The Elder Scrolls Online game director Matt Firor recently told Edge Magazine in an interview that the upcoming MMOG shouldn't be quite as buggy at launch as prior titles like Fallout 3 and The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. He laughed when Edge pointed out Bethesda's buggy past with single-player games, saying that MMOGs add even more problems to the equation.
"There’s also many different types of tech problems when you create an MMOG," he said. "Account creation, servers, latency. The critical difference with MMOGs, though, is that you have a long beta test where you build up to thousands and thousands of players, and you tackle those problems as you run into them there."
The big difference between the upcoming MMOG and the more recent Bethesda titles is that it's currently in development at Zenimax Online using a completely new engine. That could be good or bad, depending on how you look at it, but the separation from the original core Elder Scrolls team could be seen as a clean slate for starting anew. Yet that doesn't mean players will feel like they're in an entirely new environment. Despite a new team and a new engine, lore will keep the MMO deeply embedded in Bethesda's fantasy universe.
"Even now, I come across lore that I didn't know existed," he admits. "It's just so deep. People play games for different reasons, but the people who respond to Elder Scrolls the most like to get immersed in a world so that they feel they're living there. They like to have freedom of choice to do what they want to do, and that's the part that resonates with us the most."
"This is what makes the IP so great for an MMOG already: people already know it's the kind of game where they can head out and explore and be rewarded for it," he added. "That's the one thing that player will learn immediately that's different about us: if you see something in the distance, you can go and investigate and be rewarded for it."
Firor also said that Zenimax knew it wanted to make an Elder Scrolls MMOG for a long time. Firor proposed the three alliances, the fight over the imperial city, and the setting 1000 years in the past. That got traction, and team went on from there.
To read the full interview, head here.