Here are ten features we're enthusiastic about with the upcoming release.
Three Factions To Choose From
Rather than just giving you one sort of option to play with in Elder Scrolls Online, you have three choices – the Aldmeri Dominion, the Daggerfall Covenant and the Ebonheart Pact. Each one has their own backstory to follow, along with specific missions and more. It also provides significant replay value, even if you've already leveled up to 50 within another faction. Nothing beats seeing how the "other side" lives when it comes to re-exploring this world.
A Massive World
The Elder Scrolls Online will be one of the biggest games in the series to date. Almost all of Tamriel will be open to exploration, with new areas opening up as you level up your character. Cyrodill will be yours to explore once you reach level 10, and you'll also be able to traverse the Black Marsh and Elsweyr to some effect. You'll have plenty to do here, putting your monthly subscription to good use. It just depends how much you want to explore.
Who says you have to play as a single type of warrior? The Elder Scrolls Online will have four different classes to choose from, each with their own special abilities and techniques. You've got the Dragonknight, the Templar, the Sorcerer and the Nightblade. Although the weapon choices will remain the same across all classes, it'll be great to see what special techniques each of these classes present. Plus, again, it adds to the replay value, as you can see what other characters can do.
Familiar, Comfortable Combat
Those of you who have fought your way through an Elder Scrolls game before – like Oblivion and Skyrim – will no doubt feel right at home with Elder Scrolls Online's battle system. You'll be able to assign two weapons skills, three class skills and an Ultimate Ability to your character, mixing up their techniques as you battle enemies both big and small. You can also pick up additional weapons in the game, including the return of the highly appreciated Siege Weapons.
Customization Options Galore
In the past, we've discussed Elder Scrolls Online's elaborate customization system, because it really is one of the deepest you're likely to see in a video game. With various character races and other tools available, you could spend hours creating your ultimate warrior, and make changes to improve upon their weaknesses. You can check out the video below to get more details on how the system will work.
Two Unique Perspectives
Unlike previous Elder Scrolls games, Online provides two completely unique viewpoints. You can either play in first-person, ala Skyrim and Oblivion, to get a true warrior's perspective, or you can move to a third-person perspective, like so many other adventure games on the market. These really make a difference, offering players the ability to choose what works best for them.
Epic PvP Battles
Even though they'll be limited to the land of Cyrodill, you'll be able to enter into some of the biggest PvP battles ever simulated in a game. Bethesda has already promised that hundreds (!) of players will be able to take part in each fight. Players will be able to choose between sieges and territory gains, as well as "capture the flag" based modes where you try to bring an enemy's Elder Scroll back to your own fortress. Doing so will earn you experience points, which you can turn around for new gear and abilities for your character. Count us in.
The Mounts Are Back
You don't necessarily have to do everything on foot in The Elder Scrolls Online. You'll have the option of starting out with a horse, and eventually making your relationship stronger over the course of the game. That means interacting with it via feeding and giving it care. This has a rewarding effect, as it will evolve with additional speed or stamina. Now, we just need to know if you'll be able to buy Horse Armor for it...
A Completely Fair Loot System
If there's one thing we completely hate with playing online MMO's, it's having someone swoop in and steal the loot for something you put the effort into. We hate that. Fortunately, Bethesda has put together a system where loot will be individually instanced to players. So, that means if you took part in a huge massive battle and killed the boss enemy, you'll be treated to your fair share of the gold. No more mad scrambles to see who can get the most cash. Whew.
The Power of Marriage
Relationships aren't just available in The Elder Scrolls Online – they're encouraged. Once you find a fellow warrior and shack up with them – it doesn't matter what race, so let your freak flag fly – you'll be equipped with rings. Wearing these and taking part in battle, you'll receive an experience bonus that you can apply to yourself, just as your partner can apply to his or her character. You'll need a good amount of gold to do the deed, but for some experienced players, this will certainly be worth it.
The Elder Scrolls Online releases on April 4th for PC/Mac, and June 4th for Xbox One and PlayStation 4.