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My feelings on TESO (so far...)


Started by indelibleStain
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Firstly, hello to everyone. I've been looking for a nice, interesting community to engage with over the future Elder Scrolls MMO... and you guys won the draw!

Sadly a lot of what I have to say about TESO so far isn't positive. I'm a huge fan of the Elder Scrolls, and - just like everyone here - I really want TESO to succeed as a game, and as an MMO. What has been coming out of ZeniMax Online doesn't suggest to me that they really have the right idea about what they should be doing with TESO, so I'm greatly concerned that when TESO releases it will simply go the way of SWTOR, AoC, LotRo, and so many other major franchise MMO that have failed to gain significant traction in the market.

I realise that most of you are wanting to be positive about the title, but in my opinion the negative commentaries need to be aired as well in order to get a balanced discussion going on. Think back to any MMO you have played before, and you will note that most posters on fansites and community forums pursue negative commentaries rabidly, without actually considering the merits of the points being made. I'm not going to needlessly slander the game, and I've gone to great lengths to provide decent reasoning for my points; I'm hopeful that we can all have a meaningful and frank conversation without it resorting to the usual "fanboys vs trolls" stereotype.

Anyway...

Most of the information that Matt Firor and the TESO team have shared with us so far has been sold by ZMO in the same way practically the same information was sold with any major MMO release of the past. That is to say that Matt Firor has gone to great lengths to say just how DIFFERENT, NEW and INNOVATIVE TESO is (words he's used to describe the game they are making). I personally am having a hard time seeing anything new, different or innovative about TESO. What I mean is that many of the mechanics and game elements that have been outlined so far seem quite familiar to me; I've played several MMOs, and every feature Matt Firor has said TESO will have has been in most of those MMOs already, so I hardly think it's appropriate for him to describe TESO in such terms (or maybe I'm missing something?). Obviously there are areas where TESO diverges from the usual line (not least the class system) but even in these places, the TESO team have chosen to stay quite close to the beaten path (there are, for example, fixed classes in TESO). And this is my first point: ZMO seems to be going to huge lengths to convince me that TESO is different from other MMORPGs currently on the market, yet the actual meat of their videos, interviews and previews categorically states that TESO is largely the same as most other MMORPGs currently on the market.

One of the big things that ZMO has been playing up is the integration of social networking tools with the game. My reaction to this is decidedly negative: The Elder Scrolls franchise is all about immersion in a (largely) seamless and living fantasy world, something that is entirely achievable in an MMO setting. My character is more than an avatar I use to represent myself, but a living, breathing person that (in my head, at least) has a story, a personality, an agenda, and all of the other things you'd expect to find in a fleshed out protagonist. My character is Frodo Baggins, or Arya Stark, or Thomas Covenant, or Highlander. By integrating social networking tools heavily with the game, ZMO are serving to breach a core component of what makes Bethesda's RPGs so amazing - unrivalled levels of immersion. For the hours that I play Skyrim, or Oblivion, or Morrowind, or even Fallout 3, I am sucked into a game world in a way that doesn't really happen in most other games. As I've said, it's a core appeal of the TES games. The integration of social networking tools doesn't lend itself to that element of the game, so that element is effectively removed (and you can't just "ignore it" (as some people have suggested)).

Oh, and there's also the fact that the people I am going to play TESO with are people I already know well. I'm not going to allow ZMO to use my Facebook or Twitter feed to market their game for them. The people I will play TESO with in the future will be people I meet in game, so there's no need for TESO to spam my feed. I sincerely hope that Facebook relegates any status updates that TESO makes to the game feed as punishment for such nonsense.

