The Elder Scrolls Online is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) that was announced in May 2012 and is set to be released on April 4th 2014. It is the 18th game in The Elder Scrolls series.
Developed by the team at ZeniMax Online Studios, The Elder Scrolls Online merges the unmatched exploration of rich worlds that the franchise is known for with the scale and social aspects of a massively multiplayer online role-playing game.
The Elder Scrolls Online is pay-to-play and subscription based, with unlimited play for the first 30 days of purchase. The basic monthly charge will be $14.99/€12.99/£8.99, and with some discounts if multiple months are bought at a time. There will also be an in-game cash shop which will charge players for services such as name changes, although there won't be microtransactions.
This game is scheduled for a Spring 2014 release, with the PC and Mac release being April 4, 2014 and June 2014 for consoles. It will have a player-vs-player component to it.Pre-ordering the game will give players the option to play as any race in any Alliance. Pre-ordering the "Imperial Edition" will give players the option to play as an Imperial.
The game is set in 2E 583 during the Interregnum, a period of time known for its political instability. The Daedric Prince Molag Bal and his followers have taken advantage of this instability and is seeking to meld the plane of Mundus with his own plane of Oblivion known as Coldharbour.This is being achieved by sending enormous "Dark Anchors" into Tamriel.
The Tharn family, current rulers of Cyrodiil through Empress Regent Clivia Tharn, has made a pact with Mannimarco, The King of Worms, who has agreed to supplement the Imperial's forces by resurrecting their soldiers. Secretly, Mannimarco is conspiring with Molag Bal, the Daedric Prince of corruption and domination, to take over Mundus. Molag Bal is also harvesting the souls of mortals. The hero, known as the Soulless One, is an adventurer whose soul has been taken, which allows them to constantly return to life.
In this game, there are three major playable factions. Those factions, made up of the different races found throughout Tamriel, are the Aldmeri Dominion, the Daggerfall Covenant, and the Ebonheart Pact.
The Dominion was formed by the Altmer after restoring order to Valenwood and Elsweyr.
The Covenant was formed by the Bretons through much diplomacy, trade, and marriages.
The Pact was formed by the Dunmer, Argonians, and Nords through diplomacy due to the recent Akaviri Invasion.
Other factions that are confirmed to be in the game include:
- Fighters Guild: A guild of mercenaries-for-hire, largely involved with destroying Molag Bal's Dark Anchors
- Mages Guild: A guild of individuals devoted to the magical arts, largely involved with collecting "old books and lore" 
- Thieves Guild: A notorious group of thieves, available after launch.
- Dark Brotherhood: An infamous guild of assassins, available after launch.
- Veiled Heritance: A group of jingoistic Altmer freedom fighters
Nearly all of Tamriel will appear and will be playable in The Elder Scrolls Online. Each of the provinces of Tamriel will be playable to some degree. Cyrodiil will be accessible once the character reaches level 10. Some provinces, such as Black Marsh and Elsweyr, will only be able to be traveled to in a limited capacity.
- There will be four classes, including Dragonknight, Templar, Sorcerer, and Nightblade. Classes will only define the special abilities of the characters, not the weapon choices.
- Player vs Player - available after level 10. In Cyrodiil, combat will revolve around the capturing of Keeps and its surrounding buildings. It is designed for 10-15 players to take a keep, 10 for an Outpost, and 4-6 for a support structure such as a farm or Lumber Mill.
- The game itself will be hosted on the one Megaserver, which will allow players to find friends or similar players more easily, without requiring them to reset to a different server.  This will be tied to social networks such as Facebook.
- 6 Skills can be used at any one time:
- Siege Weapons will not only be in the game, but will be craftable and customizable.
- Alliance Points: An alternative advancement system, with 23 ranks at launch. A "lifetime alliance point tally", each rank will give a new title and alliance icon, similar to faction ranks in Morrowind and Oblivion.
- There are a total of eight ranks for increased character weapon proficiency.
- Only five Abilities will be available at once, however these can be changed.Abilities can be leveled up (known in game as "morphing") to become more powerful the more they are used.
- The list of abilities so far includes: Two-Handed, One-Hand and Shield, Dual Wield, Bow, Destruction Staff, Restoration Staff and One-Hand and Rune.
- The game is available in three different languages: English, French, and German.
- Time-travel will be featured. In one example, a character puts on some old armor and is put in the owner's role, participating in a battle of long ago.
- Mundus Stones will be used to give characters special abilities. They are similar to the Standing Stones found in Skyrim .
- Fast Traveling will be available. Players can travel to other Wayshrines when using one, or they can travel to the wayshrine from anywhere, however they must pay a sum of gold.
