Bethesda Softworks, a ZeniMax Media company, have announced The Elder Scrolls Online, an MMO in development at ZeniMax Online Studios. The Elder Scrolls Online will be the first Elder Scrolls game to allow gamers to explore the legendary Elder Scrolls world with others.
The Elder Scrolls Online is being developed for PC and Mac under the leadership of industry veteran Matt Firor, who has spent the last two decades working in online game development.
“We have been working hard to create an online world in which players will be able to experience the epic Elder Scrolls universe with their friends, something fans have long said they wanted,” said Matt Firor, game director of The Elder Scrolls Online. “It will be extremely rewarding finally to unveil what we have been developing the last several years. The entire team is committed to creating the best MMO ever made – and one that is worthy of The Elder Scrolls franchise.”
Details about the game are due to be revealed in an exclusive cover story in Game Informer’s June issue, but scans from the mag saw the light of day late last night on the internet. We won’t be linking these naughty images but we can share some of the details:
• The Elder Scrolls Online is set 1,000 years before the events of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.
• Combat will combine the traditional MMO style – hot bars, third person perspective etc., with a stamina system that limits attacking, blocking and movement.
• You can explore all of Tamriel and visit familiar locations such as the Imperial City, Whiterun, Riften, Daggerfall, Shornhelm and more.
• Visuals will be brighter and more stylised than Bethesda‘s other games (a 250-strong ZeniMax Online Studios team are taking the reins here).
• There are three warring factions – an alliance of Nords, Dark Elves and Argonians, another between High Elves, Wood Elves and Khajit, and a final group consisting of Bretons, Redguards and Orcs. Imperials, lead by the noble Tharn family with help from the ‘King of Worms’, Mannimarco, are an enemy to all three. Mannimarco, however, is making deals with Daedric Prince Molag Bal behind the Tharn’s backs.
• Classes, rather than the free-form progression system of Skyrim, will be used, though none have been revealed yet.
• The world will use a ‘hubless’ design – “For example, you don’t necessarily pick up a quest to do the following, but if you kill all the necromancers in an undead barrow, a shade you free at the end will reward you.”
• The Fighters, Mages and Thieves Guilds all return, as does the Dark Brotherhood, and can all be joined.
• Vampires and Werewoles are in, but you can’t become them yourself.
• Fast travel is enabled through ‘Wayshrines’.
• Radiant AI and NPC romances are out.
• Factions battle to take control of the Imperial City – the best PvP player in the holding faction becomes Emperor, though this title doesn’t grant any significant benefits.
• Different classes can combine their attacks.
• Public dungeons aren’t instanced, so anyone in the server can join – not just your party.
• Quests will branch according to your choices, and will continue to affect the game after the quest is finished – a character whose life you spared may show up later, for instance. This accommodates multiple players with phasing.
• Full voice acting is in.
The Elder Scrolls Online is due to be released in 2013 and will be available in English, German and French languages.
Keep up to date with all the latest The Elder Scrolls Online news here at Midlife Gamer.