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Elder Scrolls Online Story "100% Solo," Says Firor

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.

  • Hellbound
    Somewhat the same approach SWTOR took.. I've already canceled my account for that game. I want an MMO, something that requires communal effort. Where a guild has purpose, and a united cause. Something with a thriving player made economy.

    SWTOR is basically a great single player MMO, with a wonderful 4 man co-op system. Guilds are irrelevant, world pvp irrelevant. Now I fear ESO will end up the same..
    Reply
  • xerroz
    From the second half of the interview it sounds like they will still embrace he exploration aspect of TES games. And the questing system sounds like it won't be like that of WoW or most MMOs where going into towns or cities is pretty much an obligation because it's where you pick up quests. Still not quite sure about the game but I'm definitely more curious after this.
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  • twelch82
    MMOs are not supposed to even have stories built in. They are supposed to have game mechanics that lend themselves to storylines developing as a result of playing the game. Instead of needing to write in a villain, let one of the millions of people out there who enjoy committing villainous acts in an MMO fill the role.

    For the MMO genre to grow, it needs to move past the likes of WoW, EQ, and Lineage, and take advantage of the fact that you have millions of players, instead of the other players being treated like a stumbling block to get over in the delivery of a single-player oriented story.
    Reply
  • Lets hope GW2 gets it right, looking good so far :)
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  • Murissokah
    Massive single-player FTW!
    Reply
  • jkflipflop98
    Then why even bother?

    We wanted Skyrim with a friend - not this EQ clone crap.
    Reply
  • aoneone
    Everquest 1? Genius! Dark age of Camelot? Brilliant!
    Elder Scrolls Online?? Hopeful...
    Reply
  • UmeNNis
    twelch82MMOs are not supposed to even have stories built in. They are supposed to have game mechanics that lend themselves to storylines developing as a result of playing the game. Instead of needing to write in a villain, let one of the millions of people out there who enjoy committing villainous acts in an MMO fill the role.For the MMO genre to grow, it needs to move past the likes of WoW, EQ, and Lineage, and take advantage of the fact that you have millions of players, instead of the other players being treated like a stumbling block to get over in the delivery of a single-player oriented story. Eve Online. 'nuff said.
    Reply
  • bak0n
    This is what's called
    "how can we milk the most amount of money out of people that play single player games".

    There's a lot more profit to build a virtual world with a locked storyline and charge a month fee + original purchase price than to sell a product one time.

    I'm going to go back to playing Master of Orion and Star Control now. kkthx.
    Reply
  • alidan
    for me an mmo needs to be soloable if you have the skill.
    everquest 1, once it took that approach, became one of my favorite games, because if the content isnt soloable, you can end up looking for a group for 6+ hours. yea it gets boreing, but thats what group play is for... outside of a raid, its fun to play in a group of people, not required.
    once you get to the raid level, you sould be able to solo things, or at least almost solo things, if you have the skill, another thing everquest did right, after a while they made an easy mode, and a hard mode, where the only difference was quality of loot and how many players you can bring with you,

    once you get to the end game, that should never be soloable within 2 expantions, if at all ever.

    now, some people want multiplayer to be required for an mmo, but i have seen how crappy games get because they force multiplayer. the way you have legs is allow solo play and advancement, while allowing people to group for fun. the first mmo that does it right from the get go will take the mmo crown away from wow and may take my nostalgia away from everquest.
    Reply