The team have been working hard to "include everything" that Elder Scrolls fans expect, like lockpicking, enchanting, crafting and pinching stuff. It's not just "some nice decoration" - it's a world.
Lockpicking specifically will be represented by a mini-game, but don't worry there won't be queues of players waiting to look shifty and suspicious all around the same keyhole.
"We have endeavoured to include everything. That is absolutely what we’ve done," Nick Konkle .
"I’m glad you’ve picked the example of lockpicking – you bet that’s in the game. It’s a fun little mini-game – I’m not going to get into the details on that as I’m not sure what the official word is, but lockpicking, crafting – different types of crafting, enchanting weapons, making potions..."
"It goes all the way down to ‘there is a loaf of bread on that table, let me pick it up. There’s a cup. What could that cup do? Let me pick it up and see.’ That’s the Elder Scrolls experience – this is a world – it’s not playing a game with some nice decoration. You can do all that in our game, in our world, you can walk up to a crate and be like ‘what’s in this crate?’"
The lead gameplay designer does however note there has to be a balance between the mass singleplayer hoarding that is The Elder Scrolls, and supporting a latency bound online world. Most stuff is plain junk after all.
"The process of taking some things that you see in the traditional single player Elder Scrolls franchise like being able to pick up anything or there’s lockpicking... the answer is yeah, it was difficult," he explained.
"Each system like this that we put in that’s associated with a single player sandbox-type world we’ve had to make sure that we put in these large social systems or corrective mechanisms so that it doesn’t just fill your inventory with junk or so a bunch of people aren’t standing behind you waiting while you pick a difficult lock."
It provides for extra social interaction: "Each of those things has a mechanism that prevents those things from occurring and even can turn it into a social experience, because that’s what MMOs bring uniquely to the table. It’d be great if all the things I can pick up in Skyrim I could then give to my friend where it’d be useful to him where it’s no good to me as I’ve built my character a different way... and that’s how our game works."
Check outwith Nick Konkle as we discuss The Elder Scrolls Online.