Weekly Screenshot Dissection – Sea Serpent

I apologize for the slight delay in this week’s screenshot dissection, but it’s time to continue forward in our quest for some of the coolest ESO screencaps around. Each week I peruse the catalogue of released ESO video footage to grab the most interesting single screen capture I can find, breaking it down to provoke community discussion! This week’s installment showcases a new still from the E3 footage, of a giant serpent rising from the water to join an ongoing attack against a beleaguered ship.

A giant serpent rises from the water

This scene depicts a shipwreck in-progress, with a large vessel aflame and clearly under heavy attack. In the foreground, a massive serpent-like beast rises from the water. The water itself is fairly calm, but a storm has shrouded the entire scene in dense fog. The sea must be relatively deep in order to give berth to a ship of that size, and no land is in sight (at least from this angle). The weather effects look pretty convincing, and are a great example of the range of environments which ZeniMax’ engine can produce. The combination of a day/night cycle with randomized weather evolution has the opportunity to create some really intense scenarios. Imagine assaulting a castle in Cyrodiil at night during a thunderstorm, where visibility is at a bare minimum.

Back to the screenshot at hand, we can immediately notice the fire which is burning on the deck (and crew) of the ship. The source of these flames is unclear, however. Could the serpent itself be capable of generating some kind of combustible spit or breath? Or is it more likely that the ship is simultaneously under attack from some other source? If you look closely, there is a soldier partially obscured by the bow of the ship on the right who has been set ablaze. His arm looks like he is pointing towards something, but given his current situation, it’s more likely he is simply flailing wildly. The ship itself appears to be a military vessel, since it has several ballistas to fend off enemy ships, although it could be a wealthy merchant vessel equipped to repel pirates. At first glance, the ship looks like it could easily belong to the Daggerfall navy judging by the overall design, however close examination reveals what appears to be a Khajiit at the helm.

To check out this week’s screenshot in it’s full resolution, click here! If you had to invent the story behind this screenshot, what do you think is happening? What role do you envision ships playing in ESO? Are you excited at the possibility of being involved in a naval combat sequence? Is the serpent alone in attacking the ship, or do you think there are likely other assailants? Let us know in the comments below!