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PAX East 2017: Morrowind’s New PvP Mode Will Not Suck, Here’s Why

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Lemme get one thing straight – I’m not a big PvP guy. I’ve been playing World of Warcraft since 2004, and I’ve queued up for PvP matches less than 100 times since then. I love story, and lore, and losing myself in the “RPG” elements of an MMORPG, but Elder Scrolls Online: Morrowind’s new PvP mode (Battlegrounds) might just have me singing a different tune in a few months.

I got a chance to chat with Rich Lambert, Creative Director at Zenimax, and get some hands-on time with ESO’s new PvP mode this past weekend at PAX East 2017. Going in, I was a little disappointed that I didn’t get a chance to see the new story content from the Morrowind expansion, but I’m so content-starved for more Elder Scrolls goodness that I couldn’t pass any chance up to play the game.

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Rich queued me up in a Team Deathmatch game, set in the scalding basin of a volcano likely located somewhere in Morrowind. Y’know, cause there’s a few of those there. What ensued was an absolute all-out gutter war for three capture points between three four-man teams. I played a Nightblade, and was doing pretty damn good (go ahead, ask Rich yourself) until Rob and Chris started heckling me and I collapsed like a fucking beach chair. I’m a head case under pressure, what can I say.

Anyway, after we got absolutely wiped down by Team 1 (who I can only assume arrived together and had a strategy assembled during their wait in line), I chatted with Rich a little about the actual game. In order to get involved in Battlegrounds, all you’ll need is a level 10+ character, and you can simply open the Group Finder and queue up solo or as a member of a party. You can also specify a desired level range (10-49 or 10-50) with the game type randomly determined.

At launch, you’ll be able to play classic modes such as Capture the Flag, Team Deathmatch, and Domination. Just like any other multiplayer game you’ve ever played, you earn points as you capture, defend, and kill, depending on the mode you’re in. And, of course, there are all-new achievements to be earned. ESO’s new PvP experience was slick, heart-pounding, and had all of the excitement of the world’s PvE content jammed into a 15-minute combat drill. I can easily see this being a daily grind for me, giving me a break from literally studying more about ESO’s Provisioning dailies than I have about actual real-world cooking.

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If you’re like me, and you’re looking for more ESO goodness, then Battlegrounds is gonna be a great shot in the arm for you. I had a good time playing it, and I was pleasantly surprised by how natural the transition between PvE and PvP combat was. Other MMORPG’s PvP modes more or less feel like completely different experiences compared to their PvE content, but ESO looks like they’ve struck a fantastic balance between the two.

We’ll find out more when Morrowind launches in June, but until then keep up with us by following on Twitter and subscribing to Not Another Gaming Podcast! We’ve got a new interview from PAX East every episode, and my interview with Rich about Morrowind is coming soon in the next few weeks.

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