Life in Elder Scrolls Online Will Be All About Choices

 

Options.

The guys talk about it on Elder Scrolls Off the Record all the time, and it’s absolutely true. If The Elder Scrolls Online gives players a solid foundation to work with, and then open up the world to the players to let them play how they want, ZeniMax Online Studios will accomplish their goal of making an Elder Scrolls game that also happens to be online. But I will admit, I nearly had a panic attack last week.

Granted, it’s a little early to be getting overly concerned just yet, but in the recent Inside ESO Dungeons, which appeared on ESO’s site last week, they talk about the roles of tanks, healers, and DPS. This worried me. I have been looking forward to this game, and have even been preaching how it is almost completely removed from what we currently know of MMOs and was truly an online version of Skyrim. But to hear it come back around to the “holy trinity” made me a little sad.

One of the reasons I have stayed away from MMOs in the past is because we’ve always been forced into certain roles, and if you didn’t play that role exactly, then you were “doing it wrong.” I play games to have fun, not for it to be a second job. I don’t want to get hamstrung into the role of a healer, for example, and then find out 50 levels later I really wish I’d played as a DPS. In previous MMOs, you were usually out of luck and forced to return to Altsville.

But that’s where the silver lining lies in regards to ESO. This “holy trinity” technically still is in the game, in that players have the option of filling one of these roles, but as the post on ESO’s site said, you can switch roles mid-fight to better suit whatever your party is facing in that dungeon. So I may start out playing as a bow-wielding assassin raining death from afar, but I may dabble in some of the healing arts as well. So as I play the game, when time permits or when I am waiting for certain skills to become available, I can train up my healing abilities so that when I’m in a dungeon, if our healer gets taken out, I can save the day by quickly switching over to my healer spec and keeping the rest of the party alive. I’m okay with that.

In that instance, I’m not forced to stick with a sinking ship with no way to do anything about it. I can actually look for an opening, take the initiative, and react to what’s happening in front of me. My previous MMO experience has always proven that once our healer goes down, it leaves the rest of us completely screwed. We’re then faced with the decision to attempt to run away (lame) or work on our button-mashing muscles until we all get killed (also lame). Now, even though things may not be going very well for us in a dungeon, we will have the ability to re-work our strategy on the fly, which could ultimately not only be a better fit for this dungeon, but might open up a play style we never really thought of playing before. The Elder Scrolls has always been about exploration, and this is just another way we will be encouraged to explore, try new things, and take chances.

ZeniMax is delivering on their promise of making an Elder Scrolls game that you can play with your friends, which inherently means a game you can play any way you want to. The initial shock I felt at hearing them actually acknowledge tanks, healers, and DPS (which I was hoping they would just pretend didn’t actually exist) was almost enough to make me give up hope, but hearing how they plan on implementing this system is putting me at ease. I can still play how I want. I can still level up on my own or with friends. I can still play the archer assassin I’m dreaming about, without worrying about whether or not my character will be viable at end game.

As more time goes by I realize this is really going to be the perfect mix of Elder Scrolls and online. And it’s all because ZOS is giving us options.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Avatar of Brian Armstrong
Brian covers gaming news for the Quest Gaming Network. You can follow him on Twitter at silentfury007, where he also occasionally rambles about music.

7 Responses to “Life in Elder Scrolls Online Will Be All About Choices” Subscribe

  1. Auroness July 8, 2013 at 10:51 am #
    Avatar of Auroness

    I was not really that upset over the roles and the terminology. There will be MMO players who are more comfortable with those terms. People who are more familiar with Skyrim solo play style will appreciate being able to change roles in mid-battle. Zeni-Max is doing a good job of appealing to as many players as possible.

  2. We know July 10, 2013 at 10:30 am #

    Holy trinity exists because it is natural appearance. In real war you have tanks, armored vehicles; you have artillery as damage and planes too; you got hospitals, mediсs to treat soldiers. Skyrim is most freak game if we consider RPG part. Just imagine, if Zenimax aim for immersion, how can it be, that dedicated assassin that spent whole life to master bow arts will become a healer in a moment? Why noone NPC in TES never participate on more than one guild? If you warrior – you warrior, if mage – mage. And only player is GOD, who can all. Probably you the one who missed fireballs in Assassin Creed. I’m not telling even about balance aspect of game: party of 4 templars can switch between dps, tank and heal in a moment, providing instant heal for whole party or damage burst to kill any enemy on sight. Such game won’t go far.

    • David July 10, 2013 at 7:50 pm #

      Isn’t that a little narrow minded though? If I were in the world, I’d do my best to adapt to situations to increase my chances of survival. And besides, all skill lines aren’t accessible from the get-go. You have to pursue the skills you would like to use. For example, let’s say you start off as a dragon-knight. At first you find you skills sufficient, but as you play with others you see you can’t contribute as well compared to the others. Maybe you feel as though you could aid by learning some ranged abilities to pull foes who aren’t within arms reach. You’d have to go find the guild or spend time using a certain weapon that’ll make those kind of abilities available for you. I believe it opens up a whole new area customization and realism to this cookie cutter genre that has become the MMORPG. We should be able to play the way we want so we can add a unique contribution to the world and our fellow party members. Something to remember though is that you’re not being forced to branch out, you can stick to the holy trinity if that is your preference, but the option is there. That’s what I think is being said in this article, I for one am very excited for this game, it should be refreshing to say the least. It’s nice to have a choice, a choice to change whenever, without having to start over with a new character and lose all the progress you made. I can’t wait. Great article by the way.

