morrowind

Jukebox Heroes: Elder Scrolls Online’s Morrowind soundtrack

Lately I’ve felt the need to get into gear and cover a lot of the more recent MMO soundtracks that have released alongside their launches and expansions in 2017. If I’m going to get through these by the end of the year, I best start now!

And so our next soundtrack for examination is the rather excellent Elder Scrolls Online: Morrowind OST by Brad Derrick. I haven’t hidden my disappointment in the base game’s soundtrack, as it didn’t quite live up to the expectations established by previous Elder Scrolls titles. Therefore, I’m happy to say that Morrowind really stepped up to deliver a much more memorable and moving soundtrack with plenty of nostalgic elements.

For more on the making of this score, read Derrick’s interview on the main site: “For The Elder Scrolls Online, the music has to bridge the gap between the familiar and the new, satisfying player expectations while still having a unique identity. This means making sure the music is ‘Elder Scrolls-y’ enough to sound like it’s from the same universe as the other games, but at the same time different enough so that it’s clearly ESO music, belonging to the time and spaces of our game.”

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Elder Scrolls Online’s Clockwork City DLC is aimed at explorers and mystery buffs

ZeniMax has a new dev blog up on The Elder Scrolls Online’s Clockwork City DLC today, teasing the update and explaining just why it was chosen as the narrative followup to this summer’s Morrowind expansion. The DLC, as we’ve preciously covered, takes players into the realm of Sotha Sil, one of the three living gods of Morrowind and a machine-obsessed genius whose motivations and sanity are constantly in question. What struck me is how the designers interviewed stress that the DLC is aimed at mystery fans and explorers; indeed, variants of the word “explore” are used seven times in the brief doc.

“The Clockwork City is the most mysterious zone we’ve ever done. […] This is partly because there wasn’t a tremendous amount of pre-existing lore to begin with, but it’s also by virtue of the fact that it’s Sotha Sil’s realm, and no one truly knows the intentions of his strange experiments, or what their results will be.”

Massively OP ESO columnist Larry Everett dived into the PTS last week to produce impressions on the in-testing DLC, declaring that while it wasn’t as personally compelling to him as as the Thieves Guild DLC or as complex as the Dark Brotherhood DLC, it tops the game’s core storyline all by itself.

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Tamriel Infinium: First impressions of Elder Scrolls Online’s Clockwork City DLC

It’s hard to know where to start with these impressions because the upcoming DLC for Elder Scrolls Online is significantly more complex, more extensive, and more fun than I originally anticipated. Clockwork City has surprised me on multiple levels. Those who were fans of the Tribunal expansion for Elder Scrolls III will find nostalgia everywhere, and those who are new to this part of the lore will find a world that is similar yet very different from the rest of ESO.

Over the last couple of days, I have been spending my time on the public test server for Elder Scrolls Online where ZeniMax Online Studios has dropped its latest DLC: Clockwork City. This isn’t the first time we’ve been to the Clockwork City, but this DLC will be the first time that we are allowed to freely explore this creation of the god Sotha Sil.

There is no way that I am going to be able to sum up the hours of gameplay that Clockwork City has to offer in just a few hundred words, but let me hit on a few things that were the most important to me: aesthetics, storytelling, exploration, and gameplay.

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Take a peek at Elder Scrolls Online’s Clockwork City DLC map and subzones

Now that Elder Scrolls Online’s Clockwork City DLC is live for testing on the PTS, the spoilers have changed over from a trickle to roar, even from ZeniMax itself. Today, the studio’s published an overview sort of guide to the six areas in the new zone, Sotha Sil’s creepy steampunk lair “filled with mysterious automatons, fantastic sights, and hidden dangers.” Those would be:

  • The Brass Fortress, the residential area where you can craft and gather in relative safety;
  • The Mechanical Fundament, a “dangerous labyrinth is crawling with fabricants and single-minded factotums that won’t hesitate to sanitize the area of organic infestation (read: people)”;
  • The Halls of Regulation, which ought to be a mundane water-and-air utility monitoring station but instead is a Delve for adventurers;
  • The Shadow Cleft, a shadowy Daedric realm to Nocturnal that happens to have a portal inside the city;
  • The Sanctuary of Verification, Sotha Sil’s lab and factory, which plays host to a world boss;
  • and the Asylum Sanctorium, the sanitarium where you’ll end up if you go mad, plus the DLC’s new group dungeon.

