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The Elder Scrolls Online's tough dungeons explained

It's taken a long time for venerable RPG series The Elder Scrolls to slide over into the MMO arena, but it sounds like Bethesda has been taking notes and working out how to do things differently rather than just slapping a Skyrim skin on a World of Warcraft clone.

In a new blog post, the publisher has revealed more about how raid dungeons will work - and while you'll want to bring some friends along. "There are lots of activities you'll be able to participate in on your own in ESO," reads the post, "but you'll also have the chance to explore dungeons, which are designed to be challenges for groups of allies. Dungeons are organized; you'll need three other party members to stand a chance, and the four of you will have a version of the dungeon (and its bosses and loot) all to yourselves."

The game also aims to avoid the rigid player roles of rival RPGs, where characters are stuck dealing damage, healing or drawing away enemies based on their class. In The Elder Scrolls, that won't happen. "With the right combination of weapons and abilities, you can change your role on the fly to support your group's needs," says Bethesda. "For example, let's say your group's healer goes down during a boss battle. In many games, it would be impossible to recover at this point. However, you were prepared for just such a situation! You swap your two-handed sword out right in the middle of combat for a restoration staff, which activates your second hotbar (where you've cleverly slotted some healing abilities). Now, you can keep the party going."

You'll also be fighting some pretty smart critters, with groups of enemies able to alert other groups nearby, while each monster in a battle will behave intelligently based on how the fight is going. Some will steam in for the kill, others will hang back and look for gaps in your tactics before striking.

It's all sounding rather good, and with the deep and rich mythology of The Elder Scrolls powering it, this is shaping up to be a great MMO.

The Elder Scrolls Online is in development now for PC, where it has undertaken several closed beta trials, and will also be launched for Xbox One and PlayStation 4.

Published: 02/07/2013

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