New Elder Scrolls Online Screens Emerge

Andy Chalk

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New Elder Scrolls Online Screens Emerge

More than a dozen new screenshots show off some of the environments that await in The Elder Scrolls Online.

Feast your eyes, as they say, on these 14 new screens that have emerged from The Elder Scrolls Online [http://www.elderscrollsonline.com/en/#screenshots], Bethesda's upcoming MMO based on its famous RPG franchise.

[gallery=946]

There's admittedly not much to see here and if it wasn't for the presence of the Ordinator, the Centurion Sphere and the guy in the Nord helmet, they'd be entirely indistinguishable from just about every other generic fantasy MMO/RPG on the market. And without wanting to sound overly alarmist at this early stage, I think that may be a bit of a problem. Going by these screens, The Elder Scrolls Online may suffer from the same issue that plagues the Knights of the Old Republic games: It's set centuries prior to the original source material, yet nothing meaningful has actually changed.

That's not to say that these screens aren't reasonably pretty, or that I think The Elder Scrolls Online will be a sub-par game. I just hope that Bethesda is able to do something more with it than re-hash the previous games in a contrived three-way conflict.

The Elder Scrolls Online is currently expected to come out sometime in 2013.

Source: All Games Beta [http://www.allgamesbeta.com/2012/10/the-elder-scrolls-online-screenshots.html]


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Soviet Heavy

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The common problem of technological stasis in fantasy and science fiction. At least Star Wars has the whole technological dark age thing in its favor.

That doesn't stop me from criticizing Bioware's blatant copypaste Star Destroyers however. And neither will it stop me from doing the same to The Elder Scrolls.

This just looks dull. I think the biggest problem I've had with every ES Online image to date is that the lighting looks awful. It's got this ugly purple hue to it that just makes the sunlight look faded and weak, and it certainly does not help the bland looking textures.
 

Scars Unseen

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I said this game was a bad idea when it was announced, and this certainly doesn't change my mind. Most people that should be the target audience of this game don't want an MMO that vaguely resembles The Elder Scrolls series. They want a TES game they can play online. Unfortunately, early info points to ZeniO going after the same WoW crowd that no one else has managed to pry from Blizzard's cold clutching grip.

Best of luck on that.
 

kajinking

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Just me or does the art style looks way too...soft? Maybe not the best word for it but this looks like a Fable game not Skyrim.
 

jollybarracuda

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I dunno, it all just seems so...souless. They could have really done something unique with the genre, really tried to advance the medium in a meaningful way by having it play like an Elder Scrolls game, but online. I believe with enough ingenuity it could be entirely possible, with some sacrifices to immersion, of course, but it still could have been unique and stood out.

As it stands, it just seems like an average MMO with the Skyrim helmet and some dwarf bots floating around to give a reason to slap the Elder Scrolls logo on it.

I hope im wrong though, TES is a series I very much appreciate and if they could have a successful MMO game to bring in some money and new fans then that would be excellent.
 

omicron1

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Online, off-radar.

Seriously, though, does every MMO these days have to look like a Dreamworks film? There are no EDGES in these screenshots! No grit! No detailwork smaller than a person's thumb!

It's the same problem SWTOR had - like Star Wars, Elder Scrolls games have a definite feel to the artwork - and Playmobil ain't it. Compare the snowy Skyrim-esque screenshot to anything from Skyrim, for instance - the differences are immediate and glaringly obvious. Everything's rounder, smoother, dinkier. Sure, you can say it's stylized - but it's stylized in (in my opinion) the wrong way. Elder Scrolls games are about immersing yourself in the world. This? Looks like it's about immersing yourself in the hotbar.

That's not to say that different art styles are bad - but this one's definitely not overtly good. It just looks like an Elder Scrolls-themed version of Amalur - and I'd had enough of Amalur (and by extension WoW, SWTOR, WAR, and half a dozen other bloom-and-bevel-'em-ups) by the time I reached the swamp region.

(Yes, I'm aware I'm exaggerating somewhat; also that Oblivion had a penchant for very smooth edges, especially on stonework. I much prefer Morrowind's and Skyrim's art styles, though)
 

Fappy

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The ordinator made me smile, but that's about it. I am really surprised ZeniMax is going through with this after what happened to ToR.
 

blackrave

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Why does every publisher thinks that online is the final frontier, the peak of development and the Holly Grail?
There are settings that are fit for multiplayer, Elder Scrolls isn't one of those settings.
Like I said previously- good luck with that, but I won't play it.
But if it succeeds don't dare to go in Warcraft way- I'm still waiting for Warcraft4
 

Scars Unseen

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DVS BSTrD said:
Why set it centuries in the past? I mean Warcraft stayed in the current date for it's MMO.
The main reason is that -unlike with WoW and Blizzard- TES Online is not being made by Bethesda. Bethesda makes single player Action RPGs. This game is being made by Zenimax Online Studios or, as I like to call them, ZeniO. The game is pretty much set in the past because Bethesda already has plans for the TES series and doesn't need some MMO asshats fucking it up for them.
 

