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News & Features Discussion  » [Column] Elder Scrolls Online: All About the Gameplay

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Novice Member

Joined: 4/16/13
Posts: 2

4/16/13 2:59:47 PM#41
Originally posted by lunarspore

As far as the UI is concerned, I believe all TES user interfaces were completely terrible, especially if you play the game on a PC.  That being said, I didn't think the graphics were all that terrible, but they certainly werent at Skyrim level of quality... Maybe Oblivion.  Still, it looks graphically better than GW2 as far as their environments go (GW2's character models are still superior).  Gameplay?  Well honestly the combat looked clunky just like all the other TES titles.  No surprise there really.  

The one thing I hope they get right... and this is going to be their biggest challenge, is the feeling of player choice.  You should be able to start the game, start exploring, and have an epic adventure without following on-rails quests.  That's always been the strength of TES games is the sandbox feel.  The UI and combat have always been sub-par IMO.

And ofc. they will get it right, they have done it for like 20 years...


Hard Core Member

Joined: 7/02/11
Posts: 2141

4/16/13 3:07:34 PM#42
Originally posted by
After the leaked video, is anyone actually still excited about this game considering it's going the subscription model route? Just curious as a game would have to blow me away to justify a subscription anymore. Most MMO's are going the B2P or F2P route, plus there's so many choices now as a result.

Subscription model is yet another check mark on the list of reasons to play this game.  It also helps in overlooking some design decisions that I don't really care for, but can tolerate if the other stuff is really good.  What this tells me is that they are trying to make a great game worthy of a subscription, rather than a mediocre or crappy game made for the cash shop grab with lackluster systems that can barely be called fun and have no lasting appeal.  When a company can make a AAA game that is truly fun and earns its income without nickel and diming you into submission, then I'll embrace that business model, but till then I'll stick with subscription.



Hard Core Member

Joined: 7/02/11
Posts: 2141

4/16/13 3:10:28 PM#43
Originally posted by lunarspore

As far as the UI is concerned, I believe all TES user interfaces were completely terrible, especially if you play the game on a PC.  That being said, I didn't think the graphics were all that terrible, but they certainly werent at Skyrim level of quality... Maybe Oblivion.  Still, it looks graphically better than GW2 as far as their environments go (GW2's character models are still superior).  Gameplay?  Well honestly the combat looked clunky just like all the other TES titles.  No surprise there really.  

The one thing I hope they get right... and this is going to be their biggest challenge, is the feeling of player choice.  You should be able to start the game, start exploring, and have an epic adventure without following on-rails quests.  That's always been the strength of TES games is the sandbox feel.  The UI and combat have always been sub-par IMO.


You are confusing open ended gameplay with sandbox.  There is a distinct difference.


Advanced Member

Joined: 2/06/08
Posts: 1062

4/16/13 3:18:23 PM#44
Originally posted by TsaboHavoc
.........Leaked video................. Operation Damage control Status = on................ 

this, basically


Novice Member

Joined: 4/16/13
Posts: 67

4/16/13 3:21:55 PM#45
if this game is even in the same ball park with skyrim, I will be getting this game.

Novice Member

Joined: 4/17/07
Posts: 29

4/16/13 3:29:04 PM#46
I pray it's sub based. Free games are always filled with spam and scams. Try and shine light on free games all you want they are not the quality of P2P and if you believe they are you are just in denial. P2P fosters a closer community, reliable support, and consistent updates. It's no surprise companies that have failed games switch to F2P before they shut down. It makes it easy to restrict content to some as well as slack on customer service. It's happened to every single MMO, and I've played or tested nearly 40 or so, P2P is the way to go especially for an Elder Scrolls caliber game. If you can't dish out 14$ a month, you can't afford to play top level MMOs it's simple as that.

Novice Member

Joined: 4/16/13
Posts: 67

4/16/13 3:31:37 PM#47
Originally posted by Normandy7
Elder Scrolls games are about immersion and exploration. You can have decent combat and many would still love Elder Scrolls games. These guys at Zenimax have it all backwards.

Elder Scroll games are really about how the player wants to play it.....if that player wants to hack and slash, then thats what that person will do..if the person want the "immersion and exploration", thats what that player will do..thats what makes the elder scrolls really good..its a game that is what the player makes the game to be..not the other way around

Advanced Member

Joined: 1/31/11
Posts: 109

4/16/13 3:41:56 PM#48
Originally posted by
After the leaked video, is anyone actually still excited about this game considering it's going the subscription model route? Just curious as a game would have to blow me away to justify a subscription anymore. Most MMO's are going the B2P or F2P route, plus there's so many choices now as a result.

In fact, I am even MORE excited.  Free-to-Play games are labeled as such for a reason... namely, they suck.  Now, I feel the need to qualify that... Lord of the Rings Online is actually very well-done, and Turbine is seeking to improve the game in ways that haven't been done in an MMO community, before, but the game is still F2P, and it will have a long way to go before it would be subscription viable.


