About The Eternal Watch

The Eternal Watch is a guild that embraces both the "friends and family" atmosphere along with the "hardcore" drive to excel at end-game content.


TEW is over 14-years old, beginning in Asheron's Call 1, moving to Asheron's Call 2, Lineage 2, Aion, Age of Conan, World of Warcraft, Rift, Star Wars the Old Republic, TERA, and recently Guild Wars 2 and Neverwinter. 

Now the guild is branching into The Elder Scrolls Online saga, joining forces with Queen Ayrenn and the Aldmeri Dominion.


The Guild rules are simple:  don't be an ass and treat your guild members with respect and courtesy...and most of all, have fun!



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Blizzard cancels their next MMO Titan project...

by Mithoron, 38 days ago

 

Blizzard cancels its next-gen MMO Titan after seven years

Blizzard has officially canceled development on its mysterious next-generation massively multiplayer game Titan. The company confirmed the news to Polygon in a recent interview.

This revelation comes after at least seven years in development and word last year that the developer was going back to the drawing board to reevaluate the project.

Speaking to Polygon, Blizzard co-founder and CEO Mike Morhaime reiterated that the company has technically never officially announced Titan, though it hasn't been shy to talk about the game over the past seven years. "We had created World of Warcraft, and we felt really confident that we knew how to make MMOs," Morhaime said. "So we set out to make the most ambitious thing that you could possibly imagine. And it didn't come together.

"We didn't find the fun," Morhaime continued. "We didn't find the passion. We talked about how we put it through a reevaluation period, and actually, what we reevaluated is whether that's the game we really wanted to be making. The answer is no."

 

Chris Metzen, Blizzard's senior vice president of story and franchise development, called the decision to cancel Titan "excruciating." Morhaime agreed: "It's always really, really hard to make those kind of decisions. It was hard when we canceled Warcraft Adventures. It was hard when we canceled StarCraft Ghost. But it has always resulted in better-quality work."

"The discipline of knowing when to quit is important," Metzen said. "We were losing perspective and getting lost in the weeds a little. We had to allow ourselves to take that step back and reassess why the hell we were doing that thing in the first place."

As Metzen and Morhaime have looked back on the past decade at Blizzard, a major factor in their decision to pursue Titan was the immense success of World of Warcraft, the company's first MMO and still the most financially successful game ever released in the genre.

"Is this really who we are? Is this really what we want?"

"We were trying to do the right thing and build the right, smart product, and keep it all moving," Metzen said. "The opportunity to get that perspective and dust off a little bit, scraped knees and all, stand back up and reevaluate as a team, as leaders, as a culture — it was a big blessing."

Metzen spoke of a "sense of inertia and obligation and identity that we hold in ourselves and the community may also hold toward us" that pushed Blizzard to focus development resources on a second MMO. "Is this really who we are?" he asked. "Is this really what we want? Is this really what we want to burn our passion and our work lives, our careers on, for years on end?"

"Are we the MMORPG company?" he added later, in conclusion to that line of questioning.

Morhaime answered that last rhetorical question quite simply: "We don't want to identify ourselves with a particular genre. We just want to make great games every time."

 

Metzen compared Blizzard's creative struggles with Titan to that of a band: "I'm not saying we're an old rock band. But you watch documentaries about The Rolling Stones or U2 or these bands that have lasted for a while. And there's times where they just drive each other batshit crazy. For as good as they are and the experience they have, sometimes you just don't find it, and you've got to get out of the damn studio and go have a beer and regroup."

"In many ways, Titan was that for us," Metzen said. "We took a step back and realized that it had some cool hooks. It definitely had some merit as a big, broad idea, but it didn't come together. It did not distill. The music did not flow. For all our good intentions and our experience and the pure craftsmanship that we brought together, we had to make that call."

The approach seems obvious if you look at Blizzard's history of canceling projects it doesn't have complete confidence in, but Morhaime made the company's philosophy clear: "That's for sure, that we'd rather cut out a game we put a lot of time and resources into than put out something that might..."

Metzen finished Morhaime's sentence: "Damage the relationship. Smash the trust."

"I wouldn't say no to ever doing an MMO again," Morhaime said. "But I can say that right now, that's not where we want to be spending our time."

Metzen clarified that Blizzard will continue supporting World of Warcraft. "My hope personally is that we'll support it forever," he said.


