Hello all, whiterunguard001 here,
Now before I get into this, let me preface by saying everyone has the right to his or her opinion, and the views expressed in the following are mine and mine alone. If someone does not agree with me or finds an error in the following blog, then speak your mind. I now that many may not share my views, and you are welcome to share your own, but lets be respectful of the opinions of others so no flame wars in the comments please.
Now with all the official mumbo jumbo out of the way let us begin. As a fan of the Elder Scrolls series, I greeted the news of an online game with excitement, but also a paranoid skepticism. One such as myself sees the expansion of the series into multiplayer in two ways. One, this is a one or two time occurance and will be tempered in its approach, keeping with lore and other pieces we fans hold dear, or a malignant infection that will soon seize the entire series with its grasp and not let go until the series has lost its popularity, at which time it will be tossed aside and forgotten like an old rag doll.
Frankly, It seems to be swinging the way of a harmful occupation. The approach to classes, or pretty near to a lack there of, is the most concerning to me. The conventional way class operation has been throw out and substituted for, what by all accounts seems to be a re-packaged version of Skyrims "class" system. Classes start of with certain enhanced attributes, sounds good so far right? But where I begin to doubt much of the design process is when the ability to level skills outside of your chosen class is introduced. Now don't get me wrong, Oblivion had a system very similar to this, where you could start as a mage and end a character playthrough as a battle-magish type person who was at least capable of using a dagger sword, but the real accomplishment was leveling your character to that uber mage or grand warrior or master thief. Giving a person the option to switch a characters purpose part way through a given playthrough is jarring and unhelpful. the only thing that I dislike more than a twelve year old little kid yelling into his mice telling me how he's a warrior and could "own" me on any game, is when he begins to level up magical skills or stealth skills taking over the job of myself or my friend who is questing with me.
And what of the game design itself. Much of what I have seen on in game content I.E. enemies, armor, and weapons, all seem to be copied and pasted versions of the skins found in skyrim. Now while it can be said that the only real combat seen has taken place in Skyrim, that should also serve as an active barometer for the variety found in game. Why have we not seen much in the summerset isles, or blackmarsh, why has there been no real mention in regards to locations like Orsinium and High Rock? and while I am sure that there are some images circulating around the gaming world of one orcish village or breton town, how does this help us as fans? How far does the "exploration aspect" actually go even? We have seen little as a fan base in respect to the full extent, but I would not get your hopes up for you, an argonian/ dark elf,and your nord allies running around elsweyr, as from what I have seen, each faction stays central to their faction area. And what of Cyrodiil, sweet, sweet Cyrodiil? only for PvP, no surprise visits to the daedric shrines, no frolicing in the fields outside skingrad, just deathmatch on those available maps.
Finally, we come to the reaction that many have had to this, and I am sorry to say many have fallen for the false promises of the developers. I will not be surprised when people start whining of the short comings of the game, and I will not be surprised when the media declares The Elder Scrolls Online a monumental success. It all comes down to spin, how much a given demographic likes the game, and their influence on the rest of the populace. If a game company can appeal to the critics that will play the game, and the 'hardcore" fans of the series who will, in their minds, defend the series and all its titles to the death. By setting up this base, they will have the steady ground they need to gather more and more players, and will keep exsisting players happy by giving updates and other such things. So in the coming months readers, open your ears, and maybe your eyes, to the idea that The Elder Scrolls Online is not all it is made out to be.
P.S. No, I do not play WoW