Elder Scribe: Public Beta is Coming
By Shannon Doyle (Leliah), OnRPG’s Elder Scribe
Another round of questions and answers have emerged from the dungeons in ZeniMax! I like to think all fantasy MMOs are made in dark dungeons with leaking pipes and more cobwebs than air. Sadly, I know that studios tend to be well lit and carpeted even! But that is getting away from the point. Now there are answers to a few questions about gameplay, voice acting, morality and finally a bit of information about upcoming beta events.
The Elder Scrolls games have always included moral and ethical choices for players. With the release of The Elder Scrolls Online, how important are these choices to the overall game and how do these choices affect your relationship with your alliance? – By Andrew Zitnik
You will have tough choices to make for your character. The choices are very important, but they won’t affect your standing in your alliance. Sometimes they will just aid the story, but in some cases they will have lasting consequences.
Will we be able to equip the left and right hand individually as in Skyrim (e.g. a spell in the right hand and a melee weapon in the left)? If that’s the case, is there a way to quickly switch between different weapons? – By Dennis Schopp
You can put one handed weapons in both hands and dual wield. You can put a shield and a one handed sword in each hand and sword / board. Or you can use a two handed weapon or staff. Additional abilities (these aren’t always spells) can be fired from the ability bar. And yes, you can have different weapon loadouts and switch between them.
I’ve watched the videos and read the articles, but most of the details on classes have been mainly about how you can be a hybrid. I commonly play strictly healing roles. Will it be viable (or possible) to make a pure healer? – By Malik Brown
Yes. You will definitely be able to play a healer. As the game has evolved, we’ve really downplayed classes quite a bit in the design, and we’ve really played up the skill lines and the choices you make. For instance, if you wanted to focus entirely on healing at first, you might choose Templar and the Restoration staff lines. Later, if you decided not to be a healer all the time, you could work on other lines.
By choosing your weapon, passives, and buffs and filling your five active ability slots, you’ll really decide how you want to approach any given situation. The more you play, the broader your choices will be.
One of the most tedious things I found in other MMO games was having to read countless walls of text. Being a fan of lore, I’d read them anyway. However, in Elder Scrolls games such as Skyrim, NPCs speak to you so you don’t have to deal with all the reading. Are most of the NPCs in ESO going to be voice acted? – By Cody Peterson
ESO is fully voice acted – you’ll hear every NPC. There are a lot of great lore books in the game, too, for those who choose to read them.
Of course, we can all be a bit jealous of people who got their hands on the beta at the end of February. A few select “friends and family” were allowed a first look. I’m sure my invitation just got lost in the mail. Towards the end of March we can expect to start seeing the first invitations going out to the public. And so to get ready for it a few popular questions have finally been answered.
How long are beta events and when are they held?
At first, beta events will generally be held on the weekends, and each test will have limited windows of access to the game. You’ll receive your invitation in advance so you can make time to participate. While there will only be a few events per month early on, they will be held more frequently as we approach launch. As we progress through testing, we’ll also begin scheduling longer tests that allow testers to provide more detailed feedback on topics like progression.
What happens if I’m selected?
If you’re invited to test, you’ll receive an e-mail at the address you registered with for the beta. The invitation will include a download link for the game client. You should expect a download size of around 20GB, so it’s best to start downloading as soon as you receive your invitation.
What kind of feedback will I be asked for?
Your invitation will contain information about the focus of the test you’ve been invited to, so make sure to read it! You’ll be asked to complete surveys and submit feedback and bugs in-game as you play, and you may be asked to participate in additional surveys once the in-game portion of the test has concluded. The beta forums will also be available for feedback and discussion.
As with every time I focus on the Q&A sessions I only pick out a few of what I consider to be the most important or most revealing. More can be found out about them on the Elder Scrolls Online website. As beta approaches and more information is released you’ll get more from me, OnRPG’s Elder Scribe.