ESO: What Are Veteran Ranks?

With the launch of ESO coming in just a couple weeks, we have a look at what you can expect when you get to “endgame”.

After reaching the level cap of 50 in ESO, you then start into the “elder content” which includes Veteran Ranks. This is another series of level progression that unlocks more gear, etc. There will be Adventure Zones and such for 24-man content, but your story and character’s “single player” progression doesn’t just end at level 50.

Thanks to Force’s video for a walkthrough of Veteran Ranks.


How Do Veteran Ranks Work?

1. At level 50, you receive Veteran Rank 1.

2. Veteran Ranks increase from 1 to 10.

3. Each Veteran Rank level increase gives you +10 into your Magicka, Health, and Stamina.

4. Gaining Veteran Ranks does not give you more attribute points to spend. Those cap at 49 points (1 point, levels 2-50).

5. Gear will require Veteran Rank 3, Veteran Rank 6, etc., just like previous gear required you to be level 16 or 40 or the like in order to equip.

6. You earn XP and gain Veteran Ranks by completing content in the other factions’ zones. This occurs after you finish your personal story from your original faction’s content.

7. Mobs scale up to your level in enemy factions. So mobs will be Veteran Rank 1, etc. and start with about twice as many stats as previous mobs your level.

8. Veteran Rank content is PVE only; you don’t see enemy players.

9. Force reached Veteran Rank 1 (so, level 50) in under 4 days played in beta. So, that’s very quick leveling. We’ll see tons of Veteran Rank 2+ in the first week.

Elder Scrolls Online: Ask Us Anything – Lore Edition

I know almost zero lore for the entire Elder Scrolls franchise, mainly because first-person RPGs never tripped my trigger. However, it’s great to see players who have followed it so closely that they ask some fantastic questions and I enjoy learning along with the rest of the community.

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Get some new insight into the lore of The Elder Scrolls Online in our latest round of Q&A.

Today’s group of questions, all chosen from your submissions, focuses primarily on lore. Many of you care deeply about The Elder Scrolls setting, and you always have lots of great questions for us about what you’ll get to see in ESO. Please enjoy these new answers, and don’t forget to send your questions to community@elderscrollsonline.com. We do a new Ask Us Anything every two weeks, and we may feature your question in the next article.

I read in your last article about the Daggerfall Covenant that the city of Lainlyn would be featured in the game. Does that mean we’ll learn more about the origin and the culture of the harpies?  Will we be allowed to attend Riglametha?  Will the Dragonsword of Lainlyn be featured in the game? – By Jérémy Haut

There will be adventures set in the Alik’r Desert port town of Tava’s Blessing, which is the precursor of Lainlyn. You will meet members of the Lainlyn family, for whom the town will later be renamed, and there are adventures in the desert with harpies, but that’s all we’ll reveal at present!

In the time the game takes place does Orsinium exist as a major city? Or as a kingdom? – By Alon Saban

Thanks to the treaty with the Daggerfall Covenant, Orsinium has been restored to the Orcs of Wrothgar, and they are rebuilding and reoccupying it. Southern Wrothgar is under the control of King Kurog of Orsinium, but north of the city the region is still a patchwork of strongholds.

I am a huge fan of The Elder Scrolls games and I have played a Breton since Morrowind, so I’m definitely joining the Daggerfall Covenant. My question has to deal with the Forsworn faction. Will they be implemented in the game, either as a faction or through quests? I always thought that their story was very interesting and wanted to know if it will be explored in ESO, since they have been around at least since the First Era, well within the time the game takes place. – By Jason McKinney

Though the Reachmen are related to the Bretons, they consider themselves a separate race (and so do the Bretons). The Reachmen are not a playable race, as they’re basically enemies to everyone (and like it that way), but you will see them causing trouble in High Rock, Hammerfell, Skyrim, and even Cyrodiil. The Forsworn are a Fourth-Era faction of the Reachmen that actually hearkens back to the Reach culture of ESO’s era, so they don’t appear as such, but the Reachmen of our time resemble them.

