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Elder Scrolls Online PVE: Group Content

The latest Elder Scrolls Online developer video showcases a beautiful display of unpredictability and teamwork.

With the unveiling of the Elder Scrolls Online's group content, the good folks at Zenimax gave our pallets a nice sampling of the mechanics behind a group-based fight. 

First off, the developers state that they realize most MMO players (despite the misleading 'multiplayer' abbreviation) prefer to play alone.  In their eyes, one of the main reasons is that meeting up with others in MMOs is a daunting task -- one that could easily take hours in certain games.  

To help curve this trend, fast travel mechanisms called “way shrines” were implemented in the game to cut down on those great distances.  This system is remarkably similar to the fast travel option found in the Elder Scrolls single player games.

 

The devs also showcased a basic group fight known as a Dark Anchor Encounter.

What impressed me most about the fight was the emphasis that Zenimax put on "unpredictability."  The Daedric warrior they were fighting relentlessly began hurling waves of enemies at the group, resulting in a sizeable and challenging encounter.  On top of that, players must focus on a series of switchable pylons that contribute to fight. 

Another unique aspect is how battles like these seem to stray away from traditional MMO fights.  You’ll notice in the video that the standard tactic of a tank pulling first and holding the aggro, while DPS players chip away untouched, and healers simply stand back and dump healing spells, has been abandoned.  The bosses seem to switch their focus almost at-will, forcing all players to actively rely on their own survivability by switching between offense and defense.  Thus, while the healer is standing back and dropping heals – they shouldn’t get too comfortable – the boss will most likely turn his attention towards them.    

With the release date of April 4th, a few things are certain: Elder Scrolls Online is coming, it’s coming soon, and I’m most definitely going to have to pony up a couple hundred bucks for a new processor and video card.

What are your thoughts on the developer video?  Let me know in the comments section, and don’t forget to follow me on the tweets.  

Published Jan. 23rd 2014
  • Stephanie Tang
    Featured Columnist
    I'm really glad that they don't insist on grouping in order to make it more "MMO-like." Having a choice to play either single player only or with a group is a wonderful thing, which I'm really looking forward to when this game comes out.

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