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Summerset Isles First Impressions

Matthew Keith Posted:
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On March 21, Bethesda Studios announced the next chapter in its MMORPG Elder Scrolls Online. At the time of the event I was fortunate enough to spend some time with the devs and more specifically playing a demo build of some of the new content.  Between exploring some of the new areas, diving into a delve or two and trying my hand at the Summerset starting area I have to say that there is a lot here that peaked my interest. After a couple of hours with some the team I walked away with a sense of excitement about what we will have to look forward to in the upcoming expansion. So without further ado here are some of my early impressions and things I’m looking forward to with ESO: Summerset.


Elder Scrolls as a franchise has been around a long time as in 24 years long. In that time adventurers have had the opportunity to travel all over Tamriel, exploring many of the nooks and crannies of Bethesda's lore rich world. With the introduction of ESO we were given the opportunity to go back in time and experience areas from a fresh, and in some cases, reimagined way. 

With the introduction of Summerset, we will have the opportunity to head back to the place where it all began, at least from a game development standpoint. The new expansion will take place On the Isle of Summerset allowing adventures to explore the once closed borders of the High Elves. What is exciting about this is that we haven’t seen any iteration of this area since its original debate in Elder Scrolls: Arena back in 1994.

When speaking with the Devs it was clear that this was a passion project for many of them specifically in regards to designing areas like the Alinor ( the Racial capital). It was an opportunity for them to really take hold of the High Fantasy themes prevalent in High Elf lore and display them in a visually stunning way. Having experienced some of these areas first hand it's easy to see the high fantasy influences throughout the city and surrounding area.

The Psijic Order

The Psijic Order is a ancient guild of mages that have dedicated their lives to study of magicka and its many secrets. Although players have known about the Order and had some interactions with them in previous titles this will be the first time that we will have the opportunity to join up and get to the heart of what they are all about .

Specifically highlighted by the Dev team is the new skill line that comes from joining the order. As they put it, it's a skill line that focuses on combat. With abilities like timestop, which essentially is an area of effect time spell that slowly brings all those caught in it to a temporary stand still, or undo which allows you to essentially step back in time four seconds refreshing your health, stam, magicka and location to where they were at that time, I can already see some interesting additions to the combat experience in ESO.

Jewel Crafting

Confession time, I am not a crafter by nature. I tend to focus more on combat in my MMO’s typically reaching for a sword and board over a hammer and Anvil. However, I was interested when Jewelcrafting was brought up as the new crafting skill to be released with Summerset. The new crafting line will come with all sorts of new recipes but what I found most interesting was how the team is handling traits for these new items.

In order to gather the necessary traits to equip to a piece of crafted gear, you’ll need to perform certain tasks in the world or trade with someone that has gathered it themselves. The example Rich gave was related to the Bloodthirsty trait. In order to obtain this particular one you have to perform some task in PVP. So if your a PVP player this allows you to not only gather the trait but to also sell it to other players. It's a great way to boost the player economy in game without punishing players that don’t like a specific type of gameplay.

Those are just a few of the new things to look forward to with the release of Elder Scrolls Online:Summerset. Pre Orders are available now with the game set to launch on June 5 for PC/Mac, Xbox One and PS4 with an early access available for PC/Mac users on May 21st. Be sure to like and subscribe to our channel and keep that browser locked to MMORPG.com for all latest news on all things MMO.


Matthew Keith

Hailing from the Great White North, Matt's been playing games since the Sega Master System was new. About 20 minutes after picking up his first controller he discovered he had an opinion on the matter. Ever since he has been looking for ways to share it with others! Matt's a pastor, gamer, writer, geek, co-host of @Rollthelevel podcast, husband, father, and loving every minute of it!