The Elder Scrolls Online

Put in the hours and the console version of Bethesda's MMO eventually finds its feet, but remains dull, muddled and plagued by bugs.


Key events

The Elder Scrolls Online's next big expansion is set in the Summerset Isle

The Elder Scrolls Online's next big expansion takes place in the Summerset Isle, Bethesda has announced.

The Isle of Summerset, home of the High Elves, was an explorable area in 1994's The Elder Scrolls: Arena, but has only been mentioned in Elder Scrolls games since.

The Elder Scrolls Online: Summerset includes a new zone, a new story, a new skill line based on the Psijiic Order and the introduction of jewelry crafting. It comes out on 5th June for PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

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FeatureHow does the new Morrowind measure up to the classic version?

A super-fan ventures into The Elder Scrolls Online.

Is it possible to enjoy The Elder Scrolls Online's Morrowind expansion if you're a fan of the original game who hates MMOs? Is it folly to even try? Either way, I loved Morrowind too much to ignore the arrival of its multiplayer-focused quasi-prequel.

FeatureEscaping Skyrim's shadow

And laying the ground for Elder Scrolls 6.

When I look back on my 90 hours with The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim, I think of constellations rearing gossamer heads over the hills near Whiterun. I think of sunken cities grown copper-green with age, of flipping through books for mention of long-extinct civilisations, and snow licking the path to the summit of the Throat of the World. OK, so I also think of dragons that fly backwards and that time I had to Fus Roh Dah a bug-stricken Lydia across a mountain range, but these are stray notes, hiccups in an otherwise blissful aria.

One of the consumable items on offer in The Elder Scrolls Online is the venison-stuffed grape leaf - a little parcel filled with meat and rice. One of our YouTube viewers asked me to recreate these tasty morsels for the latest episode of Chiodini's Kitchen, so I agreed - not because they're delicious (they are), but because there's something that really tickles me about the existence of these delicate morsels in the world of Tamriel.

Morrowind expansion revealed for The Elder Scrolls Online

The Elder Scrolls Online is doing just about the most exciting thing it can: a Morrowind expansion.

It's due 6th June on all platforms and introduces: a new zone, Vvardenfell, and a 30-hour story; a new player class, the Warden, and his War Bear pet; and a new 4v4v4 PvP arena mode, Battlegrounds.

Vvardenfell is apparently the same size as in The Elder Scrolls 3: Morrowind - occupies "the same geographic footprint" according to the press release. All the landmarks from TES3: Morrowind should be there, albeit set 700 years earlier.

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Elder Scrolls Online Dark Brotherhood DLC gets release date

Elder Scrolls Online Dark Brotherhood DLC gets release date

Notorious assassin group offers new passive skill tree.

The Dark Brotherhood content for The Elder Scrolls Online will be released 31st May on PC and Mac, and 14th June on PS4 and Xbox One. Or, if you like, you can try it out on the Public Test Server from today.

The Dark Brotherhood assassin quests are beloved in the Elder Scrolls series. They're not about being good, not about saving the world - they're about killing people. Accessing them usually involves a following a shadowy trail.

In ESO the Dark Brotherhood is on the Gold Coast, and joining it unlocks a new and exclusive passive skill tree. There's an overriding story about a mysterious new foe killing Brotherhood agents, and there are also repeatable quests offering rewards.

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Elder Scrolls Online free on PC and Xbox One this weekend

Playing enters you into the $1m prize draw.

The big Elder Scrolls Online recruitment drive continues as Bethesda/Zenimax announces a free-play weekend on PC and Xbox One this weekend. PS4 isn't included because of its PlayStation Plus obstruction, presumably, but Zenimax is "working with Sony on a technical solution". However, there is a free PlayStation Plus weekend this weekend that would appear to solve that problem, so we'll see what effect that has.

The Elder Scrolls Online's next expansion takes you to the Orc capital

The Elder Scrolls Online's next expansion takes you to the Orc capital

Largest DLC yet due 2nd November on PC, two weeks later on console.

The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited will receive its largest add-on yet in November, titled Orsinium.

