As 2014 begins to come to a close, Bethesda's monthly the Road Ahead for Elder Scrolls Online doubled also as a reflection on the year back of the games first year out. They discussed how it went on PC/Mac, it coming to Consoles and the upcoming update 6 in January.
The Road Travelled
The report opens discussing the year that Elder Scrolls has had, in the most positive light that one would expect. There has been a lot of rough periods for Elder Scrolls Online, and the list of changes they have happened since then. Beyond just basic bug patches and stability work, they've had to redo all their dungeons more or less, add a lot of common mmo things in stuff like dyes, reconfigure their campaigns, and more to help bring the game to a level that people expect for a game that is full priced, plus subscription fee. Like many mmos that try that model it has the challenge of meeting World of Warcraft-style expectations and innovating on that, and they add on them of course the pressure of the Elder Scrolls brand name.
Elder Scrolls Online has been slowly and steadily working on its Xbox One and Console release and it appears to be closer then ever. In the update, they say that the game is playable on them but they still have some work to do before announcing a release date. In particular they want to make sure some stuff from Update 6 is working on it, which is fueling rumors that it will come out in January alongside Update 6.
They are doing a full bunch of work in making a console friendly User Interface (now if only Skyrim had done the same in reverse...), as well as adding in full voice chat and integration into Xbox Live and Playstation Network.
Coming early in January, Update 6 promises to be a fairly large one for the Elder Scrolls Online. There are going to be two major new systems making their official debuts in it - the Champion system and the Justice System.
The Champion system has been in the works for a while and has had some ground work laid for it in previous works. It is an overhaul of the post-level 50 veteran experience, and Update 6 marks the end of the rollout process with it being phase 3. It will include the ability to spend points in Champion passives and many ability changes to fit the system.
The Justice system is something that many would have expected in an Elder Scrolls game, and adds in the beginning of it. Like the champion system was, it will be rolled out over time, with Update 6 laying the ground work for the rest to come. The Justice system will allow you to steal from vendors, pickpocket NPCs, kill them, and have the guards mete out justice. It does not have the PvP Enforcer component yet, as they want to make sure that it is working in just the world side before letting players go PvP crazy bringing criminals to justice.
The size of Update 6 has required them to delay the Imperial City PvP area for a different update.
You can read all the details of it here in the Elder Scrolls Online Blog
What do you think of Elder Scrolls Online coming to Consoles? Do you think that its first year on PC has been a success or a failure? Do you think updates like the Justice system will help it recapture attention of people disaffected with it?