Q: How finished is/feels the game? Is there still a lot to do?
A: The game is in early beta. I’d guess we have 6 months of beta time remaining or more. Right now Daggerfall Covenant is what is being tested and for the most part things are really solid.
Now we had a significant revamp of the UI recently as well as animation rework and things like that. Overall the game is pretty solid considering how early we are in the process. Especially with how well the game performs even with 50+ players on screen or in cities etc.
There are some fairly minor issues with crashes and getting stuck loading at times as well as some quest bugs but overall the experience is excellent. ZOS thus far is doing a really good job thus far.
Some things that still need work? There could be a little more off the beaten path content (something they are working on and add every patch), some quests could use multiple rewards (something many on the beta forums have indicated they’d like to see) and there are obviously some balance things that need tweaks. Quest xp could use a slight bump on some of the quests and mob xp might need a slight nerf in groups or at least packs of mobs in dungeons might need a slight nerf.
Overall though things are fluid, well done and everything is solid. I’ve been in quite a few early alphas / early betas and TESO is really looking solid at this point.
Q: Are High-End-Areas playable and enjoyable?
A: Not available at this time. Currently most of what is being tested right now is out of the gate stuff to the early teens. There is some other stuff in game we just aren’t really seeing it because of the way the schedules are. What is in game is mostly solid with minor tweaks needed here and there.
Q: Is the combat fluid and fast?
A: Combat is one of those things that changes a lot in beta. At the start it was pretty /faceroll. The recent build buffed up mobs a good bit and it feels pretty good right now.
You get enough abilities (5), plus ultimate and two auto attack swing types plus block. Stamina / mana work well where you can dish out some skills back to back but still need to keep an eye on what you’re doing resource wise. You’ll also be looking at what skills to slot and making decisions on what you want to do because you won’t be able to slot everything or even buy every skill for that matter. Skills for the most part back a good punch.
They likely will make a change or two in the noobie area but combat does have a challenging feel to it. Quite a few people were getting rolled in the noob zone right off the bat and it was pretty funny to see the difference in builds. People adjusted though and it was fine. I do think they might give a SLIGHT buff to the noob weapons / armor to compensate a bit though.
If you block, do the right attacks, dodge and react / think you’ll be fine. If you rush in and roll your face on the keyboard you will likely die.
From ZOS comments and the way they are testing I’m assuming they are looking to break with recent MMO tradition and keep combat somewhat challenging. This isn’t dark souls or anything but its also not Neverwinter where you’ll go 20 levels without dying.
Not to say there is nothing left to improve on. There is. Just at this stage things are moving quite well and things look really good. The last animation adjustment really gave combat a better look / feel and they are continuing to improve that.
They need to look at some of the weapons and shuffle skills around / perhaps add something for some (and they have been doing just that). In addition they need to consider adding a bit more “thunk” to the charged auto attack skill. Right now that feels a little weak compared to the faster one. All this stuff is in flux and ZOS has been listening.
Q: Is the crafting fun, rewarding and good or rather boring and bad?
A: Crafting stuff is dropping and crafting is in game but doesn’t seem to be fully implemented yet. Things are pretty basic right now and a lttle buggy crafting wise.
I’ve messed around with refining some materials and making some basic things but skill progression doesn’t seem to be working correctly for the main line or perhaps I’m doing something wrong.
So I haven’t really gotten far or spent much time on it. There are no trainers though, you simply bring your stuff to the forge or whatever and start going at it. There are some books and recipes on vendors but most of it seems to be left for our crafters to explore.
Fishing is also in game.
Q: What classes and races are available in beta? Especially aside from the already revealed ones?
A: Right now its Daggerfall Convenent only. Orcs, Brentons and redguard. Again, we are in very early beta the other starter zones / areas are not implemented yet. Dragon Knight, Mage, Templar are playable. Nightblades are internal only and should hit general beta next build.
Now more might be coming. The list is organized at character select to POSSIBLY indicate two more classes. The list could also just be borked and out of position. Anyones guess at this point.
Q: Can you detail all the skill trees for all the weapons, armours, races, classes and others?
A: Yes. Not here though. Detailed list of that is coming soon as is a general state of the beta type post with more information.
Suffice to say you get skills right now from your class (obvious) and there are 3 lines. You also get skills from your weapon (2h, Dual wield, sword / board, destro staff, heal staff), and your armor selection (light, medium, heavy). In addition to those you also get skills from your guild.
