With the newest expansion to the Elder Scrolls Online you are granted the distinct opportunity to visit Tamriel’s largest cat café and it does not disappoint. For those who are unfamiliar, Elsweyr is the home of the Kahjiit, a playable beast race from all Elder Scrolls games to date. My starting point for this adventure was the Anchor’s Aweigh Inn over in Summerset where I wayshrined in. However, before I get into that, I want to note that the inn has a new innkeeper. I was not made aware of this before now and I’m very upset that the old one has been replaced. I will be filing a support ticket.
If you travel to Elsweyr the way I did, then you will first land at the Rimmen wayshine which gives you plenty to do. You can meet with NPCs that will give you specific tasks, some which are group oriented and others that are solo. Dragon hunting, for example, would be classed as a group activity so make sure you bring a few friends with you. As I trudged along I started to realize that Elsweyr’s main quest was nowhere near Rimmen, though there were some interesting things going on here; Abnur Tharn’s half sister for example had taken up residence here and was named the ‘Usurper Queen,’ a presence that the local Khaiiit are less than happy about. Once I figured out what I was supposed to be doing, I mounted my trusty steed and rode to Riverhold, a town sitting just on the border of Elsweyr and Cyrodiil. After talking to a few NPC’s, I was finally able to get on my way, and that’s when it became interesting.
A Rage of Dragons – Getting Started in ESO’s Elsweyr
There are two things of note going on at the start of Elsweyr’s main quest, the first being that Abnur Tharn is here to spread good cheer, and secondly, Sir Cadwell is back. Those who played through the original ESO campaign will remember well that Sir Cadwell was a permanent resident of Coldharbour and likely one of the few people who enjoyed being here. In Elsweyr one of your first tasks is to investigate an energy surge which turns out to be residual energy from the portal Cadwell used to bring himself over to Elsweyr. A bit further into the campaign and you will quickly find out that Abnur Tharn may be the one who released the dragons in the first place. While the main quest starts off like any other, you will quickly find that there are some sinister forces at work, and that dragons truly rule the skies of Elsywr.
Necromancers – A New Class for ESO
While necromancers have been a part of the Elder Scrolls universe for decades already this is the first time they are playable in Elder Scrolls Online. Necromancers bring a lot of things to the table including new abilities but they also bring a deeper level of roleplay in that most of their abilities are illegal. That’s right, if you roll a necromancer then you will not be able to use your abilities in town as you will be immediately branded criminal. Dragon attack? Bandits? Doesn’t matter, all can use is what you have equipped in your hand. In some ways it’s going to be irritating for a lot of players but on the other hand it makes you really feel your character and helps you to delve into the Elder Scrolls world. I’d also like to mention that if you choose a Necromancer for the Elsweyr chapter you will gain unique dialogue options, especially around those that are practicing necromancy themselves. The class brings with it three skill lines:
- Grave Lord
- Bone Tyrant
- Living Death
Each of these host their own abilities all of which are quite illegal. As expected, a necromancer is able to utilize the bodies of the dead and summon creatures of their own to use in battle as they wish. Use your new abilities with caution, or not, depending on what kind of roleplay experience you want to have.
Enough Content for Everyone
Elsweyr has a ton of content for everyone to enjoy, from sweeping landscapes, to delves, and lore scattered across the countryside. If you really want to get the most out of it, you’ll have to stop and listen to the NPC’s, see what they have to you and to one another. A great example would be a side quest I picked up that involved you retrieving a fearsome beast for a Khajiit entertainer which turned out to be a dog. An ordinary dog, nothing inherently special about it. That’s right, cats are afraid of dogs, so all is normal in Elsweyr.
Along with beautiful and deep lore, you will find plenty of dungeons to lead your guild into. The 12-player raid, the Sunspire for example should be more than enough to keep you busy for many months to come, but the epic story that accompanies the expansion is part of a year long quest called ‘The Season of the Dragon’. It started with the Wrathstone DLC dungeon pack which then ran into Elsweyr and beyond. This marks the first time ESO has undertaken such an endeavor and will continue to keep players occupied throughout the next year with DLC, dungeons, and brand-new storylines. This is very much akin to Guild Wars 2’s Living World content and I for one hope to see a lot more of this in the days to come.
The game plays very much like the ESO we’re used to with the addition of the Necromancer class. While being limited in how/when you can use your class abilities can be frustrating, you can still have a lot of fun and it forces you to think before you attack.
Learning Curve: 8/10
As with any new class you’re going to have some issues learning the Necromancer and learning to fight dragons but overall, it’s the same Elder Scrolls Online that you’re used to.
Graphics / Sound: 8/10
To me the new expansion had a sort of Middle Eastern vibe mixed with a bit of the Australian outback which separates it greatly from other expansions that try to simply mimic one type of culture. For example we had Vikings in Skyrim, and a representation of Britannia in Cyrodiil . This is a fresh take and it really feels like a new place.
In my opinion you’re buying more than just an expansion pack here; you’re buying a pass to a year-long adventure that you’ll remember for a long time to come. Not to mention, dragons. Who doesn’t like dragons?
+12 Player Raid Instance
-The main quest isn’t obvious if you wayshrine in the first time
-You’ll die a lot if you forget Necromancer abilities are illegal
Related: Bethesda, Elsweyr, Expansion, MMORPG, Review, The Elder Scrolls Online, Zenimax