Great news as the latest DLC pack for The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited has been officially released titled Dark Brotherhood. This DLC seems players returning to the iconic Gold Coast from TES IV: Oblivion to join the infamous Dark Brotherhood guild of Assassins.
Are you ready to become one of the deadliest assassin’s in Tamriel. With an all new and exclusive passive skill-line, you will need all you skill and cunning to defend the Brotherhood against a mysterious foe. Prove and hone your skills in repeatable assassination quests and hours of new story content. Further details of the DLC can be found below.
A Covenant of Blood and Shadows – Join the merciless Dark Brotherhood of the Gold Coast, prowling in the shadows cast by the two great powers of the region. Though at the height of their power, the Dark Brotherhood faces a grave threat in the form of a mysterious black-armored warrior capable of bringing down their best agents. Venture forth for another exciting chapter of The Elder Scrolls Online as you carve a bloody swath across Tamriel in the name of the Dark Brotherhood!
Explore the Gold Coast – The westernmost region of Cyrodiil, the Gold Coast, was last seen by Elder Scrolls players in The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. Come explore the cities of Anvil and Kvatch during the Interregnum, when the region is awash in intrigue and deadly conspiracies!
Murder for Profit – Sometimes the best way to deal with a troublesome person is permanent removal. As a Dark Brotherhood assassin, you’ll be tasked to fill that need. From simple assassination contracts to killing sprees on the blood-soaked streets of Tamriel’s sprawling cities, carve your path into the good graces of the Dark Brotherhood. The truly skilled may engage in special missions at the behest of their dark masters and fulfill a Black Sacrament, slaying a victim named by the Night Mother herself.
New Assassins’ Passive Skills – This all-new skill line relates to murdering citizens and allowing the Shadows of Sithis to protect you from suffering consequences. Because those deaths were sanctioned by Sithis, you are the hand of the Void; you are the embodiment of death itself. The rules of Justice are for those bound by Nirn, not those who are directed by the ideals of Sithis.
Dark Brotherhood-Exclusive Rewards and Items – Earn new items through in-game quests and browse Dark Brotherhood-themed items coming to the Crown Store soon.
The Dark Brotherhood DLC is available now to download on the Xbox One and is avaiable as part of the active ESO Plus membership or can be purchased for 2,000 crowns via the ESO Crown Store.
The next DLC game pack for The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited will introduce the long awaited Thieves Guild into the popular MMO.
For the first time in ESO, players will join the iconic Thieves Guild – an organization of pickpockets, burglars, robbers, and thieves. As their newest recruit you’ll sneak along rooftops, steal from the shadows, and recover lost treasures as you explore an all-new zone, experience new story content, challenge yourself with a new 12-player trial, and much more.
Pricing and a release date will be revealed in the weeks to come, but until then allow Bethesda to tease you with the trailer below:
Today Bethesda released a new trailer revealing the first details for The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited’s next upcoming DLC game pack, Orsinium.
Orsinium, the ancestral home of the Orcs, is being rebuilt deep in the Wrothgar Mountains, and King Kurog has sent out a call across Tamriel for intrepid adventurers to assist in its rebirth. The latest DLC game pack for The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited takes you to the mountains of Wrothgar, and to the Orc capital itself, to unravel plots and counter-plots, and encounter all-new enemies and allies. Orsinium, ESOTU’s largest game pack to date, features a colossal new zone to explore, new quests and mysteries, a new single-player arena, new public dungeons, and much more.
A new solo arena challenge, The Maelstrom Arena, features nine combat rings and two different difficulty levels. Test your might against the fiercest enemies imaginable as you, and you alone, fight for your life and if victorious, are granted generous rewards.
Old Orsinium and Rkindaleft, Orsinium’s sprawling public dungeons, feature all new-challenges for both solo and group play.
Enjoy powerful new gear, unique crafting styles and other rewards inspired by the history and denizens of Wrothgar.
With well over 20 hours of content, Orsinium and will launch on PC/Mac on November 2nd, Xbox One on November 17th, and on November 18th for PlayStation 4. Orsinium is included with an active ESO Plus membership or will be available for 3,000 crowns via the ESOTU Crown Store.
In the MMO arena, most gamers have to wait approximately a year to 18 months before any major expansion is released for their RPG of choice. Due to the unexpected delay of Elder Scrolls Online on consoles, this standard has been broken as the first in a series of DLC arranged for Elder Scrolls has been released merely six months since launch.
