ESO: The Road Ahead

As we begin the final beta weekend for The Elder Scrolls Online, ZeniMax Online Studios’ president, Matt Firor, has shared an update about the game’s launch and what’s planned down the road for the game.

Here’s Matt…

In just a few short weeks, we’ll be launching The Elder Scrolls Online for PC and Mac. While it’s been quite a journey to get to this point, ESO’s launch on April 4 is really just the beginning. I want to take a moment to let everyone know what we’ve been doing since my last update and talk about what we’re planning in preparation for launch and beyond.

If you’re reading this, you’re probably one of the 5 million people that have registered for the ESO beta, and likely participated in one of our large beta tests. That’s a wonderfully large number of people who have become part of our ESO community, and it continues to grow.  The worldwide interest in ESO has led us to conduct a series of massive “scale” or “stress” betas to prepare for the numbers of players we will have at launch. These tests help us to simulate launch conditions and uncover bugs and other issues. In addition to these scale tests, we’ve had large numbers of players in long-term gameplay testing. Our long-term testing has allowed us to delve more deeply  into things like balance, progression, quests, PvP, and high-level 50+, and 50++ content. While we know uncovering bugs can be a frustrating experience for you, every issue that is found and fixed pre-launch helps make the final gameplay experience that much more polished and smoother for everyone. Thank you to all who have participated in these beta tests—your help has been invaluable. Our final PC/Mac scale test will take place this weekend and we hope you’ll join us again.

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MMOre interviews for The Elder Scrolls Online

While we just posted a coverage update earlier today, there’s a pair of new interviews you should definitely check out.

The council has spoken. Game Informer collected your questions and got answers from Matt Firor and Paul Sage. Grab the GI podcast at GameInformer.com or through iTunes.

Meanwhile, PC Gamer returns with a new interview with Firor. Watch it here,

Matt Firor discusses TESO game engine

GameInformer.com’s latest on The Elder Scrolls Online features an interview with game director Matt Firor clearing up misconceptions about the game’s engine. The article also gives a first look at the Black Marsh.

Here’s an excerpt from Firor’s interview…

You licensed HeroEngine a long time ago. What role did the Hero Engine play in the development of ESO?

We started ZeniMax Online from scratch, with no employees and no technology. We had to build everything ourselves. It takes a long time to write game engines, especially MMO engines, which are inherently more complicated than typical single-player ones. So, we decided to license the HeroEngine to give us a headstart. It was a useful tool for us to use to prototype areas and game design concepts, and it provided us the ability to get art into the game that was visible, so we could work on the game’s art style. Our plan is for ESO to be a world class MMO, with the most advanced social features found in any MMO to date – so while we were prototyping the game on HeroEngine, we were simultaneously developing our own client, server, and messaging layer that were specifically designed with ESO in mind. Think of HeroEngine as a whiteboard for us – a great tool to get some ideas in the game and start looking at them while the production engine was in development.

Catch up on all of Game Informer’s coverage at gameinformer.com/elderscrollsonline