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Zenimax Online Studios | Official Site
MMORPG | Setting:Fantasy | Status:Final  (rel 04/04/14)  | Pub:Bethesda Softworks
PVP:Yes | Distribution:Download,Retail | Retail Price:$59.99 | Pay Type:Buy to Play | Monthly Fee:Free
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Columns: A Little Rant on Motif-Gate

By Ryan Getchell on April 22, 2015

A Little Rant on Motif-Gate

I’m usually the person among my small anti-social, refusing to go outside group of friends who sees things from a different perspective, a reason behind the madness. However, not this time.  I’m confused.  I cannot find a single reason or bit of logic behind Zenimax’s recent changes to The Elder Scrolls Online and its Crown Store.


Before I go any further with this rant, I need to explain something first, otherwise I’ll get Twitter/Steam/in-game messages asking why I’m still playing ESO if I dislike it so much. That is not the case at all. ESO is a great game, with a fantastic company behind it.  But it just so happens that said company has blundered and has the community in a stir. With all the commotion that the recent motif changes have created perhaps it will help Zenimax find better solutions to future endeavors.  But for now, let's examine what has the player base a little upset.

Last week in Patch 2.0.5, Zenimax added all the in-game motifs (crafted gear's racial styles) to the crown store. This is something that I personally am against, specifically the newest and rare motifs. I do not believe that the newest and rarest motifs should be obtainable via the crown store, aka real money. It ruins a large aspect of the game and it feels like Zenimax is trying to spoon feed its players. The motifs are currently priced at 5,000 crowns for the newest/rarest ones, which when converted to real money equates to roughly $49.99. So as you can see, the motifs aren’t cheap by any means, and those who wish to buy them will be handing over a large sum of cash to do so.

I do not believe that’s the point; I believe adding the motifs to the store offers players additional outlets to obtain the item and thus splitting any revenue streams other players potentially had. Also is brings up the question, when they add in the Imperial City we’ll supposedly be getting the Xivkin motif.  Will this be added to the store as well? If so, people will flock to this item to ensure they can corner the crafting market as they’ll have the motif while those who don’t have the real money to do so are out farming endless hours to get it.

Well, today in Patch 2.0.6 Zenimax took this one step further and perhaps it may have been a poor choice of words but either way, it looks and feels incredibly bad. In today’s patch Zenimax reduced two of the main farming locations for the Dwemer Motif.

  • Due to extensive pillaging, many containers in Mzeneldt (the Dwemer ruins from the Fighters Guild quest line) and Avanchnzel (the Dwemer delve located in the Rift) have been ransacked, causing many of them to be emptier than before. We are looking at increasing the number of interactable objects in other Dwemer locations in the future. Source

A week after adding the rarest motifs to the crown store, they have now reduced the amount of interactive items within two of the most common farming locations. Like I said, this may have been a wording problem and these two locations had higher than normal containers, which being an avid farmer of both these locations I can say there were more in these locations than others.

That being said, why now? Why do it a week after adding the motifs to the crown store? Even if these locations had more items than the other ones, it’s been like this since November, whatever damage may have been caused to the economy has already been done, and the economy has stabilized itself based on the amount of containers or motifs found within these dungeons. So I ask again, why now?

Why couldn’t ZOS have waited until this “future patch”? When they increase the number of interactables in other Dwemer locations, then they could have stated “We have increased the number of interactive items in [insert dungeon names here] we also brought Mzeneldt and Avanchnzel inline to match all other Dwemer locations.”

Not only would this not appear as shady as reducing the amount the week after adding them to the crown store, but it is read more as a buff and less of a nerf.

As I said earlier, I really enjoy ESO and I think the company behind the game is doing an amazing job with the exception to this marketing blunder. What do you think of this change? Do you think it’s a ploy for more crown store sales, or perhaps just a badly timed patch?

Ryan Getchell / Ryan is our resident Elder Scrolls nerd, and columnist for Zenimax's MMO. When he's not out killing things in Tamriel, he's working in IT professionally.