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MMORPG Q&A with Paul Sage


Started by Avidus
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I will be posting his posts and updating this as it goes along.

Q:
Hi Paul,
Thanks for taking the time to come here and answer questions.
There seems to have been a lot of talk lately about whether ESO is a real MMO prompted by some statements you guys made last month about it being playable as a single player experience. I've been following the development of the game closely for several months and I don't see any changes in the design of the game.
Can you explain why the shift in emphasis on how you describe the game?


A:
I think this has to do with how we approach development. We were worried that the term MMO had become synonymous with a certain type of game with an almost exact set of rules. That was definitely a perception we felt, even internally. But we really wanted to be true to our IP first, and still have this amazing social game with thousands of players online. When I started on UO, MMO was a new term and there weren't limits on it. We don't dislike the term or the association, we love it. We just want to make sure people aren't expecting it to be a clone of certain games.

-----
Q:

How does the mega server actually work as far as intelligently assigning channels? Do we fill out a preference form, or link our facebook account?

Tell us more about the end game, cyrodil, and instanced public dungeons. I just wanted to know what's in store.


A:
Right now, it uses data we already know about you. Your in-game friends, your guild associations, etc. We take that and try to put you in a channel of people you most likely want to be with. We talked about doing a form at one time, and we still might, but that isn't in right now.

That's a load of questions. Let's take end-game:

PVE

Solo end-game = what we have internally been calling 50+. Imagine you can go into any alliance after you complete the zones in your original alliance, but there are no longer levels. Now you can go anywhere you want in that alliance. If you finish that, you go onto the third alliance.

Small group end-game: Master dungeons. You'll go through dungeons which are more difficult to do progressively. Also we have Adventure Zones where there are large swaths of area just for the smaller group. (4 player)

Large group: Adventure Zone instances. While we aren't calling them "raids" internally, that's what you might be safest in imagining.

PVP:

Caters to groups of all sizes. But this is Cyrodiil, a huge land mass where you can just adventure solo doing quests, or looking for resources. Maybe you want a strike group to take out farms or mines. Also you have large objectives like keep sieges. The beauty of Cyrodiil is the size allows for lots of different sizes of group activity down to solo. However, we do pinpoint the hotspot on your map for you, which means if a sizeable fight is going on, you will see it dynamically appear on your map.


----
Q:

Originally posted by GreatArchitect
Question: Can PLAYER created guilds have members from all alliances in it?

Thank You,
Defatank
Great Architect Admin


A:
Yes.

----
Q:
Do you have a System ingame that will allow me to play with friends/guild mates even if there lvl is below mine ( I mean in PvE ). For Example like the Mentoring System in Rift where you can adjust your own lvl to play low lvl dungeons/quests with your friend without becoming to powerfull for that content or does the area where your in auto-adjust your lvl like in gw2? Sorry for any spelling mistake. Greetz from Germany :)

A:
We do not have anything like that currently in game. We've looked into this, and we have some ideas, but I don't believe it will be in for ship.

----

Q:
Thank you very much for being here. I am dying to know more about how player to player trading works in ESO? How will I buy, sell, or trade with other players?

A:
Currently you are able to trade in two very important ways:

Meeting someone and doing the normal, "Hey, let's swap items."
You will be able to trade in your Guild Store. This is a really big thing for us, and part of the reason we allow people to join multiple guilds. We think this is pretty exciting and we'll have more details on the full system later.


----

Q:
Will there be some kind of arena (like that in Oblivion) where I can challenge other players or at least NPCs to a duel, with perhaps the option of staking?

Thanks for doing this Paul! And nice name by the way (it's mine too)


A:
All dueling an PvP activity currently takes place in Cyrodiil. We don't have an arena for it in the PvE areas.

----
Q:
Will I be able to leave the starter zone immediately upon starting a new game, or must I complete certain quests before I will be allowed to leave?

A:
We try to make sure you can leave pretty quickly if you would like, but you will likely have to do some things to get out of starter areas.

----
Q:
can we rejoin an allaince we alrdy beat (if i start in ebon heart then join the queen can i rejion ebon heart for a more difficult play through.

A:
Right now, you cannot.

----
Q:
- Colothing/Appearance -

1.Will our equipt gear forced to be our clothing or will we be able to wear anything we want and have the gears only represent stats.

I dont want to be forced to wear pieces of clothing I dont want, I want to wear custom outits of my choosing.

2.Will clothing be like skyrim where an armor set is created for your whole body or will the clothing be seperate for each body part.

The former is too restricting and hinders character customization immensely
Thank you


A:
Right now, we do have costumes in the game and disguises which can be worn over your gear to give you a different look. We also have options for you to take gear you like (stats) and make it look different.

----
Q:
Hi Paul, big fan!

My question is..

Is healing in TESO limited to two paths?

