Ever since May of 2012, Elder Scrolls fans have been excited to hear about the newest addition to the Elder Scrolls collection, The Elder Scrolls Online. Only this time, the war is being waged online in the first ever Elder Scrolls MMORPG. And while Bethesda claims that The Elder Scrolls Online has been in the works since 2007, May was the first we’d heard of it.
Unexpectedly, the time line isn’t increasing but takes place 1,000 years before the events of Skyrim and the main antagonist is the Deadric Prince, Malog Bal, The Harvester of Souls. The character is a poor creature that has had its soul stolen by Malog Bal, and fights to earn it back and save all of Tamriel from being sucked into Malog Bal’s realm in Oblivion, Coldharbour. Also strangely, all races are playable except the Imperials, and are split up into three factions: Ebonheart Pact (Argonians, Dunmer, and Nords) which is represented by a Dragon; the Aldmeri Dominion (Altmer, Bosmer, and Khajiit) represented by an Eagle or Phoenix; and the Daggerfall Covenant (Bretons, Orcs, and Redguards) represented by a Lion.
While noteworthy things such as lycanthropy and vampirism are unavailable for the player, it is still common to find vampires and werewolves in the RPG. It’s also important to note that this is the first time players can fight other players all across Cyrodiil, and will do so in order to take over land. The faction to take over The Imperial City and drive out the deadra wins, and the character in that faction that has contributed the most is crowned Emperor of Tamriel!
The look of the game has been altered due to the fact that you can travel all around Tamriel, however, it’s been stated that most of Cyrodiil was replicated from Oblivion to give it a more natural and familiar feel. The Fighter’s Guild also makes a comeback, as well as the Dark Brotherhood, The Thieves Guild and The Mages Guild, and can give quests that will greatly help the player.
While there are aspects to the MMORPG that are familiar, there are also vast differences, such as the camera angel being mostly in 3rd person, having to break the Dark Anchors to save Tamriel, and most excitingly, the free travel across the extensive map! However, while there is new there are also things that one welcomes seeing again on their travels, such as the Standing (or Mundus, as they will be called in The Elder Scrolls Online) Stones, the return of well-missed guilds, and familiar monsters for slaying.
As a huge Elder Scrolls fan, just the thought of a MMORPG sets my teeth on edge, as I have seen other fandoms form MMORPGs that didn’t quite stick to the original concept. However, from the very few things Bethesda has revealed about the MMO (or had revealed for them, unfortunately), I hope to play it, despite my misgivings, just to give it a fair shot.