You get the idea: I don't believe that TESO is being developed as an Elder Scrolls game, and is more being developed as another World of Warcraft (regardless of the light alterations to the formula). It's the same tactic that Bioware used with SWTOR (and it failed), the same tactic Mythic used with Warhammer Online (and it failed), the same tactic that most Triple-A developers have used with most big franchise MMORPGs; pretty much all of them have "failed". (I am of course referring to the idea that - as far as these studios are concerned - a "failure" is where their games fail to gain significant traction in the space that meets their internal targets (for example, both SWTOR and Warhammer Online were "confident" that they'd have 1,000,000 subs by the end of year one... but by the end of their first 3 months at market they'd dropped below the 1,000,000 mark and were showing negative player retention. I'm talking about actual failures, not "perceived" failures.)

That said, I might be entirely wrong. I'd be interested to hear if anyone has reasonable counterpoints to make, or has any concerns of their own. Realistically we should not expect the game to change now; it is what it is. It will sink or swim, and an opportunity may have been lost.
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I totally agree with the OP on this, the developers for ESO continually say how innovative ESO is, and how this is different and that is different, and the thing they don't seem to realize is we have all played most of the other MMO's including Dark Age of Camelot and all I see is DAoC 2 in many cases even while I am watching them say its not.

I am using a check list as I watch their presentations and pretty much every single list I can check, played that before, done that before, oh I did that before too in such and such MMO....

And the MMO that ESO copies the most is Dark Age of Camelot, it really is DAoC 2, not Elder Scrolls Online.

I thought I should come back and edit this, I must have been in a bad mood that day because it started to snow again or something. I really do think ESO is on the right course and while I realize ZOS will be copying things from other MMO's I think they are savy enough to realize anything they copy still has to have the ESO stamp on it and then they make it their own.
This post was last modified: January 9th 2013 08:55 AM by Elember
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Sadly I do not agree with you and can't wait to play it. You compare it to games but have no idea how it will play out yet. So you being a cynical person I can see why you have no hope for anything new to be any good. You must have been one of those people who were let down by SWoTR that bought into the hype and think everything now is nothing more than hype. I really could careless about how much money they are going to make and if they hold 1 million subs or not. All I care about is if the game will be fun.
This post was last modified: January 2nd 2013 02:23 PM by Fearum
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Post #21269
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What indelibleStain said, made me thinking about the ESO...I just hope they will trully have some innovations, I don't want to see a clone of another MMO just with better graphics and another name...It would be such a shame for the series to make a game named Elder Scrolls such a failure.


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(January 2nd 2013 01:56 PM)Fearum Wrote:  Sadly I do not agree with you and can't wait to play it. You compare it to games but have no idea how it will play out yet. So you being a cynical person I can see why you have no hope for anything new to be any good. You must have been one of those people who were let down by SWoTR that bought into the hype and think everything now is nothing more than hype. I really could careless about how much money they are going to make and if they hold 1 million subs or not. All I care about is if the game will be fun.

I have a broad and general idea of how it will play out, because ZMO and Matt Firor have gone to great lengths to sell me a broad and general idea of how it will play out. They have outlined the general features of the game quite a lot recently, gearing up for beta and release. Are you suggesting that we should ignore the general outlines given to us by the very people developing the game (the people who know how it will play out) in favour of a "wait and see" approach? We should consider the idea that the general information they've given us in these videos and images are all just lies, perhaps? We should not take them at their word, or scrutinise the things that they say, because they might be lying?

I have a HUGE amount of hope and optimism when it comes to the MMO genre. It is, in my honest opinion, the most expansive and potentially vibrant genre of gaming that has ever existed, and holds the potential for a wealth of interesting and brilliant games in the future. Right now, it seems to me that developers are spending most of their time rehashing the same stuff that has been at the centre of the genre for the last decade; that doesn't enthuse me certainly. Eventually - and as John Smedley recently said - someone will realise that doing the same thing over and over again is not the way you progress, and they will do something new and unique. There are a plethora of indie MMOs out there already that are starting to explore wildly different forms for MMOs to take; that will eventually impact (and result in) variety in the overall genre, and the old formula will be diluted with new and interesting ideas. That is, however, what game development and design has always been about. MMO developers seem to be dragging their heals over it, however.

