ESO: Gameplay And Commentary

Last weekend brought a big reveal for The Elder Scrolls Online: a 20+ minute livestream gameplay video. MMORPG also published a short dev interview today.

A lot of early comments on the video were very negative, especially criticizing the animations. More recent commentary looks more positive. If day one commentary is from serious/hardcore MMO players and the delayed positive stuff is a more casual viewpoint, then that’s in line with the market TESO is going for.

My reactions:

I really liked the “morphing” of skills, but not the super-simple combat. When Paul Sage said something like: “left mouse to attack, hold for heavy attack, right mouse to block”, I honestly cringed thinking that’s the combat.

Yes, you can swap weapons, which makes Guild Wars 2 a lot more interesting, but even there it wasn’t enough to hold my attention.

It’s not just variety in play. It’s feeling heroic. Do you feel more powerful and capable if: your fire bolt becomes a fireball at L5, and then the ball becomes a storm at L10, and then the fire becomes meteors and L15, and you’re just doing the same thing except with a bigger spell effect.

No, I think to feel like an Archmage you need to be able to summon a zombie, light it on fire, teleport it forward to explode, and then teleport yourself forward to pick over the resulting bodies. In Rift, my mage feels like a goddess. No you can’t teleport burning zombies in Rift either–that was just to make a point.

The point does evoke the original GW2 hype of spell combinations, but while playing GW2 I rarely saw opportunities to use that. I saw occasional buffs that came and went in combat, and when I researched them, they seemed a little pointless to bother with, a lot like Fellowship Maneuvers post-nerf in LotRO.

The MMORPG article noted you can join up to five guilds at a time in TESO. This I do like. I wish Rift offered multiple guilds so I can be in my Roleplay guild and also a Raiding guild or just a big mega-guild.

I always feel like something different when I log in. It would be nice to have all options and also join up with new friends while keeping my old ones.

In the commentary for the MMORPG article, you see guild leaders crying that multiple-join destroyed guilds, and it’s a horrible idea. Then you see casuals, like me, liking the idea. Sorry raiders, in this case your self interest is not in TESO’s best interest, which is their more casual demographic.

The bad first-person animations in the video may be deceptive since those are recent additions to the beta game, so I’m writing that off. Who knows. The stealth looked nice. Rogues are already crying about having to use stamina to stealth.

The graphics in general don’t impress, but the video resolution is poor so again–who knows. The multiple-platform development will incur a charisma penalty on this along with being an MMO in the first place.

The video mentions the game is fully voiced, and with the hype, the less than impressive graphics, and the undertones of franchise-power being exploited for coins, it’s tempting to see an echo of SWTOR.

It will be interesting to see how huge the new consoles will be for TESO. Will it explode into stardom as a game and MMO, or will it drown among all of the other new games and franchises being released at the same time those consoles launch?

Personal stuff:

I’m back to Rift this week already. I spent most of the weekend building a PvP dimension. It’s a bandit storage facility, which is my character’s own hideout, as she runs a lady bandit organization in Shimmersand. It has palm trees, crates, and sky platforms.

The platforms are designed specifically to make it difficult to bottle the enemy’s spawn like you can do in some of the Rift official maps. You can only access the elevated sections if you die, and then the grounded players can’t see you very well until you make your move to an objective or position.

It has been really fun designing a map to make sure each side has equal opportunities, as well as to offer good opportunities for different roles and playstyles. I’m in the dark on game engine performance though (what can I do to optimize use of placeables), so I need to recruit help from super-geeks, or maybe even Trion.

My Rift guide has 666 views so far this week, which is incredible. No one is commenting on it, so I hope it is being of some help. Maybe Rift F2P is really picking up steam, or maybe the article is just ticking up in the search engine.

That’s all for this quicky. The next phase of summerfest in Rift kicks in tomorrow. I like the in-game Rift event interface that tells you the exact dates. In LotRO it was often awkward knowing what was happening when.


About Silverangel View all posts by Silverangel

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