PC players can purchase the expansion on 2nd November, followed by Xbox One owners on 17th November and PS4 players a day later.

Anyone with an active ESO Plus membership will get the content for free. Otherwise, it will cost around 3000 crowns via the in-game store.

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The Elder Scrolls Online's PS4 patch is 15.9GB

The Elder Scrolls Online's PS4 patch is 15.9GB

Adds the first three updates from the PC version.

The Elder Scrolls Online's PS4 patch is a colossal 15.9GB.

The reason for this is that it contains all the content from the PC version's first three patches, developer ZeniMax Online Studios noted on Twitter.

As such, it makes numerous changes to the game's performance, UI, questing and bug-fixing.

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The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited review

The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited review

Everybody wants to rule the world.

I dread to think how much time I've devoted to The Elder Scrolls over the years.

I've loved each game in the series, always grateful for the chance to rekindle my still-potent childhood fantasies of stepping into a medieval world where magic and steel were in a constant battle against the forces of darkness. Not just to engage in that battle, but to breathe in the world that was at stake, to visit the blacksmiths, the taverns and towns.

The Elder Scrolls was the first game to truly make that happen and I've spent hundreds of hours in each entry as a result. Totalled up, that's several months of my life immersed in the world of Tamriel in one way or another. So why is it that the first dozen hours of The Elder Scrolls Online felt like such a joyless slog?

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Face-Off: The Elder Scrolls Online

Digital FoundryFace-Off: The Elder Scrolls Online

How well does the PC MMO transfer to PS4 and Xbox One?

After a rocky start on the PC last year, The Elder Scrolls Online finally comes to the PS4 and Xbox One, six months later than expected. Launching with a number of netcode-related issues that saw players unable to login to the game and stuck waiting in a server queue for up to several hours, it's fair to say the release hasn't gone as smoothly as expected. Indeed many bugs and gameplay issues are still being addressed, despite the emergence of a 15GB day one patch. In particular, the netcode code causes regular interruptions in performance across all platforms, compromising overall stability during gameplay. On the plus side, the new versions of Elder Scrolls Online deliver a new menu system built around regular gamepad control, so this is clearly not a straight port of the PC version - some thought has gone into redesigning gameplay for the console audience.

Both PS4 and Xbox One hand in native 1080p presentations, with similar anti-aliasing techniques in place. The Elder Scrolls Online generally takes on a fairly clean look with smooth edges and little in the way of obtrusive jaggies; sub-pixel shimmer is kept under control, though smaller details still break up when viewed from a distance. The type of anti-aliasing isn't listed in the settings menu on the PC game, but it's clearly a post-process solution. It's not bad either - texture blur is minimal with just a light reduction in clarity compared to the crystal clear look you get from traditional multi-sampling.

On first impression, the console versions of Elder Scrolls Online appear to align nicely with the PC release, the overall look doesn't seem unduly compromised in terms of texture work and overall detail, while the lighting and post-effects pipeline is a close match across platforms. Texture filtering is a sticking point on consoles though, with the lack of anisotropic filtering impacting clarity on flat surfaces, particularly across the ground where the amount of detail resolved quickly tails off within a few feet of the player. Filtering isn't perfect on the PC either, with the game sporting what looks like something closer to 4x AF instead of the usual 8-16x filtering that you'd expect to find - but it's enough to visibly reduce the texture blurring we see on both console versions.

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FeatureThe Elder Scrolls Online still feels limited in its opening hours

First impressions from Tamriel Unlimited, the console version of Bethesda's MMO.

"You can see how making a massively multiplayer version of a popular single-player role-playing game would look like a no-brainer to a publishing executive." So began Oli's review of the PC version of The Elder Scrolls Online in April last year.

The Elder Scrolls Online PS4/Xbox One requires 15GB day-one patch

The Elder Scrolls Online PS4/Xbox One requires 15GB day-one patch

Too "incredibly massive" for one Blu-ray disc.

There will be a required ~15GB day-one patch for The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited on PS4 and Xbox One.

The revelation was tucked at the bottom of a FAQ accompanying yesterday's Elder Scrolls Online beta-invites news.

