Matt Firor Discusses the “Road Ahead” for ESO

Adventurers will explore the ruins of Craglorn in the upcoming patch!

Adventurers will explore the ruins of Craglorn in the upcoming patch!

Today, on the Elder Scrolls Online official site, Matt Firor shared an interesting post detailing the “road ahead” for ESO. The Game Director shared some thoughts on the launch of the game so far, his take on certain challenges which ZOS has been working hard to overcome, and some solutions that are in the works to improve the ESO game experience for all of it’s players. You should definitely read the full post, but for some highlights and reactions to it’s contents, read on!

Current Challenges

Firor candidly admits that ZeniMax have been working hard to reduce the prevalence of bots and gold sellers in ESO, and he acknowledges that exposure to these types of players reduces the enjoyment level you experience in the game. He encourages all players to take a proactive stand to keep Tamriel clean against these pests!

You may have seen Customer Support GMs in the game over the last week actively banning bots in dungeons. We’re also doing a lot of work behind the scenes to keep the game honest and will continue to do so. Please keep helping us by reporting botting and spamming activity in-game.

I think it’s a noble goal, and it’s been great to see the bot-killer GMs rotating through zones banning accounts which are in violation of ESO‘s terms of service. It may be an unpopular viewpoint, but I think a certain amount of botting activity is an indication that your game has a healthy economy. As long as ZeniMax stays on top of things and takes swift action against botters, I hope that they keep paying for copies of ESO each time they are banned. The important thing is that such users don’t diminish the enjoyment actual players experience from the game, so I applaud ZeniMax’ reaction here.

Firor also mentioned some of the game-blocking bugs which were unfortunately prevalent during the first weeks of launch. It seems like the major blockers have been resolved, and although certain side quests are still bugged, players still leveling their characters should encounter fewer issues. Matt also discusses some of the major changes coming in the large Craglorn update (1.1).

I also admire Firor’s candidness when discussing the critic reception which has been received by The Elder Scrolls Online, saying:

As those who follow ESO closely know, a wide range of reviews have been posted for the game, with scores ranging from 90s to 50s. ESO generates strong emotions in gamers—both positive and negative. While I obviously don’t agree with the more negative articles, the reviews are out there, and we read them to determine if there are legitimate complaints that we should address. We are gratified by the many positive fan comments—the love that those fans express for ESO motivates us to keep working to make this the best MMO ever. Some of the negativity in reviews comes from bugs. As you can see, we’re hard at work addressing them and will keep rolling out fixes. The important thing for you, the community, to know is that we’re looking at ALL the feedback (from critics and from players), we’re addressing any shortcomings, and we’ll continue to do so. This game will get better and better every week.

I think as gamers, it’s easy to lose track of the big picture in favor of short-term doomsaying, but MMOs are games that (in an ideal world) are built to last for years, not days. I hope that ZeniMax remains motivated to continue their improvement of the game and to extend their commitment to ESO‘s players as a premium subscription service. As tangible evidence of that commitment, as an apology for the downtime and issues experienced during the first 30 days of launch, ZeniMax is crediting every ESO subscriber account with five free days of gametime, allowing players to experience more bug-free game time and see more in-depth previews of the hard work ZOS has put into Craglorn before committing to paying a further subscription fee. I think this is a politically savvy and magnanimous gesture from ZeniMax. I suspect that most players won’t be as appreciative of this as they should be, but I think allowing players to see tangible evidence of game improvements occurring before being solicited for a subscription fee is the best choice for the game.

Future Improvements

The dangerous Celestial Mage, in Craglorn's Aetherian Archive.

The dangerous Celestial Mage, in Craglorn’s Aetherian Archive.

Matt also teased a number of features and future improvements that are already being worked on by the ZeniMax developers, including:

  • A system that allows grouped players to see each other even when they’re in different phases
  • A justice system—steal from and kill NPCs and deal with the consequences if you are caught
  • Migration of European Megaserver to our European datacenter.
  • Field of View (FOV) adjustment
  • Armor dyeing and tinting
  • Two new Veteran Dungeons: Crypt of Hearts and City of Ash
  • New region of Craglorn with a new Trial (the Serpent)
  • Increased ability to pick up items in the world
  • Thieves Guild and Dark Brotherhood storyline and quests.
  • Spellcrafting
  • Horse Racing
  • Dragonstar Arena—similar  to Trials, but built for a group of four
  • Improvements to fishing
  • Crafting system improvements
  • Improved Looking for Group system
  • Better NPC facial animations
  • Guild functionality updates: guild store interface updates, customizable guild insignias, tabards, and guild ranks, and Guild Kiosks—guild stores open to everyone that are available to the highest-bidding guild.
  • Auto-leveling dungeons that level to your group leader
  • Awards when you repeat dungeons
  • Imperial City PvP dungeon

There’s some pretty notable things on this list that are really exciting to think about. Obviously the “justice system” has been something players have looked forward to for a long time as a post-launch update, but many of these other items are equally exciting. Armor dyes, new veteran dungeons, new trials, a Spellcrafting skill, guild functionality, and a PvP dungeon are the big highlights for me, all of which have me really excited for the future of ESO

What do you think? Do you feel like ZeniMax is communicating the right sort of things to its players? What stands out the most to you in Matt Firor’s address? Let us know what you think in the comment section below!

