Players in the online iteration of Tamriel have been able to enjoy free access to all of the bonuses of the usually subscription only Elder Scrolls Online plus service. For existing subscribers this means free “Crown Crates” which provide an RNG chance at highly sought after loot box only mounts. We’ve written in the past how paid for RNG chests can be addicting and recently were ruled analogous to gambling in the European Union.
Benefits of the ESO+ trial that runs from now until Monday the 30th of April includes:
10% increase to all experience earned.
An unlimited storage crafting bag.
Double the placement space for furnishings and collectibles in housing / private rooms.
Doubling of your character’s personal inventory and bank space.
ESO plus also includes access to the following DLC packs while a subscription is active:
Shadow of the Hist
Horns of the Reach
To activate the ESO+ trial simply head on over to the in-game crown store once logged in and claim the ESO+ trial item to begin.
I personally always look forward to these free trial periods as I let my subscription lapse around November of last year and have found little reason to re-up. Whenever the trial comes around I’ll run as many dungeons and Cyrodil Alliance Wars as I can over the weekend to stuff as many resources into the crafting bag as I can. For someone who plays a merchant ad likes to collect gold to buy new housing items – the ESO+ trial is a good time sink.
Bethesda and Zenimax Online Studios have taken the wraps off of the 2018 full expansion coming to The Elder Scrolls Online later this summer. Players will be heading to the home of the high elves, the Summerset Isles – Releasing on PC and Mac on May 21st and on Xbox One / PlayStation 4 on June 5th.
Lore wise Summerset Isles has Queen Ayreen opening up travel to the titular isles in order for them to help uncover a conspiracy that could spell doom for the entirety of Tamriel.
Like other add-on DLCs and full expansion releases The Elder Scrolls Online: Summerset Isles has a prologue quest that will prepare players for adventures in the new zones on launch day. Grab the “Mage’s Message Stone” for free from the Crown Store to begin the prologue quest which is called “Through a Veil Darkly” and tasks players with traveling to each of the Mage’s Guilds in all of the capital cities around Tamriel.
Known Zones / Cities In The Summerset Isles
The following cities, areas of interest and dungeons have been revealed to be included in The Elder Scrolls Online: Summerset Isles. Each area also has a small one paragraph blurb over on the expansion’s official website:
New Skill Line: The Psijic Order
Summerset Isles comes complete with a brand new skill line for players to explore which takes place on the isle of Araeum. There players will learn about the 350 year old Psijic Order and begin harnessing new passive and active abilities as well as a very powerful ultimate ability.
Here are three known abilities from the Psijic skill line and their official descriptions:
Time Stop – Freeze the passage of time at a specific location. Should you catch your enemies within this ability, they’ll be slowed and eventually frozen in place, giving you the opportunity to make your move!
Meditate – Focus your mind and body into a deep meditative state. While active, you will restore Health, Stamina, and Magicka over time. Perfect for those who want to reflect upon and recover from a tough fight.
Undo – Become a true master of time and step backwards into the past to instantly reset your Health, Magicka, and Stamina to what they were only four seconds ago. If the battle isn’t going your way, reset the board!
Physical Edition and Pre-Order Bonuses
Elder Scrolls Online: Summerset Isles will come in 4 different configuration depending on what ESO products players own and what content they want to experience.
Here’s a quick breakdown of all of the different configurations:
The Elder Scrolls Online Collection (All Platforms) – For new players, includes ESO Gold Base Game, 5 DLC-Addons, Morrowind Expansion, Summerset Isles Expansion.
Digital Collector’s Edition – (New players and existing players) ESO base game for new players, Psijic Scrying Talismin (in-game item), Exclusive emotes, Fledgling Griffin Pet, Bloodshadow Wraith Steed Mount, Divine Prosecution Costume Set
Standard Edition – Available digitally only the Standard Edition includes access to the ESO base game for new players. Existing players get access to the Summerset Isles expansion upon release, access to the Morrowind Expansion right away, the Queen’s Bounty Pack and the Nightmare Senche Mount.
