Hands-on previews for The Elder Scrolls Online (Updated)

Last week MMO and Elder Scrolls enthusiasts made their way to ZeniMax Online Studios and became the first to go hands on with The Elder Scrolls Online. With four hours to explore the game and access to key members of the development team, there’s plenty of new info being shared on their sites.

Among those covering the event was The Elder Scrolls Off the Record, and they definitely went on the record with numerous features on the game, including:

Making an MMO Feel Like Elder Scrolls

Finesse, Synergy, and You: How It All Fits Together in Elder Scrolls Online

ESO’s PvP: “Massive and Epic!!”

Your Character Development

ESO Unveiled!

All that plus they recorded their latest podcast while at the event. Listen to it on their site, via iTunes, or using Podkicker.

For more impressions, check out these sites:

MPOGD.com – “Though I got to spend a few quality hours with the game, it wasn’t enough for me, as I wanted to play and didn’t want to stop for lunch, bathroom breaks, or anything; I just wanted more.”

ZAM “The controls also feel like slipping on a pair of comfortable slippers.  Left mouse for weapon attack — held for power moves — right click for block is close enough to Skyrim et al to feel immediately familiar and engaging.” For more from ZAM, read their Big Picture article.

MMORPGRead their comprehensive preview, plus articles on PvP and social integration, impressions of playing as a Templar, and a write up on ZeniMax Online’s MMO Philosophy.

Ten Ton Hammer “…the first thing you should know about The Elder Scrolls Online is that it absolutely works as both a game worthy of flying the Elder Scrolls banner, and as an MMOG built for the modern era of our massive corner of the gaming industry.”

Strategy Informer hands-on preview:  “The Elder Scrolls Online is clearly an MMO with ambition but first and foremost it’s clearly an Elder Scrolls game – and that’ll ease the fears of many fans greatly.” In addition to preview, check out their interview with lead gameplay designer, Nick Konkle.

MMO Reporter Video interviews with creative director Paul Sage and game director Matt Firor.

Acolytes Gaming Community In-depth recap of the day spent at ZeniMax Online Studios.

Massively “TESO captures the spirit of the series’ combat in a way that is better-suited to an MMO environment, and in my opinion, considerably more engaging.”

RPG Gamer “…there are a lot of things here that make The Elder Scrolls Online a compelling experience for both MMO fans as well as those of us who simply enjoy the Elder Scrolls world and lore. And for someone who is not typically an MMO fan, the fact that this game now has my attention speaks volumes.”

Tamriel Foundry An explosion of coverage including interviews with lead PvP designer Brian Wheeler &  Matt and Paul, plus a hands-on report, combat feature, and general gameplay impressions.

RPGFan “TESO offers a highly polished social experience in the vein of the Elder Scrolls franchise.”

Guild Umbra Interview with Matt Firor

MMO Attack “My time with The Elder Scrolls Online has left me wanting more. The game is successful in bringing the immersive world of The Elder Scrolls to the MMO world to give the genre a breath of fresh air.”

That should keep you busy for today. We’ll share the latest coverage as it surfaces. Until thenthen, we leave you with Guild Umbra’s video showcasing their trip to the event.

Reader Comments

  1. At first, I was skeptical to an Elder Scrolls MMO, because, well, The Elder Scrolls is THE singleplayer series. But the more I learn about the game, the more I like it, and I am actually beginning to love the idea of a TES MMO – why? Because Zenimax Online Studios are apparently a bunch of geniuses!

    – First Person
    – Centered Crosshair
    – attack/block with m1/m2
    – No (!) or (?) above NPCs
    – Not required to be in a group to share xp, loot, etc.
    – Fantastic looking level design
    – PvP everywhere, with Cyrodiil (in TES scale) as one big battleground
    – Siege engines and destructible environment
    – 200 player sized battles
    – No combat role lock, following the “be what you want to be…”

    I always say to myself; “Don’t give in to hype”, but… this will be good. This could actually be the breakthrough for future MMOs to get out of the WoW-zone.