The DLC is slated for later this year; while you don’t technically need to have purchased Morrowind to buy and play this DLC, it’d probably make a lot of sense to do so, as the plots are linked.

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Global Chat: Not that impressed by Destiny 2

Destiny 2’s recent PC beta certainly brought out curious players in droves, and MMO bloggers couldn’t help but share their opinions on this next evolution of the sci-fi shooter franchise — even if those opinions weren’t too positive.

“It proved to be a deeply disappointing experience,” Superior Realities said. “Not because of anything wrong with the game, but because the beta offered such a small sliver of it as to be entirely pointless.”

Endgame Viable just doesn’t get it: “I know I’m going to regret this, but: What’s all the hype about? I didn’t hate it, but Destiny 2 looked and played like every other shooter.”

How would you respond to those observations? While you think about it, let’s look past D2: The Mighty Space Ducks to more essays on Elder Scrolls Online, EverQuest II, and the dinosaurs of ARK: Survival Evolved.

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A mechanical wonderland awaits in Elder Scrolls Online’s next DLC

If cogs, gears, and gadgets get your motor running, then you are going to be revving loudly when Elder Scrolls Online’s next DLC arrives.

Update 16 will open the gates of the Clockwork City, a “mysterious mechanical world” that spans an entire zone and contains a new story involving a Daedric conspiracy to experience. The Clockwork City doesn’t require Morrowind to access, but it does draw upon the expansion’s predecessor, where the City was also present 700 years in the future. Players will explore this clockwork realm, performing quests, defeating world bosses, racing against trials, and conquering delves.

The team also is pretty excited about a new system, transmutation, that will allow you to change the traits on your gear via crafting and transmutation crystals.

Not interested in buying it? You’re still going to get something free with the patch when it arrives sometime later this year: “Update 16 brings a free base game update that includes a new Battlegrounds game mode (ESO: Morrowind owners only), Xbox One X support, and a host of additional base game fixes, updates, and additions.”

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Tamriel Infinium: ZeniMax’s Rich Lambert on Elder Scrolls Online content development, past and future

Morrowind was very likely a great boon for The Elder Scrolls Online. Although ZeniMax Online Studios hasn’t released any solid numbers, the staff has over and over proclaimed just how great things have been since the launch of that expansion. In fact, I recently sent some questions to Creative Director Richard Lambert, and when I asked him to quantify the success of Morrowind, he reiterated its success:

Morrowind has been really great for us and a huge number of players are exploring the new content, class, and battlegrounds. We’ve seen an influx of new players and returning players and our existing player base has really enjoyed the addition so far. It’s been a pretty gratifying experience for us.”

But even Lambert would tell you that this upward climb for ESO started long before the launch of Morrowind. And with the launch of the latest update Horns of the Reach, I was able to ask Lambert some questions about how ESO built up to the game it is now and also talk about some of its future — specifically, the Clockwork City update.

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PSA: You can get Elder Scrolls Online for under 10 bucks

You have always been the frugal sort. You never buy anything unless it goes on sale, and you never set foot in a store without an eye for deals and a pocket full of coupons. So while you have looked with interest at Elder Scrolls Online, you have balked at paying the full purchase price.

Well, how’s a little less than 10 bucks sound? Right now, you can pick up the base edition of Elder Scrolls Online for $9.89 through the Humble Store. Additionally, this summer’s Morrowind expansion is also on sale, with the upgrade priced at $29.99, the standalone edition at $40.19, and the digital collector’s edition at $53.59.

ESO is part of an overall Bethesda sale that is going on from now through August 29th.

