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


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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