The Elder Scrolls: Online
The Elder Scrolls: Online is an upcoming epic MMO from ZeniMax Online Studios, which will be the first Elder Scrolls game to allow players to explore the series' universe with others. Like previous Elder Scrolls games, The Elder Scrolls: Online will be set on the world of Nirn. Unlike previous games, it will feature online, mulitplayer action.
Matt Firor has spent twenty years in the game industry thinking about and creating online games. Once a leading voice at Mythic Entertainment and a producer on the beloved MMO Dark Age of Camelot, Firor left that studio and began the monumental task of taking The Elder Scrolls series online. With The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion as a rough starting point, there were years of head-scratching and team-building.
ZeniMax Online Studios faces the difficult task of appeasing several different sets of expectations from gamers who come from different games and genres.
It is a time of strife and unrest. Armies of revenants and dark spirits manifest in every corner of Tamriel. Winters grow colder and crops fail. Mystics are plagued by nightmares and portents of doom.
Four years ago, in 2E 578, an arcane explosion of energy in the Imperial City set off mystical aftershocks that swept across Nirn. Mages died or went mad. Supernatural abominations from the plane of Oblivion, the Daedra, appeared in greater numbers than ever before. The constellation of the Serpent grew so large that it dominated the night sky.
So began the grand scheme of Molag Bal, Daedric Prince of domination and enslavement. His Dark Anchors, vortexes of evil magic, weaken the barrier between worlds, threatening to merge Nirn and Oblivion into a single, nightmarish hellscape.
In the midst of this chaos, three alliances vie for control of the Imperial City and the White-Gold Tower. High Rock, Sentinel, and Orsinium stand as one, united under the rule of the High King in Wayrest, Valenwood and Elsweyr have forged an alliance with Summerset, and Black Marsh, Morrowind, and Skyrim have joined forces and formed their own uneasy pact.
Three armies will take up arms against the Empire, and against each other, to wrest control of the Imperial City and White-Gold Tower from the dark forces of Oblivion itself.
Where do your loyalties lie?
 The Hero
The Hero will have a unique story. His soul has been stolen by a Molag Bal, a deadric prince, and the player will be working to reclaim it in a single or multi-player story experience.
 Dungeons and raiding
- Dungeons and raiding will be the standard, but the dungeons will house typical Elder Scrolls puzzles for teams to overcome, such as pressure plate tiles and the like.
- Public dungeons will give the player the opportunity to enter a zone with relatively strong creatures where they can band together with other players to defeat them though meeting other players is not guaranteed. There will be rewards for teamwork.
- ALL classes can fill up to two roles, meaning no exclusion based on your class choice.
- The combat system will consist of realtime attacks based on enemy attacks and will be reactionary. As with all Elder Scrolls titles, all avatars will have Magicka, Stamina, and Health bars.
- Enemies, mostly from an army of undead, will actively work together to take down players if encountered in groups. For example, killing a warrior enemy accompanied by a necromancer will result in the necromancer raising the warrior as an undead, while the enemy wizard shields his necromancer ally with ice to avoid interruption.
- A Finesse system will reward players for reacting well in combat by unlocking finishing moves and specials.
- In-game decisions will determine the availability of quests.
The drums of war have reached a fever pitch, calling the warriors of Tamriel to the field of battle. The Daggerfall Covenant, the Ebonheart Pact, and the Aldmeri Dominion will take up arms and fight for control of Cyrodiil, the Imperial City, and the throne of Tamriel.
Featuring three-sided Player vs. Player (PvP) gameplay, The Elder Scrolls: Online supports hundreds of players on screen at once in an open world fight for control of Cyrodiil. Seize, hold, and control the resources of massive strongholds. Utilize massive siege weapons to crumble fortress walls and smash through fortified gates. Conquer the Imperial City, and your alliance's top player could even be crowned Emperor!
Get ready for the most intense online PvP experience ever created, with The Elder Scrolls: Online.
- For players fresh from playing The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, there will be the prospect of visiting locations like Black Marsh, the Summerset Isles, High Rock and many more that were only mentioned in the hugely popular stand-alone game.
- Tamriel's Second Era was barely mentioned, so this new installment will give all the lore aficionados plenty to sink their teeth into
- Daedric princes, birthsigns, guilds will play a major role.
- Unlike World of Warcraft, Zenimax Online is going out of its way to make sure helping someone else out always benefits everyone. For instance, there will be no “tagging” and helping a random stranger kill a monster will result in both of you getting full credit.
- Non-instanced PvP warfare. Take out the server-crashing lag, since the engine can handle up to 200 players onscreen and Zenimax Online has still-under-wraps plans to divert excess population.
- Familiar but innovative combat. ESO has lock-on targeting and a hotbar, but it shakes up quite a bit within that framework. Limiting the number of available skills to a handful (currently six, but that number could change) but making each ability awesome sounds great. The addition of stamina for blocking, sprinting, interrupting, and disable-breaking should dramatically increase the moment-to-moment depth of combat.
- Full voice acting.
- Dynamic, large-group combat. The baseline solo encounter design has players taking on three enemies at a time, and they work together to bring you down by combining skills like lighting oil patches on fire.
- Zenimax Online hopes to recreate the sense of working together with random strangers with the Fighters Guild content as well as public dungeons.
- Stability and polish at launch.