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News & Features Discussion  » [Preview] The Elder Scrolls Online: Zenimax' MMO Philosophy

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  BillMurphy

Managing Editor

Joined: 7/28/06
Posts: 1799

 
OP  10/20/12 11:31:12 AM#1

Last week during a special MMO-enthusiast press day at Zenimax Online Studios, we learned a lot about what ZOS hope's Elder Scrolls Online will be to gamers. In this article we recap the team's opening presentation which focuses on their core philosophy and design decisions.

You hear game developers talk about design a lot. You hear them talk about philosophy almost as much. The best part of the Elder Scrolls Online presentation last Wednesday was that we heard about the design and the philosophy behind the game, and then we immediately played it. For anyone who had doubts about Zenimax Online Studios’ monster undertaking, it is time to end those doubts. The game is playable, and it is amazing. So what did the team do to really introduce the hardcore press to the game last week? They gave us their design ideals, and then sat us in front of the game for three straight hours. You know you have a good game, when no one gets up for lunch.  But let’s go over how ZOS introduced their core philosophy behind the game to us all. 

Read the rest of Garrett Fuller's Elder Scrolls Online: Zenimax' MMO Philosophy.

  Kuppa

Novice Member

Joined: 9/24/10
Posts: 3443

The problem with censorship is ********

10/22/12 10:33:01 AM#2
Good write up. From what you guys saw, do you think skills in your hotbar are the main way you do combat in the game or are they more like in the actual SRPG games were they are more for situational use. I just want to get a feeling of wether the combat is more like typical MMOs or like the TESO combat.


  BillMurphy

Managing Editor

Joined: 7/28/06
Posts: 1799

 
OP  10/22/12 10:43:17 AM#3

I'd say it's a mix. We only got to about level 7 or so, and had three or four skills on our bars.  Those were more situational I'd say.  I would pull a target with one Dragonknight skill that sent out a chain and yanked them in.  Then I'd lay into them with my light and strong weapon attacks.

You also only have limited stamina (weapon skills) and magicka (spells) and it recharges based on your stats... so yes, I'd say it feels a lot more like TES in practice.

  Kuppa

Novice Member

Joined: 9/24/10
Posts: 3443

The problem with censorship is ********

10/22/12 10:46:15 AM#4
Originally posted by BillMurphy

I'd say it's a mix. We only got to about level 7 or so, and had three or four skills on our bars.  Those were more situational I'd say.  I would pull a target with one Dragonknight skill that sent out a chain and yanked them in.  Then I'd lay into them with my light and strong weapon attacks.

You also only have limited stamina (weapon skills) and magicka (spells) and it recharges based on your stats... so yes, I'd say it feels a lot more like TES in practice.

Thats pretty cool, Im glad they are changing their ways to be more like the originals. Do you guys think this was because of player feedback or maybe Bethesda influence(Did they mention why their change of tune?)?

Crossing fingers for first person view!! 


  BillMurphy

Managing Editor

Joined: 7/28/06
Posts: 1799

 
OP  10/22/12 11:09:59 AM#5
Originally posted by Kuppa
Originally posted by BillMurphy

I'd say it's a mix. We only got to about level 7 or so, and had three or four skills on our bars.  Those were more situational I'd say.  I would pull a target with one Dragonknight skill that sent out a chain and yanked them in.  Then I'd lay into them with my light and strong weapon attacks.

You also only have limited stamina (weapon skills) and magicka (spells) and it recharges based on your stats... so yes, I'd say it feels a lot more like TES in practice.

Thats pretty cool, Im glad they are changing their ways to be more like the originals. Do you guys think this was because of player feedback or maybe Bethesda influence(Did they mention why their change of tune?)?

Crossing fingers for first person view!! 

I think it was because many, press and players alike, said: "This really better have the TES feel".  So far it does.  But it also really needs great crafting, and hopefully player-created stuff like housing down the road.  It needs to feel like a world you want to live in, beyond the quests and story.  If they get that part right, it'll be great.  The combat, exploration, and questing are spot on TES though.

  karmath

Novice Member

Joined: 8/24/05
Posts: 843

10/22/12 11:18:45 AM#6

Hoping for "miracle" patches on pre alpha games. I'm speechless.

  Xstatic912

Apprentice Member

Joined: 8/20/11
Posts: 367

10/22/12 1:34:20 PM#7
Sorry but if the combat in this is slow, i won't be playing..

And any word on if its sub base or hybrid F2p, because no matter how good they make it, the mmo market is way too picky to stay long term.. And please don't say look a wow, most of wow members are vets and don't want to let go of there character progression..
  Burntvet

Hard Core Member

Joined: 11/16/07
Posts: 2800

10/22/12 2:17:48 PM#8
Originally posted by karmath

Hoping for "miracle" patches on pre alpha games. I'm speechless.

I don't believe in miracle patches. Often promised, never seen.

Zenimax's philosophy is "If we put ES on the box, it will sell."

 

Even if all of what is mentioned in the article is true, there is still far, far too much missing of what most fans consider "ES gameplay".

