Earlier today, someone wished they had more reasons to visit taverns in ESO, and it reminded me of a tavern's role in single-player RPGs—how they're so often hubs of activity, and launchpads for quests and adventure. This also got me thinking about the random encounters that pop up in games like Red Dead Redemption or Skyrim: A traveler stranded along the road, bandits attacking a caravan, etc.
Now, I realize that MMOs are fundamentally different from single-player games, but I still think there are opportunities to add surprises and variations to ESO gameplay, and give overland zones and cities a better sense of dynamism. After all, it sounds like this is the intention behind dragon attacks in Elsweyr.
What if the next DLC update included a variety of random encounters to mix up the experience of traveling through zones and cities—some could be limited to a single player, while others could be shared between all players in a specific instance. Things like:
- Random encounters when you're traveling across a zone, like bandit ambushes, vampire attacks, hunters trying to take down a powerful wamasu, etc. They dabbled in this for the Morrowind DLC, with the random encounters between Hlaalu traders and Telvanni mages, but they can do more, and better.
- Strangers appearing in taverns and inns with a variety of daily quests ("recover my stolen sword", "help! my daughter wants to raise a goblin sex army", etc.) that reward an item from an overland set. Not groundbreaking—kind of a combination of DLC dailies and random side quests—but the important part is that they're dynamic: you would stumble on them by chance, rather than robotically returning to the same quest givers to run the same quests over and over.
- Powerful world boss attacks that appear in random (high-traffic) spots around overland zones. This could be a massive troll attacking a caravan, or a powerful werewolf who's just slaughtered a band of Silver Dawn hunters. Ideally, they would be as tough as the harder DLC world bosses, so you'd really want to gather a bunch of nearby players to fight them. The loot could be better than those from static world bosses too: Maybe guaranteed purple gear, and some transmute crystals too. Truthfully, this just sounds a lot like the dragon attacks in Elsweyr…but I think we deserve them in other zones too.
This would also be an opportunity to offer random quests and encounters with better rewards: I don’t think it would break the game economy to beef up the gold/coin/item quality for this kind of content, giving people a reason to play it aside from sheer boredom.
At the end of the day, I know these little additions wouldn't dramatically change day-to-day gameplay, but it would be nice to shake up the feeling that you know exactly where every enemy, NPC, and quest is going to be.
I want to be truly surprised for once. How about you?
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© Post "A Small “Adventurer” Update to Bring More Life and Spontaneity to Overland Zones" for game The Elder Scrolls.
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