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What I Want from ESO’s Next Chapter

William Murphy Posted:
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Well, thanks to some enthusiastic data miners, the cat (literally) is out of the bag and next week’s big Elder Scrolls Online reveal is going to be an expansion set in Elsweyr, the home of the Khajiit. As evidenced by a package I received this week from none other than Abnur Tharn, it seems the Imperial mage may have some ideas on how to end the Three Banners War and bring about peace to Tamriel... but I’m betting it won’t be that simple.

While I’m really curious to see where the story goes for this expansion, especially considering that it seems to be confirming we are indeed in the midst of a Dragon Break, I’m more curious as to exactly what sorts of new content we’ll see added to the game and whether it will be more than a new class and lots of new quests and gear to chase down.

A look at the tablet and summons from Abnur Tharn


The datamined features of the expansion are somewhat underwhelming, as it seems to imply that the focus is more on story than adding new systems or toys to play with in ESO. See below:

  1. - New zone: Elsweyr
  2. - New class: Necromancer
  3. - New "enemies": Dragons
  4. - Overarching plotline throughout all of 2019's releases

The fourth is arguably not even a feature. That’s just sort of how story works in MMOs, and especially ESO. So I’m hoping that the info that was leaked/datamined is just the tip of the iceberg, and that there’s more to the next big chapter than a new class and new zone. That’s essentially what it boils down to in the leak.

Now, don’t get me wrong, the very thought of dragon fights, Necromancers, and visiting Elsweyr is enough to get me twitterpated. But as I’ve been saying for a while now, ESO is in danger of getting too comfortable in its updates. This past year had two great story DLC - Summerset (the expansion) and Murkmire (the big story DLC), but the other two updates were arguably “meh” as they were just two dungeon packs. No new “features” have been added to the game in some time.

ZOS has built an amazing world, with so much content that I’ve spent nearly a thousand hours in the game and haven’t done probably half of it all. There’s just a staggering amount of lore, quests, and dungeons in this MMO. But if I had a wish for 2019, it would be for them to add more systems and take a potential “World of Warcraftian” approach to their Chapter design. No, I don’t mean overpromise and underwhelm like BfA, but rather to try and add new systems with each year’s big update.

Morrowind was unique because it added Battlegrounds, a nice solid form of quick PVP for those who want to fight but not dig into Cyrodiil. I’ve been calling for a “reason” to use my houses in ESO for a while, and I’m still waiting for them to give us farming or gardening as a side activity. Summerset gave us Jewelcrafting, which was a nice new profession to grind and use. So I wonder of Elsweyr will bring something more too.

On the 15th, Zenimax will pull back the curtain on all that the new Chapter contains. I’ll be watching eagerly. And let’s face it, even if the above-listed features are the crux of what’s in the expansion, we all know I’ll be there with bells on. Argonian or Khajiit Necromancer, here I come.


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.