ESO’s Content Crawl – Cause for Concern?

ESO players are looking forward to new content like the Orcish city of Wrothgar

Players eagerly await new content like the Orcish city of Wrothgar

The mantra content is king provides a simple rule-of-thumb for media providers, suggesting the most effective method of cultivating a product’s attractiveness and longterm success. For massively multiplayer gaming this is certainly no exception; content release is the lifeblood that directly sustains a game’s core community. This cornerstone population of players comprises managers of game communities, leaders of in-game player organizations, noteworthy community streamers, writers, and event organizers, not to mention the dedicated players who act as the glue for persistence of in-game socialization. Even fringe players who only log into an MMO occasionally are dependent on this artery of content without which are likely to log into a game where their friends list is empty and their guild roster stands deserted. In the case of ESO, the dearth of meaningful game content released in recent months has, at least in my own mind, raised serious concerns regarding ZeniMax Online’s long-term strategy towards developing and cultivating their product.

We’re building a game with the freedom to play – alone or with your friends – as much as you want. A game with meaningful and consistent content – one packed with hundreds of hours of gameplay that can be experienced right away and one that will be supported with premium customer support. […] We are already working on content that will roll out to players after ESO’s launch. New quest lines, skills, zones, dungeons -are already in the pipeline. These things, in addition to our end-game content, PvP, and extraordinary customer service, are all part of making sure we’re delivering on that premium service – and that the player feels like they are getting their money’s worth. We won’t know the exact schedule until after ESO launches, but our target right now is to have new content available every four to six weeks.
- Matt Firor

The above quote references the justification posed by Matt Firor in August 2013 when ESO announced its intention to launch with a paid subscription business model. This quote implicitly acknowledges the importance of “meaningful and consistent content” that can be released with a regularity ensuring that paying subscribers feel like they are receiving substantial value for their financial commitment. It is difficult to conclude that ESO has lived up to the promise of their post-launch expansion potential. With the recent transition of ESO towards the buy-to-play model, was this an acknowledgement that the monthly subscription was overpricing the pipeline of content which ZOS was realistically able to offer, or does it simply represent a shift in the strategy behind how new releases are monetized? In this article, I will investigate how ESO‘s content releases in the past 12 months stack up against competing products in the MMORPG space as well as speculate towards what type of growth is likely to occur in the future following console launch.

ESO has only released one of the 20 additional zones planned pre-release in its first year

In its first year, ESO has released just 1 of the 20 additional zones depicted in this pre-release design map.

 

Is There Cause for Concern?

At the time of writing this article, it has been over 5 months since ESO last added a new zone, dungeon, or trial to the game. On the most recent episode of ESO Live community manager Jason Leavey shared the following response to a user-submitted question:

[11:40] Q: Where is Imperial City?
A: We are actually still going through it and testing it and testing the different systems involved. It’s not something that’s done, we’re not sitting on it. A lot of the art is getting finalized, but the actual systems are being tested. We want it out as quickly as we can get it, but we’re not going to sacrifice a good product just to get it out quicker. We’re still going to be working on it and testing it internally and making sure it is amazing.

Furthermore, ZeniMax’ senior QA tester Erik Mabry revealed the following update of their current team’s work:

[23:25] Q: So, can you tell us a little bit about what you’re working on now?
A: Yeah, we are focusing on consoles primarily. Everyone has been waiting for consoles forever, we want to make sure consoles are what everyone is expecting out of it. We have limited time to make sure that we get everything right, we don’t want to disappoint the players. We’re not losing focus on the PC side of things, because they got us where we are right now and we don’t want to abandon those players. We are absolutely juggling both sides of this.

The implications of these statements seem strikingly at odds with the original content philosophy espoused by Matt Firor when the subscription model was originally announced. It seemed like this original vision for content expansion was being followed aggressively when content including the Imperial City (and it’s dungeons), Murkmire, and Orsinium was all showcased with functional (albeit unpolished) levels of completeness at the beginning of October, 2014 during ESO’s first Guild Summit.

Summit attendees were lucky enough to see a playable version of the Imperial City Prison last October.

Summit attendees were lucky enough to see a playable version of the Imperial City Prison last October.

