Monday, May 27, 2024

As Final Fantasy 14’s visual overhaul nears, the Elder Scrolls MMO developers acknowledge improved technology is really important

The Elder Scrolls Online is currently celebrating its 10th anniversary, and as the MMO approaches that milestone, its developers say they understand that a Final Fantasy 14-style technological overhaul could prove important.

In an interview with GamesRadar+, ESO’s creative director, Rich Lambert, explained that as the MMO turns ten, “setting ESO up for the future, technology-wise, is really important.” In the decade that that game has been live, Lambert explains, “we’ve been ‘fix this, fix this, add this, add this’, and you can kind of see some of that in some of the systems we’ve got.”

The age of some of those systems then comes with its own player-facing issues, as Lambert admits that “we don’t do a particularly good job of surfacing those systems for players, and as a brand-new player coming in, or as a player who’s been gone for six months, you come in and you’re like ‘oh my god, all of this stuff’s changed’, or ‘oh my god, I have all of these choices to make’, and you kind of lock up.”

The player-facing nature of those issues is key, and it’s reminiscent of comments that have been made by Final Fantasy 14’s Naoki Yoshida. Back in 2022, FF14 unveiled its upcoming graphical overhaul, which is set to arrive with the upcoming Dawntrail expansion. Yoshida noted that the aim wasn’t simply to bring in new players, but to encourage continuing and lapsed players to believe that their MMO had a bright future ahead of it.

Studio director Matt Firor suggests that ongoing improvements are more likely to be case-by-case than part of one major overhaul, but he also implies that ESO developer Zenimax is well-prepared to take that challenge on: “we can do that kind of thing. And we will as we need to. We do run on a somewhat aging engine. But still, it’s amazingly scalable.” He concludes by suggesting that “I think we’ll continue to look for graphical upgrades as we go.”

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