Throughout the interview, Metzen and Morhaime suggested that the recent trend of smaller-scale Blizzard releases like Hearthstone and Heroes of the Storm has played a part in the company moving away from Titan.

 

"I think the lesson that comes around again is just making damn sure that the things we commit to do and the things we burn calories on and the things we commit to our community that we will do are coming from a place of focus and inspiration," Metzen said.

He explained that Hearthstone had helped the studio realize that they don't need to fit themselves into the box of only making products of a certain scale.

"Maybe we can be what we want to be and inspire groups around the company to experiment, get creative, think outside the box and take chances on things that just might thrill people," Metzen said. "Maybe they don't have to be these colossal, summer blockbuster-type products."

Stay tuned to Polygon for more Blizzard news throughout the coming week, including an in-depth look at how the developer's culture has shifted and survived throughout the company's 23-year history.

 

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MMORPG.com TESO Editorial - 6 months

by Mithoron, 43 days ago

 

Elder Scrolls Online Column: As Month Six Approaches, an Eye on ESO

By Christina Gonzalez on September 17, 2014

When it comes to MMORPGs, their status as ever-changing, live worlds is part of the whole experience. With The Elder Scrolls Online just having received a new major update this week, one that will carry the game into its sixth month of release, it seemed like a good time to reflect upon where the game has come to this point, as well as a couple of wishes for the future. While there have been mistakes, promises, and changes, the game continues to evolve as it seems to have found its audience and development gets closer to a console version. After all of this, ESO heads into its sixth month on a few solid notes.

 

I feel that the team is utilizing its resources well in bringing both major changes and incremental ones including aesthetic and immersion such as more messages for hirelings added in this patch, and things like better animations and lighting. Things that make the game feel more realistic, such as being able to steal items, and to pick up some items in the world and utilize them, are all good examples of giving ESO more flavor and making it feel more alive and more ‘Elder Scrolls’.  Promises of things to come, like Thieves Guild, Dark Brotherhood, and the justice system are all good. With any MMO, there are usually different teams working on different aspects of the game, so that’s why it can seem like things aren’t being addressed for a while, while at the same time there are improvements and additions, large and small all around. Fellow Nightblade lovers, a full overhaul hasn’t arrived just yet, but we’ve gotten a few steps forward and a couple of steps in place.  Yet, overall, the updates have been mostly well rounded. Sure, it would’ve been nice to have a few faster overhauls on certain aspects, but the major points of contention have been or are being addressed on an ongoing basis.

In translating The Elder Scrolls into an MMO, it’s clear that there were some mistakes made and some learning going on through community feedback and beyond. I’ve been vocal about the abundance of phasing and other ways grouped players could be separated from one another, but I’m pretty impressed that efforts to help address this problem have come steadily and to a satisfying degree. This has been happening in stages, but with the latest patch, it finally feels like these changes are significant. The patch that hit live this week was a major phase of this transition. Two dozen different quest lines which were set to receive some changes to reduce separation between party members and to lower the number of solo instances.

In an RPG, there are a lot of layers and in a single player game, you can make moral choices and decisions that are your own. One of the reasons The Elder Scrolls series’ is so great is that, even with an overarching story, how you approach the game overall can be pretty unique. It’s kind of difficult for two players to have the same gameplay experience if they don't collude beforehand. A gameplay experience can really be your own. When making an MMORPG, there are some obvious concessions that need to be made, which include how story dynamics work. Yet there should at least be ways to do that without separating players.  In SWTOR, moral decisions made when playing as a group are saved and recorded individually per character (as in ESO) but there too was a degree of separation as, unless everyone was the same class, there’d be instances for story missions.

ESO does something similar, except instead of doors in a generally safe area, it started out as a game that would send you into different phases without warning. Little changes, like telling you something is a solo instance, and the option to teleport to group leader, were the beginning of changes, and now that quests are being overhauled in bulk to reduce layers and solo play for those of us who prefer our MMORPG time grouped up, these have gone a long way in earning confidence from me. SWTOR’s doors are a fine way of handling things for the separate class stories involved in that game (which is another that has become better over time, IMO). One significant distinction was that even within your instances, you could have friends in your group come assist you. ESO’s immersion-heavy way of going from one leg of a quest to another without big green story doors is more fun to me, so now that the major part of the changes are happening, I’m looking forward to diving into this restructured content and hoping it’s as smooth as its potential.

