While Zenimax has not been stingy in terms of new content for their MMORPG The Elder Scrolls Online, most of it was content that could be played independently of anything that had been released before. This is set to change with the upcoming Season of the Dragon, a year-long adventure that begins in March 2019 and will encompass the release of two DLC dungeon zones, a DLC story zone, and a large expansion known as the "Elsweyr" Chapter. While each DLC will continue to include a stand-alone story, the Season of the Dragon will tie them all together in a way not seen before in the game.
The Season of the Dragon will begin with the "Wrathstone" DLC dungeon zone that includes two new group dungeons. The first, Frostvault, takes players to the mountains of Eastmarch where they'll face Goblins, Dwemer, and plenty of traps. The second, "Depths of Malatar", is perhaps unsurprisingly located in the sunken city of Garlas Malatar, populated by the followers of Meridia. In each of these dungeons lies one half of the Wrathstone Tablet that players must find and deliver to Abnur Tharn, before journeying to the Halls of Colossus and making a rather big mistake. Clue: it involves dragons.
The adventure is then continued with a large expansion known as "Elsweyr". Thanks to the aforementioned big mistake, Dragons have been unleashed upon the world by Abnur Tharn and the Imperial usurper queen Euraxia. Now, Elsweyr is threatened by the Kaalgrontiid and his winged followers as they terrorise the skies and burn down the homes of anyone they dislike. In the new main story quest line, it's up to you to make amends and defend the Khajit from this new threat. The problem is you're no longer a Dragonborn and it won't be that easy.
Players were last able to explore the Elsweyr area in 1994's The Elder Scrolls: Arena, although the outer edges also collide with the Reaper’s March and Khenarthi’s Roost regions of this game. In this expansion players can see the area's grasslands and deserts in high definition as they explore the home of the Khajit, otherwise known as the cat people. There are the harmless moon-sugar farmers and nomads, but beware of the Imperial occupiers and bandits that also roam the area.
As well as the new area and storyline, a new class will be added to the game with its own abilities, gameplay mechanics, and multiple skill lines. The Necromancer gives players command of the dead, as well as an arsenal of elemental spells to use in battle. The problem is that most of the game's inhabitants don't take too kindly to the raising of the dead, or anything that involves curses, so if they see players using necromantic skills anywhere in Tamriel, they'll call the guards. The expansion will also include a number of other new features and challenges too:
- A challenging new 12-player Trial: Sunspire
- Massive new world events: Dragon Attacks
- A huge amount of unique delves, public dungeons, and stand-alone quests
- A host of updates and quality-of-life improvements
As with every major expansion, there is a host of pre-order bonuses and special editions. First we have the pre-orders. New players who pre-order "Elsweyr" in a digital format will gain immediate access to the base game, and the "Morrowind" and "Summerset" expansions, in preparation for the expansion's launch. Those who pre-order digitally will also gain immediate access to the Rahd-m’Athra mount. All of these will be included with the physical edition of the game but access won't be granted until the day of release. Regardless of which format you choose, all players who pre-order the game will also get the following items at launch:
- Noble Clan Chief costume - The clans of Anequina in northern Elsweyr are largely nomadic, but they nonetheless have hereditary aristocracies who express their wealth and power through the splendor of their clothing.
- Blue Dragon Imp pet - A clever Illusion Imp that's found a way to get free handouts and a warm place to sleep.
- A Baandari Pedlar Crown Crate - A mystery collection of Baandari items!
- Elsweyr Treasure Maps bundle – A collection of three Treasure Maps that will lead you to hidden riches.
- Crown Experience Scrolls (x2) – 100% XP scrolls, created by a Priestess of Meridia, to help you get started on your adventures.
Finally, there will be four ways of getting access to the "Elsweyr" expansion. For more details on each of the following editions, head over to the official website.
- Standard Edition (available digitally and at retail) - includes the base game, the new "Elsweyr" expansion, and the existing "Morrowind" and "Summerset" expansions.
- Digital Upgrade - includes the new "Elsweyr" expansion.
- Digital Collector's Edition - includes the base game, the new "Elsweyr" expansion, the existing "Morrowind" and "Summerset" expansions with their Collector’s Edition items, and the following Elsweyr-themed in-game items: Senche-raht mount, Ashen Scar Jerboa pet, Archaic Lore Tablets memento, Dragonbone Outfit Style, and Khajiiti Culture Emote Pack.
- Digital Collector's Edition Upgrade - includes the new "Elsweyr" expansion and the following in-game items: Senche-raht mount, Ashen Scar Jerboa pet, Archaic Lore Tablets memento, Dragonbone Outfit Style, and Khajiiti Culture Emote Pack.
The "Wrathstone" DLC is expected to be released on console in March alongside Update 21, details of which have been promised for a later date. The Elder Scrolls Online: Elsweyr will be released on June 4th and can be pre-ordered now. This will then be followed by an unannounced DLC dungeon pack, currently scheduled for Q3 2019, before Season of the Dragon will conclude with an unannounced DLC story zone in Q4 2019.
We've got the full list of The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited achievements - check the list for guides to unlocking them.
Check out our Best Xbox RPGs Available in 2017 article for a compilation of other great games in this genre.
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