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Published by Tostecles 2 years ago

The Melting Pot: Cyrodiil in ESO

About a month ago when I started writing here at Elder-Realm.com, it was my understanding that Cyrodiil would only serve the purpose of hosting PvP battles in The Elder Scrolls Online. However, this is not the case according to The Elder Scrolls Online official website’s article, “Conflict in Cyrodiil, Part I” which was published last week. It turns out that in addition to the PvP battles and sieges we’ve been hearing so much about, there will also be a variety of other activities available in Cyrodiil, which will make for a very interesting environment when members of all three different alliances are operating in close proximity to one another. (Talk about awkward; that’s far worse than any family reunion.) Because it’s becoming increasingly evident that Cyrodiil will be the most vital territory in ESO, I’d like to explore some possibilities surrounding the great province, and how adventurers of all creeds and colors might be involved in the Cyrodiilic scene.

Perhaps cities closest to the border of adjacent provinces can serve as capitals or home bases of the three alliances in Cyrodiil.

First off, let’s discuss the towns of Cyrodiil. Fans of Oblivion will be excited to visit the Second Era versions of towns like Cheydinhal and Bruma, where members of all alliances will be given opportunities to assist the townspeople with whatever tasks they might desire. Because the townspeople will be willing to provide quests to members of any alliance, players will undoubtedly be running across members of their opposing factions as they wander about searching for and completing quests. It seems reasonable that PvP would be disabled in whatever areas these quests take place, because it would be unfair to allow players of rival factions the opportunity to interfere with others as they attempt to complete their quests. However, Zenimax has not yet specifically mentioned whether players will be able to attack each other in towns and during quests from citizens. Strange though it may be in terms of the lore and ESO’s story, the Cyrodiil quests might give players of separate alliances the ability to quest together without having to reach level 50 to enter the faction-locked areas of Tamriel. This would be nice for players who are friends but decide to join separate alliances, which is liable to be a common occurrence.

What beautiful scenery. If only I had a copy of “The Lusty Argonian Maid” to read as I sit against that tree. Sadly, the book has not yet been written in the Second Era.

Let’s move on to ruins and caves. I’ve always enjoyed pillaging ruins and caves in Oblivion and Skyrim for their lucrative benefit and overall fun factor. ESO will be accelerating the fun level by allowing such areas to be explored and looted with friends. Unlike with the populated settlements, Zenimax makes it clear in their article that players will be able to attack one another in these environments. However, they don’t specifically mention whether an “enemy player” is a player whose allegiance belongs to an alliance other than yours, or if anyone and everyone is a potential enemy. The former seems more likely, but it would also be kind of fun if you could go rogue and attack other players, even if their race places them in the same alliance as you. What I think is more likely (and less frustrating), though, is that one’s eligible combat targets will only be those that are not in their alliance. I think this could prove to be quite fun when a player has a group of friends with them and they run into a hostile raiding party. I can imagine exploring a Dwarven ruin with some friends while batting off their ancient automatons and coming across a small party from another alliance. Would the groups agree to a truce and work together to share the spoils of the adventure, or would a three-way battle break out among the warring alliances and the initial occupants of the ruins? There are a few possible outcomes to encounters like these. No matter what, I think it’ll turn out to be one of the most exciting things in ESO.

It appears as though there are mortals fighting amongst themselves in spite of the eight-legged monstrosity that stands before them. (And you thought regular spiders were scary.)

Finally, I’d like to explore the possibilities of “campaigns”. They are described in the article as players battling for control over Cyrodiil for extended periods of time: specifically, a month or more to just one campaign. If “battling for control over Cyrodiil” plays out as I imagine it, alliances would be pushing for and defending large chunks of land and establishing zones of ownership throughout the province. Players could then remain at strong points in these territories to harass players from enemy alliances as they pass through them on their way to their various destinations. I like the idea of the meta-game of fighting for territory, so I hope that there is some sort of geographically tactical reward for performing well as an alliance. Regardless of whether that becomes an aspect, everyone in the alliance that attains victory in a campaign will receive special bonuses. The whole concept of campaigns makes me wonder if they’re tied to the large attacks on keeps involving siege weapons and such that we’ve been hearing so much about. Will sieges affect, be affected by, or otherwise tie into campaigns? Hopefully we’ll find out soon. Fortunately, regardless of whether the results of campaigns will alter the game in the same way for all players, individuals will be awarded “Alliance Points” XP, and gold, which can all be used to buy gear or advance in Cyrodiil-specific skill lines. The best part is, no matter how much you participate in the campaign that is assigned to you, you will still get personal benefits when everyone else makes progress! It’s like communism, but better!

Inter-alliance skirmishes are far more destructive than any house party.

I’m getting really excited for the variety of activities that will be available in Cyrodiil. The combination of all three alliances simultaneously present in the same areas throughout Cyrodiil is sure to bring with it some serious tension and high-pressure situations! There are a couple of other activities in the official ESO article that I have not discussed here, so I encourage that you go check it out! Be on the lookout for their part II of their article! And perhaps, by extension, mine.

Comment below about what Cyrodiil activity you’re most excited about! Will you be a fearless explorer of caves and ruins, or a powerful warrior and asset to your alliance’s campaigns? Or maybe you’d rather stay in town and bake sweet rolls with the common folk. Don’t forget to visit Elder-Realm.com again soon!