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The Road Ahead - December 4

ZOS_MattFiror
Greetings!

As we wrap up our PC/Mac launch year, I thought I’d use this blog not only as the usual “Road Ahead,” but also as a “Road Travelled” entry, looking back on what we’ve accomplished since launch and giving you an update on where we’re going next.


The Road Travelled

As you all know, 2014 has been a very busy year for us at ZOS. We launched ESO on PC and Mac and immediately started addressing any issues that cropped up, going on to release five huge updates that introduced new content, new systems, tweaks and fixes to existing systems, and tons more. We’ve done so much since launch, in fact, that we’ve sometimes run the risk of doing too much and disrupting your play routines or character builds with the frequent changes.

With everything we’ve done, we firmly believe that ESO is a much better, more stable, and more fun game than it was six months ago. This is the way online games like this work: the game you launch is a starting point that inevitably evolves over time—and of course, community feedback is one of the most important parts of that process. I am very happy with the evolution of ESO up to this point, and I hope you all agree.

Here’s just a small list of some of the work we’ve done to improve ESO in since launch:
  • Made in-game chat much more peaceful by implementing many different lines of defense against black market gold farmers, spammers, and botters
  • Fixed a far-reaching quest bug that prevented quests from advancing properly—a bug that plagued us through the first few weeks of launch
  • Released Craglorn, our first major update, with new Veteran Ranks, a new zone for veteran players to explore, and 12-player Trials
  • Released many Veteran Dungeons, giving veteran-ranked players the ability to experience new adventures that add to the dungeon storylines introduced in earlier levels
  • Re-designed many of the delves throughout Tamriel to be larger and more challenging
  • Introduced the Dragonstar Arena, which presents four-player groups with a progression of challenging PvE encounters
  • Introduced new quality-of-life systems like the ability to dye your armor, new upgraded conversation and face animations, guild tabards, chat bubbles, and much more
  • Smoothed combat animations and timing, which is an ongoing process
  • Reconfigured Campaigns in Cyrodiil to make them shorter and more interesting
  • Made repeatable dungeon and crafting quests, and implemented scaling dungeon difficulty
  • We’ve found (and are still finding!) solutions and are always applying changes to rectify our mistakes– we aren’t perfect, and this process will be ongoing, but we’re committed to continually improving the ESO experience
  • Worked to increase our overall transparency and communication with you, our community, which is also a continuing effort

We couldn’t be more excited about everything there is to look forward to in 2015. We’ll be introducing some of the new systems that we’ve talked about publicly over the last couple of months, and of course, we will be bringing ESO to the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

For the team at ZOS, the remainder of 2014 will be spent working on one of our largest updates yet (more on that below) and continuing our work on the console versions. For you, this means that we will continue to listen to your feedback and make changes where needed with our regular smaller patch cadence of bug fixing and polishing, but we won’t be adding any new systems until Update 6 hits PTS in January.


Update 6 Coming in January

Our next update will come to PTS shortly after the first of the year. It’s going to be a big one, and will include both the Champion System and the Justice System.

The Champion System will include the new post-level 50 veteran progression changes we’ve been talking about for a few months now. We’ve done preparation work for the Champion System in updates 4 and 5, and Update 6 will include phase 3 of the system. This phase includes the ability to spend points in Champion Passives and many ability changes that complement the system.

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We want to give everyone a heads up that we’ll be introducing the Justice System using a phased approach, much like what we’ve been doing with the Champion System. So, the first iteration of the Justice System will include Skyrim-style PvE elements—you’ll be able to steal from vendors, pickpocket NPCs, kill NPCs, have justice meted out to you by guards—but not with the PvP Enforcer part of the system.

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The most important reason to do this is to make sure that the Justice System has a solid foundation before adding the extra PvP elements. As most of you know, PvP is by its very nature extremely difficult to predict. We want to have a stable system in place to build on before we add more unpredictable elements.

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To put this into perspective, the Justice System will include huge updates to the very fundamentals of the game. Townspeople will be considered neutral and be attackable, and many items that you could take freely before will be considered owned and must be stolen. There are fences who’ll buy stolen goods—if you can get past the guards while you have a bounty on your head. These are large changes to the game, and go hand-in-hand with our vision to add more freedom and sandbox-style elements to the world. It’s going to be a lot of fun, and we just need to make sure that we phase it in carefully to ensure the best experience for everyone.

Update 6 is so large that we’ll be holding the Imperial City PvP area for a future update. With all of our QA and testing resources focused on the far-reaching Justice and Champion Systems (along with other systems impacted by the update), we want to be sure that the Imperial City is fully ready when it hits PTS and moves on to launch.


Console Update

As I’ve mentioned, we have been (and will continue to be) steadily working on the Xbox One and Playstation 4 versions of ESO. They are playable and fun right now, but there's still some work to do before we can set an official launch date. First and foremost, we want to make sure that two of our most important systems still in development—the Justice and Champion Systems—are included in the console release. Those two systems will introduce a huge amount of content to the game, and we know everyone is looking forward to the new types of gameplay they provide.