A special physical edition of The Elder Scrolls Online: Summerset Isles will be made available in limited quantities. Not only does it include the base game, Morrowind expansion, all of the items mentioned above for the Digital Collector’s edition as well as a number of physical only goodies.
Here’s the official breakdown of the physical goodies that come with ESO: Summerset Isles from Zenimax’s official site:
Mephala Statue: A monument to the Daedric Prince Mephala, this 12″-tall replica was unearthed from a cultist shrine.
Razum-dar’s Journal: A spy’s report to Queen Ayrenn chronicling the knowledge collected during Razum-dar’s investigation of Summerset.
Map of Summerset: The home of the High Elves is open to foreign visitors for the first time in history. Let this map be your guide through previously uncharted lands.
Exclusive Steelbook Case: A limited edition metallic case, perfect for any collector’s shelf.
Zenimax Online’s subscription service ESO Plus for The Elder Scrolls Online is free until next Monday for everyone. Non-subscribed players can once again enjoy access to all of the existing DLC (minus Morrowind but it does include the recently released Clockwork City) for free for the next 72+ hours. As well as double the bank space and a global 10% experience bonus for all characters.
Existing subscribers get a bonus goodies during the events – one free Flame Atronach Crown Crate for each day that they login from the 9th until the event ends on the 15th. Each individual “day” resets at 9:59AM each morning and players have to log-out completely – all the way to the main menu, not just to the character select screen – to qualify for the free crates.
Here’s a breakdown of all of the benefits of the ESO Plus trial weekend:
Access to Clockwork City DLC
Access to Dark Brotherhood DLC
Access to Imperial City DLC
Access to Thieves Guild DLC
Unlimited “crafting bag” storage that persists after the trial ends (just new items can’t be deposited into it)
Double personal inventory space
Double bank space
Access to dye stations
10% global EXP bonus
Personally, I use these ESO+ free weekends to load up as many crafting items as I can to sell in my Trade Guilds. I used to subscribe to ESO+ until I had enough Crowns to buy all of the existing DLC (BTW Clockwork is excellent). Last time a free trial weekend rolled around I had enough crafting items stored to fuel my sales for almost an entire month!
Great news for the thousands of residents of the online-only version of Tamriel – your world is about to get a lot bigger with the announcement of 5 new pieces of add-on content coming next year.
Over on the official Elder Scrolls Online website, game director Matt Firor posted his yearly letter to the community. Most of the letter is a retrospective of major content drops that took place in 2017 – The Horns of Reach DLC, Clockwork City DLC and of course the Morrowind Expansion as well as mentions of the New Life Celebration, Mid-Year Mayhem and Witches Festival events.
What is probably the most interesting to veteran players like myself is the last section of the letter, “Looking Forward to 2018”.Mr.Firor surprises us with a tantalizing look at what is to come in the next 12 months: 3 add-on DLCs and a fully new “chapter” (read: expansion). In early 2018 Zenimax will lift the veil of secrecy surrounding “Dragon Bones”, a Nord themed dungeon DLC add-on pack. Along with the two new dungeons, we’re also due for several quality of life updates including “one often requested feature”.
Dragon Bones as they appeared in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim [Source: Nexus Mods]
Here’s the full quote about what is to come:
“I’m very happy to say that you can expect three more DLCs and a full new Chapter for ESO in 2018. We’re not slowing down, at all. There’s so much to do and explore in Tamriel, and we are very excited to take you to some highly-requested areas next year.
We’ll officially announce the first DLC of 2018 just after the first of the year, but here’s a small preview: It’s a dungeon-based DLC called The Elder Scrolls Online: Dragon Bones. As the name implies, it is Nord-based in theme, with each of the two dungeons expanding upon the lore of that region.
Coming with Dragon Bones is an update full of quality-of-life improvements and additions, including at least one long-awaited feature that everyone who cares about their characters’ appearance will love and the Homestead storage items I talked about earlier. We’ll give you more details on this update when it launches on the PTS early (very early) next year.
