If you’re a regular reader of my articles here at Camelot Post you’re probably well aware that I am extremely excited about The Elder Scrolls Online however, that does not make me blind to the potential issues that could mean The Elder Scrolls Online will fail. Previously I have discussed the challenges facing The Elder Scrolls Online and I believe the developers are going to fail at least a few of these challenges, resulting in a game that’s nothing like an Elder Scrolls title. ESO is my last hope for an MMORPG game to keep me entertained past the honeymoon period and if it fails, I can’t see anything else in the genre appealing to me again.
So despite the fact I’m excited and I really want ESO to succeed, why am I so convinced it’s going to fail? Multiplayer support is arguably one of the biggest requests from the Elder Scrolls community but until now Bethesda have never really supplied anything that can support more than a single player experience. However, I think the majority of players hoping for a multiplayer aspect were looking more for a cooperative experience, rather than a massively multiplayer one.
The very definition of an Elder Scrolls game, what lies at the very core and keeps players returning game after game, freedom. It’s a best selling franchise that spans decades and despite massive leaps in technology, the fundamental aspects of the game remain the same. Offer the player as much freedom as possible, freedom to explore some of the most in-depth worlds to ever grace the video-game industry.
Whether you explore the world, embark on the epic main quest line or collect treasures and Daedric artifacts, every player has their calling. The beauty and appeal of an Elder Scrolls game is that calling, it’s different for every player and is limited only by imagination.
An MMO game is entirely different. Players are funneled into linear quest lines, linear objectives and fairly shallow progression. We recently wrote an article discussing the mechanics involved in exploring dungeons and that article gives evidence to my claims. It sounded unimaginative, lackluster and typical of the MMO genre, not words I would associate with any of the titles from Bethesda.
Many other aspects that I’ve discussed in the past also fall into the category of being counter productive in an MMO Game. A game that hopes to keep players returning day after day must balance time vs reward, another mathematical equation that doesn’t exist in typical Elder Scrolls games. Practically every title allows players to obtain a massive variety of rewards and artifacts in a very short amount of time, if they choose to do so. This free approach cannot work in an MMO game.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not simply ranting about ESO. Bethesda are one of my most loved developers and I seriously hope they can pull it off. However, we’ve all seen big names enter the MMO world and very few of the popular IP’s ever manage to deliver. This isn’t always the fault of the developers. Anything with such a big following is bound to be met with certain expectations and quite often these expectations are not possible to meet. This is my main concern as an potential player of ESO. I hold the franchise in such high regard I’m not sure Bethesda would ever be able to reach that bar with an MMO. Do you think The Elder Scrolls Online will fail? Leave a comment below.