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The Elder Scrolls Online

The Daily Grind: Do you defend your favorite MMO?

Fantasy, Culture, MMO Industry, Opinion, The Daily Grind, The Elder Scrolls Online

I think I'm getting old, because there was a time when I'd wade into a forum discussion about my favorite MMO and defend it to the death against all comers. I still catch myself doing that on occasion, but said occasions are getting rarer. The passion hasn't gone anywhere, but I'd rather just go play it than argue about it, you know?

What about you, Massively readers? Do you defend your favorite MMOs?

Every morning, the Massively bloggers probe the minds of their readers with deep, thought-provoking questions about that most serious of topics: massively online gaming. We crave your opinions, so grab your caffeinated beverage of choice and chime in on today's Daily Grind!

Elder Scrolls Online is getting some scary monster face hats

Fantasy, MMO Industry, News Items, The Elder Scrolls Online

When Massively newswriters are looking for news to write, they generally look first to the Massively newsroom. The Massively newsroom is a place where editors dump links that can be turned into stories, and more often than not said links are labeled with funny/sarcastic/bitterly angry temporary titles.

The temporary title for the news post you're currently reading was "ESO Hats... you'd think a game this big could manage more than hat teasers on Twitter, but you'd be wrong!"

It's quite a long temporary title as temporary titles go, but that's fine because it really captures the essence of this particular news post. The Elder Scrolls Online is in fact coming out with some new hats. OK, they're actually monster helms and they look pretty badass. You can expect them in Update 5!

Leaderboard: Which 2014 MMO will be the most financially successful?

Fantasy, Business Models, MMO Industry, Opinion, ArcheAge, Sandbox, WildStar, Leaderboard, The Elder Scrolls Online

2014 is winding down, and when it comes to big triple-A MMO releases, it's basically over already. The Elder Scrolls Online, WildStar, and ArcheAge all debuted this year and apart from their differing premises, mechanics, and reception, they also differed in terms of their business models.

One thing they had in common, though, was expensive production values as well as the pressure of carrying the financial flag for their respective development studios. While it's hard to accurately predict the future, that's exactly what we're going to do in today's Leaderboard. Which of 2014's big three do you think will be the most financially successful in the long run? Vote after the cut and don't forget to explain your vote in the comments!

Ever wish that you could put to rest a long-standing MMO debate once and for all? Then welcome to the battle royal of Massively's Leaderboard, where two sides enter the pit o' judgment -- and only one leaves. Vote to make your opinion known, and see whether your choice tops the Leaderboard!

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Delve deeper into Elder Scrolls with two new book series

Fantasy, Lore, MMO Industry, News Items, The Elder Scrolls Online

Why have Elder Scrolls Online only on your gaming machines when you can also have it on your bookshelves? Bethesda has partnered again with Titan Books to create two new series that delve deeper into the world of Elder Scrolls, one focusing on ESO and the other on Skyrim. A March 2015 release date is planned for the first volume of each series.

The Elder Scrolls Online – Tales of Tamriel will be split into two volumes, the first titled The Land and the second, The Lore. Both will expound even further on the lore of the game and feature never-before-seen art.

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim – The Skyrim Library consists of three volumes (The Histories; Man, Mer and Beast; and The Arcane) that moves the all of the game's in-game text to out-of-game print that players can grab and read at their leisure.

Elder Scrolls game director talks Update 5, performance upgrades

Fantasy, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Patches, PvP, News Items, PvE, Dev Diaries, The Elder Scrolls Online

Elder Scrolls Online game director Matt Firor has just released a new Road Ahead update post. Much of what he has to say relates to the forthcoming Update 5, which includes a new vet dungeon, new facial animations, repeatable pledges and writs, dungeon level-scaling, and additional stuff like the Dwemer crafting style and chat bubbles.

Firor also mentions "a series of stability and performance improvements for Cyrodiil in the works right now." Additionally, ESO players will be getting new performance options to "cull visual effects" and improve client framerates.

ZeniMax seeking feedback on Elder Scrolls' Update 5

Fantasy, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Patches, News Items, PvE, Dungeons, Crafting, The Elder Scrolls Online

Elder Scrolls Online's Update 5 is big. It's so big that ZeniMax is offering test server players a lengthy list of suggestions as to what they should be testing.

