The Elder Scrolls Online, also known as The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited, and commonly abbreviated as ESO, is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) that was announced in May 2012 and was released on April 4th, 2014. It is the eighth game in The Elder Scrolls series. On June 9th, 2015, the game is being released on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.
Developed by the team at ZeniMax Online Studios, The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited merges the unmatched exploration of rich worlds that the franchise is known for with the scale and social aspects of a massively multiplayer online role-playing game.
The Elder Scrolls Online features a Buy-to-Play model similar to previous Elder Scrolls titles, where one buys the game and play it for free afterwards, but there is also an optional membership program, ESO Plus, which grants bonuses such as increased XP gain and free access to all DLC Packs. The game has an in-game cash shop, the Crown Store, where things such as vanity items and cosmetic mounts are sold for a premium currency called Crowns, but nothing that gives players a significant advantage over another will be sold. Players who have had a subscription prior to the transition will be given 1500 crowns, or more if they have had a three or six-month subscription.
The PC and Mac version was released on April 4, 2014 and will be released on June 9, 2015 for consoles (PS4 and Xbox One). Pre-ordering the game gave players the option to play as any race in any Alliance, an exclusive pet called the Scuttler, and some treasure maps. Buying the Imperial Edition gives players the option to play as an Imperial, craft Imperial gear, convert existing gear into the Imperial style, gives an Imperial horse with standard stats, a mudcrab vanity pet and the Pledge of Mara, which allows players to marry.
- Main article: Vestige
The game is set in 2E 582 during the Interregnum, a period of time between the assassination of Savirien-Chorak and the rise of Tiber Septim, where there was chaos, bloodshed, and no Emperor on the Ruby Throne.
Several years prior, the Cyrodilic Emperor Varen Aquilarios desired to become Dragonborn in order to light the Dragonfires in the Imperial City, thus legitimizing his claim to the Ruby Throne. The sorcerer Mannimarco was able to convince him that he knew a ritual that could accomplish this, but that it required the Amulet of Kings. Along with the leader of the Dragonguard Sai Sahan, the half-giant Lyris Titanborn and the High Chancellor of the Elder Council, Abnur Tharn, they became the Five Companions. They were able to retrieve the Amulet of Kings and begin the ritual in 2E 578. At that moment, Mannimarco used his dark magic to immobilize the others and reveal his true intentions: he was an agent of Molag Bal, and the ritual in fact weakened the barriers between Nirn and Oblivion in an event known at the Soulburst. This event allowed Molag Bal to initiate the Planemeld, a forceful merging of worlds. Once the ritual was completed, aftershocks were swept across every corner of Nirn. Mages died or went mad, Red Mountain trembled in Morrowind, earthquakes shook Skyrim, and heavy storms devastated the coastlines of Elsweyr and Valenwood. The constellation of the Serpent grew so large that it seemed to threaten every star sign at once.
The Tharn family, rulers of Cyrodiil through Empress Regent Clivia Tharn, made a pact with Mannimarco, the King of Worms, who has agreed to supplement the Imperial's forces by resurrecting their soldiers, except for Clivia's father Abnur, who opposes Mannimarco. Secretly, Mannimarco is a servant of Molag Bal, the Daedric Prince of corruption and domination. Molag Bal is harvesting the souls of mortals for more power. The hero, known as the Vestige, is an adventurer whose soul has been taken, which allows them to constantly return to life. The player is killed by Mannimarco in a sacrificial ritual and they are brought to Coldharbour, where they awaken to find a mysterious man known as the Prophet, who, with the help of Lyris Titanborn, helps the Vestige escape Coldharbour, freeing the Prophet, but also imprisoning Lyris within Coldharbour. Once the Vestige escapes Coldharbour, they awaken in Tamriel and are let loose upon the dangerous world.
In the game, there are three major playable factions fighting against one another in the conflict known as the Three Banners War. Those factions, made up of the different races found throughout Tamriel, are the Aldmeri Dominion, the Daggerfall Covenant, and the Ebonheart Pact.
The Covenant was formed by High King Emeric after much poverty, war and suffering plagued the kingdoms of High Rock and Hammerfell.
The Pact was formed by the three races through a common hatred of the recently invading Akaviri. Despite the instability between their member races, the Pact is remarkably stable.
Other factions in the game include:
- Fighters Guild: A guild of mercenaries-for-hire, largely involved with destroying Molag Bal's presence on Nirn. They are led by Sees-All-Colours.
- Mages Guild: A guild of individuals devoted to the magical arts, largely involved with collecting old books and lore in order to preserve them. They are led by their founder Vanus Galerion.