- Mounts will be in the game, though only horses can be used and there are no plans to include flying mounts. If a player purchases the Imperial Edition, they can get a unique white Imperial Charger to use, though it has no advantage over other mounts.
- Crafting elements can be done in crafting stations in cities as well as special crafting stations in the wilderness that can craft special weapons and armor that belong to a set.
- Players will be able to own a pet. Only Sorcerers can summon combat pets, while the other classes must use vanity pets which cannot be used in combat.
- Daedric Artifacts will exist in the game, and will be tied to the Fighters Guild storyline.
- Fast Travel in Cyrodiil will be different from the rest of the game. Instead of the Wayshrines, characters will travel to the keeps that their alliance controls via a Transitus network, other than those currently under attack.
- Player Guilds will exist in the game. Characters will get advanced information regarding a keep if it is controlled by their guild. Guild keep ownership will be specific to a faction's campaign.
- Public dungeons will be instanced. That is to say, once Level 50 is reached, new areas of the dungeon will open up, and the results of previous actions in that dungeon will be able to be seen. These are known as Adventure Zones.
- Emotes will be available, as will flags for the Megaserver to group characters in.
- Dragon Temples will be in the game. 
- Daedric Ruins are confirmed to be appearing in the game.
- Lockpicking is a confirmed in-game feature and the system works much like Oblivion where the player must move tumblers to unlock locks.
- Veteran Points can be earned by characters after they reach level 50.
Features added after release
- Morality and Criminality will be added to the game after launch. 
- Increasing the Level cap (50) sometime after launch is something being considered. 
- The Thieves Guild and The Dark Brotherhood will be added to the game after launch.
Elder Scrolls Online features five primary stats:
- Health - affects amount of damage that can be taken before dying.
- Magicka - amount of Magicka available to cast spells.
- Stamina - amount of Stamina available for physical abilities.
- Armor- decreases amount of damage you take from physical attacks.
- Power- increase damage output and healing ability.
As the Soulless one levels-up, they will be given one point to place in the Health, Magicka, or Stamina stats, much like perks in the recent Skyrim. They will not only increase stats and improve them, but also unlock new passives and bonuses by placing points into one stat or another.
Skill Points are obtainable both through character level-up, but also through quests and objects.
- The game's director, Matt Firor, used to work at Mythic Entertainment, the developers of Dark Age of Camelot. The Elder Scrolls Online's PvP is inspired by it.
- The game has been in development since 2007.
- Undead werewolves will be featured in the game.
- A werewolf named Faolchu has amassed a werewolf army and has taken over Camlorn, High Rock.
- The landscape of Cyrodiil is similar to The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion.
- Akaviri Invasion: At some point prior to this game, there is an Akaviri Invasion, which sets up the alliances that are formed.
- The Daggerfall Covenant: 50 years prior to the game, there is a war called King Rancer's War, which players will get to experience.
- The Tribunal will appear in the game.
- There will at some point be a battle for the Imperial City.
- Ruins are confirmed to feature in the game, with the following ruin types confirmed so far: Ayleid Ruins, Daedric Ruins, Dwemer Ruins, and Old Forts.
- The contents of books found often relate to the area in which they are found. These books can be read at any time, and, unlike the Elder Scrolls games, will not be part of the inventory, except for lorebooks which can be read at any time in the game menu once discovered.
- Dragons are not going to be part of the game at this stage, due to the time the game is set in (2E 583).
- Vaermina is confirmed to appear in the game, and is very important to the questline of one of the regions.
- Some familiar armor types have been confirmed to appear in the game. These include: Dwarven Armor, Daedric Armor, Glass Armor, Imperial Armor and Elven Armor. These familiar armors do not have their own armors, their stats also vary depending on which material they are made from. For example there can be Daedric Armor that has 12 armor, but there can also be Daedric Armor that has over 100. There are many types of armor in the game.
- All races will have their own type of customized armor.
- Vampires exist from several different houses called "Clans".
- The Mane, the Khajiit spiritual leader, is confirmed to be included in the game.
- The Knahaten Flu will be featured in the game, with various causes and cures offered.
- At level 50, dungeon raiding becomes more common.
- Quests: The game will also have "entertaining" twists with some of its quests. For example, with the Ebonheart Pact: In the Bal Foyen area, there is a quest to throw Netch Eggs at Daggerfall Covenant troops, to make Bull Netches attack them.
- Bleakrock, an island belonging to the Ebonheart Pact, will begin with the town being attacked by an opposing faction, the Daggerfall Covenant. Players will have a choice as to where to send the NPCs. (i.e. the fort or the docks). NPCs who go the alternate route will be "lost forever", whilst those that follow you will be seen later on in the game.
