Reactions to the video seem largely positive so far, and many gamers have noted with approval that the interface seems more reminiscent of Elder Scrolls gameplay than MMO gameplay.
The demonstration started off by showing some of the basics of the game, which allows toggling between third and first person. Fans of Skyrim will likely find themselves in familiar territory when it comes to basic gameplay mechanics – and the presenter made the impressive claim that the entire game is fully voiced.
After some fiddling around with the basic gameplay, the demo moved on to show how the muliplayer function works. The player pulled up a screen that allowed him to choose among several multiplayer options, selecting a dungeon and locating other players to join in for a co-op style short dungeon mission. In addition to enlisting the assistance of other players, Elder Scrolls Online lets you recruit goblins to help defeat enemies in dungeons.
The presenter also made some remarks indicating that available loot will be player-specific, such that you don’t need to worry about fighting other players for loot on enemies you’ve just killed (although it’s unclear if this carries over to PvP — a question that would seem to take on particular import if ESO rewards competitive players with rare loot that can’t be purchased in-game).
The co-op multiplayer allows players to resurrect their comrades when they fall in battle, if those comrades don’t have any soul gems to resurrect themselves. If you don’t have a soul gem and no one resurrects you, you are transported back to the start of the dungeon when you die (and, of course, you’re charged some loot for your trouble).
The presentation lasted about half an hour, which included approximately twenty minutes of gameplay. It looked like the player ran into some minor lag issues a couple times, although they didn’t seem to be game-breakers — however, given that it’s likely Bethesda took a lot of precautions going into the live demo, it’s probably not representative of typical gameplay experience. A better way to get a sense of potential lag issues would almost certainly be to keep track of what players involved in the current beta are reporting.
All in all, the presentation indicates a lot of promise for Elder Scrolls Online. Since the game isn’t out until next Spring, there will almost certainly be more presentations and additional info in the coming months.