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Bethesda recently announced The Elder Scrolls Online, which got me thinking about what I would like to see in the game. Here is a short list of what I think would make the title a success.
1) Put it on the consoles
The game will most likely not be out until sometime in 2013, so why not release a console version at the launch of the new generation of systems? I stopped gaming on the PC years ago and have had an MMO void in my life since. I would do backflips if this game was released on the next Xbox. One major issue in developing an MMO for a console is the limited lifespan of the hardware, but if you release the game at the launch of a new generation, that limit is not as big of an issue.
2) Keep the glitches under control
The Elder Scrolls games are notorious for having major glitches right after launch. While some are comical and entertaining, this would be disastrous for an MMO. If people are paying a monthly subscription (still to be determined), these players deserve a glitch-free experience. I, for one, stopped playing The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim for about a month while I waited for a patch to fix the glitches in my game.
3) Give us a good story
The last MMO I played was World of Warcraft. In my experience, the story never seemed to matter. It was all about finding the next stash of loot. At first, I would read each quest and what each NPC was saying, but after a while, all of the lore became dull. Perhaps giving each NPC a voice would help with keeping players in the story. The Elder Scrolls Online needs to give people a story that keeps them motivated during the main quest line.
4) Loot, loot, loot
The Elder Scrolls games so far have never really concentrated too much on loot. Usually, a few different tiers of weapons and armor will be available in the game. Each weapon, no matter what properties it held, would look the same.
While I enjoyed the crafting in Skyrim, it would have been amazing to be able to customize armor and weapons (besides mods, of course). This will give players more incentive to keep playing. The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind had a spell-crafting system, but later iterations of the series have done away with this in favor of keeping the spell list limited. While this works fine for a single-player campaign, a wider variety of spells for each character class is essential for balancing an MMO.
5) Combat needs to be fun
I am not sure how the developers will address combat in this installment. Pulling off a first-person view could be difficult, especially in player-versus-player situations. I feel it would turn combat into a button-mashing contest. No matter what Bethesda does with the combat system, it needs to be fun. Perhaps other players who play Star Wars: The Old Republic, Guild Wars, or World of Warcraft could comment better on what a fun combat system could look like for The Elder Scrolls Online.
If you want to add to the list, go ahead and leave a comment.