Anybody still playing The Elder Scrolls Online has already overcome a number of trials-by-fuckuperry. Progress-halting bugs, wrongfully destroyed items, and dungeons cleared near-instantly of loot by unscrupulous players? The ultimate tests of patience if Nick’s Elder Scrolls review is anything to go by.
The surviving top-level players are questing juggernauts – and Zenimax have built 12-player challenges to suit for incoming adventure zone Craglorn.
Trials will be gruelling, boss-biffing assaults that even experienced groups will only be able to cut through in about an hour and a half.
They incorporate the “most complex and difficult” encounters Zenimax have ever devised, and demand skill, coordination and flexibility from every member of the group – each of whom will have limited resurrections to use once the attack begins.
Players will need to know what skills to bring to battles with Bannermen – sub-bosses with “nasty powers” that might, for instance, turn your group’s AOE heals against them for a short while.
Zenimax are also playing with the idea of “group fragmentation” – occasions when players will need to split up to accomplish two or more goals at once, or when the group will be sliced in two unexpectedly.
But why 12 players?
“We didn’t want to get into a situation where we demanded too much from an organizational standpoint; the challenge should be in the encounters, not in managing everyone’s schedules and struggling to field enough players,” explained Zenimax.
“This number also means that individual performance and impact is important, and it makes the encounters easier to read with all the effects and telegraphs to consider.”
The best rewards will come in the form of special set pieces that drop from the final bosses once a week, and the loot earned by topping the serverwide trial completion leaderboards. Is that temptation enough for you lot?