For PC and Mac gamers, The Elder Scrolls Online is fully playable and explorable for them all. Publisher Bethesda Softworks and developer ZeniMax Online Studios partnered together to craft a brand new Elder Scrolls adventure that harkens back to a past period within the land of Tamriel.
Soon enough, next-gen console owners will get a chance to join the online adventures this MMORPG is already filled with. On June 30, 2014, the world of The Elder Scrolls Online will welcome a new brand of mythical heroes into the fold.
We want to make sure those console owners know what to expect once they get a chance to go adventuring as a Dragon Knight, Templar, Sorcerer or Nightblade. We asked a few questions about the game and learned everything we need to know from Game Director Matt Firor.
1. How has the development process been like for The Elder Scrolls Online?
Matt Firor: Making online RPGs is one of the most difficult game development tasks there are – you have to make a really good AAA role-playing game and then design it to run on top of a really complex IT exercise. As such, it has taken a lot of coordination from many different groups in our team to get ESO to launch day.
2. What elements from past single-player Elder Scrolls games will be present in this online edition of the franchise?
MF: Elder Scrolls players will find a ton of familiar features and systems in ESO – from signature 1st person combat that uses familiar keyboard/mouse combinations, to gritty art style, to consistent books and lore scattered around the world, to playing the way you want to play. We want players to feel like they are in a familiar place, but this time with other players.
3. The Elder Scrolls series has traditionally been a single-player experience. Will this MMO accommodate single-player minded gamers who want to stick to series tradition?
MF: Absolutely, yes. One of our core design tenets was to make sure the game has plenty of content that non-online gamers can play on their own. Another focus of design is to slowly introduce players to multi-player systems over time, so they can become comfortable with them as they rise in level and experience.
4. Will familiar MMO mechanics, such as multiplayer raids, be present?
MF: Yes, we have a variety of PvE end games available to players. You can play through all three Alliance’s content – the second and third alliances are designed to be end-games for solo and small-groups play. We have Veteran dungeons, which are very tough 4-man instanced dungeons – and we’ve just announced Craglorn, our first Adventure Zone, which is an entire zone designed for high-level group content. One of the new systems introduced in Craglorn are Trials, which are 12-man timed instanced dungeons.
5. The game’s plot places all of it’s proceedings before the events of Morrowind, Oblivion and Skyrim. Will players still run into any familiar and historical characters during their journey?
MF: Yes, the time period we picked for the game is just far enough in the past that we can tell our own stories, but close enough to the others that we have all the familiar races, provinces, cultures, and enemies. It’s a good time period for an online RPG: there’s no real central authority in Tamriel and civil war has broken out, which is the basis for our PvP system, where a player can become Emperor.