elder scrolls online

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Elder Scrolls Online launches Homestead housing on February 6th

Ready to move into a swanky new house or just a barely furnished hovel in The Elder Scrolls Online? You won't have to wait too much longer. The game's Homestead patch is launching on Monday, February 6th for PC players and Tuesday, February 21st for console players. Yes, you'll have to wait a little bit longer to move in if you're not playing on your desktop. Don't worry, the houses will still be there. Houses are generally not known to be the most mobile things.

Players can purchase as many of the game's 39 homes as they wish, whether you want to just have one or two or the full set. There are also 2000 different decorative pieces to adorn your home, new furniture crafting options, and a few other crafting additions to go along with it. Start saving up that money and get ready for the patch to drop; you've only got a couple more weeks until it goes live.

Don't forget to check out our ESO columnist's hands-on preview of the entire housing system on the test server!

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Global Chat: Elder Scrolls Online renaissance

As I peruse a hundred or so community blog posts every day, it's fascinating to me to see what games the MMO blogosphere as a whole is playing and discussing. We sometimes end up flocking to certain titles based on recent announcements or because others are talking them up pretty heavily.

One game that's been getting a lot of mentions on blogs lately is Elder Scrolls Online, with players generally enthusiastic about how it's shaped up into a pretty decent MMO. "It's a really solid game that’s much better than the game that launched," writes Occasional Hero. "Visually, I would probably rank it second behind Black Desert Online for the best-looking MMORPG out there," touts Endgame Variable.

Elder Scrolls Online not your thing? No worries; we have articles covering The Secret World, LOTRO, RIFT, and more in today's community blog roundup!

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Massively OP Podcast Episode 100: The nesting instinct in Elder Scrolls Online

Grab a glass of bubbly and celebrate with us: Today the Massively OP Podcast turns 100... 100 episodes, that is. For this grand event, Larry's prepared a robust review of Elder Scrolls Online's housing and Justin's brushed off his tap-dancing skills. Also, the two review some of the most far-fetched MMO news from this past week... and boy, did it get nutty.

It’s the Massively OP Podcast, an action-packed hour of news, tales, opinions, and gamer emails! And remember, if you’d like to send in your own letter to the show, use the “Tips” button in the top-right corner of the site to do so.

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One Shots: Tabula Rasa's 21-gun salute

Ralph the Wonder Llama kicks off today's community screenshot gallery with a salute to the late, great Tabula Rasa.

"Yes, Tabula Rasa ended up being rushed to market, and many of its features were pretty rough around the edges when the game first released, but this was 2008! Can you imagine what Tabula Rasa would have been like if it had survived and gotten a couple of expansions under its belt? The mind boggles. Here's a shot of my Grenadier at Foreas Base, taken just a few days before shutdown. You can't really tell with the helmet on, but I'm pretty sure my character is crying."

On that happy note, let's see what else you all have cooked up for us today!

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The Daily Grind: What's your biggest MMORPG inventory pet peeve?

I was surfing the Guild Wars 2 Reddit (because I'm a glutton for punishment) yesterday and bumped into a thread mocking some of the game's inventory problems. Actually, one specific problem: A whole bunch of identical items in the game just will. not. stack. Why do a whole bunch of identical reward bags have different item ID numbers? Because of reasons. It doesn't matter. It drives people bonkers because not only do you waste a ton of inventory space -- which costs actual money to increase, mind you -- but you waste a ton of time repeatedly clicking and trying to make stuff stack that never will.

That got me thinking about other inventory pet peeves, like the lack of gridification in The Elder Scrolls Online. So tell me: What's your biggest MMORPG inventory pet peeve? I won't even make you turn it into a gif!

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Massively Overthinking: Tab-target vs. action combat in MMORPGs

Massively OP patron Duane is kicking the new year off right: with a brawl over combat types in MMOs.

"Tab-target, action, or hybrid combat, for many MMO gamers the combat system, regardless of whether it is a well-made, is a deal maker or breaker," he writes -- I like to imagine he wrote it with a mischievous glint in his eye. "What is the superior combat system, and why is it superior (please give examples)? Let the battle-lines be drawn!"

I posed his question to the MOP writers for this week's Overthinking. Here we go!

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Tamriel Infinium: Elder Scrolls Online's Homestead player housing blew my mind

I usually like to bury my opinion behind a bit of measured fact-checking and the weight of opposing opinions, but Elder Scrolls Online hit all the right buttons for me with its new housing system. I have to sing its praises right now. Based on what I've seen on the public test server, Homestead will give us exactly what we are looking for in an MMO housing system.

Here comes the measured part: We won't really know exactly how the system will work in action until it hits live servers. Crafting and the horrid vendor system in ESO will likely make finding specific housing items unnecessarily difficult, but it's possible that it could be balanced by the crafting system and the Crown Store.

