Although our next Elder Scrolls Online
venture into Black Marsh is still many months away, I thought I would take a moment to talk about the Argonians. But as intriguing as the Lusty Argonian Maid might be, I will save that discussion for another article and less kid-friendly website. (Side note: Wouldn’t it be hilarious if part of the Mirkmire DLC was finding out the origin of the Lusty Argonian Maid?)
What I would actually like to discuss today is the center of the Argonian religion and mythology: The Hist. It’s hard to tell sometimes if the Hist is an actual god-like presence or if it is mythology built up by the Argonians. Maybe it’s both. So if you’re ready for a drug-induced trip into the core of Argonian culture, keep reading. But if you’re not ready for what has to be the weirdest trip into Elder Scrolls lore, you might want to turn back now.
The Elder Scrolls Online
is really upping its creepy factor in Wolfhunter, if its latest preview of Hircine’s Hunting Grounds
is any indication. (Seriously, the new pics of the monstrously huge and ghostly Hircine are nightmarish. In a good way.) ZeniMax has deep-dived one of the DLC’s “dungeons,” March of Sacrifices
, in a new dev blog today, and “dungeon” is in quotes specifically because this is no typical underground delve. Instead, March of Sacrifices is basically an overland realm dedicated to Hircine. Players will be competing with other teams in the zone to topple both the creatures there as well as each other to win the daedra’s favor and collect the requisite loot. Five bosses are also on the agenda for a takedown.
“As Hircine is the Daedric Prince of hunters and stalkers in the wild, the biggest element players will want to get used to in this dungeon is using stealth and taking on the role of a hunter,” ESO Dungeon Lead Mike Finnigan explains. “Some fights will require the use of mechanics not necessarily seen before. In particular, Tarcyr is quite different than anything we have done, and I suspect it will challenge players quite a bit.”
Wolfhunter was announced at E3 back in June and entered playtesting a little over a week ago.
We only get a small peek at the character of Hanu, one of the major NPCs in the upcoming Wolfhunter DLC for The Elder Scrolls Online
. But what we see is immediately the essence of a power move with a young woman who asks how to visit Hircine’s Hunting Grounds while remaining alive
, rather than spending a live devoted to the deity and being sent there as an eternal reward.
Of course, her reasons are less a matter of “it seemed neat to see if I could do this” and more “I intend to rescue the soul of my dead father,” so there’s a good reason for why she wants to do something that by all rights ought to be impossible. But it remains a power move and should give you an idea of the sort of woman you’re dealing with. Not that she’s likely to survive the experience on her own, of course; slipping into the Hunting Grounds via the next Great Hunt is not precisely a safe plan.
We’re barreling down a pretty short road toward Elder Scrolls Online’s
next DLC. As announced just a month ago at E3
, Wolfhunter is indeed a werewolf-themed pack that features two dungeons alongside the goodies of update 19, including a semi-symmetrical battleground map called Istirus Outpost, keep recall stones in alliance PvP, an improved respec system, and better werewolf skills.
As of this week, the Wolfhunter DLC and the concomitant update 19 have landed on the public test server, meaning you can get in there and check everything out. Worth noting is that the champion point cap is lifting, there are indeed some class tweaks as promised, and there are two new houses coming:
Hunter’s Glade: An underground entrance way leads through a portal to an expansive forested glade in Hircine’s Oblivion realm of The Hunting Grounds. Those “blessed” with lycanthropy can maintain werewolf form indefinitely in this otherworldly wilderness.
Grand Psijic Villa: When Artaeum was “removed” from Tamriel, a few neighboring isles went with it, including the site of the Grand Psijic Villa, a monumental estate with magnificent views of the south coast of the main island.
Do you want to play The Elder Scrolls Online
for free this weekend? Too bad. You can’t. But you can play next week! Yes, ZeniMax has announced that it’s running one of its infamous ESO Plus Bonus Events
starting on Tuesday, July 10, and running through the following Monday. Existing subbers, there’s something in it for you too: If you log in during the hoopla, you’ll pick up six free lockboxes.
“To take part in the ESO Plus Bonus Event, log into the game with an active paid ESO Plus membership (the free trial does not count, sorry) each day from July 10 until July 15. Note that in order to qualify, each unique login must occur within a 24-hour time period that starts at 10:00AM EDT and ends at 10:00AM EDT the next day. If you remain logged in over a two-day period, it will only count as a single entry. You must log completely out of the game and back in – only logging out to the character select screen will not work. The free Crown Crates will be delivered to your account by Friday, July 20. Check your Crown Crates menu!”
If you take advantage of the free-play period, know that you’ll be able to check out basically all of the DLC and Morrowind (but not Summerset). You’re getting all of the perks associated with subbing with the exception of the monthly stipend, so that means the experience bonus, costume dyeing, double bank, and so on.
ZeniMax is back to work today and hyping up Elder Scrolls Online’s
next DLC. Announced at E3, the Wolfhunter pack
will roll out two new dungeons, both with the werewolf theme. The first, March of Sacrifices, sounds like a “Hounds of Zaroff
” type of encounter as players will be trying to take down Indrik to please Hircine himself. The second will send players into Moon Hunter Keep to topple the ancient werewolf Vykosa “before she threatens all of Tamriel.”
