The Elder Scrolls Online Adding the Justice System in January


In January 2015, Zenimax Studios plans to bring a long-awaited justice system to The Elder Scrolls Online. If you ever found yourself missing “Stop right there, criminal scum!” in the dulcet tones of a Dunmer guard at any point, you’re definitely in luck.

ESO has always leaned heavily on the ‘role-playing’ aspect of the MMORPG, with a rich, living world that players can readily interact with and participate in. The already extensive roleplaying community is steadily growing, and with the latest addition to the game’s already daunting amount of interactive features, I’m expecting the community to see a huge jump in numbers.

With the justice system, ESO’s set to become the Elder Scrolls game it was meant to be. Players will be able to pickpocket NPCs, murder townsfolk, and be apprehended by the guards. A later addition will allow players to police each other in a PVP format, becoming criminals and enforcers of the law as they choose. As the devs stated on their latest “The Road Ahead,” “Townspeople will be considered neutral and be attackable, and many items that you could take freely before will be considered owned and must be stolen. There are fences who’ll buy stolen goods—if you can get past the guards while you have a bounty on your head.”


“The most important reason to do this is to make sure that the Justice System has a solid foundation before adding the extra PvP elements,” game director Matt Firor explained in ESO’s latest update. “As most of you know, PvP is by its very nature extremely difficult to predict. We want to have a stable system in place to build on before we add more unpredictable elements.”

As much as I’m excited for the justice system, I’m glad they’re doing it in increments rather than throwing it all in at once, especially the PVP elements. In fact, after some searching, it looks as though The Elder Scrolls Online will be the first MMORPG to implement a fully interactive justice system with the ability to steal, pickpocket, and murder, and not just guards one-shotting players from other factions. If done right, the justice system has a chance to give ESO a lasting place in gaming history, especially among roleplayers.

It’s been a long year for this game, but the changes have been fast, brutal, and well-implemented. We’ve yet to see how the justice system is going to play out, but Zenimax has proven that they’re pretty good about implementing features and cleaning up stability issues. It’s going to be an amazingly interactive system for non-roleplayers and roleplayers alike.

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About Deborah Crocker

Deborah is a 22 year old semi-hermit currently plodding through her senior year of college and getting her feet wet in game journalism. She has a somewhat unhealthy obsession with high fantasy, video games, novels, and Elder Scrolls. When she's not in front of a screen, she enjoys singing and a bit of beading. She's also currently on the hunt for the restaurant with the best cheeseburger.

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