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News & Features Discussion  » [Column] Elder Scrolls Online: Strengths and Weaknesses

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102 posts found
  Phry

Elite Member

Joined: 7/01/04
Posts: 5548

12/30/13 5:10:32 AM#81
Originally posted by killahh
Originally posted by hammarus
Originally posted by Pyuk
There's such an avalanche of bad design decisions with ESO, I fully predict another SWTOR experience with this title. Will sell like gangbusters the first couple of months, then players will leave in droves, massive layoffs at Zenimax, and the inevitable F2P push ~6-8 months post launch. The devs at Zenima had the perfect title to turn into an open ended, sandbox MMO with ESO, but instead made the un-creative decision to make an also-ran experience that lands smack-dab in the middle of MMO mediocrity, using tropes every other fantasy MMO has beaten to death and selling it as new and wondrous.  Sit back and watch the bodies hit the floor.

^ This!!

 

Didn't finish your statement so I will for you : This post, made by yet another bandwagon hater, exemplifies the type of ignorant scavenger of information that has become so prevalent on the boards now days. Not in the beta, eager to prove his or her worth as a forum warrior, professing to know everything about a game even before the NDA is lifted, and offering yet another "expert" opinion.

While i agree that there are no expert opinions here (unless its Quizzical giving advice on PC's etc) everyone is however entitled to their own.

Personally i don't think the game will flop quite so badly as indicated, but i don't see it being all that popular either, there are a lot of issues, which remain unaddressed, particularly if Zenimax is keen to gain favour with the TES crowd, which is far from forgiving when it comes to outright mutilation of their favourite IP, there is a reason after all why the modding scene is so popular in TES, something which the average console player sadly misses out on because most of the mods, afaik, are only available to PC versions of the various TES games. At the moment it seems that Zenimax is overly fixated on the 'centralised' PVP area of Cyrodiil, that might well be a decision that comes back to haunt them come game launch. Because if there is one thing that does stand out, is that the average TES player is generally, not all that interested in PVP except in a very casual way. And with TESO being so PVP intensive, that could turn into a costly mistake.

  aesperus

Elite Member

Joined: 1/04/05
Posts: 4849

12/30/13 5:57:09 AM#82

Again, most of these criticisms baffle me.

Coming from someone who has actually played the game, it plays very much like an elder scrolls games.

"too reliant on quests"; Did you play skyrim AT ALL?

"limited skill choice"; Whie it does force you to pick a selection of skills to start, it is much better than having to cycle through 2 skills at a given time within the middle of combat.

I could go on, but it seems like there are essentially 2 camps of haters on these boards:

1) The people who clearly have no concept that MMOs cannot function 100% the same as a single player game.

For example, the 2nd quote above. The whole reason they can't keep the 'cycle between 2 abilities' system, is because you cannot pause in an MMO. It's persistent. You cannot stop combat to swap to better skills. You would get murderered during that time in a multiplayer setting.

2) The bandwagon haters that are hating just to hate

- This game, while it won't please everyone, is a much better game than i would've thought; having listened to all the negativity prior to playing it.

'Graphics are awful, game looks nothing like elder scrolls'. Nope, unless u play on literally the lowest settings.

'World looks bland, empty, dull'. Again, nope. It's very much elder scrolls.

I've seriously only seen 2 legitimate criticisms about the game thus far. I cannot tell you what they are yet (NDA), but I can say that of those 2, one wouldn't work within the confines of an MMO, and the other could work on paper, but would be a nightmare to balance in practice.

  cura

Hard Core Member

Joined: 7/24/04
Posts: 902

12/30/13 6:19:18 AM#83
Originally posted by superconducting
Originally posted by Pyuk
There's such an avalanche of bad design decisions with ESO, I fully predict another SWTOR experience with this title. Will sell like gangbusters the first couple of months, then players will leave in droves, massive layoffs at Zenimax, and the inevitable F2P push ~6-8 months post launch. The devs at Zenima had the perfect title to turn into an open ended, sandbox MMO with ESO, but instead made the un-creative decision to make an also-ran experience that lands smack-dab in the middle of MMO mediocrity, using tropes every other fantasy MMO has beaten to death and selling it as new and wondrous.  Sit back and watch the bodies hit the floor.

