Zenimax Online is taking us back to Morrowind, specifically to the volcanic island Vvardenfell, and they are drawing very heavily on fan’s existing love for Bethesda’s classic role-playing game – The Elder Scrolls 3: Morrowind.
Since the classic’s 2002 release, player’s have been eager to return to the setting in one form or another. But was it good? What made it so different? And why are some fans, like me, extremely hyped about the newly announced Elder Scrolls Online chapter.
Why read when you can watch? Click the video above to watch my opinion on ESO’s newest chapter or continue reading below.
The Elder Scrolls 3: Morrowind was an ambitious project, but in many ways it is very similar and even smaller than the prior entry – Daggerfall. When the second Elder Scrolls released, it baffled players with its immense size. When Morrowind released, it captured player’s imagination with its diverse content.
It doesn’t just feature different locales. Morrowind’s setting is a huge step away from the traditional medieval setting that customers have come to expect from fantasy computer games. In short, the world of The Elder Scrolls 3 is alien.
A Setting Out Of This World
Atmosphere is a big thing in games. It helps players get swept away in a setting. Morrowind excels in creating a detailed, complicated, varied world. Its difference is not off-putting or unbelievable. Like the upcoming Elder Scrolls Online’s chapter, The Elder Scrolls 3 starts players in an imperial and very traditional, if not a bit swampy, town. Seyda Neen has buildings that are straight out of medieval Europe. Its walls are stone. Its roofs are thatched. But as you get further and further away from the town, the setting becomes increasingly alien until nothing is what you’ve seen before. This is an alien and hostile world and its creatures and plants reflect it.
That’s a lot of praise for a 2002 video game. But if you played it when it came out, you would share this opinion – Morrowind’s atmosphere is epic.
Another achievement of the classic role-playing game was its story. It revolved around an incredibly complex, political, and traditional epic story – with gods, demons, and ordinary people struggling to survive.
Of course, the story for ESO: Morrowind will not be the same. ESO is set 700 hundred years before The Elder Scrolls 3. Certain landmarks, like the ghost fence and imperial towns, won’t be there. Elder Scrolls Online is not a single player game and, unfortunately, does not demonstrate the same finesse with its story. That said, Elder Scroll Online will give players another chance to experience the lore and story of a great fantasy setting in a different way.
The Much Needed Update To Elder Scrolls Online
Beyond all the glamour and nostalgia of the original single-player Morrowind, Elder Scrolls Online’s first Chapter is looking like it will be very good for existing ESO players.
The first and most glaringly obvious update to the online game is the inclusion of Battlegrounds. ESO has only had one PVP game mode for players. Players fight in a sprawling map, called Cyrodiil, where hundreds of players surge back and forth over the same objectives.
There is definitely something unique to the gameplay. Beyond a few, “Oh, shit,” moments, the fight in Cyrodiil is really just groups of zergs moving – often unintelligently – back and forth between objectives. There are definite shining moments, but it’s not a formula that is great for everyone.
In Battlegrounds, players fight in teams of 4 – that’s 4v4v4. The teams are not set by the player’s alliance like in Cyrodiil. Instead teams are formed with friends and fought over smaller maps for a more intimate and tactical experience. It’s a big departure from the current state of PVP.
My personal hope is that this new PVP mode will enable the developers to look more on how they can create and encourage build diversity in their game.
The announcement of the new Warden class is very exciting for fans of ESO. While Vvardenfell’s announcement was speculated by the community, I don’t think many fans predicted that Zenimax would tie in a whole new class with the chapter.
With the existing classes, there is no way to focus on ice magic and Templars are the reigning healing class. The Warden will feature three unique skill lines – a nature-based skill line, an ice-based skill line, and a skill line devoted to combat pets.
All three of these skill lines introduce a whole new set of speculative builds to the game. At the outset of ESO: Morrowind’s release, the teeming hordes of players will vivisect each skill and find someway to make an overpowered build. Zenimax will have to make many adjustments, but in the end ESO’s Morrowind’s updates will be great for the game and its players
Choo! Choo! Here Comes The Hype Train.
Morrowind is a chance for developer Zenimax to reach more fans outside of Elder Scrolls Online. It’s a way to bring many fans of the classic Elder Scroll’s Series into the online game. And for past ESO players, who have since left the MMO, it’s a way to reintroduce Tamriel and ESO’s many improved mechanics.
Morrowind was a rich and formative game for Bethesda. The Chapter will be different from its namesake, but it targets the long-time fans of the series and listens to the community as a whole, who have showed time and again – through mods, artwork, and music – that they want to go back Vvardenfell.
Morrowind will be a success. Because of great new content or just excellent marketing. I hope that it’s success lasts and that the hype generated by last week’s announcement will be worth it.