60 responses to “Matt Firor Discusses the “Road Ahead” for ESO”

  1. Profile Photo
    Micanis

    Master

    Total Posts: 527

    Bosmer Templar

    I think this is great. I’m glad they are taking action against botters and I have seen significantly less of them. I hope they do these types of updates every couple of months. I’m very excited for all these upcoming features, especially the Justice System, spellcrafting, armor dying, and better phasing. Here’s to month two and beyond!

  2. Profile Photo
    Pollination-Technician

    Master

    Total Posts: 513

    Altmer Sorcerer

    Those future improvements, man. I’ll be here a long, long time if they roll that stuff out well.

    Trust not the words of a poet, as he is born to seduce. Yet for poetry to seize the heart, it must ring with the chimes of truth.

    Contrary to popular belief, ESO pvp battles are not fought in Cyrodiil. They are fought on online forums by calling for any and everything that kills you to be nerfed.

     

    Subscription Canceled

  3. Member Avatar
    okunhardt

    Expert

    Total Posts: 319

    Dunmer Dragonknight

    I can’t wait for these future improvements.

  4. Member Avatar
    Bandit439

    Apprentice

    Total Posts: 47

    Altmer Dragonknight

    I thought it was a great update.  I’ve seen frequent updates from the Director/CEO in smaller games but this is the first time I’ve seen this level of communication in a big name release and I think it is great.  Frequent, open communication like this will go a long way to keeping a happy community.  The 5 free days is a great gesture too.  I doubt it will sway anyone to stay if they weren’t already planning to but it is an acknowledgement that many players have had a rough month since release.

     

    Everything on his road map sounds worthwhile but if I were king for a day, I’d put guild functionality and better grouping tools near the top.

  5. Profile Photo
    SconeOfDoom

    Grandmaster

    Total Posts: 1033

    Imperial Nightblade

    Anybody else looking forward to the “Crafting System Improvements?” I’m really excited for that one.

     

    I am the Night that stalks your every step… For the Queen!  -  PS4 NA Server

  6. Profile Photo
    Rymguard

    Expert

    Total Posts: 386

    Aldmeri Templar

    I like the looks of that I see. The 4 person trials, the armor dyes, the thieves guild , the justice system. I hope some of these are out sooner then later.

  7. Profile Photo
    Ravin

    Grandmaster

    Total Posts: 1249

    Altmer Templar

    Overall I’m happy with what I’m seeing and have always had faith that ZOS will continually fix things and release good content for us and I’ve seen nothing that tells me otherwise.  Keep up the good work ZOS!   :)

    Spellcrafting I am definitely looking forward to as Nick Konkle said we will be rediscovering the schools of magic!

    Death is a guarantee;  Life is not.

  8. Profile Photo
    RadioheadSh0t

    Journeyman

    Total Posts: 50

    Altmer Sorcerer

    Knights of the Queen’s Guard

    I think just about anyone who knew anything about this game could’ve predicted there would be a wide range of reviews and opinions from fans and critics. It’s a great game on a lot of levels, but it’s not for everyone. Some players will find it not “MMO-ey” enough, some will be expecting Skyrim II. For my expectations, even pre-beta testing, it has pretty much hit the mark outside of technical issues.

     

    It is commendable to see Firor address the bugs so openly and honestly, though. They have fixed a good deal of them, but the problem is the players who encountered those bugs who were so adversely affected by it that they won’t continue to play. The games improvement over the last month hasn’t been monumental, but it has at least been steady.

     

    I know ZOS isn’t just sitting on their hands, but I would like to see some mention about game mechanics because the game is broken/unbalanced on many levels. If you would have asked me six months ago if I thought they’d make one morph so overpowered that it was almost essential in PvP (I’m look at you broken vampires), I’d say they’d be crazy to make that big of a mistake. Either it was an unintentional mistake, or someone over at ZOS really loves twilight or trueblood, but it’s created a very unbalanced PvP landscape. When the vast majority of your top players are one morph, it shows how broken it is. The only logic I can apply to them making Vamps so overpowered is so that they could knock them down with a Vampire Hunter Update and that this was part of their business plan.

     

    The update teaser is juicy though, some thoughts:

     

    – I’m curious what a “PvP Dungeon” actually means. Battling mobs and enemies? Racing against other faction groups to complete it?

    -Guild Insignias and Tabards isn’t new news, but is exciting. Guild store updates? Essential. Not being able to reliable search for goods without an addon is frustrating. Armor dyeing and tinting will be great.

    -Will scaling the dungeons to group leader be easily exploitable? It seems like it might be.

    -Awards when you repeat dungeons? Yes, please.

    -Jewelry crafting omission. High level enchanters have to rely on drops to enchant rings for themselves and others, seriously neutering their marketplace ability.