The oldest structure in Tamriel, the Adamantine Tower (or Direnni Tower) is in High Rock. Are we going to be able to visit this building, and if so, how are you going to represent it to us? – By Hampton D. Evans

From the shores of the Iliac Bay you can see the Adamantine Tower rising from the heights of Balfiera Island. Can you visit it? Time will tell.

In The Elder Scrolls V, players found that a number of Orcish Strongholds dotted the Skyrim landscape. What’s their history? Now that the Orcs and Nords are on opposite sides, how will they play a role in the storyline? – By Chris

Orcs live in strongholds in the mountains throughout northern Tamriel. Most of them keep to themselves, staying out of the wars of Men and Elves. The Orcs of Wrothgar, who are signatories to the Daggerfall Covenant, are the exception, having long had ambitions of nationhood.

Based on known lore and from previous Elder Scrolls titles, the Orcs traditionally seem to keep to themselves and to their strongholds, with the odd exception. What is the motivation for the Orcs and the Orsinium Kingdom in joining the Daggerfall Covenant? What connects these three races of unlikely allies to band together as they have? – By Wade Johnson

As mentioned above, the Orcs of Wrothgar have long been ambitious to have their own state, and these ambitions have been repeatedly crushed over the millennia. Their membership in the Covenant is one more attempt at organization and recognition.

I was wondering, besides the title Mane, is there a prefix that is attached to his name? Tied into this question is the absence of Manes. Who rules between Manes? Roughly ten to fifteen years would pass before one could be found or properly trained to take over. In days of old, they transitioned power between the many states based on the phases of the moons, but with only two states remaining, Pellitine and Anequina, it would seem more likely that they would transition with every ruler with the exception of Manes. – By Sean Dutton

The selection and accession of a new Mane is, in fact, one of the key events in which players can get involved in northern Valenwood and western Elsweyr. How is a new Mane chosen and accepted? You’ll get to see for yourself.

Elder Scrolls Online: Plate Armor Designs Revealed (Massively.com)

It’s nice to see female plate armor actually covering the body instead of being dental floss tied to a couple links of chain! However, the designs overall feel very one-note to me and far too similar to have three different races represented. Hrm. Anyone else unimpressed? Seems like plate in most every other MMORPG, though a bit more “realistic” (not like ginormous WOW shoulder pads).

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The Elder Scrolls Online taunts us with heavy armor designs

Stop me if you’ve heard this one: A Redguard, a Wood Elf, and a Dark Elf walk into a bar, all wearing badass platmail armor. There’s no punchline because hello, badass platemail armorZeniMax Online thinks you’ll want to see its new Elder Scrolls Online armor concepts in high detail on representatives from all three of these races, so it’s posted them up on the official site along with a request to pick a favorite and fight it out on Facebook because armor is serious business.

The Redguard’s armor might not remind you much of Hammerfell fashion, but the Bosmeri kit has a touch of feral nature in its horns and spikes and fur. And we can’t help but notice hints of Redoran style in the Dunmer’s attire. Or are we just imagining that in an attempt not to think about Sauron or the Lich King?

We’ve included the full-size image after the cut!

Click the image for a full-size view:

ESO

Elder Scrolls Online: Subscription Model Revealed (Gamasutra.com)

Well, not exactly shocking. It never occurred for me that ESO would make a great F2P model as fun, fluffy costumes and such would seem really out of place. That said, ESO has announced a subscription fee: $15/month. That’s been the standard monthly fee for AAA MMOs for the past several years. Thanks to Gamasutra’s reporting of a German gaming website’s interview, we have plenty of the reasons why.

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With only a few big exceptions like World of Warcraft and EVE Online, the subscription model has largely been abandoned by MMO developers.

