The Elder Scrolls Online is set to release its latest update with the new chapter of Summerset this June. With the content available on the public test server for some players, I got a first look at this expansion.
The Summerset chapter is similar to last year’s Morrowind release in that it requires a separate purchase by all players. When making your decision to visit Summerset, you can choose from the standard or collector’s edition options. They both include jewelry crafting, the Psijic Order skill line, the Court of Bedlam Costume, a salamander pet, treasure maps, a loot crate, and a crown experience scroll.
If you choose the collector’s edition, you also start with the Bloodshadow Wraith steed, a fearsome-looking mount. If you like black and red themes in your costumes and outfits, this horse will set those off nicely. The fledgling gryphon pet is cute and is one I plan to use periodically. The rest of the offerings for the collector’s edition were underwhelming for me (I bought it for the horse), but those include a memento, new outfit style, and three personalities.
For players that enjoy the visuals associated with their character, the collector’s edition may have something you’ll like. Otherwise, the standard edition will let you play all of the functional new content.
Overview of Summerset
So, what is there to do in Summerset if you do purchase it? First of all, it adds some beautiful scenery, which is one of the reasons why I have been playing Elder Scrolls games for many years. Summerset is the home of the high elves, and the artistic designers didn’t hold back in creating a stylish and colorful homeland for them. Wander, explore and take it all in. It’s all gorgeous here!
It’s easy to get to Summerset. The simplest way seems to be to use the wayshrine network to travel to Shimmerene. On the world map, Summerset is to the southwest of Auridon, and you’ll have only one wayshrine option to choose from. If you are a new player, you’ll start out in Summerset, so you don’t have to worry about finding your way there.
Once you arrive, like in any Elder Scrolls game, you’ll find tons of people who need your help. If you decide to start the main quest, look for Calibar near the large tree beside the wayshrine. For those interested in the Psijic Order quests, you’ll also need to complete the first part of The Queen’s Decree to meet the necessary people and travel to Artaeum.
To work on your jewelry crafting, you can search out one of the new crafting stations and explore on your own, or head to Alinor and look for Felarian outside the crafting district for some guidance. If you run through the quests with Felarian, you will unlock the jewelry crafting writs for added experience. Note that jewelry items in your inventory prior to the Summerset release cannot be used for deconstruction or research, but they can be improved.
One difference between jewelry crafting and all the other types is that you will need to farm raw materials and deconstruct them for everything, not just creation of a new item. Improvement of a piece of jewelry requires platings that are deconstructed from grains. Adding a trait to a ring or necklace uses another type of metal such as cobalt, which you will have to create by deconstructing ten pieces of pulverized cobalt.
I love that players can finally work on their own jewelry as an alternative to grinding veteran dungeons for that exact piece to complete your build. The system will be easy for any experienced crafters to navigate, and the options for spending skill points in jewelry crafting are in line with all the other crafting disciplines. Players who don’t purchase Summerset will not be able to do any of the crafting, but can use items crafted or improved by other players.
Join the Psijic Order
Travelers to Summerset who start the main quest will soon meet Valsirenn, a member of the mysterious and reclusive Psijic Order. She is grateful for your assistance and asks you to accompany her to the island of Artaeum. After you complete the first quest in the main story, The Queen’s Decree, you can speak with Loremaster Celarus in Ceporah Tower in Artaeum.
The Loremaster asks you to help the Order by sealing several irregularities in the fabric of time. These are located throughout Summerset, and he sends you to his apprentice, Josajeh, for the tools you will need. Of course, it isn’t that simple because Josajeh tells you that one of the tools, a sassy talking skull called the Augur of the Obscure, has run off. Find the skull, then start finding the time breaches. You’ll have a map, but it isn’t always helpful.
The Psijic quest line involves running (and riding) around all of Tamriel. Each set of time breaches that you need to seal is in a different area, so experienced players with a lot of wayshrines unlocked will have a much easier time at this. Once you’ve found all of those in Summerset, you’ll unlock the Psijic skill line. This includes an ultimate, several regular skills, and several passives.
I have played through probably half of the Psijic quests so far, and I am enjoying them, but I could see that they may not appeal to all players. Some of the time breaches are easy to find, while others are more challenging. Your skull friend will become chatty when you near a breach, and sometimes he gives you a clue.
Like in other parts of Tamriel, Summerset features a ton of quests, delves and public dungeons, unique crafted sets, skyshards, and some new housing options. One new feature is the Abyssal Geysers, which effectively take the place of the anchors from Coldharbour found in other locales. These drop a chest on completion, and could probably be soloed by an experienced player. Apparently the quality of the loot is determined by how well you, or a group of players, do against the mobs.
One of the best aspects of the entire Summerset zone is how the game developers have employed more vertical content. You can expect to climb more, explore underground, and also travel through some more creative delves than in previous areas.
For players who use two-handed weapons, the Summerset update will let these count as two items for the purpose of a set. I tried this out, being a dual staff sorcerer. Whichever weapon is currently in your hand gets this attribute, so plan accordingly.
New Homes in Summerset
Two new houses and a small apartment will be available in Summerset. The Alinor Crest Townhouse is a Classic Home and can be found in Shimmerene. Unfurnished, this one will cost you 1,025,000 gold, but you’ll also need to complete the Summerset Grand Adventurer achievement before unlocking it. The townhouse features three levels, including a dining hall, small office, and several parlor areas to entertain your guests. The second-floor bedroom sleeps two, with a grand terrace accessible for parties. Your master bedroom encompasses a third-floor loft and, if furnished, exemplifies grand Altmer style.
The Colossal Aldmeri Grotto is a Notable Home, but no pricing information is available yet. This house is located on the coast, north of Alinor. The Grotto is not so much a home, as a series of maritime-inspired rooms set in your own sailing ship, or perched among the cliffs near two spectacular waterfalls. The ship contains two well-appointed bedrooms and an office. Climb the stairs to reach a terrace that overlooks the bay, a sheltered alcove that would make a great crafting nook, and another bedroom built within a wrecked ship.
Once you have moved into your new home, shop for unique furniture items at the Psijic Trader on Artaeum. These pieces will require attaining a certain Psijic Order rank, as well as unlocked jewelry crafting skills. You’ll also need some new materials – ochre and vitrified malondo.
Overview of Summerset
I love ESO and I’ve already purchased this expansion so I’m not exactly an impartial player here. I’ve always been a fan of the high elves and the bright and artistic styles found in their lands. For me, the best parts about Summerset so far are the stunning scenery, new areas to explore, and the Psijic Order skills. I’m not sure that I’ll ultimately add that many of them to my build, but I like to have options. The main quest is exciting, but I can’t tell you much more about it yet, so you’ll have to wait to explore that on your own.
What didn’t I like about this new chapter? I worry that it’s going to be a bit of a grind to master jewelry crafting. The raw materials were not plentiful from what I’ve seen so far. I could also see how the Psijic Order quests may not appeal to some players. I would have liked to see a new dungeon, and I’m not overwhelmed by the new equipment sets. That’s all I can think of though. Overall, I still love this game, and I plan to get a group together to try out the Cloudrest Trial in the coming weeks.
The Summerset Chapter will be available to explore on May 21 for PC and June 5 for consoles.Related: Bethesda, MMORPG, Preview, Summerset, The Elder Scrolls Online, Zenimax