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Elder Scrolls MMOG In Development?

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the getting-a-bit-crowded-out-here dept.

Role Playing (Games) 43

Gamespot reports on the rumours swirling around the possibility of an Elder Scrolls Massively Multiplayer Online Game. They began when ZeniMax formed their very own Massive development company, ZeniMax Online. The company subsequently hired Matt Firor, formerly of EA Mythic, as its head. Now, the discussion online is centering on the registration of a URL that hints at big things to come for Bethesda's world. Pete Hines, spokesman for Bethesda, has a perfectly rational explanation: '"We are tired of people squatting on domains related to our games or simply not being able to get them if we needed them (note oblivion.com, fallout.com, and many others) and decided a while back we'd get these to keep it from happening again ... People are grabbing domains like these and trying to extract money from us for them, or using them for some other purpose.' Bogus or not bogus?: Bogus that the URL registration confirms the existence of an Elder Scrolls MMORPG. However, with others holding the Fallout and Star Trek MMORPG rights, the RPG franchise--famous for having MMORPG-size open worlds--is the only truly proven property in Bethesda's catalog."

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Thank god (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21224037)

The last thing we need is another MMO.

Better for it to be MMO or stay as is (3, Insightful)

usul294 (1163169) | more than 6 years ago | (#21224087)

I have played Morrowind and Oblivion as much as possible, doing every guild's quest, etc. etc. It'd definitely be cool to have more life in the Elder Scrolls games, and to have lots of people participating. On the other hand, it'd be a bit odd if every adventurer in the tavern has an unknown past, and was a prisoner set free for mysterious reasons on a one-person quest to save the world from evil. That's the back story to all these games, and I suppose that would have to change, because 20,000 people on a quest to rid the world from evil is a different dynamic, though it is certainly possible, especially if it involves a war with 2 sides, and plenty of co-mingling, as well as soldiering (think Imperial Legion quests with big parties). The idea definitely has potential as well as possible pitfalls.

Re:Better for it to be MMO or stay as is (2, Interesting)

Jedi Alec (258881) | more than 6 years ago | (#21224181)

If you play the prisoner set out to save the world, I'll happily take on the role of the Daedroth intent on stopping you(and dragging the whole place into Oblivion while I'm at it) ;-)

Re:Better for it to be MMO or stay as is (1)

Endo13 (1000782) | more than 6 years ago | (#21225873)

Better for it to be MMO or stay as is
I vote neither. I'd rather have a private server multiplayer mode. Something alone the lines of NWN, or perhaps just export your character and import it to a friend's game.

Going full-blown MMO would ruin it IMO.

Re:Better for it to be MMO or stay as is (1)

nschubach (922175) | more than 6 years ago | (#21228109)

Going MMO is about the only way companies claim to be able to make money nowadays. Even games that claim to be MMOs are just multi-player games with "massive" lobbies to find a group to jump into your multi-player instance.

Don't get me wrong. I love the idea of hosting my own server and having my friends join in the fun, but these scenarios are getting few and far between. Sadly.

Re:Better for it to be MMO or stay as is (1)

Endo13 (1000782) | more than 6 years ago | (#21241515)

That's because of the $15/mo, not because of the MMO status. TES could do that with their next game too. Free single-player (as usual), but if you want to hook up with your friends online it's a monthly fee for the service. Or a per session fee or whatever they think would work. With their games I'd much rather pay for an online service like that than yet another MMO. Not that I don't think their MMO would be good (perhaps even the best) if they made one, it's just that they're the last company making good single-player RPGs for PC.

That'd be cool... (2, Insightful)

Enoxice (993945) | more than 6 years ago | (#21224135)

...if they could pull it off correctly. TES games tend to have much more freedom than most MMOs. In MMOs you basically have a few choices no matter what class you are: grind, instance, quest, PvP, GvG, Raid, etc. In TES games you can do pretty much anything. A TES MMO would be perfect if you could: become a thief/bandit, a pickpocket, break into people's houses, buy/operate a shop, become a noble/politician, etc.

OTOH, TES games are good because they have more freedom than an MMO without all of the 12-year olds to piss you off, and without the need to find a guild to adventure with, and things like that.

