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ZeniMax

The Elder Scrolls Online photo
The Elder Scrolls Online

The Elder Scrolls Online's console versions will require a key to activate (Update)


You're stuck with it just like PC users
May 14
// Joe Parlock
[Update: The original statements out of ZeniMax were inaccurate. Here's the latest word: "The physical console version of The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited does not require a one-time game code. As with any other b...
ESO photo
ESO

Elder Scrolls Online to offer 'welcome back' weekend for prior beta participants


If you skipped out on the full release
Apr 09
// Chris Carter
Did you try out the beta for The Elder Scrolls Online and promptly dip out before the final game was actually out? You'll have a chance to jump in and see what the new subscription-free version is all about next weekend,...
Elder Scrolls Online photo
Elder Scrolls Online

The Elder Scrolls Online goes subscription free today on PC


Check out the new trailer
Mar 17
// Chris Carter
The Elder Scrolls Online hasn't made many headlines since its launch, but it certainly went back into the spotlight recently after the news that it would be dropping its subscription fee requirement. Like Guild Wars 2, ...
ESO cash shop details photo
ESO cash shop details

ZeniMax details The Elder Scrolls Online's upcoming pay-to-play store


The road to hell is paved with novelty skins
Feb 13
// Jason Faulkner
The latest MMO to go the pay-to-play route is The Elder Scrolls Online. Last month's announcement was a bit of a shocker to some, as going subscription free is an indicator of bad news for MMOs. However, ZeniMax is trying its...
Elder Scrolls drops subs photo
Surprise, right? Guys, are you surprised?
When I reviewed The Elder Scrolls Online back at launch I thought it had potential, but not enough to keep people paying for subscription time. Plenty of MMOs have enjoyed a subscription-based model, and games like ...

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Max would date a woman who gets that hype on Taco Bell
In the third part of our ongoing investigative series on what it would be like if heavy metal pioneer Ronnie James Dio was, in fact, a mage in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. In this installment, we forget more lyrics, and Max's girlfriend gets home from work, only to find a very special surprise waiting for her. Is it tacos? (Yes. That's exactly what it is.)

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That raccoon is probably Dio's pet in the netherworld
Continuing our adventures through Skyrim; Max lays out the lengthy tale of what he did the day Dio died. Max's romp involved bottomless mimosas, a 40oz of malt liquor with a condom taped to it, and a deformed raccoon named 'Scary'. I don't really remember what I did that day. Probably listened to Dio.

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We've been down too long in the midnight sea
Max and I decided to start a playthrough of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim as the late Ronnie James Dio, the heavy metal legend who had a music video that kinda looks like Skyrim. There's only one problem; Max can't remember any Dio lyrics correctly. It's okay though; we had good beer and bad tacos.

The Evil Within photo
Rorschach is telling you to buy this game
Ever wanted Watchmen's Jackie Earle Haley to taunt you? Now you can with Haley lending his voice as The Evil Within's main antagonist, Ruvik. But he's not the only recognizable celebrity to have climbed aboard The Evil Withi...

Censorship!!!!!!! photo
Censorship!!!!!!!

Evil Within CENSORED in Japan, Gore Mode DLC unlocks Western version


The evil contained within slightly less evil than anticipated
Jul 08
// Steven Hansen
So Japan gets the ability to cattle prod moaning, ass-up anime girls and the rest of the world doesn't (quite). Meanwhile, we get a gross out Evil Within, while in Japan it has been edited down. I assume the same people mad a...
ZeniMax vs. Oculus photo
ZeniMax vs. Oculus

Oculus responds to ZeniMax's virtual-reality lawsuit


ZeniMax is after that Facebook money
Jun 25
// Jordan Devore
ZeniMax sued Oculus VR and founder Palmer Luckey over trade secrets related to the Oculus Rift virtual-reality headset, and now we have the defendants' side of the story. A representative of Oculus shared the company's court ...

