The first time I played Morrowind, I felt like penetrating in a world living by itself. The beauty of the landscapes. The water. The sunset. The day and night cycle. The atmosphere. And the incredible freedom to do whatever you wanted to do.
I remember to have travelled by foot in many areas I wasn’t supposed to go. I don’t think I even started the main story. I was exploring forests and swamps, invading houses, discovering secret caves, gathering plants, stealing furnitures and trying to sell them. It was a magical experience.
However, I never finished the game. Never progressed very far. Something was missing. I felt lonely in this gigantisc world. I craved for friends to play with and explore together every piece of land.
– If only Morrowind could me a MMO!, I though back then.
Same thing happened with Skyrim. When I started to play it, the experience was amazing. It felt so right, it was so immersive! I enjoyed some quest and stories like I never enjoyed any quest in a game. It was thrilling, because I could solve the quest the way I wanted and this made my character almost a living person with her own emotions and personality!
But then again, after one or two weeks, the loneliness prevailed. I just could not stand to be only by myself in those cold landscapes, and when my companion died, I never managed to get back in the game.
– If only Skyrim could be a MMO, it would be perfect!
(If you care, you can read this article I wrote about Skyrim for +1Internets when I firstly started to play it)
And indeed, back in 2004, before the release of World of Warcraft, I was hoping to play a MMO “like Morrowind”. A game that would let me explore the world freely without level constraints or separated by zones. A land in the virtual universe that would take me several real hours to cross, weeks to discover all secrets. A game where my abilities were gained as I used them, where I could forge my character as I was playing it. I was dreaming for a game that would be a virtual world where to experiment another life…
I was dreaming for The Elder Scroll Online to be true.
Then World of Warcraft had been released and I played it for years. Enough to get used to this sort of game with fences keeping you in the right track, and where freedom is ripped away from players patches after patches. It became the standart for every MMO, and I never though my dreamed game could ever be develloped.
When I first heard the announce of The Elder Scroll Online, it was no joy nor exitement, however. I had just known several disapointement with StarWars The Old Republic and Tera and my confidence had been shaked. I dubted that a studio would ever manage to capture the amazing and unique feeling that a ElderScroll Games give to its players. I was scared like many others, that The Elder Scroll Online would be a rather generic game in Tamriel. To follow the cliche, I was affraid it would be “World of ElderScroll”
Step by step, I’ve been convinced otherwise. Listening to devellopers interviews, fans podcast, reading articles, and following news in the gaming press, I believe that there is a true intention to keep TESO faithful to the Elder Scroll franchise. And I start to believe that TESO might be the MMO I’ve always been dreaming about.
Now, I’m not fooling myself, I know that no MMO would allow players as much freedom as the solo games. I know that there will be restrictions. I’m keeping a cool head, and I’ll see by myself once I can get my hands on the game. And if it’s not as good as I was hoping for, it will not a big deal. I’m enjoying every minutes of my gametime in Guild Wars 2, I don’t think I’d be disapointed to stick with that game.
But…I still hope. And more informations about the game are released, more confident I’m. TESO seems to get the best of many games. Skill and abilities progression in the lines of The Secret World Ability Wheel, but allowing even more freedom. Combat hybrid between Skyrim and Guild Wars 2, with a combo system and the new Finess, rewarding skilled players. World PVP separated from leveling areas but accessible from the start. Free and dynamic quest entierly voice acted like, choices that have an impact on the game and your personal progression. Raids, Open Dungeon, World bosses, lands to explore, secrets to discover, heavy lore.
I honnestly believe TESO will be a great game, an amazing experience to share with friends, and I’m starting to itch to prepare a community, a serious guild project for this. Keep in touch, you will hear more very soon.