Pre-E3 Coverage Roundup

Today, the ESO fan community was once again blessed by a series of articles from major gaming news sources which previewed in greater depth the Daggerfall Covenant experience in Elder Scrolls Online. These were many of the same zones showcased at PAX East, but the folks at ZeniMax gave a lengthy and more detailed demonstration of their content for us to chew through. ZOS also released five great new screenshots, so check out a list of all the articles (and the best bits of each) below!

Stros M'Kai Sands

The sun sets over the sands of Stros M’Kai.

Massively - Pre-E3 Elder Scrolls Online Preview

At no point did the gameplay experience resemble an MMO. Sure, players weren’t allowed to run rampant through NPC houses to steal everything in sight, and questing was still limited to “gather such item” or “talk to NPC B because NPC A doesn’t feel like walking 10 feet” (those NPCs can be lazy!), but venturing out into the world felt natural, as if I were in any other Elder Scrolls title. The world is still populated with points of interest that actually generate interest.

VentureBeat – The Elder Scrolls Online is Elder Scrolls first, MMO second

Dying gives you the option to head home or stick around right where you fell, spawning first as a ghost before becoming mortal again. It’s a nice way to get you right back in the game without losing ground … with an option to run away from the fully healed enemies that just killed you while still in spirit form.

Aldcroft Infantry

A trio of Daggerfall infantry survey the Aldcroft docks

MMORPG – The Look & Feel of Daggerfall

Daggerfall itself is packed with quests. On entering the city, you are met by a dog that pleadingly uses his eyes and body language to get you to follow him. From there, a chain of events begins that ultimately requires players to rescue the king himself. It’s a satisfying arc, to say the least, since a great new weapon is given and you leave the castle to the cheers and hurrahs of the king’s guard. Players will actually feel heroic.

TenTonHammer – Hands-On Time with the Game and Its Creators

My character was powerful for sure, but when I got cocky, pushed too quickly, or just didn’t pay attention to the type of monster I was battling, I paid for it (with a minor XP penalty I then needed to make up). And that… that is something that we rarely see these days and something which I’m extremely happy to see come back – challenge. Combat in The Elder Scrolls Online takes patience, quick thinking, and the ability to think on your feet because the battleground can change in an instant when a healer mob or add are involved.

Stormhaven Falls

A pair of adventurers approach the town of Stormhaven

NeoSeeker – Is It Elder Scrolls?

While the world is certainly open enough for free exploration, allowing players to basically rack up as many quests as their brains can comprehend, these are designed more for the MMO environment. Sure, this is understandable, because Elder Scrolls Online is, at the end of the day, an MMO first and Elder Scrolls second. Not every quest can be dynamic and world-changing, so we wind up with some pretty typical filler like “Kill (this many) harpies,” then “Collect (this many) harpy eggs.” Even with a bland story tying together the quest chain, I couldn’t bring myself to actually care enough to finish. Running toward that gaping portal of death in the sky seemed much more appealing.

Buffed.de - PvE raids confirmed, megaserver in Frankfurt and expansion of the closed beta

Chief developer Matt Firor made some statements about the PvE endgame of The Elder Scrolls Online. There will definitely be content for larger groups, it just won’t be the typical raid content. “Yes, we announced something like that. We don’t call it raids, we call it multi-big-group-endgame-pve.” But everything Firor is saying on that topic could change, because this system is still in development. It’s supposed to be finished until release, so PvE content for large groups are planned in for launch.

Giant Snakes

Giant snakes rise from the murky water to attack!

GameTrailers – Bringing the Scrolls to MMO

The Escapist – Elder Scrolls Online New Gameplay, Interview

Well, that was a great chunk of new information to digest. This was the first time I’d seen first person gameplay with weapons included, and it looks like ZOS is making huge progress on that front! Stay tuned for reaction and analysis, and feel free to join in the discussion on the forums or in the comments section below. Let us know what excites you most about these articles, and what you hope to see from ESO at E3.

Daggerfall Docks

The scenic approach to the city of Daggerfall from it’s docks.