After a very successful Legacy of the Bretons and High Isle Chapter launch, Elder Scrolls Online is closing the storyline with an epic conclusion. We had the opportunity to preview the new area with Zenimax Online Studio’s Lead Content Designer Jeremy Sera and Lead Designer Jason Barnes with a guided tour of the new zone.
Firesong and the story so far
The Firesong Circle are Breton druids based on Y’ffelon in the Systres Archipelago, and they are not welcoming of outsiders. They are considered the most hostile druid circle. Their religion is centred around the island’s volcano, Mount Firesong, which they work to keep from erupting.
The Bretons of Galen are under siege from the Firesong, while the people of House Mornard suffer raids from Sea Elf pirates. Adventurers are asked to protect the city of Vastyr and the druids of the Stonelore and Eldertide Circles against these ruthless attacks.
The Firesong DLC adds another 15 hours to the storyline of High Isle and the Legacy of the Bretons. Jeremy and Jason both revered how well it ties up this narrative about the Bretons and Druids of the area. Although it doesn’t need to be completed chronologically and players can start at any point, Jeremy and Jason say the payoff for those who’ve played through the entire content from the start will be rewarding.
Familiar faces that adventurers meet along the way return and their paths eventually align and come to a satisfying ending. Druid Laurel will be one of those characters returning, with a few others here and there. There are also possible environmental changes to the world depending on the player’s progression in the High Isle Chapter and the Firesong DLC, so there is quite a bit of incentive to play through the whole journey.
The heat is on
For ESO players who really love to stop and smell the roses, there are plenty of hidden Easter eggs and collectables, too. With lots of interesting interactions and events happening in the background of the most lively space in the game to date, Zenimax has even added achievements for people who perform certain actions. Jeremy says, “petting pets started as a joke but kind of took off and we’ve really run with it”, and now players have a range of different friendly creatures to find and interact with for an achievement called Best Friends, sort of like a “little scavenger hunt”. Players who complete this achievement, and others like it, will unlock fragments for the special Tales of Tributes decks.
Tales of Tribute has been this year’s massive win for Elder Scrolls Online: High Isle. The in-game card battler is tied to the adventure and quests with some impressive and fun storylines. Firesong DLC adds a new patron deck called the Druid King. With an all-new mechanic and cards to learn, the Druid King deck will offer players an opportunity to shake up strategy and throw opponents off their feet. And, of course, there are more Tales of Tribute quests included in the upcoming DLC.
Firesong DLC brings along with it new armour sets to collect. Throughout the story and activities, loot seekers will be able to collect and craft a range of sets including the Back-Alley Gourmand, Bastion of the Draoife, Chimera’s Rebuke, Claw of the Forest Wraith and more.
Tamriel is known for it’s diverse range of monsters and animals and Firesong continues to add to that roster. Throughout our walkthrough, we met some of the friendly, and not so friendly, habitants of the Systres Archipelago. In a volcanic area we met monkeys hanging around, swinging between trees. Jason said if players look close enough, they’ll notice the monkeys throwing a non-descript item at players. In the same area, we met the newest amphibian in the world, a lava toad. For the first time in Elder Scrolls lore, the Chimera from popular mythology has been included, too.
We encountered a number of roaming world bosses, as well. These beings aren’t for the faint of heart and even gave Jeremy and Jason a challenge when came across them in our play session. Keep an eye out for these, while they do offer great rewards they aren’t easy to take on alone.
This update also includes some great quality-of-life changes. For example, players are able to assign symbols to each other in a group to better distinguish each other’s roles within the chaos of battle. Enemies can also be targeted to focus fire or specify out of a crowd, to help with visibility and team communication. Text to speech has been added to ESO, bolstering the MMO’s accessibility options and support players who require it.
Another feature that Jeremy and Jason noted they’d been wanting to implement for a while is hiding pets in towns. Jason notes, “if you’ve ever gone to a crafting table and there’s a giant bear or somebody’s silly pet getting in the way, you can appreciate the pain”. Now, players can turn off people’s pets in these areas and they’ll disappear, improving interactivity and also performance
Jeremy and Jason noted how gigantic the world of ESO has become. With over a hundred thousand NPCs, thousands of quests, and two hundred thousand lines per voiceover language, the team at Zenimax Studio’s have put the most work and effort into this franchise.
They’ve been increasingly aware of the growing barrier to entry. That’s why ESO is so well-tuned for new players and the die-hard veterans. The new area-based tutorials and introductions help players get into the action quicker and easier, without overwhelming them with an abundance of quests, mechanics, and systems to understand all at once. Jeremy told us how important this is for game accessibility.
“One of the things that I love about this game is that you don’t have to play eight years’ worth of content. Just jump in and go to any area and the level of the monsters will be challenging for any level. If you are a level champion 3600, they’re going to be equivalently difficult. So it really gives you an opportunity to just jump right in play with anyone.”
We’re excited to delve into Elder Scrolls Online: High Isle and Legacy of the Bretons Firesong DLC from 2 November on PC and 15 November on consoles. For more information and previews about ESO, keep an eye on our channels.