Elder Scrolls Online (Tamriel Unlimited) released it's first large patch of downloadable content a few weeks ago. How does it measure up to the older content? And more importantly, is it worth spending the money to purchase? The answer is that it really depends on what type of player you are. Read on for a look at the Imperial City's main features.
Shop Before You Go
With the release of this downloadable content, you will find new items for sale in the Crown Store. Before you leave for the Imperial City, pick out a new mount with the Mind-Shriven Horse or one of the new Soul-Shriven costumes.
Accessing the Imperial City
In order to get to the Imperial City, you will need to reach at least level 10. To be effective in this area, you should be significantly higher in level than that. The access to the Imperial City is through the PvP region of Cyrodiil. Use the wayshrines to travel to your alliance's access to Cyrodiil and look for Captain Mulamurr to start the Imperial City quests.
The Khajiti captain will fill you in on how the Daedra have overrun the sewers beneath the Imperial City. The unique aspect of the new content is that outside of your base where you first enter the sewers, all of the Imperial City is full of both NPC enemies and hostile players from the other alliances.
Use the Transitus system to teleport to the fortification closest to one of the three entrances to the sewers. From there, hop on your fastest horse (or other mount) and ride toward your goal. The map shows these entrances clearly.
Make sure that you sneak once you are nearly at the entrance. Enemy players may be waiting to pick you off outside the sewer entrance. Creep around to the door and enter to start your adventure. If your alliance isn't doing very well in Cyrodiil this can be a frustrating experience. I was picked off a few times by other players when I was almost to the sewers.
You Made It In!
Once you are in your alliance's base within the sewers, you'll discover that it is a home away from home. You can find a bank, crafting stations, and merchants. The best way to proceed from here is to join a group. One caveat with playing in the new area is that it requires you to be in a group. You won't get far by trying to solo it here. Even within a group, I had to abandon a new build that I had been working on to go back to my standard staff-wielding sorcerer.
Within the areas here, you will be leveled up to Vet-16, the new level cap. However, if you don't have the equipment and skills that come with reaching that level, you will still be at a disadvantage. As a Vet-2 player, I was able to keep up fairly well once I changed back to my previous build.
What Are the Quests?
When you enter the Imperial Sewers, you will be directed to speak to the Drake of Blades, a Dragonguard warrior with mysterious motives. I thought she would be tough to find, but she's just lounging around nearby.
There are two main areas to explore in the Imperial City: the sewers and the city. The sewers appear to be more popular with frequent groups running through this area. Whichever route you pick, be ready for Daedra, Daedra, Daedra! Both areas are easy to find from your alliance's base.
In the sewers, you progress through a series of underground rooms, killing mobs of Daedra and a few bosses. I found a skyshard only a few rooms in, so keep your eyes open. While the first few rooms of the sewers aren't too tough, once you reach a main room, you will definitely need the group. More skyshards await those who explore further.
If you have a decently-sized group, you can descend to the lower level of the sewers to try to reach a central chamber. This becomes progressively harder, and as you near the center, you have to worry more about the PvP. Players from other alliances will hide and pick off players from the back of a group.
Above ground, the quests progress through each of six sections of the Imperial City. The same rules apply here - don't go alone, and be ready for Daedra. I had a harder time finding groups for these areas. Start in the Arboretum and progress through all six sections above ground.
Rewards and Loot
With all of this new content, you have to wonder if the rewards are worth the cash. I have to say that for myself, a casual player with a Vet-2 level character, it really isn't. I have plenty of areas left to explore in the basic game. Most of the new rewards in the Imperial City are geared toward the higher levels (Vet-16). I'm also more of a PvE player than someone who really enjoys the PvP aspects (at least in ESO).
If you happen to be a higher level player, the Imperial City offers new Vet-16 level gear that can be purchased with Tel Var stones, a new form of currency earned in this area. Additional armor and weapons are available for the lower Veteran levels.
Tel Var stones are gradually accumulated when you kill Daedra in the Imperial City. The interesting aspect of this new currency is that you can lose the Tel Var stones to an enemy player if you are killed in a PvP fight. If you defeat another player, you gain his/her stones. Make sure to store your Tel Var stones in the bank whenever you have a chance. However, if you're confident enough, holding on to them will give you bonuses to earn them faster.
You will also find a few special items such as bloody claws, dark ether, or armor shards. Once you stockpile enough of these, you can open one of several treasure vaults located at hidden points within the city.
The Imperial City features two PvE dungeons: the White-Gold Tower and the Imperial City Prison. They can be completed in both a normal and veteran version, and I'll report in on these in another article.