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Elder Scrolls Online hosts free play weekend, hands out freebies, and outlines PvP updates

Have any grand plans for this weekend? If you have nothing better to do, why not take a trip to Tamriel and enjoy some free goodies from ZeniMax.

Starting on Thursday and continuing through the following Wednesday, anyone can play Elder Scrolls Online’s core game and Vvardenfell for free on console or PC. It’s a nice way to experience Morrowind if you haven’t purchased that yet.

Additionally, you can pick up a free Flame Atronach wolf pet and five Ouroboros crown crates by watching Elder Scrolls Online’s QuakeCon 2018 keynote address this Friday at noon eastern on Twitch or YouTube. The dev team is going to be talking about “all-new information” regarding the Wolfhunter and Murkmire DLC packs, so you might learn something too.

ZeniMax also has a new blog piece out today on PvP changes coming in update 19 to all players, regardless of whether they grab the new DLC next week. It’s worth a peek for its overview of the Istirus Outpost battleground, the new keep recall stones, new keep decay rules, and new PvP cosmetics.

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Tamriel Infinium: Becoming a Wolfhunter with the Elder Scrolls Online devs

While I have been an MMORPG fan for a very long time, I was also a comicbook fan long before the MCU was a thing. X-Men was my comic of choice. There had to be about a dozen different X-Men titles at one point or another, and many times the characters in those different storylines would cross titles. In fact, a worldwide favorite character like Wolverine could appear in a half-dozen titles in the same month, and that always confused me. How could one person appear in so many places at once? Now, I understand that there was some fudging with the timeline, and it really wasn’t all at once. But he was involved in so many different adventures and troubles that he became the only connecting thread between some of them.

If viewed from a certain perspective, it could be assumed that Wolverine was the cause of trouble that he ran into. Trouble seems to follow him like murder followed Jessica Fletcher. This is the way I’m starting to feel about my character in Elder Scrolls Online. Everywhere he goes, trouble and death seem to follow. In fact, with as many people who have died around my character in ESO, I’m surprised that there is anyone left on the continent of Tamriel at all.

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Perfect Ten: The best expansions for specific MMOs

Looking over the past two decades or so, MMORPGs have grown by leaps and bounds with regular releases, events, and (of course) expansion packs. Hundreds of expansions have now flooded the scene, with some of the longest-running titles seeing upwards of two dozen or more.

That got me thinking: Which expansion was the best? Not overall, I mean, but the best for each game that it serviced? Every MMO player harbors strong feelings about which was the best expansion for the titles they enjoy, and I have read many articles in which expansions were ranked, reviewed, and debated.

For this week’s Perfect Ten, we’ll be trying to put a finger on the best expansion for 10 specific MMOs. I’ve taken the additional step of polling the Massively OP staff to give me input on MMOs that they have played extensively over the years. So what’s the best? Let’s find out!

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Tamriel Infinium: The bizarre lore of the Hist in Elder Scrolls Online – and how it could matter in Mirkmire

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.

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The Elder Scrolls Online is planning a freeplay event next week plus free lockboxes for subbers

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.

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Tamriel Infinium: Unpacking the Elder Scrolls Online presentation at E3

Elder Scrolls Online is obviously a huge draw for MMORPG players, but it’s far from an exciting title for the vast majority of gamers attending E3, so I was surprised to see Game Director Matt Firor on the stage at all during the Bethesda presentation. It’s not to say that ESO isn’t a great game; it’s just been around awhile, and the hypetrain is hardly running at full speed right now.

During his presentation, Firor mentioned a lot of things worth considering. He had a very short time to not only tell existing fans what was happening in the game this year, but he also had to remind people of how great ESO is right now. Of course, he was hoping to get new players interested in the game. He knew that ESO wasn’t always well-received, but he had to show how far the game has come. Here’s how he did it.

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Get Elder Scrolls Online and Morrowind for 8 bucks, check out the Murkmire DLC teaser from E3

If you somehow missed the Morrowind chapter of the MMORPG we named game of the year in 2018, then this sale is most definitely for you: Green Man Gaming has Elder Scrolls Online’s Morrowind edition on sale right now for $8.10. ZeniMax didn’t ask us to post this, and this is not an affiliate link – just a great sale.

The bundle can be a bit confusing, so let me break it down a bit: The Morrowind pack includes the base game and the Morrowind chapter, but that’s it. It doesn’t come with the extra bonuses from the CE, it doesn’t come with any DLC (like the Thieves Guild), and it doesn’t come with the latest chapter, Summerset. Vanilla plus Morrowind is still a huge amount of content, plus all the classes, so it’d be awesome for gamers who’ve somehow never given it a try. The game does have a subscription, but it’s optional; it unlocks a bunch of perks, cash-shop currency, and non-permanent access to the DLC (but not the chapters, so not Summerset, again). Worth noting is that you can start out as a new toon in Morrowind; you don’t need to grind in the base game first if you won’t want to.

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Tamriel Infinium: With Elder Scrolls Online’s Summerset, more of the same is a good thing

Today is the formal launch day for Summerset! My goal during the PC early access was to finish the main storyline, and I’m happy to say that I did it and some of the side quests as well. And I was also able to do a bit of exploring around the island just to see what was there. As an Elder Scrolls Online fan, I have to say that I’m satisfied with what ZeniMax delivered. If you are a fan of the game and really enjoy what the team has given so far in the game, then you will also like the Summerset chapter.

