Rumour – The Elder Scrolls Online GI leak details questing, PvP, combat, more

Friday, 4th May 2012 00:05 GMT By Brenna Hillier

What appears to be the upcoming GameInformer cover story on The Elder Scrolls Online has leaked into the wild, outing a huge pile of new information.

The 19 page PDF looks to be pulled from the digital issue for June, and includes screenshots, artwork, and oodles of new intel.

“What happens when hundreds or thousands of prophesised heroes all think that they should be emperor?” the feature asks in discussing the game’s plot, which has the Tharn family making a pact with Minnimarco in order to re-establish Imperial dominance. Minnimarco’s alliance with Molag Bal explains the player’s ability to be resurrected over and over again.

According to the document, players can join every guild in the game, with the Fighters, Thieves and Mages Guild mentioned specifically, and will be able to learn a “far broader” set of skills than ever before. Reaching the level cap is said to take about 120 hours.

An emphasis on stamina management seems to be key to combat, although skilful fighting increases a player’s “finesse”, which is then used to unleash an “ultimate” attack and unlock more loot. Finesse can be built by combining attacks with fellow players. Enemies have access to the same skills as player characters.

The three factions mentioned in earlier leaks are linked to specific races, and each maintains large armies and seeks to expand its territories while remaining independent of the Imperials. Nords, Dunmer and Argonians hold the north and east as part of the Ebonheart Pact; Altmer, Bosmer and Khajiit make up the Aldmeri Dominion in the south east; while Bretons, Redguard and Orcs hold the north west as the Daggerfall Covenant. Environments are fully explorable, and the game world is said to be much, much larger than Skyrim’s. The article says Khajiit homeland Elsweyr and Altmer realm Summerser Isle are included, but that not every province will be available at launch – expansions are expected. Cyrodil is the main PvP realm.

The MMO is said to feature a levelling and quest system similar to single-player Elder Scrolls games, with a strong emphasis on small events, like the random encounters with bandits and villagers in the wilds of Skyrim. Zenimax Online is aiming for a “hubless” design, so players don’t have to be constantly running back to one or two towns for quests. One quest was detailed, involving an army of werewolves and a trip back into the past, in which a player can wipe out an entire family with the result that NPCs disappear from the game’s present.

Screens show a skeletal knight in an Alyeid ruin; a mage and a sworsdman battling a pair of storm atronachs outside a ruined fort; what seems to be the same pair fighting a weird and horrible plant thing in a mushroom filled cavern; a warrior chatting in a library; what seems to be an Ordinator; a swordsman fighting a flesh atronach; three characters attacking a flesh atronach; a female mage and warrior pair having a chat outside another Alyied ruin; one of those crab men things; and more.

AGB has the shots from the PDF here.

The Elder Scrolls Online is expected to launch in 2013, on Mac and PC.

Thanks, Erthazus!



  1. Erthazus

    It looks like Kingdom of Amalur but without Bloor effect.

    Seriously, it’s not looking so good and i’m sure that it’s not THE next Fantasy MMORPG game.

    It is bland at best.

    P.S. and yes, they are using the HeroEngine.

    HeroEngine is the engine that is used in Bioware’s STAR WARS: The Old Republic aka the Most Generic engine for MMO games ever created in the history of mmo’s. It is good for publishers because it is easy to use. – if someone is interested of course.

    #1 3 years ago
  2. ejams

    So this is going to be like SWTOR and WoW style, not Elder scrolls first person and such? I guess that makes a lot more sense, but that’s part of the reason I dislike MMO’s.

    #2 3 years ago
  3. Phoenixblight

    @2 Or rather the reason why people play Elder Scrolls.

    #3 3 years ago
  4. YoungZer0

    I just don’t understand developers any more. How is it that whenever they go from singleplayer to MMO’s that the first thing that suffers, is the art-direction. I mean just fucking look at it! There is no reason why it should have that comic look. There is no reason why Old Republic should’ve that comic look.

    #4 3 years ago
  5. Phoenixblight

    @4 There is a reason you have to appeal to the lowest common denominator for hardware for MMOs and if the game is stylized it has a chance to not look so dated like AIon or various other MMOs that go for that realistic look.

    #5 3 years ago
  6. Erthazus

    @5, ahh sorry, but no.

    Again, good example with “Hero Engine” as the most uninspired piece of garbage (that is free for use to any publisher with exception that creators take 30% of sales from MMO’s). It’s optimization is so bad that it use a lot of resources even for high end PC’s.

    AION by the way is a great example of how you make a great optimized game because it was based on Cryengine 1 that looked fantastic for it’s time and it also supports a lot of battles on the screen with options that can turn off the models.

    I understand your logic that MMO’s need to be accessible (hardware issues), except that the most popular MMO’s when launched used the best engines in most cases.
    World Of Warcraft for example in 2004 was freakin gorgeous and it’s gorgeous to this day despite crappy lightning and other issues. Lineage 2 – huge success was a damn impressive looking game for it’s time and was not optimized enough and it’s the most popular MMO in Korea. EverQuest II – it was the first MMORPG that used 512 Mb video in it’s full glory and a lot of people had issues launching it.