The reason for the ~15GB patch: the game is bigger than a Blu-ray disc's 50GB capacity.

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The Elder Scrolls Online PS4, Xbox One closed beta invites sent out

The Elder Scrolls Online PS4, Xbox One closed beta invites sent out

MMO's only console beta will launch tomorrow.

Invites for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One closed beta of The Elder Scrolls Online are now being sent out to a limited number of participants.

The beta itself will go live from tomorrow, 23rd April at 3pm UK time and last until Monday, 27th April at 3pm UK time.

If you previously signed up for the closed test, now is the time to check your inboxes and spam folders.

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20GB Elder Scrolls Online patch is biggest yet

20GB Elder Scrolls Online patch is biggest yet

Adds justice, champion systems and much more.

The Elder Scrolls Online has received its biggest content update to date with the launch of the 20GB-sized Patch 6.

This update readies the game for its upcoming "buy to play" model, and adds a number of new systems.

TESO's gameplay has also been entirely rebalanced, to the extent that all skill and attribute points are being reset.

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Bethesda announces first ever E3 conference

Bethesda announces first ever E3 conference

Sure to cause some fallout.

Bethesda has announced plans for its first ever dedicated E3 conference, which is set to take place in Hollywood on Sunday, 14th June 2015.

A limited number of tickets will be made available to fans, or you'll be able to watch the whole thing from home via the magic of Twitch (and, naturally, Eurogamer will be reporting the whole thing live).

There's no word yet on what Bethesda will be showing, although we can take a couple of educated guesses.

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Elder Scrolls Online gets console release date, drops subscription

Elder Scrolls Online gets console release date, drops subscription

UPDATE: First console gameplay footage within and new details.

UPDATE #2 7.20PM GMT: Console gameplay footage was shown during an Elder Scrolls Online livestream this afternoon. I've ripped out the relevant gameplay for a video embedded below (the full Twitch stream is also now available). Please bear in mind it is recorded from the low quality Twitch stream and then blown up and encoded again, so it's not indicative of final game graphic quality. It's produced to give you an idea of the console game in action.

The other major thing of note is that there will be a console beta, and you should expect it "sometime in the April timeframe", said game director Matt Firor towards the end of the stream. Joining him were Bethesda chief marketeer Pete Hines and game creative director Paul Sage.

They covered a lot of topics but these stood out.

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Elder Scrolls Online dev confirms lay-offs

Elder Scrolls Online dev confirms lay-offs

But it sounds like the console versions, although AWOL, are OK.

There have been lay-offs at The Elder Scrolls Online developer Zenimax Online Studios, the company has confirmed, but the message is that this is routine, six months after launch, and there's still "a large work force" working on the massively multiplayer online role-playing game.

"As is the norm for games of this type, we had ramped up a large workforce to develop a game of vast scale, and ramped up our customer service to handle the expected questions and community needs of The Elder Scrolls Online at launch," Zenimax/Bethesda told Game Informer.

"Now that we are nearly six months post launch, we have a thriving online community in a game that runs smoothly. We have adjusted staffing to meet the ongoing needs of the studio, which continues to operate with a large work force.

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Elder Scrolls Online subscriber loyalty program announced

Elder Scrolls Online subscriber loyalty program announced

Pay for three months and get a free pet.

The developer of Elder Scrolls Online has launched a new initiative to reward paying subscribers.

ZeniMax Online Studios has revealed a loyalty program which will gift players a free in-game pet if you buy at least three months' worth of game time.

The next reward - yet to be detailed - will unlock if you pay for at least six months of game time.

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The Elder Scrolls Online's Craglorn update due this week

The Elder Scrolls Online's Craglorn update due this week

"I believe our next update is fairly on schedule."

The first major update for The Elder Scrolls Online will arrive later this week, developer Zenimax Online Studios has said.

Speaking with IGN, creative director Paul Sage explained that the long-awaited Craglorn expansion would be available to download this Thursday or Friday.

Craglorn was announced back in early April and its launch had been expected by now. But developer Zenimax Online Studios has kept been busy instead fixing game bugs and battling gold spammers.

