The Elder Scrolls Online is out now; here's our Elder Scrolls Online review.
If you’ve managed to get through the 150 or so hours it apparently takes to get to level 50 in The Elder Scrolls Online, punching mudcrabs in their stupid carapaces and standing around while ethereal old men spout nonsense, then you might be wondering what you can do.
Apparently, there are quite a few things, says creative director Paul Sage, from veteran rank zones and adventure zones to PvP content. ZeniMax Online wants you to stick around.
The list is a bit cheeky, to be honest. It’s not really as long as it looks, since it includes the PvP that you’ll be doing from level 10 as veteran content. “While you can start PvP at level 10, the repeatable nature of the Alliance War means it is also veteran content.”
There’s solo and duo PvP, where you can wander around and get into scraps; small group PvP where you can team up and take farms and resources; and large group PvP, where armies lay siege to fortresses or defend their keeps. None of this is stuff you won’t probably be doing during the 40 levels prior to hitting 50, though.
The veteran PvE is a bit more robust. But it’s also a bit odd. At veteran rank one, you can travel to areas in your alliance and a second alliance, eventually ranking up again and unlocking the third alliance content. From that point, the game is finally open to you. Yep, you have to wait until max level and then some until you can actually explore the game in its entirety. And then you can play through all the content you would have experienced had you started in one of those alliances, but it’s just more challenging.
“Skyshards, quests, delves, Dark Anchors, crafting, collections, achievements—basically everything you enjoyed during the 1-50 game, are all available at these Veteran Ranks.” So it’s really 1-50 content, recycled and scaled up.
There is actually some genuine, new content for level 50s, though. Veteran dungeons take off from where the low-level ones ended, with new stories and challenges for groups. There will be six of them to start with.
Adventure Zones are special veteran areas that work like regular PvE zones but require a party of four. The first of them, Craglorn, will be available as part of a post-launch update and contains a new storyline along with instanced delves for groups and all the other stuff you’d expect from a PvE area, but scaled up to provide greater challenges. Adventure Zones contain replayable dungeons, as well.
Finally, there’s 12-person PvE content, called Trials. “In a Trial, you will have a limited number of resurrections, known as a Soul Reservoir. Too many resurrections mean that you have failed the trial. It takes a lot of coordination to survive a Trial. The enemies you face in a Trial will be difficult, while the surroundings are some of the most beautiful places in ESO.” Perform well in a Trial, and you’ll make it onto the leaderboard, but there’s a running clock and mistakes and deaths will penalise the group, adding a time penalty.
So there you have it: new content and recycled content, but lots of it regardless.