The Elder Scrolls Online - An MMO for the Masses

Fri, 09/06/2013 - 03:54 -- RLWaterman

In the past, massively multiplayer online role-playing games have really been restricted to those with reasonably high-powered gaming PCs. It’s not surprising when you think about it. Not only do MMOs need a fair amount of processing power to beautifully render the settings through which you and others can wander simultaneously, but there are also the added strains of having a multitude of players in one place at one time and the bandwidth issues that can cause the ever-annoying rubber band phenomenon that all MMO players must be familiar with. With the next generation of games consoles and generally improved broadband access around the world though this could be at an end, as evidenced by the fact that The Elder Scrolls Online will be coming to PC, Mac, PlayStation 4 and, you guessed it, Xbox One.

Funnily enough The Elder Scrolls Online was never originally supposed to come to consoles, but instead to be limited to PC and Mac. We have Sony to thank for the branching out as they were persistent in talking to Bethesda about expanding the plans to include a console version. Although it seems that there won’t be cross-platform play between PC and the different consoles, it’s still good that there will be the option to play in front of your TV rather than in the office if you’re more of a console gamer.

The Elder Scrolls is a franchise best known for its epic single player role-playing games, such as Oblivion and Skyrim. Developer and publisher Bethesda has repeatedly treated us to forays into an incredibly rich world filled with enthralling plotlines, beautiful graphics and many NPC characters to meet. Although the games haven’t been short on bugs, they have well and truly captured the imagination of the gaming public, making The Elder Scrolls Online an eagerly anticipated title. This particular game is still published by Bethesda, but the development is the first project for the company ZeniMax Online Studios. It’s a lot of pressure for a baby development group, but initial reports suggest we’ve got nothing to worry about. The Elder Scrolls Online looks to be as rich an experience as the previous single player titles, and one that we can enjoy with friends.

Xbox One The Elder Scrolls OnlineSet 1,000 years before the events of Skyrim, The Elder Scrolls Online finds us in the same world of Tamriel and introduces us to the Daedric prince Molag Bal who is using some nasty devices, Dark Anchors, to try and tug the world of Tamriel into his own realm of Coldharbour. In your travels you will be able to join in with the political instability of the time by choosing a faction to align with, be it the Aldmeri Dominion (High Elves, Wood Elves and Khajiit), the Daggerfall Covenant (Bretons, Redguards & Orcs) or the Ebonheart Pact (Nords, Dark Elves and Argonians). Unlike previous Elder Scrolls games that have focused on a part of Tamriel, The Elder Scrolls Online will grant players access to the entire vast world. Don’t get too excited mind, it won’t all be available right away but will instead be sectioned up with new areas launched as expansions.

As well as the initial cost of the game there will be an ongoing monthly subscription to grant you access to the world of the Elder Scrolls. It looks as though this will be $14.99 for those in the US, £8.99 for UK gamers and 12.99 euros for Europe. It’s no surprise that any MMO will come complete with a monthly subscription, though many other titles have seen recent success by changing their model to Free to Play, where there is no monthly payment but where payments are required for in game items and expansions. Bethesda has opted for the monthly sub for now anyway, so it will be a financial commitment for gamers wanting to continue to explore Tamriel.

Whatever device you’ll be playing The Elder Scrolls Online on it looks like you’ll be in for a treat. With some incredible internal layering technology the game will allow different players to see different worlds around them, essentially making this a game for both one player and thousands of players simultaneously. Gorgeous graphics, if slightly less photo realistic than in Skyrim, will be with you throughout your exploration of a vast world packed full of characters that all come complete with their own stories. How consoles will cope with the complicated control and numerous hotkeys usually associated with MMOs remains to be seen, but no matter what drawbacks may be encountered this looks set to be an immensely popular, successful and exciting MMORPG, coming Spring, 2014.

Article by - Rebecca Waterman
Insert Date: 09/06/2013

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