20121024014944!The_Elder_scrolls_online_logoElder Scrolls Online players will be getting five days free play as thanks to people for sticking with it following a rather bumpy launch.

Anybody who has set up an active account until 8pm EDT (1am UK time) tonight and, like everyone, be in the first 30 days of the games trial period, will be eligible for the extra game time.

This follows a launch which has encountered problems including gold farming, botting and bugs that block quest progress.

The plan was announced on the games official site by developer Zenimax Online Studios, which also detailed new and future updates coming to the game.

“We recognize that some of the launch issues affected the early gameplay experience of a number of players.

“Fixing these problems required us to take the megaservers offline, costing players time in the game. In recognition of this experience and to show our gratitude to everyone who supported the launch, we are giving an additional five days of included game time.”

Elder Scrolls Online’s first update will see the introduction of the game’s first adventure zone, Craglorn. The list of new content currently scheduled for Update 1 are:

• Trials, which are 12-player “raid”-type instances for Veteran Rank characters, featuring completion time leaderboards
• Death recap: you can now see who killed you and what ability they were using. This is invaluable information in dungeons, PvP, and Craglorn
• Underdog bonuses in Cyrodiil—you’ll get more Alliance Points and XP while fighting for an alliance with a lower population in your campaign
• Animation tweaks and polish
• Combat ability balance changes and fixes
• Class ability tweaks and updates
• Content bug fixes, especially edge cases where quests could become de-synced
• Plus much more

These notes are subject to change, with the update being made available after testing has been complete.

As well as dealing with bugs and exploits as they find them, Zenimax also listed a number of features it is planning to release in 2014 and beyond in future updates. These include a justice system, Thieves Guild and Dark Brotherhood quests, additional dungeons and spellcrafting amongst others.

What are your thoughts on this gesture from Zenimax? What are you hoping for in future updates?