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Official Discussion Thread for "Studio Director’s Letter: 2020 Retrospective"

ZOS_SarahHecker
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This is the official discussion thread for the blog article "Studio Director’s Letter: 2020 Retrospective"

Read a letter from ZeniMax Online Studio’s Director, Matt Firor, on The Elder Scrolls Online’s challenges and triumphs in 2020.
Staff Post
  • Nairinhe
    Nairinhe
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    Ok, who of you skeeving horkers asked for
    more time overall to stability and game performance and less time to new game systems
    , hm? Jk, this game needs it, if that's really what they are going to do.

    But "yay!" to the acknowledgement of this year's issues.

  • Olauron
    Olauron
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    I am looking for content, not the systems, so I don't really lose anything, even though Antiquities system was rather interesting. But that system was not as self-sufficient as Housing system, so it is hard to engage with it on a constant basis.
  • hexnotic
    hexnotic
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    Thank you for highlighting some of the issues that the game has been struggling with! Being honest and open about the situation is totally the right move, so I am very happy to see an article like this from you guys!

    Everyone here loves this game. We want to see it grow to unreasonable proportions, and for it to be healthy as well! The community that you've built will be much more understanding if honest communication is had about the issues, and seeing something like this makes me feel even more hopeful for the future of TESO!
    I stream The Elder Scrolls Online & Skyrim tues-fri @ 1pm est on Twitch TV! Come chill. twitch.tv/hexnotic
  • FaceDancer
    The_Lex wrote: »
    So, the schedule was too frenetic for the circumstances...but you’ll continue the frenetic schedule under the same circumstances?

    The schedule for the last year was too frenetic not only for the 4 dlc per year but more for the content on those dlc, wee have the collection system, they try the two passengers mounts and the antic sistem from greymore and those were only a few things.
  • jaws343
    jaws343
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    techyeshic wrote: »
    Somehow I feel like it's the same thing every year. "Happy with what we accomplished. Bugs and performance are unacceptable, but we're working on it.". Last year, it was the performance improvement plan. This year it's less new systems to focus on performance and bugs.

    What is it with game development where we hear about over working their talent to rush releases and promising to change, only to find yet another release where that's the case? A lot of amazing work goes unappreciated because of all the issues from being rushed.

    I'd like to imagine that, in 2019, ZOS had no clue a global pandemic would hit the following year and suddenly force their entire workforce into a work from home method that drastically changed their ways of working.
  • relentless_turnip
    relentless_turnip
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    I for one appreciate the honesty and more direct communication.
    I am also more than happy to have far less content next year if it means a better performing game.

    All I want from next year is much better performance and proc sets to be far less potent. Preferably a proc sets scale the same way as skills to create some cohesion when building.
    "It is not over performing... you are under performing!"
    "I heard the bugs got a buff this patch?"
  • The_Lex
    The_Lex
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    FaceDancer wrote: »
    The_Lex wrote: »
    So, the schedule was too frenetic for the circumstances...but you’ll continue the frenetic schedule under the same circumstances?

    The schedule for the last year was too frenetic not only for the 4 dlc per year but more for the content on those dlc, wee have the collection system, they try the two passengers mounts and the antic sistem from greymore and those were only a few things.

    Good points
    PC NA | @The_Lex
    Guilds:
    Tamriel Vault
    Fengrush Inc
    Moar Dottz
    Dippin Dottz
    Ink, Inc.

    Characters (PC NA):

    Dragonknight
    Vaaljørn | Nord Dragonknight | Tank/Stamina DPS | EP

    Nightblade
    Dro-Zhirr | Khajiit Nightblade | Stamina DPS | EP

    Sorcerer
    Worf of Sto'Vo'Kor | Orc Sorcerer | Stamina DPS | EP
    Maldarin Direnni | Altmer Sorcerer | Magicka DPS | EP
    Skjaar Stormcaller | Nord Sorcerer | Stamina DPS | DC

    Templar
    Vaanrith | Dunmer Templar | Crafter | EP
    Brejan Garak | Breton Templar | Healer | EP

