The Elder Scrolls Online: High Isle has been live for a couple of weeks already and after spending many hours in its new environment we’ll give our verdict very soon. But before that, to celebrate the ambitious expansion we sit down with director Rich Lambert, who other than a beautiful parrot and impressive dogs, had a lot to say about the never-before-seen content.
“We wanted it to feel different, something extremely different than anything we’ve done before”, says the man from ZeniMax Online Studios in the video about what they wanted to deliver. “We’ve done really high fantasy with the Elves, we’ve done some dark and gloomy things which were cool, but really wanted to change things up. That was a big focus on the visuals of High Isle and what it was. The other side of that we wanted to tell a different story. We’ve told a lot of stories over the last few years that are world ending, soul crashing type of stories and we wanted to switch that up and do something that was a little bit more grounded on reality, focused a little bit more on politics and this murder mystery, figure it out kind of thing and it fit perfectly with the Bretons and their whole medieval nobility culture. That’s what the Bretons are and they just tied in perfectly”.
ESO: Tales of Tribute was heavily influenced by Dominion
Later in the interview we asked about the creation of the comprehensive deck building card mini game the expansion includes.
“Tribute has been something we’ve wanted to do for a very long time”, Lambert confirms, “this concept of tavern games, this alternate activity that you can do socially. We have lots of questing, lots of killing, we have quite a few alternate activities in there in terms of like housing, crafting and antiquities and whatnot, but we don’t really have a lot of these social activities that are outside of dungeons and world bosses and things, so that was kind of a goal, to come up with something that would fit that bill. We’re all gamers, we looked at tons of games, read books, watched movies… Dominion was a big influence, it’s one of my favourite card games in the world, absolutely love it, and when we were going through and building Tribute up, we went through a ton of prototypes, we did ton of paper prototyping, in Excel, we had a small team breakoff and build Unity prototypes for a while so that we could figure out mechanics and layouts and things like that so that when we were ready to actually build it in ESO we were just iterating on core gameplay mechanics and we were trying to figure out exactly what the game was. It took us a long time, like everything does when you’re making games. It took us a really long time, well over a year to go through this process and end up where we are today. Personally, I love it, I’ve been playing this since live and it’s just a ton of fun. Absolutely love it”.
Elsewhere in the interview Lambert confirms that they’re “already working on next year’s chapter”.Are you currently playing the MMO? What do you think about the new mystery and the card game?