As you level these skills (they level separately from each other and your class) you eventually can morph them into new abilities.
Selecting skills and morphing them all cost skill points. These are obviously limited. 1 per class level and there are books / shards in the world you can find for extra.
Q: How does each class feel when you play them? Is each unique, but enjoyable?
A: Right now we have Dragon Knights, Templars, Mages and Rogues. Although rogues are only in the F&F portion.
Yes they all feel unique. Even in the same class there are clear differences. With each class having 3 skills lines and their weapon / armor selections plus guild skills there can be variance from player to player even of the same class.
In addition skills as they level can be morphed into new abilities. So there is a little bit of choice throw in there as well. Given skill points are limited and used to select and upgrade skills there should be variety not only between classes but among players of the same class.
Q: Does the game feel close to other Elder Scrolls games?
A: Yes but with exceptions. You give up some things being a MMO. You can’t just run all the way to the other end of the world like you can in Skyrim or Oblivion because its still a level based game. Just doesn’t work that way. If in WoW you started out in the undead area and ran past UC and to Plague lands you’d die right? Same in TESO. Where in Skyrim most stuff follows your level with some exceptions and that simply doesn’t work well in a level based MMO.
Now that said, yes the game feels like Elder Scrolls.
Questing in this game feels different than other MMO’s. I’ve got a big write up on that coming soon so I’m not going to get into it here in great detail. There are no collect 10 bear ass / 10 pelts quests. No busy work. Just like in Skyrim where the quests tend to have a bit more, I don’t know, not epic but lets say value to them. Same with TESO.
The world is huge, beautiful and full of stuff. There are a decent amount of mini dungeons and actual dungeons to explore. Some instanced some not. There are over land POI’s, books to read, shit to pilfer in crates and on desks, skills from books etc etc etc.
Its not perfect, they need to add some more of that stuff. However its early and there is already some of it and they are adding more every week with patches galore. The few of us that are in beta are pushing for more and there have been quite a few posts with ideas and such. ZOS, I believe, is on the same mind set.
Q: How do the Dark Anchors and Guilds, Mages and Fighters, work?
A: These are still a little rough around the edges and just recently were added. Currently you can join any guild you want (currently only fighters and mages are in) and you do quests for them just like in the single player games.
One difference is as you gain ranks in the guild more abilities open up that are guild specific. These must be purchased with your limited supply of skill points.
Q: How is the RvR? How well does it play, is it interesting? Can you relate any stories about the RvR?
A: Not in game or really close to being tested yet.
Q: How are the dungeons and Adventure Areas- if they still exist? Can you relate the same ideas and stories I asked for in the question above?
A: Dungeons can be a ton of fun. They are VERY rewarding right now. Likely need to be nerfed some as the XP you can get in there is simply insane. ZOS seems to want to keep grouping the preferable way to go with solo play being perfectly viable just perhaps not “THE BEST” way to go. That is my take on it at least. Actual dungeons are instanced to your group. Lots of challenging mobs / packs, especially the first time you roll in and don’t have gear. Bosses are rewarding. You feel like you want / need to run them more than once. You feel rewarded for doing so.
Adventure areas, I’m assuming are the mini dungeons and POI’s they have. Those become available around Daggerfall city (level 5-6 ish?). They are also well done, have instanced / shared areas with quests. There is also a group section with some champs that drop loot. Most areas are not instanced.
I’m not big on spoilers so I won’t go into anything like that.
Q: What are the skill trees for each class, and if possible, can we get a short description of each? (Or you can be in depth, that would be delightful) From what I’ve seen, this has been the biggest question among forums. Thank you for your time!
A: I’m going to provide that cake in a later post. Full, at least as of when they were jotted down, skill lists for everything available. Should be up in the week, I think we’ll meter out the info since it is a lot over a short period.
Q: Are horses able to be stolen and mounted freely? Are there level/training requirements prior to being able to ride?
A: Not stolen as of yet. Theft isn’t in game at this time. Horses are in game, sold by a vendor for 10k gold if I remember right. Attainable currently around the early teens depending on how frugal you are or how much you spend on gear. Can’t ride them yet since the skill doesn’t appear to be in game.
I’m not sure what their targets are on that. The world is large so a horse will be nice.
Q: How much zone instancing is in the game? Is it open like a continent on WoW or Rift… or rather heavily instanced from zone to zone like most MMO’s?
