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Elder Scrolls Online devs talk absent Thieves Guild and Dark Brotherhood quests: “We aren’t trying to be evasive”

There may be no honour among thieves, but there will be shared XP.

The Elder Scrolls Online’s stealth quests are disastrous. Its one-way-in, one-way-out houses are populated by instantly hostile guards to sneak attack. Pray they don’t respawn before you’re done rummaging in the quest-marked hotspots.

Rubbish. But there’s hope in the shadows – Zenimax have said their first words on the missing Thieves Guild and Dark Brotherhood questlines since launch, where were sorely missed in Nick’s Elder Scrolls review.

Even before The Elder Scrolls Online was finished, Zenimax were promising the appearance of a Thieves Guild and Dark Brotherhood in the months after release.

Every race in Tamriel currently begins the game with access to local branches of the Fighters and Mages Guilds – and an ancient entry on the game’s support site still says the remaining two “classic NPC guilds” will be “added later”.

Thieves Guild and Dark Brotherhood storylines and quests were mentioned again as part of a long list of features and updates planned for “2014 and beyond” in last week’s Elder Scrolls Online roadmap – and Zenimax developers answered questions on the absent organised crime syndicates in an adjacent Reddit AMA.

Both guilds will have their own skill lines, said lead content designer Rich Lambert.

“As for how they will tie into the Justice… we’re not quite ready to talk about that just yet,” he added, referencing Zenimax’s planned consequences for stealing from or killing NPCs.

As you might have gathered, though, Zenimax’s internal deadline for the new guilds is well-cloaked.

“We aren’t trying to be evasive,” said apologetic creative director Paul Sage on the questlines. “But time frames, timelines are extremely hard to predict. Internal testing, external testing and other factors can delay features. So we probably aren’t going to release timelines unless they are very close.”

Not until they’re right behind you. I was a fan of Riften’s non-lethal belonging-lifting club in Skyrim, and I know the Dark Brotherhood has its own set of slightly spooky devotees. Are you one of them?