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  • Tamriel Infinium: About that Elder Scrolls VR grind

    by 
    Jef Reahard
    Jef Reahard
    07.04.2014

    Last time around I took a little flak from people who felt that my positive opinion of Elder Scrolls Online would change once I reached a certain veteran rank. In the past two weeks, I've gotten most of the way to VR2 whilst playing primarily solo a couple of hours per day. I would've gotten higher, but I got sidetracked into ESO's addictive crafting minigame! Anyway, so far my opinion of the world's first Elder Scrolls MMO hasn't changed despite the fact that the VR content does seem pretty grindy. The game is still a first-class themepark that's full of content, incredible art direction, and interesting progression, and the cherry on top of this particular sundae is one of my favorite IPs. All that said, ZeniMax could stand to alter its post-50 approach.

  • Quakecon pins exclusive Doom reveal for July 17

    by 
    Sinan Kubba
    Sinan Kubba
    07.04.2014

    Quakecon attendees will get an exclusive first look at the new Doom when it's debuted at the Dallas convention on July 17. Then, through the power of smartphones, everyone else will get a not-so-exclusive second look in the days following. Snarkiness aside, the Doom reveal will be the major draw for what is a packed Zenimax convention. Other highlights include a Zenimax Online Studios panel on the future of Elder Scrolls Online, and a "Designing the Perfect Game" panel in which the panelists will design a game concept to be judged by Obsidian CEO Feargus Urquhart. Attendees will also be able to get their hands on Mikami horror The Evil Within and take part in a tournament for melee-heavy multiplayer game Battlecry. Check out the full schedule here.

  • Oculus slams ZeniMax in latest legal statement

    by 
    Jef Reahard
    Jef Reahard
    06.25.2014

    The war of words continues between Oculus VR and ZeniMax. The latest salvo comes courtesy of a legal statement issued by the former in which it denies ZeniMax's claim that key tech was developed by John Carmack before he left ZeniMax for Oculus. "By deliberately misstating some facts and omitting others, ZeniMax makes the incredible assertion that it, a videogame software publishing company for personal computers and consoles like the Sony PlayStation, invented and developed a virtual reality hardware and software system," the statement reads, in part. It goes on to state that the Oculus VR headset tech was developed by Palmer Luckey and that the "lawsuit is nothing more than ZeniMax seeking to correct for a massive missed opportunity through the assertion of meritless litigation."

  • Elder Scrolls patch adds veteran dungeon, improved lighting, and more

    by 
    Jef Reahard
    Jef Reahard
    06.24.2014

    It's patch day in Tamriel, as ZeniMax has rolled out Elder Scrolls Online's 1.2.3 update. The main content addition is the veteran Crypt of Hearts dungeon. Additionally, there's now a field-of-view slider for first-person fans as well as improved interior lighting and a number of bug fixes. Full details are available via the patch notes. [Thanks Zjeven!]

  • Tamriel Infinium: In which you're told that Elder Scrolls Online kicks ass

    by 
    Jef Reahard
    Jef Reahard
    06.20.2014

    Welcome back to Tamriel Infinium, folks. I'll be your new writer, but don't worry about Larry. He's alive, well, and we're lucky to have him back at the helm of Hyperspace Beacon here on Massively. I've done plenty of dedicated game columns in the past, but it has been a while, so you'll have to bear with me while I shoot from the hip for a week or three and figure out what's best for this space. One thing I know already is that I dig Elder Scrolls Online, even though that's a pretty unpopular opinion in some quarters. With that in mind, let's poke fun at anti-ESO hipsters after the break, shall we?

  • The Elder Scrolls Online illuminates its veteran dungeons

    by 
    Bree Royce
    Bree Royce
    06.19.2014

    A new Creating ESO blog post on the official Elder Scrolls Online site today aims to give players an inside look at the process of creating the game's veteran dungeons. These dungeons are "much more than just tuned-up, harder versions of the original dungeon[s]," the post insists; they're special boss encounters and storyline expansions that include complex mechanics and battles. They likewise include elite loot, the acquisition of which often requires repetition, something the developers say they keep in mind when writing dialogue and staging the area. ZeniMax also emphasizes the importance of testing for these dungeons: Much like we do for Trials, we have groups of skilled, coordinated testers ready to take them on. The Dungeon Team wants to kill you, don't get them wrong, but they don't want bosses to be unfair or impossible. It's a difficult tuning and balancing act to get them just right, especially considering the broad range of character builds that will be attempting them. When the testers wipe several times learning the fight and let out a cheer when they finally manage to scrape by with a win, we know we're on the right track. The video that accompanies the post is embedded below.