Absolutionis

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kajinking said:
Just me or does the art style looks way too...soft? Maybe not the best word for it but this looks like a Fable game not Skyrim.
I totally agree.

The Elder Scrolls series has thus far been literally gritty. Not 'dark'-themed or anything, but all the characters and locales were believably patched with dirt, dust, and such. The characters were believably worn-looking.

This MMO looks like someone suddenly invented ubiquitous showers and power cleaners... in the past.

It all looks too 'clean' and generic.
 

Mamzelle_Kat

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It looks very... gray.

I agree with pretty much all that's been said so far: doesn't look very different from current MMOs. One of the reasons that drew me to WoW and keeps me there is how distinctive its aesthetic is.

This simply feels bland and generic.
 

Storm Dragon

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From the very beginning, I have had no confidence whatsoever in this game. The first screenshots failed to impress me, and these ones aren't doing anything either.
 

Catrixa

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It took me awhile, but I think I finally know what bugs me about this game (based on what I've heard in news articles about it being standard-MMO-esq). I honestly think a co-op Elder Scrolls would have been a better choice, but I'm not in charge of making games, so what do I know?

I think it all comes down to what I'd want to do in an Elder Scrolls game versus what one does in an MMO. In an Elder Scrolls game, I start as a prisoner of something somewhere sometime (it really doesn't matter, but it seems they've got a theme going on here), but then I am let out/freed by a plot device. I then get to make a character in the world (a snarky thief, or a tanky mage, or a traveling merchant) and do whatever. Like, literally whatever. I can pick up most of the objects in the game (maybe I've rolled a traveling merchant with a goblet obsession, so I've taken up dungeoning in order to have as many different goblets as possible) and don't have to talk to a single NPC to have a meaningful experience. Sometimes I'll do quests, because sometimes I like to have goals, but I've spent hours on just inventory management and keeping the local Draugar population down. The ability to be whoever in a world that may need saving, but that I don't really have to save, is what makes TES fun for me.

MMOs, on the other hand, while still fun, are an extremely directed experience. How I imagine things going: I want to roll an Argonian, so I start in Black Marsh. I do some stuff for a village/area/city a few dozen times, until I am level X, then I move to the next area. Repeat this process until I am max level or high enough to take on the World Bads. I fight them. I win. I roll a new character, or craft, or do some PVP, or whatever they have as end-game content. The experience is entirely directed. I am not making a unique Argonian, I am making the same character as everyone else. Maybe they add in a little bit of choice (maybe it's more story-driven, like TOR) and now I'm making one of, say, 3 possible Argonians. While I don't mean to say this is a bad way of gaming (it's not, I really like MMOs. Even WoW, when people are being tolerable), it isn't what I launch an Elder Scrolls game for. I do not feel like I am roleplaying a character with a unique personality. I feel like I am moving through goal posts to reach the end of the game.
 

Fiz_The_Toaster

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I'm still confused as to why they thought this is a good idea, and I really don't think they understand the MMO space like they think they do.

I'm utterly underwhelmed by these screen shorts, yeah they look pretty, but it just looks...dead to me. There's nothing in them that show how lively the game will be or even the 'character' of the game.
 

Starke

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toobie said:
It reminds me A LOT of Amalur.
Honestly, Amalur looked better than this. It had a clearly designed storybookish aesthetic it was going for. There were nice sharp color contrasts, enemies popped from the environment, and so on. This? This is just kinda there. None of the attention to detail.
 

Hero in a half shell

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kajinking said:
Just me or does the art style looks way too...soft? Maybe not the best word for it but this looks like a Fable game not Skyrim.
I was trying to put my foot on why the aesthetics felt off, but you've got it perfectly.
It actually reminds me heavily of The Old Republics' style. I know they can't have it as graphics intensive as a normal game, because it has to run on crap computers, but it really loses some important atmosphere when the world isn't as breathtakingly real and the textures and polygons are worse.

The big problem that drove me away from my (really brief) time playing TOR was the absolute static nature of the worlds, nothing changed right down to the positions of enemies, because everyone you defeat or interact with has to also be open to every other player to interact with them. Nothing changes, and that kills the world faster than anything else. I know that the Elder Scrolls doesn't exactly have a good track record with a dynamic world, but at least it tries, at least there are some indications of change in the world. I haven't seen an MMO achieve that yet.

I'll keep track of it, maybe even give it a chance when it comes out, but my hopes aren't high.