The Elder Scrolls Online

The Elder Scrolls Online gameplay video shows exploration and crafting

Ian Birnbaum at

The Elder Scrolls Online remains a big question mark in the eyes of a lot of Elder Scrolls fans. How will the immersive, interactive world of Skyrim and Oblivion translate to an always-online multiplayer experience without losing their character?

After all, one of the great things about the Elder Scrolls games has always been the permanent consequences of your actions. Kill a named character and they (usually) stay dead; roll 5,000 sweet rolls down a cliff and they’ll just sit at the bottom.

The Elder Scrolls Online released a video today that answers some of these questions. In it, the player can be seen looting food and small items from crates on the dockside and risking the wrath of the gods by stealing bread straight off an altar. Have you no shame, player?

“It’s not just useless stuff,” Creative Director Paul Sage says in a voice over. “Right now you can take any one of these items that you find and it’s going to be part of a recipe. It’s going to be part of our crafting system. Yes, you’ll go out into the world and you’ll explore and you’ll find plants and many of the other things that you expect, but it all starts right in town.”

Like so many parts of the gameplay transition from single-player to MMO, the daedra will be in the details. If any crate can give crafting materials, how long until every crate in town has been picked clean by other players? If the items restock, doesn’t that bring players back to the feeling that they’re running on a treadmill?

The Elder Scrolls Online is currently in closed beta testing. It should be released sometime this year.