriend has a Wii so that completes the console trifecta in our household.  PC is my main gaming platform, but I have the other consoles for exclusives I might want to try.  There is a lot of cross-pollination and many people who bought Skyrim on the 360 or PS3 might have had a computer that could run it, but didn't bother because they prefer the controller, the couch and/or the big-screen tv.

Originally posted by Zylaxx
I could care less what TES fans think or believe.  As a fan of RvR content, and open world PvE freedom of exploration style content I coudlnt be happier.  IMO they have the best of both worlds in TES and DAoC while culling the stuff that sucked.  Like DAoC's grind centric camp spawning PvE and TES FPS combat and boring and archaic combat.

As I said before, this is not a core userbase, this is roughly 500 people who will come to this game just for the RvR.  How many people still play DAOC?  If it was that amazing, trumping all other issues, it would have kept that audience, but it's not, it's actually rather boring after about a month, becuase there's nothing dynamic, it is the same boring game of tug-of-war over and over.

The OP's assessment is fair, their core userbase is/was TES fans and they utterly squandered it.  What do they have left: 250,000 or so MMO nomads who will go back to WoW once they've reached max level and 500-1000 hardcore RvR nutjobs who hang out in Cyrodiil the whole time.

  AdamTM

Novice Member

Joined: 5/05/05
Posts: 1395

I'M PUNCHING YOUR SALAD!!!!

10/13/12 5:43:13 PM#7
Originally posted by ShakyMo
1 its using a heavily modified version of the skyrim engine.

Tes core audience is CONSOLE GAMERS

If its console gamers they better have controller support and a 360 version then.

We all know those dirty console peasants get confused with a mouse and keyboard, their feeble minds can't comprehend that many buttons.

It's scientifically proven.

  Entinerint

Advanced Member

Joined: 5/06/12
Posts: 716

10/13/12 5:46:43 PM#8
Originally posted by AdamTM
Originally posted by ShakyMo
1 its using a heavily modified version of the skyrim engine.

Tes core audience is CONSOLE GAMERS

If its console gamers they better have controller support and a 360 version then.

We all know those dirty console peasants get confused with a mouse and keyboard, their feeble minds can't comprehend that many buttons.

It's scientifically proven.

I'm not a brony or anything, but holy shit your avatar made your comment so much more hilarious!

  OG_Zorvan

Apprentice Member

Joined: 8/31/12
Posts: 646

10/13/12 6:14:09 PM#9
Originally posted by ShakyMo
1 its using a heavily modified version of the skyrim engine.

Tes core audience is CONSOLE GAMERS

Seriously? They're using the Gamebryo... oh sorry they renamed it "Creation Engine" ( LOLOLOL)?

They WANT this game to fail hard and fast.

 

Originally posted by Zylaxx
I could care less what TES fans think or believe.  As a fan of RvR content, and open world PvE freedom of exploration style content I coudlnt be happier.  IMO they have the best of both worlds in TES and DAoC while culling the stuff that sucked.  Like DAoC's grind centric camp spawning PvE and TES FPS combat and boring and archaic combat.

And if they'd named it "Dark Age of Camelot 2", they might have had a prayer of success.

Trying to name this joke as "The Elder Scrolls" is going to bite them in the ass.

EA CEO John Riccitiello's on future microtransactions: "When you are six hours into playing Battlefield and you run out of ammo in your clip, and we ask you for a dollar to reload, you're really not very price sensitive at that point in time...We're not gouging, but we're charging."

  jiveturkey12

Advanced Member

Joined: 12/22/04
Posts: 1284

 
OP  10/13/12 6:23:07 PM#10
Originally posted by Zylaxx
I could care less what TES fans think or believe.  As a fan of RvR content, and open world PvE freedom of exploration style content I coudlnt be happier.  IMO they have the best of both worlds in TES and DAoC while culling the stuff that sucked.  Like DAoC's grind centric camp spawning PvE and TES FPS combat and boring and archaic combat.

You dont have to care what TES Fans think or believe, you dont even have to follow the core-gamer crowd who ususally plays mature games like Skyrim. 

If you honstly believe that ESO can support a stable player base on RvR fans, DAOC Fans, and Children ages 9-15, then yes by all means go ahead. No one is saying your not aloud to believe that, passionately or otherwise.

What I am explicitly stating is that Zenimax Online Crippled its own Core Player Base when they decided to alienate the Mature community that concurrently buys Elder Scrolls games along with alienating the "Skyrim-Only" crowd, or people who know Elder Scrolls simply from the "Skyrim" Brand. The game represents nothing appetizing for either of those two audiences which make up a massive amount of possible future sales for "Elder Scrolls" online.