Basically, I'd be interested in a TES MMO if it were pulled off with more of a TES spirit than YAWoWC (yet another world of warcraft clone).

Re:That'd be cool... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21224185)

So kind of like a MUD, except with next-gen graphics!

Re:That'd be cool... (1)

Enoxice (993945) | more than 6 years ago | (#21224551)

Kind of. I've played MUDs where you can be a politician, and MUDs where you can own shops, but never one where you can break into player-owned houses/shops (or, perhaps, I've just never tried).

..I should go back to playing MUDs...those were the days.

Re:That'd be cool... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21224293)

A TES MMO would be perfect if you could: become a thief/bandit, a pickpocket, break into people's houses, buy/operate a shop, become a noble/politician, etc.


That sounds like what Star Wars Galaxies was before Sony, um, started tinkering with the fundamental mechanics, to put it kindly.

TES games are also horribly broken (2, Insightful)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 6 years ago | (#21224649)

There is NO economy, you can steal to your hearts content and amass a fortune without ever having to spend a dime. This is barely acceptable for a single player game, but in multiplayer it would simply be unworkable.

They would have to do a lot of work to turn say Oblivion into an MMO. For one thing, just how long it took them to develop it, huge land? My ass, it is tiny by MMO standards.

The thing about thinking of cool things for an MMO is to then try to fit them in the game, this includes thinking on how they affect the economy, how they can be exploited, and wether they are still fun to do after six months.

Take pickpocketing, how much loot should be dropped. If you are really good should be you be able to pickpocket the king? Instantly turning you superrich? Then how do we provide you with a money drain. Once you pickpocketed everyone, what do you do next? Won't this be out of balance with other players who have to form huge armies to storm the castle to get the same loot?

LOTRO has pickpocketing for burglars, one of the things they did was to give burglars a seperate loot table, so they would NOT be stealing the loot you get from the kill. Subtle detail, but can you imagine how other players would feel if all the mobs had been picked clean?

Re:TES games are also horribly broken (1)

Cecil (37810) | more than 6 years ago | (#21225041)

Actually it is close to being appropriately sized for an MMO if you look at the total number of dungeons and towns and places to visit (in other words, the actual content - the stuff that takes a long time to create), it's just that it's extremely densely packed into the landscape by MMO standards. In an MMO, you'd expect to have to walk for 10 minutes (real time) to get to any single place of interest. In that time, you can walk from one end of the Oblivion map to the other.

If they wanted to spread all that content out a bit, procedurally generating terrain is trivial.

Re:TES games are also horribly broken (2, Informative)

Skuld-Chan (302449) | more than 6 years ago | (#21225179)

LOTRO has pickpocketing for burglars, one of the things they did was to give burglars a seperate loot table, so they would NOT be stealing the loot you get from the kill. Subtle detail, but can you imagine how other players would feel if all the mobs had been picked clean?

Same is true for rogues in WoW :).

Write Much? (0, Troll)

NealokNYU (779603) | more than 6 years ago | (#21224295)

Point 1: Fallout 3 is being made by Bethesda
"others holding the Fallout and Star Trek MMORPG rights, the [Elder Scrolls] is the only truly proven property in Bethesda's catalog."

This is just shoddy reporting. Bethesda is making Fallout 3. They have the rights. They are making the game. Why would you even say this?

Point 2: Grammar Nazism
"Bogus or not bogus?: Bogus that the URL registration confirms the existence of an Elder Scrolls MMORPG."

Is this really the level of editorial craftsmanship I have to look forward to when I check Slashdot? Zonk, I thank you for taking on your thankless role. I think you get too much shit from a community here that doesn't bother to appreciate your performance of a task most here would just as soon skip. Nevertheless, considering the volume of your readership, I don't think it's unreasonable for me or anyone else to expect some degree of technical competence in the copy when I check the site.

Even under the most liberal rules of English construction, I think it's fair to say that a colon following a question mark serves no point, is lazy, and its use will jar the reader. I am not harping on formal English. e.e. cummings and Cormac McCarthy got mad skillz, yo. I'm saying that for clarity of expression and the successful conveyance of ideas, this is an instance where adherence to traditional rules of punctuation would make sense. In the future, just use a question mark. You asked a question. The next sentence answers that question. No colon is required. Yay!

