For me, the Elder Scrolls Online’s Blackwood is one of the best companions in the game, and I’ll explain why. Blackwood is the first of the three new Daedric companions players will be able to acquire in the game, and she’s also one of the few that will be available for people who pre-ordered the game.
One of the most exciting new features for Elder Scrolls Online is Blackwood, an all-new expansion that takes players to Morrowind. Blackwood was designed with our fans and followers in mind, and I was excited to chat with Rich Lambert, the game’s Creative Director, about what it’s like to be a TES fan, what Blackwood has to offer, and its relationship with the Summerset chapter of ESO.
For years, we’ve heard from fans of the Elder Scrolls series that the game’s lore is rich and deep. We’ve learned that people can be reincarnated, that the world is inhabited with forgotten dragons, and that the gods of Tamriel care little for mortals. We’ve even learned about major story events that have shaped the world of Tamriel. What remains to be seen, however, is how these stories will be told in the game itself. In this blog post, Senior Writer Tamriel Infinium: Elder Scrolls Online explores the major choices players will face in The Elder Scrolls Online, and how they’ll affect the lore of Tamriel.. Read more about eso online and let us know what you think. Fans ofElder Scrolls Online on PC are in for a surprise today: The MMORPG is releasing its biggest content explosion of the year in the form of the Blackwood chapter and update 30. The main event is of course the new map and companion system, but there are also many other updates. We spoke with Rich Lambert of ESO ahead of today’s festivities. Read on to learn more about the game’s longevity, Oblivion’s influence, efforts, and more!
MassiveOP: Matt Firor recently announced that The Elder Scrolls Online will remain until the release of players. As the game continues to grow and the end is not yet in sight, what are the issues for your team? Will we ever visit new continents in Tamriel?
Rich Lambert of ZeniMax: We are often asked this question. As players rightly point out, we’re slowly filling in the main continent of Tamriel – and that worries players, because some think that once we’ve done that, we’re done. I won’t give any hints about what happens next, but I can say that one of the most interesting aspects of the Elder Scrolls story is that Oblivion (not Nirn) is an infinite realm that can be shaped/changed at the whim of the Dedric princes. We still have many ideas and stories to tell!
New dynamic events (Oblivion portals) behave differently than old dark anchors. They indicate that they are more non-committal and exploratory. Why the change?
To keep ESO new and exciting, you need to try new things. We’ve tried many things over the years – if we didn’t, the players would get bored and leave. For the Oblivion ports, we wanted them to be different from what we’ve done in the past, but they still had to reference the Oblivion ports in TES4.
Endeavors is a new system that offers rewards for completing daily and weekly tasks. ESO used daily dungeon bonuses and rewards to encourage daily play. Does the introduction of Endeavors mean that these programs have not achieved this goal? Why a new currency? Why not reward players with gems? editor’s note: ZeniMax announced last week that Endeavors will not launch in Blackwood].
The effort system is designed from the beginning so that you can earn cosmetics in the game. We paired them with short, easy-to-follow daily actions so players could see the full range of game actions, not just small parts. As for the new currency versus the old currency, we wanted this system to be as fair as possible, so it made sense for everyone to start at the same point. Console Editions ESO is designed to port the game to next-generation consoles. They take advantage of the enhanced graphics capabilities of these platforms and also perform better. Is the goal a consistent gaming experience across all platforms? Are there any particular difficulties in developing a game for consoles compared to a game for PC? Platform parity has always been our goal: we want players to have an enjoyable and consistent ESO experience, regardless of the platform or input type (mouse/keyboard or controller) they choose. The biggest challenge in developing a game for multiple platforms is managing multiple build paths. Each platform has its own rules or certification requirements; each has its own social systems. It is not always easy to ensure that ESO always meets these requirements.
Followers and companions have long been a staple of TES games. Were you inspired by older games to design the companion system in ESO? If yes, which aspects have been moved/removed in the new system?
We did a lot of research for the companion system, and that research covered a wide range of games, not just Elder Scrolls games. Of course, we took a good look at what had been done before – many of the basics of our system were taken from Elder Scrolls (interesting characters, deep storylines, for example). But where we differ is on the progressive side of things. We wanted our companions to feel like an extension of ESO, where players are free to decide how their companions participate in battles and what role they play.
The new guidance system seems to have a good balance between difficulty and intuitiveness. Can you tell us how the rotation of skills, equipment and development of the labour profession were designed?
From the beginning, one of the main goals of the system was to make the guides easy to understand. We didn’t want players to feel like they had to be programmers to get the best out of their companion. So we agreed on the concept of reload times and companion priorities. They give the player complete freedom of action and allow him to create interesting and repetitive behavior quickly and easily.
ESO has carried much of the burden of creating the Elder Scrolls story in recent years. In the past, you’ve talked about working closely with Bethesda to make sure any new information fits into the overall world/story of Tamriel. Have you ever been arrested and been told Wait, that doesn’t fit our plans? Has coordination become more difficult with the release of other ES games like Legends, Blades, and the board game recently discussed on Twitter?
The BGS team has been a great source of information for us and has also provided us with a lot of support. They never spoke: Wait, this doesn’t fit into our plans? – No, but we’ve certainly had many conversations in spirit over the years: You do not understand this aspect, here are some reasons why. As far as coordination goes, it hasn’t been too difficult for us, we’re pretty well established in the second era at the moment. Mostly we just check that the teams have interpreted the situation correctly.
What is your favorite part of Blackwood/Update 30?
Your favorite? Companions by a wide margin. This whole system has become great and will give players access to much more content than before. I can’t wait to see the reaction of the players on the live servers!
We would like to thank Rich Lambert of ZeniMax for speaking with us!
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