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Bethesda Announces Elder Scrolls MMO 295

Posted by timothy
from the hey-zonk dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Today Bethesda announced that their popular Elder Scrolls series of video games will be getting its own MMORPG. It's planned for 2013, and will be available for PCs and Macs. 'Players will discover an entirely new chapter of Elder Scrolls history in this ambitious world, set a millennium before the events of Skyrim as the daedric prince Molag Bal tries to pull all of Tamriel into his demonic realm. "It will be extremely rewarding finally to unveil what we have been developing the last several years," said game director and MMO veteran Matt Firor, whose previous work includes Mythic's well-received Dark Age of Camelot. "The entire team is committed to creating the best MMO ever made – and one that is worthy of The Elder Scrolls franchise."'
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Bethesda Announces Elder Scrolls MMO

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 03, 2012 @03:53PM (#39881679)

    that an arrow to the knee doesn't kill this.

  • It will only be widely accepted if it includes pandas!
  • by sanosuke001 (640243) on Thursday May 03, 2012 @03:57PM (#39881753)
    ffs bethesda, i don't have time for this...
    • by Baloroth (2370816)

      Read TFA: despite the /. headline, Bethesda isn't developing this game: Zenimax Online Studios (a different subsidiary of Zenimax from Bethesda) is. Bethesda may be publishing it (I think), but not developing it (or at least not the primary devs).

      • by nedlohs (1335013)

        Which is good since a multiplayer Elder Scrolls game by Bethesda would be a disaster.

        Given they just love the over powered game destroying garbage that is only bearable because you can "just not do that" in single player (Intelligence potion making/drinking cycles in Morrowind as the obvious example).

        • I was coming to say a similar thing: it seems like Bethesda is downright allergic to game balance.

          In addition to the Morrowind case you mention, there was the issue in Oblivion where it was quite easy to 'level yourself out of' practically the entire world if you focused on the wrong skills, or didn't tune your skill increases correctly. In Skyrim, it's harder to totally nuke yourself; but varying techniques for potion and enchantment cycling are back with a vengeance.

          They also have an aversion to gam
          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by Sir_Sri (199544)

            Sure they are unbalanced, but that's part of the fun, it's a single player game, so you let people do crazy things if they want. It doesn't hurt anyone else.

            In an MMO though you have to do a very tricky economic dance, and shit has to work. I think bethesda is stepping into the wrong market here, there are other people who are very very good at making MMO's and it's a very saturated market. I can play one MMO, and I can play single player games. But I can't play two MMO's, and what is Elder Scrolls onli

        • by Baloroth (2370816)

          I both somewhat agree. I'm worried, though, that what made TES games fun will be missing when another studio develops it (I'm most worried it will simply be yet another WoW clone). And I personally like the unbalanced nature of TES games: you are a hero, you aren't supposed to be "balanced", you are supposed to be an extremely powerful mage/fighter/assassin/whatever. TES games have usually allowed that. Obviously, that doesn't work in multiplayer, which is another worrisome component (or would be, if I real

    • Ahaha, I have a fine collection of games, even spent last weekend downloading OXPs for Oolite on my thumb drive, and I haven't played a one since 2003. Just haven't the time. I think I keep them for nostalgia's sake, fond memories of when I did have the time. Or possibly there's something wrong with me. :D

  • by santax (1541065) on Thursday May 03, 2012 @03:59PM (#39881803)
    I always found it a shame that such a rich world as the elder scrolls has, was only single player. It seemed to be missing that true interaction at times, while it's still and incredible world. I would applaud this, but I think we all know this will be a paid monthly subscription and they will find a way for micro-transactions. Personally I feel that is a shame for such a rich world.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 03, 2012 @05:14PM (#39883031)

      > I always found it a shame that such a rich world as the elder scrolls has, was only single player.

      I've often felt the same. Sometimes standing on a hill looking out over the country side the world felt very empty.

      What I've always felt would have been a killer feature for TES, is a stand alone server and development kit along the lines of the original NeverWinter Nights. Even just to be able to host the main campaign and play through it with small group of friends would be an infinitely better experience than *another* grinding MMO.

  • Urgh!!! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rodrigoandrade (713371) on Thursday May 03, 2012 @04:00PM (#39881811)

    Last thing I want is an MMO in Tamriel.