I'd like to take a stab at the bizarre non-sentence following your punctuational orgy, but the above paragraph made me tired. I'll be brief: a sentence consists of a subject and a verb. Again, this is not so that you can pay fealty to some draconian grammar overlord. It is for clarity of expression.

Re:Write Much? (1)

Enoxice (993945) | more than 6 years ago | (#21224433)

Sure, Fallout 3. But do they have the rights to a Fallout MMO?

Re:Write Much? (2, Informative)

Loke the Dog (1054294) | more than 6 years ago | (#21224467)

This is just shoddy reporting. Bethesda is making Fallout 3. They have the rights. They are making the game. Why would you even say this?
Yeah, they have the rights to make Fallout 3. That's not the same as making a fallout mmog. Interplay has those rights.

Type "Fallout MMO rights" on google. Or just check wikipedia.

Re:Write Much? (1)

analog_line (465182) | more than 6 years ago | (#21228251)

You mean the wikipedia that says Bethesda owns those rights, but has licensed them to Interplay on the condition that Interplay can get 30 million in 2 years to do it? yeah, good luck on that. Bethesda paid the remaining skeleton staff at Interplay 5 million to hang around for 2 more years acting like they're worth something. They'll fail as hard as they dd when they were looking for 75 million to do an MMO (predicting 1 million subscribers in 1 year after release, development starting in Jan 2007).

Re:Write Much? (1)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 6 years ago | (#21224651)

Interplay specifically sold the rights to make direct sequels to Fallout 2, but retained the rights to make a Fallout MMO. Interplay was using that as a chip to try and financially stay afloat by selling the idea to investors, trying to get someone to support them making the MMO. So last I heard, Bethesda does not have the rights to a Fallout MMO.

You should check your facts.

Wrong Much? (1)

Nukenin (646365) | more than 6 years ago | (#21224889)

This is just shoddy reporting. Bethesda is making Fallout 3. They have the rights. They are making the game. Why would you even say this?

Bethesda does not (currently) have the MMOG rights to the Fallout property--when they acquired the Fallout IP they licensed back MMOG rights to Interplay: http://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/1057232/000117091807000324/0001170918-07-000324.txt [sec.gov] .

Even under the most liberal rules of English construction, I think it's fair to say that a colon following a question mark serves no point, is lazy, and its use will jar the reader.

Take it up with the individual who posted the blog entry that the summary was excerpting: http://www.gamespot.com/users/thorsen-ink/ [gamespot.com] . The '?:' construct originated there. If you must have a reason to attack the summary, attack it for poorly structuring the excerpt of the blog entry such that the "Bogus or not bogus?" item seems to be part of the preceding quote from Pete Hines.

Re:Write Much? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21225397)

Maybe you should read the article before making an ass of yourself on the wrong website.

Re:Write Much? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21225405)

Is this really the level of editorial craftsmanship I have to look forward to when I check Slashdot? Zonk, I thank you for taking on your thankless role. I think you get too much shit from a community here that doesn't bother to appreciate your performance of a task most here would just as soon skip. Nevertheless, considering the volume of your readership, I don't think it's unreasonable for me or anyone else to expect some degree of technical competence in the copy when I check the site.
I hate Zonk as much as the rest of us, but the sentence you are nitpicking here is a direct quote from the Gamespot article this story is based on. I'm not sure it's really fair to blame Zonk for Gamespot's poor writing.

I have one word for you... (2, Insightful)

Cathoderoytube (1088737) | more than 6 years ago | (#21224343)

Chaos..
If the MMORPG stays true to the actual Elder Scrolls games it's gonna be nothing but mass looting and murdering (that's assuming everybody plays the game the same as me though...)
Why buy that 1000 hp armor when you can just pick it up and make a run for it? If the shop keeper calls the guards you just bring up your friends list and get them to help you out.
I imagine though the Elder Scrolls folks will castrate those game play elements that made the game so much fun. So it'll be basically the same as every other MMORPG out there, just one big cash grab. I really didn't care too much about any of the characters in the game. It was more the element of YOU CAN DO WHATEVER YOU WANT TO DO. Like if you wanted to go kill the king with you bare hands, knock yourself out. I just don't see that happening in any sort of online game. EVER.

