Elder Scrolls Online’s Matt Firor addresses Greymoor launch issues


Elder Scrolls Online game director Matt Firor has posted a lengthy and detailed explanation of some of the rough spots encountered during last week’s Greymoor chapter launch. In it, he addresses some of the challenges the ZeniMax Online Studios team has been facing over the past several months, including working from home and managing large server populations.

“We have been experiencing extremely high player populations, especially PC EU and PC NA, for a few months now,” he says. “ESO is as popular as it has ever been, and we could not have done it without your participation. Thank you so much, and we’ll continue to work diligently every day to make Tamriel your go-to virtual world.”

Firor explains several of the issues players encountered last week during launch, including chapter content being first available for all, then unavailable for some, then appropriately available but with unacceptable performance. Lastly, the post hints at a change in the way these types of issues are communicated to the playerbase in the future.

We are continuing to work on performance improvements, and we will keep giving you regular updates, although as you saw from our recent post, we are looking to adjust how we communicate our performance improvements to ensure you are getting the information you need.


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I’m not having major issues, it’s not like WoW’s Warlords launch (then you’d actually have something to complain about).


Well, performance is better compared to the launch of Greymoor… BTW, lag is not fixed and Cyrodiil performance is still shocking.

All the guilds who won their bids not getting their traders is an ‘edge’ problem ? This has been coming for months.

My general attitude towards Greymoor is one of disappointment, irrespective of the launch problems.

The writing and the story are poor, without giving away any spoilers it’s very similar to the last expansion.

Wayshrine placement is terrible if you want to do the northern Harrowstorms, I can see player participation dropping off sharply, same problem with the dragons in Northern Elsweyr. Also, the rewards are not worth the time, there is a reason the dragons in southern Elsweyr are still popular. Increasing grind to make up for a lack of content never works.

Last time I looked, Blackreach was a creepy and dark place, not a technicolour fun palace…Huge mistake to split the map up to such a degree, imo. People want more of Skyrim, not a bloody cave.

Vampire rework has not gone down well, to put it mildly.

The whole ‘chapter’ just feels small. It’s DLC sized. I do think this ‘year of’ thing they do now does the story no favours.

I’ll stop now, I’ll just say slapping a filter over everything does not make something ‘dark’ and ‘gothic’, it just makes me turn the colour saturation up on my Nvidia settings.


With all the other crap going on in the world, it is good that we can come here and talk about something else, you know? Something that doesn’t make me sad, and mad, and… unable to focus.

So, to that end, here is my take on Greymoor. I will be brief actually.

As launches go, it wasn’t that bad. There were big issues, and it is still hard to understand how Bnet can underestimate a launch like this. I understand a lack of resources becasue of COVID, but they had time to plan.

And yet it wasn’t that bad. Most people got in. There was service interruptions but since when is that new. And most of the problems were solved in about one day. I’ll take it as win these days.

No, the problem is not the launch. Nor is the content lacking. Going back to Skyrim is pretty cool to be honest. And the bundles were great as even Standard included Morrowind, Summersett, and Elsweyr!

The problem is performance. Cyrodill is still a mess. Groupfinder is sometimes just impossible. Characters are still getting stuck combat where they can’t loot. I mean for Yoda’s sake, these issues have been around for YEARs!

So, that is my take. Greymoor is a great addition and distraction, but when you come back down to earth, it’s the same old shit.


Am I the only one that doesn’t have problems playing ESO? I have an old potato of a PC, but I’ve been playing the past two months just fine. Sure, there was a day or two when the xpac dropped that there was some problems, but if you’re an MMORPG vet, you should be used to this by now.

Otherwise, the past two months I’ve just had an absolute blast exploring the ton of content in the game.


I have minor problems but w/e, I have a low mid level Rig, I stick to questing/delves/normal 4 mans.


I have canceled my subscription and am breaking from the game for a few months. Hopefully they will sort out the performance issues by then. The lag spikes, rubber banding, client/server desyncs, looting lock ups, and all that are just not something I care to deal with.

Not going to reward this sort of thing with a subscription, not after buying the Chapter. Fortunately, I won’t have to resubscribe to test it out; at least that’s something.

Dug From The Earth

ESO just cant seem to get their head around optimizing their engine properly. Specifically the amount of CPU load the game has.

All too often its calculating WAY more than it should be.

For example. Go into a city, one that normally lowers your framerate. Stand facing a wall so that the ONLY thing on your screen is the wall visuals. At this point, your FPS should be super high. (or at least 60 if you use vsync). Proper optimization would tell the engine “Hey, dont calculate things 200 feet away that are not on the screen because they arent important, the only thing thats important is what the player is looking at.” The game doesnt do this, however.

And that is just the visual calculations. The game also is horrible inefficient in how it keeps track of buffs, debuffs, cooldowns, character loadouts, items in your bags, and worst of all, bonuses from all of your champion points. This is why Cyrodil lags so badly.

Imagine if you had a box full of apples and came across another person with a box full of apples. When you meet up with this other person, one of you has to step aside to let the other by, and the one who must step aside is the one with fewer apples.

How most games work:

Both players, well in advance, already counted how many apples are in their box and remember this number. Thus, when they meet, its a simple comparison of 1 total value vs another total value IE: 40 compared to 30. This is a quick and efficient.

How ESO works:

Both players meet, and the game tries to calculate the total number of apples in each players box at that very moment. Then, it compares the totals. This means there is a delay before it even knows who has more. To make matters worse, its not saving the value of how many apples are in the box, so the next player that comes along, it has to recalculate it again.

In the intricate game world, its much more complex than just a box full of apples. The box has other items that have to be sorted and ignored. Some of the apples may be bad and cant be counted as legit apples, There may be green and red apples, and only red ones count. Perhaps bigger apples hold more value than smaller ones, so a large apple might count as 2 in the total comparison number. Etc etc etc. All of these things are being calculated at the time of the encounter which is just horribly inefficient.

The inclusion of the champion system which adds loads of bonuses is like dumping a ton more types of apples and other fruits into the box.

I know this is a stupid dumb analogy for a much more complex problem, but you can understand why the game is still suffering performance issues after all these years. They literally need to change how the engine calculate things, and often times, that can be as big of a task as creating a new engine from scratch.