New Elder Scrolls Online Screens Emerge

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Andy Chalk:

There's admittedly not much to see here and if it wasn't for the presence of the Ordinator, the Centurion Sphere and the guy in the Nord helmet, they'd be entirely indistinguishable from just about every other generic fantasy MMO/RPG on the market.

That's because Elder Scrolls is generic fantasy, just like Halo is generic SciFi and CoD is generic FPS. It's the IP, the logo, that matters. Like t-shirts: T-shirt are identical in structure & functionality, all that matters is what is printed on them.

Absolutionis:

kajinking:
Just me or does the art style looks way too...soft? Maybe not the best word for it but this looks like a Fable game not Skyrim.

I totally agree.

The Elder Scrolls series has thus far been literally gritty. Not 'dark'-themed or anything, but all the characters and locales were believably patched with dirt, dust, and such. The characters were believably worn-looking.

This MMO looks like someone suddenly invented ubiquitous showers and power cleaners... in the past.

It all looks too 'clean' and generic.

The past in the elder scrolls series was "better" in terms of standard of living, it was like a golden age of magic and learning (Right after Tiber Septim's time) that slowly deteriorated. I'm still holding out hope for this one, we have no idea what the gameplay will be like yet and I personally think these screens look really nice.

I'm actually pretty optimistic about this game. From what I can see from screenshots, it keeps pretty close to the aesthetic of other Elder Scroll titles. I never cared much whether Skyrim was "gritty" or not, I'd rather the designers favor an art style that's compatible with the engine rather than throw in fake-looking "gritty" effects like the blood from the Dragon Age games.

I'm hoping that the game keeps with the lore and general gameplay of previous TES titles, and with established canon. I'm personally hoping that the game will allow first-person perspective, and maintain the dual-wielding system from Skyrim (linking left and right hands to specific spells or items). A good first-person MMO that's not an FPS would be wonderful.

Even if it's not exactly what I'm looking for, I'l still check it out. The Elder Scrolls is a lot more than just "Generic Fantasy Setting", there's a wealth of information about the world, and numerous defining qualities. The titular Elder Scrolls are a really cool concept, and there's a lot of thought put into the mythos.

I think people should give Elder Scrolls Online the benefit of the doubt, at least until it comes out. I think it'll distinguish itself in the MMO genre.

Looks like another MMORPG. That's cool. Anyways, I'll be playing skyrim and it's DLC until a true successor comes out to Skyrim. Hope this doesn't hurt Bathesda.

Well, at least you can tell that its Elder Scrolls. The first batch of screenshots were utterly generic. However, I can't help but feel that this might be another TOR situation where you have a game that would have been perfectly fine not being an MMO.

Fiz_The_Toaster:

Woodsey:
Both KotORs always felt quite noticeably different to me. TOR far less so. Yeah, they had the Sith Empire versus a Republic, but there was a greater mythology around that - stuff like the Mandalorian Wars - which differentiated it greatly.

Fiz_The_Toaster:
I'm still confused as to why they thought this is a good idea, and I really don't think they understand the MMO space like they think they do.

I'm utterly underwhelmed by these screen shorts, yeah they look pretty, but it just looks...dead to me. There's nothing in them that show how lively the game will be or even the 'character' of the game.

There was an interview from one of the lead devs who said that nothing could be innovated within the genre anymore. Quote is in the first question:

http://www.pcgamer.com/2012/06/25/eve-online-devs-on-dayz-elder-scrolls-online-and-whatd-make-them-quit-the-games-industry/

So that's inspiring.

Even though it sounds like every interview I've read about innovation.

Having said that, I hope they can pull it off since I'm assuming they're putting in a ridiculous amount of resources into the game. Maybe I just don't see why it has to be an MMO, but how knows? Maybe I'll be wrong and it will what the genre needs, but for now I just don't see it.

You might have that a bit jumbled. The interview was with EVE devs, the interviewer asked them for their input on something the TESO lead designer said.

Good trolling. 10/10.

For those who didn't catch the joke, the idea that Dwemer technology needing to look "older" doesn't make sense within the lore, because the Dwemer had died out prior to the start of TES:O. That being said, it wouldn't make any sense for Dwemer technology to look "Older" in this game since the Dwemer haven't been around to improve it.

omicron1:
Online, off-radar.

