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Elder Scrolls Online

Elder Scrolls Online 

General Discussion  » Hands on with three ESO dungeons.

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142 posts found
  Iselin

The Listener

Joined: 3/04/08
Posts: 3778

2/13/14 1:59:07 PM#101
Originally posted by udon
Originally posted by Mackaveli44
Originally posted by AndrewGoat

Fun? I heard, according to the know it all media and forum goers, that this game can't be fun. I mean, look at all the unfun in that video. How far they have to run. Man, those horses are so expensive. They clearly also had to have all 4 people be Imperials for those boss fights. Man, what an unfun game. This game will tank being so unfun.

 

:)

The media didnt have enough time with the game.  1-10 is not any sign of how the game starts to become post 15ish.  I cant say much cause of the NDA but I will say this, the media did NOT have sufficient time to make a sound judgment call on the game.  It gets stronger and stronger the more you play it.  On top of that, most media people are paid from sources to be bias in some ways so dont judge a media preview all that much.  Its all BS.  Again, they had inadaquate time with the game. 

I only played to level 14 but it was easy to see how the games mechanics where really starting to ramp up.  ESO is a game that gains steam slowly and combined with a snail pace leveling speed compared to modern MMO's I can see where so many of the negative comments from people who only played the first 10 levels or so come from.  But has any modern TES game been any different?  I mean if you where level 10 in a hour it just wouldn't have the pacing of a Elder Scrolls game.  They are suppose to start slow and build over time rather than just wiz your though the first 20 levels in a couple hours.

I can only imagine that higher levels gain at about the same pace so while early levels come slower than you would expect later levels will be faster evening out the experience much more lineally.  That's not a bad thing in my mind.

Luckily the game is not about leveling-up, it's about skilling-up. And if you got to level 14, you would have had access to ~ 7 skill-ups from shards (~ 21 of them by the time you finish the second zone) if you took the time to find them, and 4 or 5 from quests and dungeons. Not to mention the ones you would have gotten in Cyrodiil as well.

 

I think that's one thing most previewers missed: forget the levels, it's all about the skill points.

  udon

Advanced Member

Joined: 12/23/07
Posts: 1605

2/13/14 2:04:52 PM#102
Originally posted by azzamasin
Originally posted by Arthasm
I'm not impressed. And yeah, 4 man. :/

As someone who plays primarily DPS classes this is another issue that I fear will rear its ugly head.  5 man WoW style dungeons was already hard for most DPS classes to find groups.  Restrict that group comp down to 2 DPS's and I shudder to think the time spent in queue for dungeons as a DPS'er.

There have been a number of more recent games with 4 man groups and they seem to work ok.  They correspond with the raise of the multi role classes and fall of the dedicated utility classes so I think game designers have come to this number with a good deal of forethought about what works and what doesn't.  The problem group sizes like 6 in EQ2 have is that you end up requiring pretty specialized classes for the harder content.  1 tank, 1 healer, 1 utility, 1 power regen/mezzer, and 2 DPS.  If you can't find all those roles you will struggle against the harder encounters.  4 person groups are much more manageable to fill in general.

Of course the real answer to me is dynamic group size.  You should be able to go into a dungeon from 1 person to 100 and have the content scale to provide a appropriate challenge with appropriate rewards.  I know that's a tall order and something that anyone who has tried has struggled doing well but I consider it the holy grail of grouped content and the company that does it right while still being able to create fun engaging encounters will have a winning product on their hands.

  umcorian

Elite Member

Joined: 4/06/11
Posts: 346

2/13/14 2:15:06 PM#103

I turned that video into a drinking game and took a shot every time the following happened:

1. I recognized an ability that's 95% lifted from WoW.

2. A boss mechanic that's 95% lifted from WoW.

Made it 4:30 minutes in and passed out. 

  lathaan

Novice Member

Joined: 8/02/04
Posts: 475

2/13/14 2:19:13 PM#104


Originally posted by umcorian
I turned that video into a drinking game and took a shot every time the following happened:

1. I recognized an ability that's 95% lifted from WoW.

2. A boss mechanic that's 95% lifted from WoW.

Made it 4:30 minutes in and passed out. 


aaaaaw :)
WoW WaS first MmO and invented w0men!!

  gestalt11

Novice Member

Joined: 5/17/06
Posts: 6165

2/13/14 2:21:17 PM#105

Yeah I have been pretty curious how these synergies work.  They sound a lot more available than LOTRO fellowship moves.  They almost sounded to powerful when I was reading through skill description. 

