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Elder Scrolls Multiplayer Possible But Unlikely

By - Source: CVG | B 20 comments

Multiplayer support is typically a decision made by the team based on the current Elder Scrolls chapter.

There's no question that a multiplayer component for Bethesda's Elder Scrolls franchise would be an awesome addition. The enormous, immersive terrain in both Morrowind and Oblivion seemingly indicates that there's a potential for some kind of multiplayer gameplay whether its a four-player co-op party or a full-blown MMORPG.

In a recent issue of Edge Magazine, Bethesda's Pete Hines addresses the topic, indicating that it's technically possible to add a multiplayer component, but ultimately becomes a question of whether the current title needs the component or not.

"I've always said: 'You tell us whether or not your game needs it," he explained in the interview. "I'm not going to tell you it has to be in there, or it has to be on the back of the box. If that's the reason you're doing it then don't waste your time and don't waste ours."

He admitted that repeated requests for multiplayer support by Elder Scroll fans "does get old," but goes on to say that the addition could make the final product a "lesser game."

"It's not wrong or unreasonable for people to want to experience a game with their friends, or want to do things with folks online," he explained. "There's nothing wrong with that at all. What we've tried to do is help people understand that in game development, it's all about trade-offs. One of our mantras here is that you can do anything - you just can't do everything.

"So certainly we could do multiplayer," he added. "Unquestionably. It's not a thing we're technically incapable of figuring out. But when we draw up the list of things we'd like to have cut or change in order to support that feature, what we end up with is unpalatable. It'd make a lesser version of the game. And there is no doubt on the dev side that that is the case."

Recently BioWare admitted that it's looking into developing a MMOG based in the Dead Space universe. Ultimately Bethesda may want to investigate this avenue as well, as an Elder Scrolls MMORPG would pose as a viable threat to Blizzard's highly-popular MMORPG, World of Warcraft. A free-to-play model may also be possible, requiring gamers to pay for premium items and gain access to premium areas within Tamriel (or another continent on Nirn).

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  • 4 Hide
    wickedsnow , April 12, 2011 10:20 PM
    Multiplayer or not, I'm looking forward to skyrim and I love the entire elderscrolls series!

    I wish they would re-release arena,daggerfall, and morrowwind with updated graphics and support for newer hardware. (Wishful thinking most likely!)
  • 2 Hide
    jednx01 , April 12, 2011 10:29 PM
    I'm looking forward to the game, but I don't really think elderscrolls needs multiplayer in order to be successful. I loved oblivion, even though it had no multiplayer. I have no problem with them adding multiplayer, as long as it doesn't cause them to put less effort into the single player portion of the game.
  • 0 Hide
    buzznut , April 12, 2011 10:37 PM
    Yeah I agree with bethesda's assessment. If skyrim is anything like the other games, it will be a near perfect rpg on its own. I think its more likely they would do a MMO based on that universe than an addition to the standard rpg.

    I can't wait either, by far my favorite games.
  • Display all 20 comments.
  • 1 Hide
    Anomalyx , April 12, 2011 11:02 PM
    I think if they keep multiplayer functionality simple, it will avoid harming the gameplay. For example, it could use a host/guest system, where nothing would change when a guest joined except for having an extra blade running around with you (maybe bump difficulty as more players join, too). Other things to implement would be trading, and division of loot, but a multiplayer schema that simple likelywouldn't negatively affect the game.
  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , April 12, 2011 11:22 PM
    A MMOG wouldn't work well for this series. BUT, a co-op mode would be so freaking awesome. I can't really see how there would need to be much compromise of features to get co-op working. Of course, I'm not the one making the game. It has to happen eventually if they want to keep the series fresh.
  • 0 Hide
    maestintaolius , April 12, 2011 11:36 PM
    I think we have more than enough multiplayer RPGs. I want some more high quality single player ones.
  • 1 Hide
    tdenton1138 , April 12, 2011 11:38 PM
    +1 on coop. MMORPGs are a dime a dozen. Just give me Oblivion quality single player with the possibility of having a friend drop in.
  • 1 Hide
    xrome , April 12, 2011 11:40 PM
    I'm sure in in the minority of gamers when I say I dread that they add multiplayer to the game. Multiplayer slowly but surely kills single player games. Keep Elder Scrolls as the premier single player gaming experience, please.
  • 0 Hide
    cburke82 , April 12, 2011 11:54 PM
    if they came out with a elder scrolls MMORPG and did it right I would insta quit wow lol. They could have areas based on the games allready out. For example Skyrim could be an expansion and the area could be much the same if not exactly the same as the 1 player game :) 
  • 0 Hide
    dapneym , April 13, 2011 12:07 AM
    I would love to have a co-op option for Skyrim. My friend and I always wanted to play Oblivion together, but obviously couldn't. I think it would make a nice addition, and would definitely give me even more reason to buy it when it comes out.
  • 0 Hide
    tacoslave , April 13, 2011 12:26 AM
    AnomalyxI think if they keep multiplayer functionality simple, it will avoid harming the gameplay. For example, it could use a host/guest system, where nothing would change when a guest joined except for having an extra blade running around with you (maybe bump difficulty as more players join, too). Other things to implement would be trading, and division of loot, but a multiplayer schema that simple likelywouldn't negatively affect the game.