So it’s notable that one of the most highly-anticipated MMOs — Zenimax Online’s The Elder Scrolls Online — will be charging a $15 monthly fee (/€12.99/£8.99).

Zenimax Online general manager Matt Firor talked about it openly in a new interview with German website Gamestar, and a Zenimax rep confirmed as much with us.

“Charging a flat monthly fee means that we will offer players the game we set out to make, and the one that fans want to play,” Firor told the website. ESO will also include 30 days of play with the purchase of the game. “Going with any other model meant that we would have to make sacrifices and changes we weren’t willing to make.”

The decision flies in the face of current MMO trends, but Firor says the move is “not a referendum” on free-to-play business models, though he does imply that with subscription-based games comes a higher level of quality.

“F2P, B2P, etc. are valid, proven business models — but subscription is the one that fits ESO the best, given our commitment to freedom of gameplay, quality and long-term content delivery,” he said.

It’s a noble sentiment — to want to give players the keys to the castle for a flat (monthly repeating) rate. But players often storm the castle, do everything there is to do in the castle, and then are left twiddling their thumbs wondering what else there is to do, other than being resentful that they’re paying $15 a month. It’s players’ ability to burn through content faster than a developer can create it that gets certain kinds of subscription-based games in trouble.

Firor said for ESO, the plan is to “have new content available every four to six weeks.”

Star Wars: The Old Republic is the most obvious major example of a subscription model that failed. The game had the talent, resources and license to theoretically warrant $15 per month, but in the end, subscriptions dropped off rapidly after a strong launch, and the game adopted free-to-play. Other games like Rift and Tera are just a couple other examples of games that have made the subscription-to-free-to-play switch.

Firor said, “The fact that the word ‘monetized’ exists points to the heart of the issue for us: We don’t want the player to worry about which parts of the game to pay for – with our system, they get it all.”

ESO is slated to release on PC, Mac and next-gen consoles next year.

Elder Scrolls Online: Big Plans For Big Story Post-Launch (ShackNews.com)

It should come as no surprise to folks in the MMORPG community that games tout their intentions to constantly release content updates post-launch. However, a lot of games never really get around to it – or – focus so much on new updates that they forget to patch, balance, and correct any existing bugs and major gameplay issues. ESO has hopped on the bandwagon stating, “[we] know that players are amazing in their ability to chew through content quickly, so we want to make sure there is a constant stream of goodies coming to them”.

I still haven’t gotten into the beta, but have seen a lot of the gameplay through *cough* other means and they offered nearly 30 minutes of gameplay footage at QuakeCon 2013. I’m hoping they’re able to offer updates as consistently as GW2 and with as much additional content.

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Elder Scrolls Online will lead to ‘an even bigger story’ after release

The primary goal right now for The Elder Scrolls Online ready for release early in 2014. But MMOs live and die by their post-launch support, a fact that developer Zenimax Online is certainly aware of. Creative director Paul Sage discussed their plans with Shacknews.

“We watch everybody in the market, but I’m a big proponent personally of making sure we keep a high frequency of content releases,” Sage said. “A big part of our plans is the future of the game. We always want to make sure there is something new right around the corner. Our plan is to have new content coming out on a really frequent basis. We want to make sure that people are really into the game and get to experience a lot of new things. We will have a lot of content at release, but I know that players are amazing in their ability to chew through content quickly, so we want to make sure there is a constant stream of goodies coming to them.”

Sage said his experience as a developer on Ultima Online reinforced this theory. “The more frequently you update, the more the players like it. Players are more engaged. I think it is an issue of trust in a lot of ways. They know there is going to be a lot of new content coming in.”

He added that, while the main storyline in the game may end, it is also a beginning. “We’ve talked about Molag Bol stealing your soul at the start of the game, but that’s a launching point. You’ll wrap up the main story in The Elder Scrolls Online at release and that leads into an even bigger story.”

Sage said beta testing for the game has proven enlightening for the team. While the game will see numerous betas through development, the latest one has proven a theory that the development had about the user interface.

