While heroes across Tamriel journey to reclaim their souls from that jerk Molag Bal in The Elder Scrolls Online, the MMO's devs have kept to their own quest to vanquish lingering glitches and loopholes such as a pretty serious duping exploit and the dreaded Spell of Disappearing Bank Items. In a message posted today on the official forums, director Matt Firor addressed these issues and other problems in a general evaluation of TESO's current state and the studio's plans for improving it.
Zenimax Online Studios
The Elder Scrolls Online's latest patch takes aim at a list of frustrating quest bugs that have surfaced since the game launched earlier this month. Although flat-out broken quests weren't highlighted as an issue in our recent review of ESO, if you've spent any time in-game during the last two weeks, it's likely you've run into a few buggy roadblocks.
Every modern Elder Scrolls game has had a moment near the beginning where you step out into a new landscape and think I've never been somewhere like this before. In Morrowind it hit as you left Seyda Neen and realised that the road ahead went in two directions, and that you could follow either of them, and that each direction would take you on an entirely different journey through the world. In Oblivion it occurred when you escaped out onto the edge of Lake Rumare and saw the hills rise ahead of you along the road to Bruma. In Skyrim you emerged onto a mountainside with the Throat of the World on one side, the valley of Falkreath on the other, and a dragon in the skies above.
I have spent thirty hours playing The Elder Scrolls Online and I'm still waiting for that moment. I'm waiting for anything like that moment. I'm waiting for the point when this MMO sits up and makes a claim to be anything but familiar. This isn't simply about whether The Elder Scrolls Online works as an Elder Scrolls game in its own right—it doesn't, let's put paid to that notion now—but whether it can justify being one of the most expensive games on PC. Those 'stepping into the light' moments weren't just about showing off fancy new tech; they were a promise. You are going to have an adventure. This is going to be worth your time. It does not seem unjust or unrealistic to hold The Elder Scrolls Online to account along similar lines.
Have you finished The Elder Scrolls Online yet? No!? Seriously, what's taking you so long? For most people, the announcement of new content for a massively massively MMO probably won't have much impact. But, for those who are on a mad dash to the end, Zenimax Online have announced that a new zone will be introduced at the end of the month. Called Craglorn, it'll be the game's first adventure zone, and is dedicated to group questing.
The Elder Scrolls Online launched last Friday. Chris' review of the game will be published following at least a week of play on the game's live servers. This 'review in progress' will document his experiences with the game as they happen. Find the first part below, check out page 2 for Saturday's update, and page 3 for the third part. The final part is available here.
My time in the live version of TESO begins a few hours later than I'd hoped. The PC that I use to test games in the office has a hard drive failure before I can start playing, so I rush home to play the game there. By the time I begin, it's midday on the day of the game's launch. If there were ever going to be a time when an MMO wasn't going to work properly, it'd be now—but to TESO's credit, I experience no problems getting connected.
The Elder Scrolls Online is currently live for those who preordered, and what better way to celebrate than with ridiculous screenshots from the Large Pixel Collider? We took a trip through Tamriel that spanned three 1440p monitors, using the LPC's four Nvidia GTX Titans to take some gorgeous panorama shots from the game. Here are some of our favorites.
When will you be able play The Elder Scrolls Online? Really, that depends on a couple of factors. The most important is if you're planning to buy it, because, if not, there's a pretty easy answer to the question. Assuming that you are, things are a little more complicated. During a Reddit AMA for ESO, Bethesda posted times and dates for when they plan to fling open the gates to the online Tamriel.
Modding Elder Scrolls games is a PC gaming tradition, and ZeniMax's Elder Scrolls Online will allow adventuring wizards and warriors to travel Tamriel with combat and questing UI addons when it launches on April 4. However, the latest beta update has locked down tracking of incoming damage and ability sources, a change that has many in the ESO community upset at the reduced effectiveness of addons.
Update: we have 500 more unique keys to give away. Come and get 'em!
Hail, adventurer! Will you take up your sword in the name of Tamriel and join the grand struggle to — AHEM — sorry, I was momentarily possessed by the spirit of a passing fantasy RPG NPC there. An occasional occurrence in PCG towers. I meant to say "would you like to play The Elder Scrolls Online this weekend?" If [yes] then [proceed to rest of article]. There you will find instructions for grabbing one of the thousand keys we have to giveaway for this weekend's beta test. First come, first served!