Despite some of the unknowns, I do really like what I've seen so far, and I'd like to give you my first impression of the Elder Scrolls Online housing system.

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The Game Archaeologist: Hero's Journey

Fiction writers know well of Joseph Campbell's identification and outline of the monomyth, or "hero's journey," in many stories. The 12-step process starts with a sympathetic hero in an ordinary world who then goes on a coming-of-age adventure into a special world where he or she finds a mentor, meets allies, goes through tests, succeeds in an ordeal, and is ultimately transformed into a more powerful and skilled person.

From Lord of the Rings to Star Wars, the monomyth is clear and active. Even with the similar structure across scads of stories, we love it and eat it up. There's something about this journey that appeals to us, perhaps because we can imagine ourselves going on such an adventure. It's also why MMORPGs are so gripping, giving us a chance to experience the monomyth first-hand.

In 1999, one MMO decided that it would embrace this formula and called itself, simply, Hero's Journey. What started with high aspirations eventually fell into a decade of development hell, which ironically took fans on a journey to failure, not success. Today we're going to look back at Simutronics' graphical MMO and imagine what could have been.

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Rumor: Elder Scrolls Online players datamine map of Morrowind's Vvardenfell, hint at DLC

Speak quickly, Outlander, or go away!

Fancy a trip back to nostalgia town? Elder Scrolls Online Redditors have datamined what appears to be a map of Vvardenfell, the massive volcanic island at the heart of Morrowind and the location of the fan-favorite 2002 TES III: Morrowind RPG. It's no stretch to assume that Vvardenfell DLC is on the way.

It's a little bit odd that buildings and boats would be in exactly the same place an age later, but if it's legit, it's time to get excited, especially in context with Matt Firor's hints about something "amazing" coming in 2017 beyond housing.

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Perfect Ten: The best MMORPG updates and expansions of 2016 (that aren't Legion)

Sometimes you have to exclude something from a list. I could, for example, praise World of Warcraft: Legion for being a really good expansion yet again... but I already did that. Heck, we already did that. It won an award and everything. And it deserves that award, but let's be real, we did not suffer at all from a paucity of updates over the past year. So it's time to honor some of the other updates that were great this past year that haven't gotten enough recognition.

Of course, this is my own curated list, so if you're looking for objectivity combined with a subjective rating like "best," you may be looking for love in all of the wrong places. Let's take one last look through 2016 at all of the really cool game updates that made the onslaught of deaths and tragedy at least slightly more pleasant.

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Battle Bards Episode 89: Nightfall

When the sun goes down, the Battle Bards’ work has just begun! In this week’s episode, the crew explores nighttime music cues in MMOs, chasing the ever-elusive feel of what that period between dusk and dawn sounds like in game. Don’t fall asleep!

Battle Bards is a bi-weekly podcast that alternates between examining a single MMO’s soundtrack and exploring music tracks revolving around a theme. MOP’s Justin co-hosts with bloggers Steff and Syl. The cast is available on iTunes, Google Play, TuneInPocket CastsStitcher, and Player.FM.

We’ve got Episode 89: Nightfall and the show notes for you after the break!

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The Elder Scrolls Online releases Homestead patch notes, briefly delays PTS rollout

So let's start with the bad news: If you simply couldn't wait to test The Elder Scrolls Online's Homestead patch, well, you'll have to wait. As of Tuesday night, the game's test server was having some issues and the tech support team delayed the planned PTS launch another day. That's the bad part. The good part is that the full patch notes are available, so even if you can't run around in your own test server house and jump like a maniac (you know you were planning to), you can see what's coming with the patch -- hopefully today.

As noted before, players can accumulate as many homes as they wish, and homes can be purchased for gold or crowns, although gold purchases require achievements such as clearing storylines for the associated alliance first. Players will also have access to new crafting writs and new armor motifs, so even if you for some reason don't have a fascination with housing, you'll find something new in the lengthy patch notes to get excited over. Even if you have to wait a bit to test everything.

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Global Chat: The Standing Stone standoff

Following the announcement of LOTRO and DDO's new studio and the subsequent cancellation of the Asheron's Call games, you can better believe that the MMO blogosphere was alight with conversations and opinions on the subject.

Aywren said that the move is a "win-win" for the two MMOs, while Contains Moderate Peril thought that it "raises a lot of questions." GamingSF is "optimistic," Endgame Viable thinks that updates will slow down going forward, The Ancient Gaming Noob considers it "momentous news," and Ravalation doesn't see the point in "doom-and-glooming."

Battle Priestess has some advice for Standing Stone: "Stay true to the Lord of the Rings source and lore and write amazing storylines and engaging quests. Keep developing beautiful landscapes. For the love of all that is holy, please update the character models and hairstyles. Be more transparent with your players and listen to the community."

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