skyrim

Tamriel Infinium: Understanding Elder Scrolls Online’s Mephala and speculating on Summerset

Let me teach you how to understand Mephala the Webspinner. Maybe that’s misleading; she’s a Deadric Prince, and who can really understand the motivations of a god, especially one as complicated as Mephala? That’s also what is really wonderful about the characters in Elder Scrolls Online: They never seem to be all good or all bad. There always appears to be some sort of nuance about them that requires explanation.

If you buy the physical Collector’s for Summerset, you will get a 12-inch statue of Mephala, which might be the first collector’s edition of ESO that I buy, and it’s because of that statue. During the introductory livestream for Summerset, Creative Director Rich Lambert simply said that “she plays a role” in the upcoming expansion but didn’t really go any further than that. But if she’s like any of the other featured Daedric Princes, she’s likely one of the formidable enemies – maybe the main enemy – for the chapter. But if the story falls in line with Mephala’s character up to this point, it’s likely that the story is more complicated than her being the villain for Summerset.

First, we should talk about Mephala’s history in the franchise, but then I have a fun theory that I’d like to share.

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Tamriel Infinium: Where did the Elder Scroll Online Summerset come from?

Even though I don’t believe that Summerset was the best choice for the next expansion for the Elder Scrolls Online, that doesn’t mean that the chapter is without merit. According to ZeniMax Online Creative Director Rich Lambert, Summerset will be bigger and have more to do than Morrowind. It’s hard to believe that the actual island is bigger, but I do believe that there is much more playable area on Summerset than on Vvardenfell because it doesn’t have a giant volcano sitting in the middle of it taking up a lot of room.

Because this island hasn’t been seen since Elder Scrolls: Arena, it’s hard to know what to expect from this land. We know that certain things exist, like the Crystal Tower and the home of the Psijic Order Artaeum, but we haven’t ever really seen some of these places in any games.

Because I’m a lore buff, I’d like to take a few moments to talk about the first settlers of the Summerset Isles, the Aldmer and their “purest” descendants, the Altmer. But really, I’m only going to be able to scratch the surface of this deep and isolated culture.

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Tamriel Infinium: Where will the next Elder Scrolls Online ‘chapter’ take place?

In case you missed it, a couple of weeks back there were a couple of spoilers datamined from the testing files that seem to point in one direction for the next chapter of Elder Scrolls Online. By chapter, of course, we mean the next Morrowind-tier expansion, not just the regular and ongoing DLC and updates. And let’s be honest, we have long suspected that we would eventually see the location mentioned in that article open up as an explorable; it was just as obvious as Morrowind itself. But it’s not the only possibility! There are other more interesting locations that could eventually be on the ZeniMax agenda, either this year or beyond.

As I speculate on the possibilities for the next chapters and what these locations have to offer, imagine what would be the most interesting story and offer the most potential for content. There is also the aspect of nostalgia and attachment to new players that have to be considered, too; after all, one of the reasons that the Morrowind chapter worked so well was because of its strong connection to Elder Scrolls III.

If we look at the map of ESO as it currently stands, thanks to the Unofficial Elder Scrolls Pages, we can see five major areas that have not been filled in yet. Those areas could probably be separated further, like the east and west banks of the Nibenay Bay. The Nibenay Basin and the Blackwood on the east side and Elsweyr on the west. But those are not the most likely areas to open up next. I’ve narrowed my picks down to three.

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Elder Scrolls Online previews Dragon Bones’ Orc-themed Scalecaller Peak dungeon

If you haven’t checked out the Dragon Bones DLC on Elder Scrolls Online’s test server in person yet, you should at least take a peek at the zone previews ZeniMax has been rolling out. Today’s piece is on Scalecaller Peak, one of the dungeons going live with the update. The dungeon is themed with Orsinium ruins, which might confuse you if you thought this was an entirely Skyrim-flavored DLC, but if you take a look at the Tamriel map, you’ll see that High Rock and Skyrim share a mountainous border, explored in previous DLC. Orcs and Nords, living together!

Expect Peryite cultists, ogres, and giants to hamper your progress to the windy summit through dank caves and glowing toxins. Try not to die from the plague! And what do you get for winning? Death-themed woad tats, for a start.

“Should you survive the final battle and stand victorious atop Scalecaller Peak, you’ll earn a host of unique rewards. These riches could include the Blackmarrow Necromancer skin, earned by completing the Scalecaller Peak Challenger achievement; unique Trophies and Busts for completing the dungeon on both Normal and Veteran mode; and the Renegade Dragon Priest Mask, earned simply by entering one of the two Dragon Bones dungeons.”

