Posted in Elder Scrolls Online

Elder Scrolls Online: The ambassador MMO

Passing along a couple of interesting links to posts discussing irrelevant complaints about Elder Scrolls Online as well as legitimate concerns.

ESO is not going to be my thing for so many reasons.  I’m not a fan of the game world, but more than that, the game itself looks so incredibly dull.  There’s precious little innovation here and I’m deeply concerned that ZeniMax/Bethesda doesn’t really understand the MMO industry and is perhaps stubbornly ignoring lessons of the past by assuming that ESO will succeed by the virtue of its name alone.

However, I am certainly not rooting for it to fail.  I actually would love to see it flourish, not just because I have friends who will be playing it and I like seeing folks have a good time in their MMOs, but because ESO is uniquely positioned to be what I think of as an “ambassador” MMO.  The Elder Scrolls IP and massive fanbase is an immense starting advantage, and done right, ESO could introduce MMO holdouts among the gaming population and even make converts among them.  Folks who either have ignored or resisted MMOs will be poking their heads into ESO because it’s Elder Scrolls, and that’s an important opportunity to win them over.

But if it follows the SWTOR path of opening big then crashing hard and fast before hastily slapping together a F2P plan, then this is going to be the example that the mainstream will use as to why MMOs suck, why they’re a bad business model, why they should continue to be treated with contempt.  I seriously do not want to see that happen, not again.  I’m tired of journalists who only seem to know of four MMOs, tops, when they talk about them and continue to use the same small sample size for their points of contention.

I wouldn’t have chosen ESO to be such an ambassador, not with how it’s being made and positioned, but I don’t have a say in that matter.  So instead, I’m hoping for all of our sake that it does well enough to avoid the type of downfall and backlash that some love to perpetuate.

10 thoughts on “Elder Scrolls Online: The ambassador MMO

  1. I just don’t see how Wildstar is innovative either. It certainly has a lot of different part for varying play styles but none of them are truly innovative. It seems to me like just another mmo focusing more on the achievement aspects of an mmo while at the same time the faintest hint of the others.

    It won’t be a bad game but innovative… Not in the slightest.

  2. Admittedly, I haven’t played either yet, but TESO sounds more innovative than WildStar to me, albeit not by much. TESO at least some some really interesting character progression mechanics, and the ability to play through other factions at max level is a bit different. WildStar’s got the telepgraphs thing, but that doesn’t strike me as being wildly different from other action combat systems, and some of the endgame stuff seems kind of original, I guess, but that’s it. Paths are unique as an idea, but from what I’ve heard, they’re fairly generic in execution.

  3. Ugh, whats innovative about either game? Telegraphs aren’t innovative. Character progression isn’t innovative. Its renovative. Its the closest you can get to horizontal progression in an industry.

    EQ Next is probably the best example of innovative. Letting players build in a persistent online world? Monsters that don’t spawn in a fixed position (or zone) but instead roaming the world motivated by personalities?

    Nothing in TESO or WildStar is truly innovative. Both have put on a good show, but they’ve failed to describe how they are going to deal with the content creation problem facing EVERY Themepark title (and they are both Themeparks for certain). Content creation cycles are why games fall apart.

    SWTOR failed, because people hit end game in a month, and it took them what .. 6 months? to patch in a single new raid?

    What is going to stop people from burning through TESO or WildStars content? EQ Next the world is literally not a fixed static world, but a truly “living world” that Guild Wars 2 is forcibly trying to implement via patches. EQ Next is probably the only evolutionary title on our upcoming MMO horizon. The rest of these games are passing fads.

    All of the debating, arguing, hyperbole being splashed around on behalf of both of these titles? I’m guessing half of you won’t even want to admit writing that stuff in a year from now. Both of these titles will be announcing “Free to Play” and you’ll be spending your time trying to tell me that just because its going Free to Play doesn’t mean it failed. Clearly, you’ll be wrong.

  4. @thescree If EQNEXT is already F2P is it a failure before it starts? Is it more than a textured Minecraft clone?

    It is innovative, just like I think Path of Exile is and Neverwinter. Two games built from the ground up with a particular business model. One fixes gold spammers, the other has a really neat content creation kit.

    I hope all the MMOs on topic find their spot in the public eye and stick around. They provide variations on existing models and, if their financials are sound, should be able to survive with 500k worth of subs. No game today should be aiming higher…

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