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News & Features Discussion  » [Column] Elder Scrolls Online: Asymmetrical Factions

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135 posts found

Managing Editor

Joined: 7/28/06
Posts: 2150

OP  1/15/13 5:29:12 AM#1

We analyze the potential implications of The Elder Scrolls Online's racial arrangement across its three factions in this week's TESO column.

Any fan of Bethesda’s Elder Scrolls games will be familiar with the distinct bonuses that help set each race apart from the next. Will Zenimax Online utilize these same sorts of racial bonuses in The Elder Scrolls Online? We don’t know just yet. But if it does, what sorts of implications could they have for the game’s three factions? The races as they are currently configured under each faction present some interesting possibilities.

Read more of Michael Bitton's The Elder Scrolls Online: Asymmetrical Factions.


Novice Member

Joined: 9/25/12
Posts: 55

1/15/13 8:18:23 AM#2
balance is boring,true MMO player can take any  classe and turn them into beasts:P

Novice Member

Joined: 4/26/05
Posts: 1267

1/15/13 8:25:53 AM#3

I would prefer not having three race locked factions and instead letting the players make their own factions and being able to join whatever faction they wish regardless of race. This would also include being able to pick where you start and able to explore any part of the world without having parts off limits to your hardcoded, pick at charcter creation faction.

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"classification of games into MMOs is not by rational reasoning" - nariusseldon
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Hard Core Member

Joined: 12/02/11
Posts: 1204

1/15/13 8:29:35 AM#4

I always thought The Elder Scrolls would make an amazing MMO because it was basically an MMO already but one that was different and fun to play, it just needed the people.

Sadly they took all that was unique about it and are just turning it into WoW.


Advanced Member

Joined: 12/21/05
Posts: 548

1/15/13 8:29:39 AM#5

I like the idea of "realm pride", but racial bonuses are minor boosts to help with the first few levels.  At level 50, having +20 to Str to your 2,000 Str just is never going to matter.


You are actually eluding to the fact that there may be unique classes or class twists depending on the faction.  Like the Animist or the Skald, ... Heck, in DAOC the 3 "Archer" classes were all completely different in how they played.  Same with the Infiltrator/rogues for all 3 factions.  (LA FTW cause of the imbalance for a while lol)


Back on races... if it is really that much of a concern, work it like Everquest II did when it first came out.  Not what it is now.  If you made a Wood Elven Conjurer, and you wanted to be with Freeport, you had to do an amazingly long and somewhat difficult quest (depending on your level) to change sides.  Eventually you would become a Wood Elf Necromancer... something that is not common. And you experience discrimination not only from the NPCs but players too.  


That would be very acceptable to me.


Novice Member

Joined: 1/09/09
Posts: 493

Yes, this is a personal attack.

1/15/13 8:35:07 AM#6
Originally posted by nilden

I would prefer not having three race locked factions and instead letting the players make their own factions and being able to join whatever faction they wish regardless of race. This would also include being able to pick where you start and able to explore any part of the world without having parts off limits to your hardcoded, pick at charcter creation faction.


i would even be happy with factions based on if you wanted to be good, evil, or follow an alternate agenda, all of course related to the game plot/lore.


Advanced Member

Joined: 8/22/09
Posts: 2256

1/15/13 8:35:09 AM#7

Race-wise, they seem well balanced.

But can't say I'm a fan of this concept at all. Except for the Altmeri Dominion / Stormcloaks, there really didn't seem to be any factions in the series that were overly concerned with races before.

Feel free to use my referral link for SW:TOR if you want to test out the game. You'll get some special unlocks!


Apprentice Member

Joined: 12/26/12
Posts: 126

1/15/13 8:40:05 AM#8
They're gonna need to do better than some petty skill bonuses to make this interesting.  The diversity of classes in DAOC was a major headache for the developers due to all the balance issues, but it really added a lot of flavor to combat.  Not to mention the sheer number.  You really had to know your stuff to identify an enemy combatant's class from afar and strategize accordingly.

Apprentice Member

Joined: 11/21/11
Posts: 7246

1/15/13 8:40:20 AM#9
This is a good thing, different classes on each faction breeds animosity and rivalry.

It's always "they are overpowered because they have paladins" etc.. great news, well done for not giving into to the balanced obsessed wow kiddies.

Novice Member

Joined: 1/06/07
Posts: 920

1/15/13 8:42:47 AM#10
Originally posted by nilden

I would prefer not having three race locked factions and instead letting the players make their own factions and being able to join whatever faction they wish regardless of race. This would also include being able to pick where you start and able to explore any part of the world without having parts off limits to your hardcoded, pick at charcter creation faction.

Agree up to a point.  I don't think races should be able to start out where they want, I think they should start in the area designated.  Then they would have the option to join that army or travel to another region to join another faction.  It is my opinion that it should be easier to join the faction assigned but not impossible to join another.

The war should have never been racial.  It should've been about 3 groups fighting for the throne made mostly of the races in their region - but not limited to.  Similar to Stormcloaks and Imperials but with three divisions - you could be a nord and join with the Imperials or a imperial and join the Stormcloaks.  It's the freedom we've come to expect out of an ES game and the developers was wrong to dismiss this so easily.