Seriously, though, does every MMO these days have to look like a Dreamworks film? There are no EDGES in these screenshots! No grit! No detailwork smaller than a person's thumb!

It's the same problem SWTOR had - like Star Wars, Elder Scrolls games have a definite feel to the artwork - and Playmobil ain't it. Compare the snowy Skyrim-esque screenshot to anything from Skyrim, for instance - the differences are immediate and glaringly obvious. Everything's rounder, smoother, dinkier. Sure, you can say it's stylized - but it's stylized in (in my opinion) the wrong way. Elder Scrolls games are about immersing yourself in the world. This? Looks like it's about immersing yourself in the hotbar.

That's not to say that different art styles are bad - but this one's definitely not overtly good. It just looks like an Elder Scrolls-themed version of Amalur - and I'd had enough of Amalur (and by extension WoW, SWTOR, WAR, and half a dozen other bloom-and-bevel-'em-ups) by the time I reached the swamp region.

(Yes, I'm aware I'm exaggerating somewhat; also that Oblivion had a penchant for very smooth edges, especially on stonework. I much prefer Morrowind's and Skyrim's art styles, though)

It's because cartoonish art styles are easier to do and run better on a wider array of systems. Why do you think all of those crappy bargain bin jrpgs all use the exact same art style so that you can't ever tell them apart?

EDIT: at any rate I have a far more interesting question for you. Will the game feel like an entire world that blends seamlessly together with most of the loading done in the background (World of Warcraft)? Or will they take the ToR/GW2 approach and cut the entire Elder Scrolls world into chunks sectioned off by loading screens that completely destroys your belief that it is indeed one large world?

Elberik:

Andy Chalk:

There's admittedly not much to see here and if it wasn't for the presence of the Ordinator, the Centurion Sphere and the guy in the Nord helmet, they'd be entirely indistinguishable from just about every other generic fantasy MMO/RPG on the market.

That's because Elder Scrolls is generic fantasy, just like Halo is generic SciFi and CoD is generic FPS. It's the IP, the logo, that matters. Like t-shirts: T-shirt are identical in structure & functionality, all that matters is what is printed on them.

Yeah... no.

Especially not with SciFi. You can't stick the Pillar of Autumn, the Enterprise, the Millennium Falcon, and the Litany of Fury next to one another and pretend that they're "all the same." Sci Fi involves a lot more than just a logo. And no one in their right mind can take Mass Effect, Halo, and Dead Space, look at all three games and say they're all the same with a different logo on the cover.

Shooters, you might have a point there, if the franchises themselves didn't have distinct identities. Call of Duty tends to be a conspiracy/action movie kitchen sink, the Medal of Honor reboot tried to be serious business, Battlefield Bad Company went for the Comedy Action movie theme, and that's just the prominent military franchises.

Even so, there's actually a fair amount of diversity among the games that aren't simply trying to be the next Call of Duty.

Fantasy, you might almost have a point. A lot of fantasy these days draws from either Tolkien or Robert E. Howard (and in print, there's also a heavy influence from C.S. Lewis). Except, of course, Tolkien was going for some lost age of Medieval Briton, while TES was aiming for a fall of the Roman Empire setting. Oblivion didn't convey it very well, but Morrowind and Skyrim certainly did. The screenshots above? Not so much.

They need to go back to Morrowind aesthetics and mystical atmosphere. This looks too generic and familiar. Find a way, guys. Make it happen.

Eridani74:
LINKS!!!
Part 1
Part 2: Combat
Part 3: Gameplay
Part 4: Interview with Game director and creative director
Part 5: Interview with lead PVP designer

Ohhh, that PvP seems interesting indeed. This is a weird game, named Elder Scrolls but reminds me more of DaoC or GW 2, that is, a lot of it is PvP focused.... no wonder people around here are cold to it.

Edit: Ohh god! Climbing walls might be back! Drool. No class specific is fail... but whatev.

Starke:

Fiz_The_Toaster:

Woodsey:
Both KotORs always felt quite noticeably different to me. TOR far less so. Yeah, they had the Sith Empire versus a Republic, but there was a greater mythology around that - stuff like the Mandalorian Wars - which differentiated it greatly.

