We don’t even have a release date, but I’m already convinced that The Elder Scrolls Online will be the most talked about, the most played, and the biggest game of 2013. I can hardly stand to wait any longer, so I wanted to share with you ten reasons why I think this will be the case. Whether it’s enjoying a massive, wide open world or being able to stay connected with your friends, this game will have it all. Check out my top-10 reasons why this game will rule the year, and share with us your reasons why it will (or why it won’t) in the comments below.
10) Socially Connected
Many people may scoff at this, but being able to be connected to the outside world while still in game, to me, is a great thing. Whether it’s sending out a tweet while fending off some wolves to invite my friends to join my game, or updating my Facebook status so my high school friends can see just how nerdy I really did turn out, this is a great idea. To me, it doesn’t have to have a lot of features, just let me connect my accounts in a menu somewhere, and then in the chat window just be able to type “/tweet” or something, and my next 140 characters will be sent out into the world.
9) Massive World
Elder Scrolls games are known for being massive, and this game is incorporating the entire continent of Tamriel, meaning the game will be so big there are no words to describe it. With so many place to visit, explore, and adventure through, The Elder Scrolls Online is prepared to offer players years of entertainment. In fact, the scale of the game is said to be even larger than that of existing games, meaning as big as Skyrim is in its current form, it will be even bigger online.
8) The Factions
It’s pretty exciting to me how they have divvied up the races. The Aldmeri Dominion, the Daggerfall Covenant and the Ebonheart pact will be warring with each other, which creates the drama that is needed between payers online. Additionally, it’s great they have a common goal of rising against the Empire, which should provide some fun interactions as each side fights to become the superior faction on the (mega) server.
7) The Mega Server
Speaking of the mega server, this technology amazes (and admittedly) baffles me. I don’t truly understand how I’ll be able to be online with everyone else all at the same time, but not really all in the same place… I don’t know, I’m not even going to try to explain it, I just know it’s cool. So even though I’m on the west coast, I can join up with my east coast friends without having to worry about whether or not I’ve created a character on the right server. They’ll just be there.
6) The Story
Whether you’re interested in your faction’s story, or the personal story of your character, there is sure to be an amazing show unfolding before your eyes. The Elder Scrolls games have not exactly been lean on the storytelling in the past, and there’s no reason to believe Zenimax Online Studios will be skimping here either. Whether it’s enjoying whatever road you take in your quest to get back your soul (which we know is stolen from you at the beginning), or just filling your days with “side quests” and exploring the wilderness, you’ll be able to make your character truly your own, and unlike any other in the game.
5) The Graphics
From what we’ve seen so far, ZeniMax has been pretty modest. At one point they said they would have to tone the graphics down from Skyrim’s levels in order to make the game playable on most machines, but it’s looking more and more like they’ve found a way to work some magic, as the graphics don’t appear to be dumbed down at all. Whether this is just for show or if the game really is being developed this way remains to be seen, but it has me incredibly optimistic that I’ll be playing not only an amazing MMO, but a beautiful one.
4) The PvP
I’ve never been much of a PvP player, but The Elder Scrolls Online has me thinking differently. From the small amount of video footage we’ve seen of huge armies storming the Imperial City, I want to be a part of that! I don’t even care what kind of missions or objectives are put into place, I just want to get in the middle of that epic battle and be a hero, be the one to fend off the last attacker, or be the sole survivor that brings down the wall. Whatever the objectives are in PvP, I can’t wait to get in there and tear it up.
3) The User Interface
One of the things that has always bugged me the most about MMOs is the incredible amount of icons necessary to have on screen at any one time. My Star Wars: The Old Republic characters have more skills on their hotbar than I do in life (ok, maybe that’s not saying much). It’s overkill, it’s distracting, it ruins the immersion, and it’s just ridiculous.
In The Elder Scrolls Online, players will have a minimal amount of icons on-screen. You’ll use your small selection of skills on-screen, and level them up by using them. You don’t have to worry about paying a trainer to level up a skill that you might someday, possibly use. You level up what you use, and whatever else is in that small hotbar at the time. This is such a great idea, and it’s one that will hopefully going a long way towards keeping players in the game, and not being distracted by what skills they need to put where, and in what order to use them. Just go kill something!
2) The Combat
Back when news of The Elder Scrolls Online gameplay broke, I wrote an article on how combat would work. Not much has changed in terms of what we know, but it bears repeating that this will revolutionize MMOs. You engage in combat in this game much like you engage in combat in Skyrim – in real time. You click your mouse to use your weapon, and depending on how well you aimed, you will hit or miss your target. The more successful you are at attacking, and even dodging attacks, you will build up “finesse” points, which you’ll be able to apply to a power move of sorts. Once you deliver this killer blow, you can begin refilling your finesse points and use the move again.
Additionally, as you are playing in the world, whether by yourself or with friends, any time you happen to be engaged in a battle with another player, your attacks have a chance to work together – “in synergy” – and create some amazing attacks. For example, another player may cast a spell that when combined with one of your moves, creates an even bigger, more devastating attack. The game will notify you that this ability is ready to use, and you can wail away on your opponent. It should create a lot of motivation for either grouping up, as it creates a huge benefit to both parties to work together.
1) The Freedom
Last but not least, it wouldn’t be an Elder Scrolls game if you couldn’t play the game the way you wanted. You want to take a race that is predominantly known for being an archer and turning him into a two-handed sword warrior? Go ahead! Maybe you start the game as a sword and board kinda guy, but decide you’d rather switch to archery. Don’t worry about finding someone who will do a skill re-speck for you, just switch! The way the leveling system in this game is designed, any player can use any weapon at any time, so there’s no reason to get rid of the epic axe you just found, even if you think you probably can’t use it. In this game, you can.
Additionally, you don’t have to follow linear quest paths to make progress in the game. Maybe you don’t even want to quest at all? That’s ok! Just head off on an adventure all your own, hunting wildlife, bandits, and who knows what else. You can spend your time in-game any way you want, and you’re not punished for doing so. You’ll still be able to level, you’ll still be able to PvP, and you’ll still be able to hop in with your friends at any time as well. This game will not restrict you in that sense, and players will be wise to spend some time on their own, just seeing what Tamriel has to offer.
Well that’s it guys, my top-10 reasons why The Elder Scrolls Online will rule 2013. I’ll admit, I selfishly wrote this post, just because I wanted to talk about ESO some more. I didn’t have any news to share, but any reason I can come up with that gives me a chance to talk about this game is reason enough for me. I hope you’re all excited for this game, and either way, let me know what you think in the comments below. Remember, this game is being made as an Elder Scrolls game that just happens to also be online. I hope all you doubters out there will give it a chance, and hopefully be blown away by what it has to offer.
Here’s to hoping 2013 hurries up and gets to whenever The Elder Scrolls Online is released…