Elder Scrolls Online’s Project Scorpio update to copy PS4 Pro

Chris Stead 6 June 2017 NEWS

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We talk to the creative director of Elder Scrolls Online, Rich Lambert, about Project Scorpio and potential E3 announcements.

Elder Scrolls is back. Releasing just ahead of E3 2017 (6 June for PC, Xbox One and PlayStation 4), The Elder Scrolls Online is getting its first major chapter expansion and it’s Morrowind.

Veteran campaigners and newbies alike can arrive on the iconic island of Vvardenfell to find a new story, new class in the Warden (read: ESO creative director details challenge of implementing the Warden), new combat ally (War Bear), a new, more focused PvP mode in Battlegrounds (read: ESO creative director explains inspiration behind Battlegrounds), and other tweaks and enhancements.

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I’ve spent a number of hours playing in this massive new zone and it’s really great fun. It’s just such a good looking, free-flowing MMO experience. Starting as a rescued slave and building a name for yourself out in the world, rising from nobody to somebody, is engrossing, and both the combat and character interactions feel fresh.

The loading in and out of instances is also nice and quick while locating and getting to quest points or group member is a cinch. I’ve plenty more hours to sink into it, but I’ve enjoyed it very much thus far.

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During a pre-release junket, I was able to catch up with Rich Lambert, the game’s creative director over at ZeniMax Online Studios. With E3 so close and Microsoft’s next iteration on its Xbox console range, Project Scorpio, only a matter of months away, I was particularly interested in his view on the machine. How would the Project Scorpio version of Elder Scrolls Online differ from the Xbox One version, and what would he like to see Microsoft announce around the console? Here is how the conversation went down:

Elder Scrolls Online saw some improvements when it was patched for the PS4 Pro. What improvements can we expect in the Project Scorpio version and what are you hoping Microsoft will announce about the console at E3?

I think we're going to be in for the same kinds of things [with the Project Scorpio version] that we did with the PS4 Pro. So visual stability will be up there. We'll probably have the same types of visual bells and whistles. As for what Microsoft is going to release, I don't know. I haven't really spent any time trying to dig through what they're doing. I'm sure they'll have something [at E3], but as it relates to exactly what I'm focused on right now, I don't know.

Well, can I approach it from a different angle then and ask you, what do you think consoles of the future like Project Scorpio need to do to make the most of the MMO genre?

I would definitely say power is key. Memory is key. Especially in a game like The Elder Scrolls Online. There are hundreds of characters running around on the screen at any one time. We can have a 300 person battle in our game and that eats up memory. That eats up computing power and it eats up VRAM. So, the more they can pack into those newer consoles, the better. Definitely, we have seen just on console a really strong desire for a good console MMO and we're reaping the benefits for that. But, I think as the consoles get more and more powerful, more and more people will start moving towards a console. Because it's nice to sit on your sofa and have a beer and play.

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