Zenimax Online Studios released another installment of the “Creating ESO” series on Tuesday, this time focusing on the creation of the Dark Anchors of The Elder Scrolls Online.
The Daedric Prince Molag Bal wants nothing more than to pull Tamriel into his realm of Oblivion, Coldharbour. His solution for accomplishing this is through the Dark Anchors, which ZOS describes as “magical constructs of immense size, (designed) to rip through the planar boundaries, spewing forth Daedra and pulling Tamriel ever closer to its doom.” They are not designed to be single-player encounters, but to encourage group play, or even just partnering up with other random players who may be nearby.
The Dark Anchors are Zenimax’s answer to ensuring “random” content exists in the world. They began as smaller encounters, but ZOS said they wanted to make them bigger and more impactful:
“In our first few iterations, the Anchors were smaller than they are now and much more local. As we continued working on them, we felt they didn’t have the impact that world-threatening magical machines should, so we started taking on some difficult technical challenges to give them the huge scale they deserved. We wanted you to see them from a long distance, and the closer you got, the more we wanted you to feel like the world was ending. We really cranked them up, creating an impressive cultist summoning event and scaling up the art and effects to enormous proportions.”
For more on Dark Anchors, check out the full post on their website, and be sure to let us know what you think about these encounters in the comments below.
As an editorial note, I’ve had the privilege of witnessing the beginnings of a Dark Anchor encounter, and watching it happen is really incredible. I won’t spoil it for you (though ZOS themselves have already posted some video on this if you really want to check it out now), but trust me, it’s something you’re going to want to explore and see for yourself.
The Elder Scrolls Online launches on PC and Mac on April 4 and in June on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.