A: Currently there is zoning into dungeons / interior areas. There is zoning between the major land masses. The zones themselves are huge it really doesn’t happen much at all.
Q: How does distant traveling work? Classic fast travel to any location of your choosing? Carriages?
A: This recently changed. There are wayshrines in the zones. You find the wayshrine and it opens up to you. You can fast travel from anywhere for a small fee to these shrines. Once you do this the fee sky rockets up to a very large amount and drops over 30 minutes or so to a base fee that is dirt cheap.
I THINK, heard, haven’t tested this myself that if you actually run to the way shrine there is no fee.
The world is pretty large, these shrines are placed in strategic areas. It feels pretty good as it is without making travel a total pain or completely trivial.
Q: Do Slow motion fatalities slow the time for nearby characters or party members?
A: I really don’t know if these are in game. I have been playing Skyrim recently and I don’t know if I’m remembering that or actually seeing one in TESO. I don’t think i’ve seen them and if I did its was only once and I don’t know if others see it. Likely not.
Q: Will there be traditional roles such as dedicated healers and tanks? Does the game offer any uniqueness in this area?
A: Yes. There are traditional roles right now and I think with how things are designed currently I believe there will be a fair bit of deviation in how tanks / healers / dps play and gear.
Q: Is the world open? Seamless? Or each leveling zone are instanced?
A: Each area is a zone that you do zone into. These areas are large and seamless, including cities (at least daggerfall) / surrounding towns. Dungeons / mini dungeons are instanced although mini dungeons also have shared areas as well.
Most of of the world is shared (not heavily instanced at all) with other players.
Q: Are the class mechanisms fun and entertaining to play as a healer or a tank character?
A: I haven’t had a ton of time since beta is really early. Yes, so far everything seems pretty fun / entertaining. The skill system is pretty neat where any class can use any weapon or armor so besides your class skills you can do a lot of cool things and have a decent amount of selection.
Even better is you can’t get it all so you do have to pick and choose. Skill points are limited.
Q: How big are the capital cities? Are they interesting visually?
A: They feel pretty good. Its early beta so they still need to add some more life to them. I saw a couple of good posts on the forums about that from the last test.
They aren’t stupid big like GW2 Human area. Daggerfall at least isn’t small either. I’d say its bigger than most cities in Skyrim and feel more open as well. Not as big as most of the capitol cities of Classic WoW.
Q: What about the Auction house? Is it cross-faction?
A: Not in yet.
Q: What kind of characters resources are in the game to spend abilities with? (e.g. mana, rage, etc.)
A: Auto attack (two of them) use no resources. Other abilities use / restore Mana or Stamina in one form or another.
Q: I want to see how stealth works. How long does it last? Do you remain in stealth forever if you don’t move? Are the stealth classes as fun to play as they were in DAoC?
A: Sneak is in right now in a very basic form and I’m not sure how they plan to utilize it at this point. I’m not expecting anyting like DAOC perma stealth but I also don’t really know.
Q: How good is the inventory management? In single player TES games there is little functionality, and encumbrance can be a real issue. Is that less the case for ESO as an MMO?
A: Its early so this very well might change. Right now you have 50 slots if I remember right and one item fills a slot. So a petite soul gem takes as much space as a 2h weapon. So its more of a traditional MMO inventory system and currently there isn’t encumbrance. This very well might change or may stay the same. Its early. They also have tabs to eaisly sort your inventory.
Q: Does there feel to be a significant imbalance between melee and ranged characters? With soft lock in game am worried there will be a lot more ranged than melee’ers
A: There are always balance issues. There is a weapons swap feature in game (its not implemented yet that I’ve seen) so melee likely will be able to swap to bow or destro staff for ranged dps or CC depending on what they are looking for.
I think people are going to have to forget a bit the traditional roles and weapons from past MMO’s. Elder Scrolls has always been pretty liberal with what the classes can do and TESO is no different. I expect that people are going to have a field day picking a part all the possibilities.
My advice is forget right now those traditional gear roles for classes because they don’t apply and it really changes things up. The whole range vs melee thing isn’t an issue at this stage nor likely to be given how things work.
Q: I will like to know how often u encounter loading screens. Is it between the regular zones or between the faction zones?
A: Not very often. Usually when you move to a new area (think moving from UC to org on the blimp) or zoning into a dungeon / mini dungeon.