There was an interview from one of the lead devs who said that nothing could be innovated within the genre anymore. Quote is in the first question:

http://www.pcgamer.com/2012/06/25/eve-online-devs-on-dayz-elder-scrolls-online-and-whatd-make-them-quit-the-games-industry/

So that's inspiring.

Even though it sounds like every interview I've read about innovation.

Having said that, I hope they can pull it off since I'm assuming they're putting in a ridiculous amount of resources into the game. Maybe I just don't see why it has to be an MMO, but how knows? Maybe I'll be wrong and it will what the genre needs, but for now I just don't see it.

You might have that a bit jumbled. The interview was with EVE devs, the interviewer asked them for their input on something the TESO lead designer said.

What I meant was that every single talk about innovation I've seen has been about the same thing, so them talking about what some dev said about it really means nothing to me since all I've seen of the game is screenshots.

Oh, for the love of- why were most of the screenshots taken at night? These remind me of Amalur; which is fine by itself; but that cartoony artstyle needs two things to pop: color variation and good lighting. These have neither; it's monocolor slurry as far as the eye can see. If this is how the final product looks, I'll be very disappointed in the entire development team.

remmus:
meh, said it before, say it again, the instant it was made clear combat is going to be the same, boring select, auto-attack combat system that this genre seamed cursed with, it lost any semblance of being Elder Scrolls.

Actually, and thankfully, they took the time to listen to the community and decided to rework the control scheme because of how incredibly old-fashioned it to have ability-based auto attack combat. The current setup is a lot closer to the core Elder Scrolls series, or MMOs like DCUO or TERA.

Facing towards an enemy engages a soft targeting system, which highlights the target's profile with a red outline. Alternatively, the player can hard lock onto a specific target in order to focus their attacks on a critical foe. Fans who has played Skyrim on the PC will be immediately familiar with the basics of combat. Left clicking activates your basic melee attack, while holding the left mouse button charges a power attack. Power attacks do not cost Stamina to use, however they are slower to execute. Additionally, they feature some context sensitive elements, inflicting additional effects depending on your target's state. Holding the right mouse button engages active blocking, slowly draining stamina in order to intercept enemy attacks with a weapon or shield. While in active block mode, the player can shield (or weapon) bash by left clicking to interrupt enemy spell casting or to break free of crowd control effects.

Why do they have to make this? I want a Elderscrolls Co-op game, not some shitty MMO.

Fiz_The_Toaster:

Starke:

Fiz_The_Toaster:

Even though it sounds like every interview I've read about innovation.

Having said that, I hope they can pull it off since I'm assuming they're putting in a ridiculous amount of resources into the game. Maybe I just don't see why it has to be an MMO, but how knows? Maybe I'll be wrong and it will what the genre needs, but for now I just don't see it.

You might have that a bit jumbled. The interview was with EVE devs, the interviewer asked them for their input on something the TESO lead designer said.

What I meant was that every single talk about innovation I've seen has been about the same thing, so them talking about what some dev said about it really means nothing to me since all I've seen of the game is screenshots.

Yeah, I'm sorry, I actually misread your original post too. Honestly, I haven't seen anything from the game that encouraged me, and the dev saying "nothing more to innovate" is kinda the final nail for me.

Starke:

Elberik:

Andy Chalk:

There's admittedly not much to see here and if it wasn't for the presence of the Ordinator, the Centurion Sphere and the guy in the Nord helmet, they'd be entirely indistinguishable from just about every other generic fantasy MMO/RPG on the market.

That's because Elder Scrolls is generic fantasy, just like Halo is generic SciFi and CoD is generic FPS. It's the IP, the logo, that matters. Like t-shirts: T-shirt are identical in structure & functionality, all that matters is what is printed on them.

Yeah... no.

Especially not with SciFi. You can't stick the Pillar of Autumn, the Enterprise, the Millennium Falcon, and the Litany of Fury next to one another and pretend that they're "all the same." Sci Fi involves a lot more than just a logo. And no one in their right mind can take Mass Effect, Halo, and Dead Space, look at all three games and say they're all the same with a different logo on the cover.

