The Elder Scrolls Online Preview: It’s Like Skyrim – Online

Dungeon Runs

I ran a few public solo dungeons while I was a noob, but didn’t level far enough to join an instanced dungeon designed for a full group. The devs ran one for us and allowed us to observe, however. Groups in TESO are composed of four players. Unlike other games, the holy trinity of tank plus healer plus dps does not hold here. While someone with a tank spec may be of help, having one is not entirely necessary. In fact, even if you have a dedicated tank, the mobs are designed so that he can’t keep the attention of every enemy. Some creatures will slip through to attack the other players, no matter what the tank does.

Creature AI is even more sophisticated than that. Many mobs are designed to work together if they randomly cross paths. For example, if a nature spirit comes across a woodland creature like a wolf, it will enslave that wolf’s mind, then augment its abilities to make it faster, stronger and tougher. That wolf will then guard the nature spirit from attacks. Creatures in the wild have other tricks as well: I saw two necromancers perform a quick ritual when attacked that transformed one of them into a much stronger undead creature. If you don’t stop the ritual, you are in for a much tougher fight.

But just like there’s enemy synergy, there’s also player synergy. In the dungeon run, we saw one player drop a nova fire spell at the foot of a powerful creature. When a second player approached the nova, he got an indicator to interact with it and when he did, it exploded, taking out a good chunk of the mob’s health with it. Once players know what synergies to look for, you’ll be seeing a lot of this being used to their advantage.

The dungeon we saw was the level 15 instance Spindlecloth Clutch. As the name implies, its infested with spiders — lots of spiders, including half-human spider boss mobs from your worst nightmares. The job of your group is to investigate what has happened to another group of adventurers that went into the dungeon, with most failing to return. Along the way, you meet many variations of horrible spiders, including a type that consumes the corpses of its fallen comrades during the fight for extra health. Even worse, if it eats one of its own, you lose the loot on the consumed carcass. And we all know what happens to ninjalooters….

The mini-boss and boss fights in the dungeon were a combination of area attacks to avoid and adds to manage. Taking advantage of player synergies seemed to be the only way to survive.

There will be 16 four-man instanced dungeons available at launch, plus public dungeons. No announcements have been made yet on raid or end-game content, except for assurances that the information will be coming soon.

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19 Comments on The Elder Scrolls Online Preview: It’s Like Skyrim – Online

sep

On March 19, 2013 at 12:25 pm

Im still sad they made it into an MMO :(

David

On March 19, 2013 at 3:18 pm

I’m cautiously optimistic.

TheDog

On March 19, 2013 at 3:31 pm

No caution here. Severely disappointed. Hope it bombs so they won’t do anything so stupid again.

Derek

On March 19, 2013 at 3:35 pm

I remember seeing a developer preview video from early last year where they stated that each server would be limited to 300 players, but there were be system to swap server instances for easy access to friends and guild members.

“Megaserver” implies it is…. but by chance do you know if this still the case? If so, how does one identify themselves in-game without a guild or building a large friends list? By that I mean as part of a server, shard, population segment, etc… and not just as one of the millions of players?

One of my favorite things about MMO games is that each time I play a new game I am usually among the same pool of players, thus allowing for a game community and relationships to form. While that pool may be thousands of players at first, eventually (depending on game progression and gameplay hours) it narrows down to playing with the same couple hundred people who you learn to recognize. From what I’ve seen TESO is going to function more like a matchmaking system of sorts.

Kinda seems like the next step beyond the dungeon/group/team matchmaking tools many recent MMO games have used. That may be a good or bad thing depending on your opinion of ‘em. I certainly think such tools are a bad idea and detract from the community aspect of MMO games.

How would such a system be better for social and group interaction? This system implies you’ll play with a far larger random pool of players. Is there a system which dumps players in servers with the same level players or…?

I’m hungry for more info

Hannibal805

On March 19, 2013 at 4:48 pm

The customization options sound disappointing to say the least.

lol

On March 19, 2013 at 6:53 pm

What was the actual character customization like? Was it like pick a face or did it actually have the sliders?

