The Obscure RPG Query

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In a recent interview the director of Elder Scrolls Online, Matt Firor. said a rather interesting take, confirming outright that according to him and his studio people playing games currently don’t like the old, obtuse system of navigating world and doing quests similarly to how it was done in Morrowind, and instead they absolutely need compasses or quest markers.

Now that’s a bold claim, and coming from an MMO developer of course they would think that. Morrowind is an old, single player RPG that focused on immersion and storytelling whereas ESO is about player engagement, loot drops and stuffing as much ‘stuff’ to do in the game as possible. They’re two completely different gameplay styles despite being RPG’s from the same series. However, in some ways, I think I understand their point. In many ways people are becoming less willing to figure out things in games and would much rather just be told what to do and where to go, and in many ways that’s quite sad to see. The mystery of old gameplay styles and figuring things out yourself made the games far more immersive and memorable in the long term in my opinion.

I’d also not say that the appeal of that gameplay style is gone either. Elden Ring is an excellent example of a big, open world RPG that doesn’t use a compass or objective marker system and instead lets you just explore the world and figure things out yourself. I was reminded of this with the Shadow of the Erdtree DLC that helped rekindle my love for just finding things in games. Then again, the amount of people that complain about how vague quests are and want objective markers just unfortunately provides Matt’s points further…

In the end, I can see both sides to this argument, however I’m curious what you all have to say. Do you think the majority of the game playing populace wants to be led by objective markers, or does Elden Ring’s success prove there’s still room for a little mystery in our games? Let me know down in the comments! That’s all for now, and as always. It’s not just a game, It’s a Life.

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