Yep-- this.

The amount of poor design decisions they made is surprising. From the excessive phasing to the lack of focus on RPG feel, and the fact that fans had to tell them it still didn't look enough like an Elder Scrolls game, the absence of player collision, even the class-defined roles- I seriously don't know what these devs were thinking.

Pretty sure if Bethesda were actually making this game they would not have mucked it up like this. This had the potential to be something Great. Something that stood out in the Elder Scrolls universe and was worthy of much praise. Instead, we get a lackluster, mediocre MMO that doesn't do the series any justice. It's ashame really.

Not really surprising. They are just going for easy bucks. Well known brand, high starting sales, several months of decreasing subs income then F2P or B2P with item shop. Their main goal is to make the most money they can, taking the least risk and with the least investement. It wont be a flop, like GW2 is not, but i feel that people who expect more then medicore themepark with three way wrestling sticked in the middle will be very dissappointed. All information they revealed and all that wasnt said is indication of whats to come. I wish i was wrong but its unlikely.

  Carnicide

Apprentice Member

Joined: 4/14/13
Posts: 217

12/30/13 7:41:33 AM#84
Originally posted by flguy147

 

  People complaining about quests, um of course it has quests, its called a MMO, every single MMO has quests.  If you dont like quests then dont play MMOs.

Correction EVERY SINGLE GAME has quest, not just MMO's

  tom_gore

Apprentice Member

Joined: 2/27/09
Posts: 1809

12/30/13 7:46:52 AM#85
Originally posted by Carnicide
Originally posted by flguy147

 

  People complaining about quests, um of course it has quests, its called a MMO, every single MMO has quests.  If you dont like quests then dont play MMOs.

Correction EVERY SINGLE GAME has quest, not just MMO's

What?

I'd say calling hitting the ball in Pong to score a quest is stretching it a bit.

 

  samanthak

Novice Member

Joined: 1/27/13
Posts: 5

12/30/13 8:42:19 AM#86
I personaly dont like the phasing they are doing, this is supposed to be an mmo and with all the phasing that ive been reading about, i will not play ESO as much as i was anticipating it at the begining. i always play with someone there is not a minute in the times i play an mmo that i am alone. i am always playing usually in a duo but with the phasing forcing us apart, soo i will not play ESO because of the forced single player part of it.
  Mardukk

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 2/05/11
Posts: 1462

12/30/13 9:23:10 AM#87
Originally posted by CthulhuPuffs
Originally posted by Distopia
Originally posted by CthulhuPuffs
Originally posted by flguy147    its called a MMO, every single MMO has quests.  If you dont like quests then dont play MMOs.

No they dont.

In fact the Original Themepark MMO EverQuest had hardly any quests at all

Quests are something that WoW brought full force into the MMO genre

ANd why was that so popular at the time?

Why was what so popular at the time? Mob Grinding in EverQuest or Quest Grinding in WoW?

Leveling in EverQuest was like pulling teeth without novacaine. Long, bloody and painful.

WoW was the "pain killer", but now you are leveling in a doped up, hazy, /facroll coma.

Requiring questing through a linear path, sucks.  I don't know why people love being told what to do.  You should have multiple choices for progressing your character (crafting, gathering, killing mobs).  None should be a required linear path.

I really like the non stylized gfx as well as the mouse look action based combat.  I may get this for my character building/theorycrafting itch, when not playing Darkfall.  I just need to find other ways to progress other than linear questing.

  shalissar

Apprentice Member

Joined: 3/04/10
Posts: 191

12/30/13 9:35:50 AM#88
The number one reason why it's not like multiplayer Skyrim and why it will fail: We can't show off our fan modded sexy animu costumes and personal knick knacks.
  Arndush

Novice Member

Joined: 10/27/09
Posts: 309

12/30/13 9:55:36 AM#89

WoW Clone? TOR Clone? Well, since TOR is a WoW clone with a Star Wars skin and story, that's kinda the same thing.

 

This game takes elements from many games including, TOR (story driven), Elements from GW2 like; no real quest hubs, exploring to find new quests, active dodging and blocking in combat, and minimal hotkeys in combat.  From DAoC it takes the 3 faction PvP system and finally, from TES it has the lore plus, the base magicka, health, stamina system combined with the ability to use any armor and weapons you want.