Any game content that was nearly ready for live release would be under intense QA scrutiny; the admission that they are currently focusing entirely on consoles implies there is no live-game content approaching release. This generates concerning questions about why game content has seemingly been de-prioritized for the past half-year. Certainly the console launch and the Champion System are two obvious reasons why other features may have assumed a lower priority, but the architecture of teams at ZOS maintains a large degree of separation between parallel initiatives. The team who worked on developing console support for ESO is different from the team responsible for the Champion System overhaul which is also different from the team designing trials and dungeons. A possible explanation is that developers have been re-purposed from their original teams to focus on the console migration, but an alternative explanation suggests that given the buy-to-play transition, content has been withheld or de-prioritized until it can be offered to new console players through the Crown Store.

 

Evaluating ESO Against its Competitors

In an attempt to fairly evaluate the success of ESO‘s update schedule, the following table compares the release of “meaningful content” offered by ESO by each quarterly period (3 months) with the content updates of several of its industry competitors. Thanks to @Nybling, @Phazius, and @Isarii for helping me gather some accurate information about competing MMOs.

The Elder Scrolls Online

Quarter World Zones Dungeons & Raids PvP Game Systems
2014 Q2 Lower Craglorn Hel Ra Citadel
Aetherian Archive
Crypt of Hearts
× Trial Leaderboards
Increased max VR
2014 Q3 Upper Craglorn Sanctum Ophidia
Dragonstar Arena
× Collectible Dye System
Increased max VR
2014 Q4 × City of Ash × Dungeon Scaling
Undaunted Guild
2015 Q1 × × New Siege Weapons Justice System
Champion System

Final Fantasy XIV

Quarter World Zones Dungeons & Raids PvP Game Systems
2014 Q2 × Lost City
Halatali
Brayflox’s Longstop
Second Coil of Bahamut
The Whorleater
Thornmarch
Increased max PvP rank Challenge System
2014 Q3 × Hullbreaker Isle
Tam-Tara Deepcroft
The Stone Vigil
The Striking Tree
Syracus Tower
Frontline PvP Mode Hunting System
Chocobo Raising
2014 Q4 × Snowcloak
Satasha
Sunken Temple of Qarn
Final Coil of Bahamut
Akh Afah Amphitheatre
The Dragon’s Neck
Increased max PvP rank Rogue/Ninja class
2015 Q1 × Keeper of the Lake
The Wanderer’s Palace
Amdapor Keep
Urth’s Fount
Battle in the Big Keep
The Chrysalis
The World of Darkness
The Steps of Faith
× Aetherial Wheels
Manderville Gold Saucer

Guild Wars 2

Quarter World Zones Dungeons & Raids PvP Game Systems
2014 Q2 × × New sPvP Reward Tracks
Courtyard sPvP Map
Wardrobe Armor System
Megaserver System
Festival of the Four Winds
Guild World Events
2014 Q3 Living Story S2:E01-041
Drytop
× 2nd WvW Tournament Blood and Madness Event
New Trading Posts
New Collections System
2014 Q4 Living Story S2:E05-071
The Silverwastes
× sPvP Ladder Season 1 Wintersday Event
Daily Log-in Reward System
2015 Q1 Living Story S2:E081 × sPvP Ladder Season 2 Lunar New Year Event

World of Warcraft

Quarter World Zones Dungeons & Raids PvP Game Systems
2014 Q2 × × × ×
2014 Q3 × × × ×
2014 Q4 Frostfire Ridge
Shadowmoon Valley
Gorgrond
Talador
Spires of Arak
Nagrand
Tanaan Jungle
Auchindoun
Bloodmaul Slag Mines
The Everbloom
Grimrail Depot
Iron Docks
Shadowmoon Burial Grounds
Skyreach
Upper Blackrock Spire
Highmaul
Blackrock Foundry
Ashran
PvP item scaling
Skirmishes
Arena Season 16
Tarren Mill vs. Southshore
World Event: Iron Horde Incursion
New Character Models
Stat Squish
Player Garrisons
Redesigned Group Finder
2015 Q1 × × Improved International Matchmaking New Garrison Events
Heirloom Collections
1 The Guild Wars 2 living story events don’t fit neatly into one of these categories, but contain a mixture of story, instancing, and zone exploration.

It’s very interesting to see how these alternative titles compare to each other in terms of its release philosophy. Throughout the time period shown in this table, ESO, FFXIV, and WoW all featured subscription based revenue models while GW2 is buy-to-play. In terms of distinct content entries, ESO and GW2 demonstrate similar development tracks, perhaps providing some further rationale for ZeniMax’s decision to transition to the B2P business model. ESO has focused more heavily on PvE content (with a shocking neglect of the game’s PvP growth) while GW2 has adopted a more balanced approach.

