How Elder Scrolls Online will balance factions

The Elder Scrolls Online will have three playable factions, which ZeniMax Online hopes will help strike a natural balance. Since so much of the PvP is defined by large-scale battles, though, the company has taken a few steps to help keep everything fair and square.

The studio explained the systems in a lengthy fan Q&A. It claims that, since it has three factions, one that is over-populated could be brought down by the other two. Even so, it's planned out ways to keep the scores roughly even regardless of population disparities.

"There are alliance population caps per campaign to make sure one alliance doesn't fill up a campaign entirely," the studio stated. "There are also scoring incentives for alliances that are tailing behind when capturing resources and keep, from the winning Alliance if the score is imbalanced. You'll get more points by taking keeps and resources from the winning alliance and holding your own keeps, helping you catch up in the overall score. Lastly, keeps can be captured with smaller groups than you may expect, so even under-populated alliances have a real shot at claiming the throne."

It also pointed out that the PvP isn't limited to the large-scale battles, and some quests will be explicitly designed to put you into confrontations with opposing factions. "There will be lots of chance encounters and roaming players to kill in Cyrodiil. Many of the quests from towns and from alliance entry locations are designed to send you into enemy territory. If you’re looking for a fight outside of large-scale keep battles, there's a good chance you’ll run into enemies near Chorrol, Cheydinhal, Bruma, Cropsford, or Vlastarus."