morrowind

Jukebox Heroes: Your favorite MMO themes, #18-13

Last week we were off to a great start as we listened to the first batch of player-voted favorite MMO themes. As I said then, the results of the voting, in which I asked players to nominate up to 10 of their favorite main themes from online games, were both predictable and surprising. Nostalgia and familiarity obviously play a strong role in many of these votes, but no one was asking for objectivity here!

Today we're going to continue our countdown to the top spot by looking at numbers 18 through 13 of your favorite MMO themes. I think there's a good mix here, perhaps with tunes that I would have placed a little higher, but overall it's gratifying to see each one of these make the list.

Enough jibber-jabber, let's get to it!

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Elder Scrolls Online previews Morrowind's Foyada Quarry (pro tip: lava is hot)

ZeniMax has this morning released a deep-dive of one of the trio of battlegrounds due to launch in The Elder Scrolls Online when Morrowind arrives in June. The so-dubbed Foyada Quarry is quite different from the last battleground previewed, being wide-open with little cover.

"In this deserted granite quarry, you can view exactly where the action is right from the start. However, when navigating this map, you should watch your step; the entire site is now overflowing with lava, bathing the arena in a red glow and burning those unfortunate enough to fall in. Despite the environmental hazards provided by the looming Red Mountain, Foyada Quarry funnels the action right into the center of the map via a selection of granite pathways and seared wooden bridges. Because the majority of the map is so open, teams are able to quickly close and engage with each other, thrusting you into battle almost immediately upon leaving your base and making it an especially fast-paced Battleground."

ZOS notes that crowd control will be particularly useful on the map as you knock enemies into lava and away from the capture point in the center of the map, at least in domination mode. Ouch.

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Elder Scrolls Online plans in-game jester-themed festival events for April Fools' Day

It's time to be sorry you whined and moaned for holidays in The Elder Scrolls Online. Or not sorry. It depends on whether you enjoy April Fools' Day, I suppose, but I suspect the upcoming Jester's Festival has the potential to annoy everyone who begins each new life in TESIII: Morrowind by murdering Fargoth.

"The Jester's Festival kicks off on March 23, at 10:00am EDT. If you'd like to show off your zany side, you can travel to the pavilions that have been set up just outside the cities of Ebonheart, Vulkhel Guard, and Daggerfall. At each location, you will find one of three Jesters in extremely convincing dress up as either King Jorunn, Queen Ayrenn, or King Emeric. Talk to each Jester to receive a uniquely mischievous task once per day for the duration of the festival."

Completing these quests will see you rewarded with an obnoxious hat, "fun new consumables" (read: probably pranks), trees and standards for your housing plot (what?) and "mementos" including "The Pie of Misrule," which is unlikely to be the kind of pie you eat.

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Leaderboard: The Elder Scrolls Online Morrowind 'chapter vs. DLC' fee debate

In the comments of a Daily Grind last week, a few commenters tangeted into debate about The Elder Scrolls Online: Morrowind pricing.

See, the original "ESO Plus" deal for ESO subscription holders granted them full access to all future downloadable content (DLC) forever and ever, as long as they were subscribed to the game. Morrowind, however, has been marketed not as DLC but as a "chapter," meaning it will not be subject to the Plus promises, and so everyone will have to pay for it. Grumbling ensued.

"Suppose I paid BMW a monthly fee to drive [BMW] cars," commenter Odin wrote. "I could drive whatever I want as long as I paid. They announce a great new car I want to drive. I cant wait, but they tell me, "This isnt a car; it's an automobile. You have to pay extra.'"

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The Daily Grind: Will World of Warcraft hold its 7.2 patch until June?

On October 24th, World of Warcraft launched patch 7.1, which contained a lot of not-quite-ready-for-launch Legion features and a bit of content. Since then, the game hasn't really launched any content. Sure, patch 7.1.5 launched in early January, but that just added the Brawler's Guild back to the game for content (which, admittedly, has a lot of new boss fights). We're looking at a content gap that's starting to spread out a fair bit already, and patch 7.2 is coming out... well, eventually?

