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The Elder Scrolls Online trailer bigs up character progression, ability morphing

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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, for example, while on second thoughts I regret maxing out my Hypochondria stat. The Elder Scrolls Online (opens in new tab) 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 (opens in new tab) 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.

Nothing too dramatically different from the MMO norm then, with "ability morphing" being another way of saying "skill evolution", although I like that we'll be given a bit of choice in the matter. Choices are always good. As this is Elder Scrolls we're talking about, you can of course improve your skills through normal use, but this time you'll also accrue XP for killing folks and doing quests and whatnot, with attribute and skill points being doled out at level-ups.

Ultimate abilities are also a thing now, and they seem to function a little like limit breaks in a Final Fantasy game, with you having to build up a gauge before you're allowed to deploy the explosive attacks in the wild. All in all this seems like a fine, if conservative, way to handle character progression - the proof will be in the pudding though, of course.

Tom loves exploring in games, whether it’s going the wrong way in a platformer or burgling an apartment in Deus Ex. His favourite game worlds—Stalker, Dark Souls, Thief—have an atmosphere you could wallop with a blackjack. He enjoys horror, adventure, puzzle games and RPGs, and played the Japanese version of Final Fantasy VIII with a translated script he printed off from the internet. Tom has been writing about free games for PC Gamer since 2012. If he were packing for a desert island, he’d take his giant Columbo boxset and a laptop stuffed with PuzzleScript games.