We’ve already touched upon how Bethesda’s saving grace is a small MMORPG called The Elder Scrolls Online. Now as a fan of the Elder Scrolls franchise and the game, you will be happy to know that ESO has entered into the fifth year. Considering how Bethesda develop and support their games, it’s a damned miracle that this game is still going on.
This January, dataminers found out that Zenimax Online Studios have started developing something rather exciting. Shift the calendar to 16th of January, ZOS revealed to the world that they were working on their latest content plans. The plan was to create four story-driven content packs which would span across the entire year. This would introduce new regions, dungeons and gameplay mechanics with an over-arching and interconnected story line. Titled ‘Season of the Dragon’, players will be able to travel to Elsweyr and battle dragons in Open-world events.
The first DLC of the ‘Season’ has just dropped. Called Wrathstone, this dungeon focused DLC lets players delve into two specific dungeons to uncover the secrets of the Wrathstone. The first dungeon, Frostvault is filled with Dwarven automatons, Goblin tribes and some of the toughest bosses you can imagine. (The PTS versions are always tougher than retail ones) Your companion on this journey will be a Redguard treasure hunter named Tharayya who I’m sure will have a bigger role to play in Elsweyr.
The second dungeon, Depths of Malatar will pit you against Imperial soldiers, followers of Meridia and their daedric beasts of war. Completing both of these dungeons will award you with new gear sets and Monster helm-shoulder sets. However, the two dungeons will allow you to get a broken piece of the Wrathstone. Combining the two pieces and taking them to Abnur Tharn will provide the conclusion of the chapter.
Spoiler: There be DRAGONS.
Now you have to buy the Wrathstone DLC pack to get to play all of that. But that’s not all that ZOS is planning to do. Wrathstone is also launching with Update 21 for the rest of the players. This update brings a tremendous amount of ‘Quality of Life’ changes to the game and brings a new PvP map and rewards as well.
The first major change is that all of the races in ESO have had their racial passive skills overhauled. Some of these changes are just renaming but some of these are significant enough to make them viable across the board for all classes. Now you can actually tank with a High Elf because who doesn’t want a Magicka Tank.
The biggest QoL change in Wrathstone/U21 is the Zone Guide. The map of Tamriel is divided into many smaller regions or zones. And completing each and every quest or exploring each and every delve or public dungeon can get confusing. ZOS have created a zone guide for that very purpose that will allow players to actively track and modify their progression for an area. This guide shows every single marker and points of interest for the completionist in you.
The second major change to the QoL side of things is the update to the Guild trader. Previously going through the Guild trader menu was a chore. Now there is a detailed search and discover option. The menus have been divided into categories even which are just a godsend. You don’t have to spend 20 minutes searching for one piece of bread, you can just type it. Now I’m kinda worried that this took so long to develop.
The PvP lovers have been blessed as ZOS have added a new Battleground map to the game. Eld Angvar is two different maps jam-packed into one with the map changing characteristics based on what game mode you’re playing. Not only does this change your team’s tactics but it also brings a fresh coat of paint to the boredom of maps in PvP. On the reward side, PvP nerds will be delighted to farm for new costumes and new updated PvP gear sets. The Cyrodill alliance war has received the changes in the PvP gear sets as well. Some of the sets are pretty damn interesting. ZOS set out with a clear objective to make the healers great again and the DPS players lazy again, if you know what I mean.
It’s rather interesting to see Zenimax and Bethesda holding their reigns firmly on a game that is cherished by millions of players. Hopefully I will not be proved wrong in June when the Elsweyr expansion goes live. And just maybe, this time around we will have proper dragon boss battles in Elder Scrolls.