I ventured in Tamriel with The Elder Scrolls Online

I just got the chance to participate to last week-end Elder Scrolls Online Beta session. Woot!
That was awesome to get back to Tamriel, and I enjoyed it both as a gamer and a developer/tester 😉

I won’t go into the gameplay, strategic decisions and comparisons with other Elder Scrolls games in this post. You can find all this info reading reviews everywhere, with a much better writing than I could do. Moreover I would be totally biased as I am completely addict to this series.

Zenimax devs: you’ll find my bug report below the screenshots section.

Screenshots

Here are some screenshots that show how beautiful Tamriel is – sorry for the HUD, but I didn’t know how to remove it.

Molag Bal statue in Coldharbour
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Weather is awesome!
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Night ambiance
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Foggy forest
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An Ayleid ruin
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Daggerfall’s mages guild and castle behind
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A portal just appeared far away. Really impressive in game!
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Dawn’s beauty
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ok, we are on the Internet, so… cats!
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Bug report

As Bethesda and Zenimax invited me to play this great game, I wanted to show my gratitude by reporting all the bugs I found while playing.
I couldn’t find a report forum or ticket tracker, so I am posting these right here.

Hey Zenimax devs! Thanks a lot for your great efforts in developing such a huge game with so many technical constraints and demands. You’ve made a wonderful job.
Here are the bugs I stumbled upon (from the most annoying ones to me). Hope this will help you put final corrections before launch!

  • Very often when arriving in a new zone (entering a building, running in the wilderness), objects, NPC and monuments take a long time to appear (around 30 secs – depends on lag apparently). This leads to many glitches: you discover empty zones, you miss easily quest targets you are supposed to encounter, you are being attacked by invisible enemies, you pass through walls and buildings, you get into zones you aren’t supposed to be. The only workaround is to wait for the world to appear.
    Some screenshots of the problem:

Missing scenery from Bethnik island:
Screenshot_20140302_164336
Missing scenery from Glenumbra (I still love the effect it gives):
Screenshot_20140302_204523
Missing door from Daggerfall’s cathedral:
Screenshot_20140302_214839
I managed to get into the Daggerfall bank’s safe with this bug: I could get past the safe walls before the scenery was loaded, but I couldn’t get out of it afterward! xD (By the way, you can’t loot it 🙁 )
Screenshot_20140302_215112
Again in Daggerfall bank, an open hole on the floor! I jumped in it, and got outside of the map. I loved it!
Screenshot_20140302_224430
Screenshot_20140302_224441

  • Some quests are buggy and can really stop your progression:
    • The Kill Abomination of Wrath step of the Unearthing the Past quest on Bethnik (from Daggerall Covenant) is one of them: it was really hard to make the abomination appear. Had to logout/relogin and try using the staff several times before the abomination appears. Apparently this was due to concurrency problems between players triggering the quest.
    • The Duel the Seamount Hunters step of the Prove Your Worth quest (still on Bethnik) is also buggy: when several players challenge the same Orc, 1 player can complete the quest, others don’t and they can’t ask the Orc for a new challenge. The workaround is logout/relogin and make sure to be alone when challenging the Orc.
  • It is impossible to trade with a player part of your group. The command just triggers nothing. This is quite annoying.
  • Once in a while you get past walls (fences, stairs…) and can get stuck in 3D models or in zones you are not supposed to be. It seems to appear when there is some lag. The solution is to either kill your character using /stuck or teleport (using wayshrines or friend players).
  • Sometimes when exiting dialogs with NPC, the UI is still frozen in dialog mode, controls do not respond anymore and you can’t neither talk with the NPC nor exit the dialog mode. The only ways I found to continue is logout/relogin or /reloadui command.
  • When entering a dungeon, your character is very often stuck in the floor (having just his upper body above). The glitch disappears after 30 secs waiting ; the character is then positioned correctly (Y-axis corrected).
  • Sometimes textures used in magical effects don’t load properly, and psychedelic colors are used instead. That’s a cool effect though 😉
  • Sometimes you encounter missing meshes here and there.

Screenshot_20140301_205239
Screenshot_20140301_205341

  • You sometimes encounter sliding horses in towns: they are moving but their posture stays still. I think they were moved by real players, but none were apparent on them.

Screenshot_20140303_003411

  • Horses again: when a player on a horse gets into his inventory or map, he appears standing on the horse back instead of staying sit.

Screenshot_20140302_215537

  • Some 3D models are lacking surfaces.

Screenshot_20140302_214738

  • I don’t know if this is a bug, but the Share command in the Journal does not trigger anything. I was expecting it to share the quest with other friends from my group (for them to catch up, see the exact same steps as me, and interact with the same quest objects), but could not get it to work.

That’s all I got. Happy debugging!

About Muriel Salvan

I am a freelance project manager and polyglot developer, expert in Ruby and Rails. I created X-Aeon Solutions and rivierarb Ruby meetups. I also give trainings and conferences on technical topics. My core development principles: Plugins-oriented architectures, simple components, Open Source power, clever automation, constant technology watch, quality and optimized code. My experience includes big and small companies. I embrace agile methodologies and test driven development, without giving up on planning and risks containment methods as well. I love Open Source and became a big advocate.
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