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Elder Scrolls Online’s Dragon Bones DLC hits the PTS, free sub trial begins today

It’s almost time to get your Skyrim nostalgia on! ZeniMax announced last night that the Dragon Bones DLC and accompanying freebie update 17 have both taken over Elder Scrolls Online’s PTS and are testable right now. The patch notes are live too, including a list-out of the new gear, the new storage collectibles, the complete details on the new outfit customization system, and three new houses: Coldharbour Surreal Estate, Princely Dawnlight Palace, and The Erstwhile Sanctuary.

This update will also mark the end of 32-bit client support, so if you’re running on an older version of windows, heads-up.

Wondering what all the fuss was about when both the staff and the readers voted Elder Scrolls Online MMO of the year? Maybe take advantage of the game’s latest “ESO Plus Bonus Event” to preview it in more depth.

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Take a peek at Elder Scrolls Online’s Dragon Bones DLC and outfit customization system, coming in February

Just before Christmas, ZeniMax teased a ton of new content coming for The Elder Scrolls Online in 2018, including three DLC and a full chapter. The first DLC, dubbed Dragon Bones, is up first, and we’ve got a bit more info on the Skyrim-flavored pack coming today.

“The Dragon Bones DLC Game Pack will include two new dungeons – Scalecaller Peak and Fang Lair — available in both normal and veteran modes, with a veteran Hard Mode for each final boss. These new dungeons pit players against new and returning enemies, including plague-ridden ogres, powerful sorcerers and their undead creations, and even the reanimated bones of an ancient dragon. Players will be rewarded with new items and monster sets, collectibles, and achievements, as well as a Renegade Dragon Priest mask, awarded just for entering one of the dungeons. The Dragon Bones DLC Game Pack will be free for ESO Plus members, and available for purchase from the Crown Store for non-members.”

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Elder Scrolls Online announces new chapter and three DLC, including Dragon Bones, for 2018: ‘We are not slowing down at all’

The Elder Scrolls Online had a great year between Homestead and Morrowind, to say nothing of the rest of its DLC. But what’s coming next year? Good stuff. In fact, one of my predictions has already come true!

“You can expect three more DLCs and a full new Chapter for ESO in 2018,” ZeniMax’s Matt Firor writes today in an address to players ahead of the holiday. “We’re not slowing down, at all. There’s so much to do and explore in Tamriel, and we are very excited to take you to some highly-requested areas next year. We’ll officially announce the first DLC of 2018 just after the first of the year, but here’s a small preview: It’s a dungeon-based DLC called The Elder Scrolls Online: Dragon Bones. As the name implies, it is Nord-based in theme, with each of the two dungeons expanding upon the lore of that region.”

The Skyrim-y update will also include quality-of-life tweaks, “including at least one long-awaited feature that everyone who cares about their characters’ appearance will love and the Homestead storage items.” Expect it on the PTS “early (very early) next year.”

We’re streaming ESO’s wintertime events tonight, so join us live on OPTV at 9 p.m. EST!

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Perfect Ten: The healthiest live MMORPGs at the end of 2017

As Counting Crows told us, it’s been a long December, although the fact that it has also only just started being December speaks to something unpleasant in the makeup of this particular month. But it also means that this is a good time to check in on the overall health of various MMORPGs and see which ones look to be in the healthiest state at the end of the year.

This is, I hasten to point out, not a scientific process; last year I pointed to Marvel Heroes as a not-quite-MMORPG title that was still in a very healthy and robust place, and it later turned out that this was entirely not true and had been built upon a foundation of lies. But we’ll cross that bridge if and when we come to it in 2018. What are the healthiest games running right now?

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Freeman: Star Edge is a slick-looking space sim that might go multiplayer

Have that urge to explore the wild galactic yonder? Here’s a potential candidate to steal your time in the future called Freeman: Star Edge. Billing itself as a “mash-up of Mass Effect and Skyrim,” Freeman is an open world RPG that contains a little bit of everything. Bar hopping? Fleet building? Trading? City construction? Galactic dominance? Interior decoration? Sure, that plus a lot more.

In addition to its striking good looks, Freeman: Star Edge is drawing attention by the virtue that it’s playable right now by anyone as an alpha build. Its studio launched a Kickstarter campaign earlier this month for the single-player RPG with the hopes of raising at least $80,000 to finish things up.