It’s not always about new content, of course—we’ll be spending some time adding more improvements and fixing any outstanding issues and bugs. Stay tuned for the PTS patch notes for updates on those and, obviously, keep your comments coming on the forums and elsewhere. We value your feedback and take it very seriously.“
Where do you think 2018 will take our adventuring characters across Tamriel? Could we possibly revisit Cyrodil from TES IV? Perhaps Western Skyrim will be added to the game finally, joining the existing Earmarch province. Considering that we got both Eastern and Western Skyrim Scout outfits this past year and the new add-on DLC is called “Dragon Bones”… Hmmmmm….
That last part is pure speculation on my part, we won’t know anything official until Zennimax Online announces more details sometime in 2018. Leave your comments below, I’d love to hear other player’s speculation about where the game is going next.
The Elder Scrolls Online’s latest DLC, Clockwork City, went live a little over a week and a half ago. Denizens of Tamriel have had a while to battle the imperfect, experience the storyline of the Tarnished and the Clockwork Apostles but very few have probably played alongside Creative Director Rich Lambert and Zone Lead Greg Roth. Both of them joined me on a development version of Clockwork City just prior to launch to answer my questions about what awaited players in Clockwork City, what inspired the absolutely amazing art style and answer a few questions about the technical challenges that the team had to overcome to bring The Clockwork City to life.
Broken Joysticks: What specific content can players expect from Clockwork City DLC?
ESO Devs: A quick overview of what Update 16/ Clockwork City is: For players, it’s the Clockwork City release (obviously!). Clockwork City is about the same size as the Thieves Guild or Dark Brotherhood. There is solo content in here [Clockwork City], there’s group content in this with the new trial we’re putting in. There is also a new game mode for the PVPers called “Crazy King” and we have some base game updates in here as well. We also have a bunch of major performance enhancements to reduce load times and increase frame-rates.
Broken Joysticks: Can you explain some of the system changes that will be introduced with Update 16 and the release of the Clockwork City DLC?
ESO Devs: We have what I’ll call “re-traiting”, which is how [this new feature] started. What the transmute system allows you to do is change the trait on your weapons and armor to any trait that you have already researched. It’s tied into crafting and you have to have already researched the trait, but it allows you to shorten the time for you to get that perfect piece of gear. That is certainly something we have heard from players – that it can be painful to get that perfect weapon or armor piece.
Discovering The Brass Fortress For The First Time
Broken Joysticks: How about the performance enhancements that you alluded to earlier?
ESO Devs: On the performance side of things there were two major things that the engineers specifically worked on: One was how we handle our animation memory and how we manage that and the other was how we render things in the world. More specifically how the “scene graph” works in the game world. The scene graph is a list of objects that have to be rendered and the order in which they are rendered in. Both of these put together resulted in significant reductions in load times and increase in framerates.
Broken Joysticks: I noticed during my play session I accidentally warped to one of the trials “Asylum Sanatorium” while exploring the map. What’s going on with this new trial?
ESO Devs: With the new trial it is a little bit different than what we have normally done. We built it in such a way that it’s kind of like a “Choose Your Own Adventure” or “choose your own difficulty”. You can choose the order in which you kill the bosses and this changes the difficulty of the fight and the order in which things play out. You can kill the mini-bosses first, and then it would be fairly easy or you can kill one of the bosses and then the final boss or rush to the final boss. [if you don’t kill the mini bosses] they work together in tandem to aid the final boss of the trial.
Broken Joysticks: Does the loot from Asylum Sanatorium change depending on the path that you chose with these bosses?
ESO Devs: It does! So, we have both a normal and veteran difficulty mode just like all of our dungeons. In normal you can get “imperfect gear” and on veteran, you can get “perfect gear”. If you do it “the hardest of the hard” you can get a polymorph that has been placed in a rune box that allows you to turn into a Factotum.
An NPC Admires One of The Steel Plated Books
Broken Joysticks: I love the overall aesthetic of the Clockwork City DLC that has been shown so far. It’s a lot different than anything else you’d find in Tamriel.
ESO Devs: Absolutely, it was so great to work on with our art team. We ran things past Bethesda and getting the aesthetic down was challenging, but I think we pulled it off really well.
