The Elder Scrolls Online: Necrom Chapter made its debut on June 5 on PC/Mac and is set to launch on consoles on June 20. Within this Chapter, players will encounter two new zones as well as a new class called the arcanist.
The Telvanni Peninsula serves as the dwelling place for the Telvanni Dark Elf house, renowned for their expertise in the arcane arts. The region maintains the characteristic themes of Dark Elf culture in Tamriel, with vibrant mushrooms and peculiar plant life creating an almost alien atmosphere. The combat encounters with World Bosses and within the Public Dungeon were enjoyable. In line with recent Chapter releases, the developers have effectively implemented special attacks, such as rotating ground AOE effects, in certain boss battles.
Although the Telvanni Peninsula resembled other areas of the game a little bit too much, it served as a well-executed expansion of the Dunmer homeland. The city of Necrom and the local surroundings are vibrant and lively. Unfortunately, the time spent exploring the Necropolis felt a bit short.
By the time I completed the main story of the Chapter, my experience in Hermaeus Mora’s realm of Apocrypha had been thoroughly enjoyable. I initially had concerns about the excessive use of green in the landscape. Thankfully, the delves, public dungeon, and interior story locations introduced variations in the color palette here and there. From the otherworldly terrain to the intricately designed interiors filled with books, ZeniMax’s talented art team successfully captured the essence of Apocrypha. Some locations even evoke the sensation of venturing through an Escher painting, with mind-boggling pathways twisting and turning.
I observed an improvement in the voice acting for the Elder Scrolls Online: Necrom Chapter compared to the content released in the past few years, although it wasn’t a significant leap forward. Most characters portrayed were believable and captivating. As the story developed, I grew more attached to my diverse group of companions. The relationship between Leramil the Wise and Curate Gadayn felt authentic, and I found the interactions with the Telvanni Magister and Meln the Mouthless to be enjoyable. ZeniMax even managed to evoke emotions with my little pessimistic Watchling companion, Scruut, at one point in the story.
The addition of two companions
The two new Companions make valuable additions to the game with two decent storylines. They seamlessly fit in with the existing Companions in ESO. Personally, I have been utilizing Azadar al-Cybiades, the Arcanist, and his ongoing companion quests have proven to be intriguing. Some of his voice lines have caught me off guard and brought a chuckle.
ZeniMax is missing an opportunity by not allowing players to unlock one or more of the main NPCs as potential companions by the end of a Chapter’s story. Players become invested in the storyline and develop attachments to certain characters. Aside from Scruut, there are several other memorable characters from various Chapters that come to mind. Even if they shared the same classes and skills as other companions but had distinct appearances and voice lines, it would fulfill the fantasy of having them accompany us on our journeys.
The Side content
Regarding the side quests in the Elder Scrolls Online: Necrom Chapter, they largely follow the familiar formula that players are accustomed to. While some quests tell decent stories, a few of them feel like similar tasks in the past, albeit with a fresh coat of paint.
I didn’t come across any significant challenges or puzzles to solve during my questing. The tasks typically involved killing enemies or fetching items. Occasionally, I had to activate a ghost sight ability to break invisible barriers or damage protected enemies, which the game repeatedly prompts you to do. I also noticed that side quests often repeat instructions on what needs to be done next.
Bastion Nymic World Events
One new activity that I haven’t had a chance to explore extensively is the Bastion Nymic World Events. I did manage to acquire ichor by defeating the Herald’s Seekers for the daily quest and entering the instance designed for a small group. The sub-bosses in each of the three regions should provide a good challenge, and the final boss will be significantly tougher compared to most other overland content. However, to progress beyond the initial groups of enemies, I will need to gather a group or reach level 50 with a suitable gear set and build for a solo attempt.
Nevertheless, I appreciate that the developers have addressed the concerns of players who desired more challenging overworld content, even if it doesn’t exactly match the specific requests made by the community.
The Arcanist Class
The new Arcanist class is fun to play and should be a hoot and half wen one gets to level 50. The visual effects accompanying each ability are impressive. The act of hurling runes at enemies, while your weapons and armor emanate vibrant neon green energy, perfectly suits the Arcanist. The Crux point system significantly enhances damage and healing when managed effectively.
Many abilities require and scale in damage or healing based on your highest resource pool, allowing for greater build flexibility. The passives offer notable bonuses. There is a seamless integration of Arcanist skills and passives, and the experience only improves as you reach higher levels. However, if you prefer not to handle an additional combat system or are not a fan of the color green, this class may not suit your preferences.
There have been minor issues or bugs throughout the Elder Scrolls Online Necrom experience. The persisting issue of not exiting combat every time it concludes is the only prominent bug. Apart from that, my only noteworthy concern is not a technical matter but rather a design flaw.
The ground AOE tentacle attack of the Herald’s Seekers can hit players who are not engaged in combat from a considerable distance.
While this is not a constant problem, it can disrupt questing and catch unprepared players off guard, potentially resulting in their demise.
The main storyline of Necrom takes some time to gain momentum, but it gradually becomes captivating. It has the potential to surpass the conventional world-ending plot commonly found in ESO. It’s curious to see if the developers will conclude the plotline later this year with the release of the new endless dungeon or if it will extend into the game’s 10th anniversary in the following year. If it continues into next year, it could signify significant changes coming to ESO in 2024.
In their Update 38 patch notes, the developers mentioned that they typically avoid introducing major changes in the Chapter update to allow players to focus more on the substantial new content. This year, with the addition of the Arcanist as the game’s seventh playable class, it’s intriguing to see what the remainder of the year holds.
Despite initial concerns, the Elder Scrolls Online: Necrom Chapter was a thoroughly enjoyable experience, and the unfolding story was engaging. The art team has done an exceptional job in bringing the Daedric Realm of Apocrypha to life. This year’s content is a step up from the previous Chapter. However, at times, ESO Necrom feels like ZeniMax is playing it safe and adhering to the familiar ESO Chapter and quest structure.
For the numerous ESO players who find comfort in sticking to the established formula, there is no inherent issue with it. Personally, I find delight in the continuous expansion of the game’s story and lore, even during years when it may be slightly underwhelming. However, adhering strictly to familiar patterns does limit the level of excitement one can experience for the new content. Fortunately, this year’s conclusion to the Chapter’s storyline offers hints of more intriguing events on the horizon. All the customary elements that a new ESO Chapter brings are present and skillfully executed. Additionally, the inclusion of the enjoyable Arcanist class adds further value to the game, making it a commendable addition overall.
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While the core gameplay mechanics remain consistent with Elder Scrolls Online, the Necrom Chapter brings various enhancements and additions. The introduction of the Arcanist class introduces new abilities, skill lines, and playstyle options for players to experiment with. The Chapter also includes new quests, challenges, and world events, providing ample content for both solo and group play.
The Necrom Chapter distinguishes itself through its introduction of the Arcanist class, offering players a unique playstyle focused on magical manipulation. Additionally, the Necrom Chapter delves into the mysterious Daedric Realm of Apocrypha, providing a visually stunning and captivating environment for players to explore.