ESO: Appalled at AvA

Like Keen and Graev I’ve been experiencing a certain crisis of faith regarding the Elder Scrolls Online lately. I’ve been pumped up for the title for a while now, regardless of fan criticism and such as I was just that excited for their version of three way faction warfare. Guild Wars had gotten stale and the separate optional massive battlefield seemed to improve, mechanically on many of it’s failures. It was going to be glorious and then I saw the recent trailer.

A graphical train wreck. Just wow. Janky animations, clipping, rubberbanding, washed out textures, static animations and what looked like one of the most boring large scale combat experiences I’ve ever seen. What were they thinking? Did they not watch the video themselves or are they so far up their own .. ahem.. egos that they think this is an absolute marvel. I’ve kept watching it in the hope that what I’m seeing isn’t real, it couldn’t be. It was the chosen one after all but it might just be some kind of frankenbeast, screws protruding from it’s deformed carcass. Maybe not though.

I actually get a similar vibe from this as the previous intro video that first showed off the AvA space. The same distorted animations and Static characters. It’s almost like they are using AI programs to display the combat and a very basic one at that as I’m not aware of any experienced PvP players that would be so motionless and that scattered while fighting. There is no coordination to be seen in these videos, at all, just random bot vs bot action… or at least maybe the largest and worst number of players I’ve ever seen in my lifetime. Look at gw2 WvW and it’s more like a flock of birds in action, this does not resemble that and as such I just can’t see it as a reflection of the real thing.

Which leaves me to wonder if they’ve even bothered testing this mode with any reasonable frequency. The issue of course is that it requires a long term critical mass of players that they would never be able to attain on their own. They’re aiming for thousands in each campaign and I doubt they have the manpower to do that. I also haven’t heard yet of any testers being able to engage in AvA and with the amount of leaks it would have come out but nothing. Release is only over 4 months away now and it’s worrying that they haven’t bothered testing something this massive effectively, The bugs in both GW2 and War when they began were legendary because they too underestimated this area and thought that small scale testing would be enough.

If anything, they could test it for the sole purpose of getting some decent combat footage that is not so badly choreographed.


4 thoughts on “ESO: Appalled at AvA

  1. As far as the combat goes, got a strong WAR vibe from that trailer. I wonder if the ava gameplay will feature small maps and easy to take structures, or large maps and strongly fortified, difficult to capture ones. If they can balance those extremes well, and the actual combat is fun, a lot can be forgiven when it comes to janky looks. Wouldn’t be staking any money on the TESO team to pull that off by April though.

    • Cyrodil, where it happens is apparently huge… oblivion huge with multiple structures and such. Might be a quick travel system between connected keeps.

      NO idea how quick they are to capture but there are usual multiple points that need to be controlled simultaneously and any broken walls stay broken after the switch.

      It’s really still all an unknown since I don’t believe anyone from the outside has seen it

  2. I’ve never seen a MMO trailer do PvP combat any justice. They almost always feature small skirmishes of people mostly standing around doing animation cycles. That said, this matches the source material perfectly. Elder Scrolls games almost always have crappy animation and do ‘large scale’ combat with no sense of scale or urgency!

    • that’s true, neither have I. It’s like none of them uderstand why people play itand thus they can’t appeal to that interest. The trailer plays out more like it’s a pve raid for the player to vanquish

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