Its early beta, the load screens can be really fast or hang at times. I’m sure they’ll be optimizing it as time goes on. That said you really don’t zone all that often.
Q: Is there a good variety of gear sets in game with many different looks?
A: Gear looks pretty good right now. I’m sure its going to get better as time goes on as well so bodes prety well. Some of the armors are pretty detailed even at lower levels. There is an option at character select to put you in raid gear look vs peasant gear look. Looks good considering its likely going to get better and doesn’t look completely retarded like WoW end game gear.
Q: Do Nightblades have a tree focusing on Archery?
A: Bows have their own skill sets. So a mage/DK/TEMP/NB all have access to those skills if they equip a bow and purchase the skills with their points.
I’m not going to go into the actual NB class skills yet.
Q: In your experience, how viable are roles going against the grain I.E. a magic focused class tanking.
A: Good question. I’m really not sure. Its really early and there has only been so much time to try different things. Its something I’ll be watching as time goes on. Please be sure to ask again in another Q/A.
Q: I remember it being said that the game worlds would be the same size as their single player counterparts. Is this still true, or has size been lost in translation?
A: At this point its impossible to say. With the way things look right now in the early zones I think they are on the mark. Land mass is pretty big given the levels we are gaining. I’ll know more as I can gain more levels and expand out. Right now things really open up as you keep playing I assume it will continue.
Q: Being a large fan of the ES series, it in theory sounds like combat in ESO is very similar to Oblivion, where mouse clicks control blocking and attacking, and hotkeys (only, 1-5 instead of “C”) cast spells or abilities. Is this a fair measure of comparison, or is ESO more like, say, GW2 or TSW when it comes to combat in practice.
A: You also get an ultimate ability but yes you are right on in the first part of your question. Its very similar to the single player game although its not as cheezy / feels a little more action orientated. Not a huge amount of difference they are similar, TESO does it better than the single player games.
You have two attack options on your left mouse button and block on the right. Your 6 ability slots including the Ultimate. One hot slot for potion, scroll, other item.
The rest, dodging, attacks, counters etc play a bit more like a traditional MMO like GW2 or TSW like you pointed out. Same with ability usage with an Elder Scroll feel to the resource management.
Movement / targeting and looking around is like Tera / Neverwinter.
Q: When playing the game, does it feel distinctly Elder Scrolls, or does it feel like a generic MMO with ES paint?
A: It feels like an Elder Scrolls MMO. You give up some things and you gain some things. There are going to be trade offs but overall I’d say the game certainly feels like an Elder Scrolls game.
Q: How many builds have you gone through so far?
A: Its early beta, not many all. I think most are trying to grasp the very different way you gain skills and trying to check things out. Diversity should be pretty extensive in this game given how things work.
You guys will get some skill cake soon enough keep refreshing the page.
Q: Is there a proper threat mechanic or do mobs just attack whoever they wish?
A: Taunt and threat are a little buggy. Its early beta and they are not fully implemented yet. There is a hate list and if you piss off the mob it will chase your ass or just stomp you into the ground but the threat mechanic right now is evolving and basic right now. Mobs do leash eventually.
Q: In regards to making a tanky character is it truly viable to tank with any armour/weapon combination or are we stuck to the usual heavy armour/sword and board combo to be truly viable?
A: Given its pretty early beta I really can’t answer that yet. I think if you want to tank you’ll likely want to go heavy armor but I do NOT think you need to have a sword and board to be a effective. i certainly can see situations where all classes might consider swapping to a different weapon or armor depending on the situation.
Q: From which country are the people who got invites. Just english-speaking countries?
A: Looks like United States only although I really don’t know for sure. There are a couple of big PVP guilds with members in the test they might have forign members in I really don’t know.
Q: Which skills do the classes have? (Summary)
A: This will come in another post. Its far too long for something of this nature. Keep your eyes peeled for more cake this week.
Q: In particular: Who casts destruction spells? Or is there/could there be a class that mainly casts destruction and has some restoration skills?
A: I think this will be clearer when the skill list comes out.
You level and get skill points. Those points also come from other places (exploration) but the point is they are finite.
You get 3 skill lines for each class
You get a skill line for each weapon (any class can use any weapon)
You get a skill line for each armor type
You get a skill line for each guild you work your way through
As you use skills, they level and when they ding they morph requiring a skill point to morph the skill should you desire.
I’m going to put a list up of all the skills soon so keep your eyes peeled. I think people will understand a lot more when they see that.