Understandably, given the release of their major expansion Warlords of Draenor, WoW has added a large amount of content, but continues to follow a pattern of delivering a huge batch of content in one lump sum rather than focusing on repeated smaller releases. Perhaps the surprise of the lot is the steady and impressive rate at which FFXIV has been generating meaningful game content over the past year with a particular emphasis on continued dungeon and raid content to challenge its players.

These past 4 quarters alone suggests that, unfortunately, ESO has produced less additional content than its genre competitors, but not damnably so. In my mind, a far more pressing concern than the history documented here is the possibility that the next quarter of 2015 may represent the most barren spell in ESO‘s history to-date.

 

Sources for ESO’s Future Growth

Recently, the most visible commitment ZeniMax has shown to adding game “content” features the aggressive expansion of the recently launched Crown Store. This week featured the addition of four new collectible pets, as well as new unique mount skins for the new Senche Leopard mount. On ESO Live the ZOS team also added:

We know you love pets, but we know you also really want to see some systems like barber shop, name change, race change … these are all things we want to do and we do plan to do. The Crown Store just launched last month, we’re in our first iteration right now, we do plan on putting items out every month.

In fact, the agenda to attract new customers to items in the Crown Store has opted to use in-game announcement chat channels to broadcast advertisement messages to all players currently logged into the game.

It remains to be seen whether there will be a premium ad-free account option.

It remains to be seen whether there will be a premium ad-free account option.

We do know that some actual game content is on the horizon with Imperial City, Murkmire, Orsinium, and Clockwork City all discussed for future updates. That being said, ZeniMax finds themselves in a precarious position. Any priced content they release prior to (or shortly after) the early June console launch is likely to be condemned by players and press as “day one DLC”. This unfortunate fact suggests that ZOS may delay until a safe interval after console launch before adding priced content to the Crown Store and leavs question marks surrounding what game content current PC players will see in the next two months.

Once again, the lack of dedicated QA focus on Imperial City or Orsinium (which of the above are likely closest to complete) suggests that these updates are several months away from reaching the live server, requiring both an internal and public (PTS) testing period. It pains me to write, but the revealed message behind this approach is that despite the above quote to the contrary ZeniMax has lost focus on the growth of the PC game, and they are abandoning PC players at least for the time being in favor of making the best possible impression on the emerging console community.

ESO's collections system is a good platform for Crown purchases

New purchasable pets pair best with new zones to use them in!

For those of us who are dedicated PC players this will come as small consolation, but we can objectively agree that the success of the console game will have a tremendous bearing on the quality of game that we can enjoy in ESO for years to come. In light of its overall importance, I fully understand the decision to shift a larger focus towards the console release but the fact that the studio has failed to produce a single new zone, dungeon, raid, or story-advancing quest line in what is rapidly approaching half a year does draw their development priorities into question.

The good news is that ESO enthusiasts are no longer paying a recurring monthly fee for a “premium service” which fails to satisfy the original vision and requirements for the model. The bad news is that for many ESO players an extended hiatus from the game may be on the cards while we wait for content more meaningful than collectible pets, mount skins, crafting motifs, and convenience services to become available in the Crown Store. These cosmetics and services may likely become the largest grossing items in the ESO Crown Store, but only if they are paired with a steady stream of zones, dungeons, PvP enhancements, and game systems which keep players attracted and invested in the underlying game.

76 responses to “ESO’s Content Crawl – Cause for Concern?”

  1. Profile Photo
    Isarii

    Moderator

    Total Posts: 4235

    Khajiit Templar

    It’s sad to see the juxtaposition of ZeniMax’s early statements on the value of a premium service contrasted with the actual production schedule that’s been realized in the year following the game’s launch, but as much as I’d like to blame it on the upcoming console port, the reality is that the addition of content to the game has been slow for a very long time, going as far back as the months leading up to the game’s original launch, when features like Craglorn, The Justice System, and The Imperial City that had been talked about forever were pushed so far back that players still haven’t seen all of them almost a year later. Granted, impediments have come up along the way – the overhaul of basic game systems in the Champion System was badly needed, and surely drew away a significant amount of resources from the development of actual game content towards getting the game’s core systems to where they should have been at launch. Now those resources have shifted to the console port, and as you point out, players will likely continue to wait for content until that is done, as well.

