In a recent flurry of interviews and Q&A’s the developers of The Elder Scrolls Online have hit us with a huge amount of information in recent days. Most importantly, a number of things were confirmed that are fleshing out our understanding of the game play and setting of The Elder Scrolls Online.
First, and probably foremost, we now know that the Warrior’s Guild and Mage’s Guild will be making an appearance. John Kelley’s pointed lore question in the Dev Q&A got us this response:
The Fighters Guild and Mages Guild definitely exist, and you’ll be able to join these organizations. Each has a definite purpose in our time – the Mages Guild needs to recapture lore that could be lost in the chaos of the interregnum, and the Fighters Guild is attempting to thwart the designs of Molag Bal. You will be able to accept quests from the guilds to assist in achieving these goals. As with the rest of the game, the decisions you make affect how you see the world, not necessarily how other players see the world.
We also learned that it is likely we will see the return of many Daedric Princes and Princesses, no doubt delighting many fans of the characterful and inventive quests scattered throughout Skyrim and Oblivion:
I’m a big fan of the Daedric Princes and Princesses. Will there be quests available for all of the Daedric gods or just some of them – and if so, will there be new ones?– By Byron Henderson II
As in the other Elder Scrolls games, the Daedric Princes have a high profile in ESO. They seem to love to meddle in the affairs of mortals. As for whether we will reveal any previously unseen Princes, well – the Planes of Oblivion are infinite.
One thing that will not be returning from Oblivion and Skyrim is the Pickpocket skill, as revealed in a Guardian Interview. It’s not entirely surprising, but in some way disappointing to me:
“Pickpocketing’s something that we have thought about doing,” chuckles Firor. “But there’s a lot of complicated interpersonal relations stuff with that feature, and basically what it comes down to is the world’s divided into these three alliances, where everyone in your alliance is your friend and everyone else is the enemy, and if you pickpocket one of your friends then can you fight them? It leads into design questions that we’re unsure about – basically it’s something that is a lot of fun for you, but not a lot of fun for everyone else.”
Overall, this information has me both happy and sad. I’m happy because this sounding like a very well thought out game, and the devs have taken the time to consider the implications of the lore, and mechanics, while still trying to maintain the same feeling of The Elder Scrolls.
Removing Pickpocket, and undoubtedly one or two other skills that wouldn’t work in the MMO genre, means this is not the same kind of Elder Scrolls as Skyrim and Oblivion.
But maybe it shouldn’t be. Skyrim, Oblivion, Morrowwind and all the Elder Scrolls games that came before them were genre defining RPG’s, but they were not MMO’s. There was sense of community, only the solitary hero against whatever odds came his way.
Being part of a team or a crowd sacrifices some of that individuality, but that is not to say you don’t gain an immense amount of fun, companionship and excitement in exchange for the ability to rob every NPC you can find blind.
For The Elder Scrolls Online to be truly successful, it needs to be different, and this step is something small that will make sure you don’t confuse ESO with multi-player Skyrim.