“In the latest beta, we are testing out the replacement of what used to be our mini-map with the compass, which is a little bit more Skyrim-like,” he said. “The mini-map was a little bit bigger and bulkier, but the other thing was the mini-map could sometimes almost have you connecting the dots between locations. We wanted to test out what a compass would be like, so we ran this through the beta testers to see how they reacted. They reacted very positively to it. More importantly, watching their patterns of play, we wanted to see if they followed the straight line of a quest or if instead they explored more. What we found was they did explore more, which is what we were going for.”

The game will be coming to Xbox One and PlayStation 4, as well as PC and Mac, but Sage said it was a bit too early to say just when the game would be released on the various platforms. “What we are planning is making sure all of the platforms are top quality, so it’s kind of hard at this point to say they would be simultaneous release or not, but the goal is spring of 2014.”

Elder Scrolls Online: Ask Us Anything at QuakeCon 2013

Although the big reveal at QuakeCon 2013 for me was the 30-minute solo and group dungeon play over on Twitch, ESO also has a nice “Ask Us Anything” from the event that covers death penalties, “mob glow”, LFG tool, teleporting to friends, and a couple lore questions.

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Last week’s live gameplay stream at QuakeCon created a lot of excitement—and plenty of new questions about The Elder Scrolls Online. Check out our answers to some of them here.

We had lots of fun presenting our very first gameplay stream last week, which included a dungeon run and a close look at ESO’s combat. If you missed it, you can still enjoy the full replay. After the stream, you had lots of new questions, and we’ve selected some to answer right here. Are you wondering about something in ESO? Send us an email atcommunity@elderscrollsonline.com and we may feature your question in an upcoming Ask Us Anything. Enjoy!

Which level were the monsters in the QuakeCon stream compared to the characters? I saw them cutting through their enemies quite easily, but the health bars went up and down a lot. Did some monsters hit that hard and is healing that effective, or did your characters have that little health? – By Andrew Markton

Fungal Grotto is a level 12 – 15 dungeon. I believe we had two level 13 characters and two level 16 characters in our party during the stream. Since players can put points into health, magicka, or stamina, it’s likely that some characters’ health totals were lower than others. However, what you saw is a pretty good indication of health fluctuation and the need to heal when taking on a dungeon.

Will there be an option to turn off the glow around enemies? – By Nate Collins

Yes, you will be able to turn it off. I will say that the glow is much more apparent when you’re watching than it is when you’re playing. It’s very effective at helping with target selection, and you may find it useful in some situations, but it’s up to you whether to enable it.

You said that my armor will degrade when I die. Can I repair it, or do I have to pay an NPC? – By Jen Hauser

We have repair kits for repairs in the field, and you can visit an NPC to have all of your gear repaired.

I noticed the compass in the stream. Does it replace the mini-map or is it another option? If it does replace it, will it show more than points of interest, like guild and group members or enemies? – By Karen Tengart

The compass will replace the mini-map. Actually, this is a good example of how we use information from our beta tests. When we had a mini-map, we noticed many testers felt like they should just follow quest markers, and they were less inclined to explore. This ran counter to our intent of being a game that emphasizes exploration. When we introduced the compass, players became much more likely to explore and less likely to just “follow the quests.”

As for putting group members on the compass, we’re trying to avoid having too much clutter on the compass. We do have in-world indicators for group members, though, which are proving to be very effective.

When a class says nothing about the playstyle of another player, how will the dungeon finder still allow me to look for healing or damaged focused players? – By Tommy Reed

Players will pick the role they think they can best perform when they sign up to find a group.

So many mudcrabs—where did they all come from? I am confused. – By John Raighley

Only Lorkhan knows, and his secrets died with him.

How much of the footage and animation we saw on Twitch is finalized? – By Tom Gregor

We’re polishing everything in the game, and that will continue as we head towards launch. First-person mode, which you saw quite a bit of in the video, is one of our more recent additions, and you can expect to see improvements to it as we continue development.

