Tamriel Infinium: An Elder Scrolls Online Community Connection
The primary reason I play the MMOs I play stems from the people I play with and the community as a whole. The Elder Scrolls, being a well-established intellectual property, already has a well-established community. MMO players, like many of you who read Massively, have their own culture and community as well. With the Elder Scrolls Online, we see a melding of these two communities, but not necessarily in the same places. Some sites tend to be MMO-focused, as I try to be in this column; others focus on the Elder Scrolls.

I've mentioned Tamriel Foundry from time to time. This site started in August last year as a theory-crafting and mechanics site for ESO. But it's blossomed into a large community that focuses on many parts of the ESO landscape, from lore and classes to guilds and armoring. Although founder Andrew "Atropos" Clayton and his team have been writing articles for well over a year now, the recent articles have touched on some solid mechanics and gameplay issues. But given the growth and nature of the community there, the team has branched out to cover more than just the mechanics of the game and has covered a bit of lore as well.

Let me highlight a few of my favorite bits, and then we will tackle a statement from a Massively community member.

Foundry Highlights
A couple of weeks back, I gave you my take on ZeniMax's decision to put storefronts in PvP keeps. I think it will be an interesting mechanic if it works, but obviously there are lots of other opinions. Isarii from Tamriel Foundry believes it will actually take the economics of MMOs back a few notches, but he doesn't necessarily think it's a bad thing. He said this in his article titled ESO and the Resurgence of the Social Economy:
In the early MMORPGs of yore, the economies were not as streamlined as what we have now become accustomed to. Some games had no support for the trade economy, with the primary method of trade often involving external forums or going to a popular hub and spamming local chat if you did not know a crafter; that, of course, is the essential caveat. The less the game was able to find a crafter for you, the more you relied on the connections you were able to form with the players around you to acquire whatever goods you wanted.
Nybling presents an interesting series of articles about the numbers of Tamriel Foundry users who will play each faction. He broke down the numbers by age, class, and many others in the latest edition of ESO by the Numbers II – Alliance Breakdowns. And assuming that these numbers are generally random, they could be very telling about the balance of the game as a whole.
I feel that it is important to note that that the survey had 1,298 responses, and each faction had a large chunk of these responses, providing a great sample size to be analyzed. Aldmeri Dominion had 344 respondents, Daggerfall Covenant featured 377, and the Ebonheart Pact [led] the way with 414 responses.
One of my favorite articles on the site was written by Phazius; it's called Skill Overview – Nightblade and gave us insight in the skills and abilities of the Nightblade (my favorite class so far). And he agrees with me about the possible versatility of the class, but his isn't the only excellent article centering on the combat mechanics of this upcoming game. They are all a must-read. Here's his description of the Nightblade:
The Nightblade in ESO epitomizes the rogue archetype but has enough versatility to be appropriate for a wide variety of builds. Traditionally, the Nightblade relies on stealth, subtlety, and dark magic to get in close and deliver devastating single target damage to unsuspecting foes.
Lastly, I want to mention a new series created by Atropos himself. Calling it Staff Reactions, Atropos interviews his staff members to get their impressions of specific issues or topics presented in ESO news. He called the first article "laid-back," but futures ones will likely be more controversial.

Hircine smash!
Last week, I had a hearty laugh at EricRose's Hulk-smash-type post. I asked which Daedric prince we need to see more of when Elder Scrolls Online launches. He replied, "Me want more Hircine!!!" I didn't initially recognize that prince except in that he was a prince. Then it hit me once I saw his image on the Elder Scrolls wiki: He's the werewolf Prince. And since this era is a previous era to those of the other Elder Scrolls games and specifically Morrowind, we could use another Bloodmoon Prophecy event.

Once per era, Hircine appears on Mundus and releases his Hounds upon the land, specifically the island of Solstheim. The four signs of the prophecy signify the beginning of the "Hunter's Game," and each era has its own hunt. In the Morrowind era, four of the greatest champions on Solstheim are pitting against each other in a battle to the death. Then the last man standing has to fight an aspect of Hircine himself.

This got me thinking about how the Hunter's Game could work in Elder Scrolls Online. ZeniMax hasn't announced anything about this, but it's fun sometimes to speculate. If you were to design a multiplayer Hunter's Game, what would you do? Let me know in the comments, and I'll see you next week.

Tamriel Infinium Stepping into the world of The Elder Scrolls OnlineEach 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 larry@massively.com. He promises to keep the arrow-to-the-knee jokes to a minimum.

This article was originally published on Massively.