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Zenimax Online Studios | Official Site
MMORPG | Setting:Fantasy | Status:Final  (rel 04/04/14)  | Pub:Bethesda Softworks
PVP:Yes | Distribution:Download,Retail | Retail Price:$59.99 | Pay Type:Buy to Play | Monthly Fee:Free
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Columns: Update 12 - How It Changes the Game

By Ryan Getchell on August 31, 2016

Update 12 - How It Changes the Game

The Elder Scrolls Online is going back to its roots. Before the game was Buy to Play, it was Pay to Play and all the major updates were free. With update 12, everything will be completely free. While this update does not include any new zones or storylines, it does change the core aspect of the game as a whole. It is a new way to play ESO, especially if you are a new or returning player to Tamriel.

Update 12 will bring with us, One Tamriel. The update that unifies all of Tamriel to, essentially, be the same level of difficulty no matter the zone you are in. This feature alone is going to change how you level up an Alt or how new and returning players experience the game. If you have a friend who is interested in playing, you won’t have to create a character that you only play when they play. You can now just group up with them and play together. But I’m not here to discuss One Tamriel, I’ve done that already, if you want to know more about One Tamriel, read Bill Murphy’s Interview with Matt Firor or Everything we know articles. 


Let’s talk about what’s being included in Update 12

A lot of what is coming in Update 12 are features we have requested long before the game officially launched. Such a great thing when a game implemented a feature a large majority of the community has wanted. So what exactly are these features, you may ask.


Out of everything coming in Update 12 this is by far my favourite feature. I have been asking… begging… Brian Wheeler to work on dueling well before the game had launched and it is finally coming. Dueling is not just about having a friendly 1v1 with a friend. You use it to fine-tune your character, from the gear you are wearing to the rotation you are using.

The only way to fine tune your PvP build currently is through Cyrodiil. Either you go into Cyrodiil and try to find someone who is alone or you know someone who plays for the other faction and you organize a 1v1 fight. Even if you know someone from the other faction, you always risk having someone jump into the fight either to help the enemy or to help you. Their intentions are good, but their ignorance on what is actually happening can cause a lot of frustration to both parties.

Currently there are guilds that specialize in doing small-scale tournaments but once One Tamriel launches we are going to see a much more competitive tournament scene. One Tamriel is going to allow players to group up with members of the other factions outside of Cyrodiil and perform duels. We will most likely start seeing third party websites (guild sites) hosting 1v1 ladder systems. As I said, there are guilds that do this already but only against other factions so there is no way to really see who is the top dog. With One Tamriel that is going to change. You will be able to fight anyone, even if they are in your faction.

In my opinion, this is definitely one of the best features coming to ESO.

Crown Crates

These crates have many heated discussions about them. It seems players are either all for them or completely against them, calling them Pay To Win boxes. Those calling the boxes P2W, are not fully understanding what these boxes are.

Crown Crates will cost 400 crowns and will offer nothing that is not already or has been in the Crown Store. Everything that has been sold on the Crown Store offer no real gain to any players aside from the XP boosts you can get. Which, I suppose can be construed as a P2W mechanic since it allows players to get to champion level cap faster. In all honesty, though, it does not take a ton of time to get to the cap to begin with.  Those that really need this boost are the players who can only play a few hours after work or a couple hours throughout the week. These boosts allow them the chance to stay on the curve of progression and not be left in the dust by the more competitive players who have the time to play more frequently.

Aside from the consumables you can get (health, stamina, magicka potions, XP Boosts etc.) you will also have a small chance to receive a mount or other cosmetic items that have been taken off the crown store. In the event you get an item you have already acquired, instead of getting it twice, you will get a new currency, Crown Gem, to spend on a new section of the Crown Store.

This new section of the crown store will have all the possible items available from the Crown Crates. If you spend enough crowns, you will eventually be able to buy your way to owning everything from the Crown Store.

To me, these seem like a lottery type system, a way to get players to spend their excess of crowns and then in turn end up buying more from Zenimax. I do not know if I am in favour of this idea.  It is not a pay to win system, at least not in my eyes, but I am never a fan of lottery systems in games. Guild Wars 2 and Neverwinter ruined me completely for Lottery style chests mechanics.

I am curious though, what are your thoughts on it. Do you like this crate system or do you dislike it?

Holiday Events

If you have read my articles in the past, you know I preach for content that is not directly related to the overall story arc. I am a big advocate for content that takes the player out of the constant worry that a Daedra Prince is going to come through a portal and kill us.

When the update launches we are going to be in October and the first holiday event will be the Witches Festival. I do not know much about this event and I do not want to either, not until it is live so I can go into the event blind. Experience it for everything that it has to offer.

The state of Elder Scrolls Online is going to be changing so fast in the next month. The way we play, how we interact with other players, the very core of the game is going to be completely different from when the game first launched. This update is great, I would not say it is the best; mind you, Tamriel One is a pretty great update all by itself. Allowing me to invite my friends to the game and I can help them even though I’m level capped, not forcing me to create a new character just to play with them is beyond a great feature.

Zenimax, I don’t know how you do it, releasing outstanding updates that not only cater to your paid member community but offering extensive updates to the free player community and keeping the game fair between the two is amazing. Keep it up and you will have a game that lasts forever!

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.