Of course, MOP's Bree and I are in pretty close agreement about when it's coming out: June. Because that's when a new Final Fantasy XIV expansion and The Elder Scrolls Online: Morrowind both launch, so they're going to want to try to kneecap both of those launches.

At least from this side of the fence, that's a pretty dumb plan. It's the same plan that was in place for patch 6.2 of Warlords of Draenor, which wound up with lots of complaints about the delays, and it doesn't seem to have really crippled the launch it wanted to "intercept" there, either. Still, it's the sort of plan that Blizzard has used in the patch, and with two big competing releases in the same month it seems almost absurd to think it wouldn't be tried. So what do you think, dear readers? What do you think the odds are of WoW holding its next patch until June? And how much grousing do you expect if people are waiting that long for more content?

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Elder Scrolls Online posts brief teaser vid of Morrowind's Seyda Neen

Ah, Seyda Neen: The crappy town where the Empire dumps your convict butt off the boat on Vvardenfell!

If you're feeling nostalgic, take a peek at The Elder Scrolls Online's new Morrowind teaser, which includes a brief -- and I do mean brief, as the footage is eight seconds long -- fly-over of the iconic port village. It's apparently part of a new series:

"Like to get a sneak peek at some of the sites you'll experience in The Elder Scrolls Online: Morrowind? Starting with the township of Seyda Neen, we're posting a video clip featuring one of Vvardenfell's most iconic locations every few days throughout the rest of March."

Music gives ya chills, doesn't it?

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The Elder Scrolls Online deep-dives Morrowind's Ald Carac battleground

The launch of the Morrowind expansion will bring three separate battleground maps to The Elder Scrolls Online, and while all three feature the same three-way battle, they aren't all going to play the same. First on deck? The Dwarven ruins of Ald Carac. If your first thought upon hearing that you're going to be fighting for dominance in a ruin is that you're going to have a remarkably constrained experience, well, you're more or less right about that.

Ald Carac features rather narrow corridors and twisting passages, so players will need to be aware that someone cold easily slip just outside of their fields of vision. Of course, that means you can also set up ambushes within the region, so it cuts both ways. You can also move to the center of the map, which is far more exposed but also gives you a clear view of both opposing bases. It's going to be a game of movement and tight conflicts in Ald Carac, so be sure to bring a melee weapon with you and get ready to realize that there's someone behind you a moment too late.

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Tamriel Infinium: Battlegrounds will change Elder Scrolls Online PvP forever

I've read all the impressions from the PAX East show that I could find, and they were all overwhelmingly mild -- including ours. As you hopefully know by now, Elder Scrolls Online showed off its instanced PvP battlegrounds, and the media consensus is that they are... coming. And that's it. This really surprised me. It's superficially hard to tell whether people have come to expect one thing from battlegrounds (because so many other games already have them) and ESO really isn't changing the formula -- or the battlegrounds really aren't anything to write home about.

If you were to take Lead PvP Designer Brian Wheeler's word for it, battlegrounds will change PvP in ESO forever because they're a type of PvP that ESO has never had before, which is true. Personally, I do believe not only that battlegrounds will bring something special to Elder Scrolls Online but that other games should pay attention to ESO because it's actually doing something innovative without drawing too much attention to it.

Battlegrounds aren't perfect; there will be some drawbacks, but let's take an honest look at what this new PvP type means for Elder Scrolls Online and maybe other MMOs in the future.

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PAX East 2017: The Elder Scrolls Online's battlegrounds are exactly that

My absolute first appointment at PAX East 2017 was to stop by The Elder Scrolls Online display to check out the new battlegrounds coming up with the game's Morrowind expansion. This should not have been difficult to do, but it was made quite difficult by unnecessarily awful traffic. Seriously, it was bumper-to-bumper through long stretches of the Mass Pike, despite the fact that there was barely any snow falling and no road accumulation. I was a little bit late, in fact.

