Updated Wed, Jun 13, 2012 by B. de la Durantaye
The combat itself takes place in real time. With the Skyim-inspired ultra-minimalist interface combat won’t be a game of mashing 40 abilities, but rather an active engagement of combat allowing independent blocking and weapon swinging. Ultimate combat abilities and finishing moves will become available from time to time during combat which will launch the player into an extravagant massively destructive move that will have the evils of Tamriel trembling in your presence.
As such, the interface becomes more of a quick-look info display instead of an all-encompassing set of controls necessitating constant attention. With this sort of active combat as we’ve seen with similar iterations in games such as TERA, the action is the focal point, not the cooldown timers. And, also as with Skyrim, when you don’t need the health and mana bars, the display neatly tucks away opening up the entire screens real estate.
Enemies should prove much tougher in TESO. (Salas En skeleton)
One of the more revolutionary points of TESO combat is enemy AI. In a word, few enemies in The Elder Scrolls Online will be easily defeated by standard tank and spank tactics. The baddies of the world act intelligently and conduct themselves as actual players would. For instance, if you find yourself facing off against a mage and necromancer and opt to take out the mage first, the necro will in turn resurrect the mage to once fight once again.
Player vs. Player in The Elder Scrolls Online
If PvP is your game, you’ll be happy to know that there is an extensive PvP game planned for The Elder Scrolls Online. With roots reaching back to Dark Age of Camelot, Firor and team have enough PvP design experience to bring a healthily balanced competitive game to the table.
Black Marsh and a warrior with an impressive body count.
TESO will have three factions - the Dagerfall Covenant, Ebonheart Pact, and Aldmeri Dominion - which will battle each other for dominance. The center district of Cyradil will host the world PvP action as the alliances vie for control of the area, and if successful, be able to elect a player as Emperor. Siege play will also be available in addition to territory combat. All of these PvP meta-games will add certain longevity to the PvP end-game.
Just as the political environment can change from player actions, the world itself will undergo its own changes based on the player’s actions. For instance, players will find Camlorn overrun by werewolves. Should they complete the storyline, the werewolves will be purged from the land and the citizens will be ever grateful for the assistance. Additionally should the player opt not to save an NPC during the story line that NPC will die and will not be available to player in the post-story world. This effect is accomplished via City of Heroes or World of Warcraft-style phasing, which is like a seamless zone line that allows different players to interact with different NPCs and see different visuals in the same area of the game.
An early look at The Elder Scrolls Online hints that this game will not only have the strengths of modern design but also re-deploy classic ideas that have been mysteriously left behind in the rush to emulate World of Warcraft’s success. Taking the best elements from past and current MMO successes is a bold and exciting move. Integrating them into the Elder Scrolls universe is monumental.
The Elder Scrolls Online is scheduled for a 2013 launch.