In many respects, ESO is doing well  with its population (according to unofficial figures) and seems to have found its core. I think that having the team say ‘Hey, we screwed up on a few things. But we’re listening’ helped refocus, but only because ZeniMax is following through.

With the launch troubles, the mistakes, and all the free to play talk that came even before launch, it might have been easy to write the game for a while. But now, I think that’s much harder to do.

We even had some speculation in this space last week about that particular question. I would tend to agree with Ryan’s assessment in its current state. Right now, every player is a paid player and the game opens pretty much everything to you. Going free to play or buy to play would deliver an incomplete game for anyone not subbing, as well as lead to resources being spent elsewhere. If the numbers are as high as reported, or even a more modest half a million, that’s millions of dollars in assured income right now. Cash shop only games are considered successful if only 10% of their players spend money at any given time. Tiered models like that of SWTOR would, at this time, almost certainly result in some sort of drop  right now, because time spent breaking the game and gating it to monetize certain elements would require money spent, and then a drop in subscriptions means going from 100% of players are paid and being able to count on a certain amount for at least a month ahead, more irregular numbers. While going buy to play helped save The Secret World, if you buy just the box you’re getting an incomplete experience.

This is relevant in the six month discussion to me because we’re looking where the game has been, where it is now, and where it’s going, and the payment model discussion just isn’t going away. Personally, I was a little skeptical about the overhauls coming for phasing, builds, Provisioning, and Enchanting and didn’t expect to see them roll out so quickly. Sure, there are still some cynics, some with talking points that haven’t been relevant since the weeks after launch. And that’s not counting those who simply dislike the game as it is.  Hey, not every game works for every player. But heading into its sixth month, some might complain it feels like the PC release is an extended beta test for the upcoming console versions, but others can focus on the variety of changes, good and bad, as well as promises actively being kept. Those are good signs, and if the population counts are anywhere near rumored figures, probably speaks well of continued confidence and more kept promises.

 

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Today September 11....

by Mithoron, 50 days ago

Regardless of religion, beliefs, or whatever, please take a moment of silence today in memorial of the lives lost not just of the first responders, but all the victims...

 

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Zenimax Reduces Work Force

by Mithoron, 58 days ago

Not anything to worry about per se, but still something to note...

 

Elder Scrolls Online : Zenimax Reduces Work Force

Posted Sep 03, 2014 by Suzie Ford

Joystiq is reporting that it has received word from Zenimax's Pete Hines that the studio behind Elder Scrolls Online is reducing its work force. Hines cites it as part of the normal development cycle as the game ages and becomes more stable and runs more smoothly. Zenimax will maintain a large workforce to continue to add more content to ESO.

"As is the norm for games of this type, we had ramped up a large workforce to develop a game of vast scale, and ramped up our customer service to handle the expected questions and community needs of The Elder Scrolls Online at launch," Bethesda VP of PR and Marketing Pete Hines told Joystiq. "Now that we are nearly 6 months post launch, we have a thriving online community in a game that runs smoothly."

Hines continued that the studio has adjusted staffing to meet the ongoing needs and continues to operate with a large work force

Read more at the link above.


Read more at http://www.mmorpg.com/newsroom.cfm/read/32350/Elder-Scrolls-Online-Zenimax-Reducing-Work-Force.html#uTHKLOse8LK0WoTD.99
 

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Update 4 Trailer...

by Mithoron, 79 days ago

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Guild Hotfix...

by Mithoron, 86 days ago

A Hotfix is was applied today to fix the guild issues from the last patch...

ZOS_GinaBruno admin

Staff Post
 
Ok everyone, the maintenance for the North American megaserver is complete, and guild functionality has been returned for NA. We are still planning to start the maintenance for the European megaserver at 10:00PM EDT/4:00AM CEST.

Please let us know if you continue to see any issues with guild ranks, banks, promotions/demotions, or guild stores. Thanks!
 
Gina Bruno
Assistant Community Manager - The Elder Scrolls Online

 

 

ZOS_GinaBruno admin

Staff Post
We’ve finished testing our fix, and are preparing to apply it to the live servers and restore guild functionality. We’ll be taking both megaservers offline tomorrow (Wednesday) to deploy the fix. Due to this downtime, we won’t be performing maintenance during our regular windows on Thursday.

