A post over on the Elder Scrolls Online Reddit caught my attention today. Mrbluebird claims that the latest closed beta build has collision detection turned on. Obviously this is a single claim by someone on Reddit but, if true, it changes the game immensely. Mrbluebird says that he has verified it in PvE only and is unsure if it extends to PvP.
What does this mean for ESO? Well, it should help alleviate the disconnected feeling that exists in melee combat. Players have complained that melee feels “floaty” and not quite right. I would agree to a point. Collision detection will certainly add weight to a melee swing.
It would mean even more to the PvP side of things. Tanks would now be able to “physically” block opposing players from getting to the back lines and harassing healers and ranged DPS. Choke points will be even more important as a couple of tanks standing in a tight choke point will be able to stop a large group of players from advancing.
There are a few downsides to collision detection. If not done correctly it can allow players to grief other players. This can be alleviated by only allowing collision detection between opposing players and allowing allied players to still walk through each other.
The biggest downside is the added burden the detection places on the game client. This can negatively impact server lag and performance. If the trade off to have collision detection is a client unable to handle the large battles in AvA, then I am not sure that its worth it. If they can pull it off while making the performance hit negligible, then I am all for it.
This is something that Warhammer Online had and it added immensely to the game. Entire strategies were built upon fact of collision detection. I enjoyed the added strategies that collision detection brought to the table and I hope to enjoy them in ESO.