Yesterday the Elder Scrolls Online community was provided two useful sources of information to quell their burgeoning questions and to whet their appetite for things to come. The first was Game Director Matt Firor’s the Road Ahead and the second was an Ask us Anything (AuA) hosted on Reddit by the Zenimax Online Studios team.
One of the things Matt talked about, and I have personally seen them do in game, is have GM lead efforts to kick bots out of the solo and public dungeons. While this has to be one of the actions of last recourse because it is so labor intensive (and therefore expensive) it is nice to see ZOS put their money where their mouth is and go the extra mile to combat bots and gold sellers. This is an on going and annoying war for the players and something we see in any new MMO launch. I’ll give the gold sellers credit for one thing. They are ingenious. Creating guilds to spam invite players with their web address is not something you see everyday.
The bulk of the information we received was not anything new but was a confirmation of what we already suspected or had been teased in previous updates: Craglorn is for vets - check, Trials are 12 player “raid” encounters - check, Death Recap - check, Content Fixes - check, update 1 is on the PTS - check.
Matt did expand a little upon their idea for the underdog bonus in Cyrodiil. When first mentioned I was unsure how exactly this would work. I was concerned that it would actually be a buff in power of some sorts. Instead it will be a bonus to alliance points (AP) and experience earned by the short handed team. I’m ok with this. Hopefully it will get more people into Cyrodiil. Currently some of the campaigns are pretty one side on the North American Megaserver. ZOS also talked about tweaking the amount of experience that is awarded from PvP. For this first adjustment they plan on doubling the amount of experience earned from killing players. Again this is a welcome addition. While you can spend all your time in game in Cyrodiil from level 10 onwards I have shied away from it since I’m not a veteran rank and being underpowered and not really progressing through the normal levels does not make for a good experience.
Matt also laid out ZOS long term plans for the rest of the year. If three quarters of these features make it into game I’ll be satisfied. I’m sure the majority of them are already in development or they would not have even bothered to mention them:
- Grouping allows players to see each other in different phases
- Justice System
- Field of View adjustments
- Armor Dyeing and tinting
- Two new Vet Dungeons: Crypt of Hearts and City of Ash
- New region in Craglorn (and a new trial)
- Increased ability to pick up items in the world (because my bags aren’t full enough)
- Thieves Guild and Dark Brotherhood (storyline and quests)
- Horse Racing
- Dragonster Arena
- Improvements to fishing
- Crafting system improvements
- Better NPC facial animations
- Guild functionality updates
- Auto leveling dungeons
- Awards when you repeat dungeons
- Imperial City PvP dungeon (aka Darkness Falls 2.0)
Some of the items listed above in the Road Ahead were expanded upon in the Reddit AuA. Armor dyeing and tinting could possibly be unlocked through the achievement system. While this is a welcome addition for most I really hope ZOS exercises restraint here. Let’s keep the colors something that you would expect to see in the game. I really do not want to see a bunch of hot pink armored nightblades running around in Cyrodiil. While armor of all colors might work in Guild Wars 2 I don’t think it will go over so well in ESO.
The Thieves Guild and Dark Brotherhood storylines will not only introduce new quests they will also add new skill lines to the game. I also would not expect to see these added into the game at the same time, but I wouldn’t mind!
When the Veteran Rank cap goes from rank 10 to 12 crafting will also be adjusted to allow players to craft VR 12 items. This will not require additional skill points. We will see additional adjustments to crafting made in the future.