ESO: Post QuakeCon Road Ahead
Two new dev blogs were posted to elderscrollsonline.com so far this week, and they are both about looking towards Elder Scrolls Online's future. They have so many neat systems being put into the game that I want to give the game a second try, which if you've had a conversation with me about ESO, you'd know is a pretty big deal. Before we get too forward looking and dig into the meat of what will be Update 3, let's look at their QuakeCon recap first.
Now, you're probably asking yourself how a recap for an event that ended a few days ago could possibly have anything to do with the future of a game, but the highlight of the QuakeCon dev blog is a panel titled “Future of The Elder Scrolls Online.” Among learning who won the PvP Tournament (that would be Mostly Harmless, followed by Buff Agony and Tattooface) and the Trials Competition (We KiLL Bosses, with Da Funk in second place), we're given the following video that is almost two full hours in length. If you just want the cliff notes, well, thank Dulfy for that. She made a Reddit post summarizing the panel.
Now, onto the meatier dev blog released by ZeniMax this week. The bulk of this blog is about character customization and dyes. They're implementing a dye system that is quite unlike other systems I've seen from other games, and in fact, I'm pretty excited about it. When this system is put into the game, players will be able to unlock a little more than 200 different colors, which are obtained through completing achievements. Players will be able to change their looks through the dye system at any of the dye stations for free.
After a great deal of debates, ZeniMax decided to tie earning dyes to earning achievements, rather than needing to grind for them in hopes Mob_A would drop what you're looking for, or trying to get up enough gold to buy what you want. After you've unlocked a dye once, it's yours to use freely, so you don't have to worry about collecting vials or any of that mess. But, that's not all they're doing to make this system pretty badass.
Because dyes are tied to achievements, they decided that new achievements would need to be added in, so that players could earn dyes at a steady rate as they progressed. There are rare dyes being added in, which are tied to harder to accomplish achievements, which are iridescent dyes, which are gorgeous. All of the dyes in the game stay true to their material, which makes plate super pretty. In other games I've played, getting an all black look, whether from gear or dying, has always been hard to achieve. Here, however, ZeniMax knew that black would be popular, and didn't want to create an artificial gate around a color a large amount of the population would want.
They're adding in some cool things for guild identity, too. First up: guild crests. There's a large amount of iconography, symbols and emblems to choose from to put on a guild's tabard, which come in a variety of colors and shapes. Creation of guild heraldry will be available to guild learders and there will be no need to unlock this feature.
If that's not enough, your guild can bid on a guild trader (more than 120 of these NPCs will be distributed throughout the world) located in convenient spots. If you win your bid, then the trader is yours for the week and will publicly sell goods from your guild's store. The NPC will also show off your guild's name and tabard, so everyone on your megaserver will know just how rad your guild is, while your guild earns a cut of all sales.
Guild ranks and further customization from an organizational standpoint are also being added in with Update 3. Guild leaders will be able customize ranks, choose and add icons for them, and adjust permissions for ranks.
These are some really cool features and systems being added in, and I think that ZeniMax is on to something good here. I played Elder Scrolls Online in beta, and I wasn't excited about it. I can't remember how far I made it, but it wasn't very far. I didn't like the controls and didn't even play it for the entire weekend my access key was good for. A good friend of mine keeps telling me how much he's loving the game and how it's the only newer MMO to come out recently that he's been able to get into. Seeing updates like this actually has me pretty excited about a game I've previously grumbled over, and now I'm curious about how the game is these days.
How do you feel about the way ZeniMax is implementing the dye system for ESO? If you don't think it's as great as I do, what game's dye system did you prefer? Looking at feedback for the dye system, it seems that most people who are not excited about it have misread the dev blog. Those who read it correctly seem to be happy with the route ESO is going.