I wasn't one of those people. I was one of those people who - for many, many months on the SWTOR boards - spoke frankly about how it appeared Bioware were simply working to wrap a Star Wars veneer around World of Warcraft mechanics. I was one of the people that said SWTOR wasn't actually doing anything new or interesting with the formula, and that the story-driven levelling process would invariably give way to a weak grind at end game. I was one of the people who said it should be released as a buy to play product, as it had no hope of cracking the market using a pay to play model. I was one of the many people who was banned from the Closed Beta for supporting a petition to get the game delayed for a year so that it could - at the very least - be fleshed out with more interesting story content, and made to feel more like a unique game.

Certainly if you find the game fun, you can enjoy the game. I will not try to claim that you are wrong, because it's unreasonable to claim a subjective feeling could ever be wrong. However... ZMO care if they hit their internal targets. The media cares. Many consumers - like myself - care. We care because if they fail, the prospects for the game being fun in the long term are significantly diminished. SWTOR has been out for a year, and has had no meaningful new content added until recently. That's what failing to hit their targets will do to the potential for fun in the game. If they get it wrong out of the gate, which is what I worry about, then it will not be fun for anyone. I'm a fan of the franchise, and I express my faboyism by speaking about my genuine concerns, partly because I want people to allay them... and partly because I want ZMO to do the best job they can do. I WANT TESO to succeed, just like you :)
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Ivixor
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I agree with you on EVERYTHING. I read the Offical boards and The videos an interviews with the Devs. Everyone saying TESO is doing "what no MMO has done" an everything is "Fresh and New." Just pisses me off that theres nothing new about it!

Questing system- U explore an find new areas with quests.... Guild Wars 2 anyone?

Points of interest- Small things on the map that show u more of the land.... Guild Wars 2?

Live and tactic combat system- Any one heard of Mortal online? Or Chivalry

Ugh, I could go on with there whole "what makes this game unique" An name each an every MMO thats already done it. Just pisses me off, Like they like lieing to us to make there game see AMAZING to TES fans who have never played MMOs. Or they them selfs have never played an MMO an dont know what the hell there talking about.


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(January 2nd 2013 01:56 PM)Fearum Wrote:  Sadly I do not agree with you and can't wait to play it. You compare it to games but have no idea how it will play out yet. So you being a cynical person I can see why you have no hope for anything new to be any good. You must have been one of those people who were let down by SWoTR that bought into the hype and think everything now is nothing more than hype. I really could careless about how much money they are going to make and if they hold 1 million subs or not. All I care about is if the game will be fun.

Don't get me wrong, I am first and foremost an Elder Scrolls fan and I will be buying ESO and playing it for a while. Saying we might be cynical just because we see things that we don't like and we point them out in various forums is not the case.

Instead we are worried about ESO because we are huge fans of the franchise and we would hate to see ESO in the state SWTOR is in a year after its release.

That would not only tarnish Zenimax's image as a developer, it would also tarnish Bethesda's image as a developer and that is why we are worried. Not because you think we are being cynical but because we are worried that ESO will fail like so many MMO's have failed because the developer failed to realize that they need to make a new game, not a copy of any other game.
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(January 2nd 2013 03:06 PM)GamerTerran Wrote:  I agree with you on EVERYTHING. I read the Offical boards and The videos an interviews with the Devs. Everyone saying TESO is doing "what no MMO has done" an everything is "Fresh and New." Just pisses me off that theres nothing new about it!

Questing system- U explore an find new areas with quests.... Guild Wars 2 anyone?

Points of interest- Small things on the map that show u more of the land.... Guild Wars 2?

Live and tactic combat system- Any one heard of Mortal online? Or Chivalry

Ugh, I could go on with there whole "what makes this game unique" An name each an every MMO thats already done it. Just pisses me off, Like they like lieing to us to make there game see AMAZING to TES fans who have never played MMOs. Or they them selfs have never played an MMO an dont know what the hell there talking about.

So, Guild Wars 2 was not the first appearance of those things. Seeing GW2 being thrown around as the harbinger of so many new things when it isn't is getting rather old.

