Good news, the MMO is set in the past:
So the TES franchise can continue to forge ahead.The Setting
A stolen soul. An undead army rising. A quest to recover that which is uniquely yours. Only you can save the world from the evil machinations of the Daedric Prince, Molag Bal, and the first known necromancer, Mannimarco.
The Elder Scrolls Online is set in Tamriel's Second Era, roughly 1,000 years before the events in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and the coming of the Dragonborn, and just before the rise of Tiber Septim, the first Emperor of Tamriel. Three Alliances have emerged across the continent, each struggling for supremacy over the land. As these great powers battle one another for control of the Imperial City - and with it all of Tamriel - darker forces are moving to destroy the world!
Some other stuff:
A World to Explore
Journey across the far reaches of ancient Tamriel for the first time since The Elder Scrolls: Arena. From the mountains of Skyrim, to the mysterious lands of Morrowind, to the sprawling metropolis of Daggerfall, experience the wonders of the world a millennium before the events of Oblivion and Skyrim.I caught some glimpses of the faction descriptions at E3 via the Yogscast interview.A Battle for the Throne
Three alliances are vying for the throne of Tamriel, in a massive player-versus-player war. Lead your guild, your alliance and your friends, in an epic three-way strategic battle of territorial supremacy and siege warfare for control of the Imperial City.
Join the Ebonheart Pact, The Aldmeri Dominion, or the The Daggerfall Covenant and join the battle to control all of Tamriel. To the victors go the spoils of the war and the throne of the Emperor!
The Daggerfall Covenant--an alliance of the trading powers around Illiac Bay: High Rock, Sentinel, and Orsinium
The Aldmeri Dominion--some type of unification between "elder races" in southwest Tamriel.
The Ebonheart Pact--will be an "unlikely alliance" involving the Dark Elves of Morrowind.