Source 2: Zam.com
We are mainly looking at features that will be in the game at launch, remember features can, and probably will, be added later as well.
UPDATE: Also added a few quotes with an interview with developers, see 'source 2' above for the full transcript.
There will be 16 "dungeons", or better called "instances".
Instance: A copy of a particular dungeon for a group of players. Instanced dungeons are parallel worlds which let different groups of players explore the same dungeon in separate groups.
Every zone will have a dungeon, remember here that dungeon could also mean tower, cave system, etc., both instanced and public and every dungeon will also have a story for those hoping to get more out of playing the game than just fighting.
There will also be a Level 50 version of most dungeons for end-game players, so you could be looking at up to 2-3 versions of each one, with different stories.
Bad news for raiders - at launch there will be no raiding in ESO, unless this is another feature that changes due to fan feedback.
Raid: A more substantial engagement involving a large organized group of players typically set in a dungeon and involving difficult bosses.
ESO may have their own idea for this however, introducing something called "Adventure zones" that will allow for large group play and can be instanced.
On Aventure Zones:
Probably not ready for launch. And I talk about them with the knowledge that launch day is just another day for an MMO, I mean it's a super important day but we're committed to this. We will have worked on expansion content, post launch content for months into the game launch; we'll have already been working on stuff.
I would rather put fewer really solid systems in now than put in a whole bunch of stuff that doesn't really work together, just to make launch day. We want the core of the game to be good, the core of the game to be fun, hundreds of hours of PvE gameplay, a great PvP system and then work on it from there.
If you look at our map, you can start to see that the alliances are the civilized territory; they're mainly on the coast. There are vast parts of Tamriel, they're explored but they're not really part of the alliances and those are the areas where adventure zones are. There are parts of Argonian Blackmarsh, I mean parts of Blackmarsh are under alliance control but there are massive parts that aren't. That's a good place for one. Hammerfell and the Alik’r desert; yes we have a big part of Hammerfell, but that's a huge province that's mostly wasteland, desert. Those are the kinds of places we would [see them].
...adventure zones are highly speculative; we have a design, we love it, but we want to finish the base game first then those might change, but that's our thinking right now.
Enemies AI is supposed to be improved upon from what we've seen in prior MMO and Elder Scrolls games. Enemies will react based upon who is in your party and their strategy will also be dependant on how many they have and what they have to work with.
Monsters will level with players. They don't only get more health and deal more damage, but also gain new abilities.
Cross Alliance Play
We talked about this in a prior article, but you will be able to play outside of your alliance territory once you reach level fifty
and it sounds like that includes teaming up with people in other alliances as well. So you may be able to tackle a dungeon with your friends in the Aldmeri Dominion even if you are from the Daggerfall Covenant. I'm getting my hopes confused with facts here, this is something players have been hoping for since the new broke, but so far Zenimax has said you will not be able to see enemies while in enemy territory.
On Dealing with Alliance Balancing:
The only place that has an effect is in our PvP system, so really that's where the joy of three sides comes in. Yes, in two sided PvP system 51% to 49% is deadly, one side wins all the time. In 3sided it's a lot hazier than that. One system that let's say one side has 40%, there's still 60% of the world against you, these are still overwhelming odds. Even if at 50%, you still have 50% of the world against you; they're not all going to be on the same team, but they're against you. There are things in the game we can do, like travel times and respawn times, mobile graveyards to make it easier to catch up so you're not getting beaten up over and over.
There will be an item in the game that players can collect called Sky Shards. You will find these at level 50+ and when you get three of them you can use them to buy one skill point. No mention was made of how to get them, but sounds like some sort of epic loot drop perhaps.
Cyrodiil will be about nine times the size of a normal zone. Keep in mind that territories will be broken up into several zones, for example Skyrim could be five zones in size. So going with that thinking would make Cyrodiil nine times the size of one of those or almost twice the size of Skyrim. I'm ballparking here with guesstimates, but the point is: Cyrodiil sounds big.
When your alliance capturese a Keep in Cyrodill it will activate a wayshrine and you will be able to use that to travel to the fort quickly.
This raises some interesting problems like, if your alliance is attacking a fort, will the other alliance just have a steady stream of reinforcements coming in and how do you strategize for that? But until we get more info, it's hard to no exactly how it will work.
Guilds will get some type of bonus for holding a keep.
From devs: "There are reasons to hold a keep for your guild. We'll reveal more of that as development gets more robust."
The game will have leaderboards and players will earn Alliance Points.
This may play into figuring out who will reign for a time as emporer.
Good news for hardcore PvP'rs: You will be able to level from 10-50 in PvP. From prior info we know players won't be able to enter PvP areas until they are at least level ten.
So it sounds like they are offering a good mix of play options for players that prefer to play solo and small groups focusing on adventure and PvE as well as those that want to dedicate their time to slaying other players.
Really nothing new on this yet. Entering Stealth uses Stamina and will activate the Skyrim-like eye reticle to display whether you are detected. Detection will be based on line-of-sight and not ambient light (at this time).
The game will also make use of disguises so you can attempt to pass unnoticed among the enemy.
Every character can stealth and it takes a lot of stamina, if you want to get your stealth good enough to be effective in PvP you need to devote a lot of your skill points, which means you’re a sneaky guy, but you're not quite as good as a fighter. Yeah, you can get the first shot off and you might be able to kill someone but you're not going to live very long when you're visible. You want to give them a role and be disruptive but not be overwhelming.
Nothing new on this either, though I did short-change the description in a prior article when I said it had five skills slots and will get an additional later. The bar should have five skill slots, 1 ultimate ability slot that you will get at higher level and a potion slot - so seven total. Plus when you gain the weapon swapping ability it sounds like you will be able to change the entire hotbar with your weapon swap. Whether that just changes the five skills or all seven slots, we aren't sure yet.
Zenimax has said it will not be supporting controller use themselves, but you can always use third party software to remap everything yourself and set up controller use.
Day/Night cycles will move at a rate of about three cycles per real life 24 hour period.
Zenimax has been working to improve character models. Some of the early footage showed of races was said not to be on the final game engine that they were developing some of the early work-ups on, so some basic improvements came naturally. But they have also been working to make improvements on some of the beast races, we've included an example of early Orc and Argonians versus the more recently seen versions.
When asked about "shoulder pads and particles", a reference to World of Warcraft's style, developers (after laughing) said that they feel the Elder Scrolls world is a bit more grounded and subtle and want to offer a good variety without making anything too outlandish that doesn't fit in the Elder Scrolls world.
Check out all of our Elder Scrolls Online Coverage:
ELDER SCROLLS ONLINE CINEMATIC TRAILER
ELDER SCROLLS ONLINE: FIRST PERSON PLAY AVAILABLE AT LAUNCH
ELDER SCROLLS ONLINE: CRAFTING
ELDER SCROLLS ONLINE: CROSS-ALLIANCE GAMEPLAY
- ELDER SCROLLS ONLINE HANDS-ON RUNDOWN
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About the Author - Jeremy Shane
Jeremy was born in a small mountain village of a strange foreign land called Weystvurginea. Banishment for liberal views saw him spend years wondering the east coast until he decided to bike to California. When he saw how long a trip it was, he drove instead. Now he's living it up in a low humidity climate, sometimes working on his photography and when not, he writes for us covering books (by way of his blog: Reading Realms), gaming, tv, movies, comics, conventions in the SoCal area, and creates a weekly webcomic: A Journey Through Skyrim. If you look for him offline, start in the L.A. area; online start at: www.jeremyshane.info for his profile and all the social networks he's on... or just follow him on twitter, he seems to be on there a lot: @jeremyshane.
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