summerset

Elder Scrolls Online shares the making of the mighty gryphon

Fun fact: Elder Scrolls Online’s gryphon is only found one place in the game, and that’s on its brand-new island of Summerset. Players who encounter one of these rare creatures should probably observe them at a safe distance, because Buckbeaks these are not.

ZeniMax said that it wanted to give its version of the gryphon a place of honor, as its artists weren’t happy with how the creatures are usually portrayed in fantasy.

“Instead of approaching gryphons as a literal combination of two creatures, I started from scratch, envisioning a winged, four-legged predator, evolved for flight, and with traits you’d also happen to find in big cats and birds of prey,” said Concept Artist Lucas Slominski. This even meant using inspiration from featured dinosaurs — how cool is that?

The devs said that because the gryphon also has flight, it needed twice as many animations than most air- or land-bound creatures.

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Elder Scrolls Online: Summerset added a new hour of music and 7,224 lines of dialogue

You might be finding yourself enchanted with Elder Scrolls Online: Summerset’s pretty visuals, but what about the delight that your ears are sampling?

ZeniMax gave props to its audio team that handled the music, voices, and sounds of the recent expansion, saying that its work was “designed to wholly immerse you in the home of the High Elves.” Zeroing in on Summerset’s magical ambience was of key importance for the group, with the music leaning on wind instruments to distinguish itself from the other releases.

And don’t forget the extensive dialogue! “We have 7,224 lines of unique dialog in Summerset,” says Voice-Over Supervisor Becky Ichnoski. “For this chapter specifically, we spent a total of 108 hours in the studios recording, making up 37 individual sessions with a total of 35 different voice actors.”

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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: Summerset’s 12-player trial includes choices and divisions

Just because Summerset looks like a vacation paradise doesn’t mean that it’s free from worries and troubles. For starters, the city of Cloudrest is under siege and its flying knight protectors are missing. That’s when players will jump into Elder Scrolls Online’s newest 12-person trial to see if they can free the town from a sinister force trying to control it.

This past weekend, ZeniMax talked about the latest raid coming to the game with this month’s expansion. Cloudrest includes a lot of choices, such as allowing teams to choose which order to fight the sub-bosses and main boss (a choice, the studio said, which will have ramifications in the storyline). Additionally, players will have to split up in boss fights between the regular and shadow realities and fight the enemy in both simultaneously.

“We’ve received a lot of feedback from our players that they really love bosses like the Maw of Lorkhaj’s Rakkhat, where some players in your group have compartmentalized roles,” said Dungeon Lead Mike Finnigan. “With Cloudrest, we wanted to take that idea and expand it to give everybody in the group unique roles that they need to perform in order to succeed.”

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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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Betawatch: Defiance 2050’s closed beta, ESO’s Summerset on the PTS (April 20, 2018)

Beta testing for Elder Scrolls Online’s Summerset expansion – as well as the free update 18 that’ll launch alongside it – began this week as the chapter rolled out to the PTS, with plenty of glimpses at new housing and wearables on the way. What else is new in MMORPG testing this week?

Did we miss anything? Drop us a note in the comments, then check out our traditional list of all the bits and bobs currently malingering trucking along in some form of testing.

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Elder Scrolls Online begins testing Summerset; here’s a look at the chapter’s houses and buyables

As all eyes in Elder Scrolls Online turn to the future expansion heading to the game next month, testing has begun in earnest on Summerset. Version 4.0 of the MMO is now on the test servers, and the team is focusing on the starting area, the jewelry system, and the Psijic Order skill line.

Consider this permission to gorge yourself on information. Not only are the patch notes available for this build, but players have datamined several of the crown store microtransactions that are heading into the game. Once you’re done with that, learn where this expansion came from and check out two of our hands-on experiences playing it.

Finally whether you’re testing it out or not, you can get an early look at Summerset’s new crown store offerings, motifs, and housing options after the break!

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Tamriel Infinium: Understanding Elder Scrolls Online’s Mephala and speculating on Summerset

Let me teach you how to understand Mephala the Webspinner. Maybe that’s misleading; she’s a Deadric Prince, and who can really understand the motivations of a god, especially one as complicated as Mephala? That’s also what is really wonderful about the characters in Elder Scrolls Online: They never seem to be all good or all bad. There always appears to be some sort of nuance about them that requires explanation.

