Tamriel Infinium: Elder Scrolls Online predictions for 2016

Speculation can be dangerous because I tend to be too hopeful for the MMOs that I play. I’ve been critical of The Elder Scrolls Online in the past, but I do like the game, and I’m hopeful for its future too. I truly only want good things to happen to it. Maybe that’s why I’m a bit harsh about it sometimes.

This being the end of the year, I thought it only fitting that I do some speculation about my favorite fantasy game. I did vote this game the most improved in 2015 (although it didn’t win); maybe 2016 will bring some equally important improvements to the game. Let’s take a few moments and talk about the things that we know are coming to the game in 2016 and also what we think might be coming down the pike next year.

eso-2016-predictionsThings we know are coming

The Dark Brotherhood

I shouldn’t have to explain this to people who have played Elder Scrolls games before, but for those who have been living in the dark for the last 10 years, here’s the deal: The Dark Brotherhood is a group of assassins who have formed a secret guild. Many people consider the Dark Brotherhood and the Thieves Guild some of the most entertaining content for every Elder Scrolls game dating back to Daggerfall. The Brotherhood is a combination of a business and cult.

Earlier this year, ZeniMax Online Studios introduced us to the Justice system, which allows players to steal from and kill random NPCs. Because of the new level of immersion added to the game, it was revitalized for me and I actually started playing again. When the Dark Brotherhood releases sometime in the first half of 2016, it will build on the Justice system, perhaps offering Dark Brotherhood questlines as well as opposing Enforcer questlines for those working against the Dark Brotherhood. But most of all, my hope is that it will give an interesting level of PvP that really wasn’t provided when the Justice system launched.

The Thieves Guild

The Dark Brotherhood and Thieves Guild are usually mentioned in the same breath, but in ESO, it appears that they will be separate DLC, encompassing the first of the year. During QuakeCon this past year, ZOS teased that this guild of thieves, which runs safehouses all around Tamriel, will complete the Justice system and offer its own set of quests. And like the Dark Brotherhood that I mentioned before, it will also have its own skill tree.

I’m interested in seeing how this all plays out, but my biggest concern is whether there will be incentive for others to participate in the opposition to the Thieves Guild. Right now the Justice system is really just another form of PvE, and there isn’t risk of another player actually trying to attack you. I really hope that the questlines end up being a lot of fun, but my true hope is that it will be interesting PvP as well.

TI-2016-predictions-02

Things I think are coming

The second half of the Justice system

As I mentioned above, the Justice system will be rounded off by the Dark Brotherhood and the Thieves Guild. But in reality, we aren’t exactly sure how this will all finish out. We know that there will be questlines from both of those guilds, else these will be very small DLC packs. We are fairly certain the DLC will bring with them new sets of skills. I believe we’ll see three skill sets, one for each guild and a skill set to counter those guilds.

As I mentioned, I am not concerned that there will be a reason to want to be on the other side of the Thieves Guild and Dark Brotherhood. However, if I were designing a system where I knew one side of a faction would be less appealing than the other, I would likely break one of cardinal sin of MMOs and create… an alpha class. Now, I’m not saying that we should change one of the classes to be something super powerful, but it would be very interesting if the new Enforcer skill tree were actually overpowered when it came to fighting those who were flagged as criminals. Of course, the counter to this system would be that the criminals need a better fleeing system that allows them to get away.

The cat-and-mouse game is what would make this system interesting. Although many might disagree with me, I do trust ZOS to make a very interesting PvP system, but I do hope that we get something other than the standard system that pits my math against your math and the one with the greater math wins.

The end of VR

We have now heard ZOS’s plan for the Champion Points system. In fact, it’s in the game right now, more or less. The plan is for this to finally get rid of the dreaded Veteran Ranking system. But I have a feeling that ZOS doesn’t understand why the VR system was reviled in the first place because as far as gear is concerned, one hated system is being replaced by another. The plan as it stands will ensure that gear requires a certain number of skill points in order to be equipped. I hope that this plan is overturned and that ZOS replaces the number of CP to a specific CP aspect. It might seem like just semantics, but if you’re really wanting to specialize your CP, then there should be some sort of benefit and incentive to do so.

Wild speculation

I really don’t have any wild speculation for ESO, other than to say that it would be very interesting if ZOS started mentioning an expansion. I don’t think it will happen, and even if hints were dropped soon, we wouldn’t see it until 2018, if the current track record is any indication of what the future might bring.

What are your thoughts on the future of ESO? What do you think 2016 will hold for the game? Let me know in the comments.

Traverse the troubled land of Tamriel in the Elder Scrolls Online. Larry Everett will be your guide here in Tamriel Infinium every other week as you explore together the land created by ZeniMax and Bethesda. If you have any burning questions, send them his way via email or via Twitter.
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Matso
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Matso

I started playing this recently. I tired out their free weekend and bought it instantly. When it launched i saw Angry joe’s review and a few others and that was enough not to even touch it but wow i was impressed during this free weekend recently. 

Now i am playing and im constantly thinking how amazing this gameworld would be with a VR headset (no pun intended).

