Elder Scrolls Online’s Matt Firor on Morrowind, Dark Age of Camelot, and the old days of MMOs

Ahead of E3, ZeniMax’s Matt Firor sat down with Gamasutra for a streamed interview on The Elder Scrolls Online, focused chiefly on Morrowind. It’s a bit of an odd interview, as the publication kicks things off by characterizing the game as a F2P title and suggesting that the MMORPG genre hasn’t seen a paid expansion in a long time, which may surprise those of you playing SWTOR, World of Warcraft, Guild Wars 2, or Final Fantasy XIV. But Firor weathers the question, explaining that Morrowind is intended as a jump-in point for players who’ve never jumped in before, and yet it’s accessible for vets too.

“In the old days, what we did is we brought out an expansion, and the only people that bought it were experienced players because you had to be X level in order to buy it an enjoy it,” Firor explains. “That’s the difference between Morrowind and those days. Anyone can just jump in and have fun.”

He also touches on the differences between the era of Dark Age of Camelot and Elder Scrolls Online (hint: It’s about grind). It’s a long stream but worth it for Firor’s commentary.

Source: Gamasutra
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15 Comments on "Elder Scrolls Online’s Matt Firor on Morrowind, Dark Age of Camelot, and the old days of MMOs"

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Jeremy Barnes

Did he talk about how badly he messed up DAoC?

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socontrariwise

Horrible Gamasutra host, factually wrong things, generic questions without much getting into depth by follow-up … I would like to see a transcript with just Firor’s answers. Is there one available?
This twitch thing for interviews or Q&A is really not my cup of tea, people tend to ramble and have no perception how much practise and skill a good interviewer needs to keep it interesting, concise and entertaining. Watching people chat is not what I want to do in my limited spare time.
And I think it would be very interesting to learn more from Firor, who made them do the conversion to scaling, how difficult was that, had that impact on how they designed Morrowind or future content? In my opinion the scaling they introduced with One Tamriel was genius as it solves so many problems of immersion, maturation of a MMO, vitality and content-value that it seems almost inconveivable to me now this hasn’t been done before or would not be the standard method now.

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Arktouros

Old MMOs used to be griiiiiiiiiindy as all get out. In WOW we hit level 60 in like a month and it was so crazy how fast that was. Oh man EverQuest 1 sitting there for hours staring at my spellbook…people’s head would explode. First month of DAoC the end game dungeons in Midgard weren’t even itemized just pure silver drops totally nuts. Could you imagine that today? The utter outrage there’d be. The grind too couldn’t even get a group on certain classes because you just weren’t wanted and it was 100% grouping to grind. Albion Scout? Tough luck, buddy. Now you got games like ESO where they release a new DLC or “expansion pack” (DLC+ by all accounts really) and yer done with the content in 20-30 hours (over whatever number of days your choosing) and then yer back to doing whatever it was you were doing before with maybe a new daily or something along the way (“for the achievements”). Shame really. Feels like games have lost their sense of time investment. Easy to move on and abandon a game when you just aren’t invested into it.

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Brown Jenkin

I definitely don’t remember hitting 60 in a month in vanilla WoW, just sayin.

Tamanous
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Tamanous

““In the old days, what we did is we brought out an expansion, and the only people that bought it were experienced players because you had to be X level in order to buy it an enjoy it,” Firor explains.”

Or,

… Asheron’s Call 17 f’ing years ago put out monthly content that typically was accessible by all players because they filled out the existing world to explore without cash shop whoring their players in your easy mode corruption of a nigh, single player mmo. You’re comparing the wrong shit dude.

The current level scaling also came about only after massive negative player feedback well after the game launched.

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GiantsBane

I’d have more sympathy if ESO had stayed true to its vision of being a new age DAOC, instead of doing a 180 a year before launch and trying to refocus its efforts elsewhere.

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Mr Poolaty

Fior just comes off as a smug fucker! Congratulations Matt for copying exactly what YoshiP had been preaching for over a year btw…

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Jeff

I was wondering when someone would point that out.

He’s very smug it was the group he hired for Trails of Atlantis that went on to destroy Warhammer online, he also is notorious for fostering the mean girl environment in the game and on the forums. ESO has been successful despite him certainly not because of him.

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dumpster_baby

no one can just jump in and play battlegrounds and no one can just jump in and play trials the only thing morrowind has to offer unless you like looking at a zone with pretty trees

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Doubleplusgood

Well you can jump into battlegrounds at lvl 10….as long as you dont mind being put up against max lvl 50 characters with fully developed skills and legendary gear with proc set plus poison damage that will kill you in one shot! Lots of fun!!!

I have no idea why they thought that putting level 10’s in the same bracket as max level characters with full skills and gear was a good thing.

hurbster
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hurbster

I like looking at pretty trees.

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Paarthurnax Dragonhearth

At least i’l listen to some nice voice over and follow a story … instead of going and killing 1000 rats asses like the olden days !

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Jeremy Barnes

of course we lost something with the grind as well. The big part of playing MMOs was the community. Even if you were a lone wolf type of player, you had to engage people to advance. You knew the people on the server and people couldn’t be rampant raging arsewipes in a party because they were going to see you again.

I’m not against the designed for soloing and party finder design, but with the benefits it gave us, we lost something as well.

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Castagere Shaikura

This was a weak interview.

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Jeff

When Hipst…errrr I mean “people” who don’t know much about MMO’s are picked to talk about MMO’s. Lots of missed opportunities. Pity Larry didn’t give this interview.

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