Review: The Elder Scrolls Online: Elsweyr
Today is the official launch of Elsweyr, the latest expansion for the well-known Elder Scrolls Online phenomenon. Both Morrowind and Summerset offered one of the best MMORPG experiences ever, can this new expansion match it?
It's no secret that the MMORPG genre, one I've been in love with since childhood, is somewhere at the bottom of the popularity stack. This doesn't mean that people stop playing MMORPGs, but rather that there are so few new and strong games in this genre that most people have given up. There are currently four games that soar far above the rest, The Elder Scrolls Online is one of them. Elsweyr is certainly no exception when it comes to high-quality delights. In this review we're going to talk less about the basics of the game and more about Elsweyr as an expansion.
No, it's a dragon!
Elsweyr is part of The Season of the Dragon . As you might have guessed, this season is all about the return of the dragons! Elsweyr is the new map in which we can play. This area has been in the hands of the Kajiit for centuries and is now plagued by a flurry of dragons. This expansion not only brings a new zone, but also a new Trial, new events, a new story and Public Dungeons. Changes are coming in PvP and that's all due to perhaps the best thing about the entire expansion; necromancers! These soul-eating dark mages are back and while some aren't out for war, others are.
This is also the very first time that we in ESO have encountered such a large scale of dragons. I say this, of course, because Skyrim was the last game to bring these monstrous winged creatures into your character's battlefield. The dragons look terrifying. They are big and the fights against these dragons are perhaps even bigger. Yes, you heard right, dragons are openly roaming the Elsweyr zone waiting to scrape your rotten flesh off the ground after they burn the face off your torso. But, you are not alone! The fights with such a dragon are fantastically grand and almost feel like a mini war in itself. My first encounter with a dragon was pretty cool considering I was quietly riding my mount behind a mountain,after which I was shocked when suddenly a flame could be seen behind that mountain with the screaming words sizzling in the background; FUS-RO-DAH!!
A sight to behold
Not Gojira's song, but a nice area can now be found in ESO. Elsweyr is a wonderful view with a lot of diversity. If you look at the map itself, it doesn't seem that exciting. It is only from the moment you start exploring the area that you notice how great the new zone is. Riverhold looks great in the dark and when you finally get to Rimmen, you can really taste the atmosphere that the Kajiit conveys to you as full and race.
The storyline again goes deep, is fully voiced and of high quality. Of course, without spoiling too much, I would like to say that in the 12-15 hours that you are working on the story, you will be well dragged into the history and current situation of the dragons. There are also some nice side-quests. That's how you meet Mizzik in Riverhold, this cute tiger looks a lot like Razum-Dar. I laughed my ass off during the quest-line I followed with him. You also meet Sir Cadwell and a funny quest in Rimmen, where you should stop a very 'dangerous' wolf. In the end, this wolf turned out not to be what it seemed! There are countless thoughtful and fun quests to find yourself on before you leave Elsweyr again to complete your daily tasks.
Give me your body, mind and soul…
Ah, finally I get to talk about the Necromancer. This was one of my favorite classes in both Diablo and Guild Wars 2. I was quite curious about the innovativeness Elsweyr would bring with the arrival of this new class. As a Necromancer you can immerse yourself in the dark magic and spells of the Grave Lord Skill Line. You can also help your teammates by healing them with the Living Death line. But the most surprising was the Bone Tyrant line.
If the world of ESO is known for anything, it's the freedom you get with your character. The Necromancer is a great example of this. As a bone tyrant you can transform yourself into a dark knight with Heavy Armor and a Tank build. This was immediately the first choice for me and I felt like a Death Knight in World of Warcraft. The spells and accompanying animations are fantastic and after some tweaks the class will find a good place in the universe of the game.
Keep your eye on the sky in Elsweyr , because you never know what will land on your head. This expansion is another one for the books. Elsweyr had a good soft-launch and will open today to anyone who has bought it. If you have not yet purchased it, I can hereby give you the green light to do so. The expansion has a great storyline, top-notch content, a beautiful new zone and dragons… I mean, DRAGONS?! Although the story attracted me less than that of previous content, I have to say that the overall picture of Elsweyr still left me with my jaws on the floor. I'm far from done in the new area, how about you?
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