By now the Elder Scrolls series has been often labeled as a true offline MMORPG. And for good reason- it manages to blend the style of freeform exploration, crafting and personal customization that the MMO genre is famous for, with a lack of monthly fees, trolling players (occasionally trolls) and incessant grinding for better gear. Well, today it was announced in USA Today that Bethesda will finally be taking the plunge into the MMORPG market with an online version of the Elder Scrolls, set to be released in 2013.
“So how does this impact me?” said Tathyr, a local Bosmer archer and Thane of Solitude/Whiterun/Morthal/Windhelm. “Does this mean I need to start rolling for new gear, because if that’s the case, expect a lot more arrows to various knees.”
Speaking from inside her palatial mansion in Solitude, the dovakin scowled when the news was presented to her earlier today through a random courier. “I liked the fact that I was free to accomplish things alone. I’m not exactly people-friendly, ya know?” Taking a moment to thumb the bowstring of her recently crafted Daedric longbow, she shook her head and muttered a few words under her breath in her native tongue. “Now I can’t hold this over [her friend, a Blood Elf Paladin currently residing in Orgrimmar, Azeroth] Aestryth’s head anymore. She’s going to be merciless about it.”
Her sentiments are likely to become a talking point in the coming weeks leading to the formal unveiling in Game Informer Magazine. According to current information, game development will be lead by Matt Firor, formerly of the cult classic Dark Age of Camelot MMORPG, and will be set a millennium before the events presented in Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim. When mentioned to Tathyr, however, she scoffs. “Like that’s going to matter. I know for a fact that [my player] loves me, and he will undoubtedly find some black magic to skirt me into the past. Not like I haven’t done that already, but that was to defeat Alduin, not fulfill some delusion of grandeur.”
Tathyr’s wife, Ysolda of Whiterun, echoed her spouse’s concerns. “This will just put more strain on the people currently living in Tamriel. Families will be split up, cities will become overcrowded and for what? Some mistaken notion of glory?” She clutches Tathyr’s arm tightly, her eyes sparkling with tears. “I’m proud to be the wife of the last dovakin, I don’t want to lose her to a horde of braggarts and glory-mongers.”
While information is still limited, expect questions to arise on how this will impact the progressive nature of the Elder Scrolls game engine that was debuted in Skyrim after years of tweaking and refinement. How will the MMORPG market embrace a game that does not rely on raids, min/maxing and levels? How will class structure be implemented after having been done away with in the past two installments? How will zones be set up, and will this inherently limit the sandbox nature the series has become so well known for?
Only time will tell, but for one dovakin and her wife, there is little to celebrate. “I guess I’m going to have to get used to things changing,” Tathyr said with a sigh and a longing glance at Ysolda. “Or find another one of those scrolls and take my wife into the future. I haven’t really decided yet.”