Elder Scrolls Online, the upcoming MMO from ZeniMax Media, will focus heavily on PvP. That’s according to game director Matt Firor, who has also said that the team is attempting to make combat versus NPCs “similar” to PvP.
“Player vs player (PVP) is a huge part of our game, and we want to make fighting NPCs and fighting in PvP similar,” said Firor. “We basically set up our NPCs to fight like players would. The groups are randomly generated, but often include a mix of mages and warriors.
“When you move in, mages will try and run away and then cast spells, the warriors will try to close with you, the rogues will try and sneak around and backstab you. At the moment we have about 35 different kinds of NPCs, all with their own tactics, and they all work together.”
Apparently, each enemy will behave in their own way that will allow you to read the situation before it unfolds and give you a chance to develop pre-battle tactics.
“Each monster has their own iconic behaviour and attack, and so the combat situations vary depending on who’s in the combat,” Maria Aliprando, gameplay designer, adds. “Combat really depends on monsters, but because of these iconic behaviours we’ve given them, when you see the monsters, you know what they’re going to do.
“We don’t want to trick players: we want them to learn to master different situations. And if every player can block, sprint and crouch, we want the monsters to play off that. If any player can block, say, every monster is able to power-attack any player.”