    Warden
    Hallbjörn Stormblade | Nord Warden | Stamina DPS | EP
  • DarcyMardin
    DarcyMardin
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    Your honestly and directness is very much appreciated — thank you! It’s been a difficult year for most of us, but I have, as usual, been happy to relax and unwind with ESO. Thanks for keeping it all together during the pandemic. Let’s raise a glass to the prospect (not too unlikely, I hope) that 2021 will prove to be better for us all.
  • techyeshic
    techyeshic
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    jaws343 wrote: »
    techyeshic wrote: »
    jaws343 wrote: »
    techyeshic wrote: »
    Somehow I feel like it's the same thing every year. "Happy with what we accomplished. Bugs and performance are unacceptable, but we're working on it.". Last year, it was the performance improvement plan. This year it's less new systems to focus on performance and bugs.

    What is it with game development where we hear about over working their talent to rush releases and promising to change, only to find yet another release where that's the case? A lot of amazing work goes unappreciated because of all the issues from being rushed.

    I'd like to imagine that, in 2019, ZOS had no clue a global pandemic would hit the following year and suddenly force their entire workforce into a work from home method that drastically changed their ways of working.

    [Quoted post was removed]

    They clearly say they aren't introducing new systems next year in the article. New content, zones/dungeons sure, but not systems. So it certainly would appear they are planning a more scaled back set of updates comparatively.

    I misread. Thought they said since they were 6 months ahead, 2021 would continue to have the new systems. He actually said that the slow down will continue the first half of 2021.

    Still hope it's more successful than last year's performance plan.
    Edited by ZOS_ConnorG on January 4, 2021 3:41PM
  • luen79rwb17_ESO
    luen79rwb17_ESO
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    It's actually something worthy of praise now that you mention it. Big kudos to ZOS on that regard. It's definitely a huge effort keeping up with content during a pandemic and working from home.

    "we will devote more time overall to stability and game performance and less time to new game systems"

    But sadly, this statement is the closest thing you can translate to "we're de facto implementing a soft maintainance mode". Especially if you consider that the "performance route" has been around for 2 years now. That sentence just means "more of the same performance focus but with less content". :heartbreak:
    PC/DC/NAserver

    V16 sorc - V16 temp - V16 dk - V1 nb - V1 temp - V1 dk
  • Cireous
    Cireous
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    I remember in an interview a little while back, they mentioned that the Champion Point System rework was likely returning in (early?) 2021. I have a feeling that this might be the new system they are quashing for now.

    I imagine some systems are still going to be introduced or they wouldn't have said so in as recent a post as the Gates of Oblivion reveal. Unless, they are already backtracking on that.

    No new systems at all would be super disappointing for myself.
  • crjs1
    crjs1
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    Appreciate the honesty and it makes sense that learning from this year they are scaling back next year in terms of new systems. I am guessing we can kiss good bye to the champions point rework
  • Sarannah
    Sarannah
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    Thank you for writing this. Hopefully the ongoing issues will be resolved quickly for those who experience them. Happy holidays to you all at ZOS, and all players.

    As a player, this was a great year for TESO. Lots of new content releases, which was awesome. And quite a lot of cool events.

    There are just two main things I would like to know about how ESO is evolving, going forward: Will there ever be a skill-point catch-up mechanic for new characters? And, what are ZOS's plans with CP?
  • maboleth
    maboleth
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    It's actually something worthy of praise now that you mention it. Big kudos to ZOS on that regard. It's definitely a huge effort keeping up with content during a pandemic and working from home.

    "we will devote more time overall to stability and game performance and less time to new game systems"

    But sadly, this statement is the closest thing you can translate to "we're de facto implementing a soft maintainance mode". Especially if you consider that the "performance route" has been around for 2 years now. That sentence just means "more of the same performance focus but with less content". :heartbreak:

    Not so. They will be working from home in foreseeable future and had to reassign and change their plans for 2021, so obviously new content as per usual, but less QoL changes and more focus towards what we already have - IMO, it sounds good!

    Thanks Matt! All the best to you and the whole ZOS team! You guys rock! Thanks for making ESO one of my favourite games ever.
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