    First, the MMO market is totally saturated and this game just won't get the attention it deservers from fans and the media. As a result, it'll become yet another niche MMO for a few longtime diehard fans of TES.

    No, it won't be the next WoW either. The saturation factor alone prevents ANY MMO from being the next WoW, no matter how uber awesome.

    Secondly, all TES games are inherently FREAKING HUGE!!!! Huge world to explore, hugely deep lore, lots of side-quests. In theory, this would go hand-in-hand with an MMO concept, except for all the technical limitations imposed by current network technologies.

    Case in point: SWTOR. I had EVERYTHING to be a hell of a great MMO, but due to technical limitations, it was watered down to a theme-park-ride MMO. A Star Wars game with on-rails space combat?? Only half-dozen playable races??Seriously??

    DONOTWANT TES MMO, TYVM!!

    • by JosephTX (2521572)

      I don't know about that. I know it's only anecdotal, but most of the people I used to play WoW with have quit for the same reasons I did (because it got irredeemably bland, repetitive, and unimaginative). And they're not the only people who feel that way; WoW's usership has gone from 11.5 million (May 2011) to 10 million. The Elder Scrolls games are insanely popular for their RPG gameplay, and while BioWare is too, SW:TOR is sci-fi and and comes from developers who already made single-player games with simi

      • You know whats funny about comments like yours - any MMO that competes with WoW wishes they had a million and a half players.

    • by bodangly (2526754)
      SWTOR didn't suck because of any sort of technical limitations. It sucked because of a lack of creative vision. They could have made a non-linear MMO, but weren't willing to take a risk. SWTOR was just a big cash grab. Non-linear MMOs ARE on the horizon. I played the Guild Wars 2 beta last weekend and it was amazing, and definitely not a WoW clone or theme park game.
    • Re:Urgh!!! (Score:4, Interesting)

      by sandytaru (1158959) on Thursday May 03, 2012 @04:42PM (#39882573) Journal
      I don't know about that. WoW is aging and players are dropping out rapidly because, well, the game is graphically dated and has been copied and improved upon a lot by other games. WoW is the king of MMOs in the same way that Budweiser is the king of beers, and now that all these fancy craft brews are becoming more widely available, people are beginning to realize what relative piss water WoW is. There will always be a core playerbase for WoW so long as the servers are online, same as Everquest and FFXI, but it's already stopped attracting new players because it's just not as shiny any more.
    • by Darinbob (1142669)

      When I first played Daggerfall my thoughts very early on were that it was really bad as a single player game but felt that it might work as a multiplayer game. This is before I had even touched an online game with many players (this was before MMOs existed, but we did have MUDs). The reasons were the huge number of random quests (just naive and stupid templates that changed names/locations/items), huge numbers of nearly identical towns (seriously what were they thinking?), ability to own a house or ship (

  • SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY BETHESDA!

    Not like I need it, no sir, or exercise or fresh air, or pleasurable companionship.

  • Another fantasy-setting MMO. How original... *snore*

  • Not Excited (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Missing.Matter (1845576) on Thursday May 03, 2012 @04:02PM (#39881853)

    For me, the allure of Elder Scrolls has always been the single player experience and the immersion in a different world this provides. As someone who has played many MMOs, immersion has never really been a word I'd use to describe them. From all the immature annoying players, to the terrible meta game of griding levels and petty guild politics, playing MMOs has always been a chore for me (which is I guess why I don't play them much anymore). Elder Scrolls has always been a beautiful fantasy escape, and while I know there aren't any details released about the game at this point, I can't possibly see how they can replicate that experience in an MMO.

    I mean, look at the play style that characterizes TES. Vast open environments where you can do practically anything. Now imagine this as an MMO. Imagine walking into town to find EVERYTHING had been stripped out of every building. Shopkeepers slaughtered in the streets, two or three bandits with their pack of mule characters, shipping everything off to a stash... no it wouldn't work. The only reason these sandbox games work is because you're the only one in the game causing this kind of mayhem. So I don't know what TES Online is going to look like, but I have a strong suspicion it will include almost none of the allure of a typical TES game, and will be severely crippled by its MMO status.

  • I've already watched The Knights of the Old Republic go from consoles (where they had their best sales) to a PC-only MMO. I'd hate to see the Elder Scrolls series leave the console forever too.