Most sound like they are on demand other than a few that proc a certain % of time (usually off some kind of aura or whatever).

  udon

Advanced Member

Joined: 12/23/07
Posts: 1605

2/13/14 2:22:06 PM#106
Originally posted by umcorian

I turned that video into a drinking game and took a shot every time the following happened:

1. I recognized an ability that's 95% lifted from WoW.

2. A boss mechanic that's 95% lifted from WoW.

Made it 4:30 minutes in and passed out. 

ESO is a lot of things some better than others but a WoW clone is not one of them.  Not even close.  The game doesn't play like WoW, it isn't paced like WoW and it looks nothing like WoW in any way.

And I thought the boss mechanics looked closer to TSW than WoW personally.  Not that that's a bad thing as I think TSW dungeons are excellent examples of encounter scripting done right.

  User Deleted
2/13/14 2:25:52 PM#107

It depends I guess on what you find acceptable in today's times. The dungeons are linear progressions of crushing a series of mobs up until a boss encounter with a couple of tricks and sometimes a series of such chains. They are not long or grueling for a skilled group early on. The interface and fight mechanics make text chat somewhat worthless and voice chat very useful. In my mind that favors guild runs or dedicated groups of pals rather than potentially painful PUGs a little more than most modern game releases. For now (pre mass forum whining) they are of moderate difficulty for an MMORPG player with some experience. You can see players using off gear in one encounter but that was unwise for the average player as it weakens the character's role abilities.  Yes, gear, class role, trinity like play, are still there.

 

I guess that's my problem in a way. They are well done and better offerings than say GW2 or NW if not the best of the modern MMORPG class and you can see that here on video. But we have all been there and done that so many times that it comes across as generic or bland, offering nothing new to the play experience, even with synergies and ultimate powers. If you are happy with well enough done typical you will like it but if you want something different at this point in your player career then you may be underwhelmed.  It is what it is...

  Mackaveli44

Apprentice Member

Joined: 7/26/08
Posts: 122

2/13/14 2:28:21 PM#108
Originally posted by azzamasin
Originally posted by Arataki
Originally posted by Damedius
Originally posted by azzamasin
Glad this was posted.  Hopefully the information about Adventure Zones is forthcoming because I'll be honest as a Dungeon Delver and explorer predominant player this video got me excited.  Unfortunately It means I'll have to slog through so many levels of uninspiring and generic questing and horrible starter zones that last 4-5 hours too long.

I don't think all starter zones are equal.

I think one everyone is complaining about is the Daggerfall Covenant one. I could be wrong though.

Personally I think it must have been the Ebonheart Pact one.

Ebonheart was ok. Aldmeri was atrocious and Daggerfall was passable.

Ebonheart was ok

Aldmeri was probably the best

Daggerfall was ok

Again, these are all opinions but I wouldnt say Aldmeri was "atrocious".  What was atrocious about it?  You were on a decently large size island with great scenary, story and gameplay.  Did you venture out at all and explore?  Many people dont realize that this game is about Adventure.  Go wonder around and youll be amazed at what you find.  I can say that on the Ebonheart side(Side I played the most) when I would go out and just run around, I'd find random mobs praying starting a little event that wasnt anywhere else, or some random NPC hidden in some random area that you wouldnt find unless you ran around exploring who gave you an item, or gave you a quest or spawned a named monster, or wave events.  They arent kidding when they say run around and explore.  

I think most mmo players nowadays are so set in their ways of just "go go go" mentality there everything is rushed and they dont take the time to see what the game offers.

