Elsweyr Non-Review Thoughts

I returned to Elder Scrolls Online a little over a month ago. A couple of weeks later, I bought the recent Elsweyr expansion, wrapped up (pretty much) the area I was in, and then moved over to the new zone, Northern Elsweyr. It is, overall, pretty terrific, assuming one likes the core ESO gameplay, which the ‘Chapter’ (i.e. expansion) does not change.

There’s a main story questline, a good number of side quests, dailies to kill dragons and world bosses, plus a good-sized zone with all the usual stuff: skyshards, lorebooks, delves and public dungeons (a new raid (i.e. ‘Trial’) and world events. In the case of Northern Elsweyr these latter are dragon attacks rather than the Dolmen/Daedric Anchor things of the older content. As with Dolmens, however, the dragon attacks don’t really scale to the number of players, so they can go down like chumps if the number of players is very high. I’ve seen various people report this but have not personally seen a dragon be defeated all that quickly. From what I have experienced it usually takes somewhere between five and fifteen minutes, unless you fall in with the actual zerg for it. Even then, though, they hit HARD, easily one-shotting brittle PCs like my Sorcerer while not telegraphing all of their attacks in the usual red-on-the-ground way.

There’s also new gear sets along with the content, but that’s something I have explored in only the most cursory way, since I am still progressing and all my gear will end up replaced sooner rather than later. I may do something in the future on that. Elsweyr also brings back two fan favorite characters from the original release, with John Cleese returning as Cadwell and Alfred Molina coming back as Abnur Tharn.

It’s all very solid stuff. I do wish there were more folks running the public dungeons, which are tough to solo at least with most builds (and definitely with my build.) They are huge and contain multiple bosses, some of whom have real boss mechanics. But even then I haven’t had to wait around for too long for people to follow. I am shooting for (and am pretty close to) full map completion for Northern Elsweyr.

Sticking with ESO’s current expansion model, there will be two DLCs (which are not included in the expansion’s price, although unlike the Chapter they are included with ESO Plus, the monthly subscription deal. Scalebreaker, with an August release date, will contain a couple of additional dungeons, while Dragonhold, currently shooting for November, will bring in another Elseweyr zone, and bring back Sai Sahan from the original ESO main storyline. At the rate I’m currently progressing I’ll probably be at the gear cap by the time Scalebreaker comes out.

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