That said, I don't agree with the OP. Anyone that doesn't cut through marketing speak and bases opinions off of it is being foolish.

I played DAoC, I played WAR; I know what I'm getting.
This post was last modified: January 2nd 2013 06:13 PM by Reichmar12


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I havent seen anyone saying anyhing about new and innovative anything. How can you even compare this to SWtor and their massive failure? We havent heard shit yet about the game, except from the introduction and a few old interviews. If you think you already know how the game will play out, I'm sorry I have to disagree with your crystal ball statment. I could careless about ES series, has nothing to do with TESO except in name. Single player games are a huge bore and I dont waste my time with them.

All I want out of this game is some good old 3 faction pvp like DAoC and some good PvE. SWtor could not do either, this is not bioEA so I don't have any doubts that this will resemble anything that happend over there. Not listening to some of your pointless suggestions has nothing to do with the success or failure of this game. If they can make it fun and hold people is the only thing that matters. Any of your concerns can't really be answered until late after launch when people hit end game, which is really what MMO's are about for the most part.

I figued I would check out some of the fan site forums because some of the others are flooded with toxic posters, it seems some have leaked all over from the other boards to here spreading their end of the world views.
This post was last modified: January 2nd 2013 06:19 PM by Fearum
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Im not mashing the game at all.. An I was throwing Gw2 around cause Its what is on the top of my head when writing and seeing the videos that has been put out for TESO..

These "New" basic things where said in the "Introduction to TESO" I was simply saying That what there calling new isnt? An i was naming a few game that i could think of off the top of my head?


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Where have they said anything is new or innovative. Please supply a link. Did not hear any of this in the Intro i just watched.
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The video An Introduction to TESO is natually the Devs 1st Introduction lol, where they try to grab are attention with there best mechanics. But what they told us in the introduction isnt really new? So what OP was saying that what is TESO giving us besides an MMO Elder Scrolls.

NOW, What I was saying Is I was tired of Fans saying this is all new when other games have all this.

I cant wait for TESO, Thats why im here! Lol. But i was agreeing to what OP was saying about so far theres nothing that makes it Stand out to MMO players, ATM it stands out to TES fans..


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Not really directing it at you. I stopped reading the OP long winded post a few sentences in when he said the devs are pushing NEW INNOVATIVE features. I have not heard one thing from them that has had those words said, and would love to see a link to one.
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(January 2nd 2013 03:06 PM)GamerTerran Wrote:  I agree with you on EVERYTHING. I read the Offical boards and The videos an interviews with the Devs. Everyone saying TESO is doing "what no MMO has done" an everything is "Fresh and New." Just pisses me off that theres nothing new about it!

Questing system- U explore an find new areas with quests.... Guild Wars 2 anyone?

Points of interest- Small things on the map that show u more of the land.... Guild Wars 2?

Live and tactic combat system- Any one heard of Mortal online? Or Chivalry

Ugh, I could go on with there whole "what makes this game unique" An name each an every MMO thats already done it. Just pisses me off, Like they like lieing to us to make there game see AMAZING to TES fans who have never played MMOs. Or they them selfs have never played an MMO an dont know what the hell there talking about.

I'm pretty sure they took the exploring for quest thing from the TES Series... well I mean... if you consider the fact that this is a TES game then maybe you would see that.

Also, points of interest from what I've heard are places where you might find a quest. This is pretty much necessary for most mmos... otherwise the less "intelligent" players would hate the game.

And the Live combat is too general to say it was copied from another game. You want this in your game.. you don't copy it off of someone else.. I think the community has gotten past the clicky clicky phase and turns for attacks. At least i have.

Also, I believe that we still have quite a load of information to be released before we can make any firm judgement... We haven't gotten to beta so we have no idea how the game will play out. Whatever you may think can be the exact opposite for all you know.
This post was last modified: January 2nd 2013 08:25 PM by Ceydro


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I didnt say it was copied? lolz but um ok? I was saying that Fans of TESO are saying that not devs?


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