The Daily Grind: Are MMO side quests on their way out?

I was recently reading Larry’s column on Elder Scrolls Online’s latest expansion and how he noted that there didn’t seem to be a lot — if any — in the way of filler quests. Side quests aren’t a thing in Morrowind, unless you give yourself a quest to just poke around and get into trouble. And I consider that a very good thing indeed.

I’m done with side quests. With the exception of, say, The Secret World (which puts some effort into these), side quests have long become the dumping ground for “busy work” with minimal story. They’re the MMO equivalent of increasing the margins on your high school research paper so the end product looks more impressive, yet no one is actually fooled.

Are MMO side quests on their way out? Do you see evidence of this in other games? And do you prefer to stick to main storylines — either personal or regional — when you play?

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The Elder Scrolls Online: Morrowind soundtrack is now available digitally

Did you enjoy the music of The Elder Scrolls Online: Morrowind? Then there’s good news, because you can now fill your ears with it wherever you go. The soundtrack is available via Spotify, Amazon, iTunes, and Google Music, so no matter what your preferred platform may be, you can make it the day-to-day soundtrack of your life. Be warned that you may get some funny looks if you spend an entire business meeting playing it, assuming you’re someone who has high-powered business meetings.

The official site also has an interview with composer Brad Derrick, who talks about the challenges involved in making sure the soundtrack was new and distinct while still reminding players of the history behind the game’s title and lore. Derrick marks the title theme as the hardest part to compose (since it’s the iconic song for the whole expansion), while also seeing the transition of one theme into another depending on player activities to be vital to making a good soundtrack. Check out the full interview if you’re curious about how the tracks got made.

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The MMOs of the Steam Summer 2017 Sale

After some ups and downs this afternoon — everybody loves the “try again later” message, right? — Valve’s summer Steam sale is finally underway and stable. Here’s what we’re looking at in our corner of the gaming world.

On Steam…

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The Elder Scrolls Online recaps the big events of E3 while players get hit with surprise bans

If you’re fond of The Elder Scrolls Online and have managed to tear yourself away from Morrowind for a few minutes, you probably already caught up on the game’s big announcements at this year’s E3. But there was more stuff going on this year than just that, and the game’s team has helpfully recapped the big events for players unable to attend, including the community meetup and the game’s presence at the Bethesda booth.

Of course, it’s easy to step away from the game if you’re unexpectedly banned, isn’t it? Players who preordered the game through Amazon seem to be having some issues, getting banned despite being players in good standing. Players who ordered physical copies of the game are still waiting on delivery of same, which seems to be the cause behind the unintentional bans. The community service team has been working with affected players as best they are able, but it’s still a bit of a kick for players who have done nothing meriting the banning. So… here’s hoping that if you are looking forward to the game’s next updates, you didn’t order through Amazon.

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E3 2017: Elder Scrolls Online’s Matt Firor on Morrowind, nostalgia, and PvP

The Elder Scrolls Online released its first expansion, Morrowind, shortly before E3 2017. MMOs rarely come up with mainstream media, but with Morrowind’s nostalgia power, I heard the name mentioned a few times off the showroom floor. While I’d heard of Morrowind, of course, I didn’t personally get on the Elder Scrolls train until Skyrim — it’s been one of those games making “best of” lists for as long as I could remember. However, some of the things I’d read about the upcoming expansion gave me pause, so I brought them up with ZeniMax Game Director Matt Firor during our conversation at E3.

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Massively Overthinking: The best MMOs and multiplayers of E3 2017

E3 is drawing to a close, with its reveals over and done with — all that’s left is processing our interviews and hands-on pieces. But in the meantime, we decided to take this week’s Overthinking to consider the field. MMORPGs haven’t shined brightly at E3 in a long time, so our expectations are usually low — the con is interesting to us more for what’s happening on the multiplayer front.

So that’s what we asked our staff: What’s the most interesting or grabby-hands MMO or MMO-ish thing from E3 this year? Which game would get your best in show and why? There’s also an extra bonus section on the con itself courtesy of our writer on the floor.

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Tamriel Infinium: The major flaw in Elder Scrolls Online Morrowind’s PvP

When I spoke to ZeniMax Lead PvP Designer Brian Wheeler a few months back, I was intrigued by the PvP that Morrowind was offering The Elder Scrolls Online. When it hit the test servers, I found it to be exactly what I thought it would be. But because of my playtimes or just the general activity on the PTS, the queues didn’t pop much, so I didn’t get enough of an impression of the Battlegrounds during the test.

However, since the chapter hit the live servers, I’ve been able to spend a good bit of time in the no-Champion Points version of the instanced PvP zones. (As many of you know, I have a heavy aversion to Champion Points, so I apologize that my impressions of the Battlegrounds are only reflective of that.)

