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Elder Scrolls Online main story will be solo

Matt Firor, Game Director of the Elder Scrolls Online, the upcoming MMO based on the world of Oblivion and Skyrim, said today in a video interview that the main storyline of the game would actually be a solitary experience.

In order to stay away from awkward situations where multiple players are lining up to kill a boss, they decided to make most of the single player game instanced, so that you'll be alone, away from other players during confrontations.

"The last thing you want to do is have the final confrontation with Mehrunes Dagon as he's stomping across the Imperial City, and you see like 15 guys behind you waiting to kill him because they're on the same quest," said Firor.

"As MMO online designers, the thing we wanted to make sure we hit the most was that feeling that you're awesome, you're the hero," he continued. "And we do that through a mix of technology, where when I am confronting a major foe in the game, I'm doing it in an instance where I am alone."

"And we have a whole part of the game that is 100 per cent solo, which is the main story, where the world focuses on you - you are the hero, everything you do is solo and the world reacts to you that way."

Though it sounds radical, the approach is somewhat familiar in other MMOs. World of Warcraft has utilized single-player instanced quests for years, and Star Wars: The Old Republic was designed to be played entirely solo. 

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17 comments

  • Karmine - May 23, 2012 7:40 a.m.

    Did anyone realize that they been working on The Elder Scrolls Online since Oblivion came out, so there is no delay in TESVI because it is not same people that are working on these games, just Todd Howard approval needed for everything. Cyrodiil(Oblivion area) will be using same Height map as Oblivion and is a PvP zone where three factions fight over, yes you can take over areas from the other factions and if one faction starts to rule them all.... other two just team up.
  • Plan10FromOuterSpace - May 21, 2012 7:18 a.m.

    Seems slightly contradictory, doesn't it?
  • vincent-wolf - May 20, 2012 11:29 p.m.

    While appreciating that I will be able to level up solo, I'm really not a team player, I dislike whole idea of a TES mmo. I don't like idea, I don't like graphics, I don't like that they spend resources and time on a worthless mmo, while they could be working on a next gen TES-6. I just hope it all won't end up with another single player game going online/mmo mode. We don't have much already as is. What's next? New Batman Arkham mmo?
  • Viron - May 21, 2012 4:41 p.m.

    We weren't until you gave them the idea.
  • Viron - May 20, 2012 6:40 p.m.

    So if it is gonna be mainly SP why bother making it an MMO at all? Why not just make another TES game and just have Co-Op? If I want to play by myself I'll go play one of the TES games I already own.
  • Person5 - May 19, 2012 9:01 p.m.

    So, they make TES online, no one is excited because it probably won't work due to the way TES feels, apparently, they agree. So they make a whole main story single player, no human interaction just like every other TES game, so lets keep it going. No one wants a TES MMO and if this part of the game is already single player just make it TES VI, I guarantee it'll do way better than any TES online.
  • laurenhiya21 - May 19, 2012 11:42 a.m.

    While I approve of a single player main story (I'm not a big fan of relying on others to help :/), I'll probably have to pass on this Partially because there (so far anyway) doesn't seem to be anything particularly interesting about this :/ It just seems pretty generic from what I can tell Even if there was, though, I probably wouldn't be able to play it, since my computer isn't that good... ._.
  • rainz420 - May 19, 2012 7:49 a.m.

    It's clear from the comments here that most of the people posting dont know much about Elder Scrolls,they probly just played the main storyline to Skyrim and think thats all there is. In MMO's, everything has been done already, so there are always parts that resemble another MMO's. The way you tell how original a game is how realistic the gaming world is. For example: In WoW, a shopkeeper stays in the same spot 24/7 and its ALWAYS daytime.....In Elder Scrolls world the shopkeepers run on thier own unique schedule, have thier own homes, eat, read and talk to other NPC's etc.. and there is actually a day/night cycle. 'Samsneeze' you do know that Skyrim is only a part of the much larger Elder Scrolls world? Of course you dont, you played a few hours of Skyrims main storyline and because noone held your hand and told you what to do after that you got bored. Heres a quote that lets everyone know you barly know anything about the game: "Lets see, boring combat, wooden characters, little worthwhile customization, no uniquely designed weapons and armor." You couldnt be farther from the truth even with the original Skyrim. Not to mention the thousands of unique mods. The mods add even more variety of weapons/armor, combat systems, graphic layouts, NPC's, new areas and quests to an already deep and detail oriented game.
  • samsneeze - May 19, 2012 9:08 a.m.

