After a somewhat troubled year of content releases and updates in ESO, most notably the controversial combat changes in Update 35 and bugs that have been causing problems since Update 36 (most notably the block bug), Zenimax have reached out with an update about what their plans are going forward, and how they will address some avenues of criticism they have received from some players about the year-long storyline model that has persisted for the last few years.
ZOS Studio Director Matt Firor wrote the statement today, which can be read in full on the Official ESO website.
He started by talking about the block bug - many players are still waiting for a resolution for this. Zenimax are still working on figuring out and fixing the problem, according to the statement. It was also stated that they will be making some process changes to prevent something like this from happening again, as ZOS themselves are unhappy with how long it has taken to get it fixed.
After that though, we learned some new things about what will be coming to ESO next year and beyond, specifically how the manner in which content is released will be changing.
How is ESO changing from 2023?
Previously, ESO has got new "year-long stories" typically themed around one of the in-game playable races. These stories started with a dungeon pack in Q1, then progressed onto a full chapter release in Q2 with a large new zone and new main questline for that year (like High Isle), then wrapped things up with another new dungeon pack and a final story DLC for the year (like Firesong) - players wanting to get the full story would typically need access to at least both of the story DLCs.
However Zenimax has decided to switch things up next year, apparently in response to player feedback, with some players reporting that the sheer number of characters and stories in the game is starting to get overwhelming, and others being unhappy with the amount of repeatable content that is being added to the game in the current model - repeatable content refers to things like PvP, dungeons, trials and arenas.
From next year onwards, the first half of the year will remain basically the same as what we are used to, with a Q1 dungeon DLC and a major new zone with a new storyline in Q2, however Q3 and Q4 will be more focused on improving existing systems and adding new ones, rather than smaller story zones.
The storyline in Q2 will be the first part of a multi-year story arc, but should still contain around the same amount of content that we are used to from a chapter release.
For 2023 specifically, not too much has been revealed yet, but we can expect Q3 to be focused on quality of life improvements and bug fixes, with Q4 featuring a "new system" instead of a new story zone. We have no idea what this new system will be at the moment, but more info can be expected at the Global Reveal Event early in the new year. Could this be the practically forgotten spell crafting feature?
What Else is New?
The statement from Matt Firor finished off by mentioning the long-awaited server hardware refresh. Thus far this has only been performed on the PC NA megaserver, and it resulted in noticeable performance improvements, especially in PvP.
Zenimax have been adamant for a while that it's being worked on, but some players were getting frustrated by the lack of a clear timescale. However we now know that the new upgrades should be in place on all servers by early March next year, with multi-threading expected to make an appearance in Q2. Hopefully all of this will deliver nice performance boosts for players who have had persistent issues with lag.
We hope you enjoyed this article about ESO in 2023. The Elder Scrolls Online is a massively multiplayer online game (MMO) developed by Zenimax Online Studios.