PAX Day Two Recap

PAX day two came, it saw, and it conquered. I am beyond exhausted, so I hope you will all pardon the brevity of this post. I wanted to give the community an update of what we saw today, and the information you can expect to hear in the following few days. Saturday was a long day, and I spent it mostly at or around the ESO booth, culminating in our scheduled game-play session during the afternoon.

ESO Gameplay

Bethesda Booth Overview

Looking down into the Bethesda booth.

Byronyk, Fizzle, and myself were taken into a private media partition of the booth for a two-hour play session. Byronyk took charge of the gameplay, while Fizzle and I talked with the many developers on hand about game systems. You can see the private media room on the left hand side of the photo. We extracted a lot of interesting details which we’ll report in full once we have more time to collect our thoughts. The extended gameplay featured the full starting experience of the Daggerfall Covenant on the island of Stros M’Kai.

In addition to playing the game and experimenting with many of it’s new features, we got the great opportunity to discuss the game in depth with Matt Firor, Paul Sage, Brian Wheeler, Nick Konkle, and Maria Aliprando. We squeezed as many juicy details as possible out of them, and got some great interview footage with Brian, Nick, and Maria. We’ll be uploading full reactions as well as the video interviews throughout the coming week, so stay tuned! Here are a handful of quick bullet points to tide you over until the full articles:

  • There are several fun mini-games and hobbies that a player can pursue in ESO like fishing.
  • There are no load screens separating the three primary portions of Cyrodiil, the entirety of ESO AvA is a seamless experience.
  • Healing mechanics function as area of effect and radial group heals. There are limitations on the effective number of players which an AoE heal can affect, first prioritizing group members before other allies.
  • Armor types feature passive set bonuses which can be unlocked. These bonuses scale with the more pieces of that armor type  you are wearing. Players can either dedicate their character largely to a certain type  in order to get that armor type’s capstone bonuses, alternatively they can hybridize to find the sweet spot that best fits their build strategy.

ZeniMax After Party

After the expo floor closed at 6pm, we were all invited to a huge after party at “The Castle”, a unique landmark building near the Boston Common. The event accommodated hundreds of ESO fans who shared food, drink, and of course gameplay! The event featured unique “gold pieces” which you could purchase upon entry and redeem for food, drinks, gambling, prizes, and swag! Most importantly for many fans, it offered the attendees more manageable lines to play the game, with longer gameplay sessions per person.

ZeniMax Party Panorama

Panoramic Sweep of the ZOS After-Party

The after-party was a great way to conclude the day, and between mingling with a lot of the ESO community and developers, I grabbed some playtime on a Sorcerer. I searched out the level 5 public dungeon of Dead Man’s Run. It was a wonderfully atmospheric dungeon crawl, I was able to clear it on my own until I reached the final boss which promptly ate my face….twice. I’ll give a full run down in a forthcoming hands-on article. For now, I need to rest and recharge, as I want to jump right back in tomorrow.