More specifically, the dev team is seeking feedback on the veteran City of Ash dungeon as well as on crafting writs and the new crafting tutorials. That's just a partial list, too. You can view the full breakdown on the official ESO forums.

Guild leaders converge for The Elder Scrolls Online's first guild summit

Fantasy, Game Mechanics, Previews, Endgame, News Items, Consoles, The Elder Scrolls Online, Subscription

We've brought our most dedicated fans here in what is sure to not have any sort of echo chamber effect.
If you weren't invited to The Elder Scrolls Online's current guild summit... well, don't feel bad; only the leaders of 20 guilds and online communities were invited. But it's still kind of nail-biting. What could they be talking about in there? What strange and arcane topics will be brought up? Will special items be handed out? Are there designer cheeses available? Lucky for you, though, the folks at the Tamriel Foundry have taken the time to transcribe what's going down in Maryland so that even those not at the summit can get a sense for what's happening.

The first day of the summit covered combat responsiveness, system design, AvA mechanics, and the Champion system. This means both detailed examinations of where the game is currently lacking and what's coming in the future; the Champion system and the rework of the veteran experience is slated for "when it's done" rather than a specific date. So sit back and take a look at all of the hard details on display, possibly whilst eating some designer cheese of your own.

The Elder Scrolls Online asks players for a tale of the dead

Fantasy, Lore, News Items, Consoles, The Elder Scrolls Online, Subscription

And I bet someone's wondering why he doesn't write any more.
Aw, jeez. That can't have been happy. There's a story behind that picture, you just know it; people don't just grow spears while sitting down with some wine and cheese. And what is that story, you ask? Well, that's up to you! The Elder Scrolls Online is challenging players to construct yet another tale of the dead, a 500-word story in any format outlining how the unnamed skeleton in this screenshot wound up in this unfortunate predicament.

Players who'd like to participate need only post their entry to the official contest thread before 11:59 p.m. EDT on September 26th. The three winners will each receive a $25 electronic gift certificate to the Bethesda store as well as a free t-shirt. If that sounds good to you and you think you can tell a convincing story about this guy, it's time to crack your knuckles and get writing.

The Elder Scrolls Online pushes players to Upper Craglorn in Update 4

Fantasy, Patches, Endgame, News Items, Consoles, The Elder Scrolls Online, Subscription

I'll up YOUR Craglorn!  I... no, wait, please don't draw your weapons, adventurers.  I'm... I'm so lonely.  I don't know what I'm saying any more.  My life just hurts, and every time I think it's not going to hurt any more it keeps going.  I walled myself away so I could live better, but all it did was make me long for contact I don't know how to have.  I just want friends.  All I need is for you to hear me out, and maybe we - oh.  Okay, you can stab me.  Maybe it's better this way.
You've been to Craglorn? Pff, that's boring now. Upper Craglorn is where the real action is these days. And by complete coincidence, Upper Craglorn is now open on The Elder Scrolls Online's servers, as the game's fourth major update has just dropped. The zone will wrap up the Celestial storyline as your character takes on the Scaled Court. That also ties into the new trial, Sanctum Ophidia, which is a direct strike against the heart of the Court; players will take on the minions and end up fighting the Celestial Serpent.

The new Dragonstar Arena also debuts with this patch, asking players to fight against waves of oncoming enemies. Plus there's a new crafting trait available, improved grouping mechanics, various bugfixes, the usual assortment. So if you can't wait to go knife up a really important snake and check out the places that all the hip new kids are heading for, go check out the update.

Elder Scrolls ups VR cap, adds upper Craglorn and more

Fantasy, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Patches, News Items, PvE, The Elder Scrolls Online

Did you know that Elder Scrolls Online's fourth major content patch came out today? It sure did, and judging by the 1.4.3 notes it's a biggun.

ZeniMax has added the upper region of Craglorn and a new trial called Sanctum Ophidia. The four-player Dragonstar Arena with its 10 stages of monsters is live, too, along with a VR level cap bump to 14. That's not all, so click the links below to read about the additional changes.

ZeniMax, Elder Scrolls Online hit with layoffs

Fantasy, Events (Real-World), MMO Industry, News Items, The Elder Scrolls Online, Subscription

eso
ZeniMax has confirmed earlier Twitter rumors of layoffs -- sorry, "adjusted staffing" -- within the Elder Scrolls Online studio with the following statement made to our sister site Joystiq:
As is the norm for games of this type, we had ramped up a large workforce to develop a game of vast scale, and ramped up our customer service to handle the expected questions and community needs of The Elder Scrolls Online at launch. Now that we are nearly 6 months post launch, we have a thriving online community in a game that runs smoothly. We have adjusted staffing to meet the ongoing needs of the studio, which continues to operate with a large work force.