The North American megaserver will be offline on Wednesday (August 6th) beginning at 8:00AM EDT, and the European megaserver will be brought down at 10:00PM EDT. We anticipate each maintenance to last a few hours, and when the servers come up, all guild functionality will be back.

We understand this has been frustrating and an inconvenience, but thanks for hanging in there while we work through this!
 
Gina Bruno
Assistant Community Manager - The Elder Scrolls Online

 

 

ZOS_GinaBruno admin

Staff Post
We have found the cause of the guild issue on the North American megaserver that many of you have reported – where guild ranks and permissions were reset – and are currently testing a fix. We’ve temporarily turned off guild functionality until we roll the fix out to everyone. When the fix is deployed, all guild permissions will be reset back to where they were prior to today’s patch, and ranks will be restored.

We will proceed with deploying Update 3 to the EU megaserver as planned in a few hours, but will turn off guild functionality. Guilds will remain off on both megaservers until the fix is deployed, which should be tomorrow (August 5th). Thanks for your patience while we work through this.
 
Gina Bruno
Assistant Community Manager - The Elder Scrolls Online
 
 

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Creating ESO: Identity and Update 3

by Mithoron, 101 days ago

Creating ESO: Identity and Update 3

Update 3 introduces new ways for you and your guild to stand out. Learn how these features came to be.

The importance of customizing your character can’t be overstated. Watching a character come together is something we love, too, and it goes far beyond just creating it in ESO. You keep making choices that shape your character’s identity as you play—what skills will you use? What racial styles do you like the most? What choice will you make when confronted with a dilemma in a quest? There are already many ways to develop your ESO character, but we know there’s always room for more expression. Update 3 brings more customization to your look and your guild, and today we’re diving into how we created these new features.

 

DYES

When Update 3 launches, you’ll be able to obtain armor dyes and create the look you want by applying up to three colors to each of your armor pieces. Dyes are unlocked by completing achievements throughout the game, and it’s completely free to change your look at any of the new dye stations you’ll find in the world. We’re launching with a selection of more than 200 colors total, and there’s still room to grow.

At first glance, something like a dye system might seem relatively simple, but an enormous amount of planning, heated debate, and implementation work went into ESO’s. We wanted to make the system special—something that would give you a sense of accomplishment along with more options, but also something that would feel rewarding no matter what type of gameplay you love the most.

One of the biggest decisions we had to make was how you’d obtain dyes. This was a topic that prompted spirited discussion. We considered several designs for the system that would meet our goals of giving you new options and emphasizing your accomplishments. We also wanted to limit friction in the system, meaning we wanted you to feel free to change your dyes without having to scour guild stores or farm enemies to get enough of them to dye your whole set, for instance. In the end, we choose to tie the system to achievements. Once you unlock a color, it’s yours to use as often as you want (provided you’re at a dye station).

The decision was just the beginning. It defined the work we’d need to do and the issues we’d have to tackle. ESO is a game that should feel rewarding no matter what your playstyle is. We don’t want you to feel punished, and that meant making sure everyone had access to a full range of colors, and that dyes could be unlocked at a good pace throughout a character’s career. We looked at our existing achievements and one thing was clear: we needed more. To make sure that all types of players had a good, diverse palette within reach, we’d have to add new achievements to support each level range and playstyle. So we did. We introduced around 40 new achievements to help us spread dyes throughout the game—horizontally across systems like dungeons, crafting, and exploring and vertically through the levels and Veteran Ranks.

Color selection had to be considered carefully, too. There were discussions about what colors we should choose, how bright and saturated they should be, where to distribute which color, and how much we needed to consider their impact on the visual landscape of the game. A frequently-heard comment was, “Well what if they wear all hot pink?” At the end of the day, we wanted to provide as many options as we could, so we selected a broad range of colors. While we picked colors that fit into the overall artistic scheme of the game for the most part, you’ll find plenty of standout shades among them. We want you to choose your look, whether you prefer subtle hues or bold visual statements.

Dyes also needed to be indicative of your character’s accomplishments. We created a set of special rare colors and tied them to particularly difficult or pivotal achievements. In our dye system, most of the dyes respect the material they’re applied to (which is something quite special in itself among dye systems). When you apply one to leather, for instance, the armor retains the look of that material. The rare dyes, the iridescent shades, can affect the material and have a special highlight color. That means they can apply effects like a metallic sheen, and that they shine with a second color that’s different from their base color—imagine a beetle’s shell or a raven’s feather, for instance. Like the rest of the dyes, iridescent colors are spread across many game systems, from the main quest to PvP in Cyrodiil to crafting. When you wear one, people will notice.

