A lot of information about the Elder Scrolls Online has been made available to the eager public. Here's the condensed, quick-reference version of all the major points.
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- ZeniMax Online releases a lot of information in the form of YouTube
- All of the provinces of Tamriel, seen in the 5 previous single-player games, will feature in ESO, but it is unlikely that the game will be as expansive as The Elder Scrolls II: Daggerfall, which covered about 188,000 square miles. Many regions will be inaccessible at launch; some of these regions may be opened up in later expansions or content updates, but some are likely to remain off-limits.
- Players will choose between three factions, each consisting of three races: the High Elves, Wood Elves and Khajiit of the Aldmeri Dominion; the Bretons, Redguard and Orcs of the Daggerfall Covenant; and the Nords, Dark Elves and Argonians of the Ebonheart Pact. Each race starts out in its homeland, but may visit other lands later on in the game.
- Characters will be class-based instead of skill-based like the other Elder Scrolls games, but classes are somewhat less restrictive. Any character, regardless of class, can use any kind of weapon or armor. Players can build sword-and-board mages in heavy armor, or staff-wielding, robe-wearing warrior-monk types using a melee fighter base class. Spells and other powers will be accessed by an ability bar, MMO-style.
- ESO uses a dynamic combat system, similar to the single-player games; characters must be facing their enemies to hit them, and can dodge blows via movement keys (provided they have enough stamina to dodge). A "soft lock" targeting system still requires the character to face his target, but allows the player to pick a single target out of a crowd, or to hit the soft-locked target if it moves behind another un-selected target.
- It will be the only Elder Scrolls game set in a time before the rise of Tiber Septim, whose ascent to godhood and political legacy shaped the events of all of the single-player games to date.
- The cinematic trailer makes all the player races look way
- The player character is called "The Soulless One," and the main story of The Elder Scrolls Online deals with the character's struggle to get his soul back from the Daedric prince, Molag Bal, who stole it.
- Glory is fleeting. The events of the other Elder Scrolls series of games take place after the Elder Scrolls Online, so by the history of those games, we know that none of the playable factions in ESO manage to hold onto Cyrodiil for a significant length of time.
- For the same reason, we know that Molag Bal is ultimately
unsuccessful in pulling all of Tamriel into Coldharbour, his own
personal realm of Oblivion. This is more or less confirmed by the
Journey to Coldharbour video:
- The events of ESO take place about 948 years before the events of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. Some structures that appeared as ruins in TES I - V will be found whole and in-use in ESO.
- Looting barrels for crafting supplies, lockpicking and buff
stones carry over from previous titles, according to the Gathering and
- Crafting will be MMO-style - characters will be able to master two out of five professions, but will need to buy or barter for items crafted by other professions.
- Since Molag Bal is known as the Father of Vampires (among other things), vampirism will play a significant role.
- As detailed in the Wolf Queen books in the other games, the city of Camlorn has werewolf problems. Lycanthropy will also play a role in the game, at least for Daggerfall Covenant players.
- The PvP comes with a rich backstory, according to The Elder
Scrolls Online: Alliances at War video:
- Players earn Alliance Points through PvP. These points can be spent on things like catapults and other siege weapons. Players also earn Alliance Ranks through PvP, which give them access to specialized gear and skill trees. Players can also be named Emperor through PvP, by taking the Ruby Throne.
- XP gain in PvP is not as consistent as through PvE questing, but players who choose to do so will be able to reach level cap purely through PvP, starting at level 10. At level 10, players can enter the Cyrodiil PvP arena, where they will be scaled up to level 50. Characters with naturally higher levels will have some advantage over scaled-up low-levels, with more expansive skill trees and access to better gear, but low-levels shouldn't be completely gimped.
- The guilds from previous games - Mages Guild, Fighters Guild, Thieves Guild and the Dark Brotherhood - will be included in Elder Scrolls Online, and will be joinable. They will also provide special bonuses to some skill trees - for example, mages who join the Mages Guild will gain extra abilities with some magic skills.
- The Elder Scrolls Online will have built-in social media integration with major social networking sites, allowing players to form guilds and coordinate events with their friends easily.