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It’s also important to note that the Xbox One and Playstation 4 versions of ESO are not just ports of the PC/Mac game. We have completely replaced the PC user interface with a console-specific UI designed from the ground-up with a controller and a living room play experience in mind. We’ve also added voice chat and full integration with XBL and PSN. Expect to see lots of news about our console versions in early 2015.


Wrapping up 2014

Thanks for everything that you in the ESO Community have done for us over the last year. We will continue talk openly with you, react to feedback, fix problems, and move ESO forward together. Thank you so much for your input, your dedication, and for being involved.

Happy Holidays everyone, and we’ll see you in 2015!
Matt Firor
ESO Game Director
Staff Post
  • Cuyler
    Cuyler
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    Rshidva wrote: »
    This must be the single most awesome thing ever: Justice system plus Champion system
    Justice system I was expecting that in months. The Real Santa Clause will be hunting the bad boys and girls on his list :smile:
    Well, it is hard to contain my excitement at this point with the next mega update :)

    And a console update oh my! :smiley:
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  • rophez_ESO
    rophez_ESO
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    Stuff sounds pretty good.
  • Enodoc
    Enodoc
    Community Ambassador
    Woeler wrote: »
    Does this mean the veteranranks will (finally) be ditched and all characters will be level 50?
    Possible, but unlikely, as I think think they are supposed to be running in parallel for a while first.

    A shame there was no anticipated timeframe for the Imperial City, since the data files assets suggested that was further along than the Justice System - personally I will take the PvE Justice System being in over Imperial City, but those who were hoping for more PvP content will be disappointed since there's lots of PvE content already.
    Edited by Enodoc on December 4, 2014 4:34PM
    UESP: The Unofficial Elder Scrolls Pages - A collaborative source for all knowledge on the Elder Scrolls series since 1995
  • kewl
    kewl
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    Very excited!
  • project-2501-84neb18_ESO
    Is this as well as the combat animations update or is that coming later? Thought that was coming in update 6.
  • Turelus
    Turelus
    Community Ambassador
    I'm really hoping there are no achievements connected to Justice system, I don't want to have to have my character be both a good and bad guy again to get achievements. :disagree:
    @Turelus - EU PC Megaserver
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  • Dominoid
    Dominoid
    Community Ambassador
    yiunko wrote: »
    I guess we have to wait to see the patch notes, but from what I can smell, Update 7 will be a PvP update, Imperial city, Justice PvP, etc

    Makes sense.
  • project-2501-84neb18_ESO
    I realise I'm probably in the minority with this one. But I for one was hoping for text integration for consoles (even if its just with bluetooth keyboards, as there are no chat pads out for either console yet.)
    You can't have an MMO without people spamming LFG WTS and WTB, it just isn't done.

    Great road ahead though :)
  • jackleminer55
    jackleminer55
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    @ZOS_GinaBruno‌ any hints on when this will be on the pts???? I am super excited and want to test it out ASAP!
  • project-2501-84neb18_ESO
    Is this as well as the combat animations update or is that coming later? Thought that was coming in update 6.
    Yes, there are a number of improvements to combat animations coming in Update 6.
    Thanks!
  • jackleminer55
    jackleminer55
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    @ZOS_GinaBruno‌ any hints on when this will be on the pts???? I am super excited and want to test it out ASAP!
    As Matt mentioned, Update 6 will be available on the PTS in January. :) The patch notes are going to be big!

    haha yes I saw that right after I posted that lol :smile: I am going to read ALL of the patch notes as I'm waiting for it to download!
  • Gilvoth
    Gilvoth
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    well done! all looks good, but just like waiting for a perfect sweet roll i can smell it cooking and i just cant take the agony of waiting ...
    best in slot: is the armor, weapon, clothing look, pet, or no pet, jewelry, race, class, skill choices, amount of DPS, and skin color best fit to you and the way you wish to play and makes you feel good and performs what YOU think it should be.

    worst in slot: what you read in zone chat, and forum comment, and forum thread, and you tube video, and live streamer advice, and class rep advice, and guild chat advice, and whisper told you to wear, and use for skill, and dress like, and use for weapon and armor.
  • Rshidva
    Rshidva
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    I just resubbed yesterday to check out all these neat new things.

    Reading this info about Justice System implementation, it sounds like the first stage is all about getting players established as rogues and thieves. There's really not anything there for someone that wants to be on the side of the law. Those players have nothing to do until the PvP stage is introduced.

    Am I missing something?

    Also, is there any benefit to being a good guy? Other than being able to walk freely around town I guess.

    Does Tamriel have a Goody Two-Shoes Guild?

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  • Woeler
    Woeler
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    @ZOS_GinaBruno‌ Will veteranranks be completely gone after this update?
    Author of the esoleaderboards.com project | Maintainer of the ESO-Database.com project
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