News: Leaked magazine scans have caused an Elder Scrolls Online information blowout. Details below…
Poor Game Informer – they’ve had their exclusive Elder Scrolls Online preview scanned and posted all over the internet. You won’t any links to it here – that would be naughty – but there’s no harm in sharing some details, right? Oh god the police are outside, must type this fast:
- The Elder Scrolls Online is set 1,000 years before the events of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, long before the Septim dynasty took control of Tamriel.
- Combat will combine the traditional MMO style – hot bars, third person perspective etc., with a stamina system that limits attacking, blocking and movement. Aggro can’t be managed as easily, so enemies won’t always go for the guy with the biggest sword.
- You can indeed explore all of Tamriel, and visit familiar locations such as the Imperial City, Whiterun, Riften, Daggerfall, Shornhelm and more.
- Graphics-wise, it’s a bit brighter and more stylised than Bethesda‘s games (a 250-strong ZeniMax Online Studios team are taking the reins here), though not to the cartoony extend of, say, Star Wars: The Old Republic – both games. in fact, use the HeroEngine.
- 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 nobel 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 undead yourself.
- Fast travel is enabled through ‘Wayshrines’.
- Radiant AI and NPC romances are definitely out, with dragons and player housing both likely to not make it in.
- 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 – a rogue might lay down some oil for a mage to igniite with a fire spell.
- Public dungeons aren’t instanced, so anyone in the server can join – not just your party.
- Quests will, surprise surrise, branch according to your choices, and will have continue to affect the game after the quest is finished – a character whose life you spared may show up later, for instance. This accomodates multiple players with phasing.
- Full voice acting is in.
That’s just about all the big stuff. As if you didn’t stop reading, open a new tab and Google for the mag scans before the end of the first paragraph.
ZeniMax are certainly going for the World of Warcraft approach – anyone basically expecting a multiplayer mode for Skyrim is going to be disappointed. Still, it’s early days yet – maybe there are some surprises in store.
Either way, we’ll have more The Elder Scrolls Online news as it develops.