Friday, May 11, 2012

[UGC] TES Online: Could It De-throne the MMO King?

[Editor's note: OMNIpixel has a new staffer... He's 21-year-old Michael Metroka IV - a.k.a. "MosquitoLemon" and he hails from sunny Florida. Currently kicking up his heels and racking up his headshots in sometimes-sunny Johnstown, Pa., he will be contributing to OMNIpixel as part of a regular pool of users, contributors and discerning fans of the vidya, like you, fair reader. Metroka enjoys writing - "and especially about video games." (So I put him to work - HA!) 
But srsly guyz, if writing about the industry we love sounds cool, send an email to, subject header: "Contributor" and find out how you can help! We accept all kinds of submissions based on OMNIpixel's namesake: "OMNI" for "everything" and "pixel,"  so, "everything to do with pixels." 
You can send in a cool video, a review of whatever you're playing, a pensive reflection on the merits and woes between all your smartdevices - all sorts of things, really. Enjoy Mr. Lemon's inaugural post - a preview of Bethesda's recently announced MMO. I think you know which one...]

Whether you're a console gamer or a PC fanatic, you have probably played - if not then at least heard of - The Elder Scrolls series (TES), created by Bethesda Softworks and published by ZeniMax Media Inc.

Thanks to these two organizations, the average RPG genre has been moving in a new direction. A true role-player will always be satisfied with the standard features of the series. How many games can you switch from first to third-person in the middle of combat and truly become engaged in a lifelike world?

Anyone who has played the earlier TES titles - such as Arena or Redguard - were just scraping the tip of the iceberg, unconsciously part of a revolutionary movement. To back up the aformentioned information, I will provide a firsthand account I witnessed and was a part of in OMNIpixel's hometown of Johnstown, Pa...

When Skyrim was available for preorder at GameStop, they held a midnight release for the 11/11/11 launch. It was terribly cold and windy - about 25 degrees and the wind gusts were well over 15 mph. Yet the dedicated people waited diligently outside (about 250 to 300 dedicated people, that is.)

Shrouded in blankets and huddled together, we all waited patiently for our plastic cases containing the golden disc within. I can promise there were lots of call-offs from work around the area that same day. I, for one, couldn't handle the extreme weather and had to drop out of line to come back the next day.

What could possibly spawn such a deep passion for a piece of plastic? The skill and creativity coming from Bethesda has captivated gamers since 2002's Morrowind, the third installment in the series. But that's not the highlight of this article. If you think the story of my Skyrim experience was good, wait till the release of their MMO set in the TES universe.

The official Elder Scrolls Online logo, which shows a wolf, dragon and a bird eating each other - could this relate to the three factions vying for the seat of Tamriel?

World of Warcraft (WoW) may just have their first real taste of competition.

Rift and The Old Republic were just brief distractions in the MMO market. For months, both games caused so much pre-release hype that WoW started releasing numerous amount of patches and extra content to battle their commercial onslaught.

They were nothing but jesters in WoW's court.

Earlier this week, Bethesda announced their latest addition to the franchise: The Elder Scrolls Online. For years, gamers have demanded a co-op version of Morrowind, Oblivion, and Skyrim. Now, their hunger is being sated. There isn't much information about the game itself, but check back with OMNIpixel for the latest details.

A brief plot synopsis:

Molag Bal, an infamous Daedric lord and one of the iconic evil princes of the Oblivion realm, will be the main antagonist. With core elements from the single-player games, such as unmarked caves and bandits preying on innocent elderly couples, players will still have the choice to determine the outcomes of narrative situations, such as rescuing the damsel or leaving her.

Killing bandits and their prey for loot or flat-out ignoring certain situations that you don't want to get involved in are still present in the multiplayer framework. The Elder Scrolls Online is set 1,000 years before the events of Skyrim and long before the first Septim was born. Case in point: it's a world without a clear leader, polluted by warfare and a weakened Imperial presence.

Anyone who remembers characters from Arena will recognize the name Jagar Tharn. In ESO, the battlemage is attempting to regain control of the Empire. An alliance has been formed with a shady character - Mannimarco, the King of Worms, who secretly is in cahoots with Molag Bal.

Whatever awaits us in this highly anticipated game will be a sure-fire jaw dropper to all who find TES plots engaging. With few screenshots and no gameplay footage, we must all endure the painful wait leading up to E3, where we may discover more about this riveting development.

SOURCE: Game Informer Magazine [June '12]                

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