The Elder Scrolls Online: High Isle Preview: New Lore, New Locations, and NPCs

Bretons, the “Man-Mer” race of The Elder Scrolls lore, have long been a popular choice among roleplayers looking for a skilled non-elven magic-user. But of the default races in Bethesda Softworks’ fantasy universe, a close-up of the Bretons’ homeland, High Rock, was overdue. It gets one The Elder Scrolls Onlinenext big expansion, high island, Launching June 6th.

“This is probably the most accessible content we’ve added The Elder Scrolls Online in terms of people familiar with the franchise,” said Rich Lambert, creative director of the MMO for Zenimax Online Studios. “Morrowind [which got a huge expansion in 2017] is very alien and, you know, it has these weird mushrooms and things like that. If you look at Blackwood [last June’s big expansion] That’s a big, huge demon walking in, and unless you know who Mehrunes Dagon is, you don’t necessarily know or care.

“But with that, it’s sort of like traditional medieval fantasy storytelling,” Lambert added. “It focuses on the noble houses and the politics that mix with them, and knights. So it’s super accessible and super easy for anyone to get to.”

High Rock (the name of the province; High Isle is a location there) was a playable area The Elder Scrolls Online since the MMO’s debut in 2014, but it hasn’t received the full chapter treatment until now. In TESOthe Daggerfall Alliance faction of Orcs, Bretons, and Redguards controls High Rock, and so missions there advance the lore of that alliance as a whole, rather than the Bretons in particular.

high island, Lambert said revolves around the three-banner war underpinning factional conflict TESO; In the expansion, a peace summit on High Isle brings together the noble society of the steadfast and the chaotic Ascendant Order, and players must uncover the true motives of both sides as they weave through the expansion’s main story arc.

Lambert acknowledged that the Arthurian legends and their traditionally presented aesthetics inform much of the set design and activities within High Island. Bretons are eventually taken as an analogue for Britons, despite being half-elves. (In Elder Scrolls lore, “Breton” comes from a dead language and means “half”.)

“We wanted [the setting] feeling more like a resort than anything else,” Lambert said. “To the team when I was through [the backstory] I said, ‘This is where nobility goes, this is where money goes, this is where Las Vegas meets Roman times.’ How can we make this as flawless and as beautiful as possible? And the team just got into it and started looking into it.”

Asked about his favorite place not to be missed that Elder Scrolls fans should definitely visit High Island, Lambert mentioned one of the expansion’s two new NPC followers, Ember, a Khajit street survivor with a talent for magic. “She’s such a cool character and the story and her goal to unlock her is just so well done,” Lambert said. “I think the players will enjoy her and this goal.”

The other unlockable companion is Isobel Velois, a Breton knight. She is not a direct derivative of Brienne of Tarth game of Thronesbut if the players so relate to their role within High Island, Lambert sounded good with it. “She could be such an attitude,” Lambert said. “You and your family are knights. And her goal focuses on what she sees as right and wrong and how she wants to make everyone right. She’s not your stuffy, pompous, “I’m a knight, so honor the ground I walk on.” She has her own traits and flaws and so on.

In terms of gameplay, a notable new feature is Tales of Tribute, a tavern game that evolves as a deck-building diversion to play against NPCs and human players. Tales of Tribute allows players to unlock cards, decks, and other pieces, with leaderboards climbing up the charts.

Close-up of a card on a gaming table in a deck building game

Tales of Tribute is a deck building game mode in which The Elder Scrolls Online Players can take on NPCs or other players.
Image: Zenimax Online Studios/Bethesda Softworks

Considering that High Rock and High Isle are such undiscovered lands for an Elder Scrolls video game – except On-lineits last appearance as an explorable video game world was in 1996 The Elder Scrolls 2: Daggerfall – Lambert agreed that this expansion effectively put him in charge of a huge chunk of canon for the series, which turned 28 on March 25.

“But one of the things we’ve built over the years is that sense of trust; [Bethesda Game Studios] entrusted us with the intellectual property — we’ve been working on this game since, you know, it’s 2007 for me, but it’s been live since 2014,” Lambert said. “And we treat intellectual property with respect. We work very closely with them whenever we do something. And they’ve given us carte blanche to do whatever we want with High Isle. It is great.”

https://www.polygon.com/23025736/eso-high-isle-teso-expansion-elder-scrolls-online-release-date-preview The Elder Scrolls Online: High Isle Preview: New Lore, New Locations, and NPCs

Charles Jones

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