ZeniMax sues Oculus VR for misappropriating trade secrets

May 21 // Jordan Devore
In a press release, ZeniMax said "The suit arises from the defendants' unlawful exploitation of intellectual property, including trade secrets, copyrighted computer code, and technical know-how relating to virtual reality technology that was developed by ZeniMax after years of research and investment. ZeniMax provided this valuable intellectual property to defendants under a binding Non-Disclosure Agreement that specifies such intellectual property is owned exclusively by ZeniMax and cannot be used, disclosed, or transferred to third parties without ZeniMax’s approval. ZeniMax’s intellectual property has provided the fundamental technology driving the Oculus Rift since its inception. Nevertheless, the defendants refused all requests from ZeniMax for reasonable compensation and continue to use ZeniMax’s intellectual property without authorization. "All efforts by ZeniMax to resolve this matter amicably have been unsuccessful. Oculus has recently issued a public statement remarkably claiming that 'ZeniMax has never contributed IP or technology to Oculus.' Meanwhile, Luckey has held himself out to the public as the visionary developer of virtual reality technology, when in fact the key technology Luckey used to establish Oculus was developed by ZeniMax."
ZeniMax sues Oculus photo
You just knew this was coming
The ZeniMax vs. Oculus VR situation has escalated following comments from both sides about how intellectual property and key technology driving the Oculus Rift virtual-reality headset may or may not have been worked on while ...

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Enough news to Baja Blast your brains out
Lots of things happened in the game-o-sphere this week. Kevin Spacey scored the manliest name for his character in Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare. We found out the Halo TV series may be produced in conjunction with Showtime,...

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Oculus responds to ZeniMax intellectual property claims


'We are disapointed but not surprised by ZeniMax's actions'
May 05
// Dale North
For those just tuning in, ZeniMax Media sent a formal notice of rights to Oculus VR and new parent company Facebook over intellectual property claims. Long story short, ZeniMax feels that work that happened with them carried ...
ZeniMax photo
ZeniMax

ZeniMax gives out an extra five days of gametime for The Elder Scrolls Online


As a thank you for dealing with gold spammers and bugs
May 02
// Chris Carter
It's been about four weeks since The Elder Scrolls Online launched, so we've reached that fated point in any subscription based MMO's life -- the date where everyone who got their first month free now has to choose ...
ZeniMax vs. Oculus VR photo
ZeniMax vs. Oculus VR

ZeniMax seeking compensation over the Oculus Rift


Asserts Carmack worked on IP while at id that went into the headset
May 01
// Jordan Devore
id Software parent company ZeniMax Media has sent a "formal notice of its legal rights" to Oculus VR and Facebook over intellectual property worked on by chief technology officer John Carmack while he was still at id that Zen...
Wolfenstein photo
Wolfenstein

It's 'Stealth vs Mayhem' in latest Wolfenstein: The New Order trailer


I will not apologize for the following wordplay
Apr 29
// Brittany Vincent
Wolfenstein: The New Order’s new trailer is out, and the good folks at Bethesda play the same segment twice for our amusement: the first, a little like Hitman, and the second time, like Serious Sam. From the moment I s...
Nuka Cola photo
Nuka Cola

'Nuka Cola' trademark applications filed by Zenimax Media


It's definitely not for a beverage
Apr 17
// Brittany Vincent
Could a new Fallout game or property be in the works? Recently, ZeniMax Media, parent company of Bethesda Softworks, quietly filed three separate trademarks for "Nuka Cola." Delicious and informative, yes? Nuka Cola is a favo...
Elder Scrolls Online photo
Elder Scrolls Online

ZeniMax confusingly endorses an online forum to support trading in Elder Scrolls Online


It's not in-game
Apr 14
// Chris Carter
As I've mentioned in my review in progress for The Elder Scrolls Online, the game did not ship with an Auction House -- a system in place in nearly every MMO that allows players to conveniently buy and sell goods within the g...
ESO photo
ESO