  • Elder Scrolls Online on solo veteran content, dungeon scaling

    by 
    Bree Royce
    Bree Royce
    06.16.2014

    ZeniMax is back from E3 with a brand-new Elder Scrolls Online ask-us-anything variety pack. Here are the highlights: The Craglorn update will be included as launch content when ESO arrives on consoles. Dungeon-queueing intentionally locks out overleveled characters for balance reasons, but the devs are working on a scaling system that will eventually adjust dungeons to the leader's level. ZeniMax is aware that Enchanting levels slowly. It'll be tweaked in a future update. Using Equilibrium to exchange magicka for health to gain Ultimate power isn't considered an exploit but might be revised in the future. There will eventually be veteran content that doesn't require grouping. Notably, the developers request that players continue to use the report player chat option to help combat bots and gold spammers. More questions and answers await over on the official site.

  • E3 2014: The Elder Scrolls Online offers small-scale PvP at cons

    by 
    MJ Guthrie
    MJ Guthrie
    06.12.2014

    If you are one of the fans who has been begging for a smaller-scale PvP experience in The Elder Scrolls Online, E3 2014 offers a glimmer of hope. Instead of dishing out a large production, ESO offered attendees a a unique 3v3 experience that was made specially for the convention. The map itself, which utilizes art assets from Cyrodiil and is about the size of one fort (like Glademist), took the devs only about two weeks to put together. There are no kill counts or rankings, and players battle for control of a single flag in King of the Mountain-style gameplay. The drop-in-and-play scenario has apparently been well-received; game representatives on the floor reported that players really like the size and the fast pace of it, which is perfect for short allotments of time. If you want to try out this small-scale PvP yourself, it will be be available again at both Gamescom and QuakeCon later this summer. And if you want to see a version make it into the game itself, be sure to let the devs know on the official forums! Massively's on the ground in Los Angeles during the week of June 10-12, bringing you all the best news from E3 2014. We're covering everything from WildStar and Landmark to Skyforge and H1Z1, so stay tuned!

  • ZeniMax reduces ESO customer support staff in Ireland

    by 
    Bree Royce
    Bree Royce
    06.12.2014

    The Connacht Tribune reported earlier this week that ZeniMax, which had established a customer service operation in Galway, Ireland, for The Elder Scrolls Online, has let go "up to 300 workers," apparently temporary, from its Rahoon location. It's not at all uncommon for MMO studios to let go crunch-time staff after a launch (or when a release is delayed, as ESO's console releases have been), but former employees told the publication that many of the staffers, some hired on short-term contracts of two to six weeks on up to six months in duration, were being terminated significantly earlier than anticipated. The Tribune suggests there are currently "just over 100 employees at the European customer services centre in the Rahoon Business Park." We have requested more information from ZeniMax and will update accordingly. [With thanks to tipster Paul!]

  • Elder Scrolls Online spotlights Dragonknight Healer build

    by 
    Justin Olivetti
    Justin Olivetti
    06.10.2014

    Next up in Elder Scrolls Online's player-submitted build column is a look at the so-called "Dragonknight Healer." This build is primarily focused on survivability and support, creating a very durable character that can patch up allies on the fly. "Though her build may be missing some of the advantages of Templar and Sorcerer healing, you give her a call if you need a healer that is sturdy and really hard to kill," player Ville Korpi wrote. The build doesn't come without offensive abilities, as it contains both multi-mob and single-target DPS as the situation warrants. It's not a boss-killing build, but for those who can heal like this, chances are that they'll be invited to groups where others will do the dirty work while this build shines in the support wings.

