Tobold's Blog
Wednesday, March 19, 2014
The Elder Scrolls Online is nauseating

For some people, that is. And I mean that literally. And it is an important factor I forgot to mention yesterday in my listing of criteria for choice. If you tend to suffer from video game motion sickness, The Elder Scrolls Online with its stronger camera movements due to the cursor stuck in the middle of the screen is more likely to make you nauseous than other MMORPGs.

I experienced that myself. Actually I didn't play Morrowind and Oblivion because of video game motion sickness, although Skyrim was better in that respect. TESO is somewhere in between, I can play it if I zoom out to max and play in third person view, while I can't play it first person.

And in the spirit of balanced reporting, Wildstar is probably more likely to cause epileptic fits, with all its colorful, flashy animations.

I feel your pain. I used to suffer from crippling video game motion sickness back in the 1990s.

Looking back I am embarrassed at the lengths I used to go through to get my fix of Doom, Descent or Duke Nukem. At one stage I played with an eye patch over one eye because I found it put off the inevitable nausea a bit longer. Sadly, as I am sure you can attest the sickness doesn't go away when you stop playing. After a decent gaming session I could be be hungover for hours.

Thankfully my particular affliction went away once graphics card got powerful enough to push decent frame rates. I very rarely have problems any more although a very claustrophobic corridor shooter can do it. I have never been able to play any of the Amnesia games for example.

Not convinced it is "motion sickness".

I'd take a guess and say you need a higher FOV.
As far as I understand the science behind it, it is quite similar to motion sickness: Your eyes tell your brain that you are moving, while your inner ear tells your brain that you are stationary. The motion sickness you'd get in a car is the other way around, but the phenomenon of mixed messages to the brain is the same.
I used to get this a lot, and still do on occasions with game that have a heavy FOV such as Borderlands 1 and 2, both of which I can only stomach a little when I turn FOV off....but even then something about the perspective those games provide still give me nausea. I'm not sure if more games are better at avoiding this (for me) now or if I just toughened my self up over the course of the last decade, though. I haven't experienced the problem you are describing in either Skyrim, though...and TESO looks like it emulates Skyrim pretty closely in style.
I'm so glad it wasn't just me. The thing that made it worse was that I saw myself moving in one direction and my avatar moving at an angle to that direction. Zooming way back helped, but you can't do that in the tutorial or indoor areas.
Anyone know what the FOV is of TESO when in first person view?

If the problem isn't there in third person view I still suspect it is a narrow FOV making you feel sick.

I can't remember if I saw an FOV slider. If there isn't a slider then I'd eat my hat if the default setting is 90 or higher.

Given that it is designed for consoles it would be closer to 60 and I definitely can't play at that level on a monitor and get fatigued even on the TV.

But I spent 98% of the time in third person zoomed out so didn't notice.
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