I t took Bethesda some time after the initial announcement of the game but they finally revealed the Elder Scrolls Online first-person mechanic in a recent video. Before the release of the video many were skeptical as to whether or not Bethesda would include the iconic first-person view but it was obvious to any fans of the franchise; it’s a massive part of the games and could not be ignored.
The revealing of the Elder Scrolls Online first-person perspective was greeted with a warm reception and although I’m delighted that they decided to include it in the game, I’m also extremely concerned about balancing it with the typical MMO perspective, third-person. In the traditional Elder Scrolls titles offering both perspectives as a choice didn’t really alter game balance as it was down to the individuals preference but that same equation doesn’t work when it comes to MMO play; especially in a game that focuses on Realm vs Realm combat.
Using the first-person view during PvE situations probably won’t place that much of a disadvantage on the player but translate that same perspective to PvP and it becomes an entirely different story. It comes down to a very simple yet vital aspect of competitive play, field of view. If you were using the Elder Scrolls Online first-person perspective you would not be able to see any enemies sneaking up behind you and you’d struggle to see other enemies that third-person users would spot instantly. In essence, the very definition of competitive play in MMO games is going to force the community to adapt to a third-person approach, even if they don’t want to. It’s a simple choice. You either compete on an even level or you give yourself a severe handicap using first-person.
To make matters worse, casters and other ranged characters could be looking at mastering a totally new skill in order to compete. Traditionally the attacks from archers and magical users are far easier to hit in first-person but as I mentioned previously, this is going to hinder the players vision. As such casters and ranged characters could potentially have to keep switching between the two different perspectives, not an easy task in the heat of large-scale combat.
Elder Scrolls Online First-Person Will Be Impossible To Balance
This immediately breaks the immersion and feeling of being involved, a feeling that has helped sell Elder Scrolls games over the decades. Personally, the inclusion of third-person perspective means I’m going to avoid PvP completely which is going to place a lot of stress on the remaining content in Elder Scrolls Online. I don’t think I’ll ever understand the development choices behind including third-person but I hope Zenimax have something planned to counter the inevitable problems facing Elder Scrolls Online first-person users.