    Interestingly, Guild Wars 2 underwent a similar lull in development when ArenaNet pooled its resources to the now launched Eastern localization, and the game has seen a pick-up in development as new content is added with the game’s first expansion pack on the way. If players are lucky, maybe The Elder Scrolls Online will finally get the features promised since before its launch after the console port is complete, and a regular development schedule can be resumed. One thing is for sure though, that premium service mentioned early on was never delivered, and ZeniMax was correct in reevaluating their business model vis a vis that new reality.

  2. Profile Photo
    xaraan

    Journeyman

    Total Posts: 99

    Imperial Nightblade

    Entropy Rising

    I’ve been pretty let down by the lack of content.  I do understand the focus for consoles and want the game to succeed, but throwing PC players a bone by giving them something like a new vet dungeon in all the months between City of Ash in November and whenever they decide to release content after console launch would have been a nice gesture for PC players.  I have no doubt about half way through the year they shifted to a B2P model internally, even if not announcing it, and – if not sat on content – did de-prioritize it (as you mentioned in the article) to finish after console to sell in crown store.  In a way, I understand a business has gotta do what it’s gotta do, but they can also take steps to take care of loyal customers (with real loyalty rewards) while they take care of business.  It’s too bad they haven’t done that.

  3. Profile Photo
    Tiberius

    Adept

    Total Posts: 192

    Altmer Sorcerer

    The bad news is that for many ESO players an extended hiatus from the game may be on the cards while we wait for content more meaningful than collectible pets, mount skins, crafting motifs, and convenience services to become available in the Crown Store.

    @Atropos Thanks for the awesome post. However I’m going to say this as nice as I can. The vast majority of the hardcore players are gone for good from ESO. It’s been too long without any content and there is no light at the end of that tunnel. 2016 is a awesome year for new MMO’s. Sadly ESO is not one on my list or my guilds list.

    I understand the need for console release and I support that. However it doesn’t change the ongoing issues. Most people have unsubscribed from the game. Cutting most of the funding ZoS was receiving. I only see development slowing down. At least until console launch. According to reports….ZoS is under going yet another layoff spree. Which can only mean one thing. They are cutting costs were they can. That’s been clear in the resent patches the game receives. Over worked developers……on four different operating systems….PS4, XBOX, PC, and MAC.

    I understand you have time, money, effort, and pride in what you have built. My suggestion……move on to a different game, not give Zenimax coverage of anytype on your website, and let them sit in their own rotten business practices. As they should be keeping the money grabs going for so long.

    There are tons of great MMO’s coming out in 2016. I hope to see you in one of them.

  4. Profile Photo
    Erlexx

    Grandmaster

    Total Posts: 1788

    Altmer Templar

    Entropy Rising

    I think the title of this article should have been “Sad but True”. The light at the end of the tunnel for me though is that IF they don’t figure their shit out and get on the right path before 2016 – I have plenty of other options opening up.

  5. Profile Photo
    shadesofkin

    Expert

    Total Posts: 255

    Dunmer Dragonknight

    One of the hardest things for me in trying to persuade players into the game has been answering the “new content” question. New players have plenty to do, but a lot of us don’t and that’s a real problem. I’m holding out, hoping to see even just a few dungeon updates or something…anything prior or directly post Console Launch.

    Characters: Elim Garak (Dunmer Magicka DK DPS) Antonius Cassius (Imperial Stamina DK Tank) Cal Terrace (Breton Magicka DK Healer)
    DK VMSA current high score: 410K 

     

  6. Profile Photo
    xMovingTarget

    Apprentice

    Total Posts: 32

    Dunmer Dragonknight

    Hodor

    I already dropped my sub. And I will also not support their crownstore. They just put their development in the wrong direction.

    Putting everything on the consoles and completely ignore us pc crowd with content, forget about the store, for console is plain wrong. All they achieve with this is loosing us pc players. And I doubt the consoles are going to make up for it.

    It’s just  sad to see what zenimax and ESO has become.

  7. Member Avatar
    Leijona

    Journeyman

    Total Posts: 58

    Bosmer Nightblade

    Nice article. In the past, ESOs development was fine. Question is, how this will change in the future. For 2015 Q2 there should be more Living story in GW2, as usual nothing in WoW, the first expansion for FFXIV (as big as the original game) and … who knows what and if anything in ESO.