Source: Humble Store. Thanks Dibs!

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The Elder Scrolls Online’s Horns of the Reach DLC is live

Horns of the Reach is live in The Elder Scrolls Online today as ZeniMax’s first major update since the Morrowind campaign/expansion rolled out in June. As planned, the paid DLC includes two new dungeons (Falkreath Hold and Bloodroot Forge) and plenty of new kit. And even if you don’t pay for the DLC, you’re getting Update 15 for free; it boasts the PvP battlegrounds mode Chaosball and the new Arcane University map.

“The Horns of the Reach two-dungeon pack is now available on PC and Mac, free for all ESO Plus Members, or for purchase via the in-game Crown Store for 1,500 Crowns. Update 15 general improvements are available free for all players, while Battlegrounds additions are free for owners of ESO: Morrowind (Battlegrounds requires ESO: Morrowind). Both will also release for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One adventurers on August 29.”

MOP’s Elder Scrolls columnist Larry Everett has posted his impressions of the Falkreath Hold dungeon following a streamed play session we ran alongside ZeniMax’s Rich Lambert; we’ve tucked that down below so you can decide whether to grab it. Stay tuned for more this week!

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Massively Overthinking: Gathering our thoughts on Guild Wars 2’s Path of Fire

This week, the dominant story has become Guild Wars 2’s Path of Fire expansion, which is coming our way far sooner than a lot of folks had guessed. For this edition of Massively Overthinking, I’ve touched base with some of our writers to measure their reactions to the big announcement, asking them to gauge what’s in it, whether it was worth the wait, what they’re disappointed about, what they think of the pricing, and whether they’ve felt sufficiently enticed to play. Let’s dig in!

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Battle Bards Episode 102: Pure joy

Is it even possible for pure joy to be derived from MMORPG music? Whether or not, the Battle Bards are going to take a serious stab at it in today’s episode! Each piece is hand-picked and home-brewed to distill joy for the listener, coated in sparkling hopes and drizzled with fond memories. No matter what, you’re in for an uplifting show!

Battle Bards is a bi-weekly podcast that alternates between examining a single MMO’s soundtrack and exploring music tracks revolving around a theme. MOP’s Justin co-hosts with bloggers Steff and Syl. The cast is available on iTunesGoogle PlayTuneInPocket CastsStitcher, and Player.FM.

Listen to Episode 102: Pure joy (or download it) now:

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The Stream Team: Stepping into the Reach with ESO’s Creative Director

The Elder Scrolls Online continues with its quarterly release schedule despite the recent launch of its next chapter: Morrowind. ZeniMax Online Studios named its next DLC Horns of the Reach and it’s releasing this month. This DLC features two dungeons Bloodroot Forge and Falkreath Hold. And we bet you want to take a look!

The Stream Team invited Elder Scrolls Online‘s Creative Director Rich Lambert to join us today as we explored the later of the two dungeons, Falkreath Hold. So tune in at 2:00 p.m. EST as our ESO columnist Larry Everett and Rich Lambert a gather a team of developers to tackle the latest ESO content.

What: Elder Scrolls Online
Who: Larry Everett and ZOS Creative Director Rich Lambert
When: 2:00 p.m. EDT on Tuesday, August 1st, 2017

Enjoy the show!

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Tamriel Infinium: The problem with Elder Scrolls Online’s Morrowind plot is the twist

I played the Morrowind expansion for Elder Scrolls Online to death when it was sitting on the test server. But oddly, it was a bit more of a struggle to compete on the live servers. Despite this, I believe that Morrowind is a wonderful addition to ESO, and I am looking forward to seeing future content like the Horns of the Reach.

Now that we have all had a couple of months to get through the Morrowind content, I believe that it’s safe to talk about some of the spoilers, especially since the thing that bothered me the most about Morrowind was the main story twist.

This is your warning: Beyond this point, I will probably spoil everything for you. Turn back now and finish the main story for Morrowind or risk being spoiled!

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