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The Elder Scrolls Online Team Talks Designing Ithelia and the Warm Look of Gold Road

Christina Gonzalez Updated: Posted:
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When Gold Road launches on PC/Mac June 3rd for The Elder Scrolls Online, there will be mysterious happenings in the West Weald. These events are tied to the return of Ithelia, the secret Daedric Prince first revealed in Necrom. The ESO team has a new devblog talking about designing the look of the West Weald, and Ithelia, and how Gold Road took shape.

In the West Weald, the aesthetics will give off an autumnal vibe, and that’s intentional. The warm palette, according to Art Director CJ Grebb, is intentional since the team has already explored wintery themes, summer, and things that are more spring-like, but autumn was something they really haven’t done. There’s still contrast between the dark threats, but also opportunity to do something different. 

An opportunity to do something different also comes in heading to this region in ESO, and giving some of the Oblivion fans a nod with the return of the city of Skingrad. Also an opportunity to keep something familiar and also do something different, Grebb says that “Skingrad was built from the ground up by directly pulling the city’s map out of Oblivion and going from there”.  Yet, this is new content, and so Gold Road will raise some questions, like how did the Wildburn spring up, and what happened to create this “wild aesthetic swing in terms of biome”. The warm autumn tones are contrasted by this mysterious shift with tangled vines and overgrowth that even lifted buildings off their foundations.

At the root of much in Gold Road is Ithelia’s presence. Her look is distinct, and inspired by Mora’s role in shattering her realm, with crystal shards and reflections, which also helped drive the storyline too, with emotional and physical touches evoking betrayal in her appearance. The cracks in reality accompany this.

After discussing whether she’d appear more monstrous,  like Hermaeus Mora or more human-like, “We decided her conflict with Mora would be more stark the more human she appeared. However, she couldn’t be so normal that she’d be boring, either”. 


Christina Gonzalez

Christina is MMORPG.COM’s News Editor and a contributor since 2011. Always a fan of great community and wondering if the same sort of magic that was her first guild exists anymore.