      • We know July 11, 2013 at 11:57 am #

        Well the statement still valid: no NPC in TES that have such powers as player have. I just want this game to be even more immersive than Zenimax want. And to do so, we must implement features from real life. One of this features is to lock players to special role (holy trinity) or second option: make leveling process really hard. As hard as in real life. There is the rule of 10 000 hours: to master any profession you must spent about 420 days. If we consider 3 times faster ESO time runing, about 4 monthes to master any new art such as bows or magic school, I consider as sufficient task for players.
        P.S.: and yes, MMO is hard job, if you want to reach the top.

  3. David July 10, 2013 at 7:47 pm #

    Isn’t that a little narrow minded though? If I were in the world, I’d do my best to adapt to situations to increase my chances of survival. And besides, all skill lines aren’t accessible from the get-go. You have to pursue the skills you would like to use. For example, let’s say you start off as a dragon-knight. At first you find you skills sufficient, but as you play with others you see you can’t contribute as well compared to the others. Maybe you feel as though you could aid by learning some ranged abilities to pull foes who aren’t within arms reach. You’d have to go find the guild or spend time using a certain weapon that’ll make those kind of abilities available for you. I believe it opens up a whole new area customization and realism to this cookie cutter genre that has become the MMORPG. We should be able to play the way we want so we can add a unique contribution to the world and our fellow party members. Something to remember though is that you’re not being forced to branch out, you can stick to the holy trinity if that is your preference, but the option is there. That’s what I think is being said in this article, I for one am very excited for this game, it should be refreshing to say the least. It’s nice to have a choice, a choice to change whenever, without having to start over with a new character and lose all the progress you made. I can’t wait.

  4. David July 10, 2013 at 7:49 pm #

    Isn’t that a little narrow minded though? If I were in the world, I’d do my best to adapt to situations to increase my chances of survival. And besides, all skill lines aren’t accessible from the get-go. You have to pursue the skills you would like to use. For example, let’s say you start off as a dragon-knight. At first you find you skills sufficient, but as you play with others you see you can’t contribute as well compared to the others. Maybe you feel as though you could aid by learning some ranged abilities to pull foes who aren’t within arms reach. You’d have to go find the guild or spend time using a certain weapon that’ll make those kind of abilities available for you. I believe it opens up a whole new area customization and realism to this cookie cutter genre that has become the MMORPG. We should be able to play the way we want so we can add a unique contribution to the world and our fellow party members. Something to remember though is that you’re not being forced to branch out, you can stick to the holy trinity if that is your preference, but the option is there. That’s what I think is being said in this article, I for one am very excited for this game, it should be refreshing to say the least. It’s nice to have a choice, a choice to change whenever, without having to start over with a new character and lose all the progress you made. I can’t wait. Great article by the way.

  5. Mr Rambles July 13, 2013 at 8:46 am #

    I’ve found the Trinity concept to be useful so that people know what to focus on in a given encounter. If all magicka users were to focus on nuking (because no one was assigned a role by the group) then no one would have the resources left to cast a healing spell when it was needed. Even in Skyrim you needed to use followers/summons in a way that complemented your playstyle: if you’re a bow user in medium armor, you’re better off to use an ice atronach to “tank” for you. Conversely, if you’re a hack and slasher, you might opt for a fire atronach so that it stays out of your way. In GW2, which did its best to eliminate the Trinity system, so that everyone was responsible for everything, it felt more like multiple solo players playing next to each other rather than a group working together. That said, I’m betting there will be choices on how to fulfill a given role: evasion tanking promises to be more viable, or even “tanking” (keeping mobs away from other party members) using mostly CC abilities. (Indeed, I’ve read that CC was the original third member of the Trinity, which vanished as those abilities were split up among various dps classes.) I guess my point is that for all those who are outright hostile to a Trinity system: there are merits to having one in some form in a multiplayer game and it sounds like ESO is going to give you lots of choice for you to define what a particular role means.

Leave a Reply

Episode 120: Into The Future Feat. Nick Konkle

Lead Gameplay Designer, Nick Konkle, joins us to discuss last week’s major headlines from “The Future of ESO” panel and […]

ESO PTS Patch Notes v1.3.1

Today, Gina posted another round of Patch notes for the recent update to the Play Test Server (PTS). Here are […]

Classic Elder Scrolls Night 17: Morrowind: The Unique and The Familiar

This week, Evarwyn and Shank take a look at Morrowind and compare and contrast it against the games they are […]

Quakecon Future Of ESO Highlights

The crew from Zenimax Online Studios took the stage at Quakecon today, and boy, did they give a lot of […]

Episode 119: Live From “The Outside Inn”!

This week the guys get together, with guest host Krispy, from the QGN Community to discuss what they hope to […]

Episode 118: Update 3 w/ Paul Sage

Creative Director of Elder Scrolls Online, Paul Sage, joins us once more for an intense Q&A session on the upcoming […]