In life, people are divided into three factions: the Church of Pre-Twerk Cyrus, the Latter-Day Miley Saints, and the Disciples Who Just Kinda Liked Party in the USA. So too are players of the Elder Scrolls Online, who’ll pledge their allegiance to either the Ebonheart Pact, Aldmeri Dominion or Daggerfall Covenant.
The consequences of their decision will be more far-reaching than in yer average MMO, as Cyrodiil has been converted into a large-scale PvP arena to pit those groups against each other.
It’s likely to be great fun. But what’s to stop the faction with the most appealing name and therefore largest membership overrunning their competitors in the days after launch? Zenimax Online have the answers.
“There are alliance population caps per campaign to make sure one alliance doesn't fill up a campaign entirely,” said the developers in a Q&A. “There are also scoring incentives for alliances that are tailing behind when capturing resources and keeps from the winning Alliance if the score is imbalanced.”
Struggling alliances will be awarded a higher proportion of points for holding their remaining keeps. And seemingly channelling Planetside, Zenimax say that enemy keep-capturing can be pulled off with a smaller group than you might expect.
“Even under-populated alliances have a real shot at claiming the throne,” they write.
What’s more, PvP won’t be restricted to an endless series of Lord of the Rings charges - when wandering Cyrodiil, players will find plenty of opportunities to confront opposing factions in smaller numbers.
“Many of the quests from towns and from alliance entry locations are designed to send you into enemy territory,” explain Zenimax. “If you’re looking for a fight outside of large-scale keep battles, there's a good chance you’ll run into enemies near Chorrol, Cheydinhal, Bruma, Cropsford, or Vlastarus.”
Better write them down, I suppose. Were any of you lot Dark Age of Camelot fans? Do you think ESO is capable of scratching that old itch? You should really have got it seen to by now.