New quests, companions, and trials await in the upcoming Elder Scrolls Online Chapters, which were just announced on the official Bethesda website. The announcement included a cinematic trailer that shows off the new setting, as well as this year’s Big Bad, Mehrunes Dagon. The 2021 adventure is titled The Gates of Oblivion, and will ultimately include four releases throughout the year. The planned releases for Gates of Oblivion are:
Flames of Ambition DLC (March 8 for PC/Mac and Stadia and March 16 for Xbox One and PlayStation 4)
Blackwood (June 1 for PC/Mac and Stadia and June 8 for Xbox One and PlayStation 4)
Unannounced Q3 DLC dungeon pack (date TBD)
Unannounced Q4 DLC story zone (date TBD)
The first release, Flames of Ambition, begins the Gates of Oblivion storyline. This release comes with two new PvE challenges: The Cauldron, and Black Drake Villa. The first dungeon involves assaulting a shrine to the Prince of Destruction, while the other is a race to grab a mysterious tome before it is destroyed. The dungeons both offer an opportunities for unique rewards, and long-time ESO players should be excited to learn that Eveli Sharp-Arrow and Dremora Lyranth both make appearances in Flames of Ambition.
The major chapter update for 2021 is the Blackwood release, which will not only continue the Gates of Oblivion storyline, but will also add a new zone (the eponymous Blackwood), a new Companions system, a new 12-player Trial, Oblivion Portals as world events, as well as new delves, public dungeons, world bosses, and stand-alone quests. The Blackwood release will also come with updates and quality-of-life improvements for ESO.
Lizard-lovers rejoice: the Blackwood region sits between the Argonian homeland and the Imperial Cyrodiil, so there will be lots of the long-tailed scaly-folk to meet (and possibly fight), in addition to the Imperials that will surely be around. The already complex sociopolitical situation no doubt becomes even more complex when Oblivion portals start opening up.
The Blackwood region features the Imperial City of Leyawiin — which made an apperance in the Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion — and also includes the Niben Forest and the Blackwood Bog. The main storyline in Blackwood involves a Daedric prince and a conspiracy that threatens all of Blackwood, and can be enjoyed on its own or as part of the larger Gates of Oblivion storyline.
As usual, there are bonuses for pre-orders. The Blackwood pre-order rewards are:
Nagahide Welwa Ravager mount
Nightmare Bear Cub pet (only available if you pre-order before March 17)
Dremora Kynreeve Outfit
Deadlands Wamasu Pet
1Ã— Iron Atronach Crate
3Ã— Blackwood Treasure Maps
2Ã— Experience Scrolls
After Flames of Ambition and Blackwood will come another DLC dungeon pack, and then another DLC story zone, sometime in Q3 and Q4 respectively. There are no details as of yet on these releases, but we do know that they will continue the Gates of Oblivion story line that begins in March with the release of the Flames of Ambition DLC.
There are 4 different versions of Blackwood Chapter: the “Upgrade” contains only the newest chapter, while the “Collection: Blackwood” also includes every previous ESO chapter. There are also Collector’s Editions of both the Upgrade and Collection options, with the Collector’s Edition versions featuring the following additional rewards:
Battlefield Nightmare Senche mount
Jewel-Feathered Sep Adder pet
Temporal Grimoire memento
Deadlands Gladiator Outfit Style
Offer Weapon emote
If you decide to purchase the Collection, you’ll also get access to the base game right away, which makes it a tempting option for new players who’ve decided they want to all-in on Elder Scrolls Online. There’s a page on the Bethesda website to help you decide as well.
Are you excited to once more step through the fiery gates of Oblivion? Let us know in the comments!
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Unabashed FromSoftware fanboy still learning to take his time with games (and everything else, really). The time he doesn't spend on games is spent on music, books, or occasionally going outside.