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What the Elder Scrolls Online Means for MMORPGs

William Murphy Posted:
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I don't think I'm reaching if I say we have all spent hours of our RPG time in the world of the Elder Scrolls with around half a dozen games and endless gameplay over the past two decades the franchise has become legendary (and deservedly so). Skyrim has been voted the number one game of the 2011 many times over. Now, we will finally get to adventure in Elder Scrolls Online with our friends, and without the shoddy help of a third-party add-on. Folks, ESO is a reality. Did I call it in my predictions last year, and this year, or did I call it? The scope of an online version of Elder Scrolls is massive. It is the perfect world for an MMO to take place in.  It's ripe for the plunder as it were.  But what does this do to the MMO market for the next ten years, if anything?

Well for one thing, Zenimax Online Studios is making the game. Matt Firor, who has been running the studio, was one of the top people on the classic Dark Age of Camelot MMO. He is known as one of the people who conceptualized DAOC’s famous RvR system. This would mean that an Elder Scrolls game in Matt’s hands will produce a very awesome PvP system. The crew at Zenimax Online has just jumped to the MMO All-Star list, which is very exciting for us players.  Anyone who thinks this game is not going to have a PvP focus is probably going to be proven wrong when we learn more.

However, the Elder Scrolls has always been about exploration. Will we see the worlds we have explored in the past, the epic dungeons and encounters that we all faced in the solo games? These are the questions that will be popping up in players’ minds until it is time for launch of the game. How will random exploration sync with a typical MMO quest system? Will players be able to unlock areas of the game just through exploration? I for one hope we don't just wind up with Azeroth: The Elder Scrolls Edition, and I'm betting we won't.

With so many questions come expectations for the game. Fans of both MMOs and RPGs will be looking for a very high level of play and detail not only in the world itself, but in the character creation and customization. The widespread world and PvP concepts are only two of many factors that will make this game great. But what about the freedom posed in the offline games? Will it translate over into the MMO space?

For us here at MMORPG.com this announcement begins an amazing journey of coverage for all of our readers (and ourselves truly). We have just as many questions as you do. With all of the hype around Guild Wars 2 and Star Wars in recent months, this game being announced puts it right on the map as the third big MMO of the young decade. Even though the genre has changed and is moving into different models, there are so many AAA titles coming out it is hard to ignore what something like this means for the industry.

Elder Scrolls Online just hit the radar today with all the fury of an angry Nord. It is carrying a berserker rage that will continue throughout 2012 and beyond. Gear up fans, this is becoming an amazing time to be an MMO gamer. I for one will be sharpening my axes. Rest assured we will do our best to give you all coverage and discussions about the game here at MMORPG.com.  It's going to be insane.  Just please, no "arrow to the knee" jokes.



William Murphy

Bill is the former Managing Editor of MMORPG.com, RTSGuru.com, and lover of all things gaming. He's been playing and writing about MMOs and geekery since 2002, and you can harass him and his views on Twitter @thebillmurphy.