That the Elder Scrolls is taking its world online should come as no surprise to anyone who's been following the rumors of the game's development for awhile now. The game has since been confirmed for release on both the PC and Mac in 2013.
Only time will tell whether the game will be just another MMORPG or something new altogether. But until anything is set in stone, there are certain must-have features that the game's developers need to implement in The Elder Scrolls Online to satisfy the demands of the series' innumerable fans, many of whom remain staunch advocates of the franchise for its detailed lore and intricate setting.
Elizabeth DeLoria has put together ten of the features we'd like to see in the upcoming game.
10. Breathtaking views
One of the best things about open world games is the scenery, from the arid wastelands of Fallout 3 and New Vegas to the rocky mountains and canyons of Red Dead Redemption. Bethesda totally nailed it with Skyrim, some areas almost commanding that you stop and take a moment to enjoy the view. If Elder Scrolls can achieve this in an MMO, that will be quite a feat indeed.
9. More books!
Ever since Daggerfall, Elder Scrolls games have featured tons of readable in-game books. These tomes, filled with all kinds of lore and extras, fleshed out the world of Tamriel that much more. Imagine being able to swap and trade books with other players in The Elder Scrolls Online — maybe I can finally get the full set of the Lusty Argonian Maid plays.
8. An easy to use, manageable friend system
Something that really got to me about SWTOR in particular was the friend system. While hardly broken, it was flawed, not even allowing you to send friend invites to someone who could be offline — which makes it difficult for those with differentiating schedules. A clear-cut, easy to use and intuitive friend system would make all the difference.
Should you be playing with friends or making new ones in-game, relationships in MMOs are bound to blossom. Even in games that don’t have an official marriage system, players still find ways to hold their own ceremonies to exchange in-game vows. So why not make it a little more official? It was a nice touch in Skyrim, and could fit quite nicely into The Elder Scrolls Online — and nothing makes you more devoted to an MMO than devotion to another player.
6. No Arrow to the Knee jokes
While it was funny at first and we all enjoy a good meme, “Arrow to the knee” jokes have quickly become to Skyrim what ‘the cake is a lie’ was to Portal, and it’s to be expected there will still be hundreds of idiots running around making those same, tired jokes when the game launches in 2013. Take this chance to create a new meme instead of riding an old one into the ground. Please.
5. Wackier quests
When Bethesda does quirky, they do it well, and it’s almost a shame that they don’t do it more often. The Hangover-esque A Night to Remember quest in Skyrim and that vault in Fallout 3 filled with guys who only said “Gary” are two great examples of this. Laughter is the perfect antidote for an otherwise tedious quest.
4. Well rounded support staff
We’ve all heard our fair share of horror stories when it comes to MMO support, with some publishers being more nightmarish and compassionless than others. In the world of MMOs, customer service is crucial to your reputation as well as the sanity of those in need of tech support. The smoother the resolution, the happier the player — and the more likely they’ll stay customers.
3. Oceanic servers
While SWTOR was launching in the rest of the world, those of us in the Oceanic region were importing our copies and seething in anger that there were no Oceanic servers. This meant we had no choice but to deal with the lag and instability that comes from playing on faraway foreign servers. It would be wonderful to avoid a repeat, lest us Oceanic gamers all choose two servers to play on and subsequently flood the hell out of them. Again.
2. Rich character creation
An extensive character creation system is crucial to any nonlinear roleplaying game. As Katie Williams previously detailed, our ability to customize and shape our characters’ appearances is what strengthens our connection with them. It’s what draws us into the game’s world. These are “roleplaying” games after all, and it’s certainly difficult to roleplay if your character doesn’t sync with the one you’ve created in your head.
1. Flexible Levelling
Skyrim broke the typical RPG mold with its less restrictive levelling system. Players weren’t pigeonholed into a specific class or pathway. If you wanted to be a mage, but also wanted to be skilled with a bow and arrow, there was nothing stopping you. While MMOs obviously have some limitations that single player RPGs like Skyrim don’t, it would be a breath of fresh air to play an MMO where your characters could be as unique as ever.