Bethesda and Zenimax have announced The Elder Scrolls Online. Information so far: it will apparently feature the entire continent of Tamriel, although there will be a focus on Cyrodiil. There will be three major factions fighting for the Imperial Throne. It's set a thousand years before the events of Skyrim. It will probably be a fairly standard MMORPG with instances, dungeons etc. It's been developed by Zenimax Online Studios rather than Bethesda themselves, meaning that Bethesda's own development team can remain focused on single-player RPGs. The setting also means that it shouldn't interfere with future single-player Elder Scrolls games.
Apparently Game Informer will have a trailer available on its website tomorrow.
What we know so far:
An MMORPG (obviously).
The entire continent of Tamriel will be the setting. Some areas will be locked off for use as future expansion areas, however (i.e. Windhelm is reachable but Winterhold is not in the initial release).
Set 1,000 years before the events of SKYRIM.
Cyrodiil will be a PvP zone with 3 factions fighting for control of the Imperial City. Cyrodiil's topography has been recreated from OBLIVION, though it will be slightly smaller.
100-vs-100 PvP battles will be possible.
Faction 1: Ebonheart Pact, an alliance between nords, dunmer (dark elves) and argonians.
Faction 2: Aldmeri Dominion, an alliance between altmer (high elves), bosmer (wood elves) and khajiit.
Faction 3: Daggefall Covenant, an alliance between bretons, redguards and orcs.
Thieves' Guild, Fighters' Guild and Dark Brotherhood will be present.
'Hubless' quest design: an attempt to give quests to players in a less contrived fashion than going to town and asking around, though that will still be present.
'Dark Anchors' will fill same role as Oblivion Gates/Dragons: tough, semi-random magical objects that must be destroyed (otherwise Tamriel will be dragged into a daedra dimension). The arrival of one is hoped to be a big event in any given area, hopefully encouraging lots of players to band together to destroy it.
The stamina bar will impact on combat by allowing different types of attacks and defences to be used.
'Aggroing' will apparently be non-viable due to superior AI that will target the most dangerous players rather than the first one to wander into range.
Towns/Cities present: Imperial City, Daggerfall, Windhelm, Sentinel, Mournhold, Ebenheart, Elden Root, Shornhelm, Evermore, Riften and 'many more'.
Fast travel possible through waystones only. Standard fast travel will not be possible.
Radiant AI of singler-player games likely to be dialled back for player convenience (i.e. stores will be open all the time).
No houses, or NPC romances. Dragons probably not present in the main game, but may be encounterable via time travel quests. Pets possible.
Mounts present, but no flying ones.
Vampires and werewolves present as enemies, but players cannot become them (at least, not in the initial release).
Constellation and birthsign-based buffs will be present.
Developed by Zenimax Online Studios, helped by Bethesda. Bethesda will remain focused on their single-player RPGs, however.
In development since 2007.
Full voice acting.
Pretty standard MMORPG controls: 3rd person, hotbar-based skill use.
Shouldn't interfere with future Bethesda projects (FALLOUT or ELDER SCROLLS).
Out in 2013 for PC and Mac.
Edited by Werthead, 04 May 2012 - 05:37 AM.