But of course, as ZeniMax notes, Wolfhunter isn’t the only thing players have to look forward to. In fact, even if werewolves and dungeon romps aren’t your thing, there’s a bunch of stuff coming in the simultaneous release of update 19 that is all free. There’s a brand-new semi-symmetrical battleground map called Istirus Outpost, the addition of keep recall stones to alliance PvP, an improved respec system, better werewolf skills, and unspecified class changes too.
Lycanthropy has been a part of the Elder Scrolls lore since Daggerfall
, even if it did kind of skip Oblivion
. Elder Scrolls Online
introduces lycanthropy as its own skill line with both passive and active skills. It was this fun skill line that helped me want to jump back into the game a couple of years ago. It’s not the most useful skill tree in the game, and it certainly isn’t as good as Vampirism when it comes to PvP, but I found it to be a lot of fun and would recommend it to players looking to explore some of the lore and interesting mechanics of ESO
In the next DLC for ESO, players take to opposite stance and actually hunt werewolves with the Order of the Silver Dawn. Although we don’t have many details about this next DLC, we know that one of the dungeons take place in the Order’s headquarters as its infested with werewolves, and the other takes place in Hircine’s Hunting Grounds.
This Friday at 6 p.m. EDT, Dungeon Lead Mike Finnigan and Writer-Designer Tori Dougherty will give us a more in-depth look at these two dungeons, but before that, we should probably learn all we can about werewolves in ESO. That’s why I’ve broken down how to become a werewolf in ESO and where they come from according to the Elder Scrolls.
Funcom’s fortunes continue to rise thanks to Conan Exiles: The company announced today that it’s “both the best-selling and fastest-selling game” in its history, passing up 2008’s Age of Conan, which sold 1.4 million units in its first three years. Conan Exiles has busted past that record in under half that time since launching early access in 2017.
There’s good news to look forward to, too, as the devs are working on a freebie patch, and the game is picking up new DLC called Jewel of the West in “early August,” which you’ll note isn’t all that far away.
“The downloadable content introduces new Aquilonia-themed building pieces, weapons, armor, furniture, and more. In Conan lore, Aquilonia is the center of the civilized world and its clothing and architecture is inspired by that of the real-world Romans.”
The free content will include pets and taming, “allowing players to find and tame anything from camels to panthers and even spiders and then use them to guard their base, carry resources, and more.”
Enjoy the new trailer along with the satisfaction of knowing Conan is doing great!
Conan Exiles just released its first paid DLC, and the content is all cosmetic. And you know Massively OP’s MJ can’t pass up good cosmetics! This pack is Khitan-themed, a style MJ is pretty fond of, so she’s excited to check out the new armors and building materials. Tune in live at 2:00 p.m. to see what’s in store from the store.
What: Conan Exiles
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 2:00 p.m. EDT on Thursday, June 28th, 2018
A new era for Conan Exiles is upon us, the era of paid DLC. It is a vital step in the long-term sustainability of this survival sandbox, which is why Funcom is putting a lot of enthusiasm behind its new Imperial East Pack.
The DLC is now available for $10 and contains three new armor sets, nine Khitan-themed weapons, 25 additional placeables, five decorative warpaints, and a new set of tier 3 building pieces. “Our artists have knocked it out of the park with this one,” Funcom exclaimed.
The studio also said that work continues on both pets and additional combos for off-hand weapons. Threat animations, a redesigned clan menu, muting functions, and more are being tested out right now.
Conan Exiles is currently 40% off (at $24) during Steam’s summer sale.
Fallout 76 wasn’t the only Interplay throwback at E3 2018: Descent, one of the games that defined the six degrees of freedom genre, is no longer underground. That is, the former title has changed because Interplay’s embraced the game and given the developers full support.
Descendent Studios team is hard at work on launch, Little Orbit CEO Matt Scott met with us to discuss what’s been going on in the past several years of development. Nostalgia aside, I went in expecting the worst: long-abandoned IP, Kickstarted game, indie team, extended public development, and fairly quiet presence on social media. However, I came out very pleased. While the game may not be an MMORPG, what I saw and heard makes me think that this may be the space experience I’ve been waiting for.
Apparently, GDC was good to Funcom, The Bearded Ladies, and Mutant: Year Zero. The teams had originally thought to skip E3 this year, but after the reveal led to even one developer’s mail attendant in Sweden fanning out a bit, it became clear that an appearance at the Expo might be in order (and to maybe not wear developer t-shirts in public).
The Bearded Ladies developers said that they’ve received nothing but positive comments so far, and I can’t say I’ve been able to give them more critical feedback either. Part of that is because my tactical RPG experience is limited to super casual Fire Emblem outings that never end with my finishing the game. Admittedly, I also didn’t have a ton of questions to bring with me this time because the guys were just so open at GDC. It’s probably for the best, though, as I was finally able to get my hands on the game. Spoiler alert: Not only did I fail my mission, but so did almost everyone else!
At this year’s E3, Ubisoft creative director Julian Gerighty said team behind The Division 2 tried to learn “everything” from The Division to help make the sequel better. As he reminded me, the original game’s final DLC was especially meaty in terms of PvE content and PvP balance, but it’s the first impressions of the game that mattered most: The initial Dark Zone iteration is still what gamers remember best, and that’s not necessarily a compliment. I myself was not impressed with the original demo back in 2015.
But based on my preview of The Division 2 at this year’s E3, I can say that Gerighty’s team obviously learned quite a bit – and absolutely improved on the original.