 

  Dreamo84

Defender of Worlds

Joined: 5/20/04
Posts: 3174

I actually still like MMORPGs

10/22/12 2:30:36 PM#9
Only thing I don't like so far is the personal phasing. I don't wanna Be in a world where one thing happened to you and not me

  DeniZg

Hard Core Member

Joined: 1/29/12
Posts: 586

10/22/12 4:44:38 PM#10
Originally posted by Fendel84M
Only thing I don't like so far is the personal phasing. I don't wanna Be in a world where one thing happened to you and not me

Personal phasing seemed akward in WoW and with GW2 on the horizon, dynamic events of GW2 seemed much more interesting.

Today, I would chose personal phasing, because it provides better feeling of permanent change to the environment. GW2 system of defending the same outpost every half an hour gives me the "Groundhog day" feeling and gets old very fast.

 
  aphydork

Apprentice Member

Joined: 10/19/12
Posts: 133

10/22/12 4:52:22 PM#11

Personal phasing is far from ideal, but it's necessary if you want to see the world change. It allows you to do things like burn down villages and protect towns and, then, have them stay that way unless you do something otherwise. Nothing ruins immersion like completing an event that has major consequences, only to find the changes are undone as soon as you zone out, relog, or wait 5-10 minutes.

The Groundhog Day feeling of Guild Wars 2 is definitely there for some people. You can actually make rounds. Kill a major boss that prevents the summoning of their deity, protect the townsfolk here, take back a village there, kill a giant, rescue puppies, and, by the time you rescue the puppies, you can go full circle back to the major boss that has respawned! Protect the townsfolk again, take back the village again, kill the giant, rescue puppies... And people actually did this for hours to get ahead.

The ability to enter someone else's phase is nice addition, though.

 

  Dreamo84

Defender of Worlds

Joined: 5/20/04
Posts: 3174

I actually still like MMORPGs

10/22/12 6:04:52 PM#12
Originally posted by aphydork

Personal phasing is far from ideal, but it's necessary if you want to see the world change. It allows you to do things like burn down villages and protect towns and, then, have them stay that way unless you do something otherwise. Nothing ruins immersion like completing an event that has major consequences, only to find the changes are undone as soon as you zone out, relog, or wait 5-10 minutes.

The Groundhog Day feeling of Guild Wars 2 is definitely there for some people. You can actually make rounds. Kill a major boss that prevents the summoning of their deity, protect the townsfolk here, take back a village there, kill a giant, rescue puppies, and, by the time you rescue the puppies, you can go full circle back to the major boss that has respawned! Protect the townsfolk again, take back the village again, kill the giant, rescue puppies... And people actually did this for hours to get ahead.

The ability to enter someone else's phase is nice addition, though.

 

From a roleplayer's point of few though its immersion killer.

Player 1 "Can you believe what happened to that village? We tried to save it, but we failed"

Player 2 "What are you talking about? It's right there! We did save it..."

Player 3 "You're both wrong! It was never attacked!"

Player 4" No no no, theres a castle there"

Player 5 "anyone else see a giant easter bunny?"

   Suddenly we aren't all playing in a world anymore, just our own little personall version of the world.

 

  Burntvet

Hard Core Member

Joined: 11/16/07
Posts: 2800

10/22/12 8:05:35 PM#13
Originally posted by Fendel84M
Originally posted by aphydork

Personal phasing is far from ideal, but it's necessary if you want to see the world change. It allows you to do things like burn down villages and protect towns and, then, have them stay that way unless you do something otherwise. Nothing ruins immersion like completing an event that has major consequences, only to find the changes are undone as soon as you zone out, relog, or wait 5-10 minutes.

The Groundhog Day feeling of Guild Wars 2 is definitely there for some people. You can actually make rounds. Kill a major boss that prevents the summoning of their deity, protect the townsfolk here, take back a village there, kill a giant, rescue puppies, and, by the time you rescue the puppies, you can go full circle back to the major boss that has respawned! Protect the townsfolk again, take back the village again, kill the giant, rescue puppies... And people actually did this for hours to get ahead.

The ability to enter someone else's phase is nice addition, though.

 

From a roleplayer's point of few though its immersion killer.

Player 1 "Can you believe what happened to that village? We tried to save it, but we failed"

Player 2 "What are you talking about? It's right there! We did save it..."

Player 3 "You're both wrong! It was never attacked!"

Player 4" No no no, theres a castle there"

Player 5 "anyone else see a giant easter bunny?"

   Suddenly we aren't all playing in a world anymore, just our own little personall version of the world.

 

Raph Koster of SWG design fame recently hit on this very point.

He said in effect that MMOs as originally conceived, are no longer being made.

What he said was being made are single player games in shared space.

And we have a perfect example of that right here.

 

 

  snapfusion

Apprentice Member

Joined: 7/17/11
Posts: 976

10/22/12 8:14:30 PM#14
Originally posted by Xstatic912
Sorry but if the combat in this is slow, i won't be playing..

And any word on if its sub base or hybrid F2p, because no matter how good they make it, the mmo market is way too picky to stay long term.. And please don't say look a wow, most of wow members are vets and don't want to let go of there character progression..

