June 26, 2022

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Elder Scrolls Online: High Isle preview — a noob’s take on the MMO expansion

6 min read

The Elder Scrolls Online: High Isle is the MMO’s upcoming chapter set on a lush getaway island nobles travel to for vacation; its narrative involves political intrigue and the chaos caused by The Ascendant Order. This may sound compelling to fans of the series, but as someone who hasn’t played The Elder Scrolls Online before, and never finished a single game in this franchise, it seemed like nothing but jargon. I had no idea what to expect outside of minimal experience as a kid playing through some of Oblivion and Skyrim.

Essentially, I’m an Elder Scrolls noob. But the detail that piqued my curiosity (and the reason I tried this preview to begin with) had to do with Creative Director Rich Lambert’s assurance that High Isle is for all players. “You don’t have to level up and grind your way through 8+ years of previous content just to get to the new stuff,” said Lambert. “You could just jump right in and start playing.”

As someone who spent 70+ hours on Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn, but hasn’t gotten to a single one of the game’s expansions, this spoke to me. The ability to jump right into the latest chapter and get a feel of the modern content without having to do research for hundreds of hours of quests made this preview worthwhile.

(Image credit: Bethesda)

Don’t get me wrong, I’m experienced with MMOs. I’ve played an absurd amount of World of Warcraft, and put decent time into Wildstar, Guild Wars 2, DC Universe Online and Maplestory. I’ve also tried New World, Star Wars: The Old Republic, Lost Ark and am in the middle of getting through Final Fantasy XIV. This isn’t my first rodeo, but I certainly didn’t expect The Elder Scrolls Online to feel so different.

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