I strongly believe that ZeniMax over-delivered with Morrowind, so when making a direct comparison between the two different chapters, I will, unfortunately, have to admit that Morrowind was the stronger chapter. But that’s not to say that Summerset was a bad expansion to the game. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. There are some very strong characters, glorious set pieces, and fun Easter eggs.

As I talk about the story of the next chapter, it will be impossible not to talk about spoilers, but I will keep them as light and vague as I can. And I promise that anything that I reveal is not a major plot point. With that in mind, let’s talk about this story!

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Tamriel Infinium: Eight things you need to know before jumping into Elder Scrolls Online’s Summerset

Monday, the Elder Scrolls Online’s Summerset chapter went live for early access accounts. For the first time since 1994, players can visit the island of Summerset. And needless to say, 24 years makes quite a difference in the world of gaming. I’m not going to pretend that I ever played Arena, but think its safe to say that things look a lot different and the mechanics of the game have changed, too.

I don’t think that Summerset is as highly anticipated as Morrowind was, but that’s can be a positive for ZeniMax Online Studios because there is scrutiny when it comes to the lay of the land and the storyline. On the other hand, it means less hype for the expansion.

As an MMORPG enthusiast, I’m excited to see MMOs continuing to grow the way ESO has. And I know that you might not be as familiar with Summerset, so I would like to give you my list of what you should probably look out for when you jump into the next chapter.

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Elder Scrolls Online is giving away a free minipet to Morrowind players

Pssst. Like free stuff? Me too. The Elder Scrolls Online is giving some free stuff away. It’s a free pet called the Dozen-Banded Vvardvark. “Vvardvarks might be the ill-advised result of Telvanni experiments, but they sure do make adorable pets,” ZeniMax quips. It is so ugly it is cute, and it’s a pun.

There’s a catch, of course; you have to own Morrowind to claim the freebie.

“To ensure you receive your free pet, you must log into the game while owning ESO: Morrowind at any point from now until Monday, May 21 at 2:59AM EDT (Sunday May 20 at 11:59PM PDT). If you logged in during the event period, you’ll receive this spiny-tonged little monster by May 29!”

As the studio reminds us, preordering Summerset, which launches in just a few weeks, will automagically unlock Morrowind, so if you were doing that anyway and really like aardvark minipets, now is the time. If you’re still on the fence, make sure you check out our Tamriel Infinium column, where our ESO columnist Larry Everett has been chronicling his hands-on time with the chapter on the PTS.

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Tamriel Infinium: Deep-diving the mechanics of Elder Scrolls Online Summerset’s Psijic Order skill line

Many MMO gamers – including me – are a bit underwhelmed by the next chapter of the Elder Scrolls Online. Although Summerset is not a bad bit of content, I have concerns about the amount of content that is coming with this expansion compared to the last expansion, Morrowind. The island of Summerset is a nice size, probably bigger than Vvardenfell, but there seem to be fewer things to keep people interested for longer than maybe a couple of weeks.

That being said, what it does, it does very well.

I’ve already mentioned in a previous article how gorgeous the island is, especially the extra zone of Artaeum. I was blown away by that. But I didn’t go into depth about Psijic Order skill line. At the time I wrote that article, I really hadn’t had a chance to play around with it. But now I have, and although I can’t say that everything about that skill tree is perfect, there are more than a couple of skills that I will be considering for my live character when the expansion launches.

I’ve broken up the Psijic skill line into three categories: utilities, healing, and passives. Keep reading and I will break it down further. And I would like to caveat before I get into the details, that if I give specific numbers, that those might change before launch, and that my character was Champion Level 750 Sorcerer without any CP spent.

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Elder Scrolls Online’s Razum-dar tours the high and low places of Summerset’s Alinor

When ZeniMax was hyping Elder Scrolls Online’s Morrowind campaign, it utilized the snarky Dunmer assassin Naryu Virian as the narrator for guiding the player through it (and its marketing materials). For Summerset, our host is Khajiit Razum-dar, and he’s the star of today’s ESO video as he wanders the low and high places of Alinor, capital of the Aldmer province of Summerset. If you squint, you can even catch a glimpse of members of several of the factions outlined in the dev blog yesterday.

Razum-dar also knows where to buy the best drinks because of course he does. Enjoy!

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Elder Scrolls Online’s update 18 adds PvP dailies and buffs, tackles PvP latency

Even if you’re not buying Summerset at launch like some kind of crazed loon, you’re still going to want to keep an eye on the free stuff going into The Elder Scrolls Online when the chapter launches. That goes double for PvP players, who will see a load of improvements come Update 18 next month.

For starters, you’re getting new PvP daily quests to cap a set number of keeps, towns, resources, and players, with pretty decent loot that’s normally available only through alliance wars. Catapults, NPCs, and underdog algorithms are also due for an update. How you’re rewarded in Cyrodiil is changing too.

“Now, when you perform an action (fighting, capturing, healing etc.) around an objective, be it a keep, resource, or outpost, you’ll be added to its reward credit list. When the objective ‘ticks’ and distributes Alliance Points and Experience, you’ll receive them regardless of where you are at the time. You’ll no longer need to wait for the tick, and you can freely move around, fight enemy players, or even capture other nearby resources!”

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