Recent comments made about the state of the PvP experience in The Elder Scrolls Online on the personal stream of the game’s creative director have led to an official statement from developer Zenimax Online outlining steps that are being taken to improve the situation.
The drama started a few days ago during ESO creative director Rich Lambert’s personal Twitch stream. As detailed by Massively Overpowered, Lambert regularly streams off-the-clock on his personal account, and his wife, Terri Lambert (who is not a Zenimax Online employee), also frequently makes appearances. All proceeds from the Lamberts’ streams go towards various charities.
During a discussion about accessibility, one player asked a question about “PvP accessibility,” in reference to ongoing issues with ESO’s PvP modes. Clearly those two topics are not the same, which caused Terri Lambert, who was running the stream at that given moment, to make crying gestures, say “nice try,” and state she has “no sympathy for PvP” because she knows the developers are working on fixing various PvP-related problems.
It seems Rich Lambert knew the situation might get him in hot water, as he can be seen in the background (with a parrot on his shoulder) immediately hanging his head once Terri begins speaking on the subject. It didn’t take long for angry fans to make posts on the game’s official forums and on Reddit about the stream, using the clip and taking it out of context to throw hate at both the Lamberts and Zenimax Online.
Lag and technical issues have long plagued ESO’s PvP, with Lambert back in 2020 explaining that the fact players can cast an almost unlimited amount of continuous area-of-effect abilities in a small area overwhelms the game’s servers. While the developers have tried various methods to fix the problem over the years, the problem still persists, which goes at least part of the way towards explaining the frustration some players are having with the comments made on stream.
Now, an official statement from game director Matt Firor is outlining concrete steps the team is taking to improve PvP. Though the statement makes no direct mention of the stream controversy, Firor admits that it is “long past time to give everyone an update” on the state of PvP improvements and states the team is going to rewrite some of the foundational server code to increase server performance.
“We’ve been planning this for the last quarter and we’re starting work on it right now,” Firor states. “But, as you can imagine, changing the fundamentals of a huge live game such as ESO is a delicate and multi-stepped process, so expect this to take up much of 2022.”
Firor goes on to state that no new PvP features will be implemented until the extensive work of restructuring and then re-testing the game servers is completely done. The developers will continue to work on bug fixes and consider additional ways to keep PvP exciting, like weekend events or adding special rulesets.
“We completely understand the frustration many of you are feeling, especially with lack of information about our PvP plans,” Firor writes. “This was a huge decision to make and we needed to make sure we had exhausted all other possibilities before announcing this.”
ESO is gearing up to reveal its next year-long adventure on January 27, one that looks to take players across the sea for a new adventure.
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