Keep Your MMO Out of My Elder Scrolls

GameSpy has an editorial where they explain the reasons they are against a possible Elder Scrolls MMO. Interestingly, they point out to Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning as what they think an Elder Scrolls MMO would look like:
I believe the better chance for MMO success lies with Kingdoms of Amalur, Ken Rolston's bastard child of the Elder Scrolls franchise. I like to think of KoA: Reckoning as "Elder Scrolls Lite" because it comes close to approximating the experience of the Elder Scrolls series while ditching the more heady aspects of the franchise in the name of simple fun. That's what the series needs to be successful as an MMO, but it's important to remember that it ceases to be the Elder Scrolls in the process. Reckoning is also not without its problems--including a stupidly overpowered meteor spell and a hard mode that leaves you wondering if you have it on "casual"--but it better approximates experiences that would carry over to an MMO settings.

From an MMO player's standpoint, Kingdoms of Amalur also has its priorities straight. There's no need to sit through all that lore "fluff" if you want to enjoy Reckoning since the combat's always the main attraction, and I'm sure that this tendency will carry over into the MMORPG version. I personally skipped through 90% of the story (to the point that I knew key characters only by such monikers as "that sexy elf" right up until the final boss fight) but I completed every last side quest out of sheer appreciation for what Reckoning does well. Even now, KoA: Reckoning is my "veg out" game of choice as nothing clears my mind more than logging on and slaughtering hordes of Tuatha with my magey rogue.

So far, 38 Studios seems to have its act together. Reckoning has already seen a couple of content patches despite its February release, whereas Skyrim's five months of existence has only seen a barrage of bug fixes. That will translate well when they release the massively multiplayer version. Its Fable-meets-WoW visual style (love it or hate it) already fits the genre well, and the design of its current instanced dungeons would make an easy import into an MMO. In fact, Kingdoms of Amalur faces almost the exact opposite situation as the Elder Scrolls series: Reckoning is a "good" RPG at best, but it has the potential to be a incredibly satisfying MMORPG.