Today word got out that Zenimax was changing what information UI modders had access to when making mods in the Elder Scrolls Online. To whit:
– Locked down access to Unit information and ability cast functionality.
– Locked down access to combat events so that only your own outgoing spells can be monitored with any level of detail. Incoming damage and healing from spells have been restricted to only showing the value and not the name of the spell, type of damage or healing, or who is casting it.
This means that UI mods will not be able to display the hit, mana or stamina points of any enemy targeted in combat. It also means that you will not be able to tell what spell or ability the enemy is using through the UI. No more cast bar that has the spell the enemy is using in it to make it easy to interrupt the heal or big fireball. You can tell how much damage you took but not what kind. Meaning, you can see you took 120 points of damage but you can not tell whether it was fire damage, electrical or bleeds.You also can not tell what class or spec your enemy is by targeting him.
UI mods in the last beta would allow you to do this but not anymore. They disallowed all that information from the API. This has, of course, caused massive arguments and debates on MMO and fan forums everywhere and rightfully so. It is a huge change. It is also an interesting one.
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.
Don’t Stand in the Fire: The Game
That’s Wildstar summed up. Only instead of fire, it’s neon boxes! Yay, progress!!
I have to tread carefully here because of the NDA but I will articulate some thoughts on Wildstar. I will state, up front, that Wildstar is a well-crafted MMO. It is quite obvious, from the moment you start the game, that the developers have worked hard making the game. They imbued it with a solid world, a good story and a quirky sense of humor sharper than anything this side of World of Warcraft.
All that being said, I will not be playing Wildstar at release. I enjoyed all the things I mentioned above but there are a few things that just turned me off. The good news is that all of the things that I did not like are completely personal preferences. From a mechanics standpoint there is nothing at all wrong with Wildstar. Bugs are few and far between, the engine runs fairly well, the quests worked. All the mechanics are solid.