As promised, Harrowstorm – the first DLC headed to The Elder Scrolls Online in 2020 – landed on the public test server alongside update 25, and it’s packed full of stuff you already knew was coming, along with stuff that’s gonna send your eyebrows up to the sky.Icereach and Unhallowed Grave, of course, plus there are multiple new gear sets, new collectibles and dyes, another round of framerate and stability enhancements, the quartet of new PvP campaigns, two new houses, and the prologue quest. There’s also a pretty hefty change to the game’s PvP map buried under spoiler tags deep in the patch notes: “You can now only queue as a solo player into Battlegrounds.”
“This is a big change to Battlegrounds matchmaking which we are executing partially in response to player feedback and partially as an experiment. We recognize the change will prevent players from being able to reliably team up with friends in Battlegrounds, but it should also improve both the speed of matchmaking and the competitiveness of PvP matches. As part of the change, we are resetting the matchmaking rating (MMR) of all players, so going forward, the system more properly evaluates individuals based on their performance in the solo queue. We’ll be closely monitoring both player feedback and the impact of these changes on the system.”
Reddit hasn’t blown up too much over it, but there are gobs of threads on the PTS feedback forums from people upset (or at least upset about this specific fix for the problem) and begging for some sort of lobby system instead, while a few are praising the move. It definitely doesn’t seem as if this argument will be put to rest any time soon, as there’s a huge divide in the PvP crowd right now over whether it’s more important to be able to queue with friends or fix the problem of premades dominating PUGs in the mode.
The houses, we note, are Forgemaster Falls – Orcish with a village setting and smithy – and Thieves’ Oasis – a Redguard hideaway to stash all your swindles.
YouTuber Stardancer has done a walkthrough of some of the new furnishings too!