Do you think that Zenimax Online is honestly doing their best job securing this games future development and release?

  Entinerint

Advanced Member

Joined: 5/06/12
Posts: 716

10/13/12 6:53:37 PM#11
Originally posted by jiveturkey12
Originally posted by Zylaxx
I could care less what TES fans think or believe.  As a fan of RvR content, and open world PvE freedom of exploration style content I coudlnt be happier.  IMO they have the best of both worlds in TES and DAoC while culling the stuff that sucked.  Like DAoC's grind centric camp spawning PvE and TES FPS combat and boring and archaic combat.

You dont have to care what TES Fans think or believe, you dont even have to follow the core-gamer crowd who ususally plays mature games like Skyrim. 

If you honstly believe that ESO can support a stable player base on RvR fans, DAOC Fans, and Children ages 9-15, then yes by all means go ahead. No one is saying your not aloud to believe that, passionately or otherwise.

What I am explicitly stating is that Zenimax Online Crippled its own Core Player Base when they decided to alienate the Mature community that concurrently buys Elder Scrolls games along with alienating the "Skyrim-Only" crowd, or people who know Elder Scrolls simply from the "Skyrim" Brand. The game represents nothing appetizing for either of those two audiences which make up a massive amount of possible future sales for "Elder Scrolls" online.

Do you think that Zenimax Online is honestly doing their best job securing this games future development and release?

I believe your OP hit the nail on the head.

However I wonder what you would say to their incredible backtracking during E3 when the message of "MMO fans will feel at home" changed drastically to "TES fans will feel at home?" 

Then, after E3, they all but vanished into nothing.  Excuses were made, like Dishonored being Bethesda's focus marketing wise, and the incoming GW2 clouding the hype-space, but now that both of those excuses are moot, we still haven't heard anything aside from the odd twitter clue.

Developers might not often listen to their fanbases, but publishers certainly do, especially when the outcry is so vocal.  I can imagine that there was a shitstorm in Bethesda Softworks when the reaction came down the pipe, and that shitstorm landed heavily on ZOS' head.

There are several possibilites for this of course.

Perhaps they have heard the outcry, and have gone silent, hard at work to bring TES fans what they want, and what the IP deserves.

The only other option I can think of is that they've buried their heads in the sand completely until beta, and we won't hear anything else until they're ready to start showing their gameplay, hoping everyone's forgotten their first impression.

  3-4thElf

Elite Member

Joined: 6/03/12
Posts: 477

10/13/12 6:58:11 PM#12

I don't feel crippled at all.

I feel encouraged to avoid it like the plague.

a yo ho ho

  AdamTM

Novice Member

Joined: 5/05/05
Posts: 1395

I'M PUNCHING YOUR SALAD!!!!

10/13/12 7:00:13 PM#13
Originally posted by Entinerint
Originally posted by jiveturkey12
Originally posted by Zylaxx
I could care less what TES fans think or believe.  As a fan of RvR content, and open world PvE freedom of exploration style content I coudlnt be happier.  IMO they have the best of both worlds in TES and DAoC while culling the stuff that sucked.  Like DAoC's grind centric camp spawning PvE and TES FPS combat and boring and archaic combat.

You dont have to care what TES Fans think or believe, you dont even have to follow the core-gamer crowd who ususally plays mature games like Skyrim. 

If you honstly believe that ESO can support a stable player base on RvR fans, DAOC Fans, and Children ages 9-15, then yes by all means go ahead. No one is saying your not aloud to believe that, passionately or otherwise.

What I am explicitly stating is that Zenimax Online Crippled its own Core Player Base when they decided to alienate the Mature community that concurrently buys Elder Scrolls games along with alienating the "Skyrim-Only" crowd, or people who know Elder Scrolls simply from the "Skyrim" Brand. The game represents nothing appetizing for either of those two audiences which make up a massive amount of possible future sales for "Elder Scrolls" online.

Do you think that Zenimax Online is honestly doing their best job securing this games future development and release?

I believe your OP hit the nail on the head.

However I wonder what you would say to their incredible backtracking during E3 when the message of "MMO fans will feel at home" changed drastically to "TES fans will feel at home?" 

Then, after E3, they all but vanished into nothing.  Excuses were made, like Dishonored being Bethesda's focus marketing wise, and the incoming GW2 clouding the hype-space, but now that both of those excuses are moot, we still haven't heard anything aside from the odd twitter clue.

Developers might not often listen to their fanbases, but publishers certainly do, especially when the outcry is so vocal.  I can imagine that there was a shitstorm in Bethesda Softworks when the reaction came down the pipe, and that shitstorm landed heavily on ZOS' head.

