The Elder Scrolls Online will soon let players acquire loot box items without paying real-world money.
Arriving as part of Update 30 and launching mid-June, the new Endeavors system is a free addition to the Elder Scrolls Online base game all players can access.
Endeavors are new daily and weekly tasks that grant you various rewards, such as gold or experience, as well as a new currency called Seals of Endeavor.
You can then use Seals of Endeavor to buy any of the currently available Crown Crate items in the game. (Crown Crates is the name given to The Elder Scrolls Online's loot boxes.)
Loot box items include potions, XP scrolls, pets, cosmetics and even rare mounts.
The addition of the new Endeavors system means that for the first time in The Elder Scrolls Online, players will be able to acquire these items via gameplay, as well as through the real-world money loot box gamble.
Of note: if there isn't anything in particular you want from the currently available loot boxes, you can save up and continue to earn Seals without penalty or fear of resets. So, when the next crate season comes up, or the next set of crates comes up, and you see something there you want, you can be ready to buy it.
In a recent preview event for upcoming chapter Blackwood, Rich Lambert, creative director at Zenimax Online Studios, described the Endeavors system as "really exciting".
"We thought this was a very good add to the game because it fits our overall mantra of, players can have an in-game equivalent, or an in-game way to access anything that we sell in the Crown Store."
Why add this Endeavors system to the game now? Some players have pointed to Microsoft's Xbox Game Studios loot box policy, which stipulates:
"Items in loot boxes can always be earned through play. All items available through paid loot boxes in our games will also be available through unpaid opportunity by gameplay (i.e. grinding)."
Of course, Microsoft recently completed its $7.5bn acquisition of Bethesda, which operates The Elder Scrolls Online. The Endeavors system brings ESO in-line with its new parent company's loot box rules.
It's a welcome addition, but questions remain. Players are wondering about the Endeavors grind, and how much specific items will cost. Could players be forced to grind for weeks on end to buy sought-after cosmetics without spending real-world money?