The Elder Scrolls: Online is happening. The long-time rumoured MMO was confirmed by Bethesda this morning for a 2013 release. The Elder Scrolls Online is set a millennium before the events of Skyrim. The plot revolves around the daedric prince Molag Bal and his attempts to merge Tamriel into his demonic realm.
With such enormous potential, here are seven things we want to see:
A Massive World
Skyrim’s map looked massive, but after pumping 10 hours into it, let alone over 60, it became apparent that the actual area wasn’t as big as it appears on paper. As an MMO, that’s apparently been in development for five years already, The Elder Scrolls: Online needs a massive map, something that makes Skyrim look like a small piece of the puzzle by comparison.
Tamriel, the massive continent that houses all of The Elder Scrolls’ lands, would be the ultimate setting. I doubt it would launch with the entire expansive world, but there’s no reason why the entire thing couldn’t be brought to the game through DLC eventually. Here’s hoping.
Use Skyrim’s Combat
Skyrim’s combat was great. Sure, there are a few minor tweaks that could improve it, but for the most part, I don’t want them to change a thing. The fundamental core of the combat needs to remain the same, optimized for PvP. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
Mods are a must. I played Skyrim on Xbox 360 out of necessity at the time, but have since revisited it on PC for its glorious arsenal of mods. Bethesda is the industry leader in giving players unprecedented access to bettering its games.
Mods in an MMO are a totally different story, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t exist. Numerous servers should be established, each allowing different mods, so that everyone playing knows what they’re in for when they sign up. Mods shouldn’t be a selling point, but they should be an optional extra for those who want to experiment. It could be an utter failure, or just might make The Elder Scrolls: Online the best MMO of all time.
Skyrim’s difficulty system was perfect for a single-player adventure. It scaled the difficulty of enemies based on your own skill level. If you were a low level minion, so were the monsters you fought. It is a fantastic system, but can’t be used for an MMO in which everyone is at a different level. If you’re playing with friends considerably above your own level, you’re not going to last long against their enemies. Bethesda must get the replacement system right to be successful. Perhaps something similar to Guild Wars 2’s player scaling system?
Skyrim was a resounding success for so many reasons, but mostly due to its broad appeal. I’m constantly amazed at the type of people who want to talk to me about Skyrim, just because I’d never have expected them to play something like The Elder Scrolls. Bethesda has a massive opportunity here.
MMOs are scary to anyone who has never experienced one before. With such a massive fanbase, Bethesda can show a new audience that MMO doesn’t necessarily mean 40-year-old WoW addicts who haven’t experienced natural light in 16 years. While retaining everything MMO fans want, The Elder Scrolls Online could be a revolution if it can capture an audience that has never tried an MMO before.
Be Released On Consoles
Don’t overturn your desks just yet. A majority of Skyrim fans played on consoles, so to entice them to come to the party, that’s where The Elder Scrolls: Online should head. Sure, it’d be the inferior version, but those who choose to play on Xbox 360 or PS3 wouldn’t know what they’re missing and have a blast nonetheless.
Quality First Person
I must admit, I’m not well schooled in the history of MMO games, so forgive me if I’m wrong, but I can hardly remember an MMO where first person view was the default setting. Does such a game exist? Regardless, first person was my viewpoint of choice in Skyrim and it’s exactly how I would want to play The Elder Scrolls: Online. It doesn’t bother me if the option to go third person is in there, but it never quite felt right to me in Skyrim. As long as first person view works as well as it did in Skyrim, I’ll be a happy camper.
By Ben Salter
What do you want to see from The Elder Scrolls Online?