Director Matt Firor has stated that despite long development cycles associated with developing MMOs, The Elder Scrolls Online has learned from its predecessors in how players with interact with its systems, according to an interview with GameInformer.
Firor said, “MMOs have evolved a lot in the last ten years and the one thing that we definitely wanted to avoid was the ‘punish the player syndrome’. MMOs are definitely moving away from this but it’s things like when two players that aren’t in a group kill a monster, why shouldn’t they both get credit for it? Why shouldn’t they both get fully rewarded for it and not split it?
“In first generation MMOs one of the players would get punished for it and not get rewarded at all. In the next generation, they split the rewards, but we’re much more inclined to encourage the players to do this, you want them to fight together. You want them to need each other so why not make it as cool as possible to fight monsters and get rewarded for it…”
Firor also spoke about how The Elder Scrolls Online would stay true to the original single-player games in how it always placed a single player at the heart of its tale.
“The part of the IP that we worked with the most to ensure that it was as closest we could in an MMO as it would be in a console solo game is that ‘I’m the hero’. In The Elder Scrolls games you’re always the hero, whether you want to or not in some cases, you know. You go out there and kill the dragons, you defeat Mehrunes Dagon in Oblivion, in Morrowind you’re up there fighting The Tribunal, those are huge global epic things you don’t want to stand in line to do in an MMO.
“The last thing you want to do is have the final confrontation with Mehrunes Dagon as he’s stomping across the Imperial City with like fifteen guys behind you waiting to kill him because they’re on the same quest.
“So, as MMO designers, the thing we needed to hit the most was that feeling that you’re awesome, you’re the hero and we do that of course through a mix of technology where when I am confronting, you know, a major foe in the game. I’m doing it in an instance where I’m alone and we have a whole part of the game that’s 100 percent solo, which is the main quest and story where the world focuses on you. You’re the hero, everything you do is solo and the world reacts to you in that way.”