TESO, on the other hand, if the game is anything like Oblivion or Skyrim and, from all indications it will be even better, will be well-worth the monthly subscription.  I don't understand why people are so averse to paying a monthly fee, for all of the hard work and content put into the game, for everything that will be fixed by a professional-grade business rather than a gamer business, and for everything yet to come.


In fact, for those of you who hate subscriptions and are work-aged... how would you feel if I came to your business and told you that all of your services, which were VERY expensive to build into your business, and your business model itself, were not going to be paid for through the standard means of paying for them?  Wouldn't you be absolutely outraged that all of your hard work was going out the window, that you wouldn't have the money, meaning you also wouldn't REALLY have the opportunity, to improve them, and that your pay might take a drastic cut.  Or, worse, how about you look at it this way... all of your hard work doesn't mean squat to anyone who will not be paying for your services, but they still have the right to yell and scream at you like you're some ignorant stupid dweeb who had nothing to do with building their new favorite pastime, and you still have to work as a wage-slave to produce new items that cannot be P2W and have to look and function great in the game, without flaws, or you will lose people, hence losing your job?


You subscription haters disgust me, frankly; if I am capable of paying what I consider to be a tiny monthly fee to have dozens of hours per month of self-directed enjoyment ANY TIME I want it, I will.  I want a game that actually has quality, not just a time-sink that makes me want to bang my head on the desk, and that is precisely what F2P models have become.


Apprentice Member

Joined: 7/17/11
Posts: 976

4/16/13 4:02:53 PM#49
Originally posted by
After the leaked video, is anyone actually still excited about this game considering it's going the subscription model route? Just curious as a game would have to blow me away to justify a subscription anymore. Most MMO's are going the B2P or F2P route, plus there's so many choices now as a result.

Putting it that way Im glad you wont be joining us.  You are free to skip from F2P to F2P.


Elite Member

Joined: 1/06/05
Posts: 18377

4/16/13 4:27:18 PM#50
Originally posted by black_isle

I didn't mind the leaked video actually. The guy playing it is a terrible goofball of a player who destroys any cohesion there is and the way he plays would make anything look bad. I certainly don't understand how people can say the graphics were bad. I actually was very impressed with it, especially with water, but then again it could be because i was very worried it would look plastic and horrible like swtor since it uses hero engine.


But that font and ui... my god that font is the most horrible thing i've seen in any mmo. Maaaaybe it would be good for Fallen Earth but if you think you can use something like that for a TES game, just gtfo this very second. It shouldn't be there even as placeholder. UI sucked too and i'm sure these things will get reworked anyway. Aside from that i don't understand what people are complaining about. Did you think there would be no mob killing? No map markers? No resurrecting at a shrine? What were you thinking? What is it that you saw in that video that made you go batshit really?

And that's pretty much in a nut shell the crux of the whole thing.

The game actually does look better than shown in the video. But it's not skyrim good looking or anything like that and I believe they even said it wasn't going to look like (or play like) skyrim online.

Some of the combat can be evaluated in that you are looking at the animations as well as the characters "speed". So that might change though I would say doubtful. What can't be fully evaluated is the rest of combat. The player only used the left click attack. That was it. So how can someone be angry and "up in arms" when you weren't actually shown anything.

the quests are mmo quests though we don't know the entirety of what they will be about. In truth, in Morrowind through to skyrim a quset was "go get this, go kill this go find this". Since they said this was an "Elder Scrolls MMO" it seems they have gone the standard mmo quest route with some minor changes.

It's an Elder Scrolls "MMO". I would rather have "Morrowind Online" but how can I be besides myself when they have been clear as to what the game was always going to be.

Since they always said this was going to be an "mmo in this style" and since several articles on this site stated that "it was a themepark", nothing shown in any video should be new to people. We had already been forewarned.

They already said the UI was going to change but I suspect the look won't change. I hope they change the fonts over the character's heads. Then again, come to think of it, I usually turn that off. Which we know we can do.

I sometimes think the players are their own worse enemies. They create things in their head, put things so high up on a pedestal, literally develop the entire game in their wishes and hopes,  that nothing that is usually said ever supports what they think these games are going to be.



Elite Member

Joined: 8/27/04
Posts: 8106

Perhaps tomorrow will be better.

4/16/13 4:30:12 PM#51
IDk that was an extremely vague article,nothing there to convince me of anything positive or negative,just not enough content in the article.
Samoan Diamond


Apprentice Member

Joined: 4/15/13
Posts: 175

4/16/13 4:43:49 PM#52
Originally posted by Balkin31

Honestly the leaked video did not change my mind as I will always reserve the right to see it, play it and decide for myself.


Good write up BTW...

