18 comments on “Would an “Elder Scrolls” MMORPG Suffer a Similar Fate to TOR?

  1. May I remind you that World of Warcraft spawned form games that weren’t even an RPG – Warcraft 1 through III. If Blizzard can take a concept like Warcraft and turn it into a functioning and massively successful MMO, it can happen again. Of course what Blizzard did was take core MMO concepts and make them easy to get in to, they cut down on much of what made it hard to play MMOs at the time (I know older MMO players pine for the days of the original Everquest and Ultima Online, but I sure don’t.)

    If Zenimax Online does it right, they can make a good MMO based on a single player experience. IT has happened – but it could end up being just another disappointment. However I’m holding out hope that it isn’t.

    • I realize it can be done, but recent history seems to indicate that there’s a stronger chance of it not going too well. BioWare had a lot of material to draw on and make a great MMO, but what resulted was an online single-player game. The Elder Scrolls MMO could easily follow suit, but I hope for their sake they look at what happened with TOR and use that as an example of what NOT to do. :)

      • Bioware and Zenimax/Bethsoft are two different companies as well, keep that in mind. Bioware has been going downhill for years. Being bought by EA just kind of helped that decline. Zenimax and Bethsoft, however, are doing very well. Their products attempt to open the RPG experience to everyone while not dumbing things down. They also are not known for cinematic and tight storytelling, which could be good for an MMO. Plus the guy that founded Zenimax helped design Dark Age of Camelot – a game that upset conventions when it was first released.

        I have no way in knowing what the product will be like, but we do need to keep in mind EA/Bioware and Zenimax/Bethsoft are not the same company. Also I will point out that Bethsoft seems to learn from it’s own mistakes – I think most people would agree that Skyrim is a much better game than Oblivion. There is hope in that, I think. I know Zenimax Online isn’t technically Bethsoft, I’m sure they will share resources etc.

        Anyway… We’ll see how it goes. Hopefully TESO won’t suck.

    • Yeah, we’ll just have to see how it goes. In many ways, I think BioWare knew that TOR would mainly be a single-player experience, but they were too greedy to turn it into a single-player game with online options, but instead wanted to push for an entire MMO experience and it just fell short.

      If the Elder Scrolls game isn’t rushed, then maybe there’s hope for it. :)

      • I doubt it is rushed. They’ve been working on it for several years now. I have a little hope, but it’ll have to be something special to get my attention atm. I hope it is.

    • I still feel like TOR was rushed. Even though it took years for it to come to release, I felt like there was yet a lot missing from it and stuff that just fundamentally didn’t quite work right.

      • Well I mean they’ve been working on TES O for years. Speaking of TESO, I just got the digital version of Game Informer in the email. Checking out their article on it right now.

    • Hey now, I liked the original Everquest. LOL

      Anyway, my biggest fear is that Bethesda is a 50/50 company with a lot of gamers. In my gaming circles (which are forever expanding), I hear people say, “Fallout was pretty good,” and, “Skyrim was pretty good.” I also hear people say, “Man I flipping HATE Bethesda, because every game they release and I buy into is buggy as Heck at release and patched inconsistently over ages.”

      My thought is that not enough people say, “Morrowind/Oblivion/Skyrim were the greatest games ever in the history of RPGs,” that Bethesda can overcome the other half of the spectrum. And if you don’t have a great turn out on opening day, you aren’t going to go very far. Especially with every other MMO dogging your heels every step of the way.

      Bethesda has to make a game that rivals whatever game stands in the #2 position as far as MMOs go. It has to be pristine and almost bug free at release, or everyone is going to treat it like they treat every Bethesda title since Fallout 3 – with some serious reservation. Don’t get me wrong – it could be awesome and the best thing ever.

      But past history tells me that it has the potential to be the biggest failure since APB. A sliver of hope is there, but Bethesda would be better off making a FALLOUT MMO than an Elder Scrolls one.

      • I don’t buy in to the line that “X game is the greatest game EVER!” when people say that. The fact is that regardless of what your friends or other people think of The Elder Scrolls games, they still sell millions of copies. I don’t think it matters if people hate TES games or not, Bethsoft isn’t selling these games to them…you know? I also don’t think it matters if there is a great turnout on opening day. SWTOR had one, and from what I understand many servers are now ghost towns.