    I would love to see ESO with the development of FFXIV, as the atmosphere in ESO is just great. But with the transition to B2P I just don’t see that ever happen.

    btw: I’m one of those bad console players, ZOS seems to care for so much at the moment … Nevertheless I paid my sub until the transition to B2P and only stopped, because I don’t see the development being on the right way. Do I have to feel bad now, because I’m switching? Allmost sounds like that …

  8. Profile Photo
    Isarii

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    Khajiit Templar

    Leijona said on April 14, 2015 :

    For 2015 Q2 there should be more Living story in GW2

    Probably not, honestly. With its expansion development marching towards a Q3-Q4 release, Guild Wars 2 seems to be in a development hell not unlike The Elder Scrolls Online‘s.

  9. Member Avatar
    Leijona

    Journeyman

    Total Posts: 58

    Bosmer Nightblade

    Isarii said on April 14, 2015 :

    Leijona said on April 14, 2015 :

    For 2015 Q2 there should be more Living story in GW2

    Probably not, honestly. With its expansion development marching towards a Q3-Q4 release,Guild Wars 2 seems to be in a development hell not unlikeThe Elder Scrolls Online‘s.

    Oh, your right. GW2 is getting their first expansion as well, yeah. Well, maybe there will still be some developemt there, just as FFXIV has.

  10. Profile Photo
    Isarii

    Moderator

    Total Posts: 4235

    Khajiit Templar

    Leijona said on April 14, 2015 :

    Isarii said on April 14, 2015 :

    Probably not, honestly. With its expansion development marching towards a Q3-Q4 release,Guild Wars 2 seems to be in a development hell not unlikeThe Elder Scrolls Online‘s.

    Oh, your right. GW2 is getting their first expansion as well, yeah. Well, maybe there will still be some developemt there, just as FFXIV has.

    I was about to come back and add that at least Guild Wars 2 is getting an expansion out of their (potential) development hiatus as well, which does a lot more good for the players than a console launch.

  11. Profile Photo
    Relic

    Expert

    Total Posts: 358

    Nord Nightblade

    Messiah Complex

    I hate the predicament we and ZOS are in. They have been plagued with continuous stability and bug issues since day 1 and never got on top of them. Now we reached the stage where these have snowballed so bad and been allowed to fester for so long, they have well and truly come back and bitten ZOS arse. Taking lots of manhours away from new content.

    They knew the core was rotten and so hopelessly imbalanced it had to be redone from the ground up. There is no way they could release console and fix this after wards.

    TBH I think ESO I on the brink of collapse. Whether or not it collapses is down to player support. Nothing more and nothing less.

    So the question is this. Do we support ZOS through this partly self induced rough patch ? Do we bail and let them collapse for not fixing their systems properly, promptly and on budget ?

    Do we suck up the “sorry guys it complex to fix” or do we assume “the staff weren’t competent enough and never had control of the code” ..and never will ?

    Either they can fix stuff or they cant and if they cant why should we carry on with it ?

    If ZOS cant get this lead monkey off their back its going to drag them down to oblivion.

    There will be no Empire. We will bow before none.

  12. Profile Photo
    Glitche

    Scamp

    Total Posts: 3

    Breton Templar

    Brotherhood of Redemption

    I agree that the B2P switch will affect feeding the developers and the pace that content is release. Lack of end-game content will always drive players away, but that being said, I completely agree with their focus on consoles.

    It’s frustrating to wait for content, but the original console release date was about a year ago.  While they are in danger of losing dedicated PC players, if they do not hit the console release date with a game that is fully polished and playable, they could lose everyone who has already been sitting around for a year and may already be lost.

    I’m not saying they should be ignoring either side, but I see why they are focused on the console development and may be pulling developers from other departments due to the staff cuts after switching game models.

  13. Profile Photo
    Ivar-Bloodstone

    Expert

    Total Posts: 296

    Imperial

    Tamriel Foundry Community

    I’d like to add another direct competitor’s release record for this last year.  DC Universe Online, a well performing f2p MMO for both console and PC, will more notably be ESO’s direct competition on the PS4 with them exploring the possibilities of adding support for X Box One and crossplay between PS4 and PC platforms..  They will be changing their content release schedule to monthly instead of quarterly.

