I just bought the June Edition of Game Informer, where the featured story is The Elder Scrolls: Online.
Note: some of this may already be known. Anyways: Here's the summary:
- Imperials: Weakened by previous wars.
- Cyrodiil: Marked by constant warfare.
- Tharn Family (Jagar Tharn's ancestors: have a aplot to bring Tamriel back under Cyrodiil's rule, and are working with Mannimarco (the Altmer Necromancer from Daggerfall and Oblivion)
- Character's soul has already been stolen by Molag Bal, which is why you can come back from death if killed.
- The game will feature the following provinces:
- Ebonheart Pact: formed by Dunmer and Argonians out of necessity. (Threatened by Imperials). They still hate each other, however, both sides acknowledge external threats are more significant.
- Aldmeri Dominion: Altmer, Bosmer and Khajiit. -> Original Aldmeri Dominion (First mentioned in the Pocket Guide to the Empire, First Edition)
- The Daggerfall Covenant: Bretons, Redguards and Orcs: Uses its military might to secure trade routs and to form northwestern Tamrielic dominions.
- "hubless" design to online questing: you clear out a dungeon that you have discovered. You might not have had this as an active quest, but, for example, the shade that you free by killing a necromancer at the end will reward you for their troubles.
- Windhelm is confirmed to exist in the game.
- "Public" dungeions will exist.
- Mournhold will appear.
- Approximately 120 hours (wildly variable based on playstyle) will be needed to reach max level, and each faction has its own set of levelling content.
- Camlorn will feature prominently. A werewolf plague is besieging the town, led by a leader called Faolchu.
- Battle will ensue, and you have the choice to either save a lady lieutenant, or chse Faolchu.
- Faolchu's only weakness is Fire (demo shown took the lady lieutenant choice option).
- If you elect not to save the lieutenant, during the resolution of the game, one NPC whose lineage will never have existed, will not be present .
- Choices will not affect the larger storyline any more than individual quest decisions alter Skyrim's main plotline.
- The series will handle different players at different quest stagues by the use of "phasing". Characters at different quest stages will experience the game differently, with interaction impossible.
- After quest complete, you can join a party of someone at an earlier stage, and help them finish the quest.
- Quest lines are not dependent on learning the weaknesses. (I.e. you can kill Faolchu without knowing he is weak against fire.)
- Stamina bar: affects the ability to sprint, block, interrupt and break effects.
- Stamina Management will be critical for PvP fighting.
- Each class has great abilities, and "each one of them can be awesome".
- Classes WILL exist, like every Elder Scrolls game excepting Skyrim.
- Performing well in battles will unlock "Finesse", a powerful skill slot.
- Fighting together in multiplayer causes no penalties. Everyone who contributed gains full experience, loot, and quest credit.
- There will be a battle in the Imperial City.
- After completing the main quest (and at full level), there are futher modes available. For example: there are "heroic modes" of small-instance dungeons.
- High-end public dungeons will also exist.
- PvP-specific arenas will exist
- Guild Reputations can continue to be increased after the main quest is completed (much like non-online games).
- The last quest will take place in central Cyrodiil (Imperial City) - It can be reasonably assumed that this is to make sure that your "faction" gets crowned emporer.
- Oblivion's topography is being modelled for the Cyrodiil battles
- Cyrodiil's gameplay will, however, be dependent on other online characters: The Daggerfall Covenant may be the emporers for the moment, however, other factions can take it back.
- In other words: there is no permanent ending to the game for your side.
- Can ally with another faction (temporarily and locally) - to bring down the current alliance - is simple.
- Zenimax intends for battles to be all the way up to 100 vs 100 characters.
- Seige weapons can also be used (?) - Trebuchets
- Defenders have advantage: High Keep Walls.
- Smaller places, such as farms and mines, might have a single point of interest (e.g. a flag to capture), and few NPC defenders
- Any team objective boosts your alliance's overall "score", which gives faction-wide bonuses and determines who gets control of Imperial City.
- Once your team takes a commanding lead in points, they gain the chance to ride into Imperial City and sweep Molag Bal's Daedra from the streets.
- It will be dangerous at the start (much like Kvatch)
- Emporer-crowning is not via vote or social mechanism. Rather, it is which character has the highest contributions to the war. (The calculation method is still being finalised).
- No special powers for being crowned emporer, just bragging rights.
- As an aside: We need to work out if we are going to list the Emporers somewhere here or not. (Will need to be voted upon at a later date)
- There will only be NINE playable Races. (Imperial is the one not playable, I think?)
(Just a few of the creatures mentioned in the article photos)
- Spider Daedra -> Will use abilities used in Oblivion, and some new abilities.
- Flest Atronach
Whats In The Game
- Will be in the game
- Vaermina: Features prominently in the overarching storyline of one of the "zones". (unspecified as of yet).
- Other Princes appear in some form or other, but characters can't become "demigods" by running around doing Daedric Quests.
- (Assumption): Azura will probably feature heavily in the province of Morrowind once more.
Crafting, Alchemy, Soul Stones
- Will exist, but details are not being released yet
Vampires and Werewolves
- Will appear as antagonists.
- Will not be contractable, as it would be impossible to balance them.
- Wayshrines will enable characters to fast travel to other discovered locations
- Will also serve as resurrection points.
- Mundus Stone: Function just like Guardian Stones.
- Iconic Constellations this time appear more frequently: this time, as, say, a clue to a puzzle room at the bottom of an ancient ruin.
- Sneaking is part of the game (further details not released yet)
- Imperial City
- Elder Root
- This list is far from complete, as it is busy being developed and gameplay being determined currently.
- Will exist, as defined by the lore (so no flying mounts)
- Development team stressed that "this game takes place in a time in which dragons aren't involved much in Tamriel's history"
- Zenimax isn't allowing Character and NPC Romances.
- Instead, they are hoping to encourage characters to get married to other characters.
Full Voice Acting
- FULL voice acting.
- Will exist
- TES: Online will use its own AI system.
Whats NOT in the game?
- Housing (Too Difficult at this time)
- Pets (Not looking at this at this point in time).
- Increase repution by destroying Dark Anchors.
- Dark Anchors are enormous hooks sent by Molag Bal from Coldharbour to drag Tamriel into his realm.
- Dark Anchors spawm semi-randomly, and drop from the sky.
- Designed to be difficult for appropriately leveled characters, so grouping together with others is helpful (deliberately designed this way).
- Reputation gain will lead to later rewards: From new skills to new abilities.
- Reputation is increased by searching the world for Lore books hidding throughout the provinces of Tamriel.
- Books will appear everywhere from cities to forgotten caves.
- New perks, skills and abilities will be unlocked.
- Currently unknown how this will be included
- Will appear, but unknown in what form.