Zenimax is delivering once again, this time bringing us the start of a year-long story that kicks off with the Wrathstone DLC: a dungeon pack containing two new dungeons for the Elder Scrolls Online that push us into the upcoming Elsweyr chapter. Named the ‘Season of the Dragon,’ this action packed DLC brings us multiple updates all building on the same story and aiming to keep players captivated for months to come. As with every other ESO update we’re going to see quality of life improvements along with enhancements for PVP, but first the Frostfall dungeon!
Entering Frostfall – ESO’s Coldest Dungeon Yet
During my walkthrough the developers asked me which dungeon I’d like to see and as always, I told them to pick one. Players who want to head north of Cradlecrush will find the Frostfall dungeon which contains lots of new surprises and brand new mechanics. Did you want lasers in your Elder Scrolls Online content? Cause you’re going to get lasers.
In Frostfall you’re going to be helping Tharayya explore a recently discovered Dwemer cult. For those who have been paying attention to the main story, we remember that Tharayya’s husband left her for dead in the base game’s dungeon. As you explore deeper into the dungeon, you’ll find that there are both goblins and Dwemer living together in the dungeon which is decidedly odd, but the developers want to make it clear that they’re not working together. To go a bit deeper into this, the developers insisted that while they are neighbors within the caves; one faction may have borrowed the other’s lawn mower and never returned it. Yes, I’m quoting them pretty much verbatim and that’s the lore I want to stick with.
As you rampage through the dungeon, you’ll come across plenty of beautiful artwork including three different metal tapestries that detail the story of Frostfall. Make sure you stop and have a look at each one of them before you move on to the dungeon’s formidable bosses.
The Bosses of Frostfall
Icestalker does a great job of emphasizing that despite the implications of the ‘One Tamriel’ update, this is still very much a group-based game by delivering devastating uppercuts to unsuspecting player characters and then singling out a single player to pound into the ground. Players will need to work together to overcome him, and particularly to keep your most valuable party members from being eviscerated. If I were you, I’d fill a lot of soulstones before going into this one.
Yet another boss that will threaten the integrity of your group and this one even more annoying than the last. He’ll use tethers and ice abilities to deal huge amounts of damage, but later in the fight, if you’re not careful, he’ll start taking down your party members one by one with massive tornados.
Remember how I mentioned lasers? This is where the lasers come in. You’ll get a bit of foreshadowing before you enter the Vault Protector’s lair as you must dodge a few lasers at the entrance. Once you get in, the Vault Protector will not only attack you, he’ll activate a laser grid while protecting himself with a crystal shield. The idea is to duck behind his shield, preserving yourself and your teammates; the trick will be figuring out which emitter the lasers are coming from so that you can duck behind the right side of the shield. It’s easy once you get the hang of it, but you’ll probably die quite a bit the first few times so be ready for that!
Another standard boss who drops a powerful AOE, freezes you in place, and uses channel abilities that you’ll need to interrupt.
All in all, there’s a lot to like here, but the dungeon is only the start of it. Along with numerous bug fixes there are quality of life improvements that are going to make your experience a lot more enjoyable.
Quality of Life Improvements
The very first thing the developers showed me during our walkthrough was the zone guide which sits at the left side of the map as soon as you press M. This reminds me a lot of the Guild Wars 2 map completion guide and believe me, that’s not a bad thing. It shows an array of stats and progressions for each map, allowing you determine what you’ve done and of course what you need to complete. The zone guide also gives you the option to start the main quest for the area so that you’re not fumbling around in the dark figuring out where you’re supposed to be. I for one am all for a confusing experience that forces you to explore, but most players just want to get to the content that they paid for.
We’re also seeing some changes to the Guild Trader UI, some of which players have been demanding for a rather long time. Overall, it’s a lot easier to search now with brand new filters, saved searches, and an actual text search that allows you to locate specific items that you want.
A slew of bugfixes along with other improvements are going to change the way the game feels, and you’ll especially notice some differences over the next twelve months as the year-long story progresses. As always, the Elder Scrolls Online promises to deliver a highly immersive experience. This is a great little primer as we move into Elsweyr which will be available on June 4 for console players and May 20 for PC/Mac players. Get ready to take up your swords, clockwork remote controlled mice, and your wits as the year-long story kicks off and goes into full swing.
Related: DLC, MMORPG, Preview, The Elder Scrolls Online, Zenimax