Broken Joysticks: What inspired the direction that you ultimately went with for Clockwork City and what are some of the artistic features that players will notice the first time they visit?
ESO Devs: When we originally drew up the concept art for [Clockwork City] we had a lot of challenges trying to figure out how we’d make a world that is synthetic but not so alien that it was unrecognizable not just to The Elder Scrolls fans but fans of fantasy in general. You’ll notice that the areas are fairly straightforward – there’s some rocks, trees, as you’d expect. As you get closer to objects you begin to realize that everything is made of stone and metal. This might look like a tree but the leaves are made out of metal foil and the bark is fiber metal material. Everything you see in The Clockwork City is a fabricated version of something you would see in the rest of Tamriel.
Adventurers should be prepared to enter the world of mechanical gears and golden wonders as Bethesda & Zenimax Online Studios have announced that the Clockwork City DLC for The Elder Scrolls Online will be available on PC & Mac on October 23rd. Xbox One and PlayStation 4 players will receive the add-on two weeks later, on November 7th.
Players looking to experience the brand new single player content that ESO: Clockwork City has to offer will have a few different options to access the content. Clockwork City can be purchased as a standalone add-on pack through the Crown Store for 2000 crowns (closest IAP 3000 crowns for $39.99 CDN) – this adds the new zone to a players game forever without subscription. Those looking for a more premium package can opt for the Clockwork City Collector’s Bundle which includes the base DLC as well as “Clockwork Skeevaton pet, the Kagouti Fabricant mount, and Five Crown Experience Scrolls” additional items (closest IAP in the Crown Store being 5500 crowns for $49.99 CDN). Clockwork City will also be included as part of an Elder Scrolls Online Plus subscription which retails for $14.99 per month, although subscribers lose access to any unpurchased DLC should they end their subscription.
A prologue quest leading up to the beginning of Clockwork City – titled “of knives and long shadows” can now be accessed at your local Mage’s Guild.
Here is the official description on how to begin that quest:
“Prominent diviners, scholars, and planar archaeologists are being killed by their own shadows, and it’s up to you to investigate these deadly assaults. To get started, travel to any local Mages Guild headquarters in Tamriel and find the note on a nearby table titled “Order of the Eye Dispatch”. Read the note to receive the quest “Of Knives and Long Shadows” and begin your new adventure.”
A world of interlocking gears, steam power, golden metal, and robots might sound like a steampunk paradise envisioned by the wildest visionaries of the Victorian age of sci-fi but I’m actually describing the broad aesthetics of The Elder Scrolls Online‘s next major expansion known as The Clockwork City. Owners of The Elder Scrolls Online willing to install the near 80GB Public Test Region’s in-development client can accept the quest to explore the weirdly wonderful world of the Clockwork God, Sotha Sil.
Here is Bethesda’s brief description of this new DLC zone and how players can accept the introductory quest:
Clockwork City. Venture to the bizarre realm of Sotha Sil, the Clockwork God and the third member of the Dunmer Tribunal! The machine world is rife with frightening and alien dangers lurking beneath its metallic deserts and artificial trees, where only tiny pockets of citizens are able to carve out a quasi-religious society that values enlightenment and experimentation in emulation of its detached benefactor. A dark conspiracy threatens the integrity of the Clockwork City and signs of a powerful Daedric relic manifesting within that realm draw all interested eyes toward Sotha Sil’s domain.
To visit the Clockwork City, you can acquire the quest to take you there by accepting it from the Collectibles/Stories interface, or by visiting the Mages Guild in Mournhold.
Additionally, the supplied Character Template will bring you directly to the questline to begin your Clockwork City journey
Clockwork City brings brand new World Bosses and explorable Delves for all adventurers to test their mettle. Sotha Sil’s work on The Imperfect God, a terrifying mechanized weapon of death that is always improving is never ending but players will be able to take it on. Players can choose to venture either into the inner-gears and workings of the Clockwork City in The Shadow Cleft delve or explore an artificial environment that has broken down for an unknown reason in the Halls of Regulation Delve.