You have stated that the 4 classes are just templates and starting point as there are loads of skill trees to follow and shape a character to fit our playing styles. However as a healer, as far as the information has been released, are there only 2 Healing skill paths at launch, The Templars healing path, and the Restoration Staff path. Is this not a very limited choice for healers? Either being forced to pick a Templar, or only having the option of one weapon, the Restoration Staff.

Will there be any other healing paths that have not been unannonced?

Will the Restoration Staff have different attunments, like the Destruction Staff having Fire, Lightning and Frost?

As it currently stands, if I was to play either a Sorcerer, Nightblade or Dragon Knight, is the only option I have to be a viable group healer, the Restoration Staff path?

Thanks



A:
Well, there are two full 'healing' paths, that aren't just healing, but that is their focus. Also, most "healing" classes usually have other skills or abilities. For us, you can determine what those are. I think the openness of the skill system really will allow you to play a very versatile healer.

----

Q:

1) I for one do not use anything that even resembles Facebook or Twitter. Any chance you could do some contests in normal forums?

2) Any chance to purchase a litho of the Frey that is signed by all the developers?

3) Can I have a Beta invite? :D

Thanks.

A:

1) I am sure we'll spread out our contests. I think those are just sites where we announce them. <insert plug for elderscrollsonline.com> here. And also, you should meet our community team, they are awesome.

2) I wouldn't even begin to know how to put a price on that. But maybe there will be a contest... </ducks>

3) If I had a dollar...


----

Q:
You mentionned in a german interview that you could choose 5 guilds per player acount, but you did not say how many characters we could create for a single acount . Could you please tell us the max limit of characters we can create?

Thanks in advance


A:
You know, we're actually still debating on the final number. So no, I don't really know.

----
Q:
Hey, Paul :)

Can you tell us an example of a feedback received during beta-testing? What people liked and what is their standing to the game?


A:
Beta feedback is amazing so far in both ways. The testers have done a very good job of being constructive if they wish something were different. This is huge for us. However, and this will sound self-congratulating, so I apologize, but our feedback through forums and surveys has been very positive and very encouraging.

----
Q:

what kind of collision system will be in the game? do I move through my friends while playing, can they push me, or can members of my faction block my way?


A:
There is no collision with other players. I know why people want there to be, I really do, but it also leads to opportunities for griefing. While I understand you can work around all of those I think this anecdote is important, "we can do anything, but we can't do everything." Having played our PvP, I think people will agree with this decision.

----

Q:
How does respawn time of resources, locked chest and mobs work in public dungeons? Is it possible to camp bosses (if there are any)?

A:
You'd probably do yourself a bigger favor if you didn't camp it. It isn't worth camping. You'll have plenty of opportunities for great loot all over the place.

----

Q:
ESO appears to have "traditional MMO" leveling so how will exploration work out? In Skyrim I can pretty much wander everywhere and find relevant "content" to do. In ESO are we limited to level-bracketed zones where once we out-level an area it becomes irrelevant in terms of both exploration (and/or "immersion") and character advancement?

Also in PvE can we freely help other players cooperatively or if they had already tagged a mob will they take an XP penalty because someone else helped them?


A:
Yep. There are levels. I've worked on an MMO where there weren't levels and that certainly has merits. However, leveling also has merits in being able to really feel progression, in more stumble-upon stranger encounters, and lots more that it would take almost all night to cover. I think what we've created gives you a lot of freedom to explore because these aren't small areas. That said, once you reach the end of your alliance and go into another alliance... you're top level. (or should be) Go nuts!

----

Q:
In other MMOs we were allowed to duel with our own faction members to practice. Will we be able to duel in the pve and pvp zones?

A:
We don't have a dueling system in of that type currently.

----

Q:
In every MMORPG and even in Skyrim mages seem to eventually take a backseat to more damage dealing classes. With the exception of AoE attacks mages never seem to get their opportunity to shine, especially in 1v1 combat scenarios. What mechanics do you have in place to ensure classes stay balanced through the entire leveling process and in PvP. Are there ways that mages can specialize in 1v1 combat scenarios?

A:
Remember, you'll have access to many of the same abilities and skills as everyone else. How you slot them in your shortcut bar will make the difference, as will your skill, gear, etc. You'll just have to find what works for you in PvP, but no class should be better than another in PvP.

----

Q:
Will it be a model where a class can change spec "on the fly" during an instance or a raid, to fit various roles?

A:
Not sure if I understand, but you will have skills and abilities you acquire in the game. More than you can use at any one time. You can select skills that make up a role, and you can definitely switch your abilities out when not in combat. In combat you have two shortcut bars once you get past level 15. (Add a weapon swap.) By switching weapons, you have a completely new shortcut bar you can fill with whatever abilities you like. You can do this in combat.

----
Q:
Are healing AOE’s and Cones the only healing abilities in the game?

