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The Elder Scrolls Online Dark Brotherhood questline is “daunting” to design, filled with “cool plot twists”

The Elder Scrolls Online

If anything is going to lure those who’ve already written off The Elder Scrolls Online back to Zenimax’s MMO, it’s the promise of renewed membership to Tamriel’s Dark Brotherhood and Thieves Guild.

The former in particular has a reputation for the most devilishly-designed quests in the series – fuelled by Fallout 3 designer Emil Pagliarulo’s Oblivion efforts.

“I think everyone who’s played an Elder Scrolls game knows that the Dark Brotherhood questline in Oblivion is probably the best content ever in an Elder Scrolls game,” ESO director Matt Firor told PCGamesN at Gamescom. “It’s daunting to have to follow that up.”

ESO’s Dark Brotherhood quests are currently in the writing phase – and the options are “wide open”.

“If you’ve played those quests, [you know] literally anything can happen. So we’re looking forward to that,” said Firor. “We’re coming up with cool plot twists and things like that right now.

“We’re not 100% sure where it’s going to end, but we know the mechanics. We need to write the ending – because of course there needs to be multiple endings depending on the choices you make.”

Zenimax are already well into their Thieves Guild update, expected in the first few months of next year. But as any former member knows, the Guild is a non-lethal group. How does that work in a decidedly lethal MMO?

“I’m not going to give too much away, but it’s mostly [to do with] where they are in the order of the world,” said Firor cryptically, and then added: “We have a lot of factions fighting each other and there are neutral factions. So we’re going to play off of that concept.”

Those Dark Brotherhood quests should arrive before the second half of 2016, and complement the post-release introduction of NPC mugging and murder quite nicely. Do you think you’ll pop back to Tamriel to try them, given that The Elder Scrolls Online is now free-to-play?