Will the transportation system—and especially porting to group mates—work in PvP, too? If so, how many “safe” locations are in Cyrodiil? – By Pete Jameston

The fast-travel system is very different in Cyrodiil. We don’t want to have battles where each side can instantly transport in reinforcements, assuring no clear winner. You will be able to fast travel to points clearly secured by your alliance. That said, with the size of Cyrodiil, I will say that mounts are a pretty good thing to have.

Is the instanced loot random for one person or will everyone receive the same item / crafting component / amount of gold? – By Jean Despar

Instanced loot is random per person.

Can you explain the equipment and skills from the gameplay stream a bit more? Which armor did he wear? Which skills did he use? – By Mira Yump

Nick was playing a ranged DPS Templar for most of the session. He was in a combination of light and medium armor, going for protection and an increase in the efficacy of his magic use. His alternate weapon set was dual-wielding. Nick was able to heal himself and the group as sort of a backup healer, even though he only put one or two skill points in his healing line. The spear you saw and “light” abilities are signature abilities of the Templar. The spear knocks enemies back as it damages them, and the bright ball of light applies a damage-over-time effect and a snare. Nick also had some weapon abilities he used, depending on the weapon type he was currently wielding.

Gina played a Sorcerer using sword and shield and wearing heavy armor. Rich was a Nightblade in light armor who helped keep the party alive with a restoration staff, and Eric chose a dual-wielding Dragonknight with medium armor.

Hello, I am wondering if other Daedric Princes are in the game (besides Molag Bal), since I am a big fan of Mehrunes Dagon. – By Austin

Yes, there are definitely other Daedric Princes. Sheogorath comes to mind … [AuA disappears in a cloud of butterflies.]

Elder Scrolls Online: New Beta Test Invites

This is the third (?) wave of beta invites for ESO. Cross your fingers and F5 the heck out of your inbox over the next few hours. Good luck!

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New Beta Invites – July 9th

Check your email! We’re sending another round of invites to The Elder Scrolls Online beta.

We’ve started to send another wave of invitations to the ESO beta, as we continue to ramp up our beta program. Invites will be going out over the next few hours, so check your email periodically to see if you’ve been invited to the test. Don’t forget to check your spam folder! We’re looking forward to the next beta session and can’t wait for more of you to see the game.

If you don’t receive an invitation, don’t worry. The ESO beta continues to grow, and we’ll let you know when we send new invites. Thank you for your patience and enthusiasm; we can’t wait to see your feedback.

Discuss this on the official ESO Facebook page.

Original ESO Article

Elder Scrolls Online: Interview with Lead Gameplay Designer Nick Konkle (TenTonHammer.com)

This is a nice article that covers first person view, alliance wars, endgame theorycrafting, and next-gen consoles.

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ESO Interview with Nick Konkle

We recently sat down for a candid discussion about the unstoppable MMO juggernaut in the making, Elder Scrolls Online, with lead gameplay designer Nick Konkle. Topics of discussion included the implementation of first-person view, cross-platform gameplay considerations, and the ways character builds will be a constantly shifting component of Alliance Wars PvP.


First-Person View in ESO

For a lot of gamers, the seminal Elder Scrolls experience involves playing in first-person view. While plenty of MMOs give players the option to zoom the camera into first-person, few really factor in the visual aspects of seeing equipped weapons and the sizable impact it can have on feeling truly engaged in combat. In other words, it’s kind of like playing an FPS, only without seeing the assault rifle you have equipped so the bullets just magically appear from somewhere off-screen each time you pull the trigger.

Earlier this year we were given a sneak peak at how this aspect of ESO was shaping up, but at that point it wasn’t a playable option in the press demo builds. It certainly looked badass, but we were curious about how has that aspect of the game’s development been progressing, and if there were any unexpected hurdles in the implementation process.

