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.
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.