     

     

  9. Member Avatar
    GreenHayden1337

    Scamp

    Total Posts: 4

    Khajiit Dragonknight

    Pantheon

    “Imperial City PvP dungeon”

    Does that mean Arena?

    Hope this is so.

  10. Member Avatar
    Bandit439

    Apprentice

    Total Posts: 47

    Altmer Dragonknight

    RadioheadSh0t said on May 1, 2014 :

     

    -Jewelry crafting omission. High level enchanters have to rely on drops to enchant rings for themselves and others, seriously neutering their marketplace ability.

     

    This is purely conjecture, but I bet they are holding this back so they can roll out jewelcrafting as a new profession in a future expansion.  If they give us every conceivable profession now it will make it harder for them to deliver a broad array of new features in the first expansion.

  11. Member Avatar
    Deph

    Novice

    Total Posts: 16

    After all the negativity floating around ESO lately, this is a massive breath of fresh air. I’ve been Hyped about this game since 2013 andd have remained thus even now.

  12. Profile Photo
    Weras-Halidar

    Scamp

    Total Posts: 7

    Altmer Templar

    The Order Of Xarxes

    Come on console versions (xbox one)

    For Queen For Dominion And for Peace in Tamriel

  13. Profile Photo
    Dreyfron

    Journeyman

    Total Posts: 88

    Altmer Sorcerer

    Pollination-Technician said on May 1, 2014 :

    Those future improvements, man. I’ll be here a long,long time if they roll that stuff out well.

    you me both, will be awesome!!

  14. Profile Photo
    Dregaur

    Novice

    Total Posts: 22

    I also think this is a fantastic post showing that Zenimax does have its head on straight.  The justice system and Dark Brotherhood // Thieves Guild are music to my ears.  Three cheers!

  15. Member Avatar
    One-Two

    Novice

    Total Posts: 19

    The new mention of PvP, i hope its BGs and 10 v 10 or at least arena style, maybe even 1 v 1s :D

     

    Or maybe a Dungeon where the last encounter is arena style, where u fight 4 other players and who ever wins, gets chests and something nice on top of that :P

     

    maybe even daily quest’s in already explored dungeons, with new features to it, such as a new boss, a new part of a dungeon is open, an old one closed etc.

     

    CANT WAIT FOR EU SERVERS (finally no more waiting 10s for a weapon switch or a skill to kick in)

  16. Profile Photo
    HayleyTaurus

    Adept

    Total Posts: 154

    Breton Sorcerer

    Well what can I say?  First of all it’s good that they have reached out to reassure the community and I appreciate their gesture of 5 days extra.  I’m really looking forward to a lot of the up coming updates namely the following:

    Spellcrafting (this could be very interesting and add even more customisation to character builds!)

    Armour dying and tinting! (this will allow for more customisation and the ability to create a more unique look, it was only yesterday that I was thinking “I wish I could dye the armour I craft to a colour I prefer” and low and behold it’s in the pipe line).

    Crafting system updates

    A justice system

    Dark Brotherhood and Thieves guilds

    These are just a few of the updates I’m looking forward too, but it’s safe to say that I’m looking forward to most of the things listed overall.

     

     

  17. Profile Photo
    Razeo

    Journeyman

    Total Posts: 69

    Breton Sorcerer

    Citadel

    RadioheadSh0t said on May 1, 2014 :

    – I’m curious what a “PvP Dungeon” actually means. Battling mobs and enemies? Racing against other faction groups to complete it?

    -Guild Insignias and Tabards isn’t new news, but is exciting. Guild store updates? Essential. Not being able to reliable search for goods without an addon is frustrating. Armor dyeing and tinting will be great.

    -Will scaling the dungeons to group leader be easily exploitable? It seems like it might be.

    -Awards when you repeat dungeons? Yes, please.

    -Jewelry crafting omission. High level enchanters have to rely on drops to enchant rings for themselves and others, seriously neutering their marketplace ability.

    Look up Darkness Falls.  Since Firor came from DAoC it’ll most likely resemble that in some ways.

  18. Member Avatar
    Gainsboreaux

    Novice

    Total Posts: 22

    GreenHayden1337 said on May 1, 2014 :

    “Imperial City PvP dungeon”

    Does that mean Arena?

    Hope this is so.

     

    I would be excited to see something along the lines of Darkness Falls from DaoC, an instance that balances sought after PvE drops (requiring anywhere from 1 to 24 players to kill) with all Alliances present allowing for limited open PvP. In DaoC however the realm that had the most territory had open access, incouraging the fight in RvR.

     

    But most likely is would be more like the City Siege of Warhammer, which was a complete disaster IMO.

  19. Profile Photo
    TheCelloGuy

    Adept

    Total Posts: 181

    Altmer Sorcerer

    The Poisoned Blade

    All of this stuff is amazing, but do they apply the consoles in the future, or do they have their own updates.

     

     

  20. Member Avatar
    One-Two

    Novice

    Total Posts: 19

    i didnt get any extra 5 days…when does that kick in?

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