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Elder Scrolls Online blog details lock-picking, kill-stealing & more

Tuesday, 19th November 2013 08:57 GMT By Dave Cook

The Elder Scrolls Online developer ZeniMax Online Studios has posted a new blog that runs down several game mechanics, such as lock-picking, XP sharing, character names and more.

It follows Bethesda’s Fallout 4 trademark, registered right here in Europe.

Now, Bethesda’s label-mates ZeniMax Online Studios has posted a new ‘Ask Me Anything’ blog update for The Elder Scrolls Online, this time touching on a variety of subjects.

First, there is a player cap when taking your guild into a campaign. It’s been imposed for the sake of balance, says the devs. “Yes, campaigns feature a soft cap to limit the number of participants from one alliance,” the post reads. “There’s room for overflow that will allow you to join your friends or guild members in an otherwise full campaign, but eventually there is a hard limit to that. You’ll be able to join campaigns with your friends, but we want to ensure that an alliance can’t bring too many additional combatants in and hurt the overall balance.”

There’s also a set of rules for naming your character, but these are pretty basic. The post continues, “You can use more than one space in your character name, so the examples you picked are all viable. In fact, the current limit is a maximum of four hyphens, apostrophes, or spaces in total, so you can come up with all kinds of names, like Nh’yen the Ter-Grol. This should be especially convenient for players who want lore-based names for their Argonian or Khajiit!”

What about online and dickheads stealing your loot or kills for the hell of it? ZeniMax writes, “Fighting the enemies of your alliance—NPCs as well as PCs—should be something every aspiring hero jumps at the opportunity to do. We don’t intend to limit helpful behavior in Tamriel by lowering the experience or loot you can take away from a hard-fought victory.

“If you help someone kill an enemy he is already engaged with, all you can do is take away some of the pride he might have felt by winning the fight on his own. He’ll still receive the full amount of experience and loot. If you did enough damage (or provided enough support), you might get some experience and loot of your own, too. And if the two of you decide to group together, both of you will get even more.”

The studio does advise that you watch yourself when lock-picking though, as you can be attacked when your back is turned. “Tamriel is a dangerous place,” they advise. “If you let your guard down while you focus on lockpicking, you might get attacked. Enemy NPCs might do this anywhere in the world, and hostile players will love the opportunity to surprise you in Cyrodiil. But then again, you never know what loot might be in that chest … maybe it’s worth bringing a friend to watch your back?”

There’s plenty more through the link above.

What do you make of The Elder Scrolls Online so far? Let us know below.

Via Polygon.

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9 Comments

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  1. BULArmy

    I think TES Online will be a huge mess when it lands. They try to mesh somehow too much of the SP elements of TES in a MMO, along with tired MMO tropes. The final results can be a very average MMO on the scale of SWTOR. At least SWTOR offered the huge amount of voice acting and decent stories for some of the classes, which I am not sure TES online can offer.

    #1 5 months ago
  2. AmiralPatate

    “so you can come up with all kinds of names, like Nh’yen the Ter-Grol”

    Or Todd McToddinson.
    On another note, what happens in a Mexican stand-off? Will it share XP with an enemy? Will it share XP with a dead enemy? Also, who’ll have to shovel up the loot?

    #2 5 months ago
  3. TheWulf

    Their approach to loot is dumb.

    Anyone participating in a fight should get equal rewards for the fight. If you don’t do that, then you get trolls doing mob tagging with abilities that aren’t easy to see. It also causes distress about who actually tagged the mob in the first place, not unlike nodes.

    Okay, that’s actually completely struck this game off my list. I really don’t want to deal with that ever again. I’m sick of it. This is sounding more and more like e typical MMO the more I hear. I don’t want that. I… I guess I want Ultima Online, where everyone benefited from everything. You could go to a mine with a bunch of people, stand around mining, and have friendly chats with them. That was lovely.

    I think Everquest Next: Landmark will have at least some of that since it’s essentially Minecraft, and Minecraft is almost Ultima in some small ways. I’m tired of developers giving people tools to be arseholes.

    Kill-stealing as a thing wouldn’t even exist if everyone had equal rewards. This is actually one of the things that Guild Wars 2 almost, almost got right. Except they didn’t have the balls to go far enough with it. Letting both people benefit from something equally is way better than the constant drama, friction, and conflict that makes MMOs an incredibly toxic and acidic environment.

    I don’t want a toxic and acidic environment where everyone is sociopathic arseholes if I actually have to interact with other people. This is my primary problem with gaming, right here. The attitudes so very wrong, it’s just all kind of skewiff and helter-skelter. It’s twisted. It’s almost like we’re trying to groom people into being nasty douchebags. Why would we want that? I’m sick of seeing MMOs going down that route.

    I’ve had an off and on small interest with ESO. But with how awful the beast races are, and now telling me that mob-tagging is going to be a thing? Well, no. I can’t. It’s not that I’m not interested, it’s that I can’t. I have anxiety issues (which aren’t curable with medication due to it being to do with damage to the septo-hippocampal area of the brain) and the nastiness of MMOs makes me feel physically ill.

    Guild Wars, the original, was a lovely experience because it was just my friends and I. We had fun, sociable adventures. It was great.