        I don’t think they need to go after the first or second place or any other place MMO. Bethsoft needs to reinvent the MMO wheel, getting away from the design issues that lead to the MMO ‘grind’ feeling. The one that says “I’ve seen this before…with different textures.”

        I do think a Fallout MMO is coming, just because Zenimax fought hard to get the rights for one back from Interplay. Plus the company making the Elder Scrolls MMO isn’t Bethsoft, but Zenimax Online. That tells me the company as a whole is going to stay in the “online gaming” market for the foreseeable future.

      • Warren has a good point here though about it being a different company behind it. I agree though that people fall on all sides of the fence, but this seems to be the case of most games. Heck, there are plenty of people that dislike Zelda: Ocarina of Time and Final Fantasy 7, so no matter how critically-acclaimed a game might be, there will always be people that just don’t like it.

        I think the key here though will be that they need to reinvent the genre a bit. TOR initially had lofty claims of doing it (as does Secret World and GW2 now), but it kind of fell flat on its face. After you factor out the cinematic stuff, it’s just the same old game but with pretty graphics. And even it was rife with bugs at launch, though thankfully nothing game-breaking.

        I think there is certainly hope for this game, but they need to sit back and figure out what works and what doesn’t and then work on building a masterful title.

    • Zenimax is the same company that makes the engines for Bethesda Studio games, though. It techinically is the same company that creates the bugs that games like Fallout New Vegas and Skyrim suffered through. Bethesda builds the game around the latest incarnation of the engine. Zenimax is the ones that give us the patches on the PC versions of the games.

      I’m not saying that a single bug will kill the game, but I know that the people who keep buying Elder Scrolls games all have the same opinion about them. They could move up from “great games” to “awesome games” in their opinion, but there are always game crippling bugs when the game is first released. For example, Skyrim was somewhat crippled at release when you couldn’t finish a particular dungeon with a companion following you. If you didn’t know that, then you’d take your companion down in that dungeon and get stuck without resolving the mission. And the game today still has a lot of bugs that break big missions. I still have two of those bugs preventing me from turning in books to the Mage’s College and collecting a huge equipment award for the Dark Brotherhood.

      It’s a common joke among people who play Elder Scroll/Bethesda games that there will always be something extremely broken about every game released until at least the second patch. Falling through the ground, dragons flying backwards, glitches with Oblivion gates, weapons and armor breaking before you’ve even used them, etc.

      What’s even worse – in my opinion – is that the other large complaint I’ve seen about Elder Scroll games which includes both Obilivion and Skyrim is that the dialogue is beyond goofy and tolerable. Any more arrows to the knees or retarded shopkeeper dialogue, and people are going to start leaving in droves.

      My thought is let’s have a nearly perfect release of an Elder Scrolls game before we have an Elder Scrolls MMO. And Allahweh’s right – it has to be significantly different from the other MMOs already out there or it’s going to not do well at all. That was my major point about trying to beat the game in the number two spot – everything copies the two most popular games out there right now.

      • All I know is that the only MMO that really excites me at this time is Guild Wars 2, although I am still curious about Secret World. There’s plenty of time to see just how Elder Scrolls turns out as an MMORPG, and there are a ton of factors.

        Still, I do agree with you, McClaud – for as fun and great as the games are, there are always bad bugs. It’s kind of like TOR – there’s a good game in there, but even so it had and still has its own share of bugs, some of which can be game-breaking (like, turning on the dance emote in order to make you not take any damage :P ).

      • Well Fallout New Vegas was created by Obsidian, not Bethsoft or Zenimax. I can see your point but I’m not in total agreement about everything… No matter, we all have different opinions.

        As for other MMOs I am looking forward to playing…. GW2 and Otherland. Both are ones I want to play. But MMOs on the whole aren’t thrilling me right now.

    • I also want to see how Other Land turns out…I heard that it has shifted from what was once a browser-based F2P game to a full-blown, most likely subscription title. In a way, at least that means the game will (hopefully) be exceptionally high quality, although admittedly it has some big shoes to fill and lots of people with high hopes riding on it.

    • I don’t know that for sure, it’s just what a friend of mine told me recently. Honestly, I haven’t kept too much up with it, so…Yeah. But it looks good, but as we’ve seen, looks and promises don’t mean much. It’ll have to be good to get any real cash out of me.

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