A:
No. There are others. We have what we call smart heals, and we have some other types of healing.

----

Q:
What level of customization will be allowed with crafting beyond additives. Will there be naming, Crafters mark or colourization

A:
Yes naming, and we are discussing other means of customization for crafters internally. We'll post more as we actually see it in-game. :)

----
This post was last modified: July 17th 2013, 04:51 PM by Avidus


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Post #80033
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Well... after reading this i am not sure there is any useful new info... He dodge some interesting questions there, and dint know the answer for the rest of them. But its nice to see they still do this kind of interviews.
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Q:
More to the point, I was looking up the combat system (looking for how Stamina will effect that etc.) and I saw something about a "soft lock", could you clarify just what that means?

A:
Heh. I'll try. The most important thing to remember about our combat is you must be facing your target to hit it. Your reticle must almost be on your target... there is some forgiveness. However, we did notice situations where you want to stay on a target and it goes behind another valid target. So we implemented a feature where you could essentially say, there are roughly two things I am aiming at, but I mean to hit *that one*.

----

Q:
Crafting in other ES games have been a sort of grind, gathering enormous amounts of materials of sitting in said crafting spot grinding out the daggers, potions, or gloves to quickly speed things along due to crafting max level gear is a huge advantage in the single player games. I know you say items will be equal when it comes to effectiveness if the item was looted from a dungeon or crafted by a player of equal level from the dungeon. Will the grind be as taxing to become an effective crafter?

War of The Acolytes


A:
I don't know that i agree with your assessment about it being a grind, because I enjoyed the hell out of Skyrim crafting. That said, we are doing things to not make it a grind, by which I mean not repetitive activity with little degrees of success, but understand some people define "grind" very differently. A lot of people like low-key activities they can do while they socialize in the game. We want to make sure to have those in the game as well.

----

Q:
Now - to my "issue". I've seen a lot of people say that they want a game that plays like the single player Elder Scrolls games, with a lot of solo content. I've seen just as many people say the opposite - that they want a more group-oriented type of game. I'm happy with both, but I do tend to run solo, and I don't raid (Daddy responsibilities and all). So - is there a happy medium between the two schools of thought? Am I going to have to raid once I hit max level to really get the most out of the game? Or is PvP (of which I'm a big fan) a major part of the end-game (I hate that term)?

A:
I really think there is a happy medium. See my answer for veteran content as an example. (Also, make sure your Daddy responsibilities include ESO together with the family.)

----

Q:
My question is... "what is the best class for a tank?

A:
Thanks. Best class for a tank... I don't know. Right now, Dragonknight. That's going to change with some tweaks. But remember, Heavy Armor and other skill lines like Sword and Shield will help you be a VERY effective tank. Also, how you spend your stat points. So, I don't think that class is going to be the deciding factor on the best tank.

----

Q:
Seen so many interviews but still not clear ,how long /how many people are yor biggest raids

A:
The reason why is we are still testing for the best numbers. When we believe we have it set it stone, we'll let you know.

----
Q:
Is there a prison/bounty system in ESO, and how will it work?

A:
Right now, there is not.

----
Q:
- Archery -

Are you doing anything new to Archery in terms of abilities/attacks to improve archery from past TES games primarily Skyrim.


A:
We'll have lots of different archery abilities to go with our bow skill line. Some are different from previous TES games.

----

Q:
A simple one. There are two equipment slots. Is it possible to have the same weapon type in each? Two destruction staffs, for example? Or, even better, can you just use the same exact weapon for both loadouts?

Limiting, perhaps, but 12 skills would make you one awesome DPSer...


A:
You can put whatever type of weapon you like in the second slot. So yes, if you carry around two destruction staves, knock yourself out.

----

Q:
To put it plainly, I'm extremely turned off by the faction lock and the lack of immersion that comes from the phasing being applied. As a long time Elder Scrolls fan, there is a great joy in experiencing open borders. As the game is designed, that's not the case. Furthermore, the fact that I must complete the preceding faction's zone before heading on also limits immersion. Forming guilds and groups becomes infinitely more difficult, especially for roleplayers like myself who typically one race or another.

Please justify this.


A:
Taking yours so people don't think I am fielding all of the easy ones. First, this isn't going to be an exact copy of other Elder Scrolls titles. Each Elder Scrolls game has been and will be unique. I can understand your concern. However, when we decided to put in a heavy PvP system where there would be a faction war, we wanted those factions to mean something. This is also the first Elder Scrolls game where you will be able to adventure with other people and fight other people. I don't think we need to justify it, I just think we need to be up front and honest about it. I hope you join us as an Elder Scrolls fan. I think you'll appreciate the differences as well as the similarities. But thanks for taking the time to ask.

----

Q:
One of the things that make MMOs great (to me) is being able to find an epic piece gear, or a new rare mount, and brag about it to your friends.