There are several possibilites for this of course.

Perhaps they have heard the outcry, and have gone silent, hard at work to bring TES fans what they want, and what the IP deserves.

The only other option I can think of is that they've buried their heads in the sand completely until beta, and we won't hear anything else until they're ready to start showing their gameplay, hoping everyone's forgotten their first impression.

It would be more interesting if they pulled an XCOM and the game got delayed by 10 years to "fix" it.... and then fail anyways.

  Entinerint

Advanced Member

Joined: 5/06/12
Posts: 716

10/13/12 7:10:27 PM#14
Originally posted by AdamTM
 

It would be more interesting if they pulled an XCOM and the game got delayed by 10 years to "fix" it.... and then fail anyways.

Hahaha, that would be pretty hilarious, except XCOM is doing exceedingly well for a turn-based strategy game.

  PyrateLV

Tipster

Joined: 11/07/08
Posts: 1118

10/13/12 7:13:15 PM#15

The one thing that keeps nagging at me about TESO, other than the fact that its nothing more than DAoC2 + Standard Themepark stuff in an Elder Scrolls skin, is the whole "Hero Engine..oh wait...Not Hero Engine" issue.

 

When Zenimax first announced the game, they made a point of mentioning the Hero Engine. Then, only after they got lambasted by the community about it, did they retract/ammend that statement to say that they were ONLY using the HE as a "Whiteboard" and they were creating their own "In-House" engine for the actual game.

Ok...so why even mention the HE in the first place? Why not just state from the beginning that are you creating your own engine for the game?

Something about that still just doesnt sit right

Tried: EQ2 - AC - EU - HZ - TR - MxO - TTO - WURM - SL - VG:SoH - PotBS - PS - AoC - WAR - DDO - SWTOR
Played: UO - EQ1 - AO - DAoC - NC - CoH/CoV - SWG - WoW - EVE - AA - LotRO - DFO - STO - FE - MO - RIFT
Playing: Skyrim
Following: The Repopulation
I want a Virtual World, not just a Game.
ITS TOO HARD! - Matt Firor (ZeniMax)

  spikers14

Novice Member

Joined: 5/01/08
Posts: 350

10/13/12 7:21:14 PM#16

I feel ya OP. I really do. Your post is eloquent and case well stated. Most MMO'rs already know the watering down that happens when any popular IP turns massive. It's really not surprising, even though ES is possibly the last sacred home for what remains of the SRPG'rs out there. Yes, it's about to be desecrated. Your house. My house.

So what? Just pass on it. Skyrim would only be better with co-op or LAN modes, not as an MMO. There is nothing Zenimax can do to please SRPG fans...no dividing line that will maintain your immersion, belief, or perspective of the Elder Scrolls world. You cannot drop 5,000 people into a (previously) built Elder Scrolls world and preserve everything you hold dear about the series...unless of course you want a SWTOR-esque experience: a massively single player game. That MIGHT come close. 

Its not gonna be what you want? Just let it go...or if you're that hyped about it, work your way into beta and suggest away.

  AdamTM

Novice Member

Joined: 5/05/05
Posts: 1395

I'M PUNCHING YOUR SALAD!!!!

10/13/12 7:27:32 PM#17
Originally posted by Entinerint
Originally posted by AdamTM
 

It would be more interesting if they pulled an XCOM and the game got delayed by 10 years to "fix" it.... and then fail anyways.

Hahaha, that would be pretty hilarious, except XCOM is doing exceedingly well for a turn-based strategy game.

I meant the betreyal XCOM

The FPS/TPS

 

  Entinerint

Advanced Member

Joined: 5/06/12
Posts: 716

10/13/12 7:32:07 PM#18
Originally posted by AdamTM
Originally posted by Entinerint
Originally posted by AdamTM
 

It would be more interesting if they pulled an XCOM and the game got delayed by 10 years to "fix" it.... and then fail anyways.

Hahaha, that would be pretty hilarious, except XCOM is doing exceedingly well for a turn-based strategy game.

I meant the betreyal XCOM

The FPS/TPS

 

Oh right, almost totally forgot about that one, I thought it was cancelled, much like I hope TESO ends up being (although with 300 mil in investment and 5 years of dev time, that is unlikely).

  OG_Zorvan

Apprentice Member

Joined: 8/31/12
Posts: 646

10/13/12 10:11:56 PM#19
Originally posted by PyrateLV

The one thing that keeps nagging at me about TESO, other than the fact that its nothing more than DAoC2 + Standard Themepark stuff in an Elder Scrolls skin, is the whole "Hero Engine..oh wait...Not Hero Engine" issue.

