One my favorite things about Zenimax’s Elder Scrolls Online is that no matter how long you’ve been away it's always a nice treat to come back. With so many releases over these past couple months my MMO time has been limited. When ESO released its latest DLC: Murkmire however, I was eager pick up my sword and board and dive into this latest offering. So after a week or so of bog hopping (totally a thing) and adventuring my way through ESO’s latest zone, Murkmire, I’ meager to share my thoughts and impressions. So grab that coffee, kick back and enjoy this impressions piece of Elder Scrolls Online: Murkmire.
Set on the south eastern shores below Shadfen, Murkmire is a wonderfully themed zone that captures the essence of what an Argonian (or Saxhleel for the lore lovers out there) area would include. From its water logged terrain, to dense and deadly vegetation, to its killer insect population, this zone creates the perfect backdrop for the story that unfolds around you.
The area is littered with decrepit buildings from expeditions past all of which carry a look of being consumed by the marsh around them. Argonian artifacts also cover the zone hinting at the deep and rich lore of this people group. Finally the mysterious Hist trees populate much of the zone and share a special connection with the people that inhabit the area. Like much of the zone design in ESO, Murkmire is a reflection of its people but in architecture and design and in the case of Murkmire nails the look and feel of the Argonian people. As someone who tends to lean more towards Nord characters, Murkmire perked my interest to learn more about the Argonian culture. In the opinion of this writer, if a zone design can perk your interest to learn more about the people that inhabit the zone than the team that created the zone is doing their job right.
I would be remiss if I didn’t stop for a moment to address the story of Murkmire. For fear of spoiling some of the great moments of this DLC I won’t go into any great detail but would like to say that it has been a lot of fun to play through. For the sake of time most of my focus has been on the main quest chain which sees you assisting a group of explorers looking for a lost artifact but I did note that there are a lot of side quests that I cannot wait to get back to.
The main quest chain is an interest mix of Indiana Jones, Nathan Drake and Sam Spade Mystery all mixed together. In fact As epic as some of the other introduction quests have been DLC past, I have to confess that I probably had the most fun with Murkmires intro chain as it felt like something straight out of Raiders of the Lost Ark. Even as I was exploring, investigating and fighting my way through the begining section I couldn’t help but wish for a fedora and whip.
As always you will be introduced to some new and colorful characters. I especially loved the dialog banter between members of the expedition that you are assisting, with many of the conversations eluding to past adventures and experiences. Again kudos to the writing and voice over team for bringing the world to life once again.
The DLC also offers a couple of new delves that are appropriately themed as well as a couple of world bosses that will require a solid team to take down. Additionally the Murkmire has introduced some new features. One that I didn’t get the opportunity to try but am looking forward to partying up for is the new Arena. In a nutshell you and three friends will party together and face off against hordes of enemies in five increasingly difficult levels. Should you and your team emerge victorious, powerful weapons and loot await along with a place on the leaderboards. Seems like a nice way to take a break from questing all while still chasing after new loot and gear.
Another area that has seen some upgrades comes in the form of player housing. There have been some quality of life improvements such as selecting multiple items to move at once and the undo feature which is a welcome addition to the editor. The former works well based on my experience allowing me to quickly change up rooms and layouts without spending all of the time lining up individual items.
The final part of the house update comes in the form of a new piece of furniture, your very own spotify streaming box… errr… music box. This sweet little addition adds a nice touch to your homestead allowing you to rock out or relax to your favorite tunes from Tamriel. Although I couldn’t necessarily play all of my favorite playlists it is nice to be able to have some themed music playing softly in the background of your homestead.
As I’m still playing through all of the content from the DLC I haven’t yet experienced all elements of this update. However what I have experienced has been polished, well designed and expertly executed. Murkmire offers players a fresh and inviting take on the Argonian people, a unique zone to explore, a great story for adventuring types and a host of new ways to gain loot and gear for your character. If your looking for something new to do in Tamriel than I recommend picking up Murkmire.