The Elder Scrolls Online's three-way tiff over whose posterior claims the Imperial City's throne perfectly befits the franchise's massive lore background. To join in, though, players will need to pay a subscription fee on top of purchasing the disc or downloading the upcoming MMO. Producer Bethesda and developer ZeniMax have both come out in defense of that debatable decision. They argue they can provide heavier content thanks to a bigger budget, but it's still an interesting choice given the rise of free-to-play gaming. Speaking to GameSpot, Bethesda Vice President of PR Pete Hines claims a monthly fee exists to help bolster ESO with richer, "significant" content updates.
Why it seemed like just yesterday that we were giving away access to this weekend's beta test for The Elder Scrolls Online, because it was. But earlier a portal to the plane of Oblivion opened, spaffed another thousand keys onto our laps and then disappeared, leaving only a faint hint of Draenor aftershave hanging in the air. It is our grave duty, then, to pass this sudden boon onto you with another beta key giveaway! Read on for details.
Bethesda and Zenimax Online Studios will be testing The Elder Scrolls Online this weekend. Would you like to wander the world of Tamriel before official release? We have 1400 beta keys to give away right now for Argonians quick enough to pluck one out of the e-hat below.
Update: this particulay giveaway is over! Thanks to all who entered.
I've never met a crafting system that I liked, even in MMOs that I otherwise love. As such, I'm not the best person to judge The Elder Scrolls Online's variant of the system - it being an MMO that I didn't particularly care for. You collect resources, you make some things, you pretend like there is meaning in a cold and indifferent universe of uncaring mathematical variables. All pretty much the norm, so far as I can tell.
The recent press beta weekend for The Elder Scrolls Online left us concerned about the game's mix of Skyrim-like action and MMO-like mechanics. Phil criticized the combat, while Evan and I lamented the lack of exploration in the game's early areas. But just saying that we're worried isn't enough—it's better to show than tell, with this video of a typical TESO dungeon delve.
Ooh, I get it. Bethesda are doing Brewster's Millions. They've got to spend all the money they have for complicated reasons possibly involving an inheritance. So in addition to The Elder Scrolls Online's star-studded voice cast, they've also released another CGI trailer to showcase how the game won't play. Interpretive it may be, but it's still a nice way to spend the next eight minutes. Assuming your idea of "nice" involves flab-monsters, demons, fantasy smackdowns and swishy green spells.
Bethesda have announced the voice cast for The Elder Scrolls Online, and it's a list of vocal talent that contains more than a few surprises. The biggest, of course, is the absence of Nolan North, who thanks to a necromantic blood pact involving a lesser demon and Cam Clarke, is now contractually obliged to appear in every game. Luckily, Bethesda are using Jennifer Hale, which should go some way to restoring the mystic balance of mandatory game voice performers.
Elsewhere, the Elder Scrolls MMO has secured some Big Names™, Bethesda seemingly having poured money through the letterboxes of some recognisable figures. Celebritalkers set to show up in this online Tamriel include John Cleese, Bill Nighy, Kate Beckinsale, Michael Gambon and Malcolm McDowell.
My Skyrim character is simultaneously the head of the Mage's Guild, top dog of the Companions, a mid-tier operative of the Thieves Guild, vaguely acquainted with the Dark Brotherhood, the saviour of the entire goddamn world, and a werewolf. And yet, for all of those many achievements, I don't have any actual power or respect. Despite housing vastly more players than a sole person's Skyrim campaign, The Elder Scrolls Online will offer a role hitherto unachievable: that of Emperor.
Faced with an overwhelming prevalence of quandaries in regard to upcoming Elder Scrolls Online, some clever soul raised their Illusion skill high enough to cast "Infodump". Doing so summoned the MMO's PvP developer, Brian Wheeler, to the Elitist Jerks forum, where he went about answering all sorts of questions - from the grand to minute - that fill in the blanks of its inter-player battling.
Here is my impression of the new trailer for The Elder Scrolls Online. *ahem* "AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA- *clink* -AAAAAAAAAAAA- *scrape* -AAAAAAAAAA- *smash* - ARRGH!" *Whatever the noise if for a big fireball. Fwoosh, maybe?* If that sounds appealing to you, know that you'll be able to play the game - and so presumably make all of those noises - on the 4th April, 2014.
Not a day goes by when I don't rue my inability to 'morph' my skills into more powerful or useful ones. I'd evolve my Lv.1 Writing talent into the far handier Lv.1 Plumbing skill, while on second thoughts I regret maxing out my Hypochondria stat. The Elder Scrolls Online will let you do much the same thing but with magic and powerful special moves, as revealed in Zenimax's latest trailer for their upcoming MMO. We already know what sort of characters we'll be able to make; now we know how we can turn them from weak little adventurers into fiery apocalyptic deathmages (or whatever other builds you had in mind). Video after the break.