UPDATE: This is an opinion piece written some time before the release of The Elder Scrolls Online. There’s been some confusion with the title so we’ve written a guide on how to become a Vampire or Werewolf in ESO. So if you were looking for that, check out the guide.
With all the information floating around about ESO we know very little about the mechanics surrounding how to unlock vampires and werewolves in The Elder Scrolls Online. The two transformations are among the most highly anticipated features in the next installment of The Elder Scrolls franchise but the mechanics used in previous games may not bode well in the MMO environment. Personally I think the careful design surrounding the unlocking of vampires and werewolves could be turned into one of the games greatest strengths.
I refer to the now iconic process of unlocking the Jedi in the earlier days of Star Wars Galaxies (R.I.P my friend). The process required players to complete a massive string of quests, master several abilities and fulfill other minor requirements that could accumulate into almost a years worth of investment. When you discovered a Jedi in Star Wars Galaxies (pre NGE) you immediately knew that the player had earned their right to wield the Jedi powers. During the early days you could literally play for weeks and never see a Jedi, they were that rare. However, in time things changed. The developers made the Jedi a class available at character creation and completely removed the mystery and intrigue surrounding the Jedi initiation process; removing one of the most appealing aspects of the game for many of its players.
So what’s this all got to do with ESO? If Zenimax Online Studios correctly implement mechanics that makes the unlocking of vampire and werewolf abilities difficult, they could well be on their way to earning the same reputation that Sony Online Entertainment received following the initial launch of Star Wars Galaxies. Much like the Jedi, becoming a werewolf or vampire is not integral to a players experience. It doesn’t restrict their PvE options or their ability to PvP.
In previous Elder Scrolls games contracting either Vampirism (vampire disease) or Lycanthropy (werewolf disease) is a rather simple process. For the most part it’s just a matter of getting attacked by a carrier of either disease and getting lucky enough, or unlucky enough, to contract it. If that same mechanic is used to unlock vampires and werewolves in The Elder Scrolls Online it will simply be another fly-by feature; something people enjoy but won’t necessarily become an iconic part of the game.
How To Unlock Vampires And Werewolves In The Elder Scrolls Online
However if Zenimax Online Studios decide to take a similar route to that in Star Wars Galaxies, vampires and werewolves could become a selling point of the game itself. Imagine having to spend weeks investigating the appearances of werewolves and vampires, finding books to learn about the diseases that plague the two and speaking with experts in both fields. Tracking down those afflicted by the terrible diseases in an effort to either cure them or extract it.
Do you think the mechanics involved in how to unlock vampires and werewolves in The Elder Scrolls Online are important? Do you feel that the developers will put enough time and effort into it? Leave your thoughts below.