Up until now, the video that Elder Scrolls fans have likely watched on an unending loop was the first cinematic trailer for The Elder Scrolls Online. ZeniMax Online Studios may be following in the footsteps of RPG giants, but they’re certainly not taking the easy way out.
As the latest video detailing character customization shows, the developers are intent on keeping up the high bar of the Elder Scrolls franchise. The wealth of choices come as good news, but will no doubt have fans of the series wishing release day was much, much closer. Oh well; gamers can dream.
The TESO character customization experience looks to be the same one we tried out when we played the game firsthand, simplifying the categories of body makeup and ‘heroic’ faces by implementing a triangular scale. The systems can be applied to all playable races – Human, Argonian, Orcs, and more – with even this brief glimpse at the level of customization showing that players won’t be disappointed.
It may not be as influential on the overall game experience as dungeon design or, you know, the actual gameplay, but the importance of an expansive character creation system can’t be understated. After all, when players are making their way across the game’s expansive world, exploring every nook and corner for crafting supplies and loot, how could they not be even more invested in their character’s fiction when they’ve determined the exact size of their hands? Exactly.
It’s too early to say if the rest of the game is built to the same level of detail (it is an MMORPG, not a singleplayer environment), but getting players to start on the right foot is a wise move. Especially if the team at ZeniMax Online hopes to still have a healthy player community when they reach the end of their five-year plan.
So far, a great deal of emphasis has been placed on the game’s social elements, whether it’s the constant stream of content to encourage groups of friends to log in regularly, or the ability of players to immediately travel to their friends’ location. Nothing can sabotage that kind of effort like limiting a player’s ability to distinguish their own character, so we’re optimistic.
Has this video already gotten you thinking of your dream character? Or do you still require some convincing to get on board with TESO?
The Elder Scrolls Online comes to PC, Mac, Xbox One and PS4 in spring 2014.
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