‘The Elder Scrolls Online’ Employs Less Intrusive UI

May 29, 2012 by  

Elder Scrolls Online Less Intrusive UI

As was revealed earlier today, ZeniMax Online is trying some interesting things with their forthcoming MMO, The Elder Scrolls Online – things like bringing back public dungeons. Another new feature, or a new goal, that ZeniMax has set out to accomplish with The Elder Scrolls Online is less of a focus on the UI.

In a typical MMO, players spend a ton of time staring at their UI, looking at cool downs rather than actually focusing on what’s taking place in the game. For The Elder Scrolls, ZeniMax doesn’t want players to miss out on the massive multiplayer battles that are taking place, and therefore they have taken steps to make a less intrusive UI.

Unfortunately, a lot of ZeniMax’s musings are more of a conceptual nature than an exemplary one, but if the goal is to keep players focused on the battles we’re all for it. They claim that their, or more specifically Bethesda‘s, work with consoles has informed their approach, and without a lot of the technical restrictions in the way they can make a “more immersive battle experience.”

As an offshoot of that idea, ZeniMax is also trying to make monster or boss encounters much more engaging, and therefore much more challenging in The Elder Scrolls Online. Rather than making them a “speed bump” that players can run through whilst completing several other tasks, the monsters in their MMO should require careful attention to movement and pattern.

“Things like the interface is very minimalistic and it lets you concentrate on the world, not on the interface, so we made it feel much more like a console game from the interface side than an MMO, just for that reason, to make sure that everyone feels comfortable when they play it.”

It’s unclear how much of an influence the console version of The Elder Scrolls, like Skyrim, have informed the MMO’s gameplay and tool set, but ZeniMax’s explanations imply quite a bit was drawn from the console experience. When the game was first announced players maligned the lack of originality on display, but reserved full judgment for further examination, which has demonstrated an MMO that at the very least is trying some new and exciting things. Bethesda should be in full force at E3 2012, so look forward to a full preview of The Elder Scrolls Online in a little more than a week.

How would you like to see ZeniMax employ a minimalistic UI for The Elder Scrolls Online? What percentage of the MMO should mimic the console experience?

Source: PC Gamer

3 Comments

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  1. I can only speak for myself, but.. I barely look at my user interface. I mean, I DO look at it, but I don’t really “see” it when I’m playing. most of my keybinds are just too reflexive. sure I glimpse at my cooldowns out of the corner of my eye, but it’s not “intrusive”.

    I can’t help but think that they are finding an “issue” where none actually exists.

    If they want to make a console game, they should. absolutely.

    In my opinion, they are confusing the nature of a console’s limitations for advantages.

  2. I agree with Mike.E above.
    The only time I’m focused on my UI is when I’m placing and memorizing power placements.
    Or staring at party member icons to ensure proper HP levels. Otherwise I’m focused on targets and surrounding area. If ESO is going to be anywhere near as pretty as Skyrim, people will quickly adapt to ignoring it completely.

  3. I disagree, minimalism should be good for this game. I don’t pay much attention to my UI in games when I’m actually playing them (aside from resources), but this is a good idea. On top of this, it wouldn’t feel much like an Elder Scrolls game with a UI that is anywhere near clunky, would it?

    On another note, in terms of graphics, it isn’t going to look like Skyrim; nor should it. MMOs that try and make themselves look pretty usually end up sucking. In my opinion, pretty games tend to become boring at a faster rate. This is a big issue with games today.

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