The Blackwood chapter will headline Elder Scrolls Online’s Gates of Oblivion year, launching in June

    
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Here we go, folks: Tonight we’re finally getting some hard details on what The Elder Scrolls Online is up to in 2021, courtesy of the ZeniMax Online Studios livestream this evening.

What can we expect? ZeniMax already teased the year’s theme – Gates of Oblivion – with a brief video back in December, so we’re assuming we’re heading to the plane of Oblivion at minimum. Hope you like red lava! Cryptic coins sent to press and community members were decoded by player @jimminyjojo and seem to point to the involvement of Mehrunes Dagon, the big bad in TES IV: Oblivion. ZOS’ Matt Firor has also told players that it’ll be working more on “stability and game performance” with less time on “new game systems.”

The show begins at 5 p.m. EST on Twitch. You can watch along with us as the reveal marches on; we’ll be updating as we go and as embargoes lift!

Notes from the stream…
Matt Firor and Pete Hines calls ESO the “most successful Bethesda game over the last four years.” And Firor just announced the name of the new chapter: Blackwood. Requisite trailer:

Survey too:

So Mehrunes Dagon is indeed the big bad as people suspected, and the Deadlands and a “deal with the devil” aka Mehrunes will factor into the plot. Expect it to “focus a lot on Imperials and Argonians” and include a new tutorial too along with three separate regions. Definitely, the companion system is one of the highlights of this chapter, allowing players their very own hero pet people, and it fits in perfectly with the franchise. Prepurchase is live now, and it launches in June.

Before that, however, the Flames of Ambition DLC will launch the traditional pair of dungeons.

Stream’s over, embargo’s down – here’s some more details we gleaned prior to the show!
Flames of Ambition is launching March; expect it on PC, Mac, and Stadia on March 8th and then March 16th for console. The dungeons will “reveal the threat of Mehrunes Dagon” and lead the story to the big story chapter.

Blackwood itself is due out on PC (and Mac and Stadia) June 1st, with a console release a week later. Blackwood includes the ongoing Gates of Oblivion storyline, the new Blackwood zone, a new companion system, a new 12-person trial called Rockgrove, new Oblivion Portal world events (of course!), and an assortment of “new delves, public dungeons, world bosses, […] stand-alone events” as well as “updates and quality-of-life improvements.”

“Blackwood packs more than 30 hours of new main storyline, tons of side quests, countless quality of life features, and, for the first time ever, introduces Companions who will adventure through Tamriel alongside the player. The new Chapter will take players from the walls of the Imperial City of Leyawiin, first featured in The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, to the murky bogs of Shadowfen, and of course to the mysterious region of Blackwood where players will uncover the Daedric plot at its heart. The new Rockgrove Trial, Oblivion Portal World Events, unique Chapter-specific rewards and more will provide ESO players and newcomers alike with an amazing year of deadric destruction.”

And we can also expect two more DLC for the bottom half of the year: another dungeon DLC in the third quarter and another story zone DLC for fourth quarter. The fourth quarter, by the way, will have more emphasis on the Deadlands.

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Rick Mills

Well, can’t say I like the maw (Deadlands).
We will see.

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SmiteDoctor

You do realize that the game Oblivion was released back in 2006, based off of lore for a franchise that was thought up in the 1990s.

The Maw was an ass pull by Blizzard to make lore up on the fly to help retread Wrath of the Lich King; so to imply that decades old concept is copying a recent concept is either really misinformed on your part (which I doubt because you look older than I am), or you’re being misleading on purpose which is why I’m calling you out.

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Rick Mills

I’m not trying to say who was first, I’m just saying that that type of biome, much like the maw, or Mordor (who’s lore dates back to the 60’s) is no fun to tramp around in – for me.
That’s it!

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Sleepy

Again with the Argonians.

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BalsBigBrother

Umm well that’s a thing. I hope that it’s an interesting story and not another retreading of much walked ground.

Dunno it will probably be ok but I just didn’t get excited for it as I had hoped I would. Will still be buying it and diving in at console launch so maybe it will suprise me.

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elenie

This expansion isn’t super interesting to me on paper but let’s see what they do (loved Greymoor purely for the new Antiquities system!).
A lot of buzz in my guild was about the expansion of the champion point cap from 810 to 3600. I’d love for them to add some interesting new CP trees rather than putting thousands of points into minuscule “Your direct attacks deal 0.1% more damage” improvements.
I’m honestly dubious about their focus on performance and stability because so far I don’t feel their efforts have done much at all, and the game is just really wonky in some areas (like it took them so long to add the most basic search filters to the trade system, and their event processing queue is also bafflingly bad – not to mention the usual lag and long loading screens). If this year doesn’t yield any substantial improvements, I’d rather see more focus on content and systems while keeping performance at its usual mediocre level.

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Hurbster

Just improve the bloody writing.

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Paragon Lost

Funny thing, compared to GW2 it’s hands down better. I was mentioning that to my wife the other day as I was doing a storyline. The interactions with the npcs are much better than what I see in GW2. I referred to GW2 storylines as B Movie G Rated Disney “ah golly gee wilikers” pablum that I can’t engage with and bores me to tears.

