First Elder Scrolls Games Coming to Steam After Bethesda Launcher Shuts Down

elder scrolls online has undoubtedly secured its place among the most popular MMOs in the world. As with any live service game, the developers are the first to admit that there have been significant ups and downs with each chapter. The general trend, however, has undoubtedly been on the rise with their last two releases. these old scrolls The chapters were instrumental in cementing positive fan opinions of the game and attracting a whole new audience looking for an online home. The announcement of the High Isle expansion seems to continue this particularly good trend, attracting both experienced players and any new potential.


At the same time, this is undoubtedly a change from the proven content releases of the past. CBR sat down with creative director Rich Lambert to better understand what the goals of the video game’s next chapter, its new card game Tales of Tribute, are and announced what’s next for Tamriel as a whole.

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RBC: elder scrolls online recently celebrated eight years since its release, announcing a milestone of 20 million players earlier this year. What do you think lives on in the legacy of the game as a whole and keeps players coming back to this world with each new expansion?


Rich Lambert: Oh, wow, that’s a good question. I think what really sets ESO apart from other games is the freedom you have as a player. You can really just pick a direction and go there, you can get there, you know, you’re not locked into a specific path, or a specific way to play the game. It’s really up to you. So I think that’s the big thing that separates him and that kind of mantra that we follow throughout everything, you know, tradition in old scrolls is told from several angles. There is no single source of truth. So it’s up to you to figure it out and it’s refreshing and very, very different.



Lady Arabelle meets Jakarn in the High Isle main story

ESO is proud that each new chapter is accessible to new players and veterans alike. With the idea that High Isle is noticeably different and more subtle than previous expansions, will new players be as ready to get into the larger game if they start there?

Absolutely. I think like I said a little earlier, you can kind of do things in any order and it will still make sense. I think actually High Isle is probably the most accessible story of almost any story we’ve done over the years. Just ’cause it’s a story you don’t really need to know anything about old scrolls to really understand. It’s the closest to the real world with that medieval feudal society and political intrigue and so on, you don’t need to know the Big Red Demon guy will destroy the world if you let them go, n ‘is this not ? It works and anyone can jump into it and feel instantly familiar.


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This chapter is also a departure in that there is no significant existential threat like the Prince of Destruction to contend with. In light of this, what challenges did creating a chapter that revolves around political intrigue present a different set of challenges during development?

Yes, it certainly is in that the story is much more dependent on interesting characters than when there is clearly a big bad guy. I think the other part of the challenge of telling this type of story is to make the player feel like they’re part of the story, rather than watching the story unfold in front of them. So I think there’s a lot more to those key pillars than pretty much any other kind of story has been told in the past.


One of the major new additions is the Tales of Tribute card game. What was the trickiest part of introducing the game to ESO’s and what do you hope it brings to the player experience?

Yeah, I think the hardest part was making it feel like it was always there from the start. It’s something that I think the team does really, really well, but it’s always a challenge. You know, we don’t want this to feel like an afterthought. We want it to feel like it’s always been part of the world, always been there, and somehow works in the world. In terms of what we’re hoping to get out of players or gamers out of this system is that it’s just another way to play the game, you know? We have a lot of quests, a lot of kills in the game, but we don’t have a lot of alternative activities where if you just don’t feel like doing a quest or killing monsters or whatever, you can do something else. We have activities, housing and crafts, antiques and so on, but nothing on this level that you can really play with your friends or against your friends or against other people. The hope with this system is exactly what you know? If I want some downtime and just want to sit down and have a beer and chat with my buddy in Discord and play a few matches, we can. It’s just a different way to hang out and socialize.



Battle at the Shipyard in ESO

A feature like Tales of Tribute is a whole new avenue for the game. How important was it to strike a balance in the rewards to keep the card game continually appealing to the more hardcore ESO players?

It was a huge, huge part of it. I mean balance is part of it all, you know? If they’re not good the rewards are not good, people will play, but they’ll just play for the game and that’s one thing. Longer term, if they’re not pursuing something, they won’t be as engaged. Whereas, if the rewards are too good, suddenly it becomes the only way and people who like to do other things feel like they can’t continue to like doing those things because they have to go and do that thing, because it’s the most efficient or the best way to earn things.

The new 12-player Trial, Dreadsail Reef, promises a pirate-themed experience that’s quite different from the medieval-style trappings of the Britons. How do you and the team marry these two distinct styles across the chapter?

Well, when we were digging into it and working out stories and so on, one of the things we touched on pretty early on is that because it’s a chain of islands and the only way to get there is by ship, we assumed there would be some type of pirate activity. People in the waters do nefarious things, you know, go wild. As we started to dig more and more into that, we were like the Maormer were making perfect choices for that, the Sea Elves, and we went from there. So it just fits the tone and vibe and feel when you watch it of the macro level type rather than just the individual story.

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Given that the landmass of the High Isle is considerably smaller than most regions in ESO, how did the team manage to make the main story and new content as expansive as previous chapters?

Well, when you put High Isle and Amenos together, they’re actually the same amount of explorable space as all of our other chapters. So that was the easy part in that it’s just the same size, but from your point of view making it feel like a lived in, breathing space which is always a challenge for us as we go along. and as we go through. I think the team learned a lot of ways to make it feel lived in but not so cramped that you can’t breathe without bumping into something else.



Arrival point of Amenos station

From what you can tell us without spoiling the player experience, how is Amenos Island different from High Isle? And what can you tell us about how these places connect to the overall story?

The inspiration for Amenos as this sort of prison island actually emerged from our initial discussions of what High Isle was. High Isle is therefore in a way the quintessence of the Bretons and their architecture. That’s where the rich go. This is where the nobility go to relax and unwind and go on vacation and so on. This island being so upscale, we started asking ourselves questions like, what do they do with people doing bad things on the island? What do they do with the undesirables? Because it’s a politically fueled story, where do they throw people who are political prisoners and things like that? And that’s where Amenos kind of shook, and it just made a lot of sense. Then when we started digging into OK, what does that mean? How does this work? We started looking for references and right away, because we’re all nerds, we were like Escape from New York, right? Like, it’s, you know, a classic type of movie like that and it went from there.


The Bretons come with far less pre-existing traditions and history to work with. What freedoms or limitations did you find working with the pre-existing Breton lore for this new release?

It was really difficult for different reasons. You know when it’s like you said, there really isn’t much in the tradition of the Bretons. There’s some stuff and it’s kind of a guardrail, but other than that it’s never really been explored in depth or detail. The challenge was to find new things that matched the general tone, vibe and feel of Britons and their culture. And then to throw that over, you know, the Sister Archipelago and High Island and Amenos especially where there’s nothing about it, that was actually really liberating. We had to work very closely with Bethesda Game Studios on this just to make sure they were on board with all the things we came up with, but they pretty much gave us carte blanche to do anything.



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