The Geek Link has a new interview with Brian Wheeler in which he talks about some of the design decisions behind The Elder Scrolls Online, as well as makes some allusions to what is coming post-release.
TGL: What influenced the siege style of the PvP battles?
BW: A lot of that comes from my background. I did siege warfare in prior games, and learned not only what works and what doesn’t work, but to push it further. So a lot of the keep walls can be blown up, not just specific keep walls. I am a big fan of “You break it, you bought it.” so you have to be real specific on how you flip a keep from an enemy.
I like that Brian is bringing up his roots here, and admitting that he’s learned a thing or two. Wheeler formerly worked for Mythic and was involved in both Dark Age of Camelot and Warhammer. Both games had good points and bad points, and I hope his reference toward learning about what doesn’t work holds true for the actual release version of ESO. He’s alluding to the fact that in ESO when you take an enemy’s keep and it flips ownership, you don’t get a brand spanking new keep; you get the keep as it was when you took it. So, if you smash all the walls, you’re going to have a lot of repair work to do if you want to be able to hold it. A bit more realistic, and I like it.
TGL: What race is your favorite?
BW: In Morrowind I was playing as a Dark Elf and then I did a Red Guard; in Oblivion I did a Red Guard, then a Dark Elf, then a Wood Elf; and in Skyrim I did a Wood Elf, a Red Guard, and a Dark Elf. So, I lean towards Red Guard or Dark Elf or Wood Elf, it’s going to be one of those. I don’t know which one just yet, because we are going through all the Passive Abilities that we are giving all the races, too. So, it is going to tailor down to what I want to do, whether I want to be a sniper or whether I want to be a melee. When that stuff gets fully fleshed out and PvP play tested like crazy, then I’ll nail it down. But I know it is going to be one of those three.
I like this question, because it seems simple, but luckily Brian ran with it. He’s given us some insight into the fact that racial bonuses are still an ongoing process, and that they will matter in the game. Try to think of the last AAA MMO you played in which race was anything but cosmetic. Difficult, I know. I like the idea that certain races are going to have an inherent bonus with certain types of fighting.
TGL: What plans do you have for possible future expansions?
BW: We are already looking at various content to do post-launch with Thieves Guild and Dark Brotherhood. We don’t have all of Tamriel (the whole world) done, so there will be other zones we can release. A lot of that is going to be based on what players ask for. It is an MMO, it is a service provided after the game ships. So, it is going to depend on what players ask for. If they really want more stuff in Cyrodiil in the PvP space, we can add stuff there. If they want more PvE zones, we can add more zones. If they want more skill lines, there is already more stuff we are planning on doing, but you never know what players are going to ask for. That’s the great thing about having a great community with the players, because then you can listen to them. Not just with balance problems, or bugs, or quests, but also what do they want?
Wheeler’s not the first dev to talk about future content recently. I’ve heard similar things from Paul Sage and Maria Aliprando. On one hand, I think it’s great that they are planning for the future, and are going to listen to player feedback to decide what comes in first. On the other hand it almost seems like they are prepping fans to be aware of the fact that there’s a lot left to do before this game has all the features that we want. Let’s hope it is feature complete enough for players to stick around for the future updates!
Be sure to read the rest of the interview; there are a few more questions that any self-respecting fan would want to read. As always, I’ll keep you posted on any other interesting news, so keep an eye here!