Matt Firor takes fans inside The Elder Scrolls Online

Screenshot -- The Elder Scrolls Online

This year’s E3 is winding down, but we’re not quite done yet. In addition to Joystiq’s interview with ZeniMax’s Nick Konkle, we had the chance to join Matt Firor as he gave a preview showing of The Elder Scrolls Online. While he didn’t reveal anything earth-shattering that we didn’t already know, he did provide some insight into the upcoming title’s development.

Many fans of the Elder Scrolls series are up-in-arms over TESO’s lack of resemblance to earlier entries, but Firor assures us that the studio is doing its best to implement features that will help the game retain its Elder Scrolls flavor. For instance, the game will feature the time-honored resources of health, magicka, and stamina, and as in other Elder Scrolls titles, players will be able to sneak, block, sprint, and so forth regardless of character class. In addition, despite the studio’s choice to use often-derided action-bar-centric combat, ZeniMax is still attempting to give combat a more visceral “action-RPG” feel to keep it more in-line with the general type of frantic combat players have come to expect from the series.

The title will also focus on freedom and flexibility. Firor says that the studio’s aim is to make certain that no player is ever excluded from content, be it PvP or dungeons, based on her character class. To this end, many classes will be able to fill multiple roles to ensure that a given group will be able to succeed regardless of its class composition. Players are further encouraged to work together by the game’s public dungeons and its philosophy of rewarding players for helping others on the fly.

The presentation also took us through a questline that sees the player doing some work for the Mage’s Guild. A werewolf has been causing trouble for a nearby township, and in the meantime, a bunch of ghostly warriors have given the Mage’s Guild pause. It turns out that the ghosts are warriors who killed the (apparently undead) werewolf long ago, and they wish to teach the player the secret to bringing the werewolf down. After being transported back into the past, the player will have to decide whether or not to save a warrior in danger. Should she choose to do so, she’ll be rewarded with a new line of quests from one of the warrior’s present-day descendants. Firor claims that should the player choose not to play savior, the questline will progress differently as a result, which should hopefully help relieve the monotony of playing the same content multiple times on future characters. At any rate, after the player has discovered the secret to defeating the undead werewolf (hint: it’s fire), she’s sent off finish him off for good.

Unfortunately, we didn’t get the chance to go hands-on with the game ourselves, and gameplay footage for the presentation was limited to the short combat demo. So for now, that’s about all we have, but hopefully we’ll be hearing more from The Elder Scrolls Online in the near future.


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