    Ultima Online’s PvE shard was a place of wonder, where everyone was friendly, social, and nice. We had fun, sociable adventures. It was great.

    Somewhere around WoW though it all went down the shitter.

    Which may explain part of why I don’t like WoW so much. (Aside from its ability to addict people with purposeful conditioning, thus making them abandon every other aspect of their life, which I’ve been witness to twice now. It’s almost like watching the person die, because when someone starts doing WoW, they don’t stop doing WoW. WoW every day, WoW every week, WoW forever. That makes me ill thinking about it.)

    So, yeah, I don’t know.

    Everyone’s still going with this WoW kind of formula that breeds addiction and sociopathy, and then you have well groomed, potty-mouthed, low-level sociopaths attacking people to defend them. I’ve witnessed that myself, even with a certain VG24/7 moderator. (None of the staff, though, as they seem to be lovely people.)

    Is it wrong to want an MMO that: a.) doesn’t use conditioning to try to be addictive, b.) doesn’t centre around a soul-sucking grind that you have to abandon the rest of your life to properly maintain, c.) doesn’t create toxicity between players by designing the very mechanics of the game to cause endless conflict, even in PVP, and d.) doesn’t have terrible writing?

    That’s my dream MMO, right there. ^ Something that holds those rules close to its heart. Maybe that’ll be EQ:N, maybe it won’t.

    I’ve been waiting for something like Ultima Online since Ultima Online, which is a social, non-toxic, non-grindy experience, which people can just have fun with. Even stuff like Free Realms, Puzzle Pirates, and Marvel Heroes come closer to that than any of the big names do.

    It just makes you think, when it’s so obvious that MMOs are designed to make people sociopathic, toxic, and addicted… when you know that, why do you keep going back? Do people like abuse?

    So, yeah. Mob-tagging? Screw that.

    ESO’s off the list. The list continues to shrink.

    #3 5 months ago
  4. KineticCalvaria

    @TheWulf, ‘This is sounding more and more like a typical MMO the more I hear’.

    Did you expect anything less? It’s looked awful since it was first shown, absolutely nothing original about it and the only selling point is that it’s got the Elder Scrolls name attached to it.

    #4 5 months ago
  5. Ireland Michael

    @4 That’s not even a selling point, considering how much of a butchering the game is doing to the lore and canon for the sake of MMO conventions.

    #5 5 months ago
  6. KineticCalvaria

    @5, to the untrained eye it may be though. No doubt it will sell more copies with the Elder Scrolls name than if it was the same game but without it.

    I honestly can’t believe Zenimax are stupid enough to do this.

    #6 5 months ago
  7. Ireland Michael

    @6 Maybe at first, but if even Star Wars can’t keep a game running on a subscription, I doubt Elder Scrolls can. Unless this game can perfect the end game process (the only thing Blizzard gets right), people will disappear within the first two months, just like every other MMO.

    MMOs are notoriously expensive to make. If they can’t create sustainability, they’re screwed before they can even begin, and the hardcore Elder Scrolls userbase clearly isn’t feeling much for this game, so they’re not going to be able to depend on that crowd of people either.

    #7 5 months ago
  8. KineticCalvaria

    @7, precisely what I mean, once people are over the initial ‘ooh a new Elder Scrolls game’ it’ll end up in the same sorry state that SWTOR has found itself in after spending a ridiculous amount of money on it’s development.

    I can’t see why Zenimax would think this is even remotely a profitable idea, especially after SWTOR.

    #8 5 months ago
  9. zaphryn

    Are all of you really this incredibly stupid?

    First of all, this game was in development since 2007 after Morrowind was released. When ZoS was created it was it’s primary focus. So SWTOR’s failings had no baring on this idea.

    As a die hard Elder Scrolls fan I am in love with this idea. I played WoW for years and always said that if they created an MMO for ES I would be all over it. So the idea that it’s true fans don’t like it is absurd. Also, I am one of the contributors to UESP wiki and have followed ES lore since its inception. There is no twisting or manipulating of any lore. So I don’t know if that comment was trolling or what, but it’s not accurate.

    As for the payment plan, I would be MORE THAN HAPPY to pay for it, and I will continue to pay for it because $15 a month is nothing for the entertainment I will receive in abundance.

    I have seen all of the videos on this and I am now a beta tester and this game is absolutely incredible. They found the perfect way to give you the solo feel of their console games while also giving you awesome additives of an MMO. This game is NOT PVP oriented either. That is a HUGE RUMOR AND MISCONCEPTION! The only reason why PVP has been on the frontline of the conversation is because that was the first thing they beta tested, and have been beta testing for the last 6 months. They go into PVE Testing for the next 3 months. Questing and PVE will be all you hear about now.

    They have already released several interviews explaining that the end game will be massive. They’ve stated how important they know that is to keep people interested. they know what they’re doing.

    This game is amazing and for those of you who think it will fail, you are sadly mistaken. They have a list of 1.5 million people who have already followed them on facebook and have already received a half a million beta requests. When they stop with the viral marketing phase and enter in to the commercial marketing phase, when the game is ready, this game will explode. Because the die hard’s like me, have given this game a co-signature of 100% credibility.

    #9 5 months ago