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World Of Tamriel?
The Elder Scrolls Online. Just saying that should send tingles down your spine; whether that sensation is of elation or dread is a different matter. With the announcement TES:Online, one of the worst kept secrets in gaming history, also comes the inevitable leaking of various gameplay elements, mechanics and lore. Leaked coverage from an American magazine details a large amount regarding how TES:Online will be designed, along with a whole host of in-game images.
I’m saddened to say that TES:Online will be stylised in the way of World of Warcraft. That’s not saying that WoW is a bad game, not at all; merely that I feel by adding WoW mechanics and interfaces, TES:Online will suffer and deviate too wildly from the series that players have come to love and cherish. Will a constant third-person perspective, skill-loaded toolbars and especially a surrender to the integration of classes, leave TES:Online bland, boring and not the unique, beloved franchise we so adore? Pigeon-holing players to choose specific classes, in my opinion, violates a key aspect of TES gameplay – you are free, particularly in Skyrim, to wield whatever weapon/magic/style of play you want, with the option to alter to this at any time.
That being said, I have wanted the ability to travel across Tamriel in its entirety without having to play all the games. Currently, TES:Online states that the explorable regions of Tamriel will include; Cyrodiil, Skyrim, Vvardenfell and Hammerfell, with areas of the continent opened up in later expansions. An interesting feature in the game will be non-instanced dungeons, a route that many MMO’s have ignored since the success of WoW’s instanced dungeon style. These open dungeons are aimed to allow ‘organic group formation’ in the world of Tamriel, with a huge emphasis of exploration, cave-diving and quest-searching.
Regarding the plot line for TES:Online, the story is set 1,000 years before Skyrim where a nasty evil force is threatening all of Tamriel. Three factions will be playable, each faction containing different races, where the players battle not only this rising evil, but also each other. The Aldmeri Dominion has wood elves, high elves and khajiit; The Daggerfall Covenant encompasses bretons, orcs and redguards; and The Ebonheart Pact hosts the nords, argonians and dark elves. A large focus on PvP will be present in the game, with factions warring over becoming the dominant force. There is also the opportunity to become the Emperor. That’s right special snowflake, you too can become the Emperor! In order to ascend to a being of such mighty power and influence, one must capture forts, farms and mines in PvP, and eventually conquer the Imperial City and win crowning glory in battles described as not dissimilar to Guild Wars 2’s WvWvW.
Obviously, we’re in the early days of being fed delicious morsels from the plate of Zenimax Online, but I’m sure in the coming months we’ll know a lot more about TES:Online and how it’ll work as an MMO. We’ll keep you posted, but in the mean time enjoy a few of the screen shots and gameplay elements leaked so far.