If you buy the physical Collector’s for Summerset, you will get a 12-inch statue of Mephala, which might be the first collector’s edition of ESO that I buy, and it’s because of that statue. During the introductory livestream for Summerset, Creative Director Rich Lambert simply said that “she plays a role” in the upcoming expansion but didn’t really go any further than that. But if she’s like any of the other featured Daedric Princes, she’s likely one of the formidable enemies – maybe the main enemy – for the chapter. But if the story falls in line with Mephala’s character up to this point, it’s likely that the story is more complicated than her being the villain for Summerset.

First, we should talk about Mephala’s history in the franchise, but then I have a fun theory that I’d like to share.

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PAX East 2018: Hands-on with The Elder Scrolls Online’s Summerset

One of the fun parts of this job – or one of the odd parts, depending on how you prioritize things – is how you can agree with absolutely every point someone else is making while having an exactly opposite reaction. You may recall that Andrew tried out the build of The Elder Scrolls Online: Summerset and walked away with a shrug, which to a certain portion of the ESO fanbase is apparently a vile insult (demos are serious business). I guess if your reaction isn’t fawning adulation of ESO, you hate the game, or something. I’ve never gotten that one myself.

At any rate, the fact is that I agree with Andrew on this point. I even agree with his overall conclusion. But my walk-away conclusion is altogether different; I found myself impressed with what the game was doing and thinking that this was going to be a pretty good expansion. It might not have anything as show-stoppingly novel as the Warden, but you can’t give every single expansion a bear-based class, I assume. (There has to be some reason.)

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GDC 2018: Hands-on with Elder Scrolls Online’s Summerset and a chat with ZeniMax’s Rich Lambert

Elder Scrolls Online: Summerset was announced during GDC 2018, which may or may not have surprised you, depending on how many spoilers you’d already seen. As I still haven’t gotten back into ESO, I didn’t mind the spoilers; I knew I was going to talk to the game’s Creative Director, Rich Lambert, so I’d need to be prepared. After consulting a bit with Larry and discussing how hard to push the anti-elf agenda, I was released into the wild… but had that information gagged until today.

Perhaps that was for good reason, though, as not only did I get some hands-on time with Summerset, but ZeniMax provided us with capture cards so we could show you what we saw and did. It’s very much an early look. Yes, there are elves, but also mind traps and a new tutorial for those just entering Tamriel. It’s just hard to say much more, though, since the demo felt like it was aimed more at press/streamers completely unfamiliar with ESO. Don’t worry, lorehounds, I know enough to help you avoid spoilers (so maybe avoid the first 10 minutes of the video).

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Massively OP Podcast Episode 163: Expansions ‘Я’ Us

On this week’s show, Bree and Justin recover from an avalanche of expansion news, including announcements from Elder Scrolls Online and Star Trek Online. Also, did you hear that Bless Online is coming this May? Oh, they did, and they have many words to say on the matter!

It’s the Massively OP Podcast, an action-packed hour of news, tales, opinions, and gamer emails! And remember, if you’d like to send in your own letter to the show, use the “Tips” button in the top-right corner of the site to do so.

Listen to the show right now:

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The Elder Scrolls Online announces Summerset chapter for May 21 for PC and June 5 for console

Maybe you saw it coming, maybe not, but it’s official now as it’s just been announced on the stream: The Elder Scrolls Online’s next expansion/chapter is Summerset, home of the high elves, the first time the franchise has been back to that area since Arena in 1994. Mark June 5th in your calendars, as it’ll release then on all platforms – yes, PC and console simultaneous release. [This appears to have been an error in the press release; the website lists May 21st for PC and June 5th for console.] We’re getting not just Summerset Isle but a new storyline, a new faction, a new skill line, a new crafting skill, and multiple new group dungeons.

“By the decree of Queen Ayrenn, Summerset Isle is now open to foreigners, but a Daedric threat looms over the breathtaking home of the High Elves. Players will travel to the Summerset Isle, gather allies, and unravel a shadowy conspiracy that threatens all of Tamriel. ESO: Summerset is packed with exciting new features and challenges, including:
* A New Zone: Summerset Isle, a uniquely beautiful land that’s an even larger addition than last year’s massive Vvardenfell from ESO: Morrowind
* An Epic Main Story: More of ESO’s award-winning story concludes the Daedric drama that began in 2015’ Orsinium DLC
* The Psijic Order: For the first time in an Elder Scrolls game, join the mysterious Psijic Order and explore their secretive home city of Artaeum
* New Skill Line: Master the magic of the mages of the Psijic Order to gain a new combat skill line and wield powers over time itself
* Jewelry Crafting: ESO’s latest crafting skill allows players to” create powerful gear for their characters
* New Group PvE Challenges: Players can band together to face the challenges of Cloudrest, a new 12-player Trial, new Delves and Bosses, and other content including the Abyssal Geysers.”

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