It’s time for number #5 in our weekly screenshot dissection series. Every week I rummage through the archives of available ESO video footage to pick the most interesting single screen capture I can find, breaking it down to provoke community discussion! This week features some images of a deadly battle arena somewhere at the foot of Red Mountain.
This scene depicts a lava bordered island, fenced in by two sheer rock walls. Atop the walls are banners, benches, and what appear to be viewing platforms, atop one of which three NPCs survey the scene. Skulls encircle a ring at the center of the island, and the four banners mark it as some sort of proving ground. It seems clear that some sort of battles are waged here, for blood-sport and the entertainment of onlookers. The gate at the center of the island seems like an entrance of sorts, through which challengers might enter the arena.
Speaking of onlookers, a diverse collection of NPCs seems to watch over the vacant arena. On the left cliff wall, both Altmer and Bosmer are distinguishable, as well as what might be an Argonian. Atop the left rock face, we can see Dunmer, Khajiit, and Orc represented. What type of circumstance could bring this collection of races together? Is this screenshot potential evidence that Arena style battles could be a feature of ESO gameplay? We know the developers have said there will be “no instanced PvP” at launch, but this screenshot certainly looks like a dueling pit. Perhaps a quest chain involves some Dunmer organization which holds staged battles beneath the slopes of Red Mountain. Might the player have to battle through a series of challenges here? If so, do you hope it would be in the style of gladiators, with humanoid races fighting each other, or would you rather be pitted against groups of vile and exotic creatures or Daedra?
I’m curious to hear what the community thinks of this as a locale in ESO, for what purpose do you imagine the arena might be used? Are you eager to explore this area in game? Think this might indicate the presence of staged PvP battles, or is it more likely for a PvE quest chain? Be sure to check out the full size screenshot, and leave your thoughts in the comments below!