    • Well they arent complete genius since they think gamers care about Facebook/twitter/whatever integration, but you can never be perfect :p

  2. Haha so they were forced to fix the “proportions” of the characters with all the hate? GOOD, no one likes to play characters with gorilla sized hands.

    Keep the character design as close to Skyrim and you will have tons of success.

  3. Fantastic graphics with a very complete feel to everything. Landscape looks magical and alive capturing all the emotional shades of life. The world has a true Elder Scrolls essence to it reminding me of past world architectures especially Daggerfall. This may very well be the first online mmo i ever play 😀

  4. i play alot of MMO games that are free to play and is it going to be the same way. i know most MMO’s you can play for free but you have to pay to use any of the really good stuff. if it is free to play i will get it

  5. It’s such a shame the Altmer master race is reduced to boring and generic looking fantasy elves and not the strange and unique race the lore depicts, and Dunmer, Argonians, and Nords working together? Not even once. What a lore rape.

    This game pissing on the lore is my only real gripe with this game so far. Otherwise its shaping up to be a solid game and I’m pretty excited.


    • They can always fix Altmer appearance…

      About the Lore:

      This takes place 1000 years before Skyrim, things were different back then…

      Besides Lore in a videogame is not a constant but a variable… you can always add more (or change things), even when talking about the past… it’s called retcon.

      Plus, even if you find and read books about the past… They’re just an interpretation from their respective authors, information may be incomplete or false. That applies for TES and for real life.

      • Things really weren’t much different back then =P Nords and Dunmer, have been at each others throat for millenia. Dunmer have been enslaving Argonians for millenia. And this doesn’t happen during the Akaviri invasion but a few decades afterwards I believe. So it really does come across as bastardizing the lore for the sake of restricted PVP gameplay.

  6. I’m really glad they decided to change the apperance of characters…

    As someone already mentioned they fixed the proportions…

    But also, I noticed they decided to change the colorful armors and weapons shown at E3 for a more “sober” style that fits perfectly with the very essence of TES.

  7. It’s shaping up better than I initially thought… Though still skeptical on how it’ll turn out, I’m going to start and keep an eye out for this game.

  8. This game actually sounds better and better,the only thing i dont like at the moment is…
    I mean,If i play as one of the ebonhart pact,I cant visit other provinces like,Hammerfell,summerset isles,high rock,elsweyr,valenwood 🙁 yeah you know,Thats a bit dissapointing,I mean pretty annoying i need to create new characters to see those lands..

    I wish i could travel from skyrim too elsweyr with my nord.

    Also bethesda, We know about the new skyrim dlc 😉

  9. If only: it were for Xbox 360… Yeah, that’s just about my only [major] problem, since I don’t play anything on pc anymore. Sucks even more since I’d been waiting for this (my own hopes & dreams) since Morrowind GOTY Edition first hit shelves for pc. Oh well, my loss… but I’m a grown man now… I can handle this… D’X

      • DCUO was fantastic until one reached the max level. Then, it became all about who was willing to spend the most money on the best gear, accessories, and abilities. If one wanted to complete every max level quest and challenge one was forced to spend real money.

  10. I think Bethesda’s issue it they worry about too much at once.

    How about making sure a game works properly, for everyone, before moving on to other projects? Take some time, and take some pride in your work.

    Bethesda, you are just doing too much too fast and the poor programmers cannot keep up. All I know is if I was a programmer for Bethesda, specifically in the PS3 division, I would feel disgusted about what I have done. I would tell people I work selling used cars before I tell them I was a PS3 programmer at Bethesda.

    • Bethesda = TES 5 all about Skyrim PC, Xbox360 and PS3.
      Zenimax Online = TES MMO code, art, etc.

      Bethesda helps with the historical content to the world, that includes the visual side for sure. But she has no part in the production, has already been explained.