  • Tamriel Infinium: The big thing that Elder Scrolls Online got right

    by 
    Larry Everett
    Larry Everett
    06.10.2014

    I've spent a lot of time over the last few weeks explaining and complaining about the issues I have with Elder Scrolls Online. Some of my readers got the impression that I neither like nor play the game. The reality is that I do like the game, but I'm horribly frustrated with it. Many of the ideas and promises that the developers set up for the game just aren't happening (or aren't happening fast enough). That's made me not want to log into the game. The fact that the game isn't roleplay-friendly hasn't helped, either. Despite all my misgivings, ESO does compel me to log in for one main reason: the story. And not just the story but how well the characters are written and how the story is told. The subject matter isn't bland and cliche. The characters are taken seriously, even when the story is humorous, regardless of gender or race. Although I cannot give you every example here, I would like to touch on a couple of the stories that exemplify what I mean by great storytelling in an MMORPG.

  • E3 2014: Elder Scrolls releases 'live another life' video

    by 
    Jef Reahard
    Jef Reahard
    06.09.2014

    ZeniMax has released an E3 teaser vid for Elder Scrolls Online. It's titled "live another life," and it's a three-minute cross-section of all there is to see and do in the game's version of Tamriel. If you've played the game already there's not much in here that's new. If you're on the fence, though, or if you're just a fan, it's probably worth watching simply for the game's production values. Click past the cut to check it out for yourself.

  • Elder Scrolls Online begins testing Update 2

    by 
    Justin Olivetti
    Justin Olivetti
    06.05.2014

    Elder Scrolls Online's Update 2 is currently on the public test server, and any interested subscriber can now check it out. ZeniMax announced today that its test server is now open to all active account holders and gave details for the game's second update. Update 2, which is scheduled for June 23rd, will contain a new veteran dungeon (Crypt of Hearts), a field of view slider, more object interactions, and plenty of bug fixes and balance tweaks. In the team's "Road Ahead" letter, ZeniMax informed the community that it's working to carefully balance the classes, get the EU megaserver online, create additional player customization systems, rework quests, and improve the veteran system.

  • The Daily Grind: What's your favorite thing about your favorite MMO?

    by 
    Jef Reahard
    Jef Reahard
    06.02.2014

    I'm dabbling in a bunch of MMOs right now. Actually, I'm pretty much doing that all the time. Anyway, I'm dabbling the most in Elder Scrolls Online, and while it's not a perfect game by any stretch, I can't get enough of its production design and general aesthetics. In fact, I'd say that's my favorite thing about the game at the moment, aside from the IP. What about you, Massively readers? What's your favorite thing about your favorite MMO? Every morning, the Massively bloggers probe the minds of their readers with deep, thought-provoking questions about that most serious of topics: massively online gaming. We crave your opinions, so grab your caffeinated beverage of choice and chime in on today's Daily Grind!

  • Bethesda's Hines on ESO console delay

    by 
    Jef Reahard
    Jef Reahard
    05.28.2014

    Bethesda VP of PR Pete Hines spoke to CVG recently, and while the thrust of the interview focused on the company's interests outside of MMORPGs, there were some tidbits relating to The Elder Scrolls Online's console delay. It's a closed system. It's not just an ESO thing -- they have rules and regulations that govern all games, if you're going to do something it has to work a certain way. It doesn't matter the way that we want to do it -- it has to fit their requirements. I'll give you an easy example; payments. When we do stuff on PC, we manage it ourselves, it goes through our store, we manage the whole thing. When it goes through somebody else, that someone is doing all of that; taking your money, charging your PayPal, and then transferring that information to us. This is just inherently a different process than the one that we have, where it's our store and we just have to make sure our system works. It's the same thing on PSN -- you have to just make sure that all of that stuff communicates. When you start adding up the pile of things and everything that we learned from launch, it was clear that we needed to take the time to do this right, because it has massive ramifications if it doesn't work right for the consumer experience.

  • ESO spotlights player-made Thunder Thief build

    by 
    Shawn Schuster
    Shawn Schuster
    05.27.2014

    The folks at Zenimax and Bethesda are spotlighting particularly powerful builds created by Elder Scrolls Online players, and this week, a player named Ramon Paulino de Castro sent in a detailed build of his Sorcerer he calls the Thunder Thief. This build uses dual blades and medium armor, along with a focus on high damage in short bursts. Primary skills include Whirlwind for multiple foes, Surge for its lightning power, Mage's Fury to cause bleeding and recharge magicka, Flurry for a single enemy, and Lightning Form (with Thundering Presence) to resist damage. Take a look at the entire build in today's Battlemaster's Corner, and submit your own builds to community@elderscrollsonline.com.