    I actually have played more than just a few hours of Skyrim. Actually, I've played Oblivion, Daggerfall, and Morrowind quite a lot as well. My favorite of the bunch? Well, it's either Daggerfall or Morrowind. Why? Because those games were designed the best of the bunch and used most of the player's imagination. The only reason people don't like them as much now is because they don't look as pretty. Characters in Skyrim are wooden and one note. It's the reason they're all so forgettable. None of them really left a lasting impression on me. They were just there for their quest and that's it. They were moved entirely by whatever the quest plot was and that was it. No real reason to be there, they just were. I have not the time to look up the exact number, but I can tell you that there are only 10 to 15 armor sets and maybe twice that in weapons(Swords, hammers, axes). None of which are truly unique aside from glowing differently from one another. Most people on the internet like to jump to conclusions and say you played their favorite games wrong if you say you don't really like them. I see you're no different from that bunch.
  • usmovers_02 - May 19, 2012 8:26 p.m.

    This exactly. Mods on the PC version can semi-fix much of this but at this point I only play Skyrim for the sexy armor mods and for taking beautiful screenshots (All my screens can be seen here: http://skyrim.nexusmods.com/modules/members/index.php?id=641510) I got fairly bored of the lifeless characters and bleak environment after only 300 hours of game play compared to 2,000 in Oblivion. And Oblivion has the same lifeless characters and quests as Skyrim, but at least it has a beautiful world. Morrowind has SO much character at every level it's astounding. But I've played it to death and even with mods it doesn't look all that good anymore. I think this series is dying for me :(
  • rainz420 - May 20, 2012 8:58 a.m.

    For someone that played most of the Elder Scrolls you know shocking little about the content. There are more than 10 to 15 unique armor sets in one Mod package, plus mods that customize NPC's with unique behaviours, looks and conversations. Im just saying you should know some of this... *Breaking News* The MMO is going to have the content from your favorite Elder Scrolls games, Daggerfall and Morrowind. From opening day ESO is going to have more content than WoW (with all of its expantions)... and then its going to expand from there. You can talk about Skyrim all you want, this article is about the MMO. But it is funny hearing the kids in this comment section talk about how bored they are with Skyrim, probly some of the most boring people in real life, I can feel the hipocrisy.
  • samsneeze - May 20, 2012 2:33 p.m.

    I wasn't talking about the mods, I was talking about the base game. The part that the developers made themselves. I've never really cared for mods in games, to be honest unless they were something that fixed a poor user interface or something. I was talking about the MMO. I was just comparing it to Skyrim is all. Because you know, that's a thing people do when they see games in a franchise being made is a certain way. They compare them to past entries without trying to apologize for the developers past mistakes. The only reason it got off into a debate about Skyrim is because someone decided to take offense that their favorite game was being put down. Lol, now I'm a boring kid and a hypocrite because I didn't enjoy Skyrim. That's really amazing. Can you tell me my future as well or is that extra?
  • ThundaGawd - May 18, 2012 10:13 p.m.

    If they plan on making the entire storyline solo.. why bother making it into an MMO to begin with? I understand the formula of instanced quests, it's used in DDO, Vindictus, Rusty Hearts, etc. but if Elder Scrolls Online plans on following that formula, I hope to god that they at least plan on using a mildly innovative combat system instead of a dreadful generic WOW clone that focuses on individual keys and cooldowns, otherwise I'll lose interest extremely early on in the game, regardless of how good every other part of it might end up being =/
  • Octaviux - May 18, 2012 8:51 p.m.

    I'm hoping it ends up being more compelling but the early temp gauge says this is going to be sub par.
  • rainz420 - May 19, 2012 8:02 a.m.

    What is this guy talking about? I dont even think he knows.... You need your temp checked bro.
  • EwoksTasteLikeChicken - May 18, 2012 5:24 p.m.

    Man I had such high hopes for this. After reading about it in Game Informer though, it didn't sound nearly as good as I thought it'd be. Bring on Elder Scrolls VI!
  • ObliqueZombie - May 18, 2012 3:05 p.m.

    I won't make an judgments on the game yet, but it looks like the style of SWTOR with a quest and PvP system of Guild Wars. I think... I'll pass on this. For now. But the story being solo is good news (you know, like SWTOR).

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