  • by na1led (1030470)
    It was fun when they first came out, but now it's just tiresome to see. Unless you have no life, I don't plan on spending years to get to level 50 so I can see everything in the game. Sorry Bethesda, I don't have time for an MMO.
    • by Darinbob (1142669)

      MMOs need to break out of their "if we make it they will grind" mindset. They need more depth. I absolutely believe they should dump the outdated levels concept. Start the game being max level essentially, don't waste months gearing up, instead play the game! Too many MMOs treat everything below end game as not worth playing, and they're left to rot when level caps increase. Instead focus on the game world and a story line. Let the new players jump right in without the veterans calling them noobs or i

      • by crazyjj (2598719) *

        The problem is that, without long periods of grinding, everyone will blow through all the content in no time and cancel their subscriptions. MMO's aren't about content, they're about keeping you paying that $15 a month--chasing something you can never catch.

      • by Evil Pete (73279)

        But how can you have more depth in an MMO? In single player the game developer can develop deep stories and constrain you somewhat, perhaps via sub-quests, so that you actually experience the storyline. In an MMO you could go to do sub-quest X and discover somebody else has already done that. So you wait for the BadGuy(tm) to respawn and sub-quest to re-initialize. It just isn't the same. "Please stand in the queue to have your unique experience."

        I came to TES via Oblivion, which I loved, such a free and op

  • by rfioren (648635) on Thursday May 03, 2012 @04:07PM (#39881937)
    I love that Notch guy. Can't wait to play Minecraft online!
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Do they mean a Windows version wrapped in Cider or a real, proper OS X version?

  • I've played most of the Elder Scrolls games, but honestly the overall setting and lore has never really been the strong point to me - without the focus on single player achievement and freedom to do as you will to the populace, I'm not sure how interested I'd be in an MMO just because it is Elder Scrolls. Probably about as interested as I've been in every other MMO which has come out, which is to say I might play a little bit during a free trial period but that's it.

    So good luck, I guess - I just hope it do

    • Imagine Bioware trying to convince their bosses to fund a new RPG SWTOR single player game after sinking 200 million into SWTOR MMO. Not gonna happen. These MMOs are setup to carry the IP for DECADES. There will be no more TES games as we know them now, just like there will never be a Warcraft 4.
      • by Caerdwyn (829058)

        There will be another single-player TES game when Bethesda decides they want another few dozen "Game of the Year" awards.

        Bethesda wants BOTH markets (single player and multi player) and are not about to abandon single-player (which they utterly own and which is a license to print money) in favor of a market which is proving to be more and more difficult to succeed in. They're not going to abandon their cash cow in favor of high risk... they're simply doing both at the same time. They certainly can afford

    • by N0Man74 (1620447)

      They had a very detailed setting (often in the form of detailed histories found in books), but it is a tad on the dull side. However, a many MMO's have survived a dull back story.

      I think the real challenge is going to be in balance. Bethesda's track record has been rather weak in this department. Cheesy skill and power combinations, exploitable mechanics (for either very powerful or just strange effect), and much build min-maxing.

      And if they fix all of those things, will it still seem like an Elder Scroll

    • by ArsonSmith (13997)

      I've always thought the draw of ToS games has always been the scale of everything. In Dagger fall I remember just heading out into the woods in a single direction for hours, exploring caves and not even making it very far in the world map.

      If they continue that type of scale into MMO so it's almost impossible for one person to visit everyplace of interest in the entire game they could spread the adventure out more and still keep some of it's original charm.

  • 2013 means late 2014. WoW should be down to level 110 bots farming herbs and a bunch of people that forgot to stop their subscription ( kind of like what Asheron's Call is today ). Might be a resurging market for a fresh fantasy MMO by then, but probably not.
  • No, Slashdot, Bethesda didn't announce this. It is being made by Zenimax Online Studios (owned by Zenimax, which also owns Bethesda). I don't know if anyone from Bethesda is working on it or not: it certainly doesn't sound like it, since they say it's been in development for a few years and Bethesda has been working on Skyrim during that period.

    It sounds like Bethesda Softworks (the publisher) is involved, though, just not the actual development studio that made the other TES games.

    • by crazyjj (2598719) *

      They're not independent of each other. ZeniMax Media owns both companies. And where do you think all the resources will be going from now on?

      This means we'll never see another stand-alone Elder Scrolls game. Deal with it.