Lead Gameplay Designer Nick Konlke explained, “It came together much faster and better than I was expecting. Sometimes when you go from prototype to playable, it’s pretty good but then once you get to mass production it can introduce 75 new issues. It didn’t go that way this time. Instead, it was suddenly two months later and it’s in and we’re done, so that was good.

A thing that did surprise me is that I’m not really a first-person gamer, though I do play Elder Scrolls interchangeably. For example, I played Skyrim in first, and Oblivion in third-person. So when first-person went in our game I was expecting it to be similar, like I could play it this way, but I probably won’t. But I do. It’s absolutely my preferred way to play now. It’s just super immersive and cool, and it’s the only way I play now. We’ve noticed with MMO purists, they start liking first-person with a ranged weapon like a bow or staff, and then after they get used to the basics of the perspective change they take the whole thing on that way.”

Alliance Wars and the Character Build Metagame

While I’m more inclined to stick to third-person in most MMOs, it’s rarely a matter of immersion for me so much as the heightened spatial and situational awareness. Even having gone through a fairly hardcore period playing first-person shooters, I want as much visual feedback as possible in competitive situations. This will no doubt hold doubly true when it comes to the size and scope of Alliance Wars PvP in ESO.

Speaking of Alliance Wars, we were really interested in learning more about how that slice of the game is progressing given it’s a major component of the long-tail gameplay and endgame for Elder Scrolls Online.

Nick explained, “All the testing is still internal, but we’re pretty excited to get that part of the game into the beta. We just had a big office-wide PvP test that was quite a bit of fun, and there are any number of anecdotes that I could share from that experience. But let’s just say it’s pretty big; there are some epic battles going on with 50 on 50 groups meeting on the open field.

The main thing that I’m really happy about as a result of this is that we’re getting a lot of builds tested. We’re in the middle of a lot of balancing and adjustments in development, and a lot of times even a small balance tweak will lead to whole shifts in the metagame around the office in terms of what build is now the popular one.

The three or four builds that are really popular changes every couple of months, and they don’t always align with what you’d expect. So what’s the coolest to me is that people will have their weird random builds that they make out of their Elder Scrolls characters and they go into PvP and they make them work. That’s my dream.”

One of the signs of a great elder game competitive system is that you never reach a point where things feel static. As new flavor-of-the-month builds rise to prominence, the system needs to offer enough flexibility for proper counters to those builds to be formulated.

Nick was quick to agree. “Any particular build needs to have a counter. Similarly, with any ability that’s more powerful or possibly sets up a sequence for a style of play, you need to make sure that there’s something you can do when you fight against that. As long as I don’t think the counter system comes down to A beats B, B beats C, and C beats A and that’s the metagame. You want a really big wheel that no one can actually map all the way out so that it constantly shifts. You don’t want it to be cookie-cutter at any level.”

Simple rock-paper-scissors systems definitely don’t cut it when it comes to metagame balance. With the three factions present in ESO there is potential for that layer to be present, but that’s on a much grander and more tactical scale as opposed to the drilled-down character build level. In ESO there will no doubt be certain builds that are considered a bit more iconic. A pure healer build where you focus on the healing staff and full light armor would be one such example.

We were also curious if there were any team-level build concepts that have come into play so far in the office play sessions that were either unexpected, or have in some way helped influence how different counters have been introduced. A perfect example here would be in any MMO that has PBAoE abilities, you’re bound to see character stacking occur; the idea being you stack a bunch of DPS and healer builds in one big clump and they can be extremely difficult to take down unless proper counters exist.

Nick noted, “It’s funny you should mention that, because early on that was a very common thing where people would essentially create a giant PBAoE bomb. That was actually super popular in Dark Age of Camelot.

To counter that, there’s a skill called Anti-Magic Field that drops down a bubble where anyone who tries to cast a spell will get zapped: they’ll be silenced and take a bunch of damage. So if you’re an opposing sorcerer and you’ve got that on your bar, and see a group getting ready to do a PBAoE bomb, you drop that down and all they do is stun and silence themselves.

