May is always an interesting month for video games. We end March with GDC and PAX East, two extremely heavy shows in terms of announcements and content. Then the industry quietly waits until June when E3 assaults us with and endless blast to our senses. So where does that leave us in May? Well, this week for Elder Scrolls Online I thought it best to go into some of the things we have to look forward to in the coming months. We got a solid preview right before PAX East and then had the chance to cover gameplay at PAX East. So it is time to talk about what we want to see most from Zenimax in June and the rest of the summer.
I don’t want to go into too much detail about the payment model for Elder Scrolls Online because that is an entire article itself, and Mike covered it well enough last week. It has not been announced yet, but hopefully it will get announced at either E3 or PAX Prime. Until then, we’re all just guessing.
Nightblade Skill Tree
During the demo in March we had the opportunity to play three of the classes: the Dragon Knight, the Templar, or the Sorcerer. At the end of the day during the presentation the team mentioned the Nightblade as the fourth class’ name. Remember in ESO that the classes are more like guidelines and the skills you choose and work on are really what set you apart. In the demo I played a Sorcerer with two weapons and was more of a melee fighter. Looking at how important stealth and the Dark Brotherhood are in games like Skyrim should paint a good picture of what we can expect from the Nightblade. Hopefully the stealth skills and attacks will create a solid class for PvP and DPS output. It would be very cool if they had a “thief” style skill tree which made you better at stealing items and sneaking past the many NPCs you have to battle. We will just have to wait and see what is in store for the Nightblade.
Ebonheart and Aldmeri Faction Gameplay
We have seen Daggerfall in the demos, but we have yet to see the other two factions come to life. On a personal level Skyrim is the land I want to see the most, because like many of you I still play Skyrim. I want to see how well the land translates into the MMO space. The Aldmeri remain the third faction and again we want to see more of the landscapes and gameplay you will be seeing and doing in those zones. The announcement that players will be able to adventure in all three factions was a good one, but they need to show us these other areas in full.
We have seen video demos and talked about it to death, but PvP is a major part of this game. When you have Dark Age of Camelot people building the system there is little room for error among the highest of fan expectations. What would be great to see at the upcoming shows is PvP (or AvA as they call it) gameplay. Allow players to fight it out and test their skills. In many ways with the skill trees and character advancement systems, ZeniMax should take advantage of allowing characters to test and experiment in PvP events. Once Open Beta is announced hopefully we will see Cyrodiil opened up quickly.
Back in March we got the first taste of the crafting system. It was fun and different and allowed for players to really experiment to make the best potions and items with a range of possibilities. However, that small taste was not nearly enough. We want more. Blacksmithing and weapon designs are the two I cannot wait to see. Also, Enchanting was one of my favorite parts in Skyrim. As mentioned the team announced it and showed off a little of the creativity, but now it is time to put up or shut up and show the true depth (or lack thereof) in the system.
Find out more about these ESO features: