Game Director Matt Firor gives us an update on what is in the plans for The Elder Scrolls Online.
Greetings, everyone, and welcome to another Road Ahead update. This month I’ll talk about where the game is right now with Update 4 out in the wild, what you’ll see soon in Update 5, and remind you all that we’d love to have you log into the PTS to test upcoming content—especially now that we’ve been able to provide character copies from the North American megaserver. In the future, we hope to make characters from the EU megaserver available on the PTS, so stay tuned for updates. We’re also still hard at work on the console versions of the game—we look forward to sharing more info about them soon.
Update 4, which brought the Upper Craglorn region, a new Trial, and the Dragonstar Arena (and plenty of other fixes and improvements), has been available to everyone on the live servers for about four weeks now, and we appreciate everyone who helped us troubleshoot some issues that cropped up when the update went out. We deployed a series of hotfixes over the first week Update 4 was live to address those problems, and your feedback helped us find and correct them quickly.
What’s Coming in Update 5
Update 5 is on the PTS and ready for testing right now! It’s a big update that contains a Veteran Dungeon, a new system of repeatable Pledges and Writs for dungeons and crafting, our new facial animation system and fixes for player separation when questing in a group. Here are some more details:
- A new Veteran Dungeon: City of Ash continues the dungeon’s story and introduces dangerous new challenges for your group.
- The new facial animation system makes NPCs far more lifelike during conversations.
- Repeatable Pledges: The Undaunted now reward players once a day for specific dungeon runs with special loot and trophies.
- Repeatable Writs: You’ll be able to obtain certification in your crafting skills and then complete Writs for inspiration, materials, and special Survey Reports that will lead you to high-yield harvesting nodes.
- Dungeon level scaling: Dungeons’ enemies and rewards will scale to the level of the group leader, giving you more chances to group up, experience a challenge, and get appropriate rewards.
- More player separation fixes: More quests will be streamlined so you aren’t separated from your group members as often while adventuring.
Those are the main highlights of Update 5, but much more is coming, including the new Dwemer crafting style, a new item set to craft, chat bubbles, and our continued effort to expand delves throughout the game. And, of course, the update will bring plenty of bug fixes and other improvements. Check out the full patch notes here to see all the changes.
The Guild Summit
We recently hosted representatives from several prominent ESO Guilds here in our studio to promote an exchange of ideas and feedback with representatives directly from the community. Over the two days of the summit, our developers received lots of great feedback from the guilds, and the guilds got to hear about (and see) what we’re working on for future updates and bring concerns and questions right to us.
There have been tons of excellent summaries of the event posted by summit attendees, so be sure to check them out if you want a detailed overview of everything that was discussed.
As I’ve said many times before, games like ESO rely on a community of players to be successful. Having a regular dialogue with community leaders is a great way for us to stay in touch with real player issues and keep everyone in the community informed about what we’re working on.
We’re working through all the feedback we received from the summit, and will certainly be making changes based on it as we move forward. Of course, the Summit isn’t the only place we’re getting feedback! It’s just another opportunity for us to gather thoughts from the community. We’re always watching for your feedback on our forums, fansites, in communities like reddit, and over social media.
We announced our three-month Loyalty Reward, the High Hrothgar Wraith, and we’ll be talking about our six-month reward soon. Stay tuned for more details on what you’ll receive, and thanks to all of you who are exploring Tamriel with your trusty new Wraith sidekick for your devotion to ESO!
On a related note, we’ll be moving collectibles like pets out of your inventory soon and into their own collections UI, keeping your pack just a little lighter.
We have a series of stability and performance improvements for Cyrodiil in the works right now. The client crash bug that affected some of you during the last couple of weeks was hotfixed recently, but we remain focused on making sure that there aren’t other client issues preventing you from battling it out against your enemies in Cyrodiil.
As far as the Cyrodiil experience as a whole goes, we are also (as we talked about during the Guild Summit ) working on making it a lot smoother, and soon we’ll be introducing new player options to cull visual effects to increase your client’s framerate, giving you some more control over performance in the area.
We’re additionally looking at some outstanding player balance and exploit complaints, and will work to make sure that players aren’t cheating their way to success on the battlefield. Rest assured that we’ll take care of this kind of problem as quickly as we’re able.
Don’t forget to check out ESO Live, our new livestream show, every other Friday night on the ESO channel on Twitch. You can find an archive of past shows here. ESO Live is a regular show that features interviews with ZOS game developers, videos of upcoming features, and plenty of entertaining segments focused on ESO and our amazing community (you!).