Greetings, ladies and gentlemen! How is your week going?
So, in the wake of the news surrounding The Elder Scrolls Online going Buy-to-Play, I thought it would be a good opportunity to pose a question regarding the game as a whole. Before I reveal what that question is, I want to say that this thought has been burning in my brain since the game was first announced. The concept of making The Elder Scrolls into an MMORPG has always confused me because I was expecting Bethesda to take a different approach to the series. I wasn’t confused because I thought the series would make a bad MMORPG, but, due to my assumption, a single question kept repeating in my head:
Did anyone actually ask for an Elder Scrolls MMORPG?
From my perspective, the answer should be no. This is due to The Elder Scrolls series being a primarily single player experience known for its open-ended-ness and ridiculous replayability. Typically, MMORPGs take the polar opposite approach by being very linear and only occasionally throwing in some minor open-ended content which often yields very little reward for going off the beaten-to-death path (see The Elder Scrolls Online). The idea of making a theme-park MMORPG out of such a sandbox-like series just seemed ludicrous and counterintuitive. The direction I thought Bethesda would have taken (and after seeing how amazing The Elder Scrolls Online turned out, they should have taken) was to add cooperative play to either Skyrim or the game that would follow it.
The only feature missing from Skyrim that I heard was desired by those who enjoyed the series was multiplayer functionality. They wanted a way to play with their friends in the vast landscapes that Bethesda created. They wanted to be able to wreak havoc or be a savior alongside a few friends. Not once did I ever hear someone say, “I wish Skyrim was more like World of Warcraft.” Imagine the outrage that would have erupted if players went from Oblivion to Skyrim to find out that the series had been WoW-ified. Skyrim would have been a massive failure and everyone would have kept on playing Oblivion like there was never a sequel. Hilariously enough, fans of The Elder Scrolls series probably had that experience going from Skyrim to The Elder Scrolls Online. Who would blame them for not acknowledging its existence afterwards?
Anyways, I’ll cut this post short and leave you with a few final thoughts. Were you looking for a more linear experience in your Elder Scrolls game? Did you desperately crave a subscription fee be added to your otherwise free gameplay experience? Or did you just want your friends to join you in shouting at dragons? Join the discussion below.