Margrave
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Margrave

Bring it all!

jnewington
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jnewington

nameistake12 jnewington Although Elder Scrolls has been a single player game for decades this
one is not. It was strongly marketed on the Cyrodiil gameplay and I
know numerous people who only play for this reason.

If you want a single player or PVE game there are many way
better examples out there however Cyrodiil, without the insane lag, can be an
unbeatable experience.

Radfist
Guest
Radfist

All I want is the promised spellcrafting system. Main thing that stops me playing this game is that I hate the current classes and skills.

Radfist
Guest
Radfist

woolydub Guild stores were always a dumb idea. Instead of joining guilds because you want to be part of that social circle, its so you can sell crap.

Wild_Phil
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Wild_Phil

rottenrotny Doubt it considering they avoid P2W systems more than just about any other MMO I can think of.

Wild_Phil
Guest
Wild_Phil

Kaiser Sosey Greaterdivinity Archebius I started out playing on PC then switched over to PS4.  Enjoying it more on PS4 especially with the controller and UI designed for it.

Wild_Phil
Guest
Wild_Phil

I wouldn’t be shocked if ESO is the ‘best MMO of the year’ for 2016 with the current rate of fixes, content, and overall improvements being provided by the developer.

tythimo
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tythimo

Very disheartened to hear about how gear will work after VR is removed. I would play this game if it wasn’t  focused on XP grinding.

Cyroselle
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Cyroselle

I just got back into playing ESO myself recently. I’m playing Daggerfall Covenant (as a Khajit) with a friend over on the EU megaserver. It’s nice so far, and people seem a little less abrasive. Zenimax also fixed the party phase problems, so tripping around with a friend in tow isn’t the major pain in the ass that it used to be. :)

karmamule
Guest
karmamule

Robert80 karmamule That could be true, but they’d sure get a lot of blowback if they did that.  I wouldn’t care because I’m not into the PVP side, but lots of my guild mates would be all >:-(

karmamule
Guest
karmamule

NobleNerd karmamule I’d heard that too, but it seems to me that, while perhaps easy to implement, it would be a tough thing to take into account in how it affects PVE and PVP gameplay, and that’s why I’m not getting my hopes up it’s anytime soon.  I’d love to be surprised, though!  :-D

nameistake12
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nameistake12

jnewington The Elder Scrolls has been a single player game for decades.  I can’t see how the loss of PvP would sound the death kneel for the game.  Personally, so few people PvP that I think if they just canned it and instead refocused those resources into PvE it would be doing the game a favor.  

The Imperial City DLC was met with a resounding meh.  Orsinium on the other hand has received numerous accolades from the player base.

Kaiser Sosey
Guest
Kaiser Sosey

Greaterdivinity Archebius I recently bought a Xbox one, and am playing ESO on that. It’s pretty smooth. I was having the same launcher issues on PC and I finally gave the game up. but jumped back in once I got the Xbox. I can’t tell you how many reinstalls ect  never mind the hours wasted trying to troubleshoot the launcher. I read a comment about population on consoles but I see a lot of people on most of the time. Mind you I’m not in a guild trying to sell my wares, but so far I’m really liking it on Xbox

They really need to Fix the Launcher. At this point, Fallen earth has a better launcher…

BryanCole
Guest
BryanCole

Hopefully player housing of some sort is on the books for this year as well as other interesting and new systems, take your pick or think of something new, anything to make the world come alive and pull me in aside from leveling and completing all POIs, etc.

d0ub1ep1u5g00d
Guest
d0ub1ep1u5g00d

Since I frequently change my mind after character creation I am waiting for two things – 
Barber shop
Character rename (I cant believe something so simple as a character rename isn’t available yet)

Wratts
Guest
Wratts

I’m really hoping that 2016 with the Thieves’ Guild and Dark Brotherhood will finally introduce weapon poisons.  Got all these alchemy mats that I never use because all I really think are worth it are restoration or spell power potions

jnewington
Guest
jnewington

2016 prediction – their inability to fix the Cyrodiil lag will kill the PVP scene and eventually the game :(

Greaterdivinity
Guest
Greaterdivinity

Archebius I just want it not to have to reinstall 35GB of data after downloading a 3GB patch, then download another 300MB and install 1GB, then another 300MB to install yet another 1GB, all while taking forever to do the installation -_-

Marelius
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Marelius

Pretty much giving up hope they can fix the launcher, bugs, lag. All they do is add more stuff (some is really cool) that just puts more bugs in the game. Sometimes I think they need to get new leadership. But 2016 is going to be interesting for the game. Just will it be good or bad that’s the question!

Cambruin
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Cambruin

That’s odd, I felt the introduction of the justice system broke what little immersion ESO had. Everyone is off killing NPCs, 3 out of 4 people you meet around town are crawling instead of walking, … Have you visited the bank? Didn’t think it was odd seeing a dozen people sneak around?