My wife, my son and I all had the same problem in regards to that with GW2, it just didn’t engage us and we felt the stories were terrible. Whereas my son and I are loving ESO. Could it be improved? For sure, but it’s really pretty good and it engages me so far. Something GW2 never ever did once I got a bit into it and saw where/what they were about.

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SmiteDoctor

Looks like it’s going to be a blast, really looking forward to Companions, hoping I can use them to solo normal dungeons.

My body is ready!!!

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Life_Isnt_Just_Dank_Memes

They have global trading yet or nah? The trading in that game ruined it for me simply by the fact that every other game had convenience of global auction houses.

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Bruno Brito

No. Honestly, i don’t see it going away.

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SmiteDoctor

It helps build a community in an MMO that’s more geared towards solo players, my Trade Guild is great, good people, I get to sell my stuff, made good friends, and get great advice regarding marketing.

You’re not just selling to your guild either, as long as you’re guild has a trader your listings can be seen server wide through the site Tamriel Trade Network.

Hell my Guild as long as you sell a minimum amount on the AH, which is easy, you get your weekly fees waved.

If you ever decide to play, look up the guild Azura’s Guidance, we are an awesome community, I’m not exactly self promoting I’m just a member.

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Rndomuser

It helps build a community in an MMO

It does not, regardless of your personal opinion. All it does is alienates many players who do not enjoy any type of forced socialization or forced “join group x for specific benefit” type of gameplay and prefer to have convenience of automated global auction house. This is not my opinion, I’ve met plenty of people who disliked ESO’s trade system for this reason.

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SmiteDoctor

It’s almost like an argument against Classic WoW with different numbers lol.

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Sorata

It does, regardless of your personal opinion. I know a lot of people, that socialise a lot more and a different way, than without this system.
Just because some don’t like it, it is not a bad system. There should be more of different approches to “how a MMO have to be”. Sadly that is one of the few in this game…

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jealouspirate

“your opinion is wrong because I know other people with the opposite opinion”

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Bruno Brito

The trading guild system is one of the worst systems to be implemented in a MMO, and while it solves some problems, it create others, which in my PoV are worse.

You’re also forced to make attendance, donate, you can’t go AFK for too much time, etc etc.

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Vanquesse V

The concept doesn’t truly work when you can search a 3rd party website to se what’s sold where at which price, and pretty much every single trading guild trying to force you to consider AH your job ruins whatever else is left on the positive side of the equation.
It’s my understanding that the payments/bids guilds have to make to get a trader for a week have been increasing to the point where they can’t afford to not make harsh demands of their members or risk losing all access to trading for all of their members.

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Bruno Brito

And…ESO’s AH UI is dogshit.

Really. It’s so bad.

Actually, scratch that. ALL MMO’s AH UI are dogshit. What makes them palatable is basically having access to EVERYTHING in the server.

ESO makes AH’ing extremely clunky, obnoxious and having stores all over Tamriel is just cumbersome.

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Vanquesse V

I guess you can use addons to help make it a bit better, but despite expansions living on pts for a month+ beforehand I don’t recall a single launch where at least two of my 10-15 addons weren’t so out of date that they would break the game

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Paragon Lost

I’m still trying to figure out the trade game. It is confusing but I’m liking the challenge. I just wished it was more plain about how it all works. Sort of like crafting though I’m approaching it like a learning curve that I’ll master sooner or later. lol I just wish the damn game would have groked for me in the first two years it was out instead of now and me playing catch up.

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elenie

Still individual traders. They have improved the trader UI a tiny bit (more search filters) but it’s still incredibly limited and clunky.
I do love the little trading guild I joined recently but I also find the system very annoying.

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Sleepy

I love the guild stores. You get to go shopping instead of logging into a futuristic hypermart shoved into a medieval game.

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Life_Isnt_Just_Dank_Memes

Thanks for all the replies. What a bummer. “Use 3rd party software to find what you are looking for because we refuse to do global auction houses” is some hot garbage.

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treehuggerhannah

I will admit that I’m much more excited about this now than I was with the original trailer they released. The first trailer made it look like they were basically just re-treading Oblivion. (I liked Oblivion, but I already played it, and if I wanted to play Oblivion I’d just play Oblivion.) I’m happy to see they’re at least going for some originality mixed with the nostalgia.

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Matthäus Wey

This has been the least impressive thing they’ve shown so far. Even the new zone looks a bit half-assed with all the old assets. Don’t get me wrong, but all the other expansions had a very unique look with the new stuff and this looks like a murkmire 2.0 with some more foresty areas. Sure, that’s just how the area looks, but I’m pretty convinced they could have done a better job presenting this area of the world based on what we saw today. Otherwise, they really stuck to the “no new features” theme. Companions look nice, but I’m not sure how cool an NPC glued to your side will end up being. The new mount looks very neat tho

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Hurbster

More half-assed than Greymoor?