- Undaunted: A brave collective of like-minded mercenaries and adventurers who seek to achieve riches and glory, and do not have any sort of leader. They are involved with dungeons.
- Thieves Guild: A notorious group of thieves, coming in a future update.
- Dark Brotherhood: An infamous guild of assassins, coming in a future update.
Nearly all of Tamriel appears and is playable in The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited. Each of the provinces of Tamriel are explorable to some degree. Cyrodiil is accessible once the character reaches level 10. Coldharbour is accessible once the Vestige completes The Weight of Three Crowns. Most provinces are only able to be traveled to in a limited capacity. In fact, the only province explorable in its entirety is Valenwood. Overtime new areas will be released to the game through updates, such as Craglorn.
A massive number of new and old creatures are featured in The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited. Many of these creatures have appeared in Elder Scrolls games previously, but many more were previously unseen, such as Dunerippers and Harvesters.
- Main article: Classes (Online)
- There are four classes, including Dragonknight, Templar, Sorcerer, and Nightblade. Classes will only give players 3 exclusive skill lines, and do not affect a character's other choices. For example, you can be a very stealthy Sorcerer who wears heavy armor and wields a bow.
- Main article: Combat (Online)
- Player vs Player - available after level 10. In Cyrodiil, combat will revolve around the capturing of Keeps and their surrounding buildings, and outposts. If a keep isn't defended well (which is unlikely - there are players everywhere in Cyrodiil.) a keep can be taken by a small group of players. If it is heavily defended, a larger force is required. Up to 2000 players from all three factions can be in Cyrodiil (Which is roughly 27 square kilometers in size, not including the many interior areas.) at a time per campaign (A kind of "sub-server" to mitigate overpopulation).
- 6 Skills can be slotted at any one time. The 6th slot is reserved for a very powerful ability called an Ultimate Ability, which can only be used after acquiring a certain amount of a resource called Ultimate Points, also known as Finesse.
- At Level 15, Weapon Swapping is unlocked which allows a player to have two different ability sets equipped at the same time, along with their own weapons. The player can switch between their weapons at any time by pressing the respective keybind for Weapon Swapping.
- Siege Weapons are used to destroy a keep's defenses in Cyrodiil.
- Alliance Points are an alternative advancement system, with 50 ranks. Each rank will give a new title, a skill point, sometimes a new armor dye and a new alliance icon on a player's name tag, similar to faction ranks in Morrowind and Oblivion.
- There are a total of eight ranks for increased ability proficiency, but the latter 4 can only be earned after a morph.
- Main article: Abilities (Online)
- Only six regular abilities and one ultimate ability are available at any one time, however these can be changed. Abilities can be leveled up to become more powerful the more they are used. Once an ability reaches level 4, it can be morphed, which means the spell turns into a more powerful version of itself, usually adding a new effect to the spell. Players have 2 morph choices. Passive abilities cannot be morphed, though they can be levelled up by putting skill points into them.
- To get a new ability or passive, one must use a skill point, similar to Skyrim. These can be attained by collecting 3 Skyshards, completing certain quests and levelling up.
- The list of skill lines is:
- There are passives exclusive for all 9* races in the game. Some races share passive bonuses, while some do not.
- There are passives for each of the crafting professions: Alchemy, Blacksmithing, Clothing, Enchanting, Provisioning and Woodworking.
*There are 10 races in the game if one purchases the Imperial Edition. Imperials have their own racial passives as well.
Player vs. Environment (PvE)
Player vs. Environment (PvE) is any form of content that isn't battling other players.
- Mundus Stones are used to give special passive abilities. They are similar to the Standing Stones found in Skyrim and have the same names, but they give different boons.
- Fast Traveling is available. Players can travel to other Wayshrines when using another wayshrine for free, or they can travel to the wayshrine from anywhere, however they must pay a sum of gold.
- Fast Travel in Cyrodiil is different from the rest of the zones. Instead of Wayshrines, characters can travel to keeps and outposts that their alliance controls via the Transitus network. Players can not fast travel to anywhere without using a Transitus shrine at a keep or alliance base camp, nor can players travel to resources. To fast-travel to another keep using the Transitus, that keep must be linked to the keep the player is traveling from. Players cannot use Transitus shrines at outposts.
- Players are able to own a pet. Only Sorcerers can summon and control combat pets, while the other classes must use vanity pets which cannot be used in combat. The Scuttler is a pet given to players who pre-ordered the game, the Nibenay Mudcrab is a pet given to players who purchase the Imperial Edition, and the Imgakin Monkey is a now-unobtainable pet given to players who participated in the game's beta.