Take them for what they are, starter islands. The starter island is STORY driven to introduce you to the world and to what the hell is going on.  Its not supposed to be insanely good or where a vast majority of their resources have gone into.  Look at Age of Conan. Great starter island, post starter island was atrocious.   I'd rather have ok starter experience and fantastic post starter island experience that builds up the higher you go and that is how ESO is.

  udon

Advanced Member

Joined: 12/23/07
Posts: 1605

2/13/14 2:32:16 PM#109
Originally posted by Iselin
Originally posted by udon
Originally posted by Mackaveli44
Originally posted by AndrewGoat

Fun? I heard, according to the know it all media and forum goers, that this game can't be fun. I mean, look at all the unfun in that video. How far they have to run. Man, those horses are so expensive. They clearly also had to have all 4 people be Imperials for those boss fights. Man, what an unfun game. This game will tank being so unfun.

 

:)

The media didnt have enough time with the game.  1-10 is not any sign of how the game starts to become post 15ish.  I cant say much cause of the NDA but I will say this, the media did NOT have sufficient time to make a sound judgment call on the game.  It gets stronger and stronger the more you play it.  On top of that, most media people are paid from sources to be bias in some ways so dont judge a media preview all that much.  Its all BS.  Again, they had inadaquate time with the game. 

I only played to level 14 but it was easy to see how the games mechanics where really starting to ramp up.  ESO is a game that gains steam slowly and combined with a snail pace leveling speed compared to modern MMO's I can see where so many of the negative comments from people who only played the first 10 levels or so come from.  But has any modern TES game been any different?  I mean if you where level 10 in a hour it just wouldn't have the pacing of a Elder Scrolls game.  They are suppose to start slow and build over time rather than just wiz your though the first 20 levels in a couple hours.

I can only imagine that higher levels gain at about the same pace so while early levels come slower than you would expect later levels will be faster evening out the experience much more lineally.  That's not a bad thing in my mind.

Luckily the game is not about leveling-up, it's about skilling-up. And if you got to level 14, you would have had access to ~ 7 skill-ups from shards (~ 21 of them by the time you finish the second zone) if you took the time to find them, and 4 or 5 from quests and dungeons. Not to mention the ones you would have gotten in Cyrodiil as well.

 

I think that's one thing most previewers missed: forget the levels, it's all about the skill points.

Yea that was probably about right.  I spent more points than I probably should have early on in crafting to get the shiny crafting nodes and hirelings that send me mats in the mail once a day.  

 

  arieste

Hard Core Member

Joined: 10/11/04
Posts: 3308

2/13/14 2:36:32 PM#110
Originally posted by BBPD766

This is a coherent answer. And it was CLEARLY spelled out in the original post. Perhaps you should actually READ before you reply.  By NOT having mobs in the SAME PLACE OVER AND OVER and doing the SAME types of damage to you / fighting you the SAME WAY so that they are predictable OVER AND OVER AND OVER each time you play it. How many times does it need to be said?

I still don't see your reference for which game you saw these dungeons in that you considered "fun".    What specific MMO are you talking about?

 

I've played several games that randomize mobs, mob abilities and layouts in dungeons.  Although i very much like the concept,  I didn't find any of them to be more challenging than well-designed pre-scripted dungeons that don't change.

 

I'm sorry if i keep missing your answer, but maybe instead of being difficult, you can just clearly repeat it for me.  In what MMO do YOU find dungeons that you consider "fun" and "challenging" and that you are able to do more than 200 times without getting bored?   

 

"I’d rather work on something with great potential than on fulfilling a promise of mediocrity."

- Raph Koster

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Favourites: AO,SWG,EVE,TR,LoTRO,TSW,EQ2
Currently Playing: EQ2, Firefall

  DrDwarf

Apprentice Member

Joined: 9/05/08
Posts: 502

2/13/14 2:59:18 PM#111
Originally posted by udon
Originally posted by umcorian

I turned that video into a drinking game and took a shot every time the following happened:

1. I recognized an ability that's 95% lifted from WoW.

2. A boss mechanic that's 95% lifted from WoW.

Made it 4:30 minutes in and passed out. 

