I Am Not Excited About the Elder Scrolls MMO

-Samer Farag

When I heard news for an Elder Scrolls MMO, I was at first excited. Then confused. A bit skeptical. And now I simply don’t care. As news has begun trickling out, I have become more and more unexcited about this particular entry in the Elder Scrolls Franchise.

If one looks at leaked ES:MMO screenshots, without knowing which game it came from, what would be your first guess? If the answer is World of Warcraft, I wouldn’t judge you. This is because the artistic flavor of the Elder Scrolls games seems to have been lost in this new installment. This isn’t to say that the games were very distinct to begin with. But even the small sliver of uniqueness Skyrim hand looks to now be gone. This uninspired effort carries across to the game’s play. While it seems to carry some unique ideas, such as players able to become emperors, and dungeons that coexist with the world map, rather than as instances, it also has been leaked that combat is based on hotbars, cooldowns, and other staples of the EverQuest and World of Warcraft games.

And that’s just the thing! Why pick styles of game that have been done before, when Elder Scrolls already has a well-established format of gaming? I realize the need to remain safe from a publisher’s perspective. But using Elder Scrolls gameplay is safe! People would want this format of gaming. Guild Wars 2 is already proving that the MMO formula can be broken from its stale, cookie-cutter style, and breaking new ground. Why can’t Elder Scrolls do the same? Hence my skepticism towards this generic, vanilla form of MMO that the ES:MMO is seeming to replicate.

When people asked for an Elder Scrolls with Multiplayer, I don’t believe that what they meant was for an MMO Elder Scrolls game. When I though of Elder Scrolls Multiplayer, I pictured myself and two or three other friends, banding together to go dungeon diving in the caverns of Morrowind’s coast. Fighting off hordes of enemies. Then, when all was said and done, splitting up in town to grab supplies, and heading to the inn for a good night’s rest. In my opinion, the Elder Scrolls would benefit from a more intimate Multiplayer experience. This would be a similar experience to the Multiplayer present in Grand Theft Auto and Red Dead Redemption.

This is in contrast to the possible millions that will populate Tamriel next year. Not only does this potentially damage the extensive lore that is present in the Elder Scrolls, it is also more than probable that the intimacy between your character and the world you’re inhibiting will be lost as well. The Elder Scrolls has always been about telling your personal story, the way you see fit. That feeling will be lost if you play as a soldier of three factions, fighting for the throne.

Of course, there is still plenty of time for the Elder Scrolls MMO to convince me that it something I should be interested in. Nor am I worried that the core franchise will be effected. I simply am of the impression that, as of now, there is no reason for myself to get excited about this game.

Tell us, are you excited about the Elder Scrolls MMO?