I want to love MMOs. Neverwinter was fun for a while, but it didn’t take long before it was swept beneath the rug with the rest of the dust, and frankly, games like Dragon Age seemed more interesting to me… despite the fact that I’ve played both of them millions of times. Skyrim was an awesome experience for a while, with seemingly endless possibilities, but there was always something lacking for me.
At first I thought it was the character interaction. The NPCs just didn’t feel real or interesting to me, not like what you see in games like Dragon Age and Mass Effect, however I understand that Skyrim was built around exploration instead of interactive relationships. But when I started playing Skyrim, I knew one thing: It could be a wicked MMO.
Bethesda showed off about 30 minutes of gameplay from The Elder Scrolls Online, and while it was only a small taste, it tasted very good… at least to a single player RPG fan like me. Just like Skyrim, the game motivates the player to explore and be rewarded for exploring and finding lore. Play in a first-person P.O.V. to retain that single player feel or switch to 3rd person to become more aware of the surroundings.
Don’t stick to one style of combat. It may be fun running around and stalking enemies as an archer, but you can easily switch weapons and play styles to suit your own personal needs. Bash through enemies with dual weapons or even magic. Your play style doesn’t have to exist in a bubble. Changes are encouraged.
ESO looks fantastic, but after a first glance, it’s obvious that it could look better. However I refuse to base all of my judgments on a small reveal. The world looks massive, and it should be considering you aren’t stuck in one single area of Tamriel. Exploration will be a blast, and it’s one of the things I look forward to.
The main feature that was shown was group play. Join a party with other people and fight your way through quests. The group combat, while simple, seemed interesting considering the fact that each player can switch their combat styles with just a click of a button. The interface looks simple, a trait that received mixed thoughts. Veteran MMO players may feel like the combat lacks skill, a comment I noticed quite a bit during the presentation, but I’m not a veteran MMO player… and I like simple.
What I enjoyed was the fact that it looked like a single player experience inside of a multiplayer world. Interacting and joining other people isn’t necessary to create a complete experience, but it’s a game that will be a blast with friends. Only a bit of combat was shown, but I’m interested in seeing how interactive the game is socially. Will players be able to buy houses? How will their alliances affect the way they are received in the world? What fun things can be done outside of quests and battles?
I look forward to the race and customization options, a feature that was slightly touched on at the beginning of the presentation, but it looked fairly extensive. Creating a unique character is a must for me, and I look forward to discovering the different ways to build upon my character, whether that is through appearance or skills. Stay loyal to certain alliances, become a vampire or a werewolf… it looks like there will be several choices to make in the game.
Needless to say, watching the presentation has reignited my urge to play Skyrim… which I’m going to go do right now. The Elder Scrolls Online will be released sometime in Spring 2014 for PC, Mac, PS4, and Xbox One.