Matt Firor, Game Director of the Elder Scrolls Online, the upcoming MMO based on the world of Oblivion and Skyrim, said today in avideo interview (opens in new tab)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.