TESO: Interview with Rich Lambert
The Elder Scrolls Online: Necrom is known to be part of the “Shadows over Morrowind” story arc and released for PC/Mac on June 5, 2023. Those who prefer to explore Tamriel on PlayStation and Xbox can explore the new areas of Telvanni Peninsula and Apocrypha from June 20, 2023. While we’re still working on Necrom’s review, we had the chance to talk to Creative Director Rich Lambert about the online role-playing game. Our questions revolved around the past PC release and player feedback so far, the resolution of the cliffhanger at the end of Necrom, and the very powerful arcanist class. At the end there was even a little time to talk about the MMO genre in general.
Creative Director Rich Lambert im Interview
buffed: Hey Rich! The PC launch was on June 5th, the Xbox showcase on June 11th. You even had a brief appearance at Microsoft’s Showcase Extended. And Necrom is coming to consoles in a few days… that sounds like a very busy schedule. Or, on the contrary, is it time to take a deep breath now that PC launch and Showcase are behind you and the console port is just a formality?
Rich Lambert: I wouldn’t say launching on console is a formality. The PC launch was extremely smooth. We didn’t have to apply a single hotfix or shut down the servers for maintenance. There were minor bugs, but not catastrophic ones, which is always awesome. For the morale of the team, but of course also for our players. All in all an exciting time.
TESO : As we get closer to Necrom’s console launch, we took the opportunity to pester Creative Director Rich Lambert with our questions.
buffed: Out of everything I’ve seen of Necrom so far, what I like best is the “cosmic horror” vibe of the chapter. What is your highlight of Necrom and what is the feedback from the ESO community so far? Especially considering the cliffhanger at the end of Necrom, which you already know announced at the press event in March.
Rich Lambert: The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, which of course makes us extremely happy. Many players write to us that Necrom is the best chapter we’ve ever made. They love the stories, the new zones, and our new class, the arcanist. Of course we like to hear all of that.
buffed: And your highlight from Necrom?
Rich Lambert: The Arcanist is definitely one of my favorites. Just fun. Also, I really enjoy going through Apocrypha, letting the details sink in, all the new things we’ve created, but also the nostalgic, because there are elements of Skyrim here. I still find it amazing how well all of these pieces fit together.
buffed: Looking at how ESO has changed since 2014 and what features you’ve added over time, we have to say that ESO is a much better game today than it was nine or even five years ago. Many MMORPGs can’t say that after so many years. But how does Necrom fare in terms of player numbers and sales, even compared to previous chapters? During the pandemic there was a real rush to your servers. Were you able to maintain this level?
Rich Lambert: Of course, the nice weather often draws people outside. This affects all areas and games. Nevertheless, ESO is very successful. We are very happy with the player numbers. I find it remarkable how many returnees are among the currently active players who haven’t visited Tamriel in a while. So our conclusion is very positive.
When will the Necrom story end?
buffed: In December 2022, Zenimax President Matt Firor announced that want to change the update structure of Elder Scrolls Online. The first change awaits us in the third quarter. Scheduled for July, August, or September, the patch will focus on quality-of-life improvements and bug fixes. In the last quarter of the year, instead of the zone DLC, we can expect an update that will bring a new endgame system with an endless dungeon. What does that mean in detail and when do you resolve the Necrom cliffhanger?
Rich Lambert: We won’t resolve the Necrom cliffhanger until sometime in the future.
TESO: Shadows over Morrowind – Cinematic Announcement Trailer
buffed: Don’t say we have to wait until next year.
Rich Lambert: Let’s leave it at “in the future”. And one thing I can say for sure: The cliffhanger won’t be resolved in the fourth quarter. We want to actively implement the new structure, which is based on a request from many players: slow down a bit and take the time to fine-tune and implement hotfixes. This is exactly what will be our focus for the next two updates. With many of the hotfixes we will fix problems that have been causing trouble for a while.
buffed: In the Elder Scrolls games, Hermaeus Mora was previously portrayed as some sort of crab with many claws. However, in ESO, the Daedra Lord appears as a sort of “cosmic horror creature” from the HP Lovecraft novels. Did the writers actually take inspiration from Lovecraft, and are there specific works of literature that play an important role in the story of Necrom?
Rich Lambert: In fact, already in the Dragonborn DLC, Hermaeus Mora had taken a form strongly reminiscent of these Cthulhu-like creatures. In other respects, too, we were very inspired by Skyrim. But of course I would be lying if I said that Lovecraft’s works had no influence at all. Whoever hears “Cosmic Horror” certainly immediately thinks of Cthulhu. So that was also an inspiration. But also the countless lore books that exist in the worlds of the Elder Scrolls games and in which, for example, references to the city of the dead and the tribunal can be found. We took some of that stuff and made it a reality, and it was a tremendously fun development process.
next page next page