Digital Spy secured an interview with Matt Firor, Director of The Elder Scrolls Online, in which many questions that may have been whirling about in your head were answered. This doesn’t for a second mean that there aren’t a million questions left, but there were a number of very interesting answers.
First and foremost, the answer to the following question couldn’t have pleased me more:
Elder Scrolls games are known for allowing players to walk in one direction and freely discover dungeons and missions outside of specific quest lines. Will The Elder Scrolls Online offer a similar level of freedom?
“Absolutely, our quest/exploration system was designed around this idea. In general, you can just walk across the area you are in, and the game’s compass will lead you to areas to explore. When you find those areas, you’ll find something fun to do, and you’ll be rewarded right there – you don’t need to go talk to an NPC to direct you to a quest. You can just find it yourself. We do limit somewhat the area that a player can explore based on level – if you get too far afield, you start running into enemies that are more difficult. Still, there’s so much content that you don’t have to do it all to progress to the next area.
This is incredibly important in making this game feel like an entry into The Elder Scrolls Saga. While they do say that some things will be gated by level (a near impossible to avoid factor in an MMO), I sincerely hope that leveled content is not a strong focus of ESO. Another staple of Elder Scrolls games has been the First-Person perspective, yet it seems ESO won’t offer us quite the same experience as Oblivion and Skyrim:
How will the first and third-person perspectives differ from mainline Elder Scrolls games to better suit an MMO
“We are still working on this system, but as it stands right now, we have first and third person support, just like in any other Elder Scrolls game. The only difference is that you don’t see your hands and weapons in first-person mode. The main difference here is that in an online RPG, enemies can spawn in a 360 degree radius around you, especially in PvP – so third-person view mode, if you use it, will give you a far greater ability to see enemies behind you. In many situations, this will be the difference between living and not surviving a combat sequence.”
Sensible? Yes. Disappointing as hell? You betcha. While I’ve personally always been more of a fan of playing in the 3rd Person Perspective (I want to see that fancy new Helmet I just found!), I would freely acknowledge that Elder Scrolls games are meant to be in the 1st person perspective. Now, Firor is defiantly right; 3rd person is how MMO’s work, and in many cases you’d be daft NOT to put things in the 3rd. Still, it sad to hear that true 1st will be leaving the Elder Scrolls, even if it is only nostalgia talking.
You can read the full interview with Matt Firor here.