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The Elder Scrolls Online: High Isle preview: New lore, new locations and NPCs

The Bretons, the “Man-Mer” race of The Elder Scrolls lore, have long been a favorite among players looking for a magical user who is not an elf. Among the standard races in Bethesda Softworks’ fantasy universe, however, the Bretons’ hometown of High Rock is long overdue for consideration. It gets one with Scrolls onlinethe next big expansion of, Cao Island, Released June 6.

“This is probably the most accessible piece of content we’ve added yet Scrolls online about people who are already familiar with the franchise,” said Rich Lambert, MMO creative director at Zenimax Online Studios. “Morrowind” [which got a huge expansion in 2017] very strange and you know, it has these weird mushrooms, and things like that. When you look at Blackwood [last June’s big expansion] like, here’s a big, huge demon coming, and if you don’t know who Mehrunes Dagon is, you don’t necessarily know or care.

“But with this, this is your kind of traditional medieval fantasy storytelling,” adds Lambert. “It focuses on the aristocratic and political families intertwined with all that, and the knights. So it’s super accessible and super easy for everyone. “

High Rock (name of province; High Isle is a location there) already has a playable space in Scrolls online since the MMO came out in 2014, but it hasn’t been handled in full chapter so far. In TESOThe Daggerfall Covenant faction, which includes the Orcs, Bretons, and Redguards, controls High Rock, and so the quests there elevate the lore of that alliance in general, but not the Bretons in particular.

Cao Island, Lambert said, surrounding the Three Banners War, it was the factional conflict that underpinned TESO; In the expansion, a peace summit on the High Isle puts the Noble Sustainability Society and the Chaos Solidarity Society in the balance, and the player must uncover both sides’ true motives as they wade through. the main plot of the expansion.

Lambert acknowledges that Arthurian legends, and their aesthetic as traditionally presented, inform a great deal about the design and workings of High Island. Breton was, after all, considered an analogue for the British even though they were half-elf. (In Elder Scrolls lore, “Breton” comes from a dead language and means “half.”)

“We want [the setting] Lambert said. “For the team, when I went through [the backstory] I said, ‘This is where the nobility goes, this is where the money goes, this is Las Vegas meets the Romans.’ How can we make this as pristine and beautiful as possible? And the team just jumped on that and started digging into it. ”

Asked for a favorite, can’t-miss place that Elder Scrolls fans should definitely visit High Island, Lambert mentions one of the expansion’s two new NPC followers, Ember, a survivor of the streets of Khajit with a talent for magic. “She’s a great character, and her story and unlocking goal, they’ve done very well,” Lambert said. “I think the players will enjoy her and that goal.”

The other unlockable companion is Isobel Velois, a Breton knight. She is not the straight support of Brienne of Tarth from Game of Thronesbut if that’s how the player relates her role in High Island, Lambert seems fine with it. “She could be one of those people,” Lambert said. “She and her family are knights. And her goal is to focus on what she sees as right and wrong and how she wants people to do right. She’s not your stuffy, ostentatious type, ‘So I’m a knight, therefore, you know, worship the ground on which I walk.’ She has her own traits and flaws and none of that. “

In terms of gameplay, a notable new feature is Tales of Tribute, a pub game that evolves towards deck building to be played with NPCs and human players. With Tales of Tribute, players will be able to unlock cards, decks, and other pieces, with leaderboards to chart their progress.

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

Tales of Tribute is a deck building game mode where Scrolls online players can take on NPCs or other players.
Image: Zenimax Online Studios / Bethesda Softworks

Considering that High Rock and High Isle are largely unexplored countries for the Elder Scrolls video game – except OnlineIts last appearance as an explorable video game world was in 1996 The Elder Scrolls 2: Daggerfall – Lambert agrees that this expansion effectively puts him in charge of a large portion of the rules for the series, which turns 28 on March 25.

“But one of the things that we’ve established over the years is a sense of trust; [Bethesda Game Studios] trust us with IP – we’ve been working on this game since, you know, for me, it’s 2007, but it’s been working since 2014,” Lambert said. “And we treat IP with respect. We work with them very closely, whenever we do something. And they gave us the freedom to do whatever we wanted with the High Isle. That’s so 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

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