Elder Scrolls Online’s Blackwood is officially live on PC, Mac, and Stadia – here’s the launch trailer

    
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As promised, The Elder Scrolls Online has gone live on PC, Mac, and Stadia with its Blackwood chapter and sideloading update 30. Console players will be waiting until June 8th to leap in and until June 14th for the Console Enhanced version. The highlight of Blackwood, of course, is the new companion system, which essentially gives players their own NPC follower to help out in combat. There’s also a new 12-person raid, the new Oblivion portal world events, and the Blackwood zone itself. ZeniMax says it amounts to “over 30 hours of new story content.”

“As part of our Gates of Oblivion year-long storyline, the Blackwood Chapter will task players with exposing the daedric plots and tyrannical schemes consuming the region. Discover the connection of these plots to the Prince of Destruction and his dreadful plans for Tamriel. Though Blackwood is a standalone story, its events further the overall Gates of Oblivion narrative that will conclude later in 2021.”

Blackwood is a paid chapter, but update 30 is free for all players; it includes the new default tutorial and ability bar timers. It will also kick off the start of the endeavors system later this month – that’s the one that enables players to snag lockbox stuff without gambleboxing.

We spoke with ZeniMax’s Rich Lambert about the launch in an interview we published earlier today; the brand-new launch trailer is below. Happy launch day!

All our Blackwood coverage to date:

Source: Official site, press release
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nomadmorlock9

Launch was smooth like butter.

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Paragon Lost

Saw two folks with companions today in the Rift area. Guess I should figure out how to get mine or start the quest to do so since I did buy the expansion. Lol

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jealouspirate

I don’t follow ESO closely, but I wonder how the balancing around companions will work. How much of an advantage are they? Or, more importantly, how much of a disadvantage is it to not have one? I don’t like NPCs following me around.

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Bruno Brito

You can make solobuilds easily without companions. They help a lot tho. But what was possible before will still be possible after.

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SmiteDoctor

Hack the Minotaur has a ton of one bar solo builds.

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Vanquesse V

I have a pretty well tuned (but not meta) build and probably the best gear you can get without farming dungeons/raids and just shy of 500CP (the cap is 3600 iirc) and I honestly didn’t really notice the difference. Granted my companion is only level 5 (of 20) and I’ve only found a blue bow and a blue shoulder armor for her, the rest is white, so she has a lot of room to grow but I don’t think they are in any way mandatory.
The most interesting use case I can think of, is two people duoing dungeons with their companions out.
Since only their loyalty (and associated quests) are character specific, I can also see a maxed out companion giving you a decent boost when starting a new character.

Karma_Mule
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Karma_Mule

Mass Effect has been and will continue to take up the majority of my gaming time for the next few weeks, but I’ll be making some time for this.

Haven’t played in ESO in a while and definitely looking forward to more story and especially COMPANIONS!