The first online game in the Elder Scrolls franchise will cover the entire continent of Tamriel and feature three distinct player factions. Players will choose a faction and clash with the other two factions, the Empire and the Daedric Prince Molag Bal in an attempt to take control of the Imperial City of Cyrodil and stop Nirn from becoming merged with Oblivion.
The Elder Scrolls Online was initially a subscription based game consisting of purchasing the game with the first 30 days being free and $14.99, €12.99, and £8.99 per month.
The game is available for PC/Mac, PS4 and Xbox One.
On March 17, 2015 the game was renamed The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited to coincide with players no longer needing to have an active subscription to play the game. Players only need to buy the base game in order to play the full game.
The game is also available in a special edition called The Imperial Edition. This edition includes:
- Molag Bal Statue - a 12" statue featuring Molag Bal, Daedric Prince of Domination and Enslavement
- The Improved Emperor's Guide to Tamriel - a 224-page illustrated guide annotated by the imperial scholar, Flaccus Terentius.
- Physical Map of Tamriel - A 21" X 26" printed map detailing Alliance-controlled zones and the ultimate conquest: Cyrodiil.
- Steel Case Packaging - A Limited Edition Steel Case decorated in the color of the Imperials
- Exclusive Collection of Digital Content:
- Play as an Imperial - Become an Imperial and play in any Alliance. Gain unique bonuses, crafting styles, gear, and more
- White Imperial Horse - Summon this Imperial mount and journey through Tamriel (In game horse, which can be bought for 1 gold.)
- Mudcrab Vanity Pet - Explore Tamriel with a mudcrab pet scuttling along your side
- Rings of Mara - Complete the Ritual of Mara with a friend and receive and experience bonus when you play together
It's also possible to get a digital upgrade to The Imperial Edition from the standard edition. The Imperial Edition can also be purchased digitally, and includes all of the same in-game items.
The game features three distinct player factions each with three member races.
The Daggerfall Covenant consists of the Bretons, Redguard, and Orcs. The covenant is ruled by the Kings of High Rock which is lead by High King Emeric in Wayrest. The Kings of High Rock is an alliance by marriage of the Redguard and by extension a war treaty with the Orcs.
The Daggerfall Covenant controls northwest Tamriel with a strong hold on High Rock and footholds in both Skyrim and Hammerfell.
The Aldmeri Dominion consists of the High Elves, Wood Elves, and Khajiit. The Dominion is an alliance formed by the High Elves of Summerset who reached out to neighboring races when they learned of the fate of the Imperial City. They are led by Queen Ayrenn on the Altmer throne in Summerset.
The Aldmeri Dominion has a tight hold on Summerset Isle with a strong foothold in Valenwood.
The Ebonheart Pact consists of the Nord, Dark Elves, and Argonians. Their alliance was forced by invasion of the Akavari slavemasters. They are lead by the governance of The Great Moot, a council of all three races lead by High King Jorunn of Eastern Skyrim.
The Ebonheart Pact holds Morrowind with a foothold in Skyrim.
Update 1 - Lower Craiglorn (May 22, 2014)
This was the Elder Scrolls Online's first major content update and it added the Adventure Zone Craglorn. Not fully known at the time was that this update only added two thirds of the province Craglorn to the game. The Craglorn that got added in Update 1 would come to be known as "Lower Craglorn" with "Upper Craglorn" being added in Update 4 in September 2014 thereby officially completing the province. Craglorn was a significant update to the game world as it began to introduce and shape what ESO's "End Game" would look like. Craglorn is a zone designed to be explored by groups of four Veteran Rank 10+ characters, and was very challenging upon release. This update also first introduced Trials to ESO, which are the closest thing to traditional MMO raids in the game today. Trials are 12-player adventures for high level characters.
- New Adventure Zone Craglorn - Designed for four VR10+ players
- Two Trials - Hel Ra Citadel and the Aetherian Acrhive
- Quality of Life
- Veteran Rank Increased to VR12
- 4-Player Dungeon Chests Become Shared
- Death Recap Added
- Cyrodiil mob VR increased to VR5 (was VR1)
- Cyrodiil Population Underdog Bonus
Update 2 - Veteran Crypt of Hearts (June 26, 2014)
This update added a challenging new Dungeon, the Crypt of Hearts. However, the most significant addition in this update was the ability to pick up environmental objects, such as weapons and arrows. This presented a feature that was a staple of the single player Elder Scrolls games.
- Veteran Crypt of Hearts Dungeon
- Quality of Life
- Field of View Slider
- The Ability To Pickup "World" Armor And Weapons
- Improved Interior Lighting
- Light Jerkins
Update 3 -Armor Dyeing/Guild Stores (August 4, 2014)
One of the most significant quality of life updates, this update added a fundamental array of Guild and cosmetic updates, most importantly the Guild Stores. Guild stores are Guild run auction houses. There are 122 in the game, and items sold are only available at the one that the Guild Controls. As such, vying for the Guild Stores in central locations became important to Guild dynamics. Prior to this update, there was mixed reception to new content. This patch however was praised universally, and would mark the beginning of ESO at it is today.