We remain strongly committed to The Elder Scrolls Online, and continue to invest heavily to develop new content for PC players, prepare the game for its console launch, and handle our planned expansion into important international territories. As for customer service, we continue to operate large support centers in Hunt Valley, MD and Galway, Ireland.
Former ESO animator Nate Walpole attributed the apparent layoffs to the team's large size and the unpredictability of the MMO industry:
Large layoffs reported ongoing at #ZeniMaxOnline today. MMO dev coupled with a #huge team size - GL and reach out if you need contacts. :(0
Massively extends its sympathies to those affected.

Tamriel Infinium: Five reasons to return to Elder Scrolls Online

Fantasy, Bugs, Game Mechanics, Guilds, MMO Industry, Patches, PvE, Opinion, Dungeons, The Elder Scrolls Online, Subscription, Tamriel Infinium

Today seems as good a time as any to mention returning to Elder Scrolls Online. I'm not talking personally, mind you, as I've been playing pretty consistently since early access. The winds of MMO change are doing their thing, though, and I'm seeing a bunch of thinking-about-returning-but-have-some-questions threads at my usual ESO forum hangouts.

Maybe this is due to all the fail trolls glomping onto WildStar while eyeing the fast-approaching North American version of ArcheAge. Or maybe it's because ZeniMax has added quite a bit of post-launch tastiness to its ESO recipe.

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The scoop on Elder Scrolls Online's Dragonstar arena

Fantasy, Super-hero, Trailers, Video, Game Mechanics, Patches, Previews, News Items, PvE, Dungeons, The Elder Scrolls Online

ESO
When The Elder Scrolls Online's fourth update arrives next month, a new type of content will open to players: themed PvE arenas. The first of 10 such arenas, Dragonstar, is the subject of a new developer essay on the official site today.

The Dragonstar Arena is located in Craglorn and will pit a group of four players against five waves of monsters with "escalating intensity," though not necessarily escalating numbers; ZeniMax promises there will be no "cannon fodder" to waste your time. Hazards inside the arena -- like poisonous clouds, lava flows, and immobilizing blizzards -- will further impede groups' progress through the challenges.

ZeniMax says that arenas are intended to provide difficult combat encounters and elite rewards to small, highly skilled groups, but more casual players can skip Veteran mode for normal mode if they choose. We've included the brief Dragonstar arena trailer below.

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Elder Scrolls' fourth major update teased in new concept art

Fantasy, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Patches, News Items, PvE, Dungeons, The Elder Scrolls Online, Subscription

When Elder Scrolls Online's fourth major update lands in September, players will be able to "discover the ruins and delves of the last region of Craglorn," according to a teaser on the fantasy MMO's website. Upper Craglorn holds the key to the mystery of the fallen constellations, apparently, and it also boasts something called "the Serpent Trial" and "treacherous new delves."

ZeniMax has posted a few concept art wallpapers to whet your appetite for the new content.

Leaderboard: How do you feel about loyalty rewards?

Fantasy, MMO Industry, Opinion, Leaderboard, The Elder Scrolls Online

Elder Scrolls Online announced its vet reward program recently, and while it doesn't take effect until next month, it got me to thinking about similar incentives in other MMOs. They're pretty common, of course, and even F2P games offer them provided that they also offer an optional subscription tier.

Personally vet rewards aren't much of an incentive. I mean, sometimes they offer a neat-looking vanity pet that I'll look at once and subsequently forget to ever summon again, but I can't recall ever anticipating a loyalty reward or remaining subscribed in order to get one. What about you, Massively readers? Are loyalty rewards nothing more than a nice bonus, or are there some that go above and beyond in terms of desirability? If so, which ones? Don't forget to vote after the cut!

Ever wish that you could put to rest a long-standing MMO debate once and for all? Then welcome to the battle royal of Massively's Leaderboard, where two sides enter the pit o' judgment -- and only one leaves. Vote to make your opinion known, and see whether your choice tops the Leaderboard!

Continue Reading


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