*had to look up what the Litany of Fury was*
I am taking about the visuals, since all we have are pictures. Those ships you listed, they are all big ships (i would never put the Millennium Falcon next to the Pillar of Autumn, maybe a Star Destroyer though). Mass Effect and Halo are different types of games, obviously. It's the visuals, you could put Issac Clarke next to Commander Shepherd & there'd be no evidence to say they were from different universes. The Normandy could buzz DS9 & no one would think it out of place unless they had previous knowledge of Mass Effect & Star Trek lore.

The Elder Scrolls is a generic fantasy setting. Medieval era tech, dragons, magic, & some humanoid and/or bestial creatures from Celtic/Gaelic/Scandinavian folklore.

Starke:

Fiz_The_Toaster:

Starke:
You might have that a bit jumbled. The interview was with EVE devs, the interviewer asked them for their input on something the TESO lead designer said.

What I meant was that every single talk about innovation I've seen has been about the same thing, so them talking about what some dev said about it really means nothing to me since all I've seen of the game is screenshots.

Yeah, I'm sorry, I actually misread your original post too. Honestly, I haven't seen anything from the game that encouraged me, and the dev saying "nothing more to innovate" is kinda the final nail for me.

Oh it's cool, I thought I wasn't clear since I did type that in a hurry. >.>

I haven't actually seen that quote before until the other poster linked it to me, and I'm glad I did. That kind of quote always scares me and makes me not even bother with what they're doing since nothing good comes out of something like that.

As long as it doesn't do a Warcraft and still let us get more of the core Elder Scrolls games, I see no problem with this. Still waiting for my next Warcraft RTS.

WHAT THE SWEET MERRY HELL DID THEY DO TO MY ARGONIANS?!

...ahem.

dragongit:
oh jeez... please tell me that isn't what the Argonians look like. My god they look horrid. I'm just saying I'd never touch one if I picked up the game, and I love Argonians in the other Elder Scrolls. Way to really design something unappealing.

Yeah, very much this. They looked better in Morrowind, for Sithis's sake.

omicron1:
Seriously, though, does every MMO these days have to look like a Dreamworks film? There are no EDGES in these screenshots! No grit! No detailwork smaller than a person's thumb!

They're probably using lower-poly models and trying to make up the difference with shaders and texture effects. You can get away with things in a single-player game that will hurt an MMO, insofar as graphics go.

I'm not holding out a lot of hope for this one. I won't condemn it outright, but I won't exactly mark the release date on my calendar either.

Elberik:

Starke:

Elberik:

That's because Elder Scrolls is generic fantasy, just like Halo is generic SciFi and CoD is generic FPS. It's the IP, the logo, that matters. Like t-shirts: T-shirt are identical in structure & functionality, all that matters is what is printed on them.

Yeah... no.

Especially not with SciFi. You can't stick the Pillar of Autumn, the Enterprise, the Millennium Falcon, and the Litany of Fury next to one another and pretend that they're "all the same." Sci Fi involves a lot more than just a logo. And no one in their right mind can take Mass Effect, Halo, and Dead Space, look at all three games and say they're all the same with a different logo on the cover.

*had to look up what the Litany of Fury was*
I am taking about the visuals, since all we have are pictures. Those ships you listed, they are all big ships (i would never put the Millennium Falcon next to the Pillar of Autumn, maybe a Star Destroyer though). Mass Effect and Halo are different types of games, obviously. It's the visuals, you could put Issac Clarke next to Commander Shepherd & there'd be no evidence to say they were from different universes. The Normandy could buzz DS9 & no one would think it out of place unless they had previous knowledge of Mass Effect & Star Trek lore.

The Elder Scrolls is a generic fantasy setting. Medieval era tech, dragons, magic, & some humanoid and/or bestial creatures from Celtic/Gaelic/Scandinavian folklore.

Of course, where this started was about substance and structure, not just visual aesthetics. So, while you're right, you could stick the Normandy next to DS9 and say it looks the part, the underlying philosophy of the settings are incompatible, even with the Normandy basically being a reskinned Defiant.

Even the Shepard/Clarke thing sort of underlines the issue, both at a visual and a thematic level. Shepard is (usually) presented with sleek top of the line military hardware, everything has a circular aesthetic to it. It's a bit worn, but it's still high end. That aesthetic carries over into the setting as a whole.