      • by Baloroth (2370816)

        It is being made by Zenimax Online Studios (owned by Zenimax, which also owns Bethesda).

        (Quote mine, emphasis also mine, I left off the "Media" but it was strongly implied).

        Point is they are different development studios, which means different people doing the development, which almost inevitably means different styles and quality of game. Skyrim and other TES games were all developed by Bethesda Games Studios, not Zenimax Online. And Zenimax Media has owned Bethesda for a while now (13 years or so). We certainly can and probably will see another stand-alone Elder Scrolls game.

        For those who a

        • by crazyjj (2598719) *

          We certainly can and probably will see another stand-alone Elder Scrolls game.

          Have you seen any Warcraft or Knights of the Old Republic stand-alone games recently?

  • "I used to play Elder Scrolls games like you, but then i took an MMO subscription to the knee."

    Seriously, though...the ES games excel at making you feel like the lone hero in an immerse world. A bunch of heroes running around would kill the mood, not to mention ruining any ability to make long lasting effects stick based on player actions (permanently killing NPC's, etc.). If they want to do an MMO, fine; but the Elder Scrolls have too rich a world and lore that is too extensive to be left to an MMO. B

  • by Shoe Puppet (1557239) on Thursday May 03, 2012 @04:19PM (#39882163)

    One of the main strong points of the TES games is, in my opinion, that they allow for quite a lot of immersion. Well, about as much immersion as a fairly buggy PC game can give you. I cannot imagine that they will be able to carry that over into an MMO full of 13 year old kids called "FusDoRahPorn131888".

  • by Wattos (2268108)

    Can we please stop with the MMO's already? Im already playing a MMO where I am just another guy (like everyone else). It's called life.

  • So there I was minding my own business and Th'umm there goes my sword.

  • ARGH! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anachragnome (1008495) on Thursday May 03, 2012 @04:25PM (#39882265)

    I want to strangle some of these bean counters.

    We don't need another MMO to replicate Skyrim--We just need MULTIPLAYER.

    (and by multiplayer, I mean IP to IP connections that don't rely on your fucking servers)

  • by Quiet_Desperation (858215) on Thursday May 03, 2012 @04:32PM (#39882371)

    The ability to capture the souls of other players in black soul gems.

    I'd also like a deep, deep, deeeeeeeep crafting system. I can get lost in a happy OCD haze for hours with that shit.

    Gotta start the game as a prisoner, except with an MMO, it can be a mass prison break. Ha! :-)

    Pony mods. No, I'm serious.

  • A lot of games have claimed to be WoW killers over the years, but none have really had both the fan base and the development skills to get it right. (Poor, poor FFXIV. So pretty, so utterly broken. I'm crossing my fingers for their 2.0 reboot next spring.) TOR was almost there, but also failed. Tera? Not quite. Maybe, just maybe, Bethesda will manage to strike the proper balance of fun, interaction, storyline, pretty art, and awesome.
  • Despite everyone's gripes about the MMO genre, Bethesda makes quality games, and I believe they will make a quality MMO.
    Whenever I play a Bethesda game I never feel like im grinding, I'm always immersed in the story and the environment around me. I don't feel like I'm trying to rush to the end. I'm more interested in the story and the adventure that goes along with it.

    MMO lately have been missing this immersion (for me at least). They may be full of story but it doesn't touch or interest me, and it seems
  • DAoC (Score:4, Insightful)

    by CosaNostra Pizza Inc (1299163) on Thursday May 03, 2012 @04:59PM (#39882835)
    Wow! I remember Dark Age of Camelot...good game for its time.
  • Anyone remember the original Everquest? It was fun, unless you lost connection or server crashed while you were on the boat in the middle of the ocean. Then you drowned.
  • Bethesda decided that they simply can't have enough game-breaking bugs while working within the limitations of a singleplayer game. The next logical step was to move to an MMO format because they needed more things to be able to break.
  • All NPC's such as quest givers and merchants will be removed from the game, and replaced with players whose characters have taken arrows in the knee.

  • by Tom (822)

    I'm torn here.

    I've always wanted multiplayer in Elder Scrolls. But I was looking for cooperative multiplayer, as in playing with your SO, a few friends, something like that. 4, maybe 8 players max. (1-3 parties).

    MMO? Really not sure about that. It will depend on how it's done, of course.

  • by geekoid (135745)

    now we can all enjoy bugs and repetitive dialog together!

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