About The Elder Scrolls Online
The Elder Scrolls Online, also known as The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited, and commonly abbreviated as ESO, is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) that was announced in May 2012 and was released on April 4th, 2014. It is the eighth game in The Elder Scrolls series. On June 9th, 2015, the game is being released on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Developed by the team at ZeniMax Online Studios, The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited merges the unmatched exploration of rich worlds that the franchise is known for with the scale and social aspects of a massively multiplayer online role-playing game.
The Elder Scrolls Online features a Buy-to-Play model similar to previous Elder Scrolls titles, where one buys the game and play it for free afterwards, but there is also an optional membership program, ESO Plus, which grants bonuses such as increased XP gain and free access to all DLC Packs. The game has an in-game cash shop, the Crown Store, where things such as vanity items and cosmetic mounts are sold for a premium currency called Crowns, but nothing that gives players a significant advantage over another will be sold. Players who have had a subscription prior to the transition will be given 1500 crowns, or more if they have had a three or six-month subscription.
The PC and Mac version was released on April 4, 2014 and will be released on June 9, 2015 for consoles (PS4 and Xbox One). Pre-ordering the game gave players the option to play as any race in any Alliance, an exclusive pet called the Scuttler, and some treasure maps. Buying the Imperial Edition gives players the option to play as an Imperial, craft Imperial gear, convert existing gear into the Imperial style, gives an Imperial horse with standard stats, a mudcrab vanity pet and the Pledge of Mara, which allows players to marry.
The game is set in 2E 582 during the Interregnum, a period of time between the assassination of Savirien-Chorak and the rise of Tiber Septim, where there was chaos, bloodshed, and no Emperor on the Ruby Throne.
Several years prior, the Cyrodilic Emperor Varen Aquilarios desired to become Dragonborn in order to light the Dragonfires in the Imperial City, thus legitimizing his claim to the Ruby Throne. The sorcerer Mannimarco was able to convince him that he knew a ritual that could accomplish this, but that it required the Amulet of Kings. Along with the leader of the Dragonguard Sai Sahan, the half-giant Lyris Titanborn and the High Chancellor of the Elder Council, Abnur Tharn, they became the Five Companions. They were able to retrieve the Amulet of Kings and begin the ritual in 2E 578. At that moment, Mannimarco used his dark magic to immobilize the others and reveal his true intentions: he was an agent of Molag Bal, and the ritual in fact weakened the barriers between Nirn and Oblivion in an event known at the Soulburst. This event allowed Molag Bal to initiate the Planemeld, a forceful merging of worlds. Once the ritual was completed, aftershocks were swept across every corner of Nirn. Mages died or went mad, Red Mountain trembled in Morrowind, earthquakes shook Skyrim, and heavy storms devastated the coastlines of Elsweyr and Valenwood. The constellation of the Serpent grew so large that it seemed to threaten every star sign at once.
The Tharn family, rulers of Cyrodiil through Empress Regent Clivia Tharn, made a pact with Mannimarco, the King of Worms, who has agreed to supplement the Imperial's forces by resurrecting their soldiers, except for Clivia's father Abnur, who opposes Mannimarco. Secretly, Mannimarco is a servant of Molag Bal, the Daedric Prince of corruption and domination. Molag Bal is harvesting the souls of mortals for more power. The hero, known as the Vestige, is an adventurer whose soul has been taken, which allows them to constantly return to life. The player is killed by Mannimarco in a sacrificial ritual and they are brought to Coldharbour, where they awaken to find a mysterious man known as the Prophet, who, with the help of Lyris Titanborn, helps the Vestige escape Coldharbour, freeing the Prophet, but also imprisoning Lyris within Coldharbour. Once the Vestige escapes Coldharbour, they awaken in Tamriel and are let loose upon the dangerous world.
In the game, there are three major playable factions fighting against one another in the conflict known as the Three Banners War. Those factions, made up of the different races found throughout Tamriel, are the Aldmeri Dominion, the Daggerfall Covenant, and the Ebonheart Pact.
This alliance, led by Queen Ayrenn, consists of Altmer, Bosmer, and Khajiit. It controls the Summerset Isles, Elsweyr, and Valenwood.
The Dominion was formed by the Altmer after uniting the provinces of Valenwood and Elsweyr with the Summerset Isles.
This alliance, led by King Emeric, consists of Orcs, Bretons, and Redguards. It controls High Rock, Hammerfell and the recently-recognized "province" of Orsinium.
The Covenant was formed by High King Emeric after much poverty, war and suffering plagued the kingdoms of High Rock and Hammerfell.
This alliance, led by Jorunn, the Skald-King, consists of Dunmer, Argonians, and Nords. It controls Skyrim, Morrowind, and Black Marsh.
The Pact was formed by the three races through a common hatred of the recently invading Akaviri. Despite the instability between their member races, the Pact is remarkably stable.