CREATING ESO: WEREWOLF
Do you dream of the hunt? Join us in tracking down details about one of The Elder Scrolls Online’s deadliest predators.
Feared throughout Tamriel, werewolves surrender to their primal nature, roaming the wilds in pursuit of prey. Confrontations with these lycanthropes are dangerous; they can spread the disease Sanies Lupinus, which turns the infected into one of the bloodthirsty pack if left untreated. Werewolves are strongly associated with the Daedric Prince Hircine. It is said that he lays claim to their souls, eternally leading them on wild courses through the Hunting Grounds, his Oblivion realm.
You’ll encounter werewolves in your adventures through ESO, and you might even find yourself afflicted with their transformational disease. Don’t worry—we won’t give away any of the surprises we have in store for you here, but we do want to give you a peek at the creation of the player version of the werewolf and a few tidbits about what you’ll see in-game. The werewolf is still under development, so we’re excited to share this first look with you.
One of the most important features of the werewolf is the transformation itself. The animation has to fully capture the uncanny transition from man to monster. We drew inspiration from scenes in films featuring werewolves and combined that with our own ideas about what makes an awesome metamorphosis. We also have to consider the animation in relation to gameplay, working to ensure that it feels as good as it looks when you’re playing.
We want you to be able to launch yourself into a frenzied killing spree and feel the uncontrollable strength granted to you by the transformation. As you can imagine, witnessing a werewolf reveal its true form is disturbing, and it’s certainly an event that will strike fear into those who happen to observe it.
The werewolf’s model and combat animations need to convey a sense of unrestrained savagery. Werewolves use their incredible strength to leap through the air towards their unfortunate targets; they devour them with fervor. They often hunt in packs, destroying everything they can hunt down. We used references like video of hyenas gorging on a zebra to get the feel just right, adding touches like bloodstains on the muzzle after a good feast.
In the game, you’ll find that the abilities in the werewolf skill line work together, allowing you to take advantage of interactions that amplify the thrill of the hunt, making you a more efficient killer and even extending your blood frenzy. All of the abilities put you in the role of the hunter—always in control and right on the heels of your prey.
No creature is complete without sound. We used real human audio to create the basic sound shapes, and then created an amalgam of wolf, dog, and other animal noises to give its grunts and howls the bestial quality they needed. The werewolf also has an array of foley sounds (like steps, whooshes, and impacts) that give it more individual character.
When everything comes together—the interplay between abilities, powerful animations, and visceral sounds—becoming a werewolf is an experience you and your pack are sure to savor. We hope you enjoyed our sneak peek at the werewolf. Stay tuned for our next Creating ESO for another inside look at development!