The latest Elder Scrolls Online Ask Me Anything transcript has been posted to Reddit. Participating in the event were Paul Sage ESO Creative Director, Matt Firor ESO Game Director, Nick Konkle ESO Lead Gameplay Designer, and Brian Wheeler ESO Lead PvP Designer. Questions ranged from Early Access dates to the cash shop to racial skill mechanics.
- The cash shop. I and many other players are very concerned about "premium" content. The game hasn’t even launched and there’s already an entire race and two mounts we’ll have to pay extra to access. Extra, on top of the game’s already-hefty $60 price tag and $15 monthly subscription fee.
How are you planning on dealing with this? The point of a subscription-based game is that they don’t need to rely on things like cosmetic items and other cash shop gimmicks to turn a profit. Personally, I don’t care about vanity pets, but the fact that the ability to play as an Imperial, a race that’s been available in every single main Elder Scrollsgame, is already being sold, is a huge red flag for me and many other potential players.
The starter islands. Why did you decide to make characters start in the first main city with an option to go to the starter islands, rather than starting characters on the starter islands with the option to skip? I’ve met a number of people who hadn’t played before the last beta test who didn’t even know the starter islands existed and were very confused when they were quickly outleveled on the mainland. example
- The "any race, any alliance" preorder thing. This seems like a way to make it so that there are only a limited number of characters playing in factions that don’t fit their race. Will there be some ingame way to change factions for people who didn’t preorder?
"Cash Shop": The next items available for purchase are a name change service, and possibly some vanity pets. We have no timeline for these, so don’t expect them soon, and there aren’t concrete plans for anything else at the moment after that.
Starter Islands: We made this decision to give the players lots more choice in the early moments of the game. Not being able to leave the starter islands was too much on rails. So, we made the starter islands just "islands" and let players explore them when they want, along with other level 3-8 content. But after (much) feedback, we made it too hard to find the quest giver to send you to the island, so we are making one more change before launch: now, you’ll find a questgiver directly outside your front door to direct you to the islands. You don’t have to go there, but you can if you want. Choice.
Explorer Pack Bonus: playing any race in any alliance is a pre-order perk. We have no plans to offer this bonus in any other way.
Read the full AMA on the Elder Scrolls Online Reddit.