Pax Prime Half-time Update

The Elder Scrolls Online booth at Pax Prime

The Elder Scrolls Online booth at Pax Prime

Hey Foundry fans, I know many of you have been waiting eagerly for an update from PAX Prime. I’ve finally gotten myself a bit of downtime to put together some coverage for you all. To get started, allow me to say that PAX is pretty crazy, the number of fans that pack into the Washington State Convention center is quite unbelievable. The booths are very impressive this year, and Bethesda in particular has a very large setup; showcasing both ZeniMax Online’s The Elder Scrolls Online and the next chapter in the venerated WW2 shooter series; Wolfenstein: The New Order. Most of the Bethesda booth, however, is dedicated to ESO, and many fans bull-rushed the booth as soon as the exhibition floor opened in the mornings. These enthusiastic con-goers braved waits of over three hours in order to get a chance to play The Elder Scrolls Online for 20 minutes! ZOS had around 30 computers running a off a local server and they rotated players through to give them a glimpse of the game.

 

The Future of Online Gaming Panel

Compared to other recent conventions, ESO‘s presence at Pax Prime has been slightly subdued. I think many of the developers have been feeling the strain of constant travel for conventions and press events, and having been present in force at Gamescom in Germany last weekend, several devs including Matt Firor did not make the trip out to Seattle. Paul Sage took the reins, and was one of the featured panelists on MMORPG’s bi-annual “The Future of Online Gaming” panel. He was joined by game directors on the big upcoming titles of WildstarEverQuest NextFirefall, and Warhammer 40k: Eternal Crusade. The group provoked some lively banter, and touched on key topics ranging from the evolving role of sandbox elements in modern MMOs, the arguments for and against trinity mechanics in gameplay design, and the projected impact of the next generation consoles on the MMO market. A video replay has not yet been made available by mmorpg.com, but once one is posted I will add an embed to this article, so check back for a link to re-watch the full panel! (The audio in this version is a bit bad, I think they are trying to get a better quality one uploaded, but for now…)

 

The ESO Food Truck

The food truck at PAX Prime

The food truck outside the convention center

While I’m sure many of you will groan that the food truck continues to be deemed “newsworthy”, I think it was a nice gesture and an effective piece of marketing by ZeniMax. The truck was set up in a accessible parking lot just across from the convention’s main theater. It served food for 4 hours, and featured an enormous line for the entire duration. Since it was outside the bounds of the con itself, it allowed for both gamers and passers-by to learn about ESO and garner some postive vibes from eating the delicious free food. You could chat with devs and community team members, get some free swag, and hang out while you waited for your shot at the truck. As for me… I didn’t want to wait for over an hour to eat lunch, so I just scoped the truck out and moved on.

 

Hanging out at the ZOS Booth

The Tamriel Foundry crew at PAX Prime

The Tamriel Foundry crew at PAX Prime

We had plenty of time to hang out at the ZeniMax booth and chat with developers, a lot of this conversation revolved around how the game has been progressing and how fans have reacted to some of the more recent developments. It sounds like their internal testing of the game is progressing smoothly, and they have made some impressive sounding strides towards improving the stability of their servers, which have recently started using their new data-center which will power the megaserver at launch. It’s often the technical underpinnings of MMOs which cause the biggest problems with the game, yet the technicians and engineers tend to garner little credit when things go right. We also mingled with some fans who were both waiting to play, and also had just finished with their demo. The reactions were largely positive, with players seeming to develop an instant familiarity with the game due to it’s resemblance and commonalities with past TES games. Maria Aliprando and Brian Wheeler were answering fan questions, and I was also able to record a video interview with Creative Director, Paul Sage which you can look forward to seeing in the next couple of days. Also, we have some helpful gameplay notes from our hands-on session that we’ll be sharing in the coming week in a more focused article. At this point, it looks unlikely that there will be any major ESO announcements at PAX Prime, but regardless we’ll be on hand for the next two days to give the fan community any updates as we can share them! I’ll definitely have an “AUA”-style thread later in the week where I’ll gladly field any PAX questions, but please feel free to post any questions you have in the comments below, and I will try to answer as many as I can.

27 responses to “Pax Prime Half-time Update”

  1. Profile Photo
    JuMPMan347

    Adept

    Total Posts: 111

    Dunmer Templar

    Aegis Nocturnus

    My biggest question right now is how many people can fit in one campaign of Cyrodiil? I’m sure the PC/MAC will have more campaigns than consoles, but really I just want to get a feel for how many people they’re aiming to be in one of those at once, and what the cut off limit is. Do they expect a lot of queuing(during peak/weekends), or will there be enough space(and spread out enough) to accommodate not only one “army” but 3?

     PS4, North America, Ebonheart Pact
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  2. Profile Photo
    Isarii

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    Total Posts: 3930

    Breton Templar

    Well, the developers didn’t give us much new information at PAX, but I’m glad to know the status of the food truck for sure.

  3. Profile Photo
    Atropos

    Administrator

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    Imperial Sorcerer

    Entropy Rising

    JuMPMan347 said on August 31, 2013 :

    My biggest question right now is how many people can fit in one campaign of Cyrodiil? I’m sure the PC/MAC will have more campaigns than consoles, but really I just want to get a feel for how many people they’re aiming to be in one of those at once, and what the cut off limit is. Do they expect a lot of queuing(during peak/weekends), or will there be enough space(and spread out enough) to accommodate not only one “army” but 3?

    They are looking at around 2,000 concurrent players per Cyrodiil campaign. That may not be a hard cap, I’m not sure. I’m sure there will be a hard cap at some point, beyond which you will have to queue in order to get into your preferred campaign. I wouldn’t be surprised if they let you “guest” in a less populated campaign until a space in your normal one became available, however. I suppose the answer to your question depends on whether you think around 733 players per faction is an “army” or not.

