The last stop on ZeniMax’ convention circuit for 2013 kicks off tomorrow in Seattle. PAX Prime is a great opportunity for ZeniMax to showcase the continued development of the game, and perhaps give the fans a hype stimulus moving towards the holiday season. Tamriel Foundry will be on-hand ready to scoop on any news as it emerges. What could we expect to see this PAX? It’s hard to say for sure, as the big developments at previous conventions this year have been somewhat unpredictable. Starting at PAX East we had the first public gameplay hands-on, and the ZeniMax has been working the convention circuit hard since then. The biggest news of this con “season” came at E3 with the unfortunate (but necessary) release date pushback and the announcement of console support. Last month at QuakeCon, ZeniMax shared their first ever gameplay footage of ESO in a live demo. We got some more big details earlier this month from Gamescom where ZeniMax confirmed that ESO will feature a subscription revenue model. Where does this leave us for PAX Prime, and what could we expect to hear from ZOS during the next four days?
I suspect the biggest talking point will involve clarifications of their revenue system and how they are handling the potential existence of a cash shop. I know one of my personal priorities will be to inquire about how the cash shop will interact with the subscription, and what sorts of features each will provide. So far, ZeniMax have publicly demoed the starter areas of both the Daggerfall Covenant and Ebonheart Pact PvE campaigns, and while it could stand to reason that the Ebonheart areas will be on display this weekend, it could be a great opportunity to give fans the first glimpse of some Aldmeri Dominion content. Perhaps this is wishful thinking, but PAX Prime is also an excellent chance for ZOS to remind us all in a big way about Cyrodiil, the massive PvP system which is a cornerstone (arguably the most important feature) of their entire game. The AvA war provides the self-sustaining and massive experience that will keep MMO players firmly rooted in the ESO community, and it was probably the game feature which most informed game development decisions from an early stage when Matt Firor was brought in from Mythic Entertainment to spearhead the development of ESO.
It’s not clear whether Matt Firor will be on-hand for PAX Prime. Once again, MMORPG is hosting their “Future of Online Gaming” panel tomorrow afternoon, and Paul Sage is slated to be one of the panelists. The equivalent panel at PAX East was mildly uninformative, but we can keep our collective fingers crossed for some deeper insight this time around. Be sure to check back here at Tamriel Foundry throughout the weekend for an in-depth summary of ESO’s presence at PAX. If you have any specific questions you think would be great to ask developers, be sure to add them to the discussion about PAX Prime Hopes, Expectations, and Questions. I’ll be taking the most frequently asked and best questions from this thread to pose directly to ESO developers throughout the weekend, so hopefully they will give us some juicy information to chew over. Here’s to an informative PAX, see you all on the other side!