Elder Scrolls Online: High Isle says hello to intrigue, goodbye to ‘cosmic threats’ – CNET


The new area of High Isle is a cross between medieval and Mediterranean.

Zenimax Online Studios/Elder Scrolls Online

With every chapter of Elder Scrolls Online, the game’s world grows just a little bigger. Announced at The Elder Scrolls Online 2022 Global Reveal stream, players will soon be setting sail to High Isle, a never-before-seen area that’s home to one of the most enduring races: the Bretons. 

We spoke to Zenimax Online Studios’ Creative Director Rich Lambert about the upcoming chapter and some of its new features. 

“We wanted to give the Bretons their time to shine in the sun, because they’ve never had that at all in any Elder Scrolls game,” he said. “It was actually harder picking where we were going to do it than it was to say ‘we want this to be about the Bretons’.”

The brand new island-style area, High Isle, is set to combine medieval architecture and political intrigue with a Mediterranean environment, setting the scene for alliances to rise and fall. 

Inspired by the feudal era, it was a priority for the team to pull back from big world-ending style threat storylines and bring it back to the roots of ESO.

“We spent the last few years focusing on these cosmic threats – these giant entities that are coming in to enslave the human race or destroy the world – and we’ve kind of forgotten that stories can be interesting when they’re grounded as well.

As players explore the new area, they can also score themselves some company. ESO introduced the companion system in 2021 with the Blackwood chapter and it looks to grow with the addition of two new companions: Ember (an unscrupulous Khajiit) and Isobel (a Breton Knight with a far more moral center). 


Two new companions await players in High Isle.

Zenimax Online Studios/Elder Scrolls Online

Despite fans getting hyped about ships on social media following the teaser trailer, Lambert confirms that they’re just loading mechanics, rather than controllable aquatic vehicles.

What he’s most hyped for, though, is the player reaction to the brand new in-game trading card game, Tales of Tribute. The game purposely evens out the playing field – player one chooses two decks to put into play, player two chooses two other decks to put into play. These are then shuffled together and each player’s hand is drawn from this common pile.

“It’s more focused on resource building than it is on combat,” said Lambert. “It doesn’t matter if you have unlocked every single card and are upgraded and have all the best cards – because you are putting those into play for the other person as well. And so it’s more a game about strategy, and how you deal with the hands that are given you.”

With the TCG, two companions, a never-before-seen area, brand new lore and quality of life improvements like account-wide achievements, the Elder Scrolls Online: High Isle is set to sail in June this year. 

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