Elder Scrolls Online: The Road Ahead

Zenimax's Matt Firor has penned a long note on the official site. In it, Firor talks about the lessons learned during beta testing and about the incredible value of player input in big changes that have been implemented over the course of the beta.

"In just a few short weeks, we’ll be launching The Elder Scrolls Online for PC and Mac. While it’s been quite a journey to get to this point, ESO’s launch on April 4 is really just the beginning. I want to take a moment to let everyone know what we’ve been doing since my last update and talk about what we’re planning in preparation for launch and beyond.
If you’re reading this, you’re probably one of the 5 million people that have registered for the ESO beta, and likely participated in one of our large beta tests. That’s a wonderfully large number of people who have become part of our ESO community, and it continues to grow.  The worldwide interest in ESO has led us to conduct a series of massive “scale” or “stress” betas to prepare for the numbers of players we will have at launch. These tests help us to simulate launch conditions and uncover bugs and other issues. In addition to these scale tests, we’ve had large numbers of players in long-term gameplay testing. Our long-term testing has allowed us to delve more deeply  into things like balance, progression, quests, PvP, and high-level 50+, and 50++ content. While we know uncovering bugs can be a frustrating experience for you, every issue that is found and fixed pre-launch helps make the final gameplay experience that much more polished and smoother for everyone. Thank you to all who have participated in these beta tests—your help has been invaluable. Our final PC/Mac scale test will take place this weekend and we hope you’ll join us again."

Full Article Here 

Personally, I am looking forward to the (pre?) launch; I know a lot of people wished for it to have been free to play at launch, but the old axiom "begin with quality and quality will always cost you less in the end," holds implications here. The more cynical among us might ask if "bugs" were part of that desire for quality, and of course I would say "no". There is another form of quality that is more indefatigable: the desire for quality in content, serious bugs can be squashed and minor bugs can be squelched for now and dealt with later. Recently someone called this MMORPG "atypical," and, of course, they're right in a very special way it is quite atypical; the Elder Scrolls series was never typical, it has always been very unique and a special brand -- unique but never unrepresentative (a mythos for the deeper among us). Cartoons like WoW have a "stolen" mythos, while, on the other hand, the Elder Scrolls represents it own mythos and lore.

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