- Adventure Zones are zones of which's content is tailored to 4 or more players ranked Veteran 10 or above but any player above Level 50 is able to enter solo, with a small group, or even a large group. Craglorn is the first and only Adventure Zone in the game. They are essentially very large public dungeons, and include Trials, Dungeons, Quests, Storylines, Bosses, and other world events. A new region of Craglorn was released in Update 4. A new Adventure Zone called Murkmire is planned to be released at an unscheduled date in 2015.
- XP can still be earned by characters after they reach level 50. They are used to advance characters after the Veteran Ranks are reached after Level 50. The current level cap is Veteran Rank 14.
- Responding to player feedback, the max level will be set at level 50 in update 1.7, removing Veteran Ranks entirely. After level 50, players will earn Champion Points, which can be spent across three constellations (Warrior, Mage and Thief). Each constellation will have 3 seperate trees, with 4 abilities in each.
- Mounts are in the game, though only horses can be used at present and there are no plans to include flying mounts. There are, however, plans to include other species such as Guar and Senche-Tigers as mounts. If a player purchases the Imperial Edition, they can get a unique white Imperial Charger to use, though it has no exclusive advantage over other mounts.
- Daedric Artifacts such as the Prismatic Weapon exist in the game, and are tied to the Fighters Guild storyline, but the artifacts are very different from past games and are not obtained through Daedric Quests.
- There are special types of dungeons called Group Dungeons, which, unlike other dungeons, are instanced to groups and have storylines. Once Level 50 is reached, new areas of the dungeon will open up, and the results of previous actions in that dungeon will be able to be seen. These are called Veteran Dungeons.
There five primary stats:
- Health - affects amount of damage that can be taken before dying.
- Magicka - amount of Magicka available to cast spells.
- Stamina - amount of Stamina available for physical abilities.
- Armor- decreases amount of damage you take from physical attacks.
- Power- increases damage output and healing ability.
As the Vestige levels up, they will be given one point to place in the Health, Magicka, or Stamina stats, much like perks in the recent Skyrim. They will not only increase stats and improve them, but also unlock new passives and bonuses by placing points into one stat or another.
Skill Points are obtainable both through character level up, but also through certain quests and obtaining three Skyshards.
- The game is available in three different languages: English, French, and German. It is unknown whether or not the game will support other languages.
- Crafting elements can be done in crafting stations in cities as well as special crafting stations in the wilderness that can craft special weapons and armor that belong to a set.
- Daedric Artifacts such as the Prismatic Weapon exist in the game, and are tied to the Fighters Guild storyline.
- Player Guilds exist in the game. If a guild controls a keep, their Guild Store and bank are able to be used there. Guild keep ownership is specific to a faction's campaign.
- Lockpicking works much like Oblivion where the player must move tumblers to unlock locks. The twist is that the player must unlock the lock in the alotted time. There are levelled locks much like past games.
- Players are able to dye their armor to different colours with over 250 colours. There are a few default dyes, but the player must obtain the rest through completing certain tasks through Achievements. There are three different areas of each piece of armor that can be dyed individually.
- The game is hosted on a Megaserver, which will allow players to find players more easily, without requiring them to reset to a different server. However, to enter PvP players must select from 5 different "sub-servers" called Campaigns. There are currently 2 megaservers in total and there will be 6 when the console versions are released; one for each region and two for each platform (PC/Mac, PS4, Xbox One), however, console players cannot play with PC/Mac players. Furthermore, console megaservers are console-specific. The European megaserver is hosted in Frankfurt, Germany. The US megaserver is hosted in Dallas, Texas.
PC system requirements
Minimum system Requirements
- Operating System: Windows 8/Windows 7/Windows Vista/Windows XP 32-bit or 64-bit
- Processor: Dual Core 2.0GHz or equivalent processor
- Memory: 2GB System RAM
- Hard Disk Space: 60GB free HDD space
- Video Card: DirectX 9.0 compliant video card with 512MB of RAM (NVIDIA® GeForce® 8800 / ATI Radeon™ 2600 or better)
- Sound: DirectX compatible sound card.
