Never-Before-Seen Area In “The Elder Scrolls Online” Was A Welcome Challenge

It’s still possible to explore Tamriel hundreds of years before Morrowind, Oblivion, and Skyrim thanks to “The Elder Scrolls Online“. ZeniMax Online Studios’ most recent expansion, High Isle, expanded “The Elder Scrolls” universe by introducing players to previously unexplored lore.

To create something entirely new, especially one with no prior game lore, is a different kind of challenge, according to “The Elder Scrolls Online” creative director Rich Lambert. When you create something new and then try to make it fit into an established world, it’s an exciting but very different challenge.

The Elder Scrolls Online”‘s world and setting are developed over time, with the team working closely with Bethesda Game Studios (which is in charge of the mainline “The Elder Scrolls” games) with each new expansion. Lambert explained this process.  They “garnered a lot of trust over the years” says Lambert. It’s a great partnership.

According to Lambert, it can be difficult when it comes to creating a new version of an existing area and making sure that all of the necessary boxes are checked. “We really love the challenge of being able to do both,” says the team.

A significant narrative and setting shift has occurred in “The Elder Scrolls Online”, with the release of High Isle. Your task—putting an end to political unrest among the Breton nobility of the Systres Archipelago—doesn’t have far-reaching ramifications because the geographical area is so much smaller. The story is more grounded.

High Isle “harkened back to our storytelling roots” because “we were getting a little bored of that [apocalyptic] story arc as developers,” at the launch of [“The Elder Scroll Online”], Lambert said. “We had the chance here to flex our creative muscles in a different way, and I think the team really killed it. And as far as players seeing more stories like this moving forward goes–only time will tell!”

Lambert continued: “When we create new stuff, we take a look back at what we built. For instance, Elsweyr, Greymoor, and Blackwood all have very different stories and biomes. With High Isle, we wanted to switch up the formula and do something different and distinct again. Part of that switch up is to stay away from monotony–we don’t want to make the same thing over again. That’s boring for us, and it’s boring for the players. But the other part of it is that we want everything we create to be memorable, and that’s a huge part of the process.”

ZeniMax Online Studios is already hard at work on the next chapter of “The Elder Scrolls Online”, which is scheduled to be released in 2023. “We have tons of stuff that we still want to do, and we’re going to support [“The Elder Scrolls Online”] for as long as people want to play it,” says Lambert. Because of this, they are already hardly working on the next chapter, which will be out in the fall of 2019.