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The Clockwork City DLC Review

William Murphy Posted:
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It’s finally here - we’re venturing into Sotha Sil’s domain, the Clockwork City. ESO’s been keeping their promise of quarterly DLCs, and The Clockwork City is their last announced addition to the game of 2017. What comes in 2018 is anyone’s guess, but if this is the way to close out the year, then Zenimax Online Studios is doing things right. This is our Elder Scrolls Online Clockwork City DLC review.

The thing about these big story-oriented zone DLCs is that they don’t often add too much to the game in terms of features. That’s different this time around, as CWC adds both the Transmutation feature and a new Battleground game mode in the form of Crazy King. There also have been significant performance improvements all around, increasing FPS for most players by 15-30%, even in cities. Even more important, to me, is the Trait Tracker, which helps you see what items are worth a damn to you in your inventory. If you craft and dabble in all professions, it’s a real time saver. And of course, all the new gear, craftables, daily quests, and so forth. In short, it’s a lot of stuff for $20 or an ESO Plus membership.

I can’t speak to many of class changes, but as I’m currently still leveling my Warden, I can say that the healing feels more powerful, and the Feral Guardian (bear!) getting some immunity with his ability makes him feel less like dead weight in PVP. A mumuch-needed boost overall towards making a bear build more viable.

This patch also makes Battleground queues separated - 10 to 49 and 50+ are the brackets, making the leveling folks feel a little less hampered by the 600+ CP folks. Thank you, ZOS. In addition, PVP in general is a good place to get the new Transmutation Crystals you need for transmutes.This currency can only be obtained in Veteran game modes, such as Pledges, Trials, and Arenas, and several PvP sources such as Rewards for the Worthy, Battleground end of match rewards, and AvA end of campaign rewards. Transmute Crystals are an account wide, capped currency which cannot be banked or traded. This makes the whole act of Transmuting more of an end-game thing, or for those working on alts, and that’s OK. It’s not something a leveling character should be worried about.

Now, the content itself? Oh man, like Orsinium, Clockwork City is going to go down as one of my favorite story-based DLCs. Try as I might, I just didn’t get into Imperial City or Thieves Guild, but Dark Brotherhood, Orsinium and now Clockwork are all shining examples of when ZOS does its storytelling best. The narrative weaves through all parts of the new zone, which includes the city itself, as well as its outskirts. There are two new delves, two new world bosses, and the sort of “mini-Trial” in Asylum Sanctorium. 

I won’t spoil things, but the characters are well-written, memorable, and the story hits a fever pitch by the end just like Orsinium. ESO is quickly becoming one of the few “themepark” MMORPGs that doesn’t require you to follow the main game’s narrative to level. With all of its DLCs, including Clockwork City, I feel like each new character has a whole new world to play in without rehashing too much content I’ve already done before.

I’ve only played a few matches of Crazy King, but I will say that the simple act of moving the capture zone is actually a brilliant way to keep capture-styled PVP from getting stale. The frantic rush to capture and hold each new pop is surprisingly adrenaline-charged. And as always, Battlegrounds remain a great way to gear up while leveling.

As always, when I finish the story in ESO, I’m left wanting more, wondering where we’ll go next. There are so many places on the map left uncovered in Tamriel. 2018 is around the corner, and I’m sure we’ll all be talking about the next DLC and the next Chapter soon. But for now, revel in the Clockwork City and vibrant and strange new world it brings into the game. It’s a keeper. 


William Murphy

Bill is the former Managing Editor of MMORPG.com, RTSGuru.com, and lover of all things gaming. He's been playing and writing about MMOs and geekery since 2002, and you can harass him and his views on Twitter @thebillmurphy.