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Elder Scrolls Online players awarded free game time after "launch issues"

Elder Scrolls Online players will be given five free days of game time to make up for the game's various "launch issues", developer Zenimax Online Studios has announced.

The extra time will be awarded to anyone with an active account registered prior to 8pm EDT today (1am tonight in the UK). You also have to still be on your 30-day free trial period (which should apply to everyone, since the game was released less than 30 days ago).

Elder Scrolls Online director Matt Firor announced the decision today via the game's official site, in a statement discussing the game's next and future updates.

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The Elder Scrolls Online gets major patch

The Elder Scrolls Online gets major patch

Quest issues fixed while fight against bots continues.

A major patch for fledgling MMO The Elder Scrolls Online has been detailed by the game's developer.

Zenimax Online Studios has been battling bugs and black market scammers since the game's launch - a plight highlighted in a statement to players issued last week by the studio's boss.

Many of the points mentioned in that message have been addressed in the new patch, including a number of quest progress issues and bot-fighting tweaks.

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Elder Scrolls Online dev battles black market

Causes 85 per cent of customer service complaints.

Elder Scrolls Online developer ZeniMax Online Studios has given a progress update on its work behind-the-scenes of the fledgling MMO, a little over two weeks since its PC launch.

FeatureThe Elder Scrolls Online renounces the grind

But can you really have a traditional MMO without it?

Imagine a point almost exactly halfway between The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim and your traditional mainstream massively multiplayer RPG, for which the reference points are, in 2014, still the first EverQuest and World of Warcraft. This is where you will find The Elder Scrolls Online. I've spent around 20 hours in the beta. I have much still to discover, but my overwhelming impression is of equipoise - of a game balanced with conscientious, almost fearful care between the two things that it is trying to be.

Video shows hope for Elder Scrolls Online's group battles

Perhaps working together isn't so bad after all.

Group combat in Elder Scrolls Online is something that's fundamentally new to the Elder Scrolls IP. There are MMO classes and roles - it's not you in an AI playground being what you want, doing what you want and changing the world around you.

The Elder Scrolls Online release dates announced

The Elder Scrolls Online release dates announced

PC and Mac in April. PS4 and Xbox One in June.

Fantasy massively multiplayer online role-playing game The Elder Scrolls Online launches on PC and Mac on 4th April 2014, Bethesda has announced.

The PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions follow in June 2014.

Bethesda released a new gameplay trailer, War in Cyrodiil, designed to highlight the game's PvP system, which lets hundreds of players fight together and against each other.

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VideoSee how The Elder Scrolls Online has changed for the better

Bethesda's MMO has changed since we last saw it - and it's looking good.

The Elder Scrolls Online is an interesting one - an ambitious and gargantuan new MMO, it has perhaps underwhelmed a little when shown before, a victim of the grandiose expectations that fans of the Elder Scrolls series have off the back of a run of outstanding games over the last ten years. Zenimax Online's epic has looked competent, good, even, but it's lacked the spark that people expect from Bethesda's universe.

EGXElder Scrolls Online and Wolfenstein playable at Eurogamer Expo

Developer session for The Evil Within on Thursday 26th, streamed online.

Today we're happy to reveal that Bethesda Softworks is returning to the Eurogamer Expo in a big way this year, bringing along The Elder Scrolls Online and Wolfenstein: The New Order for their first playable outings in the UK.

Outside Xbox: Five Skyrim quests that would be better with multiplayer

Also this week: James Hills' State of Decay diary.

Hello Eurogamers, thank heavens you made it to safety. Any longer outside in this pan-European heatwave and you would probably have melted into a gloopy human puddle. Far better to stay indoors and watch videos about video games. Videos we can, entirely coincidentally, provide for you.

The Elder Scrolls Online announced for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One

The Elder Scrolls Online is coming to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One as well as PC and Mac. All versions will launch in spring 2014.

"Just announced: Elder Scrolls Online is coming to PS4 and Xbox One when it's released Spring 2014," tweeted Bethesda's Pete Hines.

Sony announced ESO for PS4 during its E3 conference and said the beta will be exclusively available first on PlayStation 4. The press release just mentions the console beta is happening later this year.

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