Updated Wed, Jan 16, 2013 by gunky
Normally, this is not a selling point for me. I'm not terribly competitive by nature and don't play MMORPGs to "win." In most games I do play, the PvP aspect is a whole separate experience that can be avoided in favor of more collaborative, cooperative endeavors. I might jump into a match or two here and there for the sheer hell of it, but it's a rare occasion when I do. Most PvP feels kind of pointless and not-fun. But the PvP in Elder Scrolls Online sounds kind of awesome, and something that I may pay more than a passing thought to.
For starters, PvP takes place in the Imperial province of Cyrodiil, the setting of TES IV: Oblivion. The whole province - every nook and cranny of it, including caves and ruins featured in Oblivion - is being used as the PvP arena. The system is being designed to accommodate hundreds of players onscreen at once for epic open-world battles. The three factions will be vying for territory by taking fortresses and capturing resources like farms and lumber mills. It's not just wailing on the other guy in a timed match for points; there's a purpose to it.
When enough territory is controlled by one faction, that faction can attempt to seize control of the Ruby Throne in Imperial City. Whichever character contributed the most to this conquest will be made Emperor, and will receive combat and leadership bonuses, presumably which last until a new Emperor rises to take his place.
For me, this is the most interesting aspect of TESO's PvP - there is a tangible and awesome reward for participating. If you do a fantastic job, your name doesn't just flash up at the top of a leaderboard for a few seconds until the next match starts. You become the Emperor. I'm not a big fan of PvP, but the promise of being crowned Emperor might motivate me to take it seriously here.