I don’t think that Summerset is as highly anticipated as Morrowind was, but that’s can be a positive for ZeniMax Online Studios because there is scrutiny when it comes to the lay of the land and the storyline. On the other hand, it means less hype for the expansion.
As an MMORPG enthusiast, I’m excited to see MMOs continuing to grow the way ESO has. And I know that you might not be as familiar with Summerset, so I would like to give you my list of what you should probably look out for when you jump into the next chapter.
Summerset is a chapter
This is a simple one but an important one. Summerset is a chapter for ESO. That means that there is a new starting tutorial, and it should have all the elements of an expansion to the game. This also means that it will not be a part of ESO Plus. You will have to buy it separately from the other DLC. Morrowind came with a new class, a large explorable area, and a new tutorial. We should expect something similar from this expansion. We get exactly that except there’s no new class. On the other hand, we get something else instead…
The Psijic Order skill line is not a new class
With Morrowind, we received a new class, but with Summerset, we get a new skill line. I talked a lot about the skill line in my last Tamriel Infinium, but I wanted to make mention of it here because it’s important to understand that all players have access to this skill line if they have bought Summerset. Unlike the Warden class addition, this skill line will not require as big a balance juggling act for PvP, mostly because everyone has access to the Psijic Order abilities if they choose to use them.
The Summerset Isles are all the islands in that area
Just as the British Isles include two major islands but Great Britain is just the largest island, the Summerset Isles are three islands and Summerset is the largest one. One of the other islands, Auridon, is the starting area for the Aldmiri Dominion. And the other island is no longer accessible from this plane of existence. Its name is Artaeum.
Artaeum is the home of the Psijic Order
The fact that Artaeum is on a different plane and that it’s the home of the Psijic Order has probably been hammered into your brain a million times already if you’re reading this. But the why and how are probably still mysteries to you. In the opening tutorial, you learn that the Psijics removed the island from the mainland to “better promote meditative study and contemplation,” according to Oriandra, an Imperial Psijic you’ll meet during the Summerset tutorial.
My personal theory is that Artaeum isn’t shrunk like Clockwork City and isn’t in another dimension like Oblivion. I believe that Artaeum is time-displaced. This would account for people not aging the same way and why you wouldn’t likely see the island while traveling.
The Psijic Order includes non-Altmer
Immediately, you will note that the Psijic Order isn’t as preoccupied with racial heritage as the rest of the Altmer are. The first Psijic you meet is an Imperial human, and there are many other races peppered throughout the order. The most interesting member is actually a god: Sotha Sil is not exactly a Psijic in the traditional sense, but the order allows him to study there.
Very few non-Altmer have been to Summerset
You’ll find out quickly — during the first mission, in fact — that non-Altmer have made their way to the island for years, but Altmer are clearly the majority race. It’s not as heavy as the racism on Vvardenfell, but it does play a large role in the first questline for the expansion. To help lift the stigma of High Elf racism and to better unite the Aldmeri Dominion, Queen Ayrenn created a decree that opened Summerset’s borders to all people, regardless of race.
Razum-dar helps continue your quest on Summerset
If you have been playing the Aldmeri Dominion questlines, then you know Razum-dar. He’s the Kajhiit who helps you out in the very first questline and continues to be a catalyst for you further adventures through the main story for the Dominion. He’s a very secretive person, but you find out that he works directly for Queen Ayrenn as her eyes around Tamriel.
Crown Store gifting
And since I don’t really have a good way to segue this next part, I will just mention that you can now gift Crown Store (cash shop) items to other players. It’s really easy. You just have to click the little gift box when you are purchasing an item. Other than houses, I’ve not found anything that you can’t give away.
I’m really enjoying Summerset right now that it’s in Early Access. I will likely have some more things to talk about that are full of spoilers in the coming weeks, but for now I’m just going to recommend that you just play it for yourself.
If you are playing Summerset, let me know what you think in the comments. What would be the top items you think everyone should know? I look forward to your input in the comments.