According to this article over at Massively, Elder Scrolls Online is aiming for monthly content updates. Not only that, but they intend for these content updates to be rather large and contain more than just a “funny hat”. Of course, this is a very, very good thing. How long can they stick to that promise though?
I think the first month or so after release will consist of mainly bug patching and systems improvements. Its really hard to get out large content patches in the first month. Bugs that they did not find during the beta and during stress tests will rear their ugly head. These will take priority. After that is when you will start seeing some content patches. What they will entail and how big, is any bodies guess at this point. But, they will have to be pretty large to justify the $15 a month. Gone are days when people will pay a monthly sub fee for only the privilege of server access. The only MMO that can do that now is WoW. ESO will need to be much more aggressive.
The timing of the content releases also ties into the other news we got today; Wildstar has set their release date for June 3rd. That gives a month and a half or so for Elder Scrolls Online to show that they mean business when they talk about monthly content updates. I imagine that the first content update will release right around the time Wildstar releases. If not the actual patch, then we will have an announcement of one and details of what content we will see.
ESO simply can not afford to let Wildstar steal a bunch of momentum. They have a month and a half to grab fans and show them they take the content patches seriously. Hook them in that month and a half and the Wildstar release won’t have a major effect on ESO’s population. Lose momentum or let the players get bored before Wildstar’s release and things could get dicey.
Regardless, I won’t be playing Wildstar. I’ve already posted my Wildstar impressions but, to sum up, I found it a technically well made game but didn’t like the combat system, art-style and flashy colors. I wish it well and I hope its fans have a great time playing but I won’t be one of them. There is room for both ESO and Wildstar because they are wildly different and both differ in playstyle, end game emphasis and art-style. Hopefully, both will do well and redeem the subscription model.