    • About the PS3. Given the internal deadlines, something do not ended well for the version. Now a period of hard work to eradicate the lag issue and provide the dlcs is happening, and this kind of work takes time (months).

  11. I get that the Elder Scrolls Online Game and the Skyrim Game are two diffrent Teams with the Same Compamy, but why do Bethesda treat their Fans like Dirt with poor Customer Service and this MMO looks way Better and gets More Attention then waiting for a Skyrim Patch every 4 Months

  12. This is going to fail. I want it to, and to make perfect, it ought to fail in the most shameful way possible. Also, I foresee free to play within the semester of its release.

    • I really want this to fail too, and I want it to be a failure that bankrupts Zenimax and all of divisions under their umbrella. I use to love Bethesda/Zenimax games, but due to the poor choices these companies have made in the last year or two I want them to go away permanently.

        • Yes, Skyrim did sell millions of copies.

          Of course, for PS3 users those sales were based on lies, misrepresentation, and fraudulent advertising.

          Not all of us are just bitter about the lack of DLC.
          I want them to fix the base game first. You know, that whole “level of parity” thing Pete Hines spoke so eloquently about.

          • I had enough of Bethesda’s crap when they published Fallout: New Vegas. Such a great game but as always plagued with countless and frustrating bugs and performance issues. When I saw Skyrim I was like awesome, not buying it. That is until Tweet Hines reached into his PR sack of lies, and told everyone they had overcome the problems the PS3 verions of their games have. Lies like equal parity, new game engine, etc. So I bought Skyrim, and once again was let down BIG TIME by Bethesda. As far as Dishonored goes, I won’t be playing it, but I have been watching the “let’s play” videos on youtube, and I have to say I’m not impressed, the game lacks originality, depth, story, and the graphical textures make me want to vomit.

  13. I think that the game looks much more promising than from the start. Mainly because it now has first person view and real-time combat that is almost like the original TES games. That’s really important, so good thought to do that Bethesda 🙂

    Keep up the good work.

    I won’t buy it though, but that’s because I’ve decided to play no more games after Skyrim, at all, so it has nothing to do with TESO.

      • No offense, but why do you care?
        Still, to answer anyway…
        I love Skyrim. But I’m growing older and in my line of work/study, it doesn’t look very well to play games at all.

          • I’m assuming he means TES games are like virtual crack. I forced myself to uninstall Skyrim a few months ago to continue work on my personal projects in my spare time. When a game as good as Skyrim is sitting on my computer just waiting to be played… Man, I suck at resisting temptation.

  14. Fixed a lot of stuff, but not everything. Not yet. keep going ZOS you can make this great!

    Now you gotta unlock factions from races, allow players to be neutral in the war and let them roam all of Tamriel.

    Oh, and we need to see arms and weapons in first person.

    Keep pushing closer to TES and away from MMO and you’ll have a winning game.

    • Exactly. There’s not much more I can think to add.

      Art style has now been nailed, so congrats Zenimax! Looking a lot better! But please don’t restrict player choice with factions that DO break lore. Not EVERY Argonian will be happy about working with the Dunmer that have been enslaving them for thousands of years. Keep those factions as recommendations if you like, but don’t force me to join them. It really will be a deal-breaker without player choice.

      Imperial characters in Skyrim weren’t forced into joining the Legion. And Nord characters weren’t forced into joining the Stormcloaks. Look at Legate Rikke – a Nord fighting for the Imperials.

      From an in-game book in TES games: “it is always foolish to think of whole races sharing like minds.” So please don’t force every player of each race to share the same opinions!

      Source: Nu-Mantia Intercept, Letter #8

  15. The information that came from these hands on previews was amazing. ZeniMax has definitely started going down the right path with The Elder Scrolls Online, by keeping it as close as possible to the original series. Being able to loot barrels, crates, NPC homes, etc. is going to be awesome. Also, I look forward to attempting to become the Emperor in an RvRvR battle.