For today's column, I've found a community member who explains some of the implications of factional divides for us. I'm also interested in how you will personally handle some of these factional issues.
Although we don't know the specifics of the racial divides in TESO, we do know that your racial choice determines not only determines your starting zone but the faction you join as well. This means that as you level your Breton, you will not be able to visit Windhelm. However, once you hit level 50 (the level cap), you can quest in one of the other factions' zone, but unfortunately, you can not officially join that faction. Or at least we haven't been told you can. Even though your Dunmer might be friends with an Altmer, when you both step into Cyrodiil, it's on!
I'm an altoholic by admission, but many people I know play only one character. They like to be able to explore every aspect of the game, but they don't like to regrind a new character to max level. Although I don't understand why they wouldn't want to explore another storyline, I can respect that they want that character to be the best it can be. ZeniMax probably had those players in mind when it created TESO's exploration system.
I had my reservations when TESO was first announced. I thought it might have been a quick way for Bethesda to cash in on the MMO market, but perhaps ZeniMax is making a real MMORPG after all. Sure, the company wants to entice existing Elder Scrolls fans, but the exploration system appears to be designed to attract MMO players as well.
In MMOs like World of Warcraft and RIFT, the different factions cannot communicate with each other. Supposedly, this is to create a sense of loyalty within a player's own faction. Personally, I'm not sure that that is a legitimate reason to cut off interfaction communication. ZeniMax could create a system like SWTOR's in which spatial chat is open but players of opposing factions cannot send any other type of communication to each other. I believe that makes things more confusing, but at least they can talk to each other.
In his premiere episode, Richie talks about the implication of cross faction talk or the lack thereof. Watch his video, then let me know what you think. Do you believe cross faction communication helps or hurts the overall feel of the MMO? How does that apply to TESO? Do you trust ZeniMax to do it right? (My loaded question for the day.) Talk to me in the comments.
Bree (Massively's Editor-in-Chief), Derrick, and LotOfSize expressed loyalty because that they have always played their chosen races in other Elder Scrolls games. Alexis summed it up simply: "Altmeri Dominion, definitely, because I am playing a Wood Elf. I've always played Bosmer archers since Morrowind."
Others stick to specific races because of the way they look. Orcs get Boinya's juices flowing, apparently: "I'll be an Orc, with sexy Orcish plate mail and a sexy orcish greatsword, with a sexier Orcish name (Ravar gro-Vhash)."
Infiniteduck1's obsession with Khajiit started with the racial abilities these cat-people were given in earlier games. "Khajiit assassin/thief. Always and forever. Actually I first decided to play one because they have night vision and I could use the darkness to my advantage against bandit camps at night and in caves; instead of needing a light source, I could just hide in the shadows. Now it's just more along the lines of tradition and has followed me into other games," the web-footed one said.
This week, I want to know how your race will affect your guild choice. Are you going to hunt down an all-Argonian guild so that you can hiss at each other all day long? Will you try to find a guild before the game launches, or is that something you do after you've played for some time? If you're in a guild already, how are you compromising with players who might want to play a different faction because of the races they want to play?
Each week, traverse the treacherous terrain of Tamriel with Larry Everett as he records his journey through The Elder Scrolls Online, an MMORPG from ZeniMax. Comments are welcome below, or send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org. He promises to keep the arrow-to-the-knee jokes to a minimum.