The Elder Scrolls Online will be designed to make each player the hero of the overall story.
In a video interview with Game Informer, The Elder Scrolls Online game director Matt Firor said that the main storyline will be 100-percent solo. After all, in the Elder Scrolls universe, the player is always the hero whether he/she wants to be or not. That's not going to change for the MMOG.
"You go out there and you kill the dragons," he describes. "You kill Mehrunes Dagon in Oblivion. In Morrowind, you're up there fighting the Tribunal - those are huge, global, epic things that you don't want to stand in line to do in an MMO. The last thing you want to do is have the final confrontation with Mehrunes Dagon as he's stomping across the Imperial City, and you see like 15 guys behind you waiting to kill him because they're on the same quest."
The team of 250 at Zenimax Online wants the player to feel awesome, that he or she is the hero. "We do that through a mix of technology, where when I am confronting a major foe in the game, I'm doing it in an instance where I am alone," he added. "And we have a whole part of the game that is 100 per cent solo," he said, "which is the main story, where the world focuses on you - you are the hero, everything you do is solo and the world reacts to you that way."
Fans of the franchise have criticized the team for straying away from the "dirty realism" seen with the single-player chapters, to a cleaner, cartoon-exaggerated design. Firor welcomes the criticism, stating that a healthy community is one that's passionate about what a developer is creating. These are the people he wants playing in the MMO because they'll have the most invested on a personal level.
Firor knows all about the MMO community. He helmed the production of Mythic's Dark Age of Camelot MMO which launched back in 2001 as an answer to EverQuest.
"Having been in MMOs for a very long time, I know and understand that community very well," he said. "And that is a very vocal community - a lot of the time vocal critics of what you're doing. But those people who take the time to pick your game apart, and sometimes they tell you things that you didn't know was wrong with the game - those are the people you want playing your game, because they're the people most invested in your game, because they care enough about it to complain."
"The worst situation for a game community to be in is where no one posts on the boards because they don't care," he added.
To see the video interview, head here.