Anti-Magic Field is interesting in that it provides a strong counter for that, but it’s also an Ultimate, so it takes a pretty long time to charge. But then there’s kind of that risk vs. reward layer about using it. So you can potentially bait it and get a player to use it too early and then do the bomb immediately after.”

ESO and Next Gen Consoles

The launch delay announcement for ESO during E3 2013 caught a lot of people’s attention, and became one of the biggest news stories out of the event for MMO gamers. What’s interesting is that there hadn’t necessarily been any specific dates previously announced, other than a loose target window for the latter part of 2013.

That said, the other major part of that announcement involved Elder Scrolls Online being developed for the upcoming PlayStation 4 and Xbox One consoles, keeping with the cross-platform release model that helped both Oblivion and Skyrim become such huge commercial successes. While that announcement obviously needed to be held back until after Sony and Microsoft had their grand reveals, we couldn’t help but ask Nick how development on the new consoles had been going so far.

“I think the main thing we discovered was that we were already headed in a certain direction with the style of game we were making in terms of a lot of things that are in common with modern console RPGs. So the technology just happens to line up really well with where we are in our schedule. So the technology is there and we can do it, and the design of the game didn’t have to change. It was more a case of making a few tweaks here and there, but fundamentally the game is identical. That allows us to present the same game across all platforms.”

In terms of any special considerations that needed to be made for things like the pacing of combat or the active dodging mechanic, Nick went on to note, “For someone like me who is into the nitty gritty details of it sure, but for the majority of players, not so much. There are some things like locomotion or run animations where you have to make those a bit smoother to account for joysticks. Then you also have to make sure the keybindings work across everything.

So there are some minor things here and there, but we haven’t had to adjust any major mechanic as we intended it to work in the PC version of the game.”

Still no word on whether a special netbook client for ESO will be made available, but we’ll keep you posted on any new developments in that department.

Original TenTonHammer Article

Elder Scrolls Online: New Beta Group Emailed Today!

For those of you clutching at your chest and heaving fists Heavenward after each ESO beta group announcement because you weren’t selected, today may not be your day either! Sorry. However, you can at least rejoice in the knowledge that “Spring 2014” is the all-platform-launch (PS4, Xbox One, PC, Mac).

Elder Scrolls Online today announced a new group of beta participants have been invited to the super secret closed beta. Read on for more info! Their new gameplay trailer is at the end of the article.

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NEW BETA INVITES

Check your email—we’re sending new invitations to the ESO beta.

It’s been an exciting week for us already (check out our big announcement and newgameplay trailer if you missed it!), and now we have even more good news: we’re sending out a round of beta invites today for PC users. Check your email now to see if you’ve been invited.If you didn’t get an invite, don’t worry. The ESO beta test will continue to grow as we head towards launch. Make sure to check your spam folder just in case your invitation was caught, and check out this article for more information about the beta test.We’re excited to have more of you join the test and are looking forward to your feedback!

Original ESO Article

Elder Scrolls Online: 20 Quick Facts

TenTonHammer.com usually does a great job giving everything from overviews to detailed commentary about games. While this article doesn’t really share any brand new insights, for gamers who haven’t paid much attention to the hundreds of updates the rabid community has come up with thus far, it’s a worthwhile high-level view of what The Elder Scrolls Online is planning to bring to the MMORPG sphere.

(Will add the video links tonight, but you can view the original article for them now.)

http://www.tentonhammer.com/eso/cheat-sheet-20-facts

The Elder Scrolls Online Cheat Sheet - 20 Down and Dirty Facts You Need to Know

1. ZeniMax Online releases a lot of information in the form of YouTube videos:

2. All of the provinces of Tamriel, seen in the 5 previous single-player games, will feature in ESO, but it is unlikely that the game will be as expansive as The Elder Scrolls II: Daggerfall, which covered about 188,000 square miles. Many regions will be inaccessible at launch; some of these regions may be opened up in later expansions or content updates, but some are likely to remain off-limits.

