Elder Scrolls Online: Morrowind Feels Like Home Despite the Differences
I have a few unhealthy obsessions -- Korean food, craft beers, and immersive lore make the top of my list. So, when I was asked to review Elder Scrolls Online: Morrowind, it was like Christmas came early. I love the Elder Scrolls games and have easily devoted thousands of hours playing TES III, IV, and V -- chief amongst those being Morrowind.
The great storytelling of that game that just sucked me in until I spent hours upon hours reading all of the text from the NPCs and the various books scattered around the world -- and the sheer size of the map to fueled my lust for exploration and adventure. With large shoes to fill and an obvious difference in mechanics, how does ESO: Morrowind measure up? Let's talk about that.
ESO: Morrowind is set 700 years before the original Morrowind game, and you can really tell from the flora and fauna. After the tutorial, you end up in the somewhat familiar port town of Seyda Neen. There are a number of differences that TES III veterans will notice, which is to be expected given the timeline difference, but there are still a number of key landmarks that stand out to -- such as the lighthouse and the massive bug-beast of burden known as the Silt Strider.
Progressing along the main quest line, you'll encounter a few familiar names and factions while exploringmore iconic places from the original game -- the most stunning of which was Vivec City. I easily spent an hour just walking around the various under-construction cantons and districts, soaking up the lore.
You even get to meet the legendary warrior-poet Vivec himself as you help to unravel several mysteries that are plaguing the people of Vvardenfell. There is so much lore and many nods to the original game sprinkled throughout the various locations that make it feel very nostalgic, despite the number of differences between the original main series game and its MMORPG counterpart.
For size comparison, Vvardenfell is roughly 40% larger than the ESO: Orsinium DLC, which makes it the largest addition to the game since its initial release.
What I find most exciting about ESO: Morrowind is the diversity of Vvvardenfell and its denizens. From the vastly different great houses of the Dunmer to the tribal Ashlanders, and the scores of other adventuring groups, there is no shortage of intrigue for the player to delve into.
Speaking of delves, there is a number of them in with the DLC -- and some of them are rather breathtaking. I found myself just staring at all of the intricate buildings and zones of Nchuleft ruins, filled with mechanisms of the Dwemer still very much operational and very deadly. But this deadliness can be combated with the new Warden class that's unique to this DLC.
The Warden feels like a mix between the Sorcerer class and the Dragonknight -- well-rounded in combat and capable of summoning creatures into combat to help fight foes. Wardens who go the route of the Green Balance are also capable of healing themselves and nearby friendly units, making them a force to be reckoned with. But I'll go into more detail about that in my beginner's Warden guide.
PvP & Raids
While I primarily am a PvE player, there is PvP added into the DLC in the form of the Battlegrounds. Battlegrounds has a number of fast-paced modes for players to test their skills and builds against each other -- modes like Capture the Flag, Team Deathmatch, and Domination. These PvP encounters are quick, the maps are small, and combat is chaotic. This is perfect for when you want to take a break from the main quest or spice up a lull in adventuring.
As far as raids go, the DLC offers an intense raid called Trial: Halls of Fabrication. This is a 12-man raid/mission that takes the player into The Clockwork City -- the domain of Tribunal member and God Sotha Sil. I still have some time yet before I can enjoy this raid myself, but I look forward to seeing The Clockwork City for myself (as pictures can only do so much justice).
ESO: Morrowind and ESO, in general, has become quite polished over the years. I rarely have connection issues these days -- and a number of the gripes that I had with the game when I was a beta tester back in 2014 have been fixed. ESO: Morrowind is fresh and new, but still imparts a sense of nostalgia for me with its beautiful graphics, immersive storytelling, and tidbits of lore references from the original game.
If you haven't picked the game up on pre-order, then you can expect to see it hit the shelves/digital marketplaces June 6th for $39.99 for just the Morrowind DLC.
What are you most excited about with ESO: Morrowind? Let's chat about it in the comments below! And stay tuned for lots of guides that will help you get started on the right foot when you embark on a new adventure in Vvardenfell.
Note: A copy of the game was provided by the developer for the purposes of this review.