ESO is a lot of things some better than others but a WoW clone is not one of them.  Not even close.  The game doesn't play like WoW, it isn't paced like WoW and it looks nothing like WoW in any way.

And I thought the boss mechanics looked closer to TSW than WoW personally.  Not that that's a bad thing as I think TSW dungeons are excellent examples of encounter scripting done right.

One of the first things that struck me about this video was how desperate the developers seem to have been to get a wide variety of boss mechanics in there with a bit of variety between the 3 dungeons.

None of it is original from what I can see but I am not one of these people that cares if something is copied from somewhere else or not.. as long as it is good enough.

I have never played an MMO that people said was a wow clone,  that turned out to be one, to me.  

If there was a wow clone out there they would have to charge a $2 or two less than wow on a monthly sub and they would be laughing all the way to the bank, at least in terms of turnover.

The more interesting question is, is ESO an MMORPG ?

As for people saying innovation si dead, I suppose it depends what timescale you are looking at ?

There have been large changes in what MMORPGs have done.  

The most obvious being a move to satisfy solo players, F2P, PVP, Quest presentation mechanics, graphics and a seemingly endless march to the bottom in terms of requiring players to genuinely work at character development and protecting players from others via tougher rules on anything other than goody two shoes standard play.

 

 

 

  Azzras

Apprentice Member

Joined: 2/10/14
Posts: 422

One Shot, Two Kills.

2/13/14 3:05:23 PM#112
Originally posted by DrDwarf
Originally posted by udon
Originally posted by umcorian

I turned that video into a drinking game and took a shot every time the following happened:

1. I recognized an ability that's 95% lifted from WoW.

2. A boss mechanic that's 95% lifted from WoW.

Made it 4:30 minutes in and passed out. 

ESO is a lot of things some better than others but a WoW clone is not one of them.  Not even close.  The game doesn't play like WoW, it isn't paced like WoW and it looks nothing like WoW in any way.

And I thought the boss mechanics looked closer to TSW than WoW personally.  Not that that's a bad thing as I think TSW dungeons are excellent examples of encounter scripting done right.

One of the first things that struck me about this video was how desperate the developers seem to have been to get a wide variety of boss mechanics in there with a bit of variety between the 3 dungeons.

None of it is original from what I can see but I am not one of these people that cares if something is copied from somewhere else or not.. as long as it is good enough.

I have never played an MMO that people said was a wow clone,  that turned out to be one, to me.  

If there was a wow clone out there they would have to charge a $2 or two less than wow on a monthly sub and they would be laughing all the way to the bank, at least in terms of turnover.

The more interesting question is, is ESO an MMORPG ?

 

 

To your question, I think this will depend on your definition of Massive Multiplayer.

Online it will be.

RPG it will be.

Massive Multiplayer, we shall see.

  azzamasin

Elite Member

Joined: 6/06/12
Posts: 2719

We live in a fantasy world, a world of illusion. The great task in life is to find reality.

2/13/14 3:09:29 PM#113
Originally posted by udon
Originally posted by umcorian

I turned that video into a drinking game and took a shot every time the following happened:

1. I recognized an ability that's 95% lifted from WoW.

2. A boss mechanic that's 95% lifted from WoW.

Made it 4:30 minutes in and passed out. 

ESO is a lot of things some better than others but a WoW clone is not one of them.  Not even close.  The game doesn't play like WoW, it isn't paced like WoW and it looks nothing like WoW in any way.

And I thought the boss mechanics looked closer to TSW than WoW personally.  Not that that's a bad thing as I think TSW dungeons are excellent examples of encounter scripting done right.

Not trying to defend him but those were some pretty WoW'esque style encounters.  I personally would prefer a more Asheron's Call style dungeoneering but alas I'll probably never live to see it come to fruition.

