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What We Know About One Tamriel

Elder Scrolls Online Columns - By Ryan Getchell on June 15, 2016

What We Know About One Tamriel

The Elder Scrolls Online was always supposed to be an Elder Scrolls game that allows you to play with friends, but that was never the case. Sure, you could play with your friends, if they were your level, if they were the same faction. These obstacles made it difficult to enjoy the game with your friends. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve rolled a new character just to play with a friend. At the BE3 event, Matt Firor announced that these invisible barriers will be removed this fall when they launch, One Tamriel.

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One Tamriel will allow players to do any content, at any level. No more concerns about being too high or too low of a level to do content or group with your friends and venture into the area you want to explore. Everything will be essentially the same level. Huh, level, we really need to come up with a new term as this one will soon lose all meaning.  It will no longer mean a restriction to content or exploration, but it will still mean what gear you can wear and how many abilities you’ll have access to.

With One Tamriel, all characters will be automatically leveled to the content in the world, allowing them to freely group with anyone they want and also to explore the vast world of Tamriel with no level restrictions. This means, all content barriers are gone and there are no restrictions on alliance or questing. The moment you get out of the tutorial, the entire game world is open for you to explore freely. You can go wherever you want and play with whomever you want.

– Matt Firor, BE3 Announcement Speech

How exactly is this One Tamriel going to work?

It’s something they’ve been perfecting since the game was released. First it was in Cyrodiil, then Orsinium, Hew’s Bane and most recently the Gold Coast. So all content will essentially be boosted to “max level” and all characters, regardless of actual character progression, will also be scaled. This will put every new player and old player at the same content and they will be able to explore and do quests together without any barriers.

The impediment of opposing of factions is also being removed with One Tamriel. No matter if you originally sided with Daggerfall, Ebonheart Pack, or even the filthy Aldmeri Dominion, you’ll be able to group with and play alongside anyone. This is something that had been requested well before the game launched. The Elder Scrolls community felt that with the faction lock the game wouldn’t feel like an Elder Scrolls game. They were right, the faction lock took out a lot of the single player Elder scrolls game feeling and gave it more of a MMORPG feel to it.

Elder Scrolls is and has always been about freedom of choice, do what you want, when you want and ESO wasn’t like that. Whatever faction you picked you were stuck doing the quests in a set order, a specific way, like a train on a track, you can only go that one direction. Now, the game is open, you finish the tutorial and the world is your playground. You’re not a train on a track, you’re a free to travel the vast world of Tamriel.  

This truly open world idea is starting to grow on me. The potential this feature can have on the game is huge. But, if this scaling in gear also applies to lower level gear sets, max level characters are going to have a massive arsenal of gear choices they would have never had.  Guilds can become truly borderless now that we’ll be able to do any content with any player.  

Imagine coming into The Elder Scrolls Online right now, you’re going to be so far behind the curve even with the Veteran Ranks removed. So much content you can’t explore. Once One Tamriel is released, new players won’t have to worry about the curve. Right from the start they have access to everything, friends, quests, areas, it’s all available to them. A completely open world to get lost in.

Last week I wrote a column asking for predictions on what they’re going to announce. Did anyone expect Open Tamriel to be announced? Matt Firor said they are working on other things that they haven’t announced yet, I wonder what they can be?

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.