     

    Four Player Instances – 9 pieces of content

    • Mist Recovery, Strike Team,  Themyscira Divided, Security Breach, Zamaron Conversion Chamber, Intergang Crime Wave, Avarice Impurity, Return to the Nexus and Act of Defiance

     

    Eight Player Instances – 8 pieces + 1 Elite

    • Assault and Battery, Artifacts from the Past, Love and War, Necropolis, Lockdown, Labrynth, Hall of Hades, Throne of the Dead and TotD Elite.

     

    Solo Instances – 3 pieces

    • Spark of Parallax, Circe’s Trial and Aegis of Truth

    Duo (2 player content) – 3 pieces

    • Supply Lines, Port of Paradise and Spark of Ion.

    PvP

    • Season 3 of PvP commenced with new gear, rulesets and PvP system changes.
    • 13 new pvp champions/legends

    Game Systems

    • Functional League halls (Guild halls) including leaderboards and more guild management
    • Expanded guild management tools
    • New PvP Rulesets
    • New Combat Mode Weapon Mastery
    • Entirely new advanced mechanics gameplay style

    Classes/Powersets

    • They added their 11th powerset/class to the game.

     

    One last thing…  I wonder if they have a person to carry around a bag behind Matt Firor to catch all the bullshit that comes out of mouth.  I find it silly that ESO, a $60 MMO isn’t even worth spending time in even after it dropped it’s subscription fee.

    We’re building a game with the freedom to play – alone or with your friends – as much as you want. A game with meaningful and consistent content – one packed with hundreds of hours of gameplay that can be experienced right away and one that will be supported with premium customer support. […] We are already working on content that will roll out to players after ESO’s launch. New quest lines, skills, zones, dungeons -are already in the pipeline. These things, in addition to our end-game content, PvP, and extraordinary customer service, are all part of making sure we’re delivering on that premium service – and that the player feels like they are getting their money’s worth. We won’t know the exact schedule until after ESO launches, but our target right now is to have new content available every four to six weeks.
    - Matt Firor

     

  14. Profile Photo
    Donum-Dei

    Journeyman

    Total Posts: 71

    Breton Sorcerer

    It all comes down to console users, is because of that, this game is lacking of many many things. And PC gamers (like myself) do not think that everything will get back to normal or back to schedule when console releases. Because that will bring more hassel to the company and less care to the PC community. The fact that many other Mmo’s games are really at is best side to side in comparison to ESO, is because there are only and exclusive on PC and that is how this should have been done with this game. All the content and graphic,animations renewal that they could have add or done.

     

    But no, because It is sad/disappointing to see stupid C.S. items that don’t give nothing beside vanity stupidity and stupid insignificant pets. (No wonder why many of our guild members stop playing the game.) The same old stupid stuff that many of us didn’t want from the begging and they are starting to implement them. Instead/read of listening real and very interesting feedback they are doing otherwise adding stuff for the sake of  ”adding content each month/week”. Or whatever they have said.

  15. Member Avatar
    djyrb

    Apprentice

    Total Posts: 42

    Fantastic article, @Atropos, and I can’t disagree with any of these points. I came to similar conclusions myself a while back, and after a combination of the B2P/cash shop announcements, months of stagnating content and all the headfakes and missteps with the Veteran to Champion System XP conversions, some good friends and I left the game in disgust.

    I’ve since softened my stance and returned after about a month away, and I am enjoying the game and the 1.6 revamp, but I wonder how long that will last. It’s pretty much been confirmed that we are probably 5-6 months away from any new content, if we are lucky.

    In my opinion, the strongest thing ESO has going for it currently is a fairly quiet year on the MMORPG scene, but 2016 and beyond are looking like the competition will heat up dramatically. If Zenimax could manage to put out some compelling content on a regular schedule NOW, they might be able to retain players that won’t instantly run away for the next new shiny game on the market. However, based on their remark of letting the game “breathe” after console release, it doesn’t seem to be their intent, and that’s a shame.

  16. Profile Photo
    Elloa

    Expert

    Total Posts: 316

    Breton Dragonknight

    Very well written article @Atropos

    I knew since they announced the B2P model that we would see new content before September at earliest date, August if we are very very optimistic. Its not really a problem for me, the slow poke, but I know many players and guildies that are already currently dropping the game because of lack of content.

