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TESO - ZeniMax striving to break the MMO mold with active and reactive combat

Paul Sage, creative director for The Elder Scrolls Online, has combat in the MMO will be both active and reactive, which is similar to the combat found in single-player Elder Scrolls titles.

Speaking with Gamasutra at E3, Sage said the team is looking at ways reinvent combat in the MMORPG, because to ZenimaxOnline, there hasn't been "a lot of innovation in combat, from several games out there."

"One of the things we're trying to do is get that feeling of active and reactive combat,"he said. "So my take is that you have to feel like, 'This is really kind of like The Elder Scrolls' combat. It's really active. I'm actually surprised, and it's fun to play with other people.

"I do think [combat] has stagnated from game-to-game, somewhat, but that's why it's a challenge to us. The gauntlet's been thrown down. Can we make it fun? Can we make it compelling?"

Sage believes MMO players have come to expect the games to be played "in a certain way," but the idea of MMOs being a "genre" is a label he and his team are trying to break away from.

"An MMO is not game mechanics, it's not a genre in an of itself," he said "You can have an MMO that has nothing to do with an RPG, necessarily. The big thing is that it has got to be a compelling RPG first - there has to be growth mechanics that compel you.

"As a player, you have to have that feeling of 'If I just stay up for another hour, I might get this one thing.' And if you don't have that feeling, it's not what we want. We want you to be compelled to think 'I want to find out that thing that's around the corner.'"

TESO is slated for release next year.

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