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Elder Scrolls Online: Elsweyr is Meow-velous So Far

By William Murphy on May 21, 2019 | Columns | 0

Elder Scrolls Online's latest chapter, Elsweyr, launched on PC yesterday and to the surprise of no one - it's good stuff. It's no secret that ESO has been my go-to MMO for the past several years, and this Khajit and Dragon infused expansion seems to be more icing on an already delightful cake.

I've been waiting for Elsweyr since the last big DLC, as in my opinion the dungeon DLC (though great for dungeon running) are just a little too light in the content area. Don’t get me wrong, the dungeon team makes some of the best repeatable content in MMOs, but the lifeblood of ESO is its big sprawling quest-based open world content. And if you’re going by that measure, it’s been around half a year since something like that landed in Tamriel.

In fact, I worry because if the pattern repeats itself, we’re looking at the first DLC being 2 dungeons, then a big zone DLC, and then another 2 dungeon DLC. And if there’s any negative I can levy at ESO personally, it’s that the content updates are starting to feel too formulaic. And in between two big adventure DLC, the game needs more features and “toys” to play with besides dungeons. Now, all that said – how is Elsweyr so far?

It’s more ESO, and that’s only a bad thing if you don’t like ESO. For folks like me, it’s a breath of fresh air. I loved the story of Summerset, but Elves just aren’t my thing. Now Khajit? Their culture, like that of the Argonians, is unique and interesting in fantasy RPGs. As I’ve been catching up on Game of Thrones, they remind me of the Dornish in the show – charming, clever, and full of life.

Of course, I started a Necromancer, Haze am Dar – a lovely white-haired Khajit with a penchant for messing with death magic. The class itself is plenty of fun so far, and it goes outside what I’m used to in ESO, because I’ve taken to using a Destruction Staff as my main weapon. The mix of healing, damage, and positional abilities make it feel like a lot more than just a sorcerer with skeletons that’s for sure. It’s early in my leveling process, but it feels like the Necro is more powerful than the Warden originally felt at its release. After months of playing Warden, feeling dangerous again is a nice change of pace.

The best part of Elsweyr so far is most definitely the dragon attacks that are taking place across the zone. I once wished that they’d be more random and less static than the Dark Anchors and the like. That is certainly the case here, as the Dragons appear in the sky randomly, fly around, and you never quite know what you’ll get. They perch atop stones and rain fire down on players, and when they eventually fall to many attackers, they leave behind a load of loot for everyone involved in the slaying. Heck, they even “Fus Ro Dah” you during the fighting.

Still, they’re essentially randomized world bosses, even if they’re far more interesting to behold. I expect it won’t be long before players get a bit bored of them, and I wonder what ZOS has in store to keep them fresh for the long haul.

My time with Elsweyr has only just begun, but I’m enjoying it. Good stories, Cadwell and Abnur are both back, and the Khajiit homeland is fantastic to behold. The real question will be what this Year of the Dragon has in store for players once they’ve burnt through the base story laid out before us with yesterday’s launch and what new content and features we can expect going forward. For now, I’ll happily scour each delve and city.


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.