QuakeCon 2014: The Future of The Elder Scrolls Online (Screenshots)

Posted by on July 26, 2014 - 5 Comments »

Photo credit: Jeremy Whittington & Patrick Mulhern

QuakeCon 2014 presented an interesting opportunity for The Elder Scrolls Online. Unlike E3 after launch, the convention in Dallas, Texas gave ZeniMax Online, a sister company to the hosting id Software, an ideal venue to discuss the operations of its AAA MMORPG since launch. The panel, dubbed affectionately as The Future of The Elder Scrolls Online gave one high hopes that we’d hear the typical engagement-ring presentation; a recap of the recent launch, current events and the future of Bethesda Softworks’ first MMOG.

QuakeCon fans attended – potentially succumbing to the free copy of The Elder Scrolls Online – to hear this future. This bodes well for the title, which I fully expect to stay afloat for the near future, if not the long run, to partake more and more at QuakeCon. Especially when id Software or Bethesda at large lacks any major announcement, of which the Doom reveal was exactly that.

By all means hit the jump for the massive screenshot gallery of the presentation, additional in-the-moment tweets and more commentary on the panel itself.

The panel had over a half dozen presenters covering as many topics. Presenting skills, organization of topics, expectations, the assets presented and a lack of knowledge on those attending left most viewers with their heads spinning. Some presenters rushed headlong into their topics with little regard for pacing. Others fumbled over their lines, likely in the same attempt to rush. It wasn’t until deep into the presentation that a member with some combination of presence, preparation and charisma stepped to the plate. We’ll keep this nameless to avoid shame. After all, public speaking scares the bejeezus out of most humans.

Various people I spoke with after the conference fell into the latter group, simply not knowing what was a big, interesting or unexpected yet awesome change. Facial animations, when they were finally presented side-by-side, were met with oohs and ahhs after an in-depth description of the technology that had been licensed to make it possible. Few understood or were interested in that depth. It wasn’t until the end of the presentation that universal praise was heralded. The armor and weapon set reveals were all encompassing. Everyone, be they diehard FPS fans or WoW fans living locally, was able to appreciate the art, animation and styling of these gloriously rendered sets.

If only we, the live audience, were able to ask questions during the Q&A session. The place emptied out to less than 40 people after it was made clear we couldn’t participate.

The bottom line is that the Future of The Elder Scrolls Online is bright. It filled the main stage, if only temporarily. Moving forward, I’d expect ESO to receive more panel time, enabling the presenters to slow down and focus on the most desired topics. So long as QuakeCon attendance keeps increasing and the all important BYOC scales with it, there’s no reason ESO can’t be awarded more time. Especially when the company lacks an impactful Doom or Quake presentation.

Photos by: Jeremy Whittington & Patrick Mulhern