Re:I have one word for you... (1)

vertinox (846076) | more than 6 years ago | (#21225309)

It was more the element of YOU CAN DO WHATEVER YOU WANT TO DO. Like if you wanted to go kill the king with you bare hands, knock yourself out. I just don't see that happening in any sort of online game. EVER.

That was pretty much Ultima Online until they patched player killing into care bear land. Some people didn't like it but I found it to be an interesting game. When you play against people who are out to murder you 24/7 you tend to feel a rush.

Of course no one has made a sand box quit like it since... There was Shadowbane but that was hardly comparable to UO.

Re:I have one word for you... (1)

Double_Duo_Decimal (1104907) | more than 6 years ago | (#21226213)

The developers are antisocial, theres hardly any decent information about it, but there's for those of us that loved old school UO there's Darkfall to look forward to. If it ever releases that is.

Re:I have one word for you... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21236155)

Play a no-restrictions pk mud. there are still a surprising number left with decent-sized playerbases.

Does the World Need Another MMO? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21224431)

Given the littered battlefield of failed MMO's why do people keep dipping into this pool. I know WoW makes a ton of jack but has anyone else really made another winner like that recently? Isn't it possible that all the MMO geeks are full up and that the rest of the world isn't waiting for another MMO to jump into because the MMO experience doesn't appeal to them. Frankly they can keep tweaking the formula until Hades freezes over but the problem in MMO's is the first (M) because I don't want to play with the masses.

Re:Does the World Need Another MMO? (2, Insightful)

mahlerfan999 (1077021) | more than 6 years ago | (#21231547)

Given the littered battlefield of failed MMO's why do people keep dipping into this pool. I know WoW makes a ton of jack but has anyone else really made another winner like that recently? Isn't it possible that all the MMO geeks are full up and that the rest of the world isn't waiting for another MMO to jump into because the MMO experience doesn't appeal to them. Frankly they can keep tweaking the formula until Hades freezes over but the problem in MMO's is the first (M) because I don't want to play with the masses.
There's no nice way to say this-- you're completely wrong. MMOs are highly popular. You act like WoW is the only popular one, and the rest are failures. Sorry, no there are many successful MMOs and the genre is probably the most popular in PC gaming. Is it "possible that all the MMO geeks are full up"? Nope. If you "don't want to play with the masses" then you are not the typical gamer, and your attitude towards MMOs does not reflect the gaming community. You can complain about lack of innovation as you did, but people whine about that in every genre of pc and console gaming, it's not a novel complaint that can only be leveled at mmos.

Could they just... not? (1)

Uniquitous (1037394) | more than 6 years ago | (#21224623)

They really shine at single-player. Stick to what you do best!

Re:Could they just... not? (1)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 6 years ago | (#21224655)

Actually I think they have made great open-ended worlds great for exploring, but perhaps have fallen short on making great single-player experiences. The most common complaint from Morrowind and Oblivion critics is that the game felt like a MMO. I always thought it was the next logical step, and arguably the most profitable.

The question is, if they develop an MMO, are they hiring all new guys to do it, or are some of the experienced TES devs working on it? Does this mean no TES:V?

Re:Could they just... not? (1)

spielermacher (856042) | more than 6 years ago | (#21231943)

The question is, if they develop an MMO, are they hiring all new guys to do it, or are some of the experienced TES devs working on it? Does this mean no TES:V?"
Dunno about TES:V, but it appears that an all new team is being put together by them to make MMOs. ZenMax Media (parent company of Bethesda Softworks) has set up a new studio called ZeniMax Online Studios, and according to their website (zenimaxonline.com) they are working on MMOs. It's headed by Matt Firor, one of the guys from Mythic (made DAOC back in the day).

Re:Could they just... not? (1)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 6 years ago | (#21232613)

I saw there is a new studio, but I'm not sure who is staffing it.

Re:Could they just... not? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21225805)

They've never excelled at making quality single-player CRPGs, especially not in the post-Xbox console-hybridization era.

