Elder Scribe: Variety and the Beast

By Shannon Doyle (Leliah), OnRPG Elder Scribe

Quickly, check your spam. Did you get a beta invite? A new batch of beta invites for an upcoming Elder Scrolls Online beta event have been going out the last couple of days. But if you didn’t get one, have no fear, it is just a small one this time. If you did, SHUN! I mean…leave your log in information in the comments below…I mean….well, keep reading, unless you know you can log in right now. Then what the hell are you doing reading when you can be out there killing things? (Please don’t stop reading, I need fans like you to keep this going.) This week we’re taking a look at the most recent Ask Us Anything and the making of Ogrim which can really be applied to a lot of the creatures in Elder Scrolls.

Ask Us Anything: Variety Edition Vol. 3

This week’s Ask Us Anything tackles topics from all over the spectrum. Some more serious than other. The most serious of them all comes from Luke Clarkson, “Will I be able to make/eat sweet rolls? I must know!” To which the answer is, “Yes. And Fishy Sticks, of course.” Check out a few other questions below.

Will your level be scaled up when joining a PvP zone, or will you remain the same level and be a part of a level “bracket”? For example, if I am level 16 and enter a PvP zone. Will I be scaled up to max level along with everyone else, or will I remain level 16 and play with people in the 10-19 bracket? – By Yousef AlQattan

You will be scaled up to approximately level 50. You’ll be able to remain competitive, but a true level 50 will have the advantage of having more skills and abilities than you.

With such an expanse of playable area, will the player be able to fast travel from anywhere so long as certain conditions are met (i.e. not in the middle of battle)? – By Douglas Ownbey

As long as you have visited a Wayshrine, you will be able to travel to it. Travel between Wayshrines is free. Fast traveling to a Wayshrine from anywhere will cost you gold, and there are limits to how often you can do this.

You mentioned that there will be permanent character choices that affect the phase of an area—for example, saving a village or not saving a village. Let’s say I did save the village and my friend did not. We are not in the same phase; how will we be able to play together in that specific zone? – By Pavle Vivec

In some areas, phasing (or “layering” as we call it) is not based on a choice, but on whether or not you’ve done a certain thing yet. In this case, separation from another player would be temporary. In other areas, it can be based off of a choice you’ve made. Those choices tend to come at the end of the activity for an area, reducing separation.

There are other mechanisms we use to reinforce choice that have nothing to do with layering. You may experience something completely different than someone else based on your individual choices, but the ways we show this don’t separate you from others at all. The latter techniques are used far more frequently than layering. And finally, there are still other solutions we’ll discuss later that enable you to better stay together with others even if you’d normally be in different layers.

Also note that layering and channels are not the same thing. The megaserver places players intelligently into channels to make sure your gameplay experience is good and to prevent overcrowding. So if you’re in Glenumbra, but you can’t see your friend, you may be in a different channel. You’ll simply be able to join your friend in their channel or vice-versa. Channels, however, will be largely invisible, as we’ll try to put you in the best channel with the highest preponderance of your social connections.

So, that last answer was a bit lengthy but hey, it was important! The next Ask Us Anything will be in 2 weeks and cover topics about PvP and Cyrodiil. Questions are still being accepted by sending them to community@elderscrollsonline.com.

And that finally brings us to the Ogrim. You may remember them if you played Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind. Zenimax is bringing in Ogrim and many other creatures from all the Elder Scrolls games. The creation process, though lengthy and no doubt difficult actually sounds pretty straight forward. First they looked at the creatures in Morrowind and other already existing lore to get a better feel for the creature before creating concept art. Then, as parts of the look got more finalized they created more polished images which were to be used as reference for the figure artists. Figure Artists then start creating the actual model you will see in game. And finally, before it is done Texture Artists go in and put the final touches on the beasts.

But of course that isn’t the end! Images don’t just move on their own after all. Animators had to design the rigs for the creatures and work out animations. Finally, everything is put together and placed in the game. Zenimax was even awesome enough to make a video of how they appear in the game.

So there we have it! Another exciting week of Elder Scrolls news behind us. We got some awesome new images, a new video, some questions answered and a lucky few even got a beta invite. I can’t wait to see what the coming weeks have for us.

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