Why am I telling you this story? Because the reality is that it's the most interesting story that I have beyond the title line.

I don't mean to imply that I was disappointed by The Elder Scrolls Online's battleground gameplay because I wasn't. It was solid! I would go so far as to say it was exactly what your mind pictures when you put the game's title and "battleground" into the same sentence. The problem with describing it is just... well, again, it's exactly what your mind pictures. It is a battleground, and it is in The Elder Scrolls Online. That's it.

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Geek out with some Elder Scrolls Morrowind lore comparisons

I consider TES III: Morrowind one of the greatest RPGs ever made, due in large part to its gloriously excessive backstory, a significant portion of which is misdirection and propaganda written by the characters themselves. But if, like me, you're anticipating recognizing every detail of the province when you alight from your boat in Elder Scrolls Online's version of Morrowind... maybe think again.

So suggests a new dev blog from ZeniMax, which points out a number of differences between the Morrowind of the "future" compared to the Morrowind we'll be entering in June. 700 years before the player is incarnated as The Nerevar (or not!), the Blight isn't winning, the Ghostfence hasn't been erected, the Ash Storms won't suffocate you, Dagoth Ur's minions aren't creepy-crawling, and the Ashlands are grassy and teeming with wildlife.

Likewise, the cantons of Vivec-the-city aren't fully complete, the The Treaty of the Armistice hasn't been negotiated and signed, Mournhold hasn't been sacked, and the Imperials haven't plunked forts down everywhere yet, so cities like Caldera and Pelagiad and Tel Vos don't exist in their eventual versions. This also means the multicultural Hlaalu are still a smaller house dominated by the Telvanni and Redoran families and that slavery is still practiced heavily in the far east.

Cliffracers, however, are freaking eternal.

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Elder Scrolls Legends plans PvE update, major expansion, and multiple platform rollouts

Elder Scrolls Legends, the online TCG spawned from the ever-popular Elder Scrolls franchise, has a massive infodump and launch today. For starters, the game formally landed on PC; the beta tag has been stripped away. Bethsoft has earmarked March 23rd for the iOS tablet launch, April for the Android tablet rollout, spring for Mac, and summer for iOS and Android phones. May will see the release of Twitch integration, spectator mode, and a gauntlet mode for tourneys. And April 5th will see the game's first PvE content explosion:

"We’re also revealing our first content update for The Elder Scrolls: Legends, The Fall of The Dark Brotherhood, a new PvE Story that tosses players into the role of a double agent hired to infiltrate the ranks of The Dark Brotherhood. Recruited by a sinister group to bring down the infamous and fan-favorite Elder Scrolls guild of lethal assassins, players will need to make key choices that both impact which missions you’ll play and decide the story’s ending."

Also coming this summer? A "major expansion" -- expect more info at E3. Could be neatly linked up with Elder Scrolls Online's Morrowind, yeah?

Source: Bethsoft, press release

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The Elder Scrolls Online: Content for PvPers, content for decorators

The Elder Scrolls Online has a new dev blog out this week all about the game's planned Morrowind PvP additions. Thanks to our discussion with Lead Designer Brian Wheeler a few weeks ago, we already knew that the star of the new provincial PvP will be the short 4v4v4 arena battles that abandon factional and racial loyalties for the sake of pure bloodsport. Players will be working through capture-the-flag, deathmatch, and domination modes in exchange for a spot on the leaderboards, alliance points, experience points, loot, and medals based on what you did during the match -- and yes, the game scores things like healing, soaking damage, and defending flags, so maybe it won't even be a total clusterfudge!

Meanwhile, if your talents are more of the decorating sort, you should probably take a peek at the ZeniMax's new home contest: You've got until the end of March to submit screens of your house according to the categories, which include one for PvP, hoarding, party pads, and "fantastical constructs." Grand prize winners will walk away with a ton of prizes -- even an Earthtear Cavern of their very own.

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