3. Players will choose between three factions, each consisting of three races: the High Elves, Wood Elves and Khajiit of the Aldmeri Dominion; the Bretons, Redguard and Orcs of the Daggerfall Covenant; and the Nords, Dark Elves and Argonians of the Ebonheart Pact. Each race starts out in its homeland, but may visit other lands later on in the game.

4. Characters will be class-based instead of skill-based like the other Elder Scrolls games, but classes are somewhat less restrictive. Any character, regardless of class, can use any kind of weapon or armor. Players can build sword-and-board mages in heavy armor, or staff-wielding, robe-wearing warrior-monk types using a melee fighter base class. Spells and other powers will be accessed by an ability bar, MMO-style.

5. ESO uses a dynamic combat system, similar to the single-player games; characters must be facing their enemies to hit them, and can dodge blows via movement keys (provided they have enough stamina to dodge). A “soft lock” targeting system still requires the character to face his target, but allows the player to pick a single target out of a crowd, or to hit the soft-locked target if it moves behind another un-selected target.

6. It will be the only Elder Scrolls game set in a time before the rise of Tiber Septim, whose ascent to godhood and political legacy shaped the events of all of the single-player games to date.

7. The cinematic trailer makes all the player races look way badass:

8. The player character is called “The Soulless One,” and the main story of The Elder Scrolls Online deals with the character’s struggle to get his soul back from the Daedric prince, Molag Bal, who stole it.

9. Glory is fleeting. The events of the other Elder Scrolls series of games take place after the Elder Scrolls Online, so by the history of those games, we know that none of the playable factions in ESO manage to hold onto Cyrodiil for a significant length of time.

10. For the same reason, we know that Molag Bal is ultimately unsuccessful in pulling all of Tamriel into Coldharbour, his own personal realm of Oblivion. This is more or less confirmed by the Journey to Coldharbour video:

11. The events of ESO take place about 948 years before the events of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. Some structures that appeared as ruins in TES I – V will be found whole and in-use in ESO.

12. Looting barrels for crafting supplies, lockpicking and buff stones carry over from previous titles, according to the Gathering and Exploration video:

13. Crafting will be MMO-style – characters will be able to master two out of five professions, but will need to buy or barter for items crafted by other professions.

14. Since Molag Bal is known as the Father of Vampires (among other things), vampirism will play a significant role.

15. As detailed in the Wolf Queen books in the other games, the city of Camlorn has werewolf problems. Lycanthropy will also play a role in the game, at least for Daggerfall Covenant players.

16. The PvP comes with a rich backstory, according to The Elder Scrolls Online: Alliances at War video:

17. Players earn Alliance Points through PvP. These points can be spent on things like catapults and other siege weapons. Players also earn Alliance Ranks through PvP, which give them access to specialized gear and skill trees. Players can also be named Emperor through PvP, by taking the Ruby Throne.

18. XP gain in PvP is not as consistent as through PvE questing, but players who choose to do so will be able to reach level cap purely through PvP, starting at level 10. At level 10, players can enter the Cyrodiil PvP arena, where they will be scaled up to level 50. Characters with naturally higher levels will have some advantage over scaled-up low-levels, with more expansive skill trees and access to better gear, but low-levels shouldn’t be completely gimped.

19. The guilds from previous games – Mages Guild, Fighters Guild, Thieves Guild and the Dark Brotherhood – will be included in Elder Scrolls Online, and will be joinable. They will also provide special bonuses to some skill trees – for example, mages who join the Mages Guild will gain extra abilities with some magic skills.

20. The Elder Scrolls Online will have built-in social media integration with major social networking sites, allowing players to form guilds and coordinate events with their friends easily.

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