World of Warcraft Next Rival? The Elder Scrolls Online

World of Warcraft The Elder Scrolls Online technology
Gaming enthusiasts are wondering whether World of Warcraft if about to have a serious challenge to its reign. Yesterday, Bethesda Softworks removed the non-disclosure agreement for the beta testing on their upcoming massive multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG), The Elder Scrolls Online (ESO). The MMO is part of the widely popular The Elder Scrolls series, but will be Bethesda’s first attempt at making a multiplayer game. Though it may take a few adjustments, a lot of effort from the publisher, and maybe a few sacrifices, some believe that The Elder Scrolls Online could be the World Of Warcraft’s next big rival.

The game takes place in the same location as all of The Elder Scrolls games, the continent of Tamriel. The continent is divided into nine different provinces, each with its own native race. Unlike previous Elder Scroll games, single player games which usually focus on just one providence throughout the game, The Elder Scrolls Online will allow players to explore the entire continent of Tamriel. The players will play as one of nine races, separated into three factions at war. By joining the factions, players can compete to become the Emperor of Tamriel.

The Elder Scroll games have always encouraged non-linear exploration in their games, and The Elder Scrolls Online will be no different. Bethesda has included diverting paths in quest lines, random events, and other treats that will be sure to cause the players to search under every rock and behind every tree. According to lead gameplay designer, Nick Conkle, the development team wants every player to have the mindset of “I’m just walking and oh, there’s something right there, let me go check it out.” This is different from the World of Warcraft’s linear quest lines, which usually involve killing a certain number of creatures or collecting a certain number of objects to complete the quests.

Though the game is only in the beta stages at the moment, there are some issues and concerns that many players are already commenting on. The first is the subscription model that Bethesda is using for the Elder Scrolls Online. The game will have an initial purchase of $50 and a monthly subscription fee of $15. This decision comes at a time when many popular MMOs are moving to a free-to-play model, with the option of paying for additional content. Matt Firor, the general manager of Zenimax Online Studios who developed ESO, insists that the monthly fee will allow the company to develop the game they want, and the game the players want. Be that as it may, if The Elder Scrolls Online wants to reach numbers that rival the World of Warcraft, the free-to-play model may be the best option.

The combat system is also an issue that has raised complaints from players in the beta sessions. The Elder Scroll series has never had the most inventive of combat systems, often times just a repeated pressing of a button to swing a sword, cast a spell or shoot an arrow. But with the MMO model, Bethesda is presented with a feature that was not a factor in any of their previous single player games: player versus player combat. In order to seamlessly integrate player versus player combat into The Elder Scrolls Online, the combat system will need a serious overhaul to keep players around.

Firor has stated that he and his team are committed to making a MMO that is worthy of The Elder Scrolls franchise. That will be a tall task, as the last Elder Scrolls game, The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim, sold over 3.5 million units in the first 48 hours from its release. Firor also said that he wants to create “the best MMO ever made.” If Firor and the Elder Scrolls Online team want to make that claim, and be the next to hold the crown, they will need to topple the rival World of Warcraft, who had over 10 million subscribers at its peak. That will be one quest that may take a while to complete.

By Jonathan Gardner

Game Informer
Total Xbox

16 Responses to "World of Warcraft Next Rival? The Elder Scrolls Online"

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  2. ssasa   April 7, 2014 at 11:29 pm

    League of Legends = 36 million subs WoW= barely 6 so hands down

  3. Randy   February 17, 2014 at 7:15 am

    Elder Scrolls Online is leaked and available to public now… Grab yourself a copy now from this site because I’m pretty sure this website will be taken down very soon!

  4. Tyler Durden   February 17, 2014 at 1:45 am

    I was in ESO Beta 1/2. Wow has absolutely NOTHING to worry about. ESO will have a nice initial (fan boys and curious types) run, then when (1-3 month) subscriptions run out they’ll stop reporting numbers.

    /\ That, btw, is a best-case scenario. Worst case? DOA.

    Game had multiple issues from the technical (server lag), to itemization (there was none at the lower levels), to stupid things such as if you are in a group and you both ‘zone’ (yes there is zoning), you and your group mates could end up in different instances.

    At the end of the day though, something was missing. Sure it “looked” like Elder Scrolls, but there was no ‘hook’, to make you say “Man I have GOT to * BUY * and * PLAY * this game.

    I might give it a whirl when Amazon offers $10.00 DLs in September.

    Until then? No way in Hades I’m paying $50.00 to Beta-test.

  5. powan   February 17, 2014 at 1:40 am

    game looks great, like other tes games u can steal food, bottles ect.. what wasnt in the beta was the law, so maybe jail could be fun to escape from, or vist,

  6. AnimeLite   February 17, 2014 at 12:13 am

    I’m a huge WoW nerd. Been playing it since WotLK, like many of my friends. we’ve all tried out the “WoW killers” and abandoned them after hitting endgame. Why? Because WoW is better. Some people might disagree, but it’s obvious, by their numbers alone, that the majority still love WoW more than any other game out there.


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