 

WoW clone? No.

 

TOR clone? No.

 

Amalgamation of many aspects of games from the last 8 years? Yes.

 

Will the entire game be greater than the sum of it's parts? Who the hell knows? It may, or it may crash and burn. Time will tell.

 
 
 
  CazNeerg

Novice Member

Joined: 8/06/04
Posts: 2220

"So, Lone Star, now you see that evil will always triumph, because good is dumb." Dark Helmet

12/30/13 1:05:36 PM#90

Originally posted by FinalFikus

Originally posted by CazNeerg
Well, at least ESO is more Elder Scrolls than SWG was Star Wars.

The sims online was more sims than swg was star wars too if you are going to use that logic.

Star wars fans say its the closest game so far. 

Actually, they don't.  Sandbox fans say it's the closest game so far, because for some bizarre reason they have it in their heads that the terms "Star Wars" and "Sandbox" are synonymous.

My point was that the primary things which define a game as Elder Scrolls, or Star Wars, or Fallout, are the setting and narrative, not the mechanics.  

Originally posted by superconducting

 

Pretty sure if Bethesda were actually making this game they would not have mucked it up like this.

Based on their extensive experience with multiplayer?  Their capacity to craft a strong enough narrative to compensate for the inherent, boring grindiness of themepark MMOs? (Because if we are going to insist on using the themepark/sandbox labels, themeparks are all Bethesda makes.)  Bethesda does mechanics very well.  Whether all those mechanics would translate well to an online game is debateable.  But the RPG elements of the games have been getting trimmed down ever since Daggerfall.  They are closer to being a hybrid between adventure games and a medieval FPS at this point than a true RPG.  Hell, the Walking Dead is called an adventure game, and it has more true "RPG" in it than the last several Elder Scrolls games.

I don't know how good ESO will end up being, but let's not pretend Bethesda is perfect, and would have automatically delivered some kind of flawless gem by virtue of their name being attached to the projetct.

Peace is a lie, there is only passion.
Through passion, I gain strength.
Through strength, I gain power.
Through power, I gain victory.
Through victory, my chains are broken.
The Force shall free me.

  superconducting

Hard Core Member

Joined: 4/21/13
Posts: 741

12/30/13 2:35:33 PM#91
Originally posted by CazNeerg

Originally posted by superconducting

 

Pretty sure if Bethesda were actually making this game they would not have mucked it up like this.

Based on their extensive experience with multiplayer?  Their capacity to craft a strong enough narrative to compensate for the inherent, boring grindiness of themepark MMOs? (Because if we are going to insist on using the themepark/sandbox labels, themeparks are all Bethesda makes.)  Bethesda does mechanics very well.  Whether all those mechanics would translate well to an online game is debateable.  But the RPG elements of the games have been getting trimmed down ever since Daggerfall.  They are closer to being a hybrid between adventure games and a medieval FPS at this point than a true RPG.  Hell, the Walking Dead is called an adventure game, and it has more true "RPG" in it than the last several Elder Scrolls games.

I don't know how good ESO will end up being, but let's not pretend Bethesda is perfect, and would have automatically delivered some kind of flawless gem by virtue of their name being attached to the projetct.

Bethesda has years upon years of experience making the Elder Scrolls series. They also have a track record of producing high quality games that live up to their name. Of course, they were not without their fair share of failures; although the last 3 Elder Scrolls games were highly rated and critically acclaimed, earlier games in the series were not large successes. It was Todd Howard who was the creative genius behind the series and turned the company around. If you'd like to know more you can watch an interesting documentary on Bethesda's history (can't find the good one I watched before). Basically, it boils down to the fact that Bethesda, over years of iterating versions of the game and finding out what works and what doesn't, have learned from their mistakes and have gained a vast array of experience. Not only this, they own all their creative assets and are expected to have a certain loyalty to the Elder Scrolls franchise. I have no doubt in my mind Bethesda by far would have been the best choice to make the next installment in the series- they ARE the series! Great games are great because of the people behind them.

