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The Elder Scrolls Online

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In game footage from The Elder Scrolls Online has been shown off for the first time at E3. While not showing actual gameplay, the footage shows the new art style for the game, which is a more stylised departure from previous games. Creative Director Paul Sage, said that the reason for the change in art style was so that it “spans all the cultures” rather than focusing on one as in previous games.

In terms of gameplay, Sage said that one of the team’s goals was to "take away a lot of the interface from the game" which makes gameplay more "active and reactive" meaning that players are “doing more than just pressing buttons over and over again” leading to more tactical combat than is usual for an MMO. Another feature of the game, are quests that "come to you" meaning that quests come to the player, rather than the player being forced into hub worlds and quest paths.

In another interview, lead combat designer Nick Konkle said that the game should feel like an "entire war effort" hinting that there may be as many as "500 people" fighting in PvP. He also elaborated on the quest system, saying that the player “won’t have to find the person who tells me what I do” and that quests will be discovered naturally as the player wanders Tamriel.

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He also said that the game still has "all that available" in regards to the player centric game like Skyrim, and that “you can play the game entirely by yourself” if you wish or in groups of anywhere up to "100". Konkle also said that the team wanted to make “the most fun game possible” rather than something cloned from another MMO or simply a multiplayer Skyrim. Finally, Konkle said that post launch, the team will listen to “what the fans want and do that” in terms of supporting the game post launch.

The story of The Elder Scrolls Online takes place during the Heroic Age and involves major Elder Scrolls players like Molag Bal and Mannimarco, along with multiple factions spread out across Tamriel who are fighting over who will control the continent, culminating in an attack upon the Imperial City as the endgame battle.

The Elder Scrolls Online will be released at some point in 2013

Dawnguard

In the more immediate future, Dawnguard was also shown at E3. Todd Howard gave a demo of some of the new features within the expansion. Instantly recognisable is the brand new ability to transform into a Vampire Lord, a powerful ability that can be used whenever you want and lasts indefinitely. It also has new its own skill tree, which comes with exciting new abilities like the summoning a Gargoyle or turning into a cloud of bats to in order to evade damage. The expansion also comes with a Werewolf skill tree, although none of the new abilities where shown.

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Vampire Lord skill tree

The story of the expansion revolves around a conflict between the Volkihar Vampires, based in Castle Volkihar and the Dawnguard located at Fort Dawnguard. While the Vampires appear to have more new powers, the Dawnguard have far more new weapons, such as the much requested crossbow, which fits into the Archery skill tree and the ability to craft Dragonbone weapons, which are "even above Daedric". For the first time projectiles will be craftable, as the player will be able to make crossbow bolts. On top of this, the Dawnguard path will also enable the player to “hire” powerful Armoured Trolls.

The expansion is integrated directly into the game meaning that the expansion will largely take place within the space of the main game. One exception to this is the Oblivion realm of the Soul Cairn. This realm is home to the souls of the dead and going there will enable the player to summon a “magical mount” as a new mount. In relation to this, mounted combat will be making its way to consoles with the expansion.

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Lord Harkon

When discussing how already being a werewolf would affect joining the Volkihar, it was revealed that the player can become a Vampire Lord in any circumstance, but it will "remove their lycanthropy". However, in the interest of "letting the player do whatever they want", after experimenting with the Vampire Lord, the player can revert to being a werewolf if they decide that is what they would prefer.

Dawnguard has public beta which can applied for here

Dawnguard has timed exclusivity for the Xbox 360 and will be released on the 26th of June for 1600 Microsoft Points or $20.

Sources

Written by: Bloodraven