- Armor Dyes - Tied To Achievements Earned (Account Wide)
- Guild Traders
- Guild Heraldry (Tabards)
- Alliance War Campaign Length Changes (Added 5, 7 and 14 day campaigns)
- Coldharbour Delve Expansion
- "Hard Mode" added to Trials
- Quality of Life
- Improved Guild Management
- Guild Bank Gold - Deposit/Withdrawal
- Color Correction - Added Post Processing
Update 4 - Upper Craglorn (September 15, 2014)
Upper Craglorn was the first zone developed post launch (lower Craglorn was meant to ship with the game), and as such was a much higher quality than all of the zones in the original release. It was met with very positive reception (the first of many such updates). This patch also released a new trial, Sanctum Ophidia, which was so difficult it took over a month for the world first completion to occur. Finally, this patch added the Dragon Arena, which is the first Arena style patch that ESO would see.
- Upper Craglorn
- New Trial: Sanctum Ophidia
- Dragon Star Arena
- Quality of Life
- Veteran Rank Increased to VR14
- New Crafting Trait - Nirnhoned
- Delve Expansion - Bangkorai, Reaper’s March and The Rift
- Grouping Improvements - Phasing Reduction
- PFX Prioritization - "Culls" FX Seen Onscreen to Increase FPS
Update 5 -Veteran City of Ash/Dungeon Scaling and Pledges/Crafting Writs (November 3 2014)
The content included in this patch was the Veteran City of Ash, a revamp of the original dungeon. Dungeon scaling allowed the same dungeons to be run with increased challenge and rewards. In addition, the Undaunted will give out two dungeon dailies - one regular and one veteran. Completing these dailies will also give you an Undaunted chest key in either bronze, silver or gold according to an increasing set of challenges. Crafting Writs were also added, and are daily quests (reset every 20 hours) that can be performed in all six of the crafting professions.These Writs allowed for quicker and cheaper crafting leveling.
- Veteran City of Ash
- Improved Facial Animations - FaceFx
- 4-Player Dungeon Scaling
- Solo Scaling
- Undaunted Enclave and Pledges - Dungeon Dailies
- Crafting Writs (Dailies)
- Quality of Life
- New Crafting Style: Dwemer
- Veteran XP Removal
- Chat Bubbles (Beta)
- Delve Expansion - Alik’r Desert, Eastmarch and Malabal Tor
Update 6 -Justice & Champion System (March 3, 2015)
This update allowed one to commit criminal actions throughout Tamriel such as theft, burglary, pickpocketing and murdering NPCs. Many things were added as part of this system, such as Outlaw Refugees, bounty system, and locked houses. Plans for a future PvP system where law enforces could kill outlaws were announced. The Champion System introduced is effectively the skill constellation UI from Skyrim, and is used for optional perks. Eventually (June 2016) this system would fully replace the veteran rank system.
- Justice System - Steal/Pickpocket/Assault/Murder
- Champion System - Post Max Level Progression
- Enlightenment Mechanic - "Rested XP" Gain
- Major Game Rebalance - Skill Changes
- Provisioning Revamp
- Quality of Life
- Collection System - Crown Store Precursor
- Delve Expansion - Auridon, Glenumbra, Stonefalls
- Animation Updates
- Updated Tutorial
Tamriel Unlimited (March 17, 2015)
The Elder Scrolls Online moved to a Buy-To-Play model and rebranded as The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited. Prior to this date, ESO had a subscription payment model where you were required to pay $15 per month to play the game. The Crown Stores was added for cosmetic items, and an optional subscription which gives 1500 Crown Stores points, 10% bonus to XP, gold gain, crafting research, and inspiration, and access to all future DLC for free (as long as one remains subscribed) is added.
- Crown Stores
- Optional Premium (ESO Plus)
Console Launch (June 9, 2015)
The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited began sale on PlayStation 4 and X-Box One. It was the PS4's top seller in June and the optional subscription was in the top 10 DLC's from June-December 2015.
One Tamriel (October 4, 2016)
The One Tamriel update removed the zone restrictions for each faction in PvE. Now, any player from any faction can travel to any zone in the game. The update also set enemies to Champion Points 160 (a high-end level). If the player is below this level, they will be scaled to Champion Points 150, essential turning the whole game into a level-scaled experience until max level. Players are now free to travel to any zone in the game without having to worry about being over-levelled or under-levelled.
Morrowind Expansion (Launching June 6, 2017)
While parts of Morrowind are accessible in the current form of Elder Scrolls Online, this expansion makes the island of Vvardenfell available to players. The expansion also includes:
- A new class: The Warden. A druid-like character who can summon animals to help fight in combat, as well as use ice-based magic.
- A new PvP mode: 4v4v4 Battlegrounds.
Morrowind seems to be ESO's biggest new content to date, hence the $59.99 price tag for the standalone version and $39.99 for the upgrade edition.