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Why Elder Scrolls Online has public dungeons

"Public dungeons were my favourite thing about EverQuest."

Elder Scrolls Online director Matt Firor has explained why upcoming MMOG has public dungeons.

In an interview with Edge Firor expressed an enthusiasm for public dungeons that he's found disappointingly absent from the current MMO climate.

"Public dungeons were my favourite thing about EverQuest," said Firor, before lamenting, "I can't think of an MMOG since then that's had them."

"When you think back to the fun MMOG moments in the first generation, it's standing there, terrified, in an enclosed space, waiting for someone to come along and save you. We can't do that punitive gameplay that they did in those days, but we can put people together in places where they want to work with others."

One of The Elder Scrolls Online's central ambitions is to encourage players to socialise in the game world rather than just through the interfaces. Firor described these public dungeons as "basically a space that's designed for people who are not grouped together to go into to fight".

He added: "It's a great place for people to connect with other players and they're very important to us, although we still have instanced private dungeons and end-game raid dungeons for groups of up to six players too.

"Each one of these public dungeons is soloable, however, and there are a lot of them, but they're also dangerous. Lots of creatures, very close together. Basically, if you solo it, you'll need to find a place to heal, and then you might find another player there who's exactly like you, and needs help, and then you can fall in together. You'll have met someone that, hopefully, you'll want to stick around with later on."

While Firor will draw from first-generation concepts like public dungeons, he aims to marry it with the questing and levelling template of second-generation MMOs such as World of Warcaft, though no details have been confirmed about how those systems will work.