Buy the chapter
Stands to reason, right? Before you can play the chapter, you need to buy the chapter. If you’re new to the game, you may not realize the differences between all of the different types of content in The Elder Scrolls Online. The differences between the base game, DLC, chapters, and subscription can make even a seasoned veteran’s head spin. Last year, I wrote an entire column hoping to clear things up and lay out exactly what you should buy and what you should skip. While not much has changed in the ESO business model since then, there are a few different versions of the Greymoor chapter available for purchase.
- Greymoor standard edition: Includes the base game and all previous chapters but not smaller DLC. DLC are either purchased separately or as a part of the ESO Plus subscription
- Greymoor digital collector’s edition: Includes the base game and all previous chapters but not smaller DLCs. Does include additional digital bonuses like the mount, outfit style, and emote pack.
- Greymoor digital upgrade: Includes only the Greymoor chapter. Suitable for players who have previously purchased the game in the past and who are interested in buying only the newest chapter.
- Greymoor physical collector’s edition upgrade: Yes, the much-coveted physical edition is back, with a cool statue and other physical items. But pay close attention: This is an upgrade edition. It includes only the Greymoor chapter and physical/digital bonus items. It does not include other chapters, DLC, or the base game. This version is currently showing out of stock at the Bethesda store but may still be attainable via other resellers.
Roll a Nord
Even with the extreme popularity of TES V: Skyrim, Nords have never been the race of choice for most ESO players. That may change now that we’re heading to some iconic Elder Scrolls locations in the heart of the Nord homeland. I don’t know whether it’s because some feel that the Nord passives are underwhelming or people were just “Norded out” after Skyrim. Whatever the case, my bet is that we’ll see plenty of the definitely-not-viking natives in the snowy wilds.
Play the Harrowstorm dungeons and Greymoor prologue
Over the last few years, ZeniMax has tied an entire year’s worth of ESO content releases into one cohesive storyline. In fact, Greymoor is the second content release in the 2020 cycle, meaning that we’re already part way through the Dark Heart of Skyrim. To get the full impact of the story, you may want to start by buying the Harrowstorm DLC, a pack that included two dungeons that actually kick off the narrative continued in the next chapter. Of course, this purchase isn’t required to enjoy the Greymoor content, but it does give some nice background information to round out the year.
Likewise, ZeniMax always provides a teaser of the next chapter in the form of a prologue quest, free for anybody who plays the game. The prologue introduces us to some of the characters and zones we can look forward to exploring further in the full release. It leads right into the main story quest for Greymoor and has been available to play through since March 30th. You can pick up the prologue in the ESO crown store for 0 crowns. Don’t have time? You could always watch our playthrough instead!
One of the biggest quality-of-life improvements in the new chapter will affect only the infected, as the vampire skill line is being redone in order to bring a more visceral existence to our pointy-tooth pals. From new active skills to new animations, vampires in ESO are poised to have a brand-new feel.
There are a few ways to turn into a vampire in ESO, but only one is truly viable. You could buy the curse of vampirism for 1500 crowns in the crown store, but please do not do this. Don’t pay for something that you can get for free. There are locations in three of the zones (Reaper’s March, the Rift, and Bankorai) where a special kind of bloodfiend spawns during the night hours. These bloodfiends can infect you with vampirism, but once they are killed, they will not respawn again that night. This method might be preferable for hardcore roleplayers who prefer to be infected “naturally,” but for most everybody else it could prove an exercise in frustration. For everyone else, the easiest route is to find another player who is already infected with vampirism and have him or her bite you. This can be done by any vampire who has unlocked the blood ritual passive skill once every 24 hours. It used to be common to sell vampire bites for gold, but most people just give them away nowadays. Still, it’s considered good form to at least offer to toss a coin to your vampire.
There’s a trick to contracting the virus from another player, though: The bites are effective in only one of three locations. Three vampire shrines grace the map in some of the vanilla game zone locations, so you’ll have to meet up with your vampire friend at one of these spots. Content creator Alcast has written a nice vampire guide with more details including the exact location of each vampire shrine.
With the new chapter comes new skill lines! In the case of Greymoor, two new skill lines are being introduced for the antiquities system: scrying and excavation. With scrying requiring 17 skill points to max out and excavation 14, it might be nice to have some of those skill points stashed away before you take your first steps into Western Skyrim. One of the quickest ways to stockpile skill points is to gather as many skyshards as possible in those areas that you may have previously neglected! For those of you without the bottomless crafting bag, this might also be a good time to clean out some inventory space. Nobody wants to be stuck rummaging around in bags when there are snowdrifts to be explored!