For those who have ventured into the shadow of the white gold tower, to represent your chosen alliance, will know that Bethesda has done something slightly different with their PVP zone. Most MMO’s place a distinct emphasis on separating player vs player and player vs environment encounters. This can make the PVP zones feel empty, even soulless. Bethesda does not subscribe to this method. Throughout Cyrodiil you will encounter npc’s as they go about their daily business, providing you with quests and chores to perform, and the environment is littered with the same caves, ruins and events that populate the rest of the world. This conveys a sense of life on the game that no other MMO currently attempts (to my knowledge).
It is with this in mind that we delve into the dlc, and take our first tentative steps into the Imperial City. With the release of this content, entry ways to the imperial sewers have opened up, (similar to your escape point in Oblivion), allowing progression into the city proper. These access points are also directly linked to the ongoing war throughout Cyrodiil, so if you find the nearby fortification occupied by an opposing force, entry to the Imperial city is barred. Should your faction hold the ground you may enter the sewers and meet with the vanguard that are pushing forward in to the territory now overrun by Molag Bal’s daedric forces.
Upon entering the Imperial City you are instantly greeted to the two new PvE dungeons reachable from the sewers. The Imperial Prison has long been overwhelmed, with gangs of prisoners ruling the roost and driving out the guards until the Daedra arrived. Now the prisoners and the common people of the Imperial City, trapped within its walls by the Daedra, are being captured and sent to the Ayleid ruins beneath the prison. Furthermore Terran Arminus, a Moth priest has requested your aid in retrieving an elder scrolls for the now overrun White Gold Tower. Both of these 4 man dungeons have their own self-contained story and two difficulty modes; normal and veteran.
Those who have hit level 50 now have up to 16 Veteran levels instead of 14, and the harder instances of these dungeons hold new high level rewards to be collected.
Both dungeons are extremely complex, containing several hours’ worth of content and new enemy types to face. Those who played Elder Scrolls IV will recognise the other game areas revealed in this expansion. The Arena, Memorial, Temple, Arboretum, Nobles and Elven districts all make a return in ESO, each with their own distinctive enemies to face and challenges to overcome. These PvP/PvE environments contain numerous new foes including the Xivkyn, a race of Daedra that has taken up residence within the confines of the city.
So far, despite putting countless hours into the new expansion I would be surprised if I have seen half of the content contained within, and the balance between PvP and PvE within the city feels naturally challenging and makes each venture into a district both unique and familiar at the same time.
With Daedric treasure vaults to be found and collected, both new dungeons, a huge new PvP area filled to the brim with PvE quests there is plenty to for every type of player to do in the heart of Cyrodiil.
Including the DLC with my review of Elder Scrolls Online neither improves nor diminishes my original view, and as such my opinion is that the original score I gave this game still stands.
Bethesda gave us a glimpse at E3 of their planned versus environment and versus player DLC, showing off the splendour of Orsinium as well as the devastation that has been wrought on the imperial city in the war to claim the Ruby throne.
The latter of these two, taking players deeper into Cyrodiil to aid their cabal of choice in the faction based pvp, has now had a further trailer released showing off some of the areas we can expect to encounter once we breach the walls surrounding the capital.
This DLC will appear on the Crown store in game once released.
Good things come to those who wait. That’s what I kept telling myself when the console version of Elder Scrolls Online was delayed shortly before the official release date in April 2014.
The wait is now over, but much has changed in the interim. Like most MMOs, frequent updates have been released for the PC version and a decision was taken by Bethesda Softworks to do away with the subscription fees, bringing ESO in line with other successful Buy to Play titles like the Guild Wars series.
This meant that we received all of these changes in the ESO Tamriel Unlimited edition that hit shelves this month.
ESO continues the tradition of every Elder Scrolls game since Morrowind; introducing you to the game imprisoned in some fashion before revealing you to be the Vestige, the one person that can stand against (insert antagonist here). This time around, it’s Molag Bal, the Daedric Prince of Domination, who through manipulation and subterfuge has torn the veil between Nirn, the realms of men and mer, and the realms of Oblivion. Further machinations from his subordinates has resulted in the fall of the emperor and set the Ten Races of Tamriel on a collision course to occupy the currently empty Ruby Throne, whereby distracting the races from the imminent threat from the Daedric Prince.