Clarke in contrast was aesthetically designed to look like, well, power tools. That's the fundamental aesthetic, which informs most of Dead Space's visual identity. The problem is, of course, that that fundamentally goes deeper as well.

The real disparity between the settings is that Mass Effect is a world where the designated hero comes along to save you, while Dead Space is a world where everyone dies horribly. You can stick them next to one another and say "sure, they could be in the same universe", but the fundamental identities of their universes are incompatible.

Now, fantasy tends to be less clear cut. There isn't a lot of reasons you couldn't turn Conan the Chimerian loose on Thedas or Tamriel and call it a day, but at the same time, TES and Dragon Age aren't really compatible settings either. Even when the aesthetics mesh, the underlying philosophies conflict.

The biggest problem I have with the game is the aesthetics, it doesn't even look like an ES game, they just took WoW's graphical style and thought that would be best.

Come on, people want detail and grit!

I know cartoon-y aesthetics age better but still...

Devoneaux:

It's because cartoonish art styles are easier to do and run better on a wider array of systems. Why do you think all of those crappy bargain bin jrpgs all use the exact same art style so that you can't ever tell them apart?

Honestly, aren't we to the point by now that we can handle more realistic artstyles? Skyrim itself can run on 2005 (optimized, of course, but still) hardware, and the graphics on things like SWTOR and TESO are of equivalent polycount/shader-count/texture-size to something like Skyrim as is. They're just rounded off (which, incidentally, is always a higher-poly-count procedure than otherwise!) - as though they believe their average player age is ten.

I have 4 problem with this right now.

The Ordinator mask look like Abraham Lincoln. ಠ_ಠ
The Argonians are beyond hideous, they are literally the worst rendition of argonians ive ever seen.
The graphics style is nothing Elder Scrolls, its like they are shooting to impress the WoW crowd or something with this look. Why, does nearly every western MMO out there, have to look like this?I would rather it look like morrowind then this.
The big bone skeleton thing in the 3rd picture? That thing.... is just dreadful. Im sorry, but its like they weren't even trying to fit TES with it. You have these great scenery plans, and good armor and weapon design, and you have this.... thing.

Ive been playing TES longer than i can remember, we're talking since i was old enough to talk, walk, and murder things in a videogame. And short of the nice looking axe the Argonian in the 7th picture is wielding, nothing here excites me for an MMO. Maybe more screens will popup in the future, and change my mind, but until then this is a failing project to me. Im sorry if this is coming off mean or rude, but i had super high hopes when they announced it, having always been a die hard TES fan (I have owned every recent TES game on both consoles and PC, including skyrim, and all the DLC with them), but they just havent released anything to say, "This isnt going to die like every other MMO released, AND were butchering TES while we soak up the money".

Tanakh:

Eridani74:
LINKS!!!
Part 1
Part 2: Combat
Part 3: Gameplay
Part 4: Interview with Game director and creative director
Part 5: Interview with lead PVP designer

Ohhh, that PvP seems interesting indeed. This is a weird game, named Elder Scrolls but reminds me more of DaoC or GW 2, that is, a lot of it is PvP focused.... no wonder people around here are cold to it.

Edit: Ohh god! Climbing walls might be back! Drool. No class specific is fail... but whatev.

The Dark Age of Camelot vibe might be because their lead PvP dev and game director are both DAoC alums.

It was already condemned to failure in my mind
It will not survive just like every other mmo that accountants think should work but it just won't
The only thing it could have done was interfere with the creation of other elder scrolls games and that is it

Starke:
The Dark Age of Camelot vibe might be because their lead PvP dev and game director are both DAoC alums.

Yep, was posted here a long time ago. Funny thing no one knew who that lead director was, and there was a bunch of QQ about the proyect, even more than here -.-

If they make assassins the only class who can climb walls, then I am in!

Edit: And I do get why the fans of TES here are not that pleased. It just irks me that they say "ToR clone" or "WoW clone", if they knew a little bit about the lead devs they would know the game might suck, but at least will not be what they say.

Some of those actually look really good by mmo standards methinks. As for the genericness, haven't all elder scrolls games been sort of generic looking? (Except maybe morrowind) You just don't notice because the lore and the gameplay are what set it apart.