Archebius
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Archebius

Greaterdivinity I’ve never really needed much from my launcher… except a way to launch the game.

woolydub
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woolydub

The consoles need an AH. Their playerbases(or lack thereof)really don’t support Guild Stores. Sans that, they need to centralize all guild stores. It’s the biggest pain trying to shop for stuff all over the place and hoping you find a guild store that has what you need. The PC has the playerbase to support guild stores, but their implementation is really bad as is the UI. No saved searches or auto fill? At the very least a search window to tell me what guild store has what so I don’t have to move my character around the world hoping to find what I want to buy would be very welcome. I am sure vendors would appreciate that too.

My hope is that things just get fleshed out more. Functionality for certain things is very sparse. ZeniMax has the resources to make this game the best in the biz. It’s too bad they don’t want to push some of their systems past 2004 style MMO functionality.

Greaterdivinity
Guest
Greaterdivinity

All I want for 2016 is a launcher that isn’t worse than most low budget F2P Korean import launchers.

rottenrotny
Guest
rottenrotny

I predict that Zenimax will add more and more P2W to it’s cash shop and that it will become more and more invasive and necessary ala SWTOR.

And yes I think payed level boost is a form of P2W.

Robert80
Guest
Robert80

karmamule  I think the biggest thing will be not allowing it in PvP.  That’s where the balance will truly cause woes with spell crafting.

Tandor Shadewalker
Guest
Tandor Shadewalker

NobleNerd Tandor Shadewalker Yes, but bounties are given for PvE crimes, and currently only apply in PvE zones. Why then should they attract PvP enforcement?

I agree that nothing definite has been released, indeed as I recall the last time the addition of the Enforcement system was mentioned by ZOS it was “if” not “when”.

Elijah Crow
Guest
Elijah Crow

Jewelry Crafting as well. I left that out.

NobleNerd
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NobleNerd

karmamule Spell Crafting is coming also, but they haven’t mentioned any projected time frame for it.

NobleNerd
Guest
NobleNerd

Tandor Shadewalker My understanding of the Bounty System is that it will work similar to what ArcheAge has, where you will be carrying out contracts on players with bounties… it will not be a free-for-all in any/all zones….. but…. nothing definite has been released.

karmamule
Guest
karmamule

I know it would be a play-balancing nightmare but I would love it if they added spell-design in.  That was one of my fave features of older Elder Scrolls game.

Also on my wishlist:

– Jewelry crafting
– Player housing
– A robust costume/outfit system

NobleNerd
Guest
NobleNerd

Elijah Crow Let’s not forget with Thieve’s Guild Q1 2016 there will be a new Trial and hopefully the old Trials will be scaled up (if VR is removed during this DLC then they def. will be scaled)

Also 64 bit client Q1 2016!

I am looking forward to the new year.

NobleNerd
Guest
NobleNerd

Elijah Crow The rate at which you earn your first 300 CP is almost borderline insane! The catch up mechanic works great.

Elijah Crow
Guest
Elijah Crow

With a catch up mechanic that allows you to earn tons of CP super fast and a CP cap, There isn’t a reason to grind CP at all. Just play the game and have fun and you will hit cap. It’s now working as intended.

Tandor Shadewalker
Guest
Tandor Shadewalker

Elijah Crow They have also mentioned crafting bags for subscribers, which will hopefully not be too long coming.

Elijah Crow
Guest
Elijah Crow

Just level the rest of the way solo in Orsinium / Wrothgar

Elijah Crow
Guest
Elijah Crow

In addition to the above, the following items have been announced and are currently in development (per ESO Live) for an expected 2016 Release.
1. Player Housing (second half of 2016)
2. Battlegrounds / PvP Arenas
3. Scrolling Combat Text / Nameplates / Display Guild Name
4. Dueling
5. Enhanced Cross Faction Grouping Tools (forming cross faction groups outside of grouping tool)
6. Revamped Alliance Point system which allows small groups to earn as much as large groups in PvP.

squidgod2000
Guest
squidgod2000

Stopped playing when they started micromanging XP/CP point gain. 
“Oh, you found a spot where you actually get close to the 1 CP per hour gain rate we hyped? Better nerf it.”

Tandor Shadewalker
Guest
Tandor Shadewalker

I really hope that any PvP element to the Justice System either doesn’t happen or is restricted to existing or separately instanced PvP areas. Extending PvP to the open world has the potential to be a disaster for the game precisely because it is being dressed up as part of the PvE content. The community’s reaction to Imperial City made it absolutely clear that PvE and PvP do not mix well together and the PvPers’ argument that the Enforcement system would be optional so if you don’t want to be killed you shouldn’t steal/murder is simply denying PvEers’ access to PvE content.

In the ideal world there would be separate servers for open world and consensual PvP, but with the megaserver system that isn’t an option and the only sensible way of avoiding friction is to keep the PvE and PvP separate.

Ironwu
Guest
Ironwu

All ESO needs to do to get me back subscribing and playing the game is to make it so I don’t need a full damn group to play in Craglorn and Imperial City.  Got stuck at VR10.  To bad as I really liked the ‘casual grouping’ model of the previous 150 levels of gameplay.

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