    Like Demon Souls?
  • 0 Hide
    capp1688 , April 13, 2011 2:57 AM
    If you guys like Morrowind, I'm playing it right now with this amalgamation of mods that give everything a fresh coat of paint:

    http://planetelderscrolls.gamespy.com/View.php?view=Mods.Detail&id=8987

    The graphics look sick...and if you have a decent graphics card you can get 45-60 fps so long as you keep the distant land settings decent.
  • 0 Hide
    Hunter_Killers , April 13, 2011 4:27 AM
    There only needs to be compromises if you designed it that way, like pausing the entire world because someone talked to an NPC. Oblivion/Skyrim would be even better if it had at the very minimum co-op capability with mod support.

    NWN certainly didn't become a lesser game because it had multiplayer. But personally my friend and I were dissapointed when DA was announced to not have it at all.
  • 0 Hide
    b23h , April 13, 2011 4:32 AM
    "Recently BioWare admitted that it's looking into developing a MMOG based in the Dead Space universe."

    I tend to think that statement is an error. I think Bioware is thinking about a MMOG based around Mass Effect. What I've heard about BioWare's interest in Dead Space is they are thinking of incorporating a Dead Space like HUD in Mass Effect 3.
  • 0 Hide
    jalek , April 13, 2011 9:05 AM
    The environment's different than a solo game. You can make lasting changes to things, clearing dungeons or whatever, and the next time you go to see Gruel the Ghastly, he's still dead. With an MMO, he'd be back in a few minutes, otherwise everything would be dead fairly quickly.

    That's just one of the simpler differences, MMORPG's are trying to cater to solo players too much already, solo RPG's don't need to cater to multiplayers and further muddy everything to blandness.
  • 0 Hide
    gm0n3y , April 13, 2011 5:09 PM
    I have the same sentiments are others here. I'd love it if they could include coop if it doesn't affect single player dev much. It would be awesome to be able to play with a couple of friends. I guess managing quests, different player levels, etc could be a bit of work, but it would be so much fun.

    I'm actually really surprised that Bethesda hasn't already started work on an Elder Scrolls MMO. Considering that MMOs are all the rage and TES has arguably the largest amount of content of any game series. Not saying I really want that, but I'm surprised their not jumping on the bandwagon.
  • 0 Hide
    killerclick , April 13, 2011 5:16 PM
    NO multiplayer please! There are too many MMORPGs as it is and I hate playing with/against other people.
  • 0 Hide
    bak0n , April 13, 2011 5:37 PM
    I haven't owned an elder scrolls title since daggerfall. I won't own another one until I can play with my family and friends.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , April 13, 2011 10:42 PM
    I loved Elderscrolls, but it got lonely playing alone. That's the nice thing about Guildwars, Gears of War, Halo - you make friends online and have fun playing together. Yes, there are jerks once in a while, but you avoid them. As Facebook shows, people are social animals and don't want to be alone (most people at least). Without a question, whoever establishes multiplayer first on consoles will take the lead. They better get it.
  • 0 Hide
    cburke82 , April 13, 2011 10:58 PM
    Quote:
    I loved Elderscrolls, but it got lonely playing alone. That's the nice thing about Guildwars, Gears of War, Halo - you make friends online and have fun playing together. Yes, there are jerks once in a while, but you avoid them. As Facebook shows, people are social animals and don't want to be alone (most people at least). Without a question, whoever establishes multiplayer first on consoles will take the lead. They better get it.

    Guess the point is nobody just plays one game. So if there is no way to make multi player happen without dumbing down single player than I say no thank you. If I feel the need to be social I play a MMO or better yet go to the bar lol. Sometimes I just like playing a good game with a good story line. And being that Bethesda is one of the few company's turning out good games with good storys , if they say they dont think they can do it without tanking the single player aspects I am inclined to trust them.