Matt Firor answered several of ZAM's questions regarding TESO.
There are still some unanswered questions leading up to The Elder Scrolls Online launch. Are you curious what payment methods will be accepted, or what will be available in the Zenimax store? Will there be several rulesets for the PvP campaigns? What happens to skill points gained in ability trees when you respec or a tree becomes unavailable? We had the chance recently to speak to TESO Game Director Matt Firor to ask these questions and more!
With the launch date approaching, what are the anticipated subscription plans and payment methods? Will there be a discount for paying for several months upfront (multi-month plans)?
Yes, you can expect to get a discount for buying multiple-month subscriptions and we accept a variety of payment methods including PayPal, WebMoney, etc in addition to the ones you’d expect.
What types of items or services can we expect to find in the Zenimax store?
The purpose of the store is to offer interested players a variety of additional services. At launch we’re going to have two items: the ability to upgrade to the Imperial Edition, and an entry level horse (Palomino colored). The horse you get in both purchases is functionally the same, but the Imperial Edition is the only way to ever get the White horse. We have the Palomino horse available to allow players to purchase a basic mount without purchasing the entire Imperial Edition.
Is there any information you can share about the Adventure Zones?
For those that don’t know, Adventure Zones are ESO zones that offer end-game PvE group-based content. We’re going to make some announcements shortly about what else Adventure Zones will offer and when you can expect to see the first one roll out.
How will the social engine work on the Megaserver? Will players be able to choose multiple options, including preferred language, roleplaying and so forth?
Things can change during game development, and this was one such feature that has evolved over time. We have put a focus on connecting those who have similar interests through friending, guilds, and zone chat channels. At launch, when you log in, the game will select your zone instance based on your friends (in your friends list) as and your guild affiliations. You will be able to play in any language you wish on either Megaserver, as there are chat channels for English, French, and German in every zone – and your game is user-settable to whichever language you prefer as well for game text and NPC voices. Over time we will be adding more features to the social engine so that you can further refine the types of people you want to be placed into the world with.
What rulesets will be available for PvP campaigns, apart from length variations?
We have one Cyrodiil ruleset available at launch – all campaigns will last for 90 days. Over time, we may consider adding new rulesets, and when we do, we’ll let everyone know.
What role will crafters play in PvP? We know that there are resources to gather and PvPers to gear, but can crafters have a real role in the war effort, such as crafting stones to help rebuilding keep walls?
Crafters still make the best gear in the game and can improve all gear found. So, because everyone wants better gear, crafters play a huge role in PvP. At launch, crafters won’t be able to directly rebuild keep walls, but this is something that may happen in the future.
We noticed that it’s quite difficult to tell PCs apart from NPCs, especially early on, which makes the game feel somewhat lonely near the beginning. Is there anything being worked on that will make player characters stand out better?
This is one of those things that fades over time as you play the game and become more familiar with the differences in the ways NPCs and players act. Very quickly, you’ll be able to pick out PCs fairly easily when it is necessary to do so, and of course when you are grouped, you see a chevron over your groupmate’s heads.
When you respec a skill tree, what happens to the experience gained in a morphed skill since you’ll ‘forget’ the morph?
If you respec back to a morph you had previously trained, you’ll keep the experience that you had in that skill before the respec.
When you recover from vampirism / lycanthropy (you can cure yourself, right?), what will happen to the skill points spent and the acquired experience in those trees, and what will happen if you get infected again later on?
You can be cured of both vampirism and lycanthropy. When you are cured, you lose the skill lines, but if you are infected again, you will regain the skills at the level that you dropped them when you were cured.
In summary, the skill tree information that Matt shared is very important, as players can respec where they put their ability points but skills need to be levelled to be morphed (a skill has four ranks, then a choice between two morphs which themselves each have four ranks) and trees need to be levelled to spend points in them. If you respec a fully ranked morphed skill and put back a point in the skill, you'll be able to morph it immediately. If you chose the morph you knew, you'll be fully ranked again, but if you pick the other unknown one, you'll have to level this new morphed skill. You'll also keep the skill tree progression even if the tree becomes unavailable to you for a time (in case of cured vampirism or lycanthropy).
Thank you Matt Firor for taking the time to speak with us! Players will now be better prepared for launch day and can now better plan what they’ll do once in game. We'll keep our eyes out for new information on Adventure Zones and the subscription plans!
Guilhemette "Whilhelmina" Giacopazzi