November 13, 2012 by Nino Moscardi
Elder Scrolls fans and MMORPGers rejoice! The long awaited first gameplay trailer has been released by Zenimax Online Studios for the newest and most ambitious installment in Elder Scrolls lore, The Elder Scrolls Online. Zenimax released the video just two days ago as a both a look behind the scenes and introduction to a bold new step for the series, showing off an impressive array of new environments, character customization, and the PvP experience.
“When the team set out, they wanted to create strategic real time combat, a lot of world immersion, and a landscape that rewarded exploration, but all of that had to be brought together with really great social systems,” says creative director Paul Sage.
Taking place 1000 years before Skyrim within the Elder Scrolls timeline, Tamriel has certainly opened up, allowing players to visit all areas both old and new in a world under threat from daedric prince Molag Bal. With a world many players are already familiar with, it’s important that the world of Elder Scrolls be grandiose to both top those of its competitors and keep veterans of the series interested. Furthermore, staying true to the lore seems important to the designers, using much of the material from earlier Elder Scrolls games with which to base its gameplay and art style.
Similarly, in keeping with the style fans are accustomed to, character customization is mostly left up to the player. Players are allowed to choose from nine of Tamriel’s different races, and perks and equipment restrictions seem almost non-existent. According to lead game designer Nick Konkle, characters are able to use any and all equipment in order to increase customization and combat role options, allowing a two-handed sword wielding mage or stealth-oriented healer. If past games are any indication of the future system, weapon and armor skill will most likely increase with use.
Perhaps the biggest departure from its online rivals is the decision to place all players within one “megaserver,” rather than using numerous servers to host its players. “The game is smart about where to put you. It puts you in game spaces with your friends, with your guild mates; it’s a way to be connected to everyone and the game figures out where to put you,” says game director Matt Firor. Though this seems an ideal solution to the social failings of other multiple server MMO’s, some fans may remain skeptic about one server’s efficiency under real time stresses of hosting millions of players worldwide.
Elder Scrolls Online is set for a 2013 release with a price model that has yet to be announced.