The first month of existence for the sprawling lands of The Elder Scrolls Online is fast approaching. By the Tamriel calendar, that day falls this Sundas of Second Seed. (No, I'm not crazy: The Elder Scrolls series has a full calendar system (opens in new tab) .) For many adventurers, it'll simply be another turn of the sun to foil Molag Bal's plots, steal various food items off tables, and fend off swarms of mudcrabs. But for ZeniMax, it's the beginning of its update guideline for the upcoming Craglorn adventure zone and beyond as explained in a post (opens in new tab) by game director Matt Firor.
Firor first acknowledged ZeniMax's ongoing battle against botting and gold-seller spam, an initiative which recently turned more visible with the appearance of Game Masters in public dungeons manually smiting boss-camping bots (opens in new tab) . The studio has also sought help directly from players to quash TESO's gold farming market for good, even going so far as easing up on its Code of Conduct and encouraging " naming and shaming (opens in new tab) " of confirmed gold sellers on the forums.
Future updates past Craglorn and its 12-man time trials will include quality-of-life, quest, and cosmetic improvements, Firor explained. Visual upgrades such as a Field of View slider and armor dyes are in the works, and everyone will soon start hailing Sithis and planning heists with new Dark Brotherhood and Thieves Guild questlines. I'm looking forward to a promised fix of phasing issues for party members—it's often tough to keep track of buddies on different steps of a quest which sours the worth of grouping together.
Here's Firor's full list of upcoming updates:
- A system that allows grouped players to see each other even when they're in different phases
- A justice system—steal from and kill NPCs and deal with the consequences if you are caught
- Migration of European Megaserver to our European datacenter.
- Field of View (FOV) adjustment
- Armor dyeing and tinting
- Two new Veteran Dungeons: Crypt of Hearts and City of Ash
- New region of Craglorn with a new Trial (the Serpent)
- Increased ability to pick up items in the world
- Thieves Guild and Dark Brotherhood storyline and quests.
- Horse Racing
- Dragonstar Arena—similar to Trials, but built for a group of four
- Improvements to fishing
- Crafting system improvements
- Improved Looking for Group system
- Better NPC facial animations
- Guild functionality updates: guild store interface updates, customizable guild insignias, tabards, and guild ranks, and Guild Kiosks—guild stores open to everyone that are available to the highest-bidding guild.
- Auto-leveling dungeons that level to your group leader
- Awards when you repeat dungeons
- Imperial City PvP dungeon
Reviews—good, bad, and average —have helped shape ZeniMax's focus for improvement, Firor wrote. "ESO generates strong emotions in gamers—both positive and negative," he explained. "While I obviously don't agree with the more negative articles, the reviews are out there, and we read them to determine if there are legitimate complaints that we should address."
He went on: "The important thing for you, the community, to know is that we're looking at all the feedback (from critics and from players), we're addressing any shortcomings, and we'll continue to do so. This game will get better and better every week."
Overall, these updates spell a brighter future for TESO. A fair chunk of ZeniMax's plans does line up with the majority of topics brought up by players discussing end-game and other systems, most notably crafting and the near non-existent incentive for fishing. Other glaring issues such as lopsided PvP abilities—the current woe stems from whole armies falling beneath roving squads of hard-to-kill vampires (opens in new tab) —and a loss of motivation in Veteran zones are more long-term problems for ZeniMax to tackle.
Read up on the rest of Firor's post (opens in new tab) on the official website, or switch your eyeballs over to our review (opens in new tab) for our own thoughts.