Oh for fuck's sake.
I don't understand that mentality, in all honesty. If anything, Bioware proved that you can provide the story-centric experience and accessibility of a single player game into an online game with Star Wars: The Old Republic. The game has its flaws, but that was par for the course with Bioware products. I don't see why this game would be any different. If anything, The Elder Scrolls games have been far less story-focused and more open-world, so this should be something of a dream come true.
I'm tired of so many series feeling that they need to cater to either an MMO or co-op multiplayer audience. Sometimes I just want to enjoy a game solo, you know? It's not so much the story that bothers me, I just ike having my OWN world to explore. I'm not saying anything is wrong with them doing an MMO, it's just not for me personally.
I agree. ToR only proved that you can stuff cutscenes into the MMO paradigm. Beyond that, it doesn't really feel anything like the single player Bioware games, if you ask me. Playing solo in an MMO still makes it an MMO. And part of the Elder Scrolls is that feeling of adventure and exploration, and the very nature of MMOs basically negates this, because there's always "content" you have to work towards.
This is an absolutely ridiculous argument. The nature of MMOs is nothing more than creating a large-scale game where multiple people can play together. Your idea of what an MMO is seems to revolve around the Everquest/World of Warcraft model and nothing more. All I have to do is point to one of the first MMOs ever made as a perfect example of how this line of thinking is extremely limiting: Ultima Online. There was no "endgame" to work toward, and there was no carrot-on-a-stick gameplay model. While I have not played the game in a long time and have no idea what it is like now, it was a perfect example of what could be.
I look at the MMO as an evolving genre that has plenty of room for growth, just like every other genre of gaming before it. You compare the RPGs of the early and mid-80s where you had little to no narrative, harsh difficulty, and a ton of mindless grinding of levels to make any progress to the RPGs of today, and it's like night and day. MMO game design so far has mimicked a lot of the design that inhabited really old school games, but it is evolving, albeit slowly. Blizzard showed that you didn't have to make MMOs ridiculously difficult. Bioware showed that you can incorporate a larger amount of story. DC Universe Online brought in the button mashing of single player console action games. Baby steps, but it is progress nonetheless. Bethesda had the opportunity to take something like Skyrim and add in a multiplayer component, but they chose the easy way out and decided to play it safe by making a World of Warcraft clone.
Do not confuse a studio's lack of imagination with the inability of a genre to evolve.
And based on everything they've shown so far, this isn't anything like the Elder Scrolls games-- it's the hot bar-heavy clunkfest that is the MMO genre. I don't understand why he has to explain to you why he doesn't want it to be an MMO? MMOs feel disconnected and clunky when compared to single player-only games, and in no way function anything like a specifically single player experience.
Sure, we know it's nothing like the Elder Scrolls games now
. His post was made based off of the mere announcement of the title two days ago, hence why I argued.
FFXII is a terrible example because, yes-- it has god-awful MMO-style combat and wide open areas-- but also is engineered specifically to be played by a single person at their own pace, and has secrets and areas that don't have to respawn every 15 minutes so the other players can access their "content." What's more, MMOs typically have a disconnect between your inputs and your actions that single player games do not have. Guild Wars 2 is a step away from that, but even that game still has the disconnect.
Nonsense, Final Fantasy XII was a fantastic example. The combat engine is just straight up Final Fantasy XI with tweaks, also featuring monsters respawning in the zones. Modern MMOs are specifically designed to be playable solo at your own pace with no forced partying with other players. As for the disconnect, are you referring to actual "I press a button and something happens on the screen" type disconnects, or are you referring to a disconnect in that "I did this and this is how the game world permanently changed" type disconnect? I suppose it doesn't really matter which it is, because if it's the former, that's becoming a less relevant statement with action-based MMOs out as proof, and the latter has already been addressed in the form of phasing, when implemented properly.
ToR plays nothing like KOTOR, Mass Effect, or Dragon Age: Origins/2. It looks and feels like an MMO, and has that empty, soulless "full of 'cotent'" feeling that is endemic to the genre. I don't love Skyrim, but it feels nothing like an MMO, and Flamingrift is pointing out that it's likely we'll lose that 'Elder Scrolls' atmosphere in a game that is engineered to funnel players through its "content" to max level. It will in no way be the freeform experience that the other TES games are.
The idea that TOR plays nothing like the other Bioware games makes me laugh, especially when I look at Dragon Age and its gameplay mechanics. You have realtime combat with a hot bar where you press keys for abilities that have their own respective cooldowns, and you even have your standard MMO trinity with warriors that provoke/taunt enemies to hold attention... all courtesy of Everquest gameplay design from 1999. You have NPCs standing around waiting for you to do Fed-Ex runs or kill some monsters and then return for your reward. You create your character and you choose the dialogue in fully voiced cutscenes. The only real difference between Dragon Age and TOR mechanics-wise is that TOR drops the ability to switch party members in favor of mulitplayer support. They both have a defined beginning, middle, and end with their storylines. TOR will have more story content later as time progresses, but this is no different than Tales of the Sword Coast for Baldur's Gate. There's nothing wrong with expansion content.
As for the Elder Scrolls MMO and it lacking the freeform experience, I would agree. The information provided shows that the studio making it has chosen to play it safe and create an unimaginative World of Warcraft clone with Warcraft universe lore ripped out and Elder Scrolls lore shoved in. But your entire post implies that freeform MMOing isn't achievable, when that was achieved with Ultima Online at a basic level fifteen years ago. Bethesda had a chance to make a freeform MMO where you simply go on an adventure and explore the game world. They opted not to. Foaming at the mouth at the mere announcement of the game before any details come out was jumping the gun.