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Imperial City - The Most Anticipated ESO Patch Yet

By Ryan Getchell on July 16, 2015 | Columns | Comments

Imperial City - The Most Anticipated ESO Patch Yet

Imperial City, it has to be the most anticipated feature that Zenimax has discussed since pre-launch and we're finally getting some information about it. The Imperial City is slated to launch August 31st for PC/MAC, September 15th for Xbox One and September 16th for the Playstation 4. It will also be going live on the Private Test Servers later this month so you will be able to test out this update for FREE before it goes on the live servers. Reminder: The PTS is for testing the patch, expect it to have bugs, glitches, crashes, NEVER judge an update by your experience on the PTS.

This is the first DLC for The Elder Scrolls Online and with it being marked as a DLC a price comes with it as well. However don't fret this content comes in two parts a base game update and the DLC game pack which has a cost attached to it.

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If you're an ESO Plus member you'll be given access to the DLC content for FREE, but if you're not a ESO Plus member but want to eradicate the Imperial City of Molag Bal's tyranny then you will have to purchase it from the Crown Store for the amount of 2,500 credits, or for those who like to know real money equivalency it's roughly $20.00 USD. 


Personally I'm not a major fan of this being considered a DLC strictly because it's one of the major content patches that has been discussed by Zenimax well before the switch to B2P. So I feel that because of this it should have been included with the game price. Personal opinions aside, this update is massive. It will easily be the largest update to the game thus far, so I can see why they have decided to consider it a premium update and the cost seems justified. Heck it also makes the ESO Plus membership worthwile, as you'd effectively be getting it for $10 less.

Taking a look at the base game patch (the one that everyone will receive and has no cost attached to it) we will be seeing the following changes:

  • 15% decrease in the amount of XP it takes to gain a Veteran Rank
  • 100% more XP for all public dungeons
  • 50% more XP for all Veteran Rank quests
  • 20% more XP in Craglorn
  • Veteran Rank increased to 16
  • Racial Passive improvements
  • Mundus Stone buff improvements
  • Glass racial motif style
  • Improvements to existing item sets
  • The ability to hide mount visual upgrades
  • New crafting skill line passives
  • New Undaunted pledges
  • Tons of combat and gameplay balance changes
  • Improved end-of-campaign Alliance War rewards
  • …and more!

As you can see the base update is pretty significant. We are going to see a nice increase to the XP gains to almost everything, allowing players to level through a bit easier, making it feel less of a grind and more of an adventure. Usually I’m against anything that makes the leveling experience faster, but this change isn’t about making it faster, it’s about making it more enjoyable. Players won’t be nearly as focused on how much their XP bar moves and more focused on the story around them.  

For those who are ESO plus Members or have purchased the DLC via the Crown Store, the list of new content is nothing short of epic. Take a look:

  • All content is available to players that are level 10 and up
  • A brand new PvP/PvE space, including the six Imperial City Districts
  • New quests and key characters within the Imperial City
  • One new Imperial City PvP Public Dungeon: The Imperial Sewers
  • Two new PvE Imperial City group dungeons with Normal and Veteran versions: White-Gold Tower and Imperial City Prison
  • The Tel Var Stone system
  • 23 completely new Veteran Rank 16 item sets, only available in Imperial City
  • Treasure Vaults that contain new Veteran Rank 16 set jewelry and a chance for even rarer finds
  • Xivkyn racial motif style
  • New collectibles only available in Imperial City (pets, polymorphs, and a costume)

As long as you are level 10 or higher you will be able to throw your sword/staves into the fray. With this update taking place within Cyrodiil it’s of course going to contain a large PvP aspect to it. However, even those who don’t enjoy PvP are going to want to take part, as everything within the city is PvE with the exception that you may get ganked by an enemy player. But what’s life in Tamriel without the constant fear of someone or something lurking in the shadows?