If your idea of a Sandbox is open FFA Full Loot PvP, full crafted world with minimal support for anything combat then your sandbox ideas are bad! Sandbox means open world, non-linear gaming PERIOD!

  umcorian

Elite Member

Joined: 4/06/11
Posts: 346

2/13/14 3:09:42 PM#114
Originally posted by DrDwarf
Originally posted by udon
Originally posted by umcorian

I turned that video into a drinking game and took a shot every time the following happened:

1. I recognized an ability that's 95% lifted from WoW.

2. A boss mechanic that's 95% lifted from WoW.

Made it 4:30 minutes in and passed out. 

ESO is a lot of things some better than others but a WoW clone is not one of them.  Not even close.  The game doesn't play like WoW, it isn't paced like WoW and it looks nothing like WoW in any way.

And I thought the boss mechanics looked closer to TSW than WoW personally.  Not that that's a bad thing as I think TSW dungeons are excellent examples of encounter scripting done right.

One of the first things that struck me about this video was how desperate the developers seem to have been to get a wide variety of boss mechanics in there with a bit of variety between the 3 dungeons.

None of it is original from what I can see but I am not one of these people that cares if something is copied from somewhere else or not.. as long as it is good enough.

I have never played an MMO that people said was a wow clone,  that turned out to be one, to me.  

If there was a wow clone out there they would have to charge a $2 or two less than wow on a monthly sub and they would be laughing all the way to the bank, at least in terms of turnover.

The more interesting question is, is ESO an MMORPG ?

 

 

 

It was kinda hard to reply to the first guy, as he more or less just said: "I think you're completely wrong" and didn't list any specifics (to be fair, NDA nonsense makes it hard to get specific)

But I'll say when AoC, WAR and LOTRO released WoW-Clone style games, I didn't mind as much. They were the first big budget games to come after WoW that tried to capitalize on it. To be fair, LOTRO *was* stellar... and I judged AoC and WAR more for its buggy/unfinished content than WoW-similarities. 

Then came the next-next generation. Aion, Rift... I'm sure you can name a few more. Couldn't even get Max level characters. It was just getting old.

Then came SWTOR, Neverwinter, GW2... all changing a tiny bit, but ultimately not straying far from the WoW-Ideas.  Stayed with each for a couple of weeks, then got bored. It's the same game I've played for 8-9 years with a slight, insubstantial twist. 

Some columnists have mentioned F2P burnout... I honestly think it's Genre Burnout at this point. So many gamers are just tired of the same game that came out 10 years ago and want someone to actually remake the wheel. It may be a harsh, unfair request... but God, after 10 years, hasn't someone come up with an idea for a new wheel yet? 

  udon

Advanced Member

Joined: 12/23/07
Posts: 1605

2/13/14 3:11:35 PM#115
Originally posted by umcorian

My point is it seems innovation is just dead in this genre and it saddens me. 

Innovation didn't end with WoW.  You might not like some of the directions the industry has taken and I know in many cases I don't but we have seen a constant stream of it since  that game came out.  Games like Rift, TSW, AOC, Neverwinter, SWTOR etc. have all tried to do new things.  Even WoW has evolved their original game play mechanics over time.

ESO isn't a revolutionary new concept in MMO's but I think it does qualify as innovative in many ways at least as far as MMO's are concerned.  It tries to marriage what is probably one of the most recognizable RPG franchises in modern times with a MMO.  It's not a marriage made in heaven by any means but that's not to say it's a horrible outcome either.  Honestly we won't truly know how this whole things works out until a few months after release as there are a whole lot of unanswered questions right now that I don't think anyone can answer even those people beta testing high level content.

  Alders

Elite Member

Joined: 1/28/10
Posts: 1686

I cannot fiddle but I can make a great state of a small city.

2/13/14 3:14:23 PM#116
Originally posted by Tamanous
Originally posted by Alders

4-man party size.  Kill it with fire!

When will these companies learn?

Guess I need to ask then:

 

Why will players of mmos learn that all mmos are different?

 

ESO's pve game geared toward solo and small group encounters to closer reflect on their single player games. It isn't a raid game although there will be raid encounters and of course large scale pvp.

