Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Elder Scrolls: Online

The most interesting topic I really, really want to blog about as soon as Skyrim doesn't require every bit of my free time any more, is how exactly it would have to change to be a MMO, what the main differences to Wowlikes would be, and most importantly: why one would want that to happen in the first place.

Until I get to actually writing this post, feel free to tell me your opinion.


  1. I think that for this kind of games they should focus on a NMMNORPG, "Not massively multiplayer, not online RPG", as in "put up a lan/vpn and play it with some friends". This allows to keep a lot of the good things a single-player can have and which are impossible in an MMO while allowing you not to play alone.

  2. > why one would want that to happen in the first place.

    Because it would be a PC game and not a console port. :)

  3. They should NEVER make a MMO out of Skyrim or any TES game. Here's why.

    1) Balance issues. No way you can ever really balance them out. For example if they did it for Oblivion we would all be in 100% chameleon and no one would ever see anyone else.

    2) All MMO's compared to any TES game are much more linear. You would lose out on your freedom.

    3) TES games are also know for story and lore. (Yes Oblivion was so-so on story but some things like Dark Brotherhood stood out along with the Grey Wolf). MMO's are not that big on story or lore. Their audiance is more of the 'let's get together and kill shit' variety.

  4. When I started playing MMOs, the first thought I had was, "Ohmygod, The Elder Scrolls should be like this!"

    See, I always thought that The Elder Scrolls games were awesome in their openness but also very lonely. There was no one to show off to.

    But now that I've played a few MMOs, I no longer believe that Elder Scrolls should be one. The possibilities within the game are its charm, make it a public game and the charm will get neutered for the sake of balance and fairness.

    Make it into an MMO and it becomes just another fantasy MMO. *yawn*

  5. I want to disagree with Goodmongo completely.

    Balancing I have no real argument for other than tuning it for longer progression and possibly a skill point cap in order to make it so that one character cannot be good at everything.

    Not all MMO's have to be linear. EVE Online is all I have to say to refute that point. Their skill system is no less linear than the skill system in the Elder Scrolls series.

    SWTOR plans to challenge your third. Along with the RP communities of many games so far. Even LOTRO's following of the Fellowship could be considered very story oriented.

    As for my opinion, yes, I think it can be made. The biggest challenges would be making the game world seem immense (as is Bethesda's style) once you have many people in it. Enemy levels would also be an issue, but I see no reason not to have them follow a similar skill style. You'd need to add some crafting in there, as well as far more sandbox elements such as house ownership, shop ownership and non-combat activities in order to follow that kind of design. As it stands, the game itself makes a poor sandbox MMO, though a great sandbox Single player game.

    Now should it be made? I don't think it would be a good move for the company as it might just kill the IP much like WoW did for the Warcraft IP. As much as I would love for a AAA sandbox-y title, I don't think Bethesda should take that challenge.

  6. @Helistar
    Patent that acronym quick! I think that idea best suits this series. Not to mention, it's a completely unexplored niche of the market.

  7. Well a lot of the better part of elder scrolls games is atmosphere, lore, immersion. - all those things go out of the window in MMOs.

    If you take lore and atmosphere out of skyrim/oblivion it would be a mediocre sandbox rpg with subpar combat mechanics and horrible UI

  8. I'm...actually sort of shocked that people think lore and immersion are incompatible with MMO's. Would anyone mind explaining this viewpoint a bit further? I'm curious. Perhaps it is simply the roleplayer in me but I have not had this problem.

  9. @strawfellow

    i think maybe the only mmo those folks have played is WoW. and played WoW only in groups of people shouting gogogogogogo pull more.

  10. If Skyrim was an mmo, then EJ would tell you the best way to play and when and where to quest. and most players would do just that. and most of you would follow the crowd too. would the questing still be non-linear?
    as far as i can tell, the only thing special about skyrim is the fact that it is single player.

  11. I think the critical thing about the ES games is their worldiness - in particular having content scattered all over the world and you having to find it. This includes finding content you can't handle yet and having to back off for a while to get stronger.

    The problem with this in MMO terms is that other players can both increase and decrease worldiness.

    The LAN option is a cool idea obviously but one change for an MMO version might be having fewer players per server.

    Another might be restricting chat by having a /say and /shout with a realistic distance outside of settlements and an area effect /town within settlements.

    I think the game would need lots of start points with the choice based on recent players i.e. if a new player had just started at startpoint 1 then the next new player could only choose from options 2-9 (or wait a while).