Dark or Light

The Heart and Lore Behind Tailored in Tamriel

William Murphy Posted:
Interviews 0

Tailored in Tamriel is a new series of lore-based costumes making their way to Elder Scrolls Online's Crown Store. As Elder Scrolls fans well know, the lore of The Elder Scrolls as a series is close to sacrosanct. As such, it only makes sense than Zenimax Online Studios would bring the same sense of care to the actual clothing inside their game. Not only do we have hundreds of dollars worth of Crowns to giveaway in a sweepstakes (SEE HERE!), but we managed to catch up with the Zenimax folks about the new costumes.

Art Director Jared Carr provides this overview of the initiative:

"As we were brainstorming ideas for the Crown Store, it really made sense that cosmetic items in an Elder Scrolls game should reflect and reinforce the lore, and of course support role-play.  So while we still have some fun holiday themed polymorphs and armor motifs, the cultural clothing is really about further developing the cultures of Tamriel, reinforcing cultural identity, and providing players something to wear other than armor.  ESO has a great crafting system, and players definitely like to craft and equip armor for battle, but want to wear other clothing when socializing with friends or engaged in other game activities other than killing monsters or PvP.  So the cultural clothing really complements the armor system well. 

Depending on the specific culture, the clothing styles incorporate both real-world influences and fantasy styles into the designs.  For example, we looked closely at historical Viking clothing patterns upon which to base the Nord clothing, but the Dunmer clothing will be much more fantasy-based.  The artists are putting a lot of care into detailing the textile patterns, hemlines, and decorations, and there are some very cool costume designs in the works that we’re really excited about." 

We followed up with ESO's Lead Lore Master Lawrence Schick to discuss the finer points of how these costumes are conceptualized and brought into the game.


MMORPG: What prompted the creation of these special Tailored in Tamriel, costumes? Lawrence Schick: In ESO, there are many things to do besides slaying monsters in dungeons, and a lot of players spend a fair amount of time doing those things rather than “adventuring.” Arms and armor aren’t appropriate to every activity: when players are crafting, role-playing, exploring, fishing, or whatever, they should have the option to dress the part. We thought players would appreciate an alternative to combat gear, and so far the response has been very positive.


MMORPG: Can you tell us about Lady Eloise? What prompted her creation and who goes around playing her in the office? LS: It’s not just Lady Eloise, Fifth Countess Manteau: we have an NPC tailor for every culture! Some of them, like Eloise, first appeared as authors of lore books for clothiers; others, like Borzighu the Tidy of Orsinium, are NPCs in the live game you can actually visit and talk to. Most were created by content designers and writers on the ESO staff; Lawrence Schick fills in with new ones as needed. You’ll be meeting them all as more “cultural costumes” are rolled out. MMORPG: These sorts of costumes aren't necessarily the sort you'd go adventuring in. Is there a plan to create more "adventure ready" costumes with the lore and background treatment here? LS: Indeed there is! We’re looking at creating costumes for “adventure professions” such as Herbalist, Alchemist, and Treasure Hunter. The artists really enjoy creating these, and a bunch of them are planned for addition to the Crown Store over the coming year.


MMORPG: How closely related to the lore of Tamriel are the costumes? Will we see things we've heard mentioned in books and in previous games come into the shop? LS: Our concept artists work closely with the Loremaster to make sure the visuals are consistent with previous depictions of the world of the Elder Scrolls. When necessary, we discuss future designs with the experts at Bethesda Game Studios to make sure we’re in line with their vision of Tamriel.


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.