Well look at that, Bethesda has officially put themselves on par with Blizzard as far as animated trailers go. Earlier today they released the “Alliances” trailer for the upcoming The Elder Scrolls Online. The trailer, while not showing any gameplay, sends chills through every nerve of my body nonetheless. Disregard any qualms you may have with Bethesda, MMORPGs, or fancily choreographed sword fights and watch this trailer. Why? Because it’s badass.
Interestingly, the trailer includes multiple factions battling it out, instead of just two. We see the Nords fighting for survival against cave monsters, an Altmer mage scaling an Imperial tower, Imperial soldiers defending the top of said tower, and a mysterious assassin whose allegiance is difficult to discern laying waste to the Imperial soldiers. And none of them are allies. At the end a show down between the three heroes begins, so it’s safe to assume that the actual game will have more than just two playable factions. This is a breath of fresh air, primarily to MMO veterans, as the tried good vs. evil, blue vs. red has always been the standard fare in MMORPGs and quite frankly, it has more than run its course.
Regardless of the trailer however, I am still wary about just how worthy The Elder Scrolls Online will actually be. Good intellectual property and a well established lore don’t necessarily guarantee success. Look no further than Warhammer Online and Star Wars: The Old Republic for examples. Both titles had a massive and well defined setting to back them up, especially SWTOR. But take one look at the forums for either of the games and you’ll realize that both have been going downhill and losing players ever since their launch.
But still, for those curious on what Bethesda has been cooking up over the past year, they have officially announced closed beta sign-ups. Just go on over to their beta signup page, fill out the forms, and tick the boxes that apply to you. Note the small progress bar on the right however, as it indicates your chance of being chosen for the closed beta. As a seasoned MMO player who has beta tested several games and played well over half the games listed on the form, I only scored an above average chance of being accepted. I assume Bethesda is looking for the best of the best and the most trustworthy players to test their game, as they probably want to keep the project under wraps until the open beta, which will launch later on in the year. If you’ve any other concerns, consult the beta FAQ.
As stated earlier, I’m a little apprehensive about just how well made this title will be. Despite every MMO launched after World of Warcraft being deemed the “WoW-Killer”, none of them have lived up to the hype. Even Guild Wars 2, which was touted as the game that would redefine the genre ended up being inferior to Blizzard‘s behemoth. Despite my general pessimism toward Bethesda‘s go at the MMO scene, I still feel that if there’s anyone who could pull it off as well as Blizzard, it’d be them.