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Battlegrounds Bring Small Group PVP to Tamriel

William Murphy Posted:
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When Morrowind launches in June for Elder Scrolls Online, it’s bringing with it one of the features that’s long been requested by ESO fans: Battlegrounds PVP. As any Tamriel fan can tell you, Cyrodiil’s large-scale persistent warfare is fun, but sometimes you just want to get in, smash some faces, and get some rewards. That’s exactly what Battlegrounds will bring with Morrowind, complete with their own series of rewards, leaderboards, a unique take on team setup – these Battlegrounds will have three teams facing off 4 versus 4 versus 4.

First off, Brian Wheeler, the PVP Lead on ESO wanted to categorically state that Battlegrounds are not intended to take away from Cyrodiil. In fact, they’ve got heaps of additions and changes planned for Cyrodiil in the base game patch come June, as well as plans throughout the year to keep the large scale PVP fresh and rewarding. But even Cyrodiil fans have been asking for a quick-hit form of PVP that they can partake in and feel like they’ve progressed and earned rewards from.

Enter Battlegrounds – 15 minutes or less 4v4v4 matches where three teams vie for dominance in a tight, combat-driven map. At launch of Morrowind, there will be three maps spread across the aesthetic of Tamriel, and three game modes – Capture the Flag, Domination, and Team Death Match. You can queue for any or all at any time, with or without a group. Experience and Item Rewards are doled out at the end of every match, and quitters or AFKers will be penalized (though the penalty is still being decided).  Every team gets rewards too, though obviously the winner will get more while the last place team will get the least.

It’s also worth noting that Battlegrounds will require owning Morrowind to compete. They’re also gated at level 10, so level 1s can’t just go in get trounced and get salty. The three teams aren’t related to the three factions either. The Battlegrounds are like an underground fight club, with a bit of a lore tie in that goes all the way back to Elder Scrolls: Arena. The three teams, which you’ll be placed on randomly each match, don Purple, Orange, and Green.  There’s no loyalty here, and no permanent team to pick. It’s just like Red and Blue in any other PVP game, but they’ve tied it back to some old TES lore.

The key to the Battlegrounds will be their short length, combined with the constant fighting, traps on the battlefield, and different game modes. Some folks who’ve attended PAX in the past might remember a sort of test Battleground map at the conventions. That specific map didn’t cross over to Morrowind’s Battlegrounds, but the basic design principles were there. When Morrowind launches, chances are a whole lot of people are going to rush to ESO’s new battlegrounds, myself included. Different brackets are being worked out, but the sense that you can progress and get geared up through PVP, with unique Battleground sets and XP rewards means there’s yet another viable way to level up in ESO that doesn’t involve strictly questing. That’s always good news.


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.