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Thursday, May 1, 2014

The Road Ahead in TESO

ZeniMax Lead Developer Matt Firor gave us a road map to the near term future of The Elder Scrolls Online. You can read his full post here. He goes to great lengths to assure everyone that Zenimax is taking all feedback, good and bad, and working to resolve the issues brought forward by reviewers and the community at large. I can personally state that I've noticed their efforts. Though I still get at least one spam mail a day from gold sellers, I did in fact notice the bot banning in dungeons going on over the weekend. It was very much appreciated by this player. I've also noticed GMs in the large towns. Were they simply watching over the state of the game or were they going after gold sellers, or characters cashing in on goods obtained by bots? I don't know, but they are there and that makes me believe Zenimax is being proactive about bots wherever they are.

Matt Firor also discussed the upcoming Update 1 which will give us Craglorn and many other bug fixes. He did not give a release date. He only said it would be after it was thoroughly tested. I'm good with that. It'll be awhile until I can get to Craglorn. There is just so many other places to go, and so many levels to achieve. ;-) He did give a really nice summary of what Update 1 will provide (full list here.)

  • Craglorn, the first Adventure Zone, specifically created for groups of Veteran Rank 1 and above characters

  • Trials, which are 12-player “raid”-type instances for Veteran Rank characters, featuring completion time leaderboards

  • Death recap: you can now see who killed you and what ability they were using. This is invaluable information in dungeons, PvP, and Craglorn

  • Underdog bonuses in Cyrodiil—you’ll get more Alliance Points and XP while fighting for an alliance with a lower population in your campaign

  • Animation tweaks and polish

  • Combat ability balance changes and fixes

  • Class ability tweaks and updates

  • Content bug fixes, especially edge cases where quests could become de-synced

  • And much, much more—check out the final patch notes when they are posted in the forums

The part of the post that really got my attention though is when he listed future updates already in development! He said players can expect to see these new features within the next year (and beyond.) As development and testing of each enhancement is finished Zenimax will roll them out. Here's a complete list of future additions players can expect in the game, and my comments on the ones I really find exciting.

  • A system that allows grouped players to see each other even when they’re in different phases

  • A justice system—steal from and kill NPCs and deal with the consequences if you are caught

    • This is an excellent idea. I love the thought that our actions may have consequences. For example, last night I had the choice to kill Captain Rama or simply take his sword and tell everyone I'd killed him. It doesn't seem to matter which I did (and I'm not saying. :P ) But wouldn't be something if my choice made me more or less welcome in certain social circles? And what about the guy running around as a skeleton in Wayrest yesterday (there's a quest that'll let you do that if you don't complete it.) Shouldn't the merchants shy away from doing business with such an abomination? Something like that should affect your social standing at least.

  • Migration of European Megaserver to our European datacenter.

  • Field of View (FOV) adjustment

    • Yes please! My character's head is about to fall off his neck for lack of peripheral vision.

  • Armor dyeing and tinting

    • Join a guild, wear their colors. That's fresh all day long.

  • Two new Veteran Dungeons: Crypt of Hearts and City of Ash

  • New region of Craglorn with a new Trial (the Serpent)

  • Increased ability to pick up items in the world

  • Thieves Guild and Dark Brotherhood storyline and quests.

  • Spellcrafting

  • Horse Racing

    • This would be great if organized betting was also allowed! I'm certain the thieves guild has bookies aplenty. If your character owed gold to them, they may just send out toughs to collect. More repercussions for in game decisions!

  • Dragonstar Arena—similar to Trials, but built for a group of four

  • Improvements to fishing

  • Crafting system improvements

  • Improved Looking for Group system

  • Better NPC facial animations

  • Guild functionality updates: guild store interface updates, customizable guild insignias, tabards, and guild ranks, and Guild Kiosks—guild stores open to everyone that are available to the highest-bidding guild.

    • See my comment on armor dyeing and tinting. :D

  • Auto-leveling dungeons that level to your group leader

    • Excellent, excellent, excellent! What's worse than getting stomped in a dungeon that's too high a level for you? Stomping everything in a dungeon because it's too low a level. I'd actually like to see all group dungeons in Tamriel treated this way. It'll give higher level characters more game play opportunity.

  • Awards when you repeat dungeons

  • Imperial City PvP dungeon

    • Oh, this could be very, very interesting. I'd like to know how they're going to design it though. It could be camp hell if not done right.

It seems to me that Zenimax is moving decisively to stop the negative image many reviewers have been creating for the game. I have to agree with a blog I read yesterday, as well as many other articles on the subject.  There is a sense of entitlement that colors all the negativity. The majority of it is unfounded IMO. Does TESO have flaws? Yes, it does. But I've seen worse roll outs in my decades of gaming. The list of TESO issues only seems long because there is so much more to do in TESO. At least that's my impression of the game, and you can have a look at My Games page to see if I actually know what I'm writing about. I'm looking forward to a long, enjoyable future with The Elder Scrolls Online.


  1. Remember, it is not just botted gold and itmes Zenimax needs to police. The duped gold that the RMT shops got also needs to be taken care of.

    Since you play, maybe you can answer a question. Is 100,000 gold a lot in ESO? Because that amount is being advertised for $16.50 or less by some RMT shops. Just as comparison, $16.50 is a good price for 1 billion ISK in EVE.

  2. Good point on the duped items. Not certain they can track that gold, but hopefully they can. As for 100k gold, yeah, that's a lot to me. I'm level 20, haven't bought any armor, horse or other expensive items; rely almost completely on drops and rewards, and I have about 10k gold.


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