Here are Zenimax Online’s official descriptions:
The Clockwork City is a treacherous place with dangers both native and invasive.
The Sanctuary of Verification: Sotha Sil is a distant ruler, and his experiments are often left for hundreds of years at a time until a new idea occurs to him. In the case of the frightening war machine known as the Imperfect, the Clockwork God has set the storage facility itself to continually tweak and make improvements to the dangerous construct. For what purpose was it built, and even more chilling to ask, how many of them are there?
The Exarchs’ Egress: An unknown Daedric force creeps through the shadows of the Clockwork City, bringing with it a new type of Daedric monster – the Wraith-of-Crows. Through a mysterious, remote gate, you can travel to the Daedric realm that houses these malignant monsters and battle a triumvirate of these creatures.
The Halls of Regulation: As an artificial environment, the Clockwork City requires breathable air, potable water, and the processing of waste. The Halls of Regulation do all of this, crewed by enigmatic automated machine-people known as Factotums located in the eastern half of Clockwork City. Unfortunately, the facility has broken down for reasons unknown. Have the Factotums malfunctioned, or is this a case of sabotage?
The Shadow Cleft: Another dark artery winding its way into Clockwork City can be found in the Shadow Cleft toward the western half of the zone. Nightmare creatures and things that go bump in the night all lurk in this strange place, where several enterprising Clockwork Apostles disappeared attempting to discern its true masters.
Repeatable Bounties: The Clockwork Facilitator and Novice Holli, both residing in the eastern portion of the Brass Fortress, each offer daily bounties to investigate and overcome dangers at these locations.
Within the heart of The Clockwork City sits a place known as The Brass Fortress. In this center of power priests and zealous inventors dedicate themselves to Sotha Sil and aim to replace the flesh & blood parts of their bodies with machine replacement parts. The Brass Fortress is also home to those not loyal to the whims of Sotha Sil, these outcasts have become known as The Tarnished.
The Brass FortressGoing to the Clockwork City will eventually lead you to the Brass Fortress, the center of the city itself and the one place that the Clockwork Apostles, dedicated priests, and inventors, work to improve their bodies and minds – sometimes with dubious “replacement” parts! Here, you can find the usual services and commodities.
The Tarnished: Not everyone in the Clockwork City pledges themselves to Sotha Sil. He is a benevolent god, in his own way, and allows them to remain regardless of their lack of devotion. This sub-society of outcasts, transients, and vagabonds are known collectively as the Tarnished, and have made themselves a valuable part of the city even if the Apostles themselves do not always appreciate it. Razgurug, the “mayor” of these downtrodden folk, offers what recompense he can in exchange for assistance to support the society that the distant Apostles will not.
More information about other changes that will be introduced in patch 3.2.0 including new collectibles, new item sets, new furniture, new crafting motifs and updates to the base game & ESO: Morrowind are available in the PTR patch notes. We don’t have a solid release date or price point for Clockwork City just yet but given the fact that Zenimax Online is ready for players to test it, it can’t be more than a few weeks out.
ZeniMax Online Studios has announced an in-game event celebrating the 2nd anniversary of the release of the Imperial City DLC. Running from now until September 18th champions who venture into the overrun city in the heart of Cyrodil can earn double the amount of rare drops. This is a great opportunity if you own the Imperial City DLC to get some of the unique armor/weapon pieces that the DLC brought to ESO.
Here are the specific items and currencies that have a double drop rate:
Double the amount of Tel Var Stones dropped from all monsters
Double the chance of picking up the Stonefire Scamp pet and Soul-Shriven Skin
Double the amount of Key Fragments
Double the amount of sacks dropped by the Tel Var Scamp and Treasure Scamps
Imperial City adds the following to The Elder Scrolls Online:
A brand new PVE / PVP quest line.
Six major wards that comprise the large open city environment.
One public PVE dungeon – The Imperial Sewers.
Two four person private dungeons available via Activity Finder – The White Tower and Imperial City Prison.
A DLC Unique Crafting Style.
Imperial City is available as part of an ESO Plus monthly subscription or as a separate purchase for 25 000 Crowns in the Crowns Store.