eso

See: The Elder Scrolls Online

ZeniMax is getting only half of the amount originally awarded in the Oculus lawsuit

Did you think that the Oculus vs. ZeniMax lawsuit was over when ZeniMax was awarded $500 million in its legal battle with the VR manufacturer? That’s silly; this lawsuit and associated wrangling will outlast the stars themselves. The judge in the case has cut the award from $500 million to $250 million while also denying an injunction against the sale of the headsets. That’s a bit of a black eye for ZeniMax, with a statement that the company is considering its next steps.

For those of you who no longer recall why these two companies were fighting like newly divorced parents, the courts found Oculus guilty of using proprietary software and copyright infringement when developing the Oculus Rift. ZeniMax Media is of course the parent company of Bethesda Softworks and ZeniMax Online Studios, the latter of which is in charge of The Elder Scrolls Online, so that’s very much relevant for both MMOs and future VR developments. If you need a bit more recap, we’ve got our whole roundup of coverage of the trial below for your enjoyment.

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Massively OP Podcast Episode 176: Guild Wars 2, The Crew 2, and Elder Scrolls too

On this week’s show, Bree and Justin agree that two is the best number in the world, especially when it comes to video games! It’s a hodge-podge of topics, including Guild Wars 2’s latest episode, The Crew 2’s launch, Trion Worlds’ Gazillion acquisition, and more!

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.

Listen to the show right now:

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Elder Scrolls Online: Summerset added a new hour of music and 7,224 lines of dialogue

You might be finding yourself enchanted with Elder Scrolls Online: Summerset’s pretty visuals, but what about the delight that your ears are sampling?

ZeniMax gave props to its audio team that handled the music, voices, and sounds of the recent expansion, saying that its work was “designed to wholly immerse you in the home of the High Elves.” Zeroing in on Summerset’s magical ambience was of key importance for the group, with the music leaning on wind instruments to distinguish itself from the other releases.

And don’t forget the extensive dialogue! “We have 7,224 lines of unique dialog in Summerset,” says Voice-Over Supervisor Becky Ichnoski. “For this chapter specifically, we spent a total of 108 hours in the studios recording, making up 37 individual sessions with a total of 35 different voice actors.”

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Elder Scrolls Online offers Steam downtime compensation as review-bombing hits ‘mostly negative’

Earlier this week, we covered the messy business between Elder Scrolls Online and Steam – specifically, that Steam logins for the game have been toast for the last couple of weekends, leading to some gigantic threads on both Steam and Reddit (2600+ comments now on Steam) as people found the game entirely inaccessible. Now, it doesn’t appear ZeniMax has it completely sorted yet, but a forum note says it’s working on a solution – and in the meantime, it’s offering compensation.

“To give everyone an update on the recent complications with ESO on Steam, we’ve been having conversations with Steam to fully understand what’s causing the downtime and login issues, and will update everyone as soon as we have information to share. In the meantime, we do plan to grant all Steam players an extra Psijic Vault Crown Crate since not everyone was able to login during last weekend’s giveaway event. These crates will be delivered to your account after the next PC maintenance, tentatively scheduled for July 2. Thanks for your patience, everyone. We’ll provide another update as soon as we can.”

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Global Chat: The fallout of Fallout 76

Bethesda’s E3 reveal of Fallout 76 had many gamers and franchise fans talking, no more so than out among MMO bloggers. After all, taking the series online for the first time is a pretty notable occasion, is it not?

“As I said before, I am all onboard with a Fallout survival game,” wrote In An Age. “Exploring the wasteland and looting all the things consists of about 80% of my gameplay in this series, and I am currently on an extreme survival game kick the likes of which I have not experienced since my high school JRPG days. All of that sounds fantastic to me.”

Leo’s Life isn’t as enthusiastic: “I was certainly interested last week. Now, not so much. It’s not the game that I wanted, but it’s probably the game that someone else did.” And Endgame Variable notes that, “The first thing they showed was your basic animalistic gankbox-style PvP. That’s got to be sending a message.”

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More MMOs pledge to fully remove Red Shell spyware, including Secret World Legends

At the beginning of June, we covered The Elder Scrolls Online’s implementation of spyware program Red Shell, which is designed to track specific information about players and PCs logging into the client, like where on the globe they live. At the time, as fury blazed across Reddit, ZeniMax’s Matt Firor apologized for Red Shell, saying the company was “experimenting” with it and didn’t intend to patch it into the live build, and therefore it would be patched back out.

As it turns out, there are plenty of other games with Red Shell, or parts of Red Shell lingering. Redditor Alexspeed75 has been keeping track of games accused of running the spyware. Most notable on the list for our readers is Funcom; while the studio removed the Red Shell code from Conan Exiles in May following player complaints, players still found parts of it in The Secret World as of last week. That, Funcom has told Redditors, was an error, as it patched out the code last year.

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Gran Skrea brings an indie sandbox MMO to early access

On the prowl for an undiscovered indie MMORPG these days? You might want to check out Gran Skrea Online, as it just went into early access this past weekend.

