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Elder Scrolls Online will have a staggered PC and Mac launch, with some players being able to access the game before others. During a Reddit AMA last night, the development team at ZeniMax Online Studios explained exactly how the MMO's release will play out.
The first people to access the game will be owners of the Imperial Edition, a pricey bundle filled with several other exclusive bonuses. Imperial Edition players get five days of early access, starting on March 30th. If you pre-order the Digital Standard Edition through the official ESO store, you'll get the same early access period. Here's the start time for each territory:
"Also, if you have been in the beta and are going to play when ESO launches, don’t uninstall the game – when the servers go live, just run the same patcher as you always have, and any delta files will be downloaded from there," director Matt Firor said during the Reddit AMA. "You don’t need a clean install. This will save you lots of time over completely re-downloading the game."
Firor previously promised a lag-free launch for all territories. The European megaserver will be hosted in North America at first to make fixes more efficient, but he said that this won't cause latency for gamers in Europe. When the megaservers is finally moved to the European datacenter, the migration should happen without players noticing.
If there's a queue for the official servers, players will have the option of joining overflow servers. The overflow servers don't have social features but allow you to start playing right away. Your progress will then be carried over to the main megaserver when you first log into it.