  • Tamriel Infinium: Examining Elder Scrolls Online's first major update

    by 
    Larry Everett
    Larry Everett
    05.27.2014

    I've often wondered if my frustration with game creators should be taken out on the game itself. This goes for any game, not just Elder Scrolls Online. Perhaps I love the game, but I believe the creators have had missteps that drag down production, or maybe they set customer expectations to a certain level then didn't quite deliver.

  • Joystiq Weekly: Amplitude is funded, Wolfenstein review, video previews and more

    by 
    Thomas Schulenberg
    Thomas Schulenberg
    05.25.2014

    Welcome to Joystiq Weekly, a "too long; didn't read" of each week's biggest stories, reviews and original content. Each category's top story is introduced with a reactionary gif, because moving pictures aren't just for The Daily Prophet. Amplitude fans just discovered a new favorite month of the year, as Harmonix's Kickstarter for a Sony-exclusive continuation of the lane-changing rhythm game cleared its goal within the final day of its funding campaign. Regardless of the original Amplitude's quality, the button-tapper's fan base is pretty niche - if games catering to slivers of the broader gaming population can find the funding they need via Kickstarter, it makes us wonder what other dream sequels we could get away with. There are always the down-and-out series begging for continuations like Shenmue 3, but that almost feels too obvious. What if we launched a Kickstarter for a team to continue an established property? We could start a campaign to glue the pieces of Wipeout developer SCE Studio Liverpool back together, then launch another to cover the resurrected studio's costs to make a new F-Zero! What's that you say? F-Zero is owned by Nintendo and is definitely not a property we can just give out to whoever we wish? Well, we can launch another Kickstarter to fund a protective shield until SCE finishes the game, and then Captain Falcon can finally get back on track with his career! On second thought, maybe we shouldn't take swings at the legal beehive. We'll have to think our F-Zero revival strategy over, but until then, we've got the cliff notes from this week's news and content ready for you. Details about the Xbox One's June update, reviews for Transistor and Wolfenstein: The New Order and video previews for Driveclub and Middle-Earth: Shadow of Morder - it's all ready for you after the break!

  • ESO's Sage talks justice system and new guilds, 'no firm plans' for housing [Updated]

    by 
    Jef Reahard
    Jef Reahard
    05.22.2014

    Now that Elder Scrolls Online's Craglorn is here, ZeniMax is turning its attention to the game's delayed console release as well as future content updates. Creative director Paul Sage told IGN that players will likely see ESO's justice system prior to the introduction of the Thieves Guild and the Dark Brotherhood, though there is no date for either set of features just yet. As for player housing, it's on the back burner. "I will tell you that when we get to player housing, and I think it's one of those things that when you have a game that's been running a long time it's one of those things you want to get to, it has to be something that's done differently and done well," Sage said. "That's about all I can tell you. We have no firm plans for anything on housing at this time." [Update]: Here are today's Craglorn patch notes!

  • The Daily Grind: Are you wary of patch days?

    by 
    Jef Reahard
    Jef Reahard
    05.22.2014

    The Craglorn patch is coming to Elder Scrolls Online today, and guess what else is coming with it? No, really, go ahead and guess. Because I don't know, you don't know, and basically no one outside of the dev team knows what sorts of stealthy nerfs, buffs, tweaks, and other assorted changes will be slipped into the game's first major content offering. Personally I'm nearing 50 on my Nightblade and greatly enjoying it, so I'd not like to see much of anything happen to the class from a PvE perspective. What about you, Massively readers? Do you dread patch days for the tweaks they often introduce, or do you roll with the bit of wisdom that says changes aren't permanent but change is? Every morning, the Massively bloggers probe the minds of their readers with deep, thought-provoking questions about that most serious of topics: massively online gaming. We crave your opinions, so grab your caffeinated beverage of choice and chime in on today's Daily Grind!