Now, I enjoy PvP sporadically. I would not consider myself a hardcore PvPer. But there was a time when I spent all of my game time in both instanced and open-world PvP, so I am not ignorant of the interests PvPers: balanced classes, interesting and unexploitable maps, and strategic and engaging objectives. Of course, there will always be balancing issue when you’re dealing with the number of class combinations ESO carries, but they are relatively balanced. And the other interests fall in line with most other MMO PvP. There is one major flaw that appears effective on paper, but when you factor in human nature, it fails almost every time: 4v4v4.

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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.

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E3 2017: Elder Scrolls Online announces Horns of the Reach and Clockwork City DLC

The Elder Scrolls Online already spent its big ammo last week when Morrowind actually launched, but it’s part of Bethsoft’s E3 production all the same. In fact, the studio brought a new trailer for the expansion to the show. The earliest bits are admittedly cheesy since it features gamers reacting to the game, but I dare you not to crack a smile on the way to the latter half, which is loaded with gorgeous visuals of the game.

The best part? After touting its 10M players number, Bethsoft drops a fast coming-soon tease for two new DLC: Horns of the Reach and Clockwork City. The Horns of the Reach DLC, due out in August, launches two new dungeons — Bloodroot Forge and Falkreath Hold — and herald a free update that includes new battleground bits, homes, cosmetics and other buyables. The Clockwork City DLC, on the other hand, takes players deep into Sotha Sil’s lair with “10 hours of fresh content.” That one’s out later this year; the studio says even folks who haven’t bought Morrowind can still pick this one up.

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Elder Scrolls Online wraps up its Morrowind video guide series and teases new soundtrack

Now that Elder Scrolls Online: Morrowind has launched, chances are that anyone interested in this expansion is in there playing instead of moping about on the web. But that didn’t stop the team from putting out the last of its “Naryu” video guides out, this one focused on the PvP battlegrounds. See it below!

The team posted all of the Naryu guides on one convenient page, covering many of the key locales and features from Morrowind. Make sure that you don’t miss our Morrowind launch coverage and roundup from earlier this week.

For those awaiting the next album in the Elder Scrolls series, ZeniMax said that the Morrowind soundtrack should arrive in digital stores very shortly. You can listen to the first track, featuring Composer Jeremy Soule, also after the break!

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Tamriel Infinium: Elder Scrolls Online Morrowind is the MMO you want and don’t want

I have been head-over-heels for Elder Scrolls Online since One Tamriel, and the Morrowind chapter has only added to my enthusiasm for the game. I understand that this game now feeds into the things that I really like in my MMOs, but it didn’t always. And I know that other people clearly have different tastes from mine

What I would like to attempt to do today is to face some of the desires and questions people have for MMOs, to examine some of the common pitfalls afflicting MMOs to see how ESO Morrowind fares and avoids those it does. I’ll attempt to imagine that I am looking for a new MMO and stumble upon Morrowind – what am I going to look for and what are some other people going to look for in the game?

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The Stream Team: Elder Scrolls Online Morrowind’s launch and a collector’s edition giveaway

You are not seeing things: We have a copy of Elder Scrolls Online Morrowind to give away. Not just that, but it’s the Digital Collector’s Edition, complete with the base game, Morrowind, a Gray Bear for the Warden, an armored war horse mount, a Dwarven spider mini-pet, the Morag Tong armor and weapon converter, and special character emotes.

I’ve spent the last month pretty much buried in the new chapter, so if you have any questions at all about the game, I can probably answer them during the stream tonight, so tune in live at 7:00 p.m. as OPTV‘s infamous Stream Team brings you…

What: The Elder Scrolls Online Morrowind
Who: Larry Everett
When: 7:00 p.m. EDT on Tuesday, June 6th, 2017

Enjoy the show!

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Elder Scrolls Online’s Morrowind is finally here! Watch the new launch trailer

The Elder Scrolls Online’s Morrowind not-an-expansion has formally launched today for PC and even on console, where those of you who couldn’t participate in the head start have surely been patiently waiting.

ZeniMax’s Matt Firor has thanked players, especially beta testers. “This new Chapter in The Elder Scrolls Online saga brings more than just a new, open world to explore,” he writes in today’s producer’s letter. “We are introducing the Warden (the game’s first brand-new class since launch), a brand new PvP game mode with Battlegrounds, and a new, challenging Trial with the Halls of Fabrication. As I have said many times, ESO is designed to give players the freedom to play the way that they want to play. We began building this experience by removing the barriers to exploration in the One Tamriel update last year, and we’ve further built upon that concept in ESO: Morrowind, which features PvE, PvP, and even solo-focused content.”

There’s also a tease in there for future content and E3. “The world of Tamriel is only going to get bigger,” he says.

We’ve got the new trailer, our pre-launch streams, and a full roundup of all our Morrowind content to date down below. Read quickly, Outlander, or go away!

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