 

When Zenimax first announced the game, they made a point of mentioning the Hero Engine. Then, only after they got lambasted by the community about it, did they retract/ammend that statement to say that they were ONLY using the HE as a "Whiteboard" and they were creating their own "In-House" engine for the actual game.

Ok...so why even mention the HE in the first place? Why not just state from the beginning that are you creating your own engine for the game?

Something about that still just doesnt sit right

It really is a shame EAware tarnished the HeroEngine brand so badly. Especially since SWToR's version of HEroEngine is mostly cobbled together scraps of code and only HeroEngine in name.

HeroEngine itself is a damn fine game engine.

In fact, if Zenimax had instead thrown EAware under the bus and pointed out for those who still don't know that the HeroEngine SWToR uses wasn't even a finished alpha when they licensed it ( and the HeroEngine creator even warned them the engine was nowhere ready but EAware said "It's okay, we'll fix it our way anyway." ), it would have looked a lot better for Zenimax than trying to dodge the HE issue.

Of course, that still wouldn't change the fact Zenimax is trying their hardest to make TES look like SWToR art-wise.

EA CEO John Riccitiello's on future microtransactions: "When you are six hours into playing Battlefield and you run out of ammo in your clip, and we ask you for a dollar to reload, you're really not very price sensitive at that point in time...We're not gouging, but we're charging."

  User Deleted
10/13/12 10:17:12 PM#20
Originally posted by jiveturkey12

Elder Scrolls Online's core player base has been crippled from day one of the games annoucement. Here are my reasonings,

1. Hero Engine Debacle

When the game was first announced, one of the key features toted was the use of the same engine as Star Wars: The Old Republic, the very controversial "Hero Engine". As soon as the Game-Informer Article hit the internet forum posts blasting the use of the engine shot up right here on MMORPG.com; along with articles confirming this fan outry on Massivly and other major MMO publications. 

Here is where I give the ESO Devs some credit, as they quickly dispelled the previously announced feature as nothing more than a simple "Whiteboard" which they used to make the "Real Engine". But suspicions had already begun in the community since the original announcement, even diehard Elder Scrolls fans reamined wary, with features like "Voice-Overs" and All-Age Appropriate Graphics still confirmed, things started to seem too similar to other projects from the Hero Engine.

2. Game-Informer speaks Candidly about lack of Core Elder Scrolls Series Features

Along with the Game-Informer article also came a further hit to not only Hardcore Elder Scrolls fans, but also to the general fans of megahit "Skyrim"; the ES series most accesible link to the gaming community. Features like Player-Housing, Were-wolves, First-Person combat, wernt making the transition to the Elder Scrolls MMO "Because of the constraints inherent to an online game" according to the games developers, but Zenimax Online assued the fans they would be "including everything that makes sense."

3. Three-Factions, Race-Locked, No Imperials

So it wasnt long after Zenimax Promised to "Include Everything that makes sense", that they gave us information on the games core mechanics, which included Three Factions at war against each other. DAOC fans quickly flocked to the games forums and other sites giving the game its most solid boost of concurrent fans since the previous announcments. 

But even with the small impact the DAOC community gave to ESO, it was completely overshadowed by the complete abandonment of many Core Elder Scrolls fans, who saw the three race locked factions as a complete deviation from the games well standing lore, as well as a limit on player interaction between all races which had never been seen in a full fledged ES game before. 

The lack of a core ES Race (Imperials) from the mix, placing them instead as a more antagonistic NPC roll, also came across as a strange decision as they had always been a default choice for many first time players of the game not familiar with the ES lore. (This is because of the overtly "European-American" look Imperials have)

In Conclusion - A Mature Audience detracted by an Adolescent game

So now what we are left with is a completely divided community, ESO's target audience has been consistently shown to be All-Age Appropriate, even though the core features of the Elder Scrolls Franchise have always been more adult-themed/ oriented. The advent of DAOC fans to the game is a fair audience but incomparable numbers wise to the outflux of core Elder Scrolls fans, and Adult Gamers who made up the games Core Audience.

Does anyone feel that ESO can recover from such poor early development/PR choices?

Considering hte core Audience for TES games are console gamers and not MMO players is this such a bad thing?  The vast majority of TES games sales is, and always will be from consoles and the modding community.  TESO attempts to give MMO gamers a game remeniscent of older style MMO's within a framework of lore and game design elements of TES.  Along the way there will alot of players from both the console and the MMO.  I can definitly state that if TESO was a port of Skyrim into a MMO, aint no way in hell would I play it.  Mainly because I hate the combat in TES but primarily a true port to MMO would HAVE to include open conflict, FFA style ganking style PvP.  Aint no way will I ever play any style of non consentual PvP.

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