PC Game News
The first question was about pickpocketing and how could be related to your own alliance.
TESO’s game director Matt Firor is on the line from Maryland, and I’ve been wanting to ask this first question for days. Can you still pickpocket? In Skyrim you can get light-fingered enough to rob someone’s clothes while they’re talking to you, which always struck me as genius. “Pickpocketing’s something that we have thought about doing,” chuckles Firor. “But there’s a lot of complicated interpersonal relations stuff with that feature, and basically what it comes down to is the world’s divided into these three alliances, where everyone in your alliance is your friend and everyone else is the enemy, and if you pickpocket one of your friends then can you fight them?”
I venture that yes, you could, but Firor has an effective counter. “It leads into design questions that we’re unsure about – basically it’s something that is a lot of fun for you, but not a lot of fun for everyone else.“
They also talked about the lore and the element of exploration of Skyrim gameplay which implanted into TESO.
“The lore about the era we’re in has been kind of sketchy,” explains Firor. “All we know is it’s a time of big unrest and the provinces are fighting each other with no central control. That’s the perfect setting for us, because we can tell the stories about this unrest and how provinces are forming alliances or fighting each other over the imperial city.”
I ask Firor what a player might notice when returning to somewhere like Windhelm, one of Skyrim’s major cities. “The first thing you’ll notice is the similarities. The buildings look similar, the stone’s similar, the general setting of the city in the zone looks the same. The differences are it’s a different layout, I mean it’s a thousand years before, the town itself is different in its makeup, the political system is different. You’ll still walk out of the gates and recognise you’re in Skyrim, and things like that little stream in front of the city, there’s a lot of continuity in that sense. I guess I’d say it looks similar, but feels different.“
Later on Matt Firor gave a little flash to the fans about the very first starter area and also the fact that PvP won’t be available straight from LvL 1.
Your first hours in TESO, at least, will be PvE focused before the option to transition into competitive play. “Yeah we don’t know exactly when that point is,” says Firor. “Right now it’s on level 10, which is about 15 hours of gameplay. Our thinking is at least a few hours of PvE to get the controls and how combat works – we don’t want to throw ’em out there too soon, but we always want it all to be up to the player to choose.“
The second part of this interview was about PvP and how players will have total control over it. Matt Firor said that it will be PvP progression to the game and also about the relation to Dark Age of Camelot (Daoc), which was one of his previous works.
“Yes we have a PVP progression system that we haven’t really talked about yet,” says Firor. “And in beta we’ll go further into this, but you get Alliance Points the more you PVP, you get more abilities, and in that sense it’s similar to Camelot where we had Realm Points. In Camelot though we had 47 classes that were all different, and after a while it was much more difficult to balance than it should have been – so if we’ve learned anything in the 11 years since it’s let the players create the characters they want, and balance from there.“
Matt Firor continues with the class system in TESO and the designers’ purpose having multiple viable builds rather than flavour of the month (FOTM) ones.
players rapidly deciding which weapons are optimised, and then hundreds of them running around waving the same sword.
“As game designers you have to solve those problems no matter what class or character system you have,” laughs Firor. “In a true class-based system you run the risk everyone rolls the same class, but in a more open one the players will very much from the beginning try to find the most powerful build, and it’s our job to ensure that there are many viable builds.“
Later on Matt Firor gave some numbers to the readers, some of them we already know about it. They planning to have about 2000 people @ Cyrodiil at once and also the screen could handle up to 200. Also the lower players would be boosted to max level something similar to GW2 WvWvW.
PVP takes place in the huge central zone of Cyrodiil, and the obvious question is how many players can get involved. “We’re planning on having 2,000 people at once in Cyrodiil,” says Firor. “In a particular fight our client is optimised to have 200 players on-screen at one time, which means you’ll have very large battles within an even larger battlefield.”
“Everyone gets boosted up to the max level,” explains Firor. “But you don’t get abilities you haven’t earned yet – just the hit points and stuff.”
Rich Stanton asked Matt Firor how the melee combat of Skyrim and other single player ESO series could be re-engined into TESO to give an effective result.
“It does work the same way mechanically in PVP as it does in PVE,” says Firor. “So you swing with the left mouse and block with the right mouse, but there are a couple of new moves, like a really fast left click then right click will stun someone, plus things like doubletapping a key to roll away. We’re playing around with all of this now, but obviously with PVP we have to keep on testing and refining – and this will really be helped with the large number of testers we’ll get in beta, that’ll let us hone the system on a large scale.”
The last important point and the most wanted from the fans, was of course when the BETA will start.
“Very soon” is the most precise date Firor offers for the beta. “One of the joys of making games like this is that they’re on such a massive scale you need to get a whole lot of players into them to kind of see where you are.” How big is the beta and how long will it run? “For as long as it takes for us to prove we’re ready to launch, and we’ll have as many people in as we can, especially because with a PVP system which supports thousands of players we really need multiple thousands to test that effectively.“
It was a very interesting interview with a little flashes here and there without reveal to us the Big Boom news. If you are interested to read the full interview follow the next 2 links.
Source: The Guardian