So the question becomes, why outsource development of one of the most beloved series to a foreign 'online' company (Zenimax) formed by bunching together a bunch of MMO guys (you know, the same kind of games that have been struggling to gain popularity in the last decade)? Now one may argue that it takes MMO devs to make an MMO, but I say that although ZOS might stand a chance to get the online part right, there's a huge chance the Elder Scrolls part may suffer. And lets just say that no Elder Scrolls fan I've ever seen is raving about ESO in its current state. I even remember reading somewhere that early on Todd Howard (the brainchild behind the series) was not exactly happy with ESO (hence his silence on the game perhaps).

I was willing to give ZOS the benefit of doubt, but they have shown us that they were never really concerned with writing an epic and unforgettable chapter in Elder Scrolls history. Their primary concern, it appears, was to make an MMO that hopes to profit off the popularity of a beloved franchise. If they truly cared about the Elder Scrolls series, it would have shown from day 1. FANS should not have to be the ones to tell them to put in a feature as obvious as first person view. By the way, did you know that Skyrim had no outside beta? That's right, they managed to be a huge success with just closed internal testing. Now think about how many things ESO didn't get right and relied on beta for. So right now, I just don't see this game making any waves with Elder Scrolls fans. I just don't think ZOS has or ever had the right stuff. And if Todd Howard were here, my guess is he'd agree with me.

  CazNeerg

Novice Member

Joined: 8/06/04
Posts: 2220

"So, Lone Star, now you see that evil will always triumph, because good is dumb." Dark Helmet

12/30/13 5:04:25 PM#92
Originally posted by superconducting
Originally posted by CazNeerg

Originally posted by superconducting

 

Bethesda has years upon years of experience making the Elder Scrolls series. They also have a track record of producing high quality games that live up to their name. Of course, they were not without their fair share of failures; although the last 3 Elder Scrolls games were highly rated and critically acclaimed, earlier games in the series were not large successes. It was Todd Howard who was the creative genius behind the series and turned the company around. If you'd like to know more you can watch an interesting documentary on Bethesda's history (can't find the good one I watched before). Basically, it boils down to the fact that Bethesda, over years of iterating versions of the game and finding out what works and what doesn't, have learned from their mistakes and have gained a vast array of experience. Not only this, they own all their creative assets and are expected to have a certain loyalty to the Elder Scrolls franchise. I have no doubt in my mind Bethesda by far would have been the best choice to make the next installment in the series- they ARE the series! Great games are great because of the people behind them.

So the question becomes, why outsource development of one of the most beloved series to a foreign 'online' company (Zenimax) formed by bunching together a bunch of MMO guys (you know, the same kind of games that have been struggling to gain popularity in the last decade)? Now one may argue that it takes MMO devs to make an MMO, but I say that although ZOS might stand a chance to get the online part right, there's a huge chance the Elder Scrolls part may suffer. And lets just say that no Elder Scrolls fan I've ever seen is raving about ESO in its current state. I even remember reading somewhere that early on Todd Howard (the brainchild behind the series) was not exactly happy with ESO (hence his silence on the game perhaps).

I was willing to give ZOS the benefit of doubt, but they have shown us that they were never really concerned with writing an epic and unforgettable chapter in Elder Scrolls history. Their primary concern, it appears, was to make an MMO that hopes to profit off the popularity of a beloved franchise. If they truly cared about the Elder Scrolls series, it would have shown from day 1. FANS should not have to be the ones to tell them to put in a feature as obvious as first person view. By the way, did you know that Skyrim had no outside beta? That's right, they managed to be a huge success with just closed internal testing. Now think about how many things ESO didn't get right and relied on beta for. So right now, I just don't see this game making any waves with Elder Scrolls fans. I just don't think ZOS has or ever had the right stuff. And if Todd Howard were here, my guess is he'd agree with me.

Your argument is akin to saying that because someone is a great basketball player, it logically follows he would be a great soccer player.  They haven't outsourced development of their series.  Their series is fundamentally single player, and they are still handling the next game in it.  This is a totally separate game from their franchise, which happens to take place in the same world.

