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The Elder Scrolls Online tweaking game opening, combat based on beta feedback

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ZeniMax Online Studios is making changes to The Elder Scrolls Online based on feedback collected during beta testing, including tweaking the game's opening and leveling curves as well as parts of its combat system, according to a post on the game's official blog.

Over the past weeks, more than 5 million players participated in the beta test. According to ZeniMax, some players felt the game's opening was too constraining — the first hours have been streamlined and adjusted to allow players more freedom of choice. Players will complete the opening tutorial and then wake up in the first major city of the Alliance they have chosen; starting players will no longer have to wade through a string of islands prior to this. The level curve around this city has also been tweaked to allow players time to discover things to do without constantly running up against high-level enemies. The aforementioned islands have also been re-leveled and players can go back to complete them if they choose.

Developers have also made changes to combat animations and audio and added player collision with NPCs, preventing players from passing through enemies. These changes are meant to create a "more substantial," "more visceral and exciting" combat experience, according to game director Matt Firor.

Through beta testing, ZeniMax has determined that millions of players across North America and Europe can play on just the North American server without experiencing latency issues. However, ESO will have fully operational data centers dedicated to both regions. The data centers will open in North America first, which will allow developers to more efficiently deal with launch issues. The company will also have overflow servers ready to go if player demand is higher than expected.

"We will make sure that no matter where you live, every player in North America, Europe, Oceania and many places beyond, will have a polished, lag-free launch experience," Firor wrote. "Based on the existing number of our beta signups and because we anticipate that the ESO community will continue to grow after launch, we plan to add capacity to keep up with demand in both our North American and European data centers."

The Elder Scrolls Online will launch for Mac and Windows PC on April 4, with PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions coming in June.