Elder Scrolls Online is no “tour de force” in terms of its graphical fidelity, especially in comparison to recent titles. Given the delay in release, and the nature and scale of the game, I didn’t expect ESO to be a Witcher 3 beater regardless, and anyone who did is obviously not aware of the different requirements needed for a persistent open world single player RPG and a persistent open world massively multiplayer online RPG. That said, for a Console based MMO, the graphics are truly surprising, and easily surpass the visuals of Neverwinter, and in my personal opinion, firmly compete with the aesthetics that Final Fantasy 14 came to deliver after its relaunch.
Sun and Moon cycles illuminate the lands of Tamriel, while dynamic weather system brings the world to life. The console version obviously lacks some of the graphical punch that a heavyweight PC can produce, and the draw distance has obviously been turned down to allow for a balance between stability and fidelity, but despite some minor character and texture popping when things get hectic, the beauty of this massive world is apparent and eminently impressive.
Those familiar with an action MMO will be instantly familiar with the action bar set up, giving you space to hold six active abilities at any time. These slots can be filled with Racial, Class, faction or weapon based skills allowing for a wide range of variation to cater to how each person wants to play. These are further increased to 12 once you hit level fifteen and you unlock a secondary weapon set that can be switched on the fly.
Add into this the “morph” skill system, which allows deviating paths for each skill as you utilise and level it up, this further increases the possibility for a more tailored and unique approach to building the character that you want to play.
During battle, enemy attacks are telegraphed with white and red representations on the enemies that indicate whether you can block or interrupt the ability, and attack range markers are displayed on the ground to allow you to evade the damage.
Much like the overarching Dragonborn / Civil War storylines from Skyrim, the ongoing struggle between each of the three factions plays directly into the multiplayer PvP facet of the game, with the central theme of the Daedric invasion giving focus and credence to the solo story of ESO.
Escaping the grasp of Morag Bal with the uninspiringly named “The Prophet”, you are returned to the realm of Nirn where upon you are tasked with aiding him in relocating and freeing the Five companions in order to face and depose Mannimarco, the traitorous lackey of Molag Bal and leader of the Necromancer‘s Cult of Worms.
Each Faction has its unique quest lines and side quests that run alongside the main solo quest, with the Fighters guild and Mage’s Guild quest lines identical for all 3 coalitions. Like its predecessors, the world is littered with locations, dungeons and quests that reward you for straying off the beaten path and the instantly recognizable Compass at the top of your screen is forever full of undiscovered destinations.
Each of these quests are fully voiced, and the scope of this undertaking is truly impressive in its own right. I have yet to encounter dialogue in over 60 hours of gameplay that sounded “phoned in”.
Once you hit level 10, you can venture into Cyrodiil and take part in the faction battles to claim the empire for your own faction. Most of the core of Cyrodiil is present, and has been separated into sextants, two zones for each faction. The Ebonheart Pact dominate the lands in the North East around Cheydinhal , the Daggerfall Covenant taking root in the North West near Chorrol and the Aldmeri Dominion holding sway in the South of the map from Skingrad to Bravil.
The ultimate goal, is to capture specific key strongholds in the warzone in order to have a member of your faction crowned emperor. To do so, you must assault enemy forces and fortifications to break their hold before reinforcing and defending the captured points.
If any of you have previously played Planetside, there are a lot of similarities and the instance in which you participate is in a constant state of flux as the tide of battle ebbs and flows.
The thing I did not know about Cyrodiil, is that it does not force you to fight other players head on if PvP is not interesting to you. Scattered throughout the area are quest npc’s, who send you to dungeons and against mobs that inhabit the world, and alongside these you also have quests that your faction can provide to aid the war effort indirectly.
As a Nightblade I focused on scouting the enemy strongholds; sneaking behind enemy lines, eliminating key npc’s in my path and avoiding players, before sending back tactical reports to reveal troop composition and strength. I can honestly say my heart was in my mouth the entire time!
I happened to stumble upon a cave on my return, and after defeating the wolves that inhabited the grotto, I made my way via Cheydinhal where the local militia asked for my aid against the imperial army that remained in the area. After killing their commanding officer and returning the militia leaders stolen heirloom, I made my way back to base and handed in my quests. Not once, during the hour I was questing in the PvP Zone away from the front lines, did I encounter an enemy player.
True to MMO tropes, ESO has its own crafting classes; Woodworking, Blacksmithing, Enchanting, Alchemy, Clothier and Provisioner. As you go about your travels, killing Daedra and Cultists, rescuing peasants or uncovering lost history, you will encounter resources and chests in the wilderness. Unlike most other MMOs, you do not require a specific tool with which to harvest these resources, (except the treasure chests – you need lockpicks for those), but they are shared with everyone in the world so it is first come, first served.
