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The Elder Scrolls Online is one of the most hotly anticipated online games for 2014, and is based on the game universe where the critically acclaimed Elder Scrolls action fantasy titles take place. It will be the first massively multiplayer online rpg for the popular franchise.
This week, The Elder Scrolls Online is going to have another beta weekend. We’ve assembled a helpful primer for gamers looking to give this gorgeous-looking, blood-drenched MMO a go.
There’s also a dispute currently going on between Bethesda and Microsoft over whether Elder Scrolls Online will require a gold subscription to be played on Xbox Live.
What is the gist of the story?
Elder Scrolls Online takes place in the increasingly war-torn continent of Tamriel, where hordes of ghouls and vengeful spirits stalk the populace. Meanwhile, three alliances and four elder scrolls online classes are engage in a ruthless battle for control of the Imperial City which has been overrun by the malevolent forces from the otherworldly realm of Oblivion. At the center of this turmoil is Molag Bal, the Daedric Prince of domination and enslavement, who is masterminding the merge of Oblivion and Nirn, the world in which Elder Scrolls Online and other Elder Scrolls game takes place.
What are its defining features as an MMORPG?
Player vs. player gameplay will be at the heart of Elder Scrolls Online. It will support a three-alliance war system, which developers said will support some of the largest PvP battles seen in a major online rpg. The most vicious pvp fighter will become the emperor. Each player will be able to support one of three alliances vying for control of Cyrodiil, the central province where the Imperial City lies and home to the throne of Tamriel.
The game can support hundreds of players fighting simultaneously onscreen for their respective alliance army. PvP objectives will include seizing and defending strongholds to secure their valuable resources across a vast open world setting. Siege weapons can be used to weaken enemy fortresses and conquer strongholds. Controlling enough territory in Cyrodiil is just the means to the ultimate end: Capturing the Imperial City. The victorious alliance will gain glory and rewards, with the top player even having the chance to be crowned Emperor of the land. This creates healthy competition within each elder scrolls online alliance as well, since the Emperor will gain special combat abilities and make him or her a menacing leader in the battlefield.
ESO will also offer a healthy amount of PvE content and exploration which could help players to leveling their eso characters also, according to developers. Most of the Tamriel continent will be playable eventually, with new areas unlocked with new expansions.
As readers of this site will want to know, the currency of Elder Scrolls will be ‘gold’ – commonly referred to as ‘Elder Scrolls Online Gold’ or ‘ESO Gold’ for short.
What is the difference between the three alliances?
There are three alliances locked in total conflict. Each alliance hails from a different part of the Tamriel continent, and will each offer three distinct playable races. Their agendas also wildly differ despite sharing the singular goal of overtaking the Imperial City.
The Aldmeri Dominion hails from the southern provinces of Valenwood, Elsweyr and Summerset Isles. Playable races will include Altmer, Bosmer and Khajiit. Their animal emblem is the bird of prey. They seek to suppress what they see as the growing influence of humankind and instead restore the majestic rule of the Elves.
The Daggerfall Covenant is composed of the northwestern provinces of High rock and Hammerfell. Playable races will include Bretons, Redguards and Orcs. Their animal emblem is the lion. This alliance seeks to restore the peace and prosperity similar to that seen during the days of the Second Empire.
Lastly, the Ebonheart Pact has united the previously warring northern and eastern provinces of Skyrim, Morrowind and Black Marsh. Playable races will include Dunmer, Nords and Argonians. Their animal emblem is the dragon. These sworn enemies have put aside their differences for the meanwhile to restore stability to the land and ensure their independence from any ruling influence.
What’s the currency used in Elder Scrolls Online?
Unlike real-world counter-samples, all three factions are perfectly happy to share the same currency – Elder Scrolls Online gold – which conveniently works since gold as sole means of reimbursement doesn’t require a central bank. It does make the buying of more ordinary, less valued things – like a liter of milk a tad awkward though. Luckily the economy in ESO guide will solely consist of valuable, ability-enhancing weaponry and armory as well as raw materials – avoiding the need for smaller denominations (silver? copper? salt wheels?).
Do you have a minute? Then check out this ESO guide I found that has the FASTEST leveling tactics. This guide is the main reason why I was the first in my guild to reach level 50. You can read more of my review of the guide here.
There are many similarities and there are many differences in The Elder Scrolls Online compared to the previous games in the series. If that sounds suspicious, perhaps a turnoff for you hardcore Elder Scrolls fans, know that since its alpha version, ZeneMax has been inviting hardcore Elder Scrolls fans like yourselves to test the game and they have praised highly how similar the Elder Scrolls Online feels to Skyrim in controls and combat. It will also be wise to remember at this point that Elder Scrolls Online will also have mounts just like in Skyrim. Before I get into the big differences, let’s refresh what we know and what is similar about the Elder Scrolls Online’s combat system. I’ll be using Skyrim as a demonstration point.
As you have probably experienced for yourself, the Elder Scrolls combat system involves using the WASD keys for movement and your mouse for aiming and attacking. There is no auto-attack. Your weapon attacks by clicking the left mouse button and you can block by holding the right mouse button. Physical attacks and blocking consume stamina and magicka for spells. A quick click of the left mouse will perform a light attack and holding will perform a heavy attack. Unlike in Skyrim, there is no extra resource cost with heavy attacks in the Elder Scrolls Online.
To achieve a successful attack or block with your ESO weapon, you must be facing your target and have the aim cursor in the middle, relatively close to your target. Failing to do so will result in you missing completely. This applies to all weapons, including projectile attacks, like spells and arrows. One of the differences in the Elder Scrolls Online is how projectiles work. Instead of straightforward unguided attacks, your projectiles will have a slight lock-on and will seek your target even if your target should move. If your target moves a little to the left or right, the arrow for example will follow. It’s not a perfect lock-on though. Your enemy, especially if they dodge, will most certainly be able to avoid your attacks.
By double-tapping a movement key, your character can perform a dodge maneuver which will consume some stamina but will allow you to avoid incoming attacks. There exists a second targeting system similar to Tab-targeting. It’s not a full lock-on either, and will still require you to aim your attacks carefully. The Tab-targeting simply exists to help you to specify which enemy out of a crowd of enemies is your focus. It does not lock-on your camera and you will still have full control to attack other targets.