Back in April 2014, The Elder Scrolls Online launched and to be honest, I didn’t know what to think — even though I spent hours upon hours going on epic quests in Morrowind, Oblivion, and Skyrim. When I heard that there would be an online MMORPG set in The Elder Scrolls universe, I just didn’t feel the urge to shout “FUS RO DAH” with excitement. With that said, The Elder Scrolls Online is alive and well as it’s been getting tremendous support from both the developer and fans over the years — and it’s even getting a new expansion, Elsweyr.
At GDC 2019, Noisy Pixel had the opportunity to go hands-on with the expansion and explore a bit what it’ll have to offer when it releases on June 4 on PC, Mac, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. The build we played was still very much in its early stages, but regardless, we discovered that long-time veterans and even new players will find a lot to love in the upcoming expansion.
The Elder Scrolls Online: Elsweyr marks the next chapter for The Elder Scrolls Online and with it, comes a slew of new content. Rather than choosing a class, the Bethesda team asked me to pick the new class, Necromancer, to see what it was like. Even though I couldn’t pick my class (which is fine), I was able to customize my character to my heart’s content. Character customization and even just customization overall in The Elder Scrolls Online: Elsweyr is deep and offers a wide array of options to choose from. However, a couple of times, as I was looking through the multiple customization menus, an error message popped up — and then, all of a sudden, the game crashed on me. I was told that the development team was aware of the issue and that it would be resolved by the time the game releases, so no worries there.
Going back to the Necromancer class, it’s actually the game’s first new class since the Morrowind Chapter that released back in 2017. The dark, mysterious class will be to die for as players can cast deadly elemental spells, summon the undead, and even use corpses as a weapon or as an attack buff. Unlike the Dragonknight class in which players can just rush in and slash their way to win battles, the Necromancer class requires more of a tactical playstyle. Standing back is the way to go with the class in order to truly unleash abilities.
The Necromancer class comes with three unique skill lines to master: Reaper, Bone Tyrant, and Living Death. Reaper essentially raises the dead and imbues them with an element, like fire, Bone Tyrant lets players use body pieces from corpses to create barriers, and lastly, Living Death gives players the ability to heal allies by sucking up energy from the dead or the living. All three skill lines are unique and I had a deadly good time using all of them.
Aside from a new class, there will be a whole other beautiful world that players of The Elder Scrolls: Arena will be familiar with. Elsywer is that world and it’s the homeland of a cool cat-people, the khajit race. These cats aren’t safe, however, as The Elder Scrolls: Elsywer will have dragons, which is an ESO first. During my time with the game, I didn’t run into too many dragons myself, but I can imagine that like in Skyrim, all the dragons will not go down without a fight. Exploring the world of Elsywer was still a thrill, though, as I traveled across several locales and of course, got myself into trouble a couple of times. It also helped that there were diverse characters to meet and chat with along the way, but for the build I played, voice-overs for all characters weren’t finalized. Similar to the bug issue, the development team said that voice-overs will obviously be fixed before the full game releases.
Given that I only had a bit of time, I couldn’t dive deep into any quests, but still, I could tell that there will be a plethora of quests to take on. Many of the quests I did predominately focused on the usual “go here” or “kill this many enemies” fetch quests. However, since The Elder Scrolls Online: Elsweyr will be offering up to 30 hours of story content, players should expect to find plenty of other quests to enjoy.
Going into The Elder Scrolls Online: Elsweyr, I was expecting to have no clue of what to do and where to go. To be honest, I had a “expect the unexpected” kind of mindset. What I ended up discovering, though, was that Elsweyr is shaping up to be a massive, fresh, and accessible adventure for new players and veterans.
Regardless of experience, any player will be able to go right in without a problem — this is especially the case for new players as they’ll start out with by creating a new character, just like I did, and be able to play the full base game. While the thought of an MMORPG set in the Elder Scrolls universe seemed strange to me years ago, now, I can see why The Elder Scrolls Online has such a passionate fanbase, and fans have a lot of reasons to be excited about the upcoming expansion.
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