I like tactical combat and a wide variety of interesting perks, skills and spells in my CRPGs... TES doesn't deliver, and it doesn't work well as an adventure game either (an aspect that some CRPG fans desire).

Morrowind and Oblivion seemed like single-player MMORPGs already, in fact. It's a logical next step.

Amazing idea but... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21224731)

I think it would be great if there was an elder scrolls MMO, but I don't know if the consoles could handle that. The graphics of Oblivion are so amazing it can make the game lag from now and then despite the fact it isn't even online. If you had thousands of other players moving around a world that detailed in real time the lag could be tremendous. I'm not saying they shouldn't try to make an elder scrolls MMO, I just think it would be a difficult task and we probably wouldn't see it for another two or three years. Maybe the next generation of home consoles would have the power to handle such a large and detailed online world. One can only hope that it can :)

Re:Amazing idea but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21225301)

The graphics of Oblivion are so amazing it can make the game lag from now and then despite the fact it isn't even online.

Maybe your computer just sucks.

Would be nice (1)

darkhitman (939662) | more than 6 years ago | (#21224757)

If they, as everyone else has said, pull it off correctly. I somehow doubt it will be Oblivion-wit-other-peoplez, and that's probably a good thing. Bethesda has earned my respect, so I don't see why not, y'know?

Fantasy MMO's suck (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21224817)

Where's a Mechwarrior mmog? Where's a Wing Commander MMO? How about a global conflict in which players have to choose sides and *stick* with it (or go the mercenary route)? How about tactical combat in lieu of "I clicked faster than you!"? How about masses of players working in unison to effect a global war?

Re:Fantasy MMO's suck (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21225749)

Two words: eve online

Re:Fantasy MMO's suck (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21226173)

EVE Online is mostly about scamming the people and exploiting game bugs. I wouldn't play it even if it was for free.

MMO (1)

HAVOC0301 (991818) | more than 6 years ago | (#21225477)

Oblivian was an MMO in size all on its own. From the skill tree, classes, races, Instances, pure size of zones. The biggest things i have all ways loved. Houses ! the ability to pick up an item for said place and put it any place you want in your own house is down right awesome. In morrowind i took over a small house in one of the starting cities and placed every candle i found in the house. Of all the MMO's i have played not one of them gave that kind of freedom. The ability to steal from NPC's and get busted for it made for great story line. Would be awesome if a fellow player had to bail you out if you did some thing really bad. The arena in oblivion was also a great idea but against an NPC was kinda short lived. If there was a actual champion that moved on and you was actually able to fight for cash would be great. There tends to be a slew of MMO's coming out right now. i have played most of them i could honestly say that if some one was looking for a true RPG style game play they would find it here and leave their cartoon world behind

Re:MMO (1)

Cecil (37810) | more than 6 years ago | (#21229547)

I did the same with Nerano Manor in Balmora. I'm glad to know I wasn't the only one obsessed with finding as many light sources (the more unusually colored or shaped the better, I particularly liked the blue lanterns)

Why Not MORPG? (1)

ECMIM (946033) | more than 6 years ago | (#21226669)

As in Multplayer Online RPG, i.e. not Massive. The one thing I hated about TES:O was that the world felt so dead after playing years of various MMOs and just couldn't get into it (yes, yes, cast your stones this way), but I do realize that going massive would *destroy* TES as it currently stands. But why not a more limited, less massive, online RPG (more than 1 player but less than thousands)? That way you can preserve much (if not all) of what makes TES, well, TES but also allow a small army of players to complete some raid-style content and, when not doing that, go about their merry business doing the usual TES stuff. Your friends can also help you complete the regular quests and it'll give those that choose to be vampires someone 'living' to actually prey upon :)

Elder Scrolls has found a niche -- don't do this! (1)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 6 years ago | (#21230743)

I think Elder Scrolls is special for the nice it has found. If they do it a MMO, they'll just be tucked into the crowd of dozens and dozens of high fantasy MMO's. :-( I don't see what would make this game unique in that case. Surely not the setting anyway.

I saw a mud crab the other day (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21234933)

Horrible creatures.
Look, it's the hero of Kvatch!
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