- Keeps will have multiple objectives that must be controlled, whereas Outposts and support structures will only have the one objective. 
- In Cyrodiil, non-PVP-specific quests will be available.
- The resources surrounding a keep make it more difficult to capture, "in terms of making it get stronger walls, better guards, tougher doors, innate repair meaning without needing players to repair the walls it will repair itself slowly, and then the resources themselves also upgrade too."
- There are cities in Cyrodiil, and their ownership depends on whether an alliance controls the nearest keep to that city. When an alliance owns a city their guards will patrol the streets.
- If an Alliance has an Emperor at the current time, then all players will gain bonuses from this (not just those in Cyrodiil). There can only be one Emperor per campaign. 
- Dragon Priests will be in the game, with the shade of one requesting help in Skyshroud Barrow.
- There will be many perks awarded for being the current Emperor, including a title and a special set of skills. 
- Character Customization will include many options, such as...
- Body type (Large, Muscular, Thin)
- Skin color
- Chest size, Torso size, Gut size, Waist size, Arm size, Hand size, body paint
- Posterior dimensions, leg size, foot size
- Face type (Heroic, Soft, Angular)
- Adornment/Facial hair
- Face paint
- These categories have multiple sliders in them, for example Chin size and Cheekbone height. 
- The Orcs of Orsinium have a king named King Kurog, who insists that the Orsimer worship Mauloch.
- The Creatures' AI system is such so that they not only will work together, but will also be aware when they are being outnumbered by players.
- Worship of Tu'whacca, Zeht, and Ruptga exists strongly in Hammerfell.
- Archcanons at this time rule over certain sections of Argonia. One such archcanon is Heita-Meen.
- The Maormer make an appearance, but are not playable.
- 300 collectible books are to be found throughout Tamriel, with 700 other journals and notes.
- Items such as Nirnroot, Mountain Flowers (e.g. the Red and Blue Mountain Flowers), and Vampire Dust appear in the game, and can be used for Alchemy. 
- Sheogorath will appear in the game.
- Some mini-bosses require Critical attacks to get the damage high enough to actually damage them.
- The schools of magic will be very different to previous Elder Scrolls games, although players will still be able to "summon weapons, armor, and equipment".
- Emotes will appear in the game.
- There will not be PVP-exclusive armor.
- The Green Pact will feature in the game, and NPCs may interact differently depending on whether the Bosmer character is following it or not.
- Some dungeons will have traps in them.
- Armor can be repaired "in the field" by use of Repair Kits.'
- Food can give long-term effects, such as increases to Health, Magicka, and Stamina.
- A death recap will be in use at launch. 
- In PVP, an item called a Forward Camp can be used to make respawning easier during campaigns. 
- Marriage will exist in The Elder Scrolls Online between players.
- Standing Stones will appear in the game. 
- The Elder Scrolls Online (Versions) - information about the updates to the game.
- Books (Online)
- Characters (Online)
- Creatures (Online)
- Factions (Online)
- Locations (Online)
- Quests (Online)
- Armor (Online)
- Weapons (Online)
- Combat (Online)
- Elder Scrolls Online Arrives April 4 for PC and June for PlayStation Kotaku. December 11, 2013
- 05 May 2012. Bethblog Game Informer Announces the Elder Scrolls Online
- Biessener, Adam (03 May 2012). June Cover Revealed The Elder Scrolls Online. Game Informer.
- 21 August, 2013. GameStar.de Matt Firor: »We are going with the subscription model for ESO.«
- August 22, 2013 ESOhub.de ESO-Interview: Abomodell, Itemshop & Entwicklung
- August 23, 2013. Twitter Tweet from Pete Hines
- The Elder Scrolls Online May Come To Consoles. Bethsoft (10 June 2013).
- Hanson, Ben (29 May 2012). The Tactical Combat of The Elder Scrolls Online. Game Informer.
- January 29, 2014. Elder Scrolls Online Pre-Order 
- January 18, 2013. The Elder Scrolls Online (Lawrence Schick). Alliances at War
- Game Informer: June 2012 Edition
- Hanson, Ben (21 May 2012). Creating the Story for The Elder Scrolls: Online.
- June 67, 2012. TheRealGiantBomb E3 2012: The Elder Scrolls Online Interview (Maria Aliprando)
- Reeves, Ben (16 May 2012). Elder Scrolls Online Faction Profile Aldmeri Dominion. Game Informer.
- Reeves, Ben (16 May 2012). Elder Scrolls Online Faction Profile Daggerfall Covenant. Game Informer.