 

Not all mmos need to be the same nor automatically be exactly like mmos that came before them. Hopefully when information about raid level encounters come out it will please many who want larger group sizes. Even then it sounds like forming a group is only required when deciding to take on tough encounters as most will be open zone/dungeons where it isn't required to be in a large group to initially enter.

 

There will be other EQ style games to come if that is what some players want. Always good to have variety.

 

That's fine and dandy, but smaller group sizes are almost always going to be bad.  My comment was directed towards smaller sizes creating a need for more groups which in turn require more tanks and more healers.  Those roles are typically in short supply to begin with.

Small group sizes are absolutely fantastic for a set group of 4 friends.  That's not what MMO's are to me though.  You end up excluding players which is not good for a new community.

  Arataki

Novice Member

Joined: 12/19/07
Posts: 243

2/13/14 3:14:50 PM#117
Originally posted by umcorian

For one, you opened with personal attacks by calling me a troll initially. Let's not get stupid here. 

For two: Mine wasn't a personal attack. That was a general "you"... and even if it wasn't, I don't even think you'd tell me WoW was an EQ Clone... would you? If you did take that personally, I apologize. That wasn't the intention. 

My point is it seems innovation is just dead in this genre and it saddens me. 

Innovation isn't dead. 

Players insist on trying to beat the crap out of it though.

There is a difference between innovation and being unique. Going from 20+ abilties on multiple hotbars with rotation based mechanics to active dodging >10 abiltiies reactionary combat is innovation.

Cutscenes for quests instead of text boxes is innovation.

A tank is a tank is a tank...except in games where they don't have to be, by either fluid design, build choice or class swapping is innovation.

And the ever present, don't fix what isn't broken. No need to reinvent the wheel. And only so much one can do with the current game technology. Promising engines in development though.

You have games that put forward an idea. A test run. See if players like it before they dump money on expanding it.

It's gets called a gimmick. Something else is vaguely similar so it's not NEWW!!!! Or, my favorite, "Doesn't have AH/Dungeon Finder/Mini map/Raids/PvP!? It's 2011/12/13/14! It's standard!"

In which players themselves stifle new directions a game could go in. You wouldn't believe the amount of whining about the lack of an Auction House during the beta weekends. A "standard" feature. All MMOs had to have one. Yet ESO doesn't. Guild stores instead. A real economic incentive to hold a keep.

Innovation isn't dead.

Players do insist on beating the crap out of it though.

  umcorian

Elite Member

Joined: 4/06/11
Posts: 346

2/13/14 3:23:27 PM#118
Originally posted by udon
Originally posted by umcorian

My point is it seems innovation is just dead in this genre and it saddens me. 

Innovation didn't end with WoW.  You might not like some of the directions the industry has taken and I know in many cases I don't but we have seen a constant stream of it since  that game came out.  Games like Rift, TSW, AOC, Neverwinter, SWTOR etc. have all tried to do new things.  Even WoW has evolved their original game play mechanics over time.

ESO isn't a revolutionary new concept in MMO's but I think it does qualify as innovative in many ways at least as far as MMO's are concerned.  It tries to marriage what is probably one of the most recognizable RPG franchises in modern times with a MMO.  It's not a marriage made in heaven by any means but that's not to say it's a horrible outcome either.  Honestly we won't truly know how this whole things works out until a few months after release as there are a whole lot of unanswered questions right now that I don't think anyone can answer even those people beta testing high level content.

I would say Rift, AOC, Neverwinter, SWTOR, et al... didn't really try to do new things. They just took the WoW cash cow and tried a difficult color bell around its neck. 

Rift's bell was... Rifts that randomly appear and give you incentives to take a break from WoW style questing.

SWTOR's bell was to replace WoW style quest blocks with voice dialogue, add a few extra options... but still ultimately keep WoW style questing.

GW2 was their much vaunted "make everyone the healer!" concept and, rather than click on NPCs with "!s" over their heads, you go to areas marked with Hearts rather than "!s."