We found that the psychology of rare dyes was noteworthy. During development, we made a conscious decision to make what we thought was the most desirable black relatively easy to obtain. We knew black would be a popular color, and we chose not to make it hard to get. The artists designated one of our nine black dyes as the “best” and distributed the color, which was called Noxiphilic Black, to the achievement for becoming a vampire. Another of the shades was given to a tough Trials achievement. When we went into testing for the system, the feedback was clear: some testers were unhappy that the “best” black (the one we thought would actually be less desirable) was tied to a difficult Trials achievement. The effect of rarity on desirability was fascinating. While there will be some dyes that are quite hard to obtain, we want to emphasize that our goal is to make a full palette available to each playstyle, not to restrict every shade of desirable colors to the hardest tasks.

Associating dyes with achievements presented its own challenges, but it opened up some fun opportunities for us, too. For instance, all of the dyes are thematically related to their achievement, in name and color (where it’s possible). When you join the Mages Guild, you’ll unlock the blue color that Mages Guild NPCs wear. When you craft a legendary item and affix a legendary glyph you created to it, you’ll unlock a gold color. This context and level of detail is something we strive for in all our systems.

Want a demonstration of the dye system’s flexibility? Check out the screenshots from our internal dye contest in the recent Road Ahead article!

 

GUILD CUSTOMIZATIONS AND TRADERS

Personal expression is great, and the dye system expands it significantly, but guilds have their own identities, too, and they’ll be able to show them even more in Update 3. We’re introducing new customizable guild ranks (and icons you can choose for each rank) and permissions, tabards that your guild leader can design, and traders scattered throughout Tamriel that guilds can bid on to sell goods from their guild stores to the public.

Your guild’s heraldry gives you and your guildmates the ability to show off your guild more than ever before. When you charge into battle in Cyrodiil all wearing your tabards, the enemy (and your allies) will notice.  A guild leader can use any of the available colors, tabard shapes, and crests when making a tabard; there’s no need to unlock any of them. The number of combinations you can create with these options is massive, so if you want to stand out, you can. The crests range from new iconography to lore-based options like the Daedric Prince emblems, the Aedric symbols, and many more.

Guild traders from the Gold Coast Trading Company will offer another new way to get your guild out there. More than 120 traders will be distributed throughout Tamriel. They’ll be located conveniently in places you’d expect to find traders—major cities and smaller centers of civilization. Every week, your guild can choose one to bid on. If you win, the trader will don your guild’s tabard and begin selling goods from your guild store to the public. This gives your guild a sense of place in the world, and will expose it to more players than ever before. Every player on your megaserver will see your trader and your guild’s name at that location, and your guild will receive a cut of every sale, making having a trader very attractive.

There were, of course, plenty of development decisions to make for guild traders, too. We had to choose good locations that were still convenient to make sure that they’d be accessible. Most of them are located near a Wayshrine, and in one instance (Markarth), we actually moved a previously-inconvenient Wayshrine to a better location to make player access to the town and traders easier. We also had to determine what bidding process we’d use. We didn’t want guilds to feel like they needed to camp and watch bids from minute to minute, so we elected to use a blind bidding process. Your guild can only bid on one trader per week, and you won’t see the bids from other guilds. This means that bidding wars will play out over weeks and months instead of minute-to-minute. This was another difficult choice that saw lots of internal debate.

The trader system offers opportunities for inter-guild competition, incentive to stock up your guild’s store, a new stream of profit, and a chance for guilds to establish themselves in the world. We’re excited to see how the traders are received.

 

ROOM TO GROW

All of these systems have multiple opportunities to expand, and we want to know what you think works, what doesn’t work, and what you want to see from them all in the future. Based on how you end up using these systems and what you tell us about your experience, we’ll work to make them even better and more fun. Just like with any other systems, we’ve had to make some tough decisions. We love games just like you, and we feel and discuss options as passionately as you do when we have to make a choice. We can’t wait for you to get your hands on these new features and tell us what you think.

We hope you enjoyed this look at how we’re expanding personal and guild identity and options in Update 3. Join us for the next Creating ESO for another look behind the scenes.

 

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