According to the team, Gran Skrea “combines a desire for new player-defined MMORPG mechanics with influences from classic RPGs like RuneScape, Ultima Online, and The Elder Scrolls.” It’s $9 right now through June 23rd, which isn’t the most exorbitant price we’ve ever seen, and there’s an official Discord set up already.

The sandbox MMORPG sends players “to create their own destiny in an original world of medieval fantasy.” This apparently means a mixture of quests, “ruthless” PvP combat, guilds, and economy. There are already quite a few features in place, including player housing, a criminal flagging system, lots of crafting, and a game world with plenty of lore. There’s more to be added in the early access program, so features such as territorial warfare, auction houses, and naval warfare are still in development.

Get an early look at Gran Skrea after the jump!

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Elder Scrolls Online players politely review-bomb the game over excessive Steam login woes

If you’ve been struggling to play Elder Scrolls Online on Steam this weekend, you’re not alone. Apparently the Steam logins have been crapping out across the board for ESO players for the last couple of weekends, leading to some gigantic threads on both Steam and Reddit (1200+ comments on that angry Steam thread!) as people couldn’t log into the game for the majority of yesterday.

The repetitive issues on Steam have led players to review-bomb the game on the platform, driving its recent reviews down to “mixed” (overall, it’s “mostly positive,” which is pretty high for an MMORPG these days).

The amusing thing is that it’s the nicest review bombing I’ve ever seen, with most of the negative reviews telling people the game is still worth buying – just to not buy it on Steam until the problems are resolved.

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E3 2018: Hands-on with Bethsoft’s Elder Scrolls: Blades (yes, in portrait mode)

Out of all the announcements Bethesda had at its pre-E3 presser, The Elder Scrolls: Blades was the last title I thought we’d be offered. Oh, we had asked about others, but they sadly weren’t being shown, nor did they have anyone around to answer questions. Beyond the basics, Blades was the same.

Which was a shame, since there was excitement about the title in the MOP newsroom, especially once we heard it would include some sort of multiplayer. Scaling from PC VR down to mobile is a vast tech difference and gameplay experience. And being able to potentially play in portrait mode? All jokes aside, that’s actually some promising stuff!

However, of those awesome selling points, I only experienced portrait-style ESO mobile goodness during my demo.

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E3 2018: Nintendo thinks lockboxes are unfairly maligned, help ‘drive engagement’

You know how sometimes, when nosy press asks you a question with no good answer, you’re better off shutting up? And when they don’t ask you about a tricky subject, you probably shouldn’t go out of your way to run into it head-on?

Nintendo didn’t get that memo at E3, apparently, as during an interview with Bloomberg, it broke ranks with more diplomatic game studios to basically defend lockboxes and lootboxes.

“Loot boxes, broadly speaking, have gotten a bit of a bad rap,” Nintendo exec Reggie Fils-Aime told the publication (via GIbiz), in answer to a broad softball question about digital revenue.

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E3 2018: hands-on with The Division 2 – a major upgrade over the original game

At this year’s E3, Ubisoft creative director Julian Gerighty said team behind The Division 2 tried to learn “everything” from The Division to help make the sequel better. As he reminded me, the original game’s final DLC was especially meaty in terms of PvE content and PvP balance, but it’s the first impressions of the game that mattered most: The initial Dark Zone iteration is still what gamers remember best, and that’s not necessarily a compliment. I myself was not impressed with the original demo back in 2015.

But based on my preview of The Division 2 at this year’s E3, I can say that Gerighty’s team obviously learned quite a bit – and absolutely improved on the original.

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E3 2018: Skull and Bones fleshes out its gameplay with the Hunting Grounds

Player choice and random map elements are the key to the meat of Skull and Bones’ replayability said Ubisoft at this week’s E3 2018. The studio made a concerted effort to show how its upcoming multiplayer pirate title wasn’t just PvP and nothing but.

In fact, the big reveal this week was the Hunting Grounds, which sounds more PvE than PvP. These special areas will be modified by “fortunes” set before players head toward them. When there, player crews will take on various quests while also having the freedom to simply explore and hunt boats. One such quest was to hunt down an NPC bounty hunter with another player.

“You log in and decide where in the world you want to go, which factions you want to take on, whether you want to do it by yourself or call your friends, or meet new friends within the world. All of those things are based on your own objectives,” said Creative Director Justin Farren.

The studio confirmed that it will be pushing out Skull and Bones some time next year. In any case, we have several videos from Ubisoft’s E3 showing after the break, so dig in!

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Tamriel Infinium: Unpacking the Elder Scrolls Online presentation at E3

Elder Scrolls Online is obviously a huge draw for MMORPG players, but it’s far from an exciting title for the vast majority of gamers attending E3, so I was surprised to see Game Director Matt Firor on the stage at all during the Bethesda presentation. It’s not to say that ESO isn’t a great game; it’s just been around awhile, and the hypetrain is hardly running at full speed right now.

During his presentation, Firor mentioned a lot of things worth considering. He had a very short time to not only tell existing fans what was happening in the game this year, but he also had to remind people of how great ESO is right now. Of course, he was hoping to get new players interested in the game. He knew that ESO wasn’t always well-received, but he had to show how far the game has come. Here’s how he did it.

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