Ditto for me.  Although I was dissapointed in the GFX, I am and always will be of the opnion that GX doesn't make a game, however it does help.  I'll remain caustiously optimistic now but I still don't see me staying longer then a few months based on what we know so far.



Advanced Member

Joined: 7/25/09
Posts: 1336

4/16/13 4:55:52 PM#53
Originally posted by Bensor
The leaked version is from an early alpha build. Confirmed by an inner source.

Creation date and time on the video has already been posted from the video files. It was an hour or so before upload. They've removed the vid's from most sites,  so me going to youtube to see when it was uploaded isn't possible, but i promise you the video hadn't been up since 'early alpha'. We know that much. We DONT know what level of PC he was using, or whether or not the textures in game were low res, etc. You should try using that ammo to defend with. Inner sources just make you look rather silly.


The Deep Web is sca-ry.



Joined: 6/15/08
Posts: 2218

Posts deleted: 12589457

4/16/13 5:24:30 PM#54
Originally posted by TsaboHavoc
.........Leaked video................. Operation Damage control Status = on................ 



Advanced Member

Joined: 7/25/09
Posts: 1336

4/16/13 5:32:31 PM#55
Originally posted by Volgore
Originally posted by TsaboHavoc
.........Leaked video................. Operation Damage control Status = on................ 


Love the last sentence in italics:

Garrett Fuller is the Industry Relations Manager at

The Deep Web is sca-ry.


Novice Member

Joined: 4/05/12
Posts: 25

4/16/13 6:32:40 PM#56

I'll take a great game with a niche market & subscription vs mind numbing experience F2P/B2P  with 5 million people any day.





Apprentice Member

Joined: 4/16/13
Posts: 1

4/16/13 6:36:43 PM#57

I'd like to say that from the conent I have seen at PAX and from the leaked video (Which was pretty much what we did at PAX), I am far from impressed. However, it is WAY too little info and gameplay to judge the entire game on. The "soft locking" annoys me the most, as it takes a huge chunk out of gameplay in not really having to aim....but still KINDA having to aim.


That being said, there is a lot of repetive crap in this article such as "herp derp most mmos have da grind!" Uh yea. An MMO is made to play for years and years, if anyone has some grandiose idea where an MMO releases and has some magical self creating content where after you hit max level in a week, you still have years of gameplay ahead of you, they're out of their minds.

And that is EXACTLY what is happening with all these newer MMOs who try to "eliminate the grind!" Stop. The grind is part of the MMO. Lets take The Secret World for example. I waited sooo long for that game, it had SUCH potential, and I "beat" it in a week. I did all the story content, all the missions, I beat the gatekeeper, I did all the hard modes, I got all my gear. Then I look back at it going huh....what happened, im bored already. This is the same for pretty much every newer MMO.

So I look back, wondering what kept me playing the MMOs I played for such a long time. Everquest. Dark Age of Camelot. FFXI. WoW (vanilla). Hm why did I play these for YEARS? Heck, I put 8 1/2 into EQ, and 3 into WoW before it went LOLEASYMODE. Oh, right. I had a reason to log in. It took a long.....long time to level in those games. You didnt just run from ! to ! to ! grabbing xp for killing 5 rats. You killed a billion rats.

Now why did such games with long long level grinds do so well? Surely they should have bombed with such grindy play! No, they made the grinding FUN and CHALLENGING. In a modern MMO I can, on an extremely low level player, fight ridiculous amounts of monsters on my own, and this continues for the entirety of the game. Gather up tons of monsters, smash them down, have almost no downtime, repeat. Then game companies wonder Y OUR GAME LOSING PEOPLE!? Because they beat it, game companies. You gave them the means to do so in days. Old school MMOs kicked your butt, no question about it. I remember dying to the KICK of a deadly ....moss snake in EQ. Or the drudges in Asherons Call, oh noes! And when I was done barely fighting that skeleton and living with 10% hp....I didnt magically pop to full hp and mana by stuffing bread in my face. I had to bandage my wounds and meditate to restore my mana. TIME. Time is the currency that keeps an MMO alive.  MMOs today just do not challenge you, and while they do initially SELL to a broader population, they do not STAY which is what keeps it running. Time.

That being said, ESO is looking to fall into the same boat. They tried to get rid of the grind, and essential part ot keep your players there, and peopel are going to get bored fast. People whine. People cry. People complain. Just remember, people have a very firm idea of what they WANT but usually no idea what they NEED. The "i want it now, gimmie gimmie gimmie" attitude of all the instant gratification seeking plebs does not signify what the players need. Yes they will play your game if you give them what they want. Guess what? THey'be most likely play it if you didnt, and they'd play it a lot longer with a bit of a grind in it.

