Editor’s Note: This Aldmeri Dominion impressions piece was written and submitted by John Suprenant, Community Manager for Quest Gaming Network. This piece is the one of several alliance impressions articles to be published.
Shank has always said he was going to play The Elder Scrolls Online like he would play any other Elder Scrolls game. I have always thought the same, and when I was first allowed access to The Elder Scrolls Online beta last November I did just that. I created a Bosmer archer, like I have done in Oblivion and Skyrim. For The Elder Scrolls Online I chose to go with the Nightblade class assuming that the stealth and speed aspects of this class would help me create the character I wanted to play.
I won’t touch on your time as a prisoner in this article. It’s something you should truly experience for yourself. The game does follow that Elder Scrolls theme though, and have you start as a prisoner. Much like in past Elder Scrolls titles you will escape this ill fate in a manner that will inform you of the role you will play in the lands of Tamriel. For characters playing in the Aldmeri Dominion your first area to explore once you escape is Khenarthi’s Roost. A fairly small island off the coast of Elsweyr named after the Khajiti goddess of water and the sky.
You find yourself in Eagle’s Stand, a smaller town built in the ruins of a castle. The people of Eagle’s Stand appear to live simple lives, behind the safety of these once great walls. There you meet Razum-far a Khajiti soldier fighting in the Dominion. Razum-far witnessed your rather peculiar entrance to Eagle’s Stand. He expresses his concern for your safety and suggests that you set off to establish a name for yourself within Khenarthi’s Roost to avoid suspicion. He also mention’s your entrance could’ve used a back flip for some flair.
This is when your adventure truly begins. You walk down the crumbling cobble stone path to the large wooden doors securing Eagle’s Stand from ill-wishers. You step through the doors and step into the lands of Khenarthi’s Roost. This island looks like nothing you’ve seen before in an Elder Scrolls title. Thin, bending palm trees, a sea breeze seen moving across the grass. You can hear the ocean, the breeze, crickets, and birds. Yes my friends, this is an Elder Scrolls title. Zenimax Online Studio’s has done a great job creating a world that looks just as appealing as any other Elder Scrolls title. They’ve created an immersive game for you to fall in and adventure.
I had two objectives pointed out on my Skyrim-esque compass. One was the Shattered Shoals, the other The Temple of Mourning Springs. I did what any other Tamrielic Adventurer would do. I set off to explore this island and see what beauty it held. My play style is a bit odd. I can find hours of enjoyment moving across the hold of Whiterun hunting elk in Skyrim. I feel that my Bosmer archer was just at home on this island. Moving along the cliff faces looking for ore to mine, or hunting down the flora and fauna of this island (which included monkeys!) for his own survival needs.
Once I had my fill of exploring the landscape I decided to finally take some of Razum-far’s advice and begin to build a name for myself. I set off for the Shattered Shoals fighting mudcrabs picking at an Alit corpse on the coast, sneaking by a ruined temple which seemed to become a new favorite roost for a group of harpies. At the Shattered Shoals I met a Sergeant who had awoken on the beach. A hurricane had swept up a fleet of Aldmeri ships and tore them asunder against the rock-laden coast. She asked me to set off to find her squad along the coast and tell them where to meet her.
Like any other Elder Scrolls game this is only the beginning of my Bosmer archer’s story, and of course the story of Khenarthi’s Roost. Just like the Bethesda titles I’ve grown to love, I felt myself very interested in where the story threads weaved by the diverse NPCs were going. The differences in the characters you meet from a well-intentioned Acolyte, to a rather work driven Quarter Master Help immerse you in this world. The questing even in this starter area, though a bit linear, still felt much more interesting than MMO’s I had played in the past. I was not being sent to kill 10 of this, or 5 of that. I was being sent to investigate a cave looking for a lost Dominion Soldier, only to find evidence of dark intentions and nefarious acts.
In closing I would like to say I have very much enjoyed my time in The Elder Scrolls Online beta. I enjoyed seeing an aspect of Tamriel I hadn’t seen in Elder Scrolls title of the past. I did feel the quests on this island were linear but understand that it’s done in a way to ease people into the MMO environment that come from the single player Elder Scrolls titles. The NPCs were interesting and varied. Quests came to me in an organic manner, at times having NPCs come running from over the horizon to seek out my help. I have high hopes for the rest of this game. I hope to see you all on the battlefield, for the Queen!