Elder Scrolls Online may take 150 hours to get max level


Info from playtesters
Feb 18
// Chris Carter
If you play as many MMOs as I do, one of the first questions you'll probably have is "what is the maximum level cap, and how long does it take to reach it?" Well with The Elder Scrolls Online, we may have an answer. According...
Oculus VR photo
Oculus VR

Carmack couldn't work on VR at id Software, so he left


Doom 4 with a virtual-reality headset 'would have been a huge win'
Feb 04
// Jordan Devore
As much as I want John Carmack to do good work at Oculus VR, it was sad to see him depart from id Software. In an interview with USA Today, he elaborated on why he chose to leave instead of working at multiple companies simul...
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The Elder Scrolls Online receives M rating from ESRB


Plus here's a new developer diary
Jan 22
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
Bethesda announced on their Facebook page that The Elder Scrolls Online will be rated M for Mature. The statement from Bethesda stated the company disagree with the ESRB's rating, but they also "do not plan to challenge" it....
TES Online dated photo
Console versions to follow in June
ZeniMax Online Studios has come out with a suitably memorable release date for The Elder Scrolls Online: April 4, 2014 (aka 4.4.14). That's when the massively multiplayer online role-playing game will arrive on PC and Mac --...

ESO photo
ESO

This is The Elder Scrolls Online's character creator


Argonians for life!
Oct 17
// Jordan Devore
I've come to warm up to The Elder Scrolls Online after seeing it at a few different events. One aspect that never disappointed me, even early on, is the MMORPG's character creator. Granted, I wasn't able to dig too deeply, a...
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The Destructoid Show pounds the starfish
Hey gang! Here's that darn Destructoid Show again! Hooray! The news: Steve Ballmer's gonna retire from Microsoft, Elder Scrolls Online has a subscription fee as well as a cash shop, there's some talk about exchanging your cu...

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GTA, CoD, & Dishonored Multiplayer! Plus: Prey 2 Reboot?


The Destructoid Show does a little dance
Aug 16
// Max Scoville
Hey gang! I'm back from my important business trip to give you hard-hitting news about video games! Hooray! Today we talk about Grand Theft Auto Online, which sounds totally nuts, and apparently involves submarines?! Dying L...
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Elder Scrolls Online, Shark Hunting in ACIV & Xbox 720


The Destructoid Show has to go to the bathroom
Aug 06
// Max Scoville
Hey everybody! Here's another episode of The Destructoid Show! Because Tuesday! Some sneaky Redditors have uncovered evidence pointing to the existence of Left 4 Dead 3, Bethesda has finally shown off The Elder Scrolls ...
Dishonored's initial plan photo
Dishonored's initial plan

Dishonored was originally to be set in medieval Japan


Don't call it steampunk. Or do, but it's not meant to be.
Mar 28
// Steven Hansen
Arkane Studios’ Sebastien Mitton gave a talk at GDC in which he revealed the warmly received Dishonored was originally set to take place in medieval Japan. Mitton continued, “We thought medieval Japan was not goo...
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Elder Scrolls Online, Riccitiello Resigns & Transistor!


The Destructoid Show makes fun of a giant corporation
Mar 19
// Max Scoville
Hey guys! Here's today's Destructoid Show.  Big news, in terms of business stuff -- EA's John Riccitiello has resigned from his role as CEO. EA is offering a generous choice of one of eight free games for customers ...

