Video Games

Elder Scrolls Online is Returning to Morrowind and Embracing Cosmic Horror in 2023

Now in its ninth year, The Elder Scrolls Online will take a turn into the Forbidden World and Universe in 2023. In a story called Shadows over Morrowind, you visit a new region home to the Dark Elves and lend a hand – or tentacles, presumably – to the Daedric Prince Hermaeus Mora. You may remember him in his Dragonborn DLC for Skyrim as the giant eyeball man who lives in a fortress made out of forbidden books. And he might let us borrow a little of his weird magic in the form of ESO’s first new class since 2019, the Arcanist.

The setting for these fantastic plots is the Apocryphal Plane of Hermaeus Mora, which includes a small narrative realm, a larger free-roaming realm, and a portion of eastern Morrowind called the Telvanni Peninsula. increase. If you’re familiar with Elder Scrolls lore, you might remember House Telvanni being the great House of the Dunmer most associated with magic. In The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind, Mushroom Towers did not specifically have stairs and could only be accessed by casting a levitation spell.

When I spoke to ESO Creative Director Rich Lambert about what to expect to encounter at their home base, he wasn’t going to spoil the details, but that “a lot of strange magic” interacting with I assure you there is.

The center of the region is the Dunmer death city of Necrom, where the people of the province hold elaborate and sacred funeral rites for their deceased loved ones. An imposing metropolis built on a cliff, it has some famous architectural flourishes in common with places like Vivec, but it also has a solemn and funerary splendor that is quite unique. It’s not a spooky town of skeletons or eerie Gothic tombs, it’s an impressive place for thoughtful respite. Exploring it and the surrounding peninsula will give you the opportunity to absorb many new lore about Dunmer culture and Telvanni in particular.

beyond madness

The central story of Shadow Over Morrowind revolves around the secrets Hermaeus Mora has hidden from the world. This secret could threaten not only Tamriel, but our entire reality. He’s not the most trustworthy or benevolent Daedra you’ll come across, but Lambert believes he’s one of the traditional struggles between good and evil. I explained that I was sitting outside and wanted to see this issue resolved as much as we did.

It’s never been done before with The Elder Scrolls, so I really can’t wait for the big moment to come.


“I’m not going in [the story] It’s overdone because it leads to spoilers,” Lambert said.
“But as we progress through the story, we get to know a little more. [Hermaeus Mora’s] Secrets and what’s really going on slowly start to come together. It’s never been done before with The Elder Scrolls, so I really can’t wait for the big moment to come. ”

You have the opportunity to tackle this mystery as a new Arcanist class, an all-purpose spellcaster who harnesses the forbidden magic that Hermaeus Mora loves so much. And, unsurprisingly, Arcanist also violates many established rules about what ESO classes can do. You can also pierce the real world to teleport, heal allies, and attack with shadow-like tentacles.

road ahead

It’s hard to believe that ESO will be ten years old next year. I still remember writing the first cover feature for a print magazine about it, but it seems like it was virtually yesterday. I feel like I’ve never been in a better place, even though there was a road. A key focus for the team now and in the near future is “cleaning self-harm in terms of stability and performance.”

Especially in the last few years, MMOs have shifted away from Second Jobs or Second Life and into fantasies that can be picked up and thrown away quite freely. Final Fantasy XIV’s Naoki Yoshida famously encouraged players to step away and play other games if they were burned out. Lambert not only subscribes to this philosophy, but sees his team as “pioneers” of the strategy.

“Our game is very easy to pick up and put down,” he said. “As a brand new player, I was able to play with someone who’s been playing for seven years of him and meaningfully progress my character without struggling through seven years of content.

“It’s part of our DNA, and it’s been that way for a very long time. You see it in the cycles of our player population. There’s a quarterly cadence where you see big spikes, and then People play something else and then they release something and again we have this giant spike I’m here.

Shadow Over Morrowind kicks off in March with Scribes of Fate, adding four new four-player dungeons leading up to the main event. Then dive into the essence of adventure with Necrom, which releases on June 5th. This unlocks the Arcanist class and approximately 30 hours of new story content set in East Morrowind. Zenimax Online Studios also plans to make all previous expansions free for a limited time.

Shadows Over Morrowind was first published on Xbox’s Developer_Direct. Check out everything else announced at Microsoft’s showcase, including the new game Hi-Fi Rush by Tango Gameworks, here.

Leana Hafer is a freelance writer for IGN.

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