There is more than one way to design a game.  They did not have to lock factions like they did, it's lazy and uncreative.

Novice Member

Joined: 1/06/07
Posts: 920

1/15/13 8:44:08 AM#11
Originally posted by ShakyMo
This is a good thing, different classes on each faction breeds animosity and rivalry.

It's always "they are overpowered because they have paladins" etc.. great news, well done for not giving into to the balanced obsessed wow kiddies.

Balance is an illusion.  There will always be OP classes, that is the nature of the MMO - it is constantly changing.  The trick is to make the imbalanced fun and entertaining.


Spotlight Poster

Joined: 2/05/11
Posts: 1576

1/15/13 8:47:51 AM#12
Originally posted by health001
balance is boring,true MMO player can take any  classe and turn them into beasts:P

Amen, balance is boring.  It's one of the worst thing about the latest MMO's.  Non distinctive classes and elimination of racial anything all in the name of boring lame "balance".


Advanced Member

Joined: 7/31/06
Posts: 2115

1/15/13 8:50:45 AM#13
Originally posted by health001
balance is boring,true MMO player can take any  classe and turn them into beasts:P

You just defined balance.


Advanced Member

Joined: 10/05/03
Posts: 6721

Gaming should be about fun, not gender equality.

1/15/13 8:57:59 AM#14
Originally posted by tixylix

I always thought The Elder Scrolls would make an amazing MMO because it was basically an MMO already but one that was different and fun to play, it just needed the people.

Sadly they took all that was unique about it and are just turning it into WoW.

I agree. But unfourtunately the MMORPG genre has cancer and that cancer is turning all IPs, regardless of source, into some kind of WoW/ThemePark model.


Hard Core Member

Joined: 1/18/08
Posts: 1146

1/15/13 8:59:09 AM#15

It's been many years since starting race really mattered in DAOC. With gear and RAs, a kobold warrior is as viable as a troll warrior, a highlander scout works about as well as a saracen, and a Celt mentalist can compete with an Elf. Where the really significant asymmetry is in DAOC is in the classes. I like that in that game each realm, while for the most part having access to all the same abilities, has them in different classes. It adds a distinct flavor to playing a particular realm. You don't have that in games like GW 2 where every server in WvW has exactly the same classes.

There are definitely balance headaches with doing it the DAOC way, but I actually think that was part of the fun with that game: hating a particular powerful enemy class strengthened your identification with your own realm and your resolve to defeat your enemies.

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Apprentice Member

Joined: 3/11/10
Posts: 223

Games are epic.

1/15/13 9:00:34 AM#16
This is pretty epic, it makes you really want to choose who to use and use it properly. But I just wish true scale of power were easier in game, where you could take down players faster and in a more epic scale than ten minutes of taking and dishing out hits while button mashing. -.-

Veteran MMORPG Player -

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Novice Member

Joined: 1/31/04
Posts: 62

1/15/13 9:02:05 AM#17

I hate this current obsession with balance and the many sins against fun committed in its name need to stop.

Taken to the extreme every class could be exactly the same but with different names for their abilities and skins.

Totally diffeerent significant abilties for each class /  race are hard for developers to balance.

 A large spectrum of power levels at the same level depending on progression and equipment are hard to balance.

Giving plays a signifcant boost from a piece or hard fort over loot that has taken many weeks to aquire makes a game hard to balance.

But you know want i dont care do it anyway and do your best as a developer to balance it. I will play the result for much longer.


Advanced Member

Joined: 2/26/09
Posts: 1169

1/15/13 9:02:27 AM#18

As others above, locking races into faction is bad. It takes all the freedom that TES games are about and forces you into something, like it or not. CHOOSING to join the war would have been a better option then being FORCED into it. We have 3 armies of conscripts who fight because they MUST not because they want to. Add on top of that the fact that, should you not be happy that you have been conscripted into the army, you cannot even go AWOL or defect....not just because the game doesn't allow you but also because you cannot even enter their lands to offer yourself up....

Ah this game frustrates me more and more becase I Sooooo want a TESO MMO but I hate, HATE, REALLY HATE, their design choice for their faction/race lock simply so they can get their DAOC 3 faction PvP again.


Make TESO first, then DAOC2 not the other way around!.


Apprentice Member

Joined: 7/28/04
Posts: 671

"How do you prove that you exist..? Maybe we don't exist.." Vivi, Final Fantasy IX

1/15/13 9:05:47 AM#19
Sweet, I am so playing Argonian! they look pretty damn good in the concept, the khajit look a little weird compared to previous games though O_o  Well, weirder than usual look I mean lol.


Hard Core Member

Joined: 10/10/03
Posts: 5698

1/15/13 9:05:56 AM#20

Having racial or faction differences that have real gameplay weight is something MMO designers have learnt to be very careful about.

If you have different bonuses between factions which are not fluff you will get unbalance. If you have meaningful bonuses for races as long as each faction has that race (or an equivalent) there is no problem.

Certain races will dominate certain classes but as long as it is a fair playing field that’s fine.

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