     

    Can we do anything about it? No: Even voicing our concerns is pointeless, because I do not think that its a decision that Zenimax made by choice. They were sort of forced to do it. I believe that the Champion system, combat adjustement and other improvement they had to do, because their original direction was wrong and pushed players away, toke all their time and all their ressource and that is actually the true reason why the new content had been paused for several months. Its a relief to know that they have resumed it, but meanwhile they have lost precious time and ressource. I also believe they didn’t made enough money that they needed at release. I guess I’m not the only one to think so. ESO was very very quiet last year during the summer.

     

    Now they focus on the Console release, and hopnnestly they would be stupid to not do so. There is so much potential for them on console. I almost wish I was a console players at the moment.

    Hopefully, once the Console will be released, Zenimax will make enough money, and will have finaly time to focusing on producing new content. I’ve no problem to be patient. Even if I play other games no games amuse me more than ESO. But I may lose friends and guildies during that wait.

    I’ll continue to stick arround and produce content. And hopefully, I really hope, to reach that golden age of ESO we are all waiting for!

     

     

    PS. What are all those games you are talking about for 2016? Crowfall? Starcitizen? GW2 xpac?

     

     

  17. Member Avatar
    Lord-Xanhorn

    Apprentice

    Total Posts: 33

    Great article. Agree with it all. Unfortunately ZOS appears to be placing all its eggs in the new player/new console player basket. Meaning that they likely anticipate a certain amount of disgruntlement and departures of long time players. We must face it that if we have multiple v14 characters, we are not likely the target audience going forward.

  18. Profile Photo
    Rainfeather

    Master

    Total Posts: 653

    Redguard Dragonknight

    Tamriel Foundry Community

    Ugh. So much for not posting again (kicks self)

    You’re right on the money as usual Andrew. Naoki Yoshida (of FFXIV) has attended several seminars in London over the last year, 3 of which I attended. The comparison between payment models is raised each time – and he’s remained solid on that point of payment model/sustainability, effecting content stability/game health, since day one.

    Having watched ESO for so long; I’m of no doubt now that adequate revenue generation he spoke of, for the complexity of content offered in both these games (ESO/FF), cannot be easily met without sustainable P2P income, if at all. People like to offer GW2 as a successful example to the contrary every 2 seconds but their systems are far more basic at almost every turn. Their development department also have significantly less overhead. I don’t see them as comparable. Anyway I’d be inclined to agree with @Elloa here. They didnt make enough money in the opening phase. Thats taken its toll heavily with delays and lack of polish now present.

    As for the console element, its somewhat of a grey card for me. FFXIV integration in that area was a lot more seamless, and something that could and should have been dealt with more efficiently here. It certainly didnt tie SE down (but granted they are using more traditional systems).

    The inconsistencies in ZoS statements (Especially at this point now) reek more of long term deception and PR speak than reliable communication (not that they were ever known for the contrary, but we hoped lol!).

    At his point its just damage limitation I believe. The current track certainly isnt good enough. Without major amendments to their core direction / philosophy, they are on a sinking ship. Until they start communicating their actual content release philosophy in a more acceptable way, I cant really support it.

    ”I am a letter written in uncertainty.” – Vivec, 36 Lessons, Sermon 4

     Welcome to Elder Casuals Online: Easymode Unlimited.

     

  19. Profile Photo
    Zairan Arainai

    Expert

    Total Posts: 474

    Altmer Templar

    Good article here.

    While I am still having fun, playing ESO on a daily basis, it is sad to see more and more people leaving the game, and those who haven’t left yet regularly expressing their boredom and frustration with the lack of things to do.  ESO desperately needs more endgame content, as it is quite tiring doing Sanctum Ophidia/Dragonstar Arena over and over, and I can’t help but wonder if we’ll ever see vet versions of the rest of the group dungeons.  Blackheart Haven, Selene’s Web, Volunfell and etc. are some of the better group dungeons, but no one wants to complete those when they come up for the non-vet daily, due to the lack of a gold key for completion.

    It is my preference to stick it out with ESO, as I really don’t want to have to start over from scratch with a new mmo, but it may come down to that if things remain the way they are.  I’ll just have to see how many fellow guild mates are still around, helping me keep the game fun.

    Welcome to the end of your life, and I promise its going to hurt!

  20. Profile Photo
    Alusaron

    Novice

    Total Posts: 19

    Redguard Sorcerer

    I can’t bring myself to play any other game because ESO pretty much was and is my dream game (I was one who loved MMOs and TES), and now its pretty saddening to see that the content won’t come out for very long. I’m really hoping that their console release is successful because those potential zones sound like so much fun.

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