Basically, I am skeptical at what I've seen, and I feel this game is just going to be "over" too quickly. I can only read "the game only begins at (level cap)! The adventure starts there!" so many times, and see it fail so many times before I look at it and make the face closest resembling -_- as I possibly can. So while I very seriously doubt anyone of import will look over this from ZOS, and it will mostly be the aforementioned I WANT IT I WANT IT crowd, I will still say PLEASE......think about what you're doing, lengthen the time to takes to do....well....anything. Dont let people hit max level cap off quests alone, make them have to go kill a few cave bears or bandits just because they need to get stronger. Dont fall into TSW mode and have huge, elaborate zones, with AWESOME stuff, that no one is in for longer than a few hours.


Novice Member

Joined: 11/19/03
Posts: 7445

The enemy is so dumb! They believe that WE are the enemy! - A famous orc commander.

4/16/13 8:50:31 PM#58



I don't mind the subscribtion model myself, there is room for 1 such game...not 2.  However, I will be expecting more, and investing myself more in the game...if I choose to leave because I am bored or get to the point I switch to something else, I will praise the game...if I felt cheated of my ending, I hope I would just move on and not post thousands of posts about it...maturity is hopefully kicking in.  But to say the least, I would definitedly do everything I can to avoid playing a game which try to put my end in some weird gameplay, no matter what it is...if I play to solo, group or even tradeskills, I expect to be geared thoses ways...and none other.

- "If I understand you well, you are telling me until next time. " - René Levesque about the denial NO on the poll to his dream, project and goal. (Free translation)


Novice Member

Joined: 4/14/12
Posts: 28

4/17/13 2:18:49 AM#59

"and they'd play it a lot longer with a bit of a grind in it."


I must respectually disagree with Chilton. I hate grind. I really loathe it. Slow levelling is ok, and we shouldn't finish a game in a week, shouldn't get great gear really quickly.

However, a recent short-lived jaunt into a certain Asian F2P MMO reminded me of how ghastly grind is. Quest 1. Kill 20 of mob A. Quest 2. Kill another 20 of mob A. AARGH!

Fallen Earth had slow advancement but wasn't grindy because the world was huge, exploring took time, and there were plenty of different bad guys and lots and lots of non-grind quests.

Slow doesn't have to be grind. Diversity in gameplay, allowing you to choose what you want, that can be slow. Grind is repetitive horror.


Novice Member

Joined: 2/28/12
Posts: 103

4/17/13 9:04:53 AM#60
Originally posted by SBFord

It seems that players increasingly like to focus on one or two aspects of an MMO and, if expectations are not met, tend to brand the game a failure. But there's more to a game than one or two things, most importantly how "playable" it is. See what we have to say about this issue in our latest Elder Scrolls Online column before heading to the comments.

I define playability as “am I having fun in the moment?” When I log into the game what is there for me to do?  Many MMOs act as grindfests where you are repeating a process to reach a single goal. Is the process that you are repeating fun? Probably for a while, but it will soon become boring. Elder Scrolls has shown its quest system, its open world maps, and its ability to accomplish character goals through different ways. These three systems can take the grind out of leveling in the game. On their own they work well, but it is the balance of the three which allows you to have fun from moment to moment. If I log in any random night, I should be able to pick any one of these three options and play. If I am in the middle of a quest chain, they I can complete it. Or maybe I just want to explore the world tonight and not follow a quest. That choice for a player is very important and how a game like Elder Scrolls allows for players to make that choice is important to their success and retention.

Maybe it is just me, but I cannot quite agree with that viewpoint. For starters, quests and how you can complete them are still one single system or game mechanic. The different ways to approach a quest are just a feature of that quest mechanic not a different system on its own, at least imo. I mean, it's like saying: Well, today I will quest. But tomorrow I will approach the quest differently. It is still questing, and not offering a different option.

Then the open world maps. I suppose you could say that this is the exploration mechanic, and yes, that's something you could consider as a unqiue occupation aside from questing. I have another issue here: where exactly is the open world exploration possible?

Correct me if I am wrong but from what I read in various articles isn't it more like 5 zones each faction that you progress through depending on your character's level? You start in a starter zone, then have to complete certain main quests to be able to go to the next map/zone. Does it open up then? Can you freely explore the available 5 zones or do you get eaten alive if you step into a zone not suited for your level?

Maybe you have more insight about this than me, but I don't really see that open world happening, and that is even ignoring the fact that you can't enter the other 2/3rd of Tamriel until you are max level. What I see is that you can run around on the level appropriate map/zone and then progress to the next map once you reach a certain level. So, exploration is probably only happening within a particular map/zone, pretty much like GW2.

Ok, back to the point you made with "I define playability as “am I having fun in the moment?”". The three systems you mentioned are for me just one system, and that is called questing. When I think of different options that can distract from the grind a bit, I think of PvP, Crafting, RolePlaying. Those are different mechanics/systems and they offer some variety and also allow to have "fun in the moment".

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