Preview: The Elder Scrolls Online

Mar 19 // Chris Carter
The Elder Scrolls Online (PC, Mac) Developer: Zenimax Online Studios Publisher: Bethesda Softworks Release: TBA 2013 This is how the game will work. After booting up Elder Scrolls Online for the first time, you'll have the option to select from the Daggerfall Covenant, Aldmeri Dominion, and the Ebonheart Pact factions. Each faction will have different playable races -- Breton, Redguard and Orcs for Daggerfall -- High Elves, Wood Elves, and Khajit for the Aldermi Dominion -- and Dark Elves, Nords, and Argonians for Ebonheart. All quests will take place within your respective region, with the option to initiate cross-region PvP. Bethesda revealed last week that after completing your region, you'll have the option to visit the other two with the same character. Of course, you could always create an alternate character and start in a new region as well. It's odd to segment content like that, but Zenimax claims that each region will contain around 120-150 hours of content each, not including dungeons or PvP. For the purposes of the preview, we were able to play a Daggerfall Covenant character up to level six, so I created a Dragonknight Orc. It's a tank mage class, so I naturally gravitated toward it. There are only four classes in total (Dragonknight, Templar, Sorcerer and Nightblade), but Zenimax notes that they want to de-emphasize classes entirely. Like any Elder Scrolls game, it's mostly just a guide to start with -- you can progress past your template and create your own custom character. There are racial skill trees, guild skill trees, and even a teased vampire tree that Zenimax was almost hesitant to reveal. Abilities can be morphed as they progress through their trees, and if you equip a certain ability class, you'll earn more XP towards new ones than normal. Think of how most MMOs force you to commit to one tree -- this system allows you to at least have some freedom as it gives you a smaller amount even if you're not using it, which is neat. Although our group started in the first major area of the game, there is an instanced story based tutorial to help you learn the ropes. The Elder Scrolls Online is set roughly 1000 years before the events of most of the games. Your character is killed by the forces of Molag Bal, an ancient god on par with the ones you've encountered before on the plane of Oblivion. You wake up in Molag Bal's Oblivion, Coldharbour, and the game starts there. Similar to Guild Wars 2, you'll have a personal story spending the rest of game getting your soul back from the forces of the Daedra. Zenimax tried to convey that the game is mostly a solo experience, stating that, "you are the hero" with the "option" to work with a "band of heroes" to save Tamriel. Essentially, they want you to treat it like a multiplayer Elder Scrolls game, which people have been clamoring for a while. So how's the gameplay? Well, it's a mix of the combat systems found in Elder Scrolls IV and V, and old school MMO thought. In many ways, Zenimax has kept a lot of the original Elder Scrolls spirit intact. You'll hold down the attack button (defaulted to left mouse) to initiate a heavy attack, and click repeatedly for a regular attack. The right mouse button enables defensive options like your shield or weapon parrying, and left clicking while blocking springs a charge move that can interrupt spells. Double tapping movement keys to dodge is also a nice touch, as I used it multiple times to avoid AOE attacks. In the first thirty minutes or so before I gained any skills, combat felt a little boring, and I had a "this is it?" style reaction. But once I gained projectile based skills, defensive abilities and more, combat ramped up a bit and became more dynamic, like the Elder Scrolls franchise is known for. Zenimax confirmed that the game wouldn't ship with native controller support, but it "shouldn't be too hard" to get the game mapped out with third party software, like XPadder or Joy2Key. Spells are bound to your selection of hotkeys like a typical MMO, and work just like Skyrim in real time. You can sneak around like the classic Bethesda games, sprint, and upon leveling up, you're able to choose between a health, magica or stamina upgrade. The locales look true to form for the series. As lead developer Matt Firor stated, there are going to be some fundamental differences compared to, say, Skyrim, but in the world of Elder Scrolls Online, "when you're in Windhelmd you feel like you're in Windhelm." There is a "choice" system, and it isn't really hamfisted either, thankfully. Instead of choosing from lazy Fable-esque snooze-inducing quandaries of "this is Good or Bad," Elder Scrolls Online is a bit more subtle, like the original Dragon Age or the Witcher series. For instance, in the time that I played, I had the option to save three potential crew members for a heist, and choose whether or not a few other story characters lived or died along the way. Whether or not I killed those characters off or not influenced my story as early as a few hours in, as the dialog and interactions I had with other NPCs were directly influenced from my choices. From a design standpoint, the HUD was very, very clean, and I enjoyed the subtle design differences compared to most MMOs, like glowing NPCs to denote quest-givers rather than the typical