The Elder Scrolls Online

Ask Us Anything: AMA Recap

Catch up with the highlights from our recent AMA on reddit in today’s article.

Last Thursday, the ESO subreddit hosted our first official AMA (Ask me Anything). Game Director Matt Firor, Creative Director Paul Sage, Lead Gameplay Designer Nick Konkle, and Lead PvP Designer Brian Wheeler all sat down to field live questions from the community, sharing lots of great information about the game and our upcoming launch. Today, we’ve gathered up some of the most interesting answers here, just in case you missed anything. If you want to read the AMA in its entirety, you can find it right here.

Launch excitement is in the air everywhere, and as we prepare, we want to let you know that this feature (Ask Us Anything) will be continuing once we’re live. We’re looking forward to all of your questions—don’t forget to send them to us at community@elderscrollsonline.com.

Here’s our AMA recap:


In beta, it's difficult to control a keep a very long time. Don't you think it would be difficult to sell and buy things by this way? – Onidra

During the course of betas involving PVP, we've seen that keeps offer many different strategies for assaulting and defending. Small groups were able to hold keeps against masses of players. and then again, that same amount of players could get flooded and wiped. It really depends on the tactics used by players to assault and defend a keep. That being said, we will be adjusting difficulty of keeps and such as the game goes on past launch to adjust for player power gains via Veteran Ranks.


Will the starter islands return from the start? – _zerokarma_

We moved the NPCs who tell you about the islands directly in front of you when you leave your house/boat in Vulkhel Guard, Daggerfall, or Davon’s Watch. This change has been made on our internal Dev server and will be pushed to PTS early next week—and it will be up for Early Access.

Short story: if you want to go to the islands, now it is much easier to do so. Or, if you want to start exploring your first major zone, you can do that too. It's your choice.


I'm a college student right now, focusing on software development and wondering what to do and where to go after I graduate. If I wanted to land an internship with you guys (or for a game development studio in general), what are 2-3 skills I can learn that would help me out? I of course love games, and I love programming, but I imagine there's more to it than just writing good code. – ajpearman9

The simple answer is to do one thing and do it really, really well, especially for larger game development projects. For smaller-team projects, there is more opportunity for generalists. If you write good code (and believe me, that is a skill many companies need), you'll need to show prospective employers that you can apply that skill. Work on a project that shows what you can do: re-create a classic game, collaborate on an indie title, or find some way to show that you can apply your skill in a way that demonstrates your skill and technique. We are still hiring like crazy –go to the main ZeniMax job listing page: http://jobs.zenimax.com/. We are especially looking for cloud engineering / infrastructure / DevOps types.


There are quite a few players, especially roleplayers, who are very concerned about having a hard time finding others to RP with, as (from the latest interview) the phasing system has not been implemented. Will the possibility for roleplayers to tag themselves as such be in at launch, or will we have to wait for a later date to be able to do so? If so, when can this be expected? – cordayne

This is something we will be working on. No promises—we have a lot to do, but yes, we want to be able to better support roleplayers.


Many of us that played in the last beta encountered the same progress-blocking bugs during major quest lines for story, guilds, and even big side quests on every faction. It seemed to get worse the heavier the load was on the server. My question is: how aware are you guys of this and what is being done to ensure that we will be able to progress in any of the factions without getting stopped or bogged down by these major bugs that are causing NPCs to be unresponsive or doorways/pathways to not function correctly? – Fatetaker

We are very aware of the blockers experienced in the last beta. We did find three underlying issues that affected a large number of quests that are exposed when many people are in the same area. We have fixed all three of those underlying issues.


Will you guys be implementing ways to rep your guild? Tabards, cloaks, emblems? – Homedawge

Yes. We will be looking at tabards and insignias in an update in the near future. We don't think we will be adding cloaks in the near future. Edna Mode made us promise.


In terms of skill mechanics, Bosmer and Argonians seem to be slightly inferior to the other races. Is there a plan to change/adjust their racial skills before launch? What is the benefit of improved swim-speed in the game? I never needed to swim more than a few seconds and slaughterfish still catch you easily. – Tachles

We are actively looking at balancing the racial abilities, especially as we get more feedback and data from our beta testers. We won’t speak to what sort of changes we have in mind until they are fully tested and ready, but we can safely say that racial passives are a common topic of discussion for the systems design team.

It felt appropriate for Argonians from a thematic perspective, but yes, it doesn't have too many advantages in most gameplay. That was why we chose to add extra functionality (stamina recovery) so that the passive would be useful to players that enjoy its thematic value and players that want a combat benefit.


How do you intend to solve real-time population imbalances in campaigns where large numbers of players to decide not to participate in PvP or go inactive? Is there an account lock on campaigns? The possibility of a large guild flooding their campaign with idle alt-accounts for opposing alliances is a real issue that will need to be addressed. Have you looked into scaling Alliance Point accumulation relative to class? I'm worried that only a few classes are going to dominate the Emperor position due to inherent class advantages over others. – thebusfromspeed

We are going to be adding population bonuses for scoring benefits into campaigns for underpopulated alliances over time. Currently we have scoring imbalance benefits that persuade the two losing alliances to gang up on the winning alliance, but again, population imbalance bonuses are going to be added.

The only lock on campaigns is based on your characters to ensure you don't have a Dominion, Covenant, and Pact character all in the same campaign. For launch, we are going to relax the 24-hour lockout for switching campaigns to a smaller window and lower the cost, but we are aware of possible guild flooding and will be looking into those issues as they arise.

Alliance Points are attainable by healing players in addition to killing them, so in terms of individual class imbalance (which usually means “why do healers always get screwed?”), players are on equal footing depending on their loadout. Also note that this pool can be drained as points come out of them, so it's self-balancing. Now, if you're concerned about one class leading the boards vs. another, we've had many campaigns where across all three alliances, the leaders were each different classes.


Will characters be able to revere the Divines in some way? – Tipsytwo

Of course! Whenever you kill another player in Cyrodiil or destroy an enemy army you're more than welcome to scream out "FOR ARKAY!" or Akatosh, or maybe Stendarr...


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