Friday, June 13, 2014

Never Say Skyrim Again

Now that Elder Scrolls Online has been out for a wile and the beta non-disclosure-agreement I signed doesn't matter I'd like to tell those who care about such things why I think it sucks.

It is litterally no different than any other MMO.  This is my #1 issue.  I really wanted to like it.  I honestly did.  But they took the ONLY thing that made Elder Scrolls, or Skyrim specifically, the best RPG I've ever played and threw it away.  Skyrim was amazing because it was basically a First-Person-Shooter in a fantasy setting with stats that level up.  Skyrim's controls are what made it fantastic.  Lots of RPGs have awesome lore and game worlds filled with cool stuff.  A few are even somewhat open-world.  Skyrim's controls are what made it so engaging for me.  MMOs utilize the 'click on an enemy and the game will auto attack once every second or so' mechanic that pisses me off.  It makes them festivals of standing around waiting for your 'big' abilities to finish their cool-down.

Would it have been so bad to simply make a multi-player, online version of Skyrim?  Hell, some rather industrious modder could probably pull that off.  Such a mod would instantly make a MMO that is thousands of times more appealing to me than any MMO that has ever been.

But there is a darker force here that causes me to hate the game.  One that didn't even hit me until well after I gave up on the beta.  The WoW effect.  I've coined this term.  WoW destroyed the Warcraft series and ESO will do the same to the Elder Scrolls one.  I say this NOT as some sort of fanboy who read the book first and thinks the movie 'destroyed' the story.  No, what I mean is much worse.  WoW ensured that no regular Warcraft game will ever be made again.  Or at least, there hasn't been one in over a decade and there doesn't seem to be any sign of a new one on the horizon.  Why?  Because any new game in the franchise would compete with the MMO for players who are fans of the series AND any plot twists or new story-lines that are developed would need to be already in the MMO the preserve the consistency of the game universe and thus... wouldn't be twists as everybody would already know about them.  You can't carve out a new narrative without applying the events of that narrative to the MMO.

Its like this:  There was once a summer when 2 different James Bond movies came out.  Both were James Bond movies and one even had Sean Connery, but only one of them was in the official Bond universe.  Look up 'Never Say Never Again'.  This would be the fate of Warcraft 4 or Elder Scrolls 6.