Game Informer magazine came out with a lot of basic information about the upcoming Elder Scrolls MMO (I found an easy to read list over at http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showthread.php?t=472749), and after looking over some of the details, there were a few that stood out to me.
The game is fully voice acted
After playing SWTOR and experiencing how questing can be with full voice acting, this excites me. I really am having a harder and harder time with the "wall o' text" quests in WoW, Rift, TERA, etc.
Visually it looks like other Hero Engine MMOs like SWTOR
The general art style is kind of like RIFT or Everquest 2
These two statements bothered me just a bit; not because of the statements they were making but the fact that this game could so easily be compared to other MMO's already on the market. This may not be a good thing when the current state of many MMO players is in essence "give me something new!"
You can't be a werewolf or vampire
Well, there goes all the fun I had of living in caves during the day then sneaking into towns and drinking the blood of some unsuspecting, sleeping villager . . . boo!
There most likely won't be dragons
This almost seems like a step backward. Skyrim had dragons, and they were pretty awesome. I can remember in Morrowind and Oblivion folks crying out for dragons. Skyrim gave them to us; now they are taking them back?
Sneaking will be in the game, but how it is implemented is undecided
This could be really good or really bad depending on how it is implemented. If it is implemented like it is in some of the stealth games out there - Hitman, Thief, etc. - then it could be really good. If, instead, they implement it like they have stealth for rogues in WoW, it will be pretty much useless except for a couple attacks that gain more power. I would love to see a fully implemented stealth system with light and shadow being a factor. I would even love to see alternate ways of doing quests based on stealth instead of fighting, but I really doubt they will put that much into this aspect of the game.
There will be no player housing
Why not?? Seriously, why not? I really think Bethesda will be giving up on a virtual gold mine by not implementing some type of player housing. Since Oblivion, this has been one of the big pulls in the Elder Scroll series. If you've read http://craftygod.blogspot.com/2012/02/player-housing.html then you know how I feel about player housing. My views have not changed . . . I WANT PLAYER HOUSING!!
"It needs to be comfortable for people who are coming in from a typical massively multiplayer game that has the same control mechanisms, but it also has to appeal to Skyrim players."
Refer back to my second point above. It seems from some of these comments that the core of the ES-MMO is going to be much like the core of a lot of other MMO's, nothing revolutionary. I'm not sure how well this will fly in the current market; back in 2007 when the project was started, it would have been a good way to go about it, but not now.
-There are three player factions:
--Ebonheart Pact: The Nords, Dunmer, and Argoninans
--Aldmeri Dominion: Altmer, Bosmer, and Khajit
--Daggerfall Covenant: Bretons, Redguard, and Orcs
I've thought quite a bit about how MMO's have this tendency to split players into factions based on race. I don't really understand it. This is certainly not how the "real" world works. In fact, I think it would be very hard to find any one complete race where all its members would fall into a single "faction" of any sort. Why don't MMO developers simply allow players to begin the game without a faction and then to join a faction as they progress? Why do I have to play an Altmer, Bosmer, or Khajit to be in the Aldmeri Dominion? Why can't my Redguard decide to be a mercenary who is working for the Aldmeri Dominion because they simply pay better than any other faction? This I think would be a great way to handle factions.
you don't necessarily pick up a quest to do the following, but if you kill all the necromancers in an undead barrow, a shade you free at the end will reward you.
-However, to help you find these events, various NPCs you talk to will tell you where they are happening and put a marker pointing them on your map, which is obviously totally different than receiving a quest.
I really hope the last statement here was sarcasm; I can't really tell with the short blurb that was included, but this sounds almost exactly like a quest; tell me about what needs doing and point to it on my map. Now, the fact that I can simply stumble upon these "events" (I guess that's what we can call them since they are certainly NOT quests) is a bit different than what I've seen, so that may be a new wrinkle to this game.
The game uses MMORPG genre standards such as classes, experience points, and other traditional MMORPG progression mechanics, but they try to present it "around the core fantasy presented by traditional Elder Scrolls games" such as traveling around and righting wrongs or seeking riches
Righting wrongs and seeking riches! Finally, an MMO that lets me do that . . . oh, wait. Isn't this the goal of, like, all of them? So, in other words, this statement could read: "The game does everything else the other MMORPG games do in pretty much the same way, but we do it differently by giving you the same goals as the other MMORPG games."
There was a lot more to the list, and you are welcome to read it all for yourself, but a lot of it was about PvP which simply doesn't interest me much at all; however, I understand that it is supposed to resemble PvP in DAoC. From everything I've read (I've never played that one), this is a good thing. So, if PvP is your game, then you will probably find something to like about the ES-MMO.
As for me, I'm a bit less excited now. I have really enjoyed the Elder Scrolls games in the past, and I'm sure I'll give this one a go when it finally releases, but overall, it is really not sounding like much of an Elder Scrolls game at all. In fact, it is sounding much more like another, dare I say it, WoW-clone.