Elder Scrolls Pre-Order, CE Editions Announced

Massively reported this morning on a new 8-minute Elder Scrolls trailer and the announcement of the collector’s edition and pre-order bonuses. Pre-ordering will entitle you to five days head start access, as well as unlocking the playability of any race in any faction.

So the three factions of Elder Scrolls Online have been reduced to meaninglessness due to a money-making mechanism, since we can 99.9% assume this will remain as an unlock in the cash shop. You have to pre-order or pay more later to play the character you want if the race and faction don’t match up.

This includes if you want to play with your friend or significant other. Like a simmering Morrowind volcano, this will spew endless ash clouds of complaints. It’s still better then the hard three-way faction split, a fact that the fanboys will surely keep copy and pasting.

So ESO is following in the same footsteps as the TORtanic F2P in blocking access to most of the race combinations up front, and asking for money to allow players to play the character and story combination they want.

Clockwork opines on the Out Of Beta blog:

So they want me to pre-order (a risky move already) AND buy the collector’s edition to have the same level of choice for character creation that I have had in all the previous games.

Fuck. That.

I’ve mocked games like Neverwinter and SWTOR being cash grabby, but ESO has just taken the cake. They’ve taken two of the most interesting elements of Elder Scrolls (being able to choose your race and who you side with) and run them through the corporate “good-to-shit” converter.

For me, this is a little disappointing that they’re throwing faction immersion, flavor, and pride under the bus for profit. Even as critics lambasted the three-faction split for months and months, this was surely the plan all along. In retrospect, it had to be.

I’m not going to spend my evening crying like an elf over orcs in my forests doing the same quests as me. I had decided that I wanted to support ESO and pre-order out of a strong nostalgia for Morrowind and the fact that it’s a subscription game, and therefore free of money-grabbing cash shop tactics. But wait.

I was also interested in the release headstart time for making a pre-order decision, since I’m supposed to move residences at the end of April. I wanted a 10-day or 2-week headstart. The offer is five days, which isn’t much. I don’t know. A lot of that could be downtime while things are broken, and then I’ll be cleaning and packing.

Kitties just want to have fun immersed in beautiful fantasy world, not immersed in marketing and sales and microtransactions. The video was okay, with a sort of Hellraiser flavor going on with the chains. The artwork in ESO is impressive.


About Silverangel

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2 responses to “Elder Scrolls Pre-Order, CE Editions Announced

  • commenter formerly called wumpus

    While I am certain it will ship with an in game store (with lots of ways to access it), any guesses how long until the thing goes f2p and the $60-$80 bucks goes out the window? (they might make the “play what you want” option way more than $20). I am guessing 3 months to fit into corporate quarterly reports.

    Also a 5 day “head start” in an Elder Scrolls game *with no mods yet* and *all the bugs*? Sounds great. Have they confirmed an open Lau interface yet? The idea of segregating consoles sounds like they are willing to allow some sort of UI mods on PCs even if they can’t make it to consoles.

    Since I am fairly local to the area (drive by Zenimax fairly often, and I am from Timonium, where ESO is being made) I took a gander at Bethesda and Zenimax wikis to see how corporate they are, and how they got there. Looks like the founder got together with a DC lawyer and created Zenimax out of Bethesda, and wound up with the most corporate creation possible (just look at the board of directors: CEO of CBS, former CEO of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, a Trump, even Cal Ripken is listed as a CEO and not a baseball player, with the seriously connected politicians listed in the “Business Advisory Board”). Yeah, I’ll go there when I want fun. I wonder how they managed to finance Skyrim and leave the horse armor to a minimum (oddly enough, Zenimax was founded three years before Morrowind was released. I imagine financing that game was tough).

    I’ll be looking for my Oblivion discs (thankfully Skyrim is on steam) as I’ve already done my move and can’t find them.

    • Jackie

      Gosh, that’s a good question. I’m sort of predicting it’s going to do better than most MMO-philes seem to be thinking. It’s on XBone and PS4 too dontcha know, so that’s a huge amount of development inertia. I mean, a conversion is a big deal. Could it go F2P on PC only at first? Sure.

      I wouldn’t count on F2P soon. I would think sales on the box price by late next fall. It would be strange to reduce PC box price while still charging full price for consoles for their launch later this summer. Maybe if they are bleeding players by then.

      The LUA interface for PC was something mentioned a few months ago. I haven’t heard of it since. I might not even be supposed to mention it. I honestly forget, so don’t quote me. Hopefully there will be some PC modding. That would be nice.

      Gosh, I had no idea Zenimax was so obscenely corporate. That’s horrible. I do remember the horse armor. Sort of like remembering the Alamo I guess. And here we are today selling the Imperial race. Thanks a bunch, wumpus. Hope all is well, and have a good weekend. 🙂

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