When The Elder Scrolls Online: Morrowind was announced, it was met with mixed reactions. Regardless of how exciting Morrowind is, the choice to charge outside of ESO+ program put some people off and brought into question how much content is there. Between large locations, new trials and dungeons, there has been a fair amount in the DLC expansions, so a chapter has to be extra special. Considering it takes place in a beloved location, features a new trial, PVP modes and class, there is a lot for fans to consider, but is there value or is it simple padding?
The Elder Scrolls Online: Morrowind takes place in Vvardenfell, a city filled with various problems to solve. This all starts with the main story, a brief adventure about stopping a cataclysmic event. After finishing the story, which unlike Thieves Guild and The Dark Brotherhood doesn’t require skill set progress to finish, you’re left with a number of places to explore and people to help.
The remaining 30 or so quests are the standard MMO fare. Help a city, free some slaves, find shady meetings, assonate someone and so forth. Some of them have some enjoyable elements, like one of them has an enjoyable love story, but outside of that they don’t reinvent the wheel.
Having said that, Morrowind adds plenty of other, more exciting, things. For starters, the town of Vvardenfell adds six new world bosses, two public dungeons and several delves to explore. The new world bosses are a mixture of simple and group. Some of them are your standard damage sponge enemy with a weird name, where as others require teamwork to overcome. However, none of them are mechanic heavy or complicated outside of working together to stay alive, an element that suits world bosses.
As for the dungeons and delves, they’re what you’d expect based off previous expansions and experiences. There are a couple of bosses and a public event, work together to defeat them and get some awesome new loot. Even if they don’t do anything particularly special, they’re still fun to explore, experience and complete.
For many, the biggest change is the introduction of the Warden class. This class uses pretty summons and synergies to defeat enemies or heal allies. While I doubt Warden’s will replace Templar’s as the go to healing class, they make for a welcomed change of pace. The same goes for their DPS skills. Contrary to the older, simpler and more traditional attacks, Warden’s use summoned animals to deal damage. It’s more exciting than other classes, with plenty of new benefits. Hard to say where they will land in terms of ranking, but they look to be a strong class in the right hands.
As for PVP fans, Morrowind adds a new mode called Battlegrounds. Three teams of up to four players compete in a variety of games to come out victorious. Games include capture the flag, team deathmatch and domination. These can be fun with the right team, but similar to dungeons, activity finder is not always your friend.
It wasn’t uncommon to get lopsided teams, so two versus two versus four or face teams or have a group of players fight an established group. This leads to, frankly, unenjoyable matches, especially since four okay players simply aren’t going to beat one or two skilled PVPer. Having said that, fans of PVP will likely enjoy it, with less skilled players depending on who they’re matched up against. Just keep in mind that playing during less active times is not advised. I was in multiple situations where I was the only person on my team and my choices were to wait it out and get a terrible prize or leave and get a 20-minute deserter penalty, neither of which are enjoyable.
Finally, for those end game players, Morrowind adds a new trial called Halls of Fabrication. This trial, which I was fortunate enough to run thanks to the fantastic PS4/NA guild Daggerfall Asylum, is one step forward and two steps back from the Maw of Lorkhaj. Anyone put off by all the mechanics in the Maw of Lorkhaj will be delighted to hear Halls of Fabrication is simpler. On normal there doesn’t seem to be any instant death mechanics or hard to explain elements. Most of the mechanics are interrupting enemies, activating things at specific times, moving bosses and or not standing certain places. Even with little to not explanation I was able to complete the trial without too many problems, with the only complicated one being the last boss.
Having said that, Halls of Fabrication is, in a word, forgettable. Outside of the first and last boss, the remaining bosses are a spider and centurions. Each have their own mechanics, like having a shield until you have it walk into lightning, but it’s hard to remember Archcustodian when it looks exactly like Engine Guardian, Control Guardian, Mzeklok or any number of other versions.
The same goes for the actual location. Where the Maw of Lorkhaj has a dreamy vibe, the Halls of Fabrication looks like a factory, largely because it’s essentially some kind of factory. Even so, it’s quite likely you could show a veteran ESO player a picture of where you fight the Archcustodian and any number of Dwarven factories and they couldn’t tell the difference.
Finally, there is a new healer, tank, stamina and magicka DPS set. These sets, which are just a few of the new sets and motifs added in Morrowind, offer the usual trials perks, with the five-piece set adding a bonus to using your ultimate. Useful for large groups and even some dungeons, though it’s unlikely to be an extremely sought after set. The set also has a new design, which makes your character look like a centurion. Not the most exciting, but at least it stands out.
The Elder Scrolls Online: Morrowind might be the largest expansion, but that only goes so far. The new location and quests are fun, with some extra mileage for those who remember Morrowind fondly, resulting in the same joy you’d expect from previous expansions. While the Warden class is interesting, it doesn’t seem to be an absolute must, making it something closer to a change of pace. PVP fans will likely get a lot of value out of the Battlegrounds, something PVE fans will probably avoid or not care about. Combine this with no new group dungeons and an easier trial and you have a decent expansion, at least for fans of the game, but nothing revolutionary.
[Editor’s Note: The Elder Scrolls Online: Morrowind was reviewed on PS4 platform. The game was provided to us by the publisher for review purposes.]The Elder Scrolls Online: Morrowind Review,