In an industry dominated by 8 to 10 hour experiences, the RPG genre stands alone. Given its connections to older pen and paper-style role-playing games perhaps this isn’t surprising. Where normal board games might have taken players anywhere from 1 to 3 hours to complete, tabletop goliaths like the Dungeons & Dragons series enthralled fans for far longer.
Hoping to continue in the same vein – The Elder Scrolls Online will arrive this April boasting an entire continent’s worth of content. Developer ZeniMax Studios has already hinted at the sheer scale of its online undertaking with a series of progress updates, including detailed looks at the game’s character creation suite, player versus player battles and all-star voice cast.
Now, thanks to the game’s own internal testers a fresh perspective on the title has emerged: a gargantuan 100-plus hour runtime, taking players all the way from levels 1 to the current upper limit of 50. Compiled by VG 24/7 the numbers, including a “casual” 144 hours and a non-cutscene watching tally of 70 to 80 hours, sounds about right for a MMORPG title of TES Online‘s pedigree. Similar efforts, such as The Old Republic are also estimated to last around 150-200 hours.
The vast amounts of time required to fully level up an MMORPG character may be considered par for the course within the questing community, but the massive figure will likely prove daunting for more casual fans of The Elder Scrolls series. The use of a traditional leveling format – though well known prior to these recent postings – is also likely to put off those players more accustomed to skill-based combat, rather than the number-crunching algorithms dictating the player’s odds of survival here.
While this system of ‘vertical leveling’ may seem somewhat outdated, it’s hard to envisage any major MMORPG tackling player versus player battles in another manner. Part of the curious appeal of the online RPG is the sense of reward that comes with grinding away for victory, and the idea that a player’s time investment and familiarity with a franchise will always trump pure skill.
Is character leveling an antiquated or necessary part of the modern RPG? Can PvP still work without a numerical basis? How will The Elder Scrolls Online keep gamer’s entertained for 100+ hours? Let us know in the comments below, and be sure to check in with all of the latest Elder Scrolls news, right here on Game Rant.
The Elder Scrolls Online arrives April 4, 2014 for PC and Mac platforms, with
Xbox One and PlayStation 4 ports set to debut in June.
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Source: VG 24/7