Let me guess, Arcade style combat with lots of flips and spins, awash an epileptic sized load of spell effects all supported by the F2P cash shop model or else your not gonna play.

  Drakxii

Novice Member

Joined: 10/05/08
Posts: 599

10/22/12 8:19:54 PM#15

"For MMO players there are also a list of important core elements for any game. Meaningful PvP, strong story, exploration-based content, a variety of gameplay elements, strong social aspects, and of course bringing something new to the genre itself are all very important."

 

Strong story...  No we want strong well thought out and consistent LORE.

Strong Social Aspects...  Being able to group with anyone or use facebook while in game is NOT strong social aspects.   The need to work with others in crafting, exploration, and faction pvp is strong social aspects.

Something new...  Uhh... what are you bring?  No elder scrolls IP does not count.

 

I will not play a game with a cash shop ever again. A dev job should be to make the game better not make me pay so it sucks less.

  aphydork

Apprentice Member

Joined: 10/19/12
Posts: 133

10/22/12 8:23:54 PM#16

Wouldn't things not changing be an immersion killer as well?

"Oh, we killed the Super Dragon that was terrorizing the land!"

*Super Dragon flies by*

*NPCs still talk as if Super Dragon is a problem*

...nothing changes.

 

At least with phased areas, you are with people who are seeing the world as you do, and when you choose to join your friend's phase, you can pickup your RP where he is.

I mean... how do you deal with Guild Wars 2's system as a roleplayer? Unless nothing happens ever, roleplayers always have to suspend disbelief anyway.

  jdlamson75

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 12/27/08
Posts: 928

There's some lovely filth down here.

10/22/12 8:27:23 PM#17

I'll have to admit, I'm a bit more interested in ESO now.  If the combat and lore stay true to the IP, then I'll be more than happy to fork over some money to play it.

 

  AdamTM

Novice Member

Joined: 5/05/05
Posts: 1395

I'M PUNCHING YOUR SALAD!!!!

10/22/12 9:10:55 PM#18
Originally posted by aphydork

Wouldn't things not changing be an immersion killer as well?

"Oh, we killed the Super Dragon that was terrorizing the land!"

*Super Dragon flies by*

*NPCs still talk as if Super Dragon is a problem*

...nothing changes.

 

At least with phased areas, you are with people who are seeing the world as you do, and when you choose to join your friend's phase, you can pickup your RP where he is.

I mean... how do you deal with Guild Wars 2's system as a roleplayer? Unless nothing happens ever, roleplayers always have to suspend disbelief anyway.

This is why MMOs in which developers have the control (be it over story, environment or otherwise) will always be the shittiest of both worlds.

How about some permanency? You kill the emperor? The emperor is dead, for everyone.

  Dreamo84

Defender of Worlds

Joined: 5/20/04
Posts: 3174

I actually still like MMORPGs

10/22/12 9:39:21 PM#19
GW2 stuff just keeps happening.

In real life bank got robbed yesterday, if you're there today and its getting robbed again do you say "boo noo that's fake can't happen again"

  muffins89

Apprentice Member

Joined: 10/15/12
Posts: 1255

10/22/12 10:18:10 PM#20
Originally posted by Burntvet
Originally posted by Fendel84M
Originally posted by aphydork

Personal phasing is far from ideal, but it's necessary if you want to see the world change. It allows you to do things like burn down villages and protect towns and, then, have them stay that way unless you do something otherwise. Nothing ruins immersion like completing an event that has major consequences, only to find the changes are undone as soon as you zone out, relog, or wait 5-10 minutes.

The Groundhog Day feeling of Guild Wars 2 is definitely there for some people. You can actually make rounds. Kill a major boss that prevents the summoning of their deity, protect the townsfolk here, take back a village there, kill a giant, rescue puppies, and, by the time you rescue the puppies, you can go full circle back to the major boss that has respawned! Protect the townsfolk again, take back the village again, kill the giant, rescue puppies... And people actually did this for hours to get ahead.

The ability to enter someone else's phase is nice addition, though.

 

From a roleplayer's point of few though its immersion killer.

Player 1 "Can you believe what happened to that village? We tried to save it, but we failed"

Player 2 "What are you talking about? It's right there! We did save it..."

Player 3 "You're both wrong! It was never attacked!"

Player 4" No no no, theres a castle there"

Player 5 "anyone else see a giant easter bunny?"

   Suddenly we aren't all playing in a world anymore, just our own little personall version of the world.

 

Raph Koster of SWG design fame recently hit on this very point.

He said in effect that MMOs as originally conceived, are no longer being made.

What he said was being made are single player games in shared space.

And we have a perfect example of that right here.

 

 

yes and no.  with their "megaserver"  people who make the same choices will be phased together.  so the world will be the same.  that may divide some friends,  but there will be an option to join eachother's phase.  there will be a phase where the village is burned down,  one wehre it's overrun by bandits,  and one where it's full of townsfolk.  there idea for the megaserver is to group like minded people together. 

I think the prostitute mod corrupted your game files man. -elhefen

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