Conclusion: I reserve judgement until I see gameplay.

Art style looks remarkably boring, but I do like the recreation of Classic TES locations.

omicron1:
Online, off-radar.

Seriously, though, does every MMO these days have to look like a Dreamworks film? There are no EDGES in these screenshots! No grit! No detailwork smaller than a person's thumb!

It's the same problem SWTOR had - like Star Wars, Elder Scrolls games have a definite feel to the artwork - and Playmobil ain't it. Compare the snowy Skyrim-esque screenshot to anything from Skyrim, for instance - the differences are immediate and glaringly obvious. Everything's rounder, smoother, dinkier. Sure, you can say it's stylized - but it's stylized in (in my opinion) the wrong way. Elder Scrolls games are about immersing yourself in the world. This? Looks like it's about immersing yourself in the hotbar.

That's not to say that different art styles are bad - but this one's definitely not overtly good. It just looks like an Elder Scrolls-themed version of Amalur - and I'd had enough of Amalur (and by extension WoW, SWTOR, WAR, and half a dozen other bloom-and-bevel-'em-ups) by the time I reached the swamp region.

(Yes, I'm aware I'm exaggerating somewhat; also that Oblivion had a penchant for very smooth edges, especially on stonework. I much prefer Morrowind's and Skyrim's art styles, though)

I don't think you're exaggerating that much, especially if we take all the Korean MMOs and file them under "stylized, clean, with dinky details." They all have the same tone, if not the same style. I've always wondered whether there's an inherent limitation in visual design of a large online game that makes everything look 8 years out of date and suited for ages 5 and above, or do the designers spontaneously grow a brain tumour where their imagination should be. Maybe it's a Blizzard-concocted curse. Either way, Guild Wars 2 seems to be averting the trend a little.

Exterminas:

WoW might be pretty dry on ideas by now, but you can still tell what each area's story and theme are. I dare you to do the same for Guild Wars 2.

It's really not all that hard, read the flavor text on the various hearts and do a couple of dynamic events and you get a pretty good idea of what the major players in the region are trying to accomplish.

In addition to that, Guild Wars 2 has 2 at the end of it. Meaning it's a sequel. Won't help people unfamiliar with the original, but there's a heaping ton of lore all over the place. Familiar towns and temples that have since fallen into ruin, grave stones of henchmen and famous NPCs and so on.

What GW2 did was assume that the vast majority of players don't care and just made that stuff subtle. The only way to get a wall of text to explain what you're seeing is to check the wiki, which really isn't that different from being whacked over the head with a 3 paragraph quest log.

I don't suppose we can pray to whatever Deadra might be listening to make Bethesda stop producing this?

Seriously, enough with the goddamn MMO's! Take those art assets, spruce them up and recycle them into the next singleplayer Elder Scrolls instead. I don't want more generic MMO's to die brutally at WoW's onslaught, I don't want to see Bethesda waste truckloads of money on a game that'll never achieve the popularity or success of the other TES games, and I certainly DON'T WANT TO PLAY IT!

For the love of god, please stop!

Okay guys real funny. Now put the Guild Wars 2 screen shots away and give us the actual TES online screen shots.

Scars Unseen:
I said this game was a bad idea when it was announced, and this certainly doesn't change my mind. Most people that should be the target audience of this game don't want an MMO that vaguely resembles The Elder Scrolls series. They want a TES game they can play online. Unfortunately, early info points to ZeniO going after the same WoW crowd that no one else has managed to pry from Blizzard's cold clutching grip.

Best of luck on that.

Yep, I was really excited when I first heard about ESO, I had visions of "fantasy Star Wars: Galaxies"; a proper high-quality modern sandbox MMO replete with skill-based levelling, player housing and so forth.

Instead we're getting yet another generic WoW-clone with a new IP crudely pasted over the top. How many companies have to shat out these horrible ripoffs before the industry will accept that the concept has failed? I mean shitbiscuits, Warhammer: Age of Reckoning alone should have been enough to convince them of that, but then it's a symptom of a modern, publicly-traded entertainment industry where mollifying investors with knob-all knowledge of the sector is more important than anything else.

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