Elder Scrolls Online is going through a final PC/Mac scale test this weekend, and game director Matt Firor felt it was an opportune time to discuss how feedback has changed the final product.
According to a blog post on the official website, many players felt "too constrained" during the start of the game, up until they reached level 10.
Firor said the game was originally designed in this manner in order to not overwhelm new players and all them to learn the game before "dealing with more challenging situations."
"Because ESO is about choice, we made adjustments to those opening hours of the game in response to the beta feedback," he said. "After exiting the modified, more streamlined tutorial in Coldharbour, new characters now wake up in the first major city of their respective Alliance as opposed to being forced to go through the starter islands. "
Firor also noted the team has adjusted the level curve around the cities, giving players plenty to do without running into enemies that are too powerful at the start - something I noted during my time with the beta.
"If you want to go back and experience these islands, which have been re-leveled to provide a regular content experience, the option is there, but players who prefer can just start exploring the rest of Tamriel," said Firor.
"Another piece of your feedback we’ve implemented addresses our combat system. We continue to identify ways to make melee combat feel even more substantial. In addition to many tweaks and changes to animations and audio, we’ve added player collision with NPCs, which means your character will no longer be able to run through NPC enemies. This is a frequently requested feature that we think succeeds in making melee combat more visceral and exciting."
For online support, ZeniMax has also constructed large datacenters in North America and Europe with the former fully operational as of press time, and the latter's datacenter will be soon. The location of the servers will not affect the gameplay experience, said Firor, as "millions of players from Europe and beyond" can play on the North American server without latency or lag problems.
Users who noted some lag issues in Cyrodiil during the last scale test, will be pleased to know the issue was caused by a bug, not the servers. All players, no matter where they were located, experienced the particular problem.
"Regardless of a player’s location or the datacenter being used, the confirmed efficiency of our platform architecture will prevent anyone from enjoying a gameplay advantage,' Firor continued. "As both datacenters become fully operational, we will continue to add capacity to meet the demands of gamers worldwide. And just to be fully prepared, we are adding overflow servers in the event we get even more players on day one than we are now forecasting."
Firor concluded his post noting that the team has been developing "lots of additional content" and the first post launch content update will be revealed soon. It will include the adventure zone Craglorn, which is dedicated to group-based, end-game PvE repeatable content.
The Elder Scrolls Online is slated for release on PC and Mac on April 4, and various subscription discount packs will become available at launch.
PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions of ESO are expected in June.