The Elder Scrolls Online has some fans reasonably concerned about game stability. Bethesda has gained somewhat of a reputation for buggy single-player games in the Elder Scrolls and Fallout series, and adding the complications of a full-fledged MMO seems like it will only complicate things. TESO game director Matt Firor concedes that it will be hard, but promises a long beta test to sort out potential problems.
Firor told Edge that aside from general bugs, the studio also has to plan for servers, latency, and account creation. "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 also points out that this will be a separate engine from the one used for Skyrim.
Of course, even if the game can dodge bugs, MMOs have had trouble retaining users. Asked how to tackle that particular problem, Firor said, "You give people lots of different types of things to do. You make it replayable so that it's fun to play a different character - not even in a different alliance, in the same alliance, for example. You can go through our content in a different order, make different choices, power-level or stop and smell the roses - we support both those types of gameplay and that's a big part of keeping people around."