ESO Data Mined Part 2: What About PVP?
When asked about what major PVP update players would like to see in ESO, the resounding answer would be: Imperial City. While PVP in ESO has been pretty fun, it does feel like a whole lot is missing. This is ignoring the fact that things had been removed from the game since launch. Considering these facts, our question isn’t about what players would want to see; rather it becomes what is missing.
How PVP Currently Works
As of this writing, the process for many players regarding PVP is essentially the same: login, travel to your campaign (unless you login there), type LFG in zone chat, and travel roughly 8-12 minutes to the nearest battle. Once there, you pick a “role” and start supporting the war effort. If you want to man siege weaponry you either bring it yourself or hope a teammate places one. You can work at killing players through direct combat in many ways or hang back and heal if that suits you better. It might not sound so great on paper, but it’s been fun enough to keep many playing for months.
The noticeable problems begin to rear their head when certain gameplay aspects are either abused by other players or hinder the game.
The noticeable problems begin to rear their head when certain gameplay aspects are either abused by other players or hinder the game. A great example would be Emperor trading seen just a few weeks after launch. Simply put, the highest ranked player on a PVP server in their alliance could be crowned Emperor if his/her faction controlled the central keeps. Many players that traded around did this as a means to help keep guild members who helped them gain emperorship within the guild, others because there wasn’t much point to being Emperor outside of denying it to other players. Ultimately though there was a key piece missing to this equation which is why it was so easy to abuse in the first place; a throne.
What is the Imperial City?
For anyone who’s played Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, you already know the iconic white-gold tower is the palace of the Emperor within the Imperial city. Logically, this means that anyone who becomes Emperor must journey within the city to claim the throne; but they can’t because it isn’t available yet. The Imperial City content which is currently not within the game was meant to be more than just “another thing to do in Cyrodiil”. It is the cap stone PVP/PVE map within the alliance war. It has close-knit quarters for combat that allows players to fight in very close proximity for a tangible faction felt reward.
The Imperial City is a huge chunk of content that even the most dedicated would have trouble completing quickly due to it’s PVP nature. There are seven unique areas within the city each with their own list of quests. Beyond the PVE quest, there will also be the normal PVP quests on top (or rather below in the sewers) of them and the fact that many people will be fighting for the right to enter the city in the rest of the Cyrodiilic map. This leads us back to problems with Emperorship and it’s odd role currently in the game.
How PVP Might Look After Imperial City
Fighting to get leaderboard scores, and crowning an Emperor are fine and dandy, but the reality of the situation is these don’t always appeal to most of the game's population. Getting the best score you can get and earning the best gear because of it is great, but sometimes you want more from spending weeks on end grinding out Alliance Points. Once Imperial City is introduced into the game, it will become the reason many people jump over from regular PVE. As PVP is now, it’s an activity for hardcore groups to dominate completion, or for zergs of casuals to jump on late at night and railroad the map. Once the Imperial City is introduced it will do more than just add another stopping point, it can add layers to an otherwise good but somewhat flat experience.
There is a common saying among the guards of Tamrie: "Anyone can be crowned Emperor, but that's the risk we take."
There is a common saying among the guards of Tamriel: “Anyone can be crowned Emperor, but that’s the risk we take.” Never would this be truer when you have to consider that the most powerful player in your faction has a role to perform beyond glorified security guard. To hold the title of Emperor means you’d need to fight on several fronts to secure the city and maintain your position. This kind of macro management is what should define an Emperor, not simply the person who’s been logged in the most.
To find out more about the imperial City, reddit user Dominoid as datamined achivements available within the zone.