Elder Scrolls Online is one of my personal current favorite MMOs. Zenimax Online may not be perfect, but they sure do deliver great content and seem ready and willing to listen to their players. 2015 had some fantastic updates and DLC, but 2016 could be even greater. In this week’s column, I’m going to list out some hopes and dreams about what to expect from ESO in 2016.
I haven’t reached out to Zenimax in any way yet, because I wanted this to come from a fan perspective. In the coming weeks, we hope to get some nice tidbits from ZOS about what the future holds now that Orsinium is in the bag and at least two big updates are known to be in the works. Thieves Guild and Dark Brotherhood, both coming in the first two quarterly updates, are going to change a lot about the game, but how so?
This one is tricky. With the addition of the Justice System this past year, the groundwork for the Thieves Guild in ESO has been laid. I’m expecting some pretty great quests to lead the major content of Thieves Guild, as Skyrim, Oblivion, and Morrowind all had very memorable questlines. But they also had codes you had to follow to be a member. No killing, no stealing from other members. No stealing from the poor. I think if ZOS is smart, the Thieves Guild in ESO will have not only a great plot, but it’ll cause players to follow a code of honor like Robin Hood to be known as a “good thief”.
Originally, and I hope it’s still part of the plan, the Justice System was going to include a sort of PVP via Tabards, where players could wear an Enforcer tabard that essentially let them kill wanted players, if they wanted players were also wearing their Outlaw tabard. It may not work here completely, but I think, if implemented correctly, it could be a wonderful addition to the second DLC of 2016.
The Dark Brotherhood will no doubt also heavily feature quests, as you’ll be tasked to take down lots of people on your quest to be the best cold-blooded killer imaginable. But what if, as an additional option, you could get some of the meatiest assassination contracts and/or special skills by opening yourself up for PVP from Enforcers? I mean, if you want to be the world’s best assassin, you can’t be afraid of Reprisal, right? Conversely, the Enforcers could get some great items, skills or otherwise by taking on the role of bounty hunter and tracking down the world’s killers? I know it probably won’t happen, and I know some folks wouldn’t appreciate being left out of skill lines or equipment that’s tied to PVP. But hey, they are with Cyrodiil, so why not?
Housing and Farming
Skyrim’s Housing DLC known as Hearthfire was one of the most unexpectedly awesome parts of Skyrim’s later patches. I want ESO’s housing, which we pray they’re working on, to be similar to this. But, for the love of god, don’t make it just an instanced system that takes you away from the rest of the world. WildStar’s housing is exemplary, but it’s too far away from the rest of game. I’d propose a whole zone with dedicated housing districts, and using the Megaserver system, they could make it possible for multiple people to own the same house. Players could let their house be entered by strangers, have it locked, and even see it burgled by players (though I’m OK with the items being burgled mainly being stuff that’s auto-stocked by the game, and not actual player items).
Additionally, little more needs to be said than Housing should include gardening or farming to make provisioning an even easier thing for players to partake in.
A New Class
It’s funny, because almost all of my 500+ hours in ESO have been spent on just my Dragon Knight, but I really think it’d be great to see one more class, something new and non-traditional, added to ESO. I don’t have any ideas for what it could be, but perhaps it could come with a new weapon for all, something fun like a Polearm or a melee quarterstaff (which hopefully wouldn’t just be lumped in with all two-handed items) with new skills for all classes to boot. Not to mention, it could get people playing the lower level content all over again, if there are no plans to level-scale all zones to include players of all levels from other factions too (see next wish).
More Like Orsinium PLEASE
Everything about Orsinium’s questing and zone design is the product of several years of learning and practice in making the original ESO and its first few adventure zones. With the removal of Veteran Ranks coming soon, I hope that more and more content, perhaps even a rework of the original content, scales players up or down to the level it’s intended for. This way players playing through other factions’ content would be with players playing through it the first time as a member of that faction. More players playing together is always the goal with an MMO, am I right?
I hope more zones have unique and interesting public dungeons (seriously, some of Orsinium’s are absolutely stunning and memorable). And more importantly, I hope future zones give us more stories like that of the Angry Orc Who Would Be King. Orsinium brings people together in a way little of the game’s original PVE content has, and is a good example of just how much more skill the ZOS team has developed since the game launched. If nothing else in the above wishes comes true, I’d be happy with this one.