Elder Scrolls Online: First details

PvP, factions, quests and more...

Following yesterday's The Elder Scrolls Online announcement and today's debut Elder Scrolls Online screens, the first details have leaked online via a PDF of Game Informer's upcoming cover feature.


The document reveals that development began in 2007, and that the team making the game currently has around 250 people.

The title's based around the following idea: "What happens when hundreds or thousands of prophesied heroes all think that they should be Emperor?"

In terms of story the MMO will have all the usual political scheming, strife and demonic mischief expected of the series. The Tharn family and Mannimarco, the King of Worms, have forged an alliance in an effort to take over Tamriel, but the conniving King has also made a pact with Molag Bal, a Daedric prince with his sights also set on ruling the region.

Other Daedric princes will also be making an appearance, along with Molag Bal, who has stolen the player's soul, thus conveniently allowing him or her to come back from death repeatedly. Vaermina, the Daedric Prince of nightmares, is also mentioned.

The game will have three player factions: the Ebonheart Pact, which encompasses The Nords, Dunmer, and Argoninans; the Aldmeri Dominion, which includes the Altmer, Bosmer, and Khajit; and the Daggerfall Covenant, which brings the Bretons, Redguard, and Orcs. The Fighters, Thieves and Mages guilds will also be present, along with the Dark Brotherhood.

According to the document, the game will be fully voice acted and is suggested to be running on the Hero Engine, which also powers BioWare's Star Wars: The Old Republic. Visually, its style is likened to RIFT or Everquest 2.

The world is said to be much larger than Skyrim and will be fully explorable. Players will also be able to venture to Elsweyr, home of the Khajiit, and the Altmer's Summerser Isle, but it's suggested that these might not be accessible at launch.

PvP will take place in Cyrodil, with three factions battling to take over keeps, farms and mines using siege weapons. The ultimate goal is to take over and hold the Imperial City, which is rewarded with a faction-wide bonus. The most skilled player within the faction is crowned as the emperor of the capital when it's conquered. Like all good MMOs, high-level raids and heroic dungeons will be available as end game content.

Combat revolves around stamina management, since stamina is consumed by sprinting, blocking, interrupting, and breaking incapacitating effects, so players will have to keep a constant eye on their bar. Combat will not be in real time due to latency, but is being balanced for competitive eSports play.

To recreate "the freedom Elder Scrolls players expect" developer ZeniMax has opted for a hub-less design, which means players won't have to keep returning to specific areas to collect quests. Instead random encounters with NPCs yield missions.