Welcome to Tamriel Foundry, a new Elder Scrolls Online community site dedicated to theory-crafting, mechanics, guides, and discussion. The coming months are certain to be full of exciting announcements concerning the MMO, and we hope to be a valuable source of game coverage for the community during this time. Rather than simply reposting the news, Tamriel Foundry will take an in-depth look at the mechanics and philosophies governing the construction and development of TES:O. Ultimately, this is a site run by gamers, for gamers. We aim to create an environment in which players who are serious about getting the most from their gameplay experience can analyze game systems, exchange builds, and develop strategies for optimizing character performance.
Personally, I believe that Elder Scrolls Online constitutes a great chance for a game to capture and re-imagine MMO conventions which have formed iconic cornerstones of the genre. Emphasis on exploration in a vast fantasy world full of danger, three faction RvR, open dungeon design, and a rich underlying lore system are all examples of elements which cooperate to foster a more meaningful social gaming experience. In my personal experience, the greatest MMOs have been ones which have not attempted to direct the gameplay experience, but rather have created worlds with meaningful conflict and carefully designed reward structures that incentivize communities to form and dynamic gameplay to emerge naturally.
Between loot systems which don’t pigeonhole players into a distinction between pve and pvp, an integral realm war between three compelling factions, and open exploration spanning the continent of Tamriel, I believe the Elder Scrolls Online has the potential to extract the strongest attributes of EverQuest, Dark Age of Camelot, and World of Warcraft, and combine them into a game that can refine and advance the MMO genre without divorcing itself from the core principals which made the genre great.
I look forward to community discussion which will surround these topics and more as the game moves towards release. If you are a fan of MMOs or The Elder Scrolls, I encourage you to get involved in discussion, either within the comments below each article on the site or in the forums area. While breaking developments may be slow at first, before long the momentum surrounding TES:O will be immense, so this is a fantastic opportunity to get in at the ground floor with a game that could be the iconic representative of the MMO genre for years to come.