Is ESO going to have some awesome, hard to acquire items that will give the player that great sense of achievement?

A:
Yes. Yes we will.

Q:
So, if I one day feel bored and get the crazy idea to run from coast to coast (yea, Forrest Gump) in Tamriel, example from Winterhold (Skyrim) to Southpoint (Valenwood). How many hours will that take?

A:
I honestly have no idea. But I'd recommend getting a mount.
This post was last modified: July 17th 2013, 05:17 PM by Avidus


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Post #80041
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Q:
In regards to the character creation system I am exceptionally eager to learn whether the various elven races are going to be designed in a way which makes them a little more distinct than simply coming across as looking like humans with long ears; thus I'm curious as to whether they'll have a distinct look along a similar look to how they've been presented in previous TES games whilst also being reasonably attractive and appealing?

A:

I am really pleased to report that the various Mer do indeed look very different and I think you can make them look both attractive and unattractive as you desire.

And with that, I am out of time. Actually a little over. I am sorry if I didn't get to your question. I tried to go in order and then just answer some random ones here and there. Time passed by fast, and as I said, I am not the speediest of typist. Again, thank y'all very much for the questions. I hope to see all of you in the game. Except the one guy who asked me about dragons...


---------------

So mostly useless information. But I think the most important thing to take away, Paul Sage does not want to see the morons asking about dragons playing the game. GOOD NEWS!
This post was last modified: July 17th 2013, 05:57 PM by Avidus


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Post #80046
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(July 17th 2013, 05:22 PM)Avidus Wrote: So mostly useless information. But I think the most important thing to take away, Paul Sage does not want to see the morons asking about dragons playing the game. GOOD NEWS!

Dragons can play video games? Now that's something I'd like to see.

Lots of good information, some things we haven't heard about yet. Thank you for taking the time to go through and post the Q/A session.

AS a side note, I think that last comment about making the Mer look as attractive or unattractive as you wish is actually Paul's response to the question asked. You might want to edit that, OP.
This post was last modified: July 17th 2013, 05:50 PM by Tabbycat


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Post #80050
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(July 17th 2013, 05:46 PM)Tabbycat Wrote: AS a side note, I think that last comment about making the Mer look as attractive or unattractive as you wish is actually Paul's response to the question asked. You might want to edit that, OP.

Thanks for pointing that out, fixed it :D


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The two things that really stood out to me was that we can't duel each other (yet I guess), and that 'soft-locking' sounds a lot like how neverwinter did it in a way. On that note I really want to know now whether or not I can run while swinging my weapon or casting spells. Or, do I have to be stuck in one spot to use my attacks? Because to me that is what turned me off most about Neverwinter combat seeing as I was a melee. . If the person can just jump back as a mage then blast me and I have to run up then stand still to attack again while the cycle repeats, it makes me feel a lot more sluggish. . even for someone in heavy armor.

In any case - thanks for sharing. Smiling
This post was last modified: July 17th 2013, 06:07 PM by Kilivin


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Post #80054
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(July 17th 2013, 06:05 PM)Kilivin Wrote: On that note I really want to know now whether or not I can run while swinging my weapon or casting spells. Or, do I have to be stuck in one spot to use my attacks?

You can cast on the fly.
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(July 17th 2013, 06:14 PM)rabblerouser Wrote:
(July 17th 2013, 06:05 PM)Kilivin Wrote: On that note I really want to know now whether or not I can run while swinging my weapon or casting spells. Or, do I have to be stuck in one spot to use my attacks?

You can cast on the fly.

Ookay, but can you run and attack? Can you run and use abilities? If so are there any penalties for it?


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(July 17th 2013, 06:15 PM)Kilivin Wrote:
(July 17th 2013, 06:14 PM)rabblerouser Wrote:
(July 17th 2013, 06:05 PM)Kilivin Wrote: On that note I really want to know now whether or not I can run while swinging my weapon or casting spells. Or, do I have to be stuck in one spot to use my attacks?

You can cast on the fly.

Ookay, but can you run and attack? Can you run and use abilities? If so are there any penalties for it?

Yep, you can run and attack. It was even confirmed in one of the Combat AUAs that you can charge up a power attack and swing while running. The only penalty is the hit to whatever resource you're consuming (stamina or magicka).
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Post #80058
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its all old information thank you for waste 15mins of my life :(
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Thanks for posting this Avidus!

I'm a bit surprised about the no dueling system part as well, and it seems there are no plans to add any in the PvE zones (well at least he didn't say there were.)


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Post #80061
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(July 17th 2013, 06:25 PM)Konahrik Wrote: its all old information thank you for waste 15mins of my life :(

uhmm? I posted this info straight from the Q&A while it was taking place.


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so it wasted 15mins of your life also ?
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Thanks for the post Avidus!



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