I was invited to join an event that is happening this weekend but sadly due to some circumstances I’m unable to attend. That doesn’t mean I can’t do what the gaming community does best, theorize. This weekend Bethesda/Zenimax is hosting BE3, a showcase for all Bethesda and Zenimax games. Basically, a small version of QuakeCon two days prior to the official door openings for the Electronic Entertainment Expo. So, let’s don our tinfoil hats and begin to speculate what is going to be announced for The Elder Scrolls Online at BE3 on June 12th.
One thing I’ve come to realize is Zenimax is really good at throwing out little Easter Eggs that tend to go unnoticed or are quickly forgotten about. A great example of this is at QuakeCon 2014, Matt Firor discussed some of the upcoming features they are working on. Removing Levels, which has been happening since the release of Orsinium. You don’t need to be any specific level to do new content, this feature will be in all future DLCs as well. Plus with the new Dark Brotherhood DLC we no longer have Veteran Ranks to be concerned about (Thank the Eight!)
One of the other areas they mentioned was Clockwork City, a city we’ve heard little to nothing about since these two discussions. The fact that Clockwork City had content that was able to be showed off means this has been in the works for some time.
Murkmire and Mephala’s Realm are also areas that we’ve seen and heard little about, during the same discussion at QuakeCon Matt Firor and Paul Sage made mention of these elusive zones and showed off a few screenshots of the zones.
These zones are ones that have been on the developer’s minds for some time, especially since they’ve actually gone ahead and created some portions of them way back in 2014. Could Clockwork City and Murkmire be the first large DLC to be released for ESO? Dare I say, a possible expansion?
We’ve been given plenty of little hints about these zones, one in the form of a book titled, Rumors of the Spiral Skein. It reads:
Mephala! Webspinner! Teacher of the Secret Arts! Queen of the Eight Shadows of Murder! Though others may reign over us, deep in the night we still hear your whisper!
And we do not forget.
In Oblivion you keep your secrets, and the secrets of all those entangled in your webs of subterfuge and semblance. The Spiral Skein is your realm, and like Nirn, in its center is a Tower: the Pillar Palace of Mephala, whose true name is too awful to be uttered.
Spun 'round this pillar, like spokes, are the Eight Strands of the Skein. To each its own space, and to each space its sin.
First is a cavern of plinths and pedestals. Each is a lie, for they pretend to hold up the sky—and the sky is the greatest lie of all.
Second are the chambers of envy, for compared to the cavern above they are cramped and confined, and therefore they hate the cavern.
Third are grottoes alluring and seductive, for their walls and ceilings glow like a million stars that sing a song of love. But the glowing lights are maggots, and the song they sing is decay.
Fourth are the tunnels of fear, for they are eternally dark, and where there is darkness, there is dread.
Fifth are the halls where fair is foul and foul is fair, and every belief is a betrayal.
Sixth is the arena of murder, for ever shall betrayal be followed by murder.
Seventh are the arcades of avarice and appetite, for contained therein are all things mortals would kill or die for.
Eighth is the flaming skein of fury, for as death comes to all mortals, therefore all treasures are lies.
This is the Spiral Skein. The tower is One. The strands are Eight. The lessons are Forever.
Another hint was dropped at the end of the Orsinium quest line. The Prophet reveals himself to us and tells us “A great war is coming… The war shall begin when the gates of Sotha Sil’s lost city are re-opened.”
The fact that The Prophet came to us to tell us about this, means it’s going to be huge. I’m getting a little excited for a possible “Expansion” size DLC announcement at this BE3 event.
Spellcrafting is another aspect we’ve heard tidbits about but nothing major. This was Paul Sage’s baby but since he is no longer working with Zenimax I have a feeling that this feature was placed on the back burner. That’s not to say that the community as a whole doesn’t want this feature. When Paul Sage announced it is something they are working on, it became a top comment and asked about feature. It would be nice to have some affirmation as to if Spellcrafting is a possibility.
Capturable Cyrodiil cities, in a recent Q&A our own Mr. Murphy got to ask some important questions to Brian Wheeler. In one of the questions Brian Wheeler mentioned “Coming up this year, we’re going to add captureable towns into Cyrodiil, […]”
This is exactly something that I mentioned in an Open Letter about PvP back in April. So, needless to say, I’m pretty excited to hear Brian talk about this stuff.
Player Housing, this is something I’ve been requesting and discussing for a long time, if it’s done right (not like WoW Garrisons) it could become a major aspect of the game. Housing is something that is requested in almost every MMORPG, it’s a way for players to create something of their own in a world they spend so much time in. It’s also a link to the game that brings a bit of realism into it, making the immersion so much deeper.
Horse Racing is also something that Paul Sage would make a comment or two about, but never anything too detailed. If you’ve been following my writing for some time you’ll know I’m a major advocate for content that isn’t strictly killing based. Adding in content that is just for fun, is probably one of the best things a MMORPG developer can do. Games are about entertainment, modern MMORPGs are about giving players a choice in what they want to do, a sense of freedom. What better way to give them choice and freedom than to provide them with content that isn’t strictly about advancing their character or a storyline. Let me race horses, or bet on the frog races that the AD get to watch. So fingers are crossed in hopes that some non-story based content is announced at the BE3 event.
So, what types of things are you hoping they announce at this event? Do you want more main story progression and less side story DLC content? Let’s see how many people can predict what is going to happen on Sunday evening.