Peace is a lie, there is only passion.
Through passion, I gain strength.
Through strength, I gain power.
Through power, I gain victory.
Through victory, my chains are broken.
The Force shall free me.

  superconducting

Hard Core Member

Joined: 4/21/13
Posts: 741

12/30/13 5:46:50 PM#93
Originally posted by CazNeerg
Originally posted by superconducting
Originally posted by CazNeerg

Originally posted by superconducting

 

Bethesda has years upon years of experience making the Elder Scrolls series. They also have a track record of producing high quality games that live up to their name. Of course, they were not without their fair share of failures; although the last 3 Elder Scrolls games were highly rated and critically acclaimed, earlier games in the series were not large successes. It was Todd Howard who was the creative genius behind the series and turned the company around. If you'd like to know more you can watch an interesting documentary on Bethesda's history (can't find the good one I watched before). Basically, it boils down to the fact that Bethesda, over years of iterating versions of the game and finding out what works and what doesn't, have learned from their mistakes and have gained a vast array of experience. Not only this, they own all their creative assets and are expected to have a certain loyalty to the Elder Scrolls franchise. I have no doubt in my mind Bethesda by far would have been the best choice to make the next installment in the series- they ARE the series! Great games are great because of the people behind them.

So the question becomes, why outsource development of one of the most beloved series to a foreign 'online' company (Zenimax) formed by bunching together a bunch of MMO guys (you know, the same kind of games that have been struggling to gain popularity in the last decade)? Now one may argue that it takes MMO devs to make an MMO, but I say that although ZOS might stand a chance to get the online part right, there's a huge chance the Elder Scrolls part may suffer. And lets just say that no Elder Scrolls fan I've ever seen is raving about ESO in its current state. I even remember reading somewhere that early on Todd Howard (the brainchild behind the series) was not exactly happy with ESO (hence his silence on the game perhaps).

I was willing to give ZOS the benefit of doubt, but they have shown us that they were never really concerned with writing an epic and unforgettable chapter in Elder Scrolls history. Their primary concern, it appears, was to make an MMO that hopes to profit off the popularity of a beloved franchise. If they truly cared about the Elder Scrolls series, it would have shown from day 1. FANS should not have to be the ones to tell them to put in a feature as obvious as first person view. By the way, did you know that Skyrim had no outside beta? That's right, they managed to be a huge success with just closed internal testing. Now think about how many things ESO didn't get right and relied on beta for. So right now, I just don't see this game making any waves with Elder Scrolls fans. I just don't think ZOS has or ever had the right stuff. And if Todd Howard were here, my guess is he'd agree with me.

Your argument is akin to saying that because someone is a great basketball player, it logically follows he would be a great soccer player.  They haven't outsourced development of their series.  Their series is fundamentally single player, and they are still handling the next game in it.  This is a totally separate game from their franchise, which happens to take place in the same world.

They essentially have outsourced it- an entirely different dev team is responsible for development. ZOS has access to TES materials and may communicate with Bethesda, but that's about as far as it goes.

Bethesda has a history of success with TES and a track record for making great games. So what I'm saying is if I had to entrust anybody with a sequel in the series, it would be Bethesda. The fact that this is an MMO should not take precedence over this. I don't see how your soccer/basketball analogy applies.

  Distopia

Drifter

Joined: 11/22/05
Posts: 15970

"what a boring life, HATING everything" -Gorilla Biscuits

12/30/13 5:52:27 PM#94
Originally posted by superconducting
 

They essentially have outsourced it- an entirely different dev team is responsible for development. ZOS has access to TES materials and may communicate with Bethesda, but that's about as far as it goes.

Bethesda has a history of success with TES and a track record for making great games. So what I'm saying is if I had to entrust anybody with a sequel in the series, it would be Bethesda. The fact that this is an MMO should not take precedence over this. I don't see how your soccer/basketball analogy applies.

It's a spin off, not a sequel. I think that's an important distinction, especially considering the point you're making.

For every minute you are angry , you lose 60 seconds of happiness."-Emerson

It is a sign of a defeated man, to attack at ones character in the face of logic and reason- Me

  CazNeerg

Novice Member

Joined: 8/06/04
Posts: 2220

"So, Lone Star, now you see that evil will always triumph, because good is dumb." Dark Helmet

12/30/13 7:24:00 PM#95

Originally posted by superconducting

 

They essentially have outsourced it- an entirely different dev team is responsible for development. ZOS has access to TES materials and may communicate with Bethesda, but that's about as far as it goes.

