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How The Elder Scrolls Online hopes to avoid repeating Skyrim bug fiasco

Zenimax promises thorough beta test this time.

Given the sorry state that relatively modest single-player offering Skyrim launched in last year, many gamers are justifiably concerned over what sort bugs might cripple Zenimax's considerably more ambitious Elder Scrolls MMO when it launches next year.

When asked by Edge how he intends to ensure the game is stable when it goes live, director Matt Firor admitted that there are all manner of hurdles to overcome above and beyond what Bethesda was faced with during Skyrim's creation, such as account creation, servers and latency issues.

"The critical difference with MMOGs, though, is that you have a long beta test where you build up to thousands and thousands of players, and you tackle those problems as you run into them there," he added.

He also noted that the title isn't using the same engine as Skyrim, which may help it avoid some of the problems that dogged that game.

Elsewhere in the interview, Firor offered a little bit of insight into exactly what makes his MMO, which was officially unveiled earlier this month, a true Elder Scrolls game.

"Lore. Even now, I come across lore that I didn't know existed. It's just so deep," he explained.

"People play games for different reasons, but the people who respond to Elder Scrolls the most like to get immersed in a world so that they feel they're living there. They like to have freedom of choice to do what they want to do, and that's the part that resonates with us the most.

"This is what makes the IP so great for an MMOG already: people already know it's the kind of game where they can head out and explore and be rewarded for it. That's the one thing that player will learn immediately that's different about us: if you see something in the distance, you can go and investigate and be rewarded for it."

As widely documented at the time, Skyrim launched with an array of serious glitches - some of them game-breaking, such as the notorious 'Rimlag' issue that hobbled the PlayStation 3 version.

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