Just a few days ago, I had the pleasure of serving as a groomsman in a good friend’s wedding. It was a beautiful celebration, filled with the family and close friends of the cheerful couple – an event that we managed to pull off without a hitch – much to the surprise of this particular pessimist. I’ve been to weddings before, of course, but there was something that set this one apart for me: this wasn’t the marriage of classmates or work colleagues, but former guildmates from our shared time in The Elder Scrolls Online.
There’s a popular conception among the MMO cognoscenti that irrespective of circumstance, monetization involving cosmetics is never a problem. There isn’t a fundamental issue with that line of thinking – I would expect everyone could agree on a general tiering of monetization egregiousness with competitive pay-to-win as a capstone and a variety of other methodologies cascading into generally the same order with only a minor degree of variance – but the idea that this lesser evil can never be problematic isn’t one I can fully agree with.
It seems like anywhere you turn these days, you’ll find the creators of some up and coming MMO extolling the virtues of player interdependence in MMOs and how it’s making a comeback in their game. Titles like Crowfall, Saga of Lucimia, and Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen are touting the concept as something of a core design principle, promising that with it as a development objective, their game will usher in a return to the golden age of MMORPG communities.
It’s been almost a year since The Elder Scrolls Online last upped the gear level with the addition of the Imperial City last July, and we’ve seen some broad changes to the way content is delivered since then, most importantly through the continuing proliferation of level scaling technology, which culminated in the recent announcement that scaling will be coming to all of Tamriel. Will these changes introduce challenges to the next gear cap raise? This one thinks they will.
Two months ago I penned a fairly exhaustive overview of the more egregious avenues of contemporary MMO monetization, the most offensive of which do not make a material appearance in The Elder Scrolls Online. Of course, long time readers will know that I’ve never seen a cash shop I didn’t hate, and if they needed any further proof, this post…
The Secret World should really let players replay the main story, as is already the case with every other quest in the game. Here’s why.
Remember that article I wrote about how MMO quests get it all wrong? There was a lot of consternation about the fact that no one was actually making a game that fit the model I described. As it turns out, that’s not quite as factual as we thought it was at the time.