Though the Elder Scrolls games, such as Oblivion and Skyrim, have always been incredibly well-received, fans have always wanted one thing with each new iteration: multiplayer. Bethesda has heard the cries and went one step further than merely tacking on multiplayer to a single player game by creating an MMO set in the Elder Scrolls universe. First announced for the PC, Elder Scrolls Online was officially announced at E3 2013 as also coming to the PlayStation 4.
The Elder Scrolls Online's premise is exactly as it says in the name: an online game set in the Elder Scrolls world. The entirety of Tamriel is available for you to explore, ranging from the frigid peaks of Skyrim to the murky swamps of Black Marsh. Visually, the game looks and feels like an Elder Scrolls game: towns are full of NPCs, the graphics feel like an extension of Skyrim and all the lore you'd expect from a single player Elder Scrolls game is here in full. The only difference is the other players who are questing right alongside of you.
Every Elder Scrolls player who begged for a multiplayer Elder Scrolls game is getting exactly what he asked for, not just in terms of the premise and setting but the gameplay as well. If you're a single player gamer, fear not, as Bethesda has mentioned that the game will have many elements for those who just want to experience a single player Elder Scrolls tale.
Like the premise, the gameplay is extremely similar to the single player Elder Scrolls games. The game is still set in the first-person perspective with combat that feels taken straight out of Skyrim. The only difference in the combat is the addition of skills and special abilities, of which you can have only a handful active at any time. The best description for the combat would be a marriage between World of Warcraft and Skyrim, enabling players from either game to jump right into the action.
Quests are still given by NPCs and players are still able to explore at their leisure. Like Skyrim, any class can use any armor type: want a plate armor wielding sorcerer? You got it!
Still not convinced the game will be on par with Skyrim? The following features have also been confirmed for Elder Scrolls Online:
- Daedric Artifacts
- Fast Traveling
- Dragon Shines
And this is only the tip of the iceberg! As you can see, if you were a fan of Skyrim, Elder Scrolls Online retains everything you loved about the classic single player adventure while adding its own spin on things.
While the majority of the game can be played single player, certain dungeons will need to be tackled by a group of players, which is a typical mechanic used in every MMO to facilitate grouping with other players. Dungeons aren't the only activity you can participate in with other players, though!
Player Vs. Player
When you first create your character in Elder Scrolls Online, you'll have the option of siding with one of three factions. Each faction has their own plans for Tamriel; plans that will often cause them to collide with members of the opposite faction. Once you hit Level 10, you'll be able to battle other players of an opposing faction in specialized arenas.
Interested in seeing an opposing faction's story and point of view? Once you hit the maximum level, which is 50, and you've finished your faction's main quests, you can check out the quests from the opposing faction.
January 2014 edit: It has been revealed that Elder Scrolls Online is now going free-to-play. After purchasing the game, you can play the game for free to your heart's content. An optional subscription is available for players who want to access all future content, and a cash shop is being added to the game that will sell cosmetic items.
Despite the current trend of MMOs going free-to-play, The Elder Scrolls Online will be going with the tried but true subscription model.
After the initial purchase, expect to pay $14.99 per month to be able to continue playing, a model that other popular MMO mainstays such as World of Warcraft also employ. Discounts will be given for gamers who purchase multiple months of game time at once but no details about how steep these discounts will be has been revealed.
Gamers will be able to purchase time either via the Elder Scrolls Online website or by redeeming a game card, available for purchase at any major retailer.
It's been revealed that you will not need a PlayStation Plus account to play The Elder Scrolls Online. All you will need to pay is the monthly subscription fee for the game itself. This is in contrast to the Xbox One, where Xbox Live Gold will be required in addition to the monthly sub fee.
A post on the official Elder Scrolls customer support has revealed that Character Transfers from PC to PS4 is possible:
"Players who purchased and activated the PC / Mac game either from The Elder Scrolls Online Store or from a retailer and activated their game code by 6/30/15 (11:59pm UTC) will be able to purchase the console transfer (for $20.00 USD or €14,99 Euro or £12.99 GBP) at a later date and enjoy the full Tamriel experience on console with 30 days of included game time."
Don't expect to play Elder Scrolls Online at the PlayStation 4's launch; currently, the game has a Spring 2014 release date on the PlayStation 4. As a special PS4 exclusive, gamers will be able to opt into a special beta event that Bethesda will release more information on in the future.
In May 2014, Bethesda has announced that the game will be delayed by "about six months," as it just wasn't ready for launch.
Bethesda has now confirmed that there is a large possibility that the game will slip to 2015 for the PlayStation 4, with more information being announced at E3.
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Insert Date: 6/16/2013