It seems the zones are broken down to two primary areas, the Imperial City Districts and the Sewers leading up to the city. The sewers being the primary access to Imperial City Districts all factions will need to make their way through this zone in order to get to the districts.  If it’s anything like Darkness Falls I would assume there’s a crossroads of sorts, where all factions paths converge then lead down a single path to the districts making that one potentially deadly spot. Hope you have your Legerdemain and champion points placed into stealth options so you can increase your chance of surviving.

A new currency is being added with this update, Tel Var Stones. These stones will drop from enemy creatures and players. Yes, that’s right, you’ll be able to receive Tel Var Stones directly from Enemy kills, just another reason to rid Tamriel of the filthy Aldmeri and Ebonheart adulatory. This currency will be used at vendors within Imperial City sewers.  Each safe area within the sewers will have their own vendors, so you can trade and sell in piece.

Those who purchase the DLC or are ESO Plus Members will also have access to a new motif, Xivkin. This is an interesting one, not the style but locking it behind the paygate. Those with the content will be able to craft a style that others can’t, but Xivkin Moftif Chapters are tradeable along with the style material, so in theory a person is able to fully learn and craft that style without ever purchasing the DLC. With the way crafting is designed in ESO, everyone can be a crafter, thus making it increasingly difficult to be a very profitable crafter. Making this style only accessible to those with the content or those able to obtain it through trading makes the overall competition pool slightly smaller, which I think is a great thing. It allows crafters to be able to corner markets and become a well-known merchant of sorts.  I think more games should do this type of crafting, allowing players to “specialize” in a specific type of thing. 

It also looks like they took an idea right out from World of Warcraft, which I hope is true. Unique pets, costumes and collectables are available only within Imperial City. WoW has the ability to keep players doing mindless stuff in order to obtain a rare pet.  No one enjoys grinding, but if there is a chance to obtain a rare pet, costume or collectible you can surely bet people will spend endless hours trying to obtain it. Even if they can’t sell it, they’ll use it as a form of status symbol. Think of how many times you stood in Stormwind only to have some guy on an exceptionally rare mount flying directly in front of the auction house. They’re doing it to show off their mount.  We all do it in our own ways. It’s human nature to gloat. I know it sounds horrible but you know it to be true, when you get that rare drop you link it to your friends, you show it off. Now, I just hope this is what they mean by that statement, my luck it’ll be through a quest and everyone will be running around with it making it a worthless item that has no meaning, except that you did a quest that everyone else did. I pray to the eight that this is not the case.

I know a lot of this update sounds very PvP focused, it’s not. Well, it is and it isn’t. Imperial City offers a lot of PvE content for players to do that isn’t instanced like the 4-player dungeons are. All the content is PvE.  You will be doing quests, killing NPC in order to gain control of a district, but because all of this is contained within Cyrodiil, it’s lawless. Anyone from the opposing factions who are still within Imperial City (even if they don’t own access to it) will be able to ambush you. There will be times where you will be in Imperial City doing quests and you won’t encounter a single person from the opposing factions.  There might even be times where the opposing factions help you or you help them. That said, there will also be times where you’ll do nothing but die to the opposing factions, you won’t be able to step foot outside your safe area without getting killed. That’s what makes this type of zone so exciting, its going to have unpredictable qualities.

There will be players that don’t enjoy this type of content, to which I say, get some friends and try it! The first time you go into Imperial City and dominate the other factions, you’ll change your mind. There is no greater feeling than being in the midst of a big boss fight, only to be interrupted by an enemy group who thinks they have the upper hand. You wipe the floor with them and continue your boss battle. The discussions, laughter, and adrenaline rush will make Imperial City the place to be.  

Who else is excited for this update? This is personally my most anticipated patch since launch. I have been waiting for this update since I spoke with Brian Wheeler back at PAX East in 2013. August 31st can’t come fast enough.

Ryan Getchell / Ryan is our resident Elder Scrolls nerd, and columnist for Zenimax's MMO. When he's not out killing things in Tamriel, he's working in IT professionally.
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