The newest update for The Elder Scrolls Online, One Tamriel, has finally arrived for all platforms and I must say it almost feels like a brand-new game. This installment brings many new features that shake up the gameplay as well as allow existing players to easily group with new players who finally want to take the plunge into Tamriel. There are no level restrictions for grouping, meaning new players will still gain loot and experience appropriate for the level and so will their level capped friend helping them out. Even if you’re a solo player, zones will scale to your level and drop appropriate loot, allowing for some interesting gear set combinations that weren’t viable or possible before.
The first thing existing players will notice is that the whole map is open to them regardless of level or alliance. Previously, you needed to complete your faction’s questline to progress counterclockwise around the world map and subsequently complete the following questline. Even then, you would only see members of your alliance in those regions, often times making city hubs seem empty or sparse. One Tamriel aims to change that by removing those restrictions and instancing all players to a region, allowing you to interact with players across alliances and player levels. This makes cities feel much more alive and bustling, filled with players of all different races that you might have only rarely seen in your home alliance.
Another long awaited feature that was introduced with One Tamriel is dueling. You are now able to duel anyone you come across in the PvE zones. Dueling has existed unofficially in ESO for some time with guilds that colluded in PvP zones, but now there is an official mechanic that allows players to test their skills in a more amicable environment. In keeping with the social theme of One Tamriel, dueling is a great way to train newcomers for PvP combat as much as it is for hosting guild tournaments without the fear of getting ganked by onlookers in Cyrodiil.
Some minor tweaks were made to existing skill lines in Update 12, but there was a major skill addition as well: weapon ultimates. Once you have mastered a weapon, you can unlock the weapon ultimate, adding even more variety to your hotbar loadout options. Like all other active skills, these ultimates can be morphed to further reflect your playstyle.
As if all the other updates weren’t enough, the world of Tamriel is currently celebrating the Witches Festival, an event ongoing through the month of Frostfall (October). This celebration brings with it a special quest that rewards with the Witchmother’s Cauldron, an item that can polymorph you and your group into an undead creature. If you defeat bosses while polymorphed, you can obtain Plunder Skulls that can be redeemed for festival rewards such as recipes and motifs.
But wait, there’s more! Zenimax Online is celebrating the release of One Tamriel with a contest to win a trip of a lifetime to one of five real world locations that inspired the world of Tamriel. Winners can choose to visit the plains of Africa (Elsweyr), the alps of Switzerland (Skyrim), Peruvian ruins and rainforests (Black Marsh), the deserts of Morocco (Hammerfell), or the island of New Zealand (Summerset Isles). TES fan or not, the opportunity to take these trips should not be missed!