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Elder Scrolls Online Previews: First-Person, Exploring, and the Nightblade

By Garrett Fuller on March 19, 2013

This past week down at the ZeniMax Online Studios we got to play a lot of Elder Scrolls Online, the entire opening zone of the Daggerfall Covenant to be exact. The game played great but there are some new features and a definite mindset that the team was very happy to talk about. This is all previously undisclosed information, so no delays: let’s talk about the new features first.

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First-Person View

Yes, it is in. To stop all the rumors and silly press assumptions: it is in. We were shown a great video of how it looks. It looks like Elder Scrolls, and the skills and weapons came across the screen really clear. I will say this about first person: I don’t know how it will translate into PvP. In the open world AvA system, you are constantly going to want to look over your shoulder. You need that third person view to see what is coming in behind you and on the sides. It may just be a risk to go first-person, when you could miss out in this tactical advantage.

First-person view has always been a staple of Elder Scrolls and it should be really great to go through all of the PvE content in that format. The team is set on building a great RPG game and this definitely adds to it. Spells worked well and we got to see the dual-wielding maces beat down some skeletons in a graveyard. Also, we saw how skills work like the Dragon Knight’s chain throw (Get Over Here!) attack. It ran smoothly and Matt said that they are still polishing the graphics and making sure it runs well for launch. So rest your fears, you will be able to run around in Elder Scrolls Online with a first-person view.


Exploring the Whole Wide World

Another new announcement came from the team about exploring the whole world of the game. For a while, it sounded like you could only explore the faction that you had joined at the beginning of the game. So the Ebonhearts would only explore Skyrim and so on. This has now been changed. Players who complete all of the PvE in their zone will now get the chance to unlock another zone at Level 50. Therefore, Ebonheart players can explore the content of the Daggerfall Covenant or the Aldmeri Dominion at Level 50. Once you make the choice the entire zone opens up to your character to explore. Matt did say that the loot you will get in the other zones will be really good, and after finishing the 2nd, you unlock the third. When you unlock the third zone that will give some of the best loot in the game.

The new zones are set up to play with level 50+ content. So it does present some great challenges to a player. Matt also explained that you can go back to zones very easily with the Wayshrines on the map. They definitely made travel quick and easy in the game. So once you have explored an area, being able to return and move around will go much quicker.

As a player I am happy to hear that these zones will be open to everyone. In the interview Matt said that we did not want players to miss out on 2/3’s of out game. So we wanted to open it to everyone. As a Daggerfall Orc I cannot wait to adventure through Ebonheart and Aldmeri. This really does open the whole world of PvE to players and gives them chances for some great loot in the game without having to focus on raids or AvA if they just want to explore.

The Fourth Class

Along the lines of the Dark Brotherhood, the fourth class was mentioned in the presentation as the Nightblade. We cannot wait to play it. With the open progression system there is so much to look forward to with that class. Especially knowing it will have magic skills as well.  But precious little other info was given other than its name, so we’ll have to wait and see what it holds in the months ahead.

Overall Philosophy

The presentation by the development team was much shorter this time. The reason is that they really want people playing the game and spending less time talking about the game. This kicked off a great day of game play. We also noticed the huge push on the PvE side to make a really great RPG: it didn’t feel as much like a “same old  MMO” (with grinding, leveling, etc as the only focus) and I found myself more into the RPG part of the game. Also, the open character progression really is a breath of fresh air. It does not destroy the trinity, it does not force you into a certain build, it just simply allows for a lot of options when building a character. Paul Sage said, “The Goal is not to eliminate the trinity, the goal is to be flexible.”

Some simple points that people may not know were mentioned and I will go through the list. There will be sixteen group dungeons at launch. These are instanced and can be entered by your four-player groups. There is also a level 50 version of each dungeon for when you reach max level. Not all of them will have the 50 version at launch, but Matt explained that the team has an aggressive post launch strategy. The post launch support will bring in things like the Dark Brotherhood and Thieves Guild into the game as well (everyone was asking about this).

What do you think of the fourth class, the 1st person view, and other new things announced in ESO? Let us know!


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