The Elder Scrolls Online will tailor dungeons to group play, offer "rare locales" for solo players
Despite series-standard flourishes like first-person combat, The Elder Scrolls Online is still firmly lodged in my head as an MMO, which means I'd always assumed that its dungeons would be created with group play in mind. But then I remember the TES connection - and running around through dusty tombs, mossy caves and abandoned shacks with nothing but a bow, a quiver of arrows, and a companion who handily points out traps by activating every damn one of them. Does that history mean the game will lean towards solo supported content? The game's developers have revealed their plans in a recent Q&A.
"The Elder Scrolls Online is set up to be a fluid experience," says the ESO blog, in response to a question about solo adventuring. "As you wander the landscape you’ll encounter caves, forts, tombs, dungeons, and etc. Certain rare locales will just be for solo players, and some dungeons are meant for groups made only of people you choose to go in with. Most locales, however, will be accessible by everyone."
The blog reveals that levelling can impact a player's preparedness through these instances. "Some might be too dangerous for you because of your current level, but you can always come back when you are more powerful if you want to complete them solo. We recommend grabbing a friend or grouping up with a stranger if it seems too tough, though, because that’s all part of the fun."
We also learn that dungeons will offer "some branching paths", although the focus is on combat over exploration; that unique icons will clearly mark group dungeons; and that wayshrines will let players resurrect in-dungeon without being forced to leave the party. You can read the full Dungeon Q&A here, and learn about the first few hours of Bethesda's MMORPG with Chris's hands-on preview.