question marks above their heads -- fully voiced quest NPCs also help bring up the presentation. There's Wayshrines just like Guild Wars 2 for fast travel, but you have to pay more than a nominal fee to use them from any spot on the map.Zenimax stated during the presentation that it was their goal to bring two major groups together:  MMO and Elder Scrolls players. The way they want to accomplish this is through story immersion, exploration based content, a deep combat system, and choices that matter. Content wise, you'll have your typical world quests as you're roaming about, in addition to hidden Easter eggs, PvP, crafting, dungeons, and guilds (although only the Fighter and Mage guilds are confirmed currently). Both guilds have meta-games, like the ability to destroy spirit anchors and collect necromancy tomes for unique skills. There's also a full crafting system, including specializations for cooking, weapon smith, armor smith, alchemy, and enchanting. The system itself will support a "jack of all trades, master of one" mentality, allowing you to choose one major skill.Crafters will create some of the best items in the game -- not just consumables or throwaway items. Zenimax stated that they want crafting to be fun and not a grind -- brought about through experimentation, rather than making the same thing over and over to grind skill points. As an example, they showed off the cooking system, which consists of adding two ingredients, and then up to three additives. You can add more or less ingredients to increase potency of consumables, or change the effect entirely. It's a pretty neat and open system that should allow a hefty amount of experimentation. In addition to our hands-on, Zenimax provided a live group dungeon run, showing off the four person party system in the spider themed Spindleclutch dungeon. The main mechanic they wanted to show off was the emphasis on synergy from not only players, but different enemies as well. For instance, a Foot Solider may drop some oil, and call for a Fire Mage to "light it up" for an area of effect attack. Also, Necromancers could perform a ritual at any time to summon a giant spirit monster, sacrificing themselves in the process. The developers claim that these dynamic combat situations could happen at random, which forces you to think on the fly, and makes combat a little more exciting. A distinction was made with enemy groups in that every pull will not be a traditional "tank pulls group" so much as a dynamic experience. The blocking mechanic and other crowd control based abilities helps other players fit into scheme, and get into the action more. After asking the developers directly about how far they were willing to go with this, they noted that they will not be eliminating the trinity like Guild Wars 2 did; only focusing fights towards a less traditional view and increasing the options of non-tanks. What I really liked about the instance is the promise that each dungeon contains a story. In fact, the first time you run it, there's always a deep narrative involved with the dungeon itself. In this particular dungeon, quest NPCs were setting fire to webs as the team progressed through. Like typical MMO instances, mini-bosses (dungeon bosses) were peppered in before the big finale.Although we didn't get to play it, Zenimax also showed off a live PvP test for the first time, showcasing the siege style gameplay of the Cyrodiil zone. Siege weapons were out in full display, destroying keep walls to take out different perimeters to access the keep in multiple ways. Battering rams can also help break down the front door as players try to raid a keep. Tiny arrow icons above enemy heads identify rivals easily, which was a nice touch that most large scale MMO battles lack. As you take structures along the way, you can travel from keep to keep with waypoints. Zenimax said that they don't use development tools or trainers to test PvP because they want to replicate the player experience. Like World v. World in Guild Wars 2, PvP matches will accommodate a few hundred players. Add in their support for endgame content at launch, and it could be a pretty enticing package. As the developers at Zenimax were showing off the game, you could tell that they really cared about the history of the Elder Scrolls franchise. It was clear after playing it for an extended period of time that there will be lots of lore here to uncover; perhaps more than any other Elder Scrolls game before it. Coupled with the confirmed first-person mode, a lot of TES fans should feel right at home with Online -- the only major problem is the fact that they haven't really demonstrated quite enough to justify the subscription fee for more than a few months. But from what I can tell so far, it would be an amazing few months indeed. For those of you who want to see the game for yourself, the beta will start later this month, and it will be playable at PAX East -- which will be the first ever public test of the game.
Elder Scrolls Online photo
A welcome hybrid of old and new school MMO mechanics
The Elder Scrolls Online has a lot to prove. Not only does developer Zenimax have to placate the fans of old, and sell them on the idea of a subscription based MMO, but they also have to bring in fans who have never played th...







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