PAXPrime! Seattle 2014

Hey everybody! Jeancey here! I spent the holiday weekend doing something I’m sure most of you would enjoy, attending a gaming convention, the Penny Arcade Expo! For those of you who don’t know, the Penny Arcade Expo, usually abbreviated as PAX, is a yearly gaming convention which started in Seattle. There are other PAX events at different times of the year and in different locations around the world, but PAXPrime is, in my opinion, the best.

The ESO PAX Booth

Bethesda has had a booth at PAXPrime for years, and last year provided an opportunity to test Elder Scrolls Online before it was released. This year ESO was also at PAX, providing a chance for attendees to play the PvP Battleground they have set up.  Though I am not a big PvP person, I must say that I thoroughly enjoyed playing the battleground. Each alliance was represented by a group of four players, one from each class. If you died, you would respawn after a short period of time and were then able to jump back into the battle. In all, it was a much faster and more personal style of PvP than what is currently in the game.
Aside from testing, I also got a chance to talk with the ZeniMax Online Studios employees who were running the booth, including Community Manager Gina Bruno and Dan.  We talked about many things from lore to art to the future of ESO. There were some things that I was told not to publish anywhere, and obviously I’ll respect those wishes 🙂
Talking with Dan was very enjoyable because while he wasn’t part of the lore team and thus couldn’t answer any questions officially, he did have an extensive knowledge of the lore of the series purely due to his personal enjoyment of the Elder Scrolls. We did talk about art, and he was able to answer some of the questions pertaining to the lore.  For instance, Akavri Weapons and Armor are in the game, set to come out in a future patch. Whether players will be able to craft those items with a motif, he could not say, but they were definitely present. Also, per Quill-Tail’s question, Argonians and Lamia were, in fact, designed to have breasts. It was a purposeful decision. As to whether they served a biological function, he could not say, though the question did amuse him.
None of the people at PAX knew, for sure, who drew the concept art for Sir Cadwell, but Dan did say that Cadwell’s signature cooking pot helmet was created by Senior Figure Artist Steven Stahlberg. He also mentioned that while Sheogorath doesn’t have the exact same attire as in Skyrim, he was purposefully designed to be very similar.
I also asked them about some of their personally favorite things. Dan, for instance, likes the Molag Bal model most, while another ZOS employee ‘s favorite book was  The Humor of Wood Elves. We also talked about the future of the game. While Dan mentioned that he would love to see Akavir, he thought that there was plenty of room for expansion within Tamriel itself. I did talk to another ZOS employee for a while about the Dragonstar Arena, which is a unique Group PvE instance coming in patch 1.4. The Arena itself has 10 parts, with each part having 5 waves, the last containing a boss monster. After defeating each wave, the group will receive loot, with the quality of the loot increasing each time. 
Speaking of 1.4, Gina was able to provide some rough release dates for the next few patches. 1.4 will be released “very soon”. The second part of the champion system roll out will be released “soon” after that. And the final part of the champion system will be released “later”. 🙂 
While I was there, I also got a chance to talk to Atropos, from Tamriel Foundry, who I met last year at PAX. We had a great time chatting about the future of the series as a whole. In all, I had a wonderful time, and I would like to thank all Zenimax employees for a great time, and to apologize, again, for bothering you with so many questions!

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