Returning to town, you can then refine the materials you have gathered in order to craft your own weapons, armour, potions. Most interesting is enchanting, with a system similar to the 3 syllable dragon shout from Skyrim – you combine runes to refine your own enhancements.
Elder scrolls wouldn’t be Elder Scrolls without a plethora of goods stored in bags, crates, barrels, sacks and on corpses throughout the world, and once again taking its cue from Skyrim, the provisioner skill takes advantage of this abundance of food items to create buffs for use while adventuring.
Sadly, it’s not all rays of sunshine, as ESO still has many bugs that impact the performance and enjoyment that can be derived from the game. Busy areas of the map, and magic filled battles can cause perceivable frame rate drops that can, at higher levels, mean the difference between life and death. (Thankfully I always hold some filled soul gems for revival, just in case).
Vanishing npc’s and featureless players are more bugs that have transferred from the PC version, and although Zenimax have confirmed they are working on a patch to rectify this issue, it happened frequently enough during my 60 hours of play to know this must be impacting a large portion of the user base.
Being a seasoned MMO gamer, I personally take these issues with a pinch of salt, but those that are taking their first foray into the world of MMORPGs may not be similarly inclined, so forewarned is forearmed.
All in all, Elder Scrolls Online delivers a large swathe of the lands of Tamriel for you to explore at your leisure, with thoroughly competent MMO mechanics blended seamlessly with tried and tested elements from their legacy Elder Scrolls games.
Although only released for consoles in the past week, Bethesda brought more news of the plans for Elder Scrolls Online in the future.
Bethesda have confirmed the upcoming playable areas of Orsinium; the Realm of the Orcs and what seems to be the interior of the Imperial City of Tamril as a new PVP area, as well as a great deal of new content that is going to hit The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.
Some amazing environments are soon to be making their way to consoles, based on the what we saw on the E3 Showcase.
Also announced was the new Strategy card game, Elder Scrolls Legends. Based on the Elder Scrolls universe it is currently in development, but an exact date is yet to be confirmed. It was confirmed as Free to play and will be coming to devices in the near future.
Today sees the release of The Elder Scrolls Onine. For the first time in history, players worldwide can now explore the legendary world of Tamriel with their friends on the Xbox One.
Players can embark on heroic single-player quests, explore the sprawling world of Tamriel with friends, or join forces with hundreds of others in player vs. player battles as they unravel the secrets of a persistent Tamriel.
Matt Firor, game director of The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited said:
The team has created a great console multiplayer experience for fans of The Elder Scrolls. We can’t wait for this new group of players to jump in and explore the world of Tamriel with their friends.
Are you picking up a copy? We’re hoping to get a review copy soon so that we can give you our thoughts on it!
So today Matt Firor; Game Director on The Elder Scrolls Online took to the official ESO website to deliver the following message:
We long ago promised that as soon as a version of the game is ready, we will launch it. So we’re happy to announce that the game will launch worldwide for PC and Mac players on Friday, April 4, 2014, while PlayStation 4 and Xbox One fans will see the game arriving on consoles in June 2014.
So yes that’s right we console gamers have to wait a couple of months, but to be honest I am cool with that. This is one of the reasons I purchased my Xbox One, this is the game I have been dreaming about and looking forward since the announcement.
Firor went on to talk about the massive success of the BETA currently in progress:
As some of you know, we’ve been in beta testing for about a year now, leading up to our most recent test in late November where we had over 300,000 people in the game over a 48 hour period. We’ve had approximately 4 million people sign up for beta and that number continues to grow. We hope that just about every one of you who have signed up for beta will get an invitation to play sometime between now and the weeks before launch. These tests are very important, not only for gameplay feedback, but also to test our infrastructure. Beta tests can sometimes be a little rough when we are testing some systems for the first time with large numbers of players. So thank you to all who have participated for your understanding and support. It is very much appreciated.
To commemorate the announcement, Bethesda has released a new gameplay trailer titled ‘War in Cyrodiil’ which focuses on the PVP aspect of The Elder Scrolls Online.
June 2014 will see me disappear from ThisisXbox, be declared MIA from work and completely vanish from social media. June 2014 I say goodbye to Bournemouth, United Kingdom and hello to the world of Tamriel.
Keep your eyes open on TiX over the coming months for more news and updates in the build up to release date.