This past week at GDC we got the chance to join Elder Scrolls Online for their Elsweyr Update. In the demo we got to play the Necromancer and see a dragon, two of the biggest additions coming to the game. Here are some of the take-aways from where ESO is going.
You Are Not the Dovahkiin
Dragons in ESO will be hard. Sorry folks your days of going back and dropping them with shouts and two-handed axes are over. This is an era when dragons are unleashed and they are dangerous. The great news is dragons will spawn throughout the world as well as be the ideal bosses in certain instances. The bad news is, they are tough.
Heralding back to MMOs of old adding in these flying marauders of doom really feels like old school MMOs when you got caught in the open on a boss spawn. The demo did not go into a lot of the fight mechanics, you started at level one. However, you got the idea as you distracted the dragon so NPCs could try to bring it down. The keyword is try.
The majestic cat folk really bring in the culture for Elder Scrolls fans with this expansion. Richard Lambert explained the mix of cultures the team looked at to bring their homeland to life. Fans will find lots of ancient ruins to explore and endless quests to dive deep into their history. The khajiit had been around for a long time so there is a lot to dig through.
Bringing a unique take to a new class is always tricky in any game. The ESO team worked hard to make sure the Necro has its own feel. In many games, people view the Necromancer as a pet class. This is not the case with ESO. They worked off of lessons learned on the Warden to build a class which covers a lot of ground.
For non-players, ESO’s class system is mixed class abilities with any weapon form you want to take. Plus, add in the racial skills and crafting it makes for a very strong blend of “play how you want.” The Necromancer uses undead but only quickly and in certain instances, they can use the soul energy from a corpse to power up skeletons, but ultimately they are gone. Swapping out energy from the dead is the best way to describe the skill line. Using that energy for tons of skills allows for flexibility in the design. Point here, the Necromancer is fun! You can play it in various ways to build a unique character which will bring death to your foes and then use that death even further.
Overall, ESO’s demo was a quick learning experience on the new class and some of the content in the update. Elsweyr is also playable for new players so it is the perfect time to jump in and get going on the game if you have been gone for a while. Just exploring the ruins alone hits deep in every Elder Scrolls fan.