Wait, single-player? Yes, but multiplayer could be a possibility: “We have multiplayer features as our final stretch goal and we really hope to be able to deliver both single player and multiplayer modes once it’s met!”

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PSA: Get tons of Elder Scrolls Online (and Legends!) stuff for $12

If you’ve held off your entrance into Elder Scrolls Online, here’s an opportunity to jump in, cannonball-style. The Humble Monthly Bundle is all about Elder Scrolls this month, giving subscribers an opportunity to grab plenty of ESO and Elder Scrolls Legends goods for a rather reasonable price of $12.

This month’s subscription covers the cost of the base Elder Scrolls Online, 15 days of premium game time, 750 crowns for the game store, and a vanity pig pet. It also includes two packs of Skyrim cards, currency, and an event ticket for Legends. And if that’s not all, the October deal throws in some nice Quake Legends goodies to sweeten the deal.

It should be noted that all of these offerings are for keeps whether or not you keep your subscription to the Humble Store, so you don’t have to worry that there is a horrible catch to it all. Just thought you would like to know.

Source: Humble Bundle. Thanks, Sally!

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Tamriel Infinium: Impressions of Elder Scrolls Online’s Falkreath’s Hold dungeon, part of the Horns of the Reach DLC

Although the vast majority of my time in Elder Scrolls Online is spent solo, running through the single-player storylines, I raid and have done a lot of group activities in other MMORPGs. So when I was invited to run the newest dungeons with some of the developers, specifically Creative Director Rich Lambert and Dungeon Lead Mike Finnigan , I had to say yes. The actual run was livestreamed yesterday and since posted to YouTube. (I’ll post the video below.) But during that time, I didn’t really get a chance to give my impressions of what was happening, so perhaps now would be a good time to let you know what I thought.

Most of us here are PC players, so you will be glad to know that this dungeon releases on August 14th with the Horns of the Reach DLC for PC, but for those playing it on consoles, you will have to wait another couple of weeks until August 29th to actually play the dungeons. As for the whole DLC itself, it’s much like the Shadows of the Hist DLC: There are new achievements and meta-changes to classes, but for the most part, it revolves around two four-man dungeons. The one I ran was called Falkreath’s Hold.

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Elder Scrolls Legends hits Android and iOS mobile devices today

Fancy a trip to Tamriel, but don’t want to sit at your PC? The Elder Scrolls franchise TCG, Elder Scrolls Legends, has hit Android and Apple phones as of today, and it includes the Heroes of Skyrim expansion that hit on PC, Mac, and tablets earlier this summer.

The Elder Scrolls: Legends, the strategy card game based on the award-winning Elder Scrolls series, is now available to download for free on iOS and Android phone devices via the App Store and Google Play store, respectively. Featuring a new streamlined interface designed to take advantage of smaller screen sizes, now is the perfect time to jump into the fray. For players just joining the action, the recently-launched Heroes of Skyrim expansion based on fan-favorite characters, lore, and abilities from The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim added more than 150 new cards to collect, plus new mechanics, powerful abilities, and more. Easy to learn but difficult to master, The Elder Scrolls: Legends features a deep and flexible deck-building system and a variety of modes for both casual and competitive players, including a single-player Story Mode, Versus Mode, and Arena Mode against both human and AI opponents.”

I’m not even a TCG person and I’m gonna give it a go because yay, free things.

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Beat Elder Scrolls Online’s Falkreath Hold, buy a Nord manor

When the Horns of the Reach DLC launches for The Elder Scrolls Online next month, one of the dungeons wrapped up in the bundle is located in Falkreath. If that’s sounding familiar, it’s probably because you toured the city in Skyrim, only this is a millennium earlier.

“The Falkreath in The Elder Scrolls Online is much larger than you will recall, and it is well protected by giant stone walls,” ZeniMax says. “When you arrive, you’ll witness a city under siege. Of course, Falkreath is not without its protectors, as Jarl Skjoralmor’s daughter, Eerika, has mounted a spirited defense, but the city’s tall walls cannot hold back the invaders forever, and without help, it’ll soon fall.”

You, of course, are that help; you’ll be defending the city and diving into the Falkreath Hold dungeon specifically in exchange for ridiculous piles of gear upgrades and loot. In fact, once you’ve beaten the dungeon, you’re in for a special treat:

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