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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ESO: Crafting “Ask Us Anything”

The ESO team answers your questions and delves deeper into the art of crafting. Here’s some of what you can expect from this week’s article, “Ask Us Anything: Crafting“.

How will crafted gear compare to dungeon loot and PvP rewards? I hope the crafting system won’t be there just to do something when you’re bored, but that it will contribute to the economic health of the game.

Crafted gear of the same level and same quality as gear found in the world is almost always better. For instance, if you find a level 22 sword of fine quality, but your friend crafts a level 22 sword of fine quality, the damage done by the crafted sword is going to be slightly better. However, some of the gear you find in the world will have unique enchantments or set bonuses crafters cannot replicate. Still, a crafter might be able to take that dropped item and make it even better while retaining the unique enchantment.

On the Storefront — ‘Knee Deep in the Dead’, New Vault Boy Tee, and more!

Our latest roundup of Bethesda merchandise features awesome goodies for DOOM, ESO, and Fallout.

We start with GamingHeads.com new statue memorializing the iconic cover art of the original DOOM – Knee Deep in the Dead, the statue is approximately 12.5 inches tall (including the base), is cast in high quality poly-stone, and is hand-painted to exacting standards.

Knee Deep in the Dead will be available in the third quarter of this year and is already available for pre-order at GamingHeads.com and the Official Bethesda Store. For the uber collector, GamingHeads.com also features an Exclusive Edition limited to 360 pieces featuring a light up base — it’s literally a lava lamp.

Looking for something a little less demonic? Here’s some other new items worth checking out.

  • You wanna one-oh-onsie? No I’m not impersonating Return of the Jedi’s Bib Fortuna. I’m just excited that my baby girl will be able to wear our new Vault 101 onesie.
  • Oh, you’re a grown man that wants Fallout stuff. We’ve got you covered, too. New items include our Vault-Tec Citizen Jacket and a Fallout 3 screenprint  by nationally-recognized illustrator Courtney Billadeau.
  • Yesterday we announced Dark Horse’s “The Art of Wolfenstein” collectible book, and we’re excited to share that a special edition of the book — individually numbered and signed by the team at MachineGames — is available for pre-order the Bethesda Store. With only Only 500 produced, the Exclusive Edition contains a tip-in plate, signed and numbered by MachineGames’ Axel Torvenius (Senior Concept Designer) and Tor Frick (Technical Art Director).

Last but not least, we’re excited to unveil March’s Vault Boy Tee of the Month. For one week only, get your hands on the Mister Sandman Perk shirt. And if you’re lucky, you might even win one for yourself (see contest rules after the break).

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Also in May… The Art of Wolfenstein

We’re pleased to announce that we’ve teamed up with Dark Horse Comics to create three incredible art books – “The Art of Wolfenstein: The New Order”, “The Art of The Evil Within” and “Dishonored: The Dunwall Archives”. Each hardcover book, packed with art and game design details, will retail for $39.99.

This hardcover collection features full-color artwork and developer commentary from the team at MachineGames. Spanning more than 200pages, the collection covers all facets of the game’s design — concept art, characters designs, landscapes & settings, and technology — all inspired by the MachineGames’ plot twist for 1960′s based Wolfenstein where the Nazi’s won World War II and conquered the globe.

For a first look at “The Art of Wolfenstein: The New Order” — available for pre-order at Amazon and the Official Bethesda Store — check out never-before-seen concept art and sample pages in the imgur slideshow below. Additionally, we’ll be sharing new art for the game every week on the official Wolfenstein Facebook & Twitter pages.

QuakeCon Pre-Registration, Round 1: BYOC Select-a-Seat and QuakeCon done Quick is tonight!

As detailed last month, this year’s QuakeCon pre-registration is taking place in separate rounds. The first round, allowing you to get set with BYOC Select-a-Seat and QuakeCon done Quick, begins tonight at 7pm CT/8pm ET!

What does this package entail. Get the details below…

Round 1 | March 5th at 7pm CT/8pm ET:

BYOC Select-a-Seat with QuakeCon done Quick

Includes Fast Passes for the Duration of the Event

$175 (Limit of 250 packages available)

  • Select and Reserve a guaranteed seat of your choice in the BYOC area
  • Express lane fast-pass registration for the BYOC
  • Express lane fast-pass to every speaker, panel, and public event at QuakeCon
  • Limited reserved access seating for all panels, presentations, and events
  • Official QuakeCon 2014 BYOC T-Shirt
  • Official QuakeCon 2014 Lanyard
  • Special Limited Edition Signed and Numbered Print

About QuakeCon 

QuakeCon, the ultimate video game festival, will take place on-site at the Hilton Anatole Hotel in Dallas, TX. Doors to QuakeCon will open on Thursday, July 17th at 10:00am CT and will remain open through July 20th. For more information visit: www.quakecon.org.

Weekend Update: ESO Beta and more!

It’s the weekend, which means we’re in the midst of the latest beta session for The Elder Scrolls Online! If you have a beta code, be sure to join the fun. And if you can’t make it this time around, you can catch up on all the notable gameplay streams throughout the ESO community.

So what else is worth checking out this weekend? Here’s some highlights from the past week…

  • Our friends at Shortlist have put together one of the tougher Fallout 3 quizzes we’ve ever seen. Share with us your high score in the comments below.
  • Pete Hines recently took time to discuss our 2014 lineup — The Elder Scrolls Online, Wolfenstein, and The Evil Within — in new interviews with both CVG and 3News.
  • Preparing for The Evil Within this August? A new feature at Gamespot readies you for the return of survival horror with classic games and films that will condition your mind for Shinji Mikami’s newest (and most twisted) game.
  • We’ve got even more previews for Wolfenstein: The New Order — with the latest coming from 411Mania, IGN AU, Gamespot, and Nerd Reactor.

That’s all for now. See you in beta!