    #6 3 years ago
  7. Talkar

    Why are people so angry at the Hero Engine? I’ve yet to see anyone give a reason as to of why it should be so bad. It supports Linux and Windows servers, and it has a pretty decent infrastructure itself. You can have a glimpse of it without a license:

    #7 3 years ago
  8. Phoenixblight


    As seeing that TOR uses the Hero Engine along with 3 of my teachers work on the project, the creators of the Hero Engine do not take 30% of the sales they took a fat flat fee and get 2-5% royalties. WOW was never gorgeous it was always below the curve and that’s why it was heavily stylized just to appeal to everyone where AION couldn’t because of the hardware requirement.

    FYI That 30% stuff is for the free version very much like Unity and UDK if you make a game with those and sell it they get 30%. What Bioware uses is not the free version and they do have access to the source code along with Bioware has heavily modified the engine from the stock version.

    #8 3 years ago
  9. JimFear-666

    i wonder if g.i are talking about what bethesda do best, GAMEBREAKING BUGS!
    I guess there will have a shitload of gamebreaking bugs knowing the fact that bethesda sucks at making games.

    #9 3 years ago
  10. Phoenixblight

    @9 THis is not the same studio that made previous TES game but chances are likely since all of their games that they have published were broken.

    #10 3 years ago
  11. Erthazus

    ” WOW was never gorgeous it was always below the curve and that’s why it was heavily stylized just to appeal to everyone”


    1) Not everyone likes WOW art style
    2) Look at the WoW specs for example. Videocard for max settings and see what was cool in 2004.
    3) It’s a Warcraft Art Direction and not some “to appeal to everyone” thing. Blizzard never knew about appealing to everyone at that time.

    World Of Warcraft looked fantastic in 2004 and it was one of the best looking games.

    “where AION couldn’t because of the hardware requirement.”

    another one of your fantasies? Hardware requirements for Aion are requirements like for any other MMO that was released in 2008.

    Minimum requirements for AION were Geforce 6600 that was released in 2004-2005 with reccomended settings that required Geforce 9800 and that is a Geforce 8800 rebranded that was released in 2006.

    #11 3 years ago
  12. Yourmotherfollowsmeontwitter

    FUUUUUCCCCCKKK, why isn’t anything ever released on console I highly enjoy the ElderScrolls series but when I see that everything being released and all the player creations,sandboxes,etc,I just get so pissed off.

    #12 3 years ago
  13. Phoenixblight


    Your entire comment is subjective and it is not fact. Their models looked like crap back at that time period with no normal maps, Ambient Occlusion, spec mapping. Most of their stuff was less than 500 polygons with a crudely painted diffuse map. The only thing that was bigger then that would be the terrain and buildings.

    #13 3 years ago
  14. fearmonkey

    After seeing the PDF I am not a happy camper. From just the few screens I see, they are essentially making just another MMO with elder scrolls on the box. I hope they can still impress me but from those screens I am not. I don’t get why Zenimax would take a game beloved for a certain style of design and gameplay and just release a standard looking MMO. Will people that loved the elder scrolls love this game, it’s not looking that way to me.

    #14 3 years ago
  15. Phoenixblight


    Well the looks can change there is an entire year to go to improve upon the looks but the gameplay mechanics are very not TES. No Player House, No vamp/Werewolf disease, actionbar controls. The list goes on. There is nothing in that document that screams TES other than the name and it being in Tamriel.

    #15 3 years ago
  16. TheWulf

    World of Warcraft was ever gorgeous? No, it wasn’t. I remember magazines way back when having a chuckle over how it took art assets from Warcraft III to use in a first/third person perspective, making them look distinctly ugly. (They’re great when viewed from far away, but not up close.)

    In early WoW, you could see that many of the art assets were designed to look good from a distance. They got their kickstart for WoW by reusing a lot of the art assets and leftovers from Warcraft III. That’s why it looked incredibly ugly in the beginning.

    If they’d designed the art assets fresh to look good from a first/third person perspective then it would have looked pretty decent, but they did not. Blizzard was always about cutting corners in just about every way they could. I mean… let me give you an example of how “gorgeos” WoW is.

    Yup, that looks gorgeous.

    Though I guess it might have been unfair to just pick on the models up close like that (despite having explained why I did so), so…

    Sorry, but this doesn’t meet my criteria for ‘gorgeous.’

    Now, you may say that I’m judging it by today’s standards. No, not really… Guild Wars was released around the same time.

    And lo.

    A similar kind of screen from a game released around the same time as World of WArcraft. Also an online game. So you can see what I’m getting at, here.

    Everyone knew that World of Warcraft was never ‘gorgeous.’ Even claiming it was is silly. But that’s what rose-tinted glasses do to you. Nostalgia clouds the reality of things. Guild Wars deserved to be placed in an art gallery when set alongside WoW. And everyone knew it. Back then the mantra was “I don’t play WoW for the graphics.”

    And really, I don’t see what’s so bad about the HeroEngine, just let the game and the eventual visuals speak for themselves. It could go either way. But yeah, I just had to point out that Erth’s entire argument is kind of ridiculous because he’s built it on the backbone of WoW looking beautiful. WoW is the sort of game with a face that only a mother could love. And again, we all knew it. No one ever played WoW because they thought it was ‘gorgeous.’

    (And yes, I realise that there are even way prettier pictures than that that I could have used to compare pre-searing Ascalon to Elwynn Forest. Like that lovely little river where you fight the skales. But I don’t want to crush Erth completely. That’s just not my style. :P)

    #16 3 years ago
  17. agraeff

    where can i download the 19 page PDF??????

    #17 3 years ago
  18. Stephany Nunneley

    I added in a link to the shots mentioned in the post.

    #18 3 years ago

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