- Reeves, Ben (16 May 2012). Elder Scrolls Online Faction Profile Ebonheart Pact. Game Informer.
- October 22, 2012. RPG Gamer The Elder Scrolls Online: Hands On Preview
- October 22, 2012. MPOGD Elder Scrolls Online Preview And Studio Tour
- February 9, 2013. The Elder Scrolls Online. Ask Us Anything: Variety Pack
- October 22, 2012. MMORPG Stuff We Didn't Play: PVP and Social Integration
- December 10, 2012. Good Game. Good Game Interview - Maria Aliprando
- October 22, 2012. MMOAttack Elder Scrolls Online Hands On Preview
- October 24, 2012. MMORPG Reveling in the Combat
- October 24, 2012. The Elder Scrolls: Off The Record The Elder Scrolls Online Press Summit: YOUR Character Progression
- October 22, 2012. MMOHuts. The Elder Scrolls Online Reveal Interview (Video)
- The Elder Scrolls Online: The Alliance War
- October 22, 2012. Tamriel Foundry. Developer Interview: Brian Wheeler
- October, 2012. Tamriel Foundry Developer Interview: Matt Firor and Paul Sage
- October 22, 2012. MMORPG. The Elder Scrolls Online: The Comprehensive Preview
- October 22, 2012. Ryan Kightlinger. Elder Scrolls Online - Preview
- October 22, 2012. Umbra Guild Umbra Guild Tours Zenimax Online Studios
- Elder Scrolls Online Official Facebook Page FAQ
- October 30, 2012. MMO Attack MMO Attack: ESO Interview with Matt Firor Transcript
- November 13, 2012. The Elder Scrolls Online Ask Us Anything: Ebonheart Pact (Part 1)
- May 09, 2012. Game Informer The Origins of the Elder Scrolls Online
- May 20, 2013. The Elder Scrolls Online Ask Us Anything: Gathering and Exploration
- September 5, 2013. Elder Scrolls Off The Record Episode 81: THE Paul Sage
- October 22, 2012. Curse.com Curse Interviews Matt Firor From The Elder Scrolls
- August 22, 2013. Daily Joypad. [http://www.dailyjoypad.co.uk/?p=51363 Hands-On with the Elder Scrolls Online
- Butts, Steve (8 June 2012). E3 Preview: The Elder Scrolls Online. The Escapist.
- June 21, 2012 Game Informer Daedra, Werewolves and Vampires: The Creatures of The Elder Scrolls Online
- December 20, 2012. The Elder Scrolls Online Ask Us Anything: Aldmeri Dominion Part 2
- 23 September, 2013. The Elder Scrolls Online Ask Us Anything: Lore
- October 22, 2012. Massively.com Massively's Hands On With The Elder Scrolls Online
- October 22, 2012. Tamriel Foundry Gameplay Impressions
- January 7, 2012. The Elder Scrolls Online Ask Us Anything: Daggerfall Covenant (Part 1)
- August 05, 2012. Platform Thirty Two The Elder Scrolls Online - Exclusive Interview With Maria Aliprando
- January 22, 2013. The Elder Scrolls Online. Ask Us Anything: Daggerfall Covenant Part 2
- February 12, 2013. The Elder Scrolls Online Support: Will we see the Sea Elves (Maormer)?
- January 9, 2013. The Elder Scrolls Online Will you introduce other continents in this new game, such as Atmora, Akavir, Yokuda, or Pyandonea?
- August 12, 2013. The Elder Scrolls Online Ask Us Anything: Quakecon Live Gameplay
- September 22, 2013. Elder Scrolls Online (Twitter). Elder Scrolls Online Tweet
- September 3, 2012. The Elder Scrolls Online Enter the Emote Creation Contest
- June 12, 2013. The Elder Scrolls Online Support: Will there be special PvP gear with special attributes?
- June 11, 2013. The Elder Scrolls Online Support: What effect will the Green Pact have on gathering ingredients and hunting animals in Valenwood?
- June 11, 2013. The Elder Scrolls Online Support: Are there going to be traps inside some dungeons, as we have seen in other Elder Scrolls games?
- August 12, 2013. Elder Scrolls Online. Ask Us Anything: Quakecon Live Gameplay
- July 12, 2013. Elder Scrolls Online Elder Scrolls Online - Support Page
- April 2013. Games.On.Net. Reinventing the Trash Mob: The Elder Scrolls Online's Maria Aliprando on Making Better MMO Combat
- November 4, 2013. Elder Scrolls Online Ask Us Anything: Variety Pack 10
- January 29, 2014. The Elder Scrolls Online Pre-Order ESO Now
- February 10, 2014. Capsule Computing The Elder Scrolls Online: Preview