Recommended system requirements
- Operating System: Windows 7 64-bit or Windows 8 64-bit
- Processor: Quad Core 2.3GHz or equivalent processor
- Memory: 4GB System RAM
- Hard Disk Space: 60GB free HDD space
- Video Card: Direct X 11 compliant video card with 2GB of RAM (NVIDIA® GeForce® 560 Ti / ATI Radeon™ 6950 or better)
- Sound: DirectX compatible sound card
Mac system requirements
Minimum system requirements
- Operating System: Mac® OS X 10.7.0 or later
- Processor: Intel® Core™ 2 Duo
- Video Card: Intel™ HD Graphics 4000, NVIDIA® GeForce® GT 330M or ATI™ Radeon™ HD 6490M or better
- Memory: 4GB Ram
- Storage: 60GB
- Media: DVD-ROM
- Resolution: 1024X768 minimum display resolution
Recommended System Requirements
- Operating System: Mac® OS X 10.7.0 or later
- Processor: Intel® i5 Processor
- Video Card: NVIDIA® GeForce® GT 650M or ATI™ Radeon™ HD 5770 or better
- Memory: 4GB Ram
- Storage: 60GB
- Media: DVD-ROM
- The game has been in development since 2007.
- 5 million people signed up for the game's beta.
- As of October 2014, the game had around 1.2 Million Subscribers. In June, it had around 800,000.
- There are 61 million items in the game, as well as 2,235 books, 10,202 NPCs, and 5.0952187*10^58 character variations.
- Dragons are not going to be part of the game, at least not for now.
- Many races have their own type of craftable armor, including the Daedra and Dwemer. Not all racial styles belong to playable races.
- There are moral dilemmas in some quests and the choices cannot be reversed without abandoning the quest.
- Content in Cyrodiil is not just PVP, there are NPC towns and many quests scattered throughout Cyrodiil, though the player is always vulnerable to players from enemy alliances no matter where they are.
- The Creatures' AI system is such so that they not only will work together, but will also be aware when they are being outnumbered by players.
- The console version's release date was delayed due to platform-specific issues. It is set to release on June 9th, 2015.
- The Elder Scrolls Online (Versions) - information about the updates to the game.
- The Elder Scrolls Online Original Soundtrack
- Books (Online)
- Characters (Online)
- Creatures (Online)
- Factions (Online)
- Locations (Online)
- Quests (Online)
- Armor (Online)
- Weapons (Online)
- Combat (Online)
- ↑ ESO Heads to Consoles June 9th
- ↑ 05 May 2012. Bethblog Game Informer Announces the Elder Scrolls Online
- ↑ http://elderscrollsonline.com/en/news/post/2012/10/18/reading-the-future-of-the-past-in-the-elder-scrolls
- ↑ January 18, 2013. The Elder Scrolls Online (Lawrence Schick). Alliances at War
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 Game Informer: June 2012 Edition
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 6.2 Hanson, Ben (21 May 2012). Creating the Story for The Elder Scrolls: Online.
- ↑ June 67, 2012. TheRealGiantBomb E3 2012: The Elder Scrolls Online Interview (Maria Aliprando)
- ↑ Reeves, Ben (16 May 2012). Elder Scrolls Online Faction Profile Aldmeri Dominion. Game Informer.
- ↑ Reeves, Ben (16 May 2012). Elder Scrolls Online Faction Profile Daggerfall Covenant. Game Informer.
- ↑ Reeves, Ben (16 May 2012). Elder Scrolls Online Faction Profile Ebonheart Pact. Game Informer.
- ↑ 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 October 22, 2012. RPG Gamer The Elder Scrolls Online: Hands On Preview
- ↑ 12.0 12.1 October 22, 2012. MPOGD Elder Scrolls Online Preview And Studio Tour
- ↑ 13.0 13.1 February 9, 2013. The Elder Scrolls Online. Ask Us Anything: Variety Pack
- ↑ 14.0 14.1 14.2 14.3 14.4 14.5 October 22, 2012. MMORPG Stuff We Didn't Play: PVP and Social Integration
- ↑ 15.0 15.1 October 22, 2012. MMOAttack Elder Scrolls Online Hands On Preview
- ↑ October 24, 2012. MMORPG Reveling in the Combat
- ↑ October 24, 2012. The Elder Scrolls: Off The Record The Elder Scrolls Online Press Summit: YOUR Character Progression
- ↑ The Elder Scrolls Online: The Alliance War
- ↑ October 30, 2012. MMO Attack MMO Attack: ESO Interview with Matt Firor Transcript
- ↑ August 22, 2013. Daily Joypad. [http://www.dailyjoypad.co.uk/?p=51363 Hands-On with the Elder Scrolls Online
- ↑ 21.0 21.1 October, 2012. Tamriel Foundry Developer Interview: Matt Firor and Paul Sage
- ↑ August 05, 2012. Platform Thirty Two The Elder Scrolls Online - Exclusive Interview With Maria Aliprando
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