Ultimately, it's the same game... with just a slightly different bell and whistle in its delivery.

What I call innovation is the kind of thinking that made UO/EQ out of games like King's Quest or Castlevania or whatever their inspirations were... for those that don't wanna give WoW/Blizzard any credit. Fine by me - I'm no Blizzard fanboy. But something special happened at the start of this genre, and all that's happened in at least 10 years is a different kind of stagnation with every new MMO that comes out.

  botrytis

Elite Member

Joined: 1/04/05
Posts: 2516

2/13/14 3:25:13 PM#119

LOL - GW1 and GW2 were about skill not gearing up and most people, on this forum, laughed that those games. ESO, the darling that can do no wrong is in BETA, and all these forum members are now fawning after the same thing that they scoffed at in GW1/GW2. It is hysterical and very hypocritical.

 

Nothing in those dungeons is remotely new or exciting - a rehash of the same ol' WoW stuff.

"In 50 years, when I talk to my grandchildren about these days, I'll make sure to mention what an accomplished MMO player I was. They are going to be so proud ..."
by Naqaj - 7/17/2013 MMORPG.com forum

  udon

Advanced Member

Joined: 12/23/07
Posts: 1605

2/13/14 3:33:59 PM#120
Originally posted by umcorian
Originally posted by udon
Originally posted by umcorian

My point is it seems innovation is just dead in this genre and it saddens me. 

Innovation didn't end with WoW.  You might not like some of the directions the industry has taken and I know in many cases I don't but we have seen a constant stream of it since  that game came out.  Games like Rift, TSW, AOC, Neverwinter, SWTOR etc. have all tried to do new things.  Even WoW has evolved their original game play mechanics over time.

ESO isn't a revolutionary new concept in MMO's but I think it does qualify as innovative in many ways at least as far as MMO's are concerned.  It tries to marriage what is probably one of the most recognizable RPG franchises in modern times with a MMO.  It's not a marriage made in heaven by any means but that's not to say it's a horrible outcome either.  Honestly we won't truly know how this whole things works out until a few months after release as there are a whole lot of unanswered questions right now that I don't think anyone can answer even those people beta testing high level content.

I would say Rift, AOC, Neverwinter, SWTOR, et al... didn't really try to do new things. They just took the WoW cash cow and tried a difficult color bell around its neck. 

Rift's bell was... Rifts that randomly appear and give you incentives to take a break from WoW style questing.

SWTOR's bell was to replace WoW style quest blocks with voice dialogue, add a few extra options... but still ultimately keep WoW style question.

GW2 was their much vaunted "make everyone the healer!" concept and, rather than click on NPCs with "!s" over their heads, you go to areas marked with Hearts rather than "!s."

Ultimately, it's the same game... with just a slightly different bell and whistle in its delivery.

What I call innovation is the kind of thinking that made UO/EQ out of games like King's Quest or Castlevania or whatever their inspirations were... for those that don't wanna give WoW/Blizzard any credit. Fine by me - I'm no Blizzard fanboy. But something special happened at the start of this genre, and all that's happened in at least 10 years is a different kind of stagnation with every new MMO that comes out.

As I said it depends how you look at it.

Rift introduced the idea of multiple roles per class or at least mainstreamed it.  We take the idea of being able to do more than one role for granted in todays games but back before Rift it was common that the answer to that request was "roll a alt"  Also they modernized dynamic PVE content on a much larger scale.

TSW really brought the idea of story telling to the forefront of the game pushing a lot of more traditional MMO mechanics to the background.  They also completely removed the concept of class restricting what role you can play.

AOC modernized the idea of action based MMO

Neverwinter tried to take player created content to the next level

SWTOR tried to push story even farther by creating whole quest lines tied to your class and introduced the idea of companions who at least in theory would level along side you.

And the list go on and on.  I do admit in a lot of cases you could probably point to previous projects where these things where done but in my mind at least these are the games that really managed to make a splash on the market with their respective features.  In some cases you might agree these are good features or bad features but innovation doesn't require you to like what happening just recognize that it is.

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