Elder Scrolls Online game director Matt Firor said today that they want to reward players who have stuck with the MMORPG throughout the game's early problems. They're extending everyone's subscription by five days.
"We recognize that some of the launch issues—especially black market botting and spam, de-synced quests, and the disappearing bank slot bug—affected the early gameplay experience of a number of players," Firor said on the ESO website. "Fixing these problems required us to take the megaservers offline, costing players time in the game. In recognition of this experience and to show our gratitude to everyone who supported the launch, we are giving an additional five days of included game time to every ESO player who set up an active account prior to 8pm EDT Thursday May 1st and who are currently enjoying their 30 days of included game time."
A confirmation message will be sent to your email address if you're eligible to receive the game time. The ESO customer support site says that the free five days will be added within the next three days.
Bots and gold spam have been a major concern for players, accounting for 85% of complaints. Bugs in the game have caused issues as well. ZeniMax was forced to take the game offline for a short period of time due to an item duplication glitch.
Firor acknowledged that bugs were a reason that many critics slammed the game. He adds, though, that the game "will get better and better every week" thanks to patches.
The development team is also creating new content for the game. The first major update is currently on the Public Test Server. Update 1 will introduce Craglorn, the first Adventure Zone. Adventure Zones are new regions designed for groups of level 50 characters. They can work together to complete new quests. Groups of 12 players can also undertake Trials, the game's equivalent of raids. These Trials will have leaderboards to push players to complete them as quickly as possible.
Update 1 also makes smaller changes to the game. A new death recap feature, announced before launch, will let players see who killed them and what ability they used. Players fighting for an alliance with a lower population in a campaign will get bonus Alliance Points and XP. Various combat and class abilities will be rebalanced as well. The final patch notes will be posted on the official forums soon.
Firor also discussed some of the features planned for later down the road. Some of these should be of great interest to long-time Elder Scrolls fans. Players will be able to join the Thieves Guild and Dark Brotherhood and perform quests for these shadowy organizations. A new justice system will let players rob and kill NPC's, and be punished if they're caught. Smaller but still desirable features include spellcrafting and armor dying.
Elder Scrolls Online launched on PC and Mac on April 4th. If you're thinking of playing the game, be sure to read my lists of likes and dislikes.