Bethesda has a history of success with TES and a track record for making great games. So what I'm saying is if I had to entrust anybody with a sequel in the series, it would be Bethesda. The fact that this is an MMO should not take precedence over this. I don't see how your soccer/basketball analogy applies.

Outsourcing would imply that they had some intention to make the game themselves if someone else didn't.  Bethesda is aware of what they are good at, and that what they are good at is single player games.  The analogy applies because what works well for a purely single player game, and what works well for an inherently multiplayer game, are not the same thing.  Are there similarities?  Sure, just like basketball and soccer are similar in that both have balls, and scoring.

There is no reason to believe that simply taking the mechanics of one of the Elder Scrolls games, and letting a bunch of people play at once, would result in a functional, enjoyable MMO.  Whether someone likes their formula or not, Bethesda has refined their product to offer a very specific kind of experience, and it really wouldn't make sense for them to try to make a different kind of game.

This is not a sequel just because it takes place on Tamriel.  Just like Fallout: New Vegas isn't a sequel to Fallout 3, and Fallout 3 wasn't actually a sequel to 1 or 2.

Originally posted by Distopia

It's a spin off, not a sequel. I think that's an important distinction, especially considering the point you're making.

Exactly.  It makes no more sense to demand that any game on Tamriel be made by Bethesda than it would to demand that any movie in the DC Universe be directed by Chris Nolan.

Peace is a lie, there is only passion.
Through passion, I gain strength.
Through strength, I gain power.
Through power, I gain victory.
Through victory, my chains are broken.
The Force shall free me.

  umcorian

Advanced Member

Joined: 4/06/11
Posts: 376

12/30/13 9:31:20 PM#96
This is one of the first games that every single video I see, it's actually getting worse and worse. 
  severius

Advanced Member

Joined: 8/10/04
Posts: 1529

12/31/13 12:05:19 AM#97
There is no other game coming that I look forward to with less enthusiasm than Elder Scrolls Online.  This write up of supposed pro's and cons does nothing nor offers anything to change that opinion.  What I do find entirely entertaining about the title is how every single article written for the game makes me want to buy it less and less.  Keep it up MMORPG.com you may succeed in driving me from gaming all together at this rate.


  severius

Advanced Member

Joined: 8/10/04
Posts: 1529

12/31/13 12:16:09 AM#98
Originally posted by Distopia
Originally posted by superconducting
 

They essentially have outsourced it- an entirely different dev team is responsible for development. ZOS has access to TES materials and may communicate with Bethesda, but that's about as far as it goes.

Bethesda has a history of success with TES and a track record for making great games. So what I'm saying is if I had to entrust anybody with a sequel in the series, it would be Bethesda. The fact that this is an MMO should not take precedence over this. I don't see how your soccer/basketball analogy applies.

It's a spin off, not a sequel. I think that's an important distinction, especially considering the point you're making.

 

Sure is a spin off.  Just like Redguard.  I wonder how many folks here are actually old enough to remember that one and how it brought the company to the verge of bankruptcy.  If I am not entirely mistaken things got so bad that Weaver, Altmann and others had to form a shell company (ZeniMax) in order to stave off the creditors.


  rogue187

Advanced Member

Joined: 1/25/13
Posts: 152

12/31/13 12:50:30 AM#99
Excellent...they are real people that experience real problems...thanx for moraly unflexible input but thanks to you..i want to play the game more :)
  superconducting

Hard Core Member

Joined: 4/21/13
Posts: 741

12/31/13 4:12:51 AM#100
Originally posted by Distopia
Originally posted by superconducting
 

They essentially have outsourced it- an entirely different dev team is responsible for development. ZOS has access to TES materials and may communicate with Bethesda, but that's about as far as it goes.

Bethesda has a history of success with TES and a track record for making great games. So what I'm saying is if I had to entrust anybody with a sequel in the series, it would be Bethesda. The fact that this is an MMO should not take precedence over this. I don't see how your soccer/basketball analogy applies.

It's a spin off, not a sequel. I think that's an important distinction, especially considering the point you're making.

You're right, it is a spin-off. And guess what, approaching the game with that mentality is exactly why it stands to fail, at least amongst most Elder Scrolls fans. Spinning off should not be an excuse to make something other than an authentic Elder Scrolls game.

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