updated 11:43 am EDT, Fri April 4, 2014
MMORPG rides on success of earlier single-player RPGs
Bethesda and ZeniMax have launched simultaneous Mac, Windows, and console versions of The Elder Scrolls Online, the former's first massively-multiplayer online role-playing game. The title is based on earlier single-player Elder Scrolls games like Skyrim, but with the addition of new character customization options and multiplayer-specific gameplay elements. These include things like alliances, guilds, and a player-versus-player battle system which can see hundreds of people fighting simultaneously.
The overarching story of the game has players struggling against Molag Bal, a Daedric prince that has infested Nirn with vortexes allowing the forces of Oblivion to slip in. Players must also cope with conflict between the alliances though, as the three sides -- the Daggerfall Covenant, the Aldmeri Dominion, and the Ebonheart Pact -- are all competing for the Imperial City and the White-Gold Tower.
The game is available via retail and download. The latter option normally costs $60, and comes with 30 days of game time before a monthly subscription fee kicks in. Also available is an $80 Imperial Edition, which lets people become an Imperial and play with any alliance, also granting access to unique bonuses and crafting options. These include things like an Imperial white horse, and the ability to transform any gear into the Imperial style.