     

    Founder, creator, and developer of Tamriel Foundry.

    Guildmaster of Entropy Rising.

    Occasional Twitch Streamer.

  4. Profile Photo
    Silver-Strider

    Master

    Total Posts: 731

    Argonian Nightblade

    The Ebon Raiders

    More information on PvP, that’s all I asked for.

    Instead, I get a food truck.

     http://i.imgur.com/sgtFZya.png

  5. Profile Photo
    Phazius

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    Total Posts: 833

    Dunmer Dragonknight

    Entropy Rising

    Nope no PvP info yet, but hopefully soon. There some great thing s in the interview though that I super excited for. (I’m the dude with the long hair in the picture). I’ll post my thoughts on the test they had when I get back to me computer and not @atropos couch. This includes a run down of the night blade skill trees.

     

    Also fuck phone posting :p

  6. Profile Photo
    Tonsha

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    Total Posts: 1202

    Orc Templar

    Thanks for the update! I hope everyone is having fun there and I’m looking forward to the small snippets of information that @Atropos has mentioned, including the interview with Paul Sage.

  7. Profile Photo
    Commander Fensom

    Apprentice

    Total Posts: 28

    Altmer Templar

    I had a feeling they wouldn’t do anything at PAX.

                                                                                                                                                                     

                                                                       

     

  8. Member Avatar
    Setsunax

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    Total Posts: 157

    meh i knew nothing would happen. but thanks for the info :)

  9. Profile Photo
    Troubleshooter

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    Total Posts: 35

    Imperial Templar

    Daggerfall Authority

    I wonder what ESO food tastes like? Hmmmm?

    Troublshooter™

  10. Profile Photo
    Rymguard

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    Total Posts: 386

    Aldmeri Templar

    the interview thread that has been making its rounds has some useful information. Not to mention there is part 2 of this that is yet to come.

  11. Profile Photo
    JuMPMan347

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    Dunmer Templar

    Aegis Nocturnus

    Atropos said on August 31, 2013 :

    They are looking at around 2,000 concurrent players per Cyrodiil campaign. That may not be a hard cap, I’m not sure. I’m sure there will be a hard cap at some point, beyond which you will have to queue in order to get into your preferred campaign. I wouldn’t be surprised if they let you “guest” in a less populated campaign until a space in your normal one became available, however. I suppose the answer to your question depends on whether you think around 733 players per faction is an “army” or not.

    Thanks for that. It definitely helps define what we’re likely to see in Cyrodiil. And yeah ~700 would be a nice army imo. Enough to keep large groups(~100) where needed, and smaller groups scouting, taking supply camps, etc. Not to mention part of that 2,000 will be the guys who are just questing and don’t want to actively participate in the PvP-side of AvA.

     PS4, North America, Ebonheart Pact
    aegisnocturnus.enjin.com

     

  12. Profile Photo
    Ravin

    Grandmaster

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    Altmer Templar

    Alright, alright, I need to know.  Atropos, did you see any Dragons at Prime?

    Death is a guarantee;  Life is not.

  13. Profile Photo
    LooHaa

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    Total Posts: 137

    Dunmer Sorcerer

    Did people get to play AD or Cyrodiil? Anyway still excited for the game.

    Respect creates friendships, Loyalty binds them. Hlaevi Family motto. 

  14. Profile Photo
    Commander Fensom

    Apprentice

    Total Posts: 28

    Altmer Templar

    This might be an odd-ball question but I’ll bowl it anyway. Did they mention anything about torches, or have you/we seen any torches in-game at all? Thanks! (No correlation to my profile picture!).

                                                                                                                                                                     

                                                                       

     

  15. Profile Photo
    Tribe

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    Total Posts: 442

    Commander-Fensom said on September 1, 2013 :

    This might be an odd-ball question but I’ll bowl it anyway. Did they mention anything about torches, or have you/we seen any torches in-game at all? Thanks! (No correlation to my profile picture!).

    @Commander-Fensom

    The closest thing I am aware of is the “mage light” skill from the Mages’ Guild Tree.  The skill is used to reveal “hidden and invisible enemies within 12 meters.”

  16. Member Avatar
    Hwrath

    Master

    Total Posts: 780

    Revan said on September 1, 2013 :

    Alright, alright, I need to know. Atropos, did you see any Dragons at Prime?

    Revan, we did see a dragon at the Dragon Age: Inquisition game-play presentation, which was pretty impressive! We didn’t see any hint of dragons for ESO.

  17. Profile Photo
    Ravin

    Grandmaster

    Total Posts: 1249

    Altmer Templar

    The new Dragon Age actually looks pretty good from what I saw in that Adam Sessler interview with one of their people.

    I’ve never played any of the other Dragon Age games by the way.

    Death is a guarantee;  Life is not.

  18. Profile Photo
    JuMPMan347

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    Dunmer Templar

    Aegis Nocturnus

    Revan said on September 1, 2013 :

    Alright, alright, I need to know. Atropos, did you see any Dragons at Prime?

    ZOS has said that there will not be dragons in ESO, as they don’t exist(or are “extinct”) during this time period in Tamriel.

     PS4, North America, Ebonheart Pact
    aegisnocturnus.enjin.com

     

  19. Profile Photo
    Wulfgrim

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    Nord Nightblade

    I’m interested to hear that panel on the future of MMO’s.

    ”It is madness for a sheep to talk piece with a wolf.”

  20. Profile Photo
    Ravin

    Grandmaster

    Total Posts: 1249

    Altmer Templar

    There’s no Konkle in the picture!  :o

    Death is a guarantee;  Life is not.

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