Marquez

On March 21, 2013 at 8:47 am

No player housing?!?!? I don’t want to play it anymore :-(

Zach

On March 22, 2013 at 1:06 am

This actually sounds pretty good. I don’t see why everyone just seems to hate on it. It isn’t even out yet.

TheDog

On March 22, 2013 at 2:02 am

And hopefully it never will and they will concentrate on games that actually sound good. I’m sorry, buy anyone who hopes for an mmo, well I just have a hard time understanding or agreeing with. There are more mmo’s out there, then you can use to choke a bloody T_Rex. When I hear about another one, I get just about as excited as I do when the doctor tells me I have some rare, incureable disease. I party, do cartwheels, do a litlle dance, make a little love, and I get down tonight. (that was part of a seventies song for all you young things out there).
Everybody and their grandmother, and their grandmothers best friend, her neighbors, her dog, her cousins in Detroit, are getting on the bloody mmo cash cow wagon. All hopen to strike it rich. Morons.

Dratkin

On March 22, 2013 at 1:58 pm

I love Elder Scrolls but I despise all MMO games.

Adam

On March 23, 2013 at 12:25 am

This game is being made by Zenimax Online Studios. Bethesda Game Studios isn’t working on it , all you haters are still going to get the normal single player games. Don’t like ESO? don’t play it, just wait for TESVI.

hwi

On March 26, 2013 at 12:11 pm

haters just beat it! you’r afraid of a real human fight so you prefer to go and smash some npc’s stupid head in single player games (no challenge? yes, please!)… becose a long time ago you’ve tried mmo and some punkass PK beat all the crap out of you… it’s all about your hands growing from your ass instead of your shoulders… ! So STFU go to your caves and cry for bethesda to give you another super hero dragonborn role than you can save the tamriel again with your mega daedra oneshot dagger… all by your self! ALONE!) PS. pardon my language)))

Trem

On March 26, 2013 at 12:51 pm

hwi – your comment makes zero sense. For one thing, there are countless reasons why people dislike MMOs, mostly due to connectivity, lack of new content, microtransactions and so forth. To wave this all away as people not being able to beat human players is, at best, blinkered. Of course, that leads to the second problem – the assumption that human enemies are ALWAYS, without exception, superior to NPCs. If that’s your opinion then I’m fairly confident in saying that you haven’t played many games in your life. Either that, or you struggled so badly with the really hard ones that you opted for MMOs, where difficulty is always variable.

Troll elsewhere, please.

TheDog

On March 26, 2013 at 1:14 pm

@hwi Omg but you are an idiot. You are one of the reasons I don’t like MMO’s. Stupid people annoy me. In real life I can take care of idiots like you. On the computer, you get even more moronic because you know we can’t touch you, and I simply feel like breaking my monitor, but that cost way too much money, so I simply avoid games that put me in touch with your kind of stupidity. Much cheaper that way.
So in short, go back to suckeling on you mommas teets and leave the thinking to the big boy and girls.

folklore

On March 26, 2013 at 2:46 pm

@HWI you piece of crap.
I happen to hate mmo’s because entitled little shieisskopf like you. I am usually fairly anti social, and the constant spam and crap put out by people like you has me uninstalling an mmo I would have liked with in less than an hour of installing it. As for pvp, I have almost a hundred hours in day of defeat source and various other games.

Dara

On March 28, 2013 at 8:43 pm

Can’t wait, can’t wait, can’t wait. Been waiting for an mmo like this for ages. Even guild wars two is a glorified wow clone, this will be great.

The one thing I never like about tes before was lack of multiplayer and now it’s here :)

mustasha

On June 24, 2013 at 10:58 am

i want it now

Judas

On October 22, 2013 at 10:59 am

I can’t wait!

Please release soon!

mark

On December 28, 2013 at 11:12 pm

I like the idea of other real people playin the game with u.I’m a huge elderscrolls guy since morrowind love itn gotta say only complaint would b it does get really lonely n companions don’t cut it but don’t take core elements out of tes such as houses imperials n messin with classic 3 rd person view other than that looks badass! I’m in! But fix that stuff I said new devs