ZeniMax Previews Craglorn

The view overlooking Hal-Ra Citadel, one of Craglorn's trials.

The view overlooking Hal-Ra Citadel, one of Craglorn’s trials.

Today, ZeniMax released a new “Creating ESO” video and article covering some details of Craglorn and the trials which the first adventure zone in ESO will contain.

Earlier this month, ZOS shared a video providing an overview of the role of adventure zones for players as well as the various types of content players can experience when they venture into Craglorn with their friends.

To get started on understanding exactly what adventure zones like Craglorn will bring to the game, players should start by watching the overview video showcasing the overland region of Craglorn itself.

 

Overview of Craglorn (Adventure Zone)

A summary of the key features of Craglorn are as follows:

  • Exploration content begins at Veteran Rank 10, and is tuned for groups of 4 players.
  • The story of Craglorn involves the mysterious disappearance of recognizable star signs from the night sky, and the emergence of the “celestials”, the Warrior, Mage, Serpent, and Thief.
  • Craglorn will have it’s own quest chain presenting the region’s main story, as well as a number of repeatable daily quests all of which are tuned to challenge groups of adventurers.
  • Delves (explorable dungeons) in Craglorn are instanced for a 4 person group, essentially mini-dungeons which will contain bosses, skyshards, and more.
  • The main “places of interest” in Craglorn are set up to approximate the difficulty of veteran dungeons, and will challenge even the best player groups.
  • Craglorn contains “trials”, 12 person raid encounters which are instanced encounters designed as endgame PvE.

You can learn more about the general structure of Craglorn, it’s geography, and storyline here.

 

An Introduction to Trials

To expand further upon the information released in the previous video, ZeniMax has treated us to a more in-depth focus revealing some beautiful in-game footage of Craglorn’s trials themselves.

The article which accompanied this video reveals some interesting clues about the structure of these challenges.

  • The first two trials in ESO will be “Hel-Ra Citadel” and the “Aetherian Archive”.
  • Your group of 12 players has a limited number of resurrections available with which to complete the entire dungeon.
  • The will be a rotating “weekly challenge” for players to complete, and teams which succeed in completing this challenge will be rewarded with additional treasure.
  • Trials contain “the most complex and difficult encounters we have designed so far. They demand skill, adaptability, and coordination from every member of the group. We know you’ll be challenged by them”.
  • The first set of trials have been extensively tested by ZeniMax’ internal quality assurance team.
  • Players will need to dynamically adjust their skill loadout in order to succeed in various trials, as different tactics will be required for each encounter.
  • The group may occasionally need to split into smaller units in order to simultaneously complete objectives within the trial.
  • Groups of enemies contain a new threat in the form of “bannermen”, these special adversaries empower groups of enemies with unique abilities making them far more dangerous and challenging than typical “trash” pulls. One example specifically referenced is a type of bannerman who reverses the effect of AoE healing, creating the typical trash-clearing tactic of stack + AoE to be unfeasible for these groups.
  • Craglorn will also launch the new “death recap” screen, designed to give players improved insight and information regarding which abilities and mechanics resulted in their demise. This should make death in ESO a more educational experience.
  • There is no “lockout” on trials, players can repeat each trial as often as they like, however they can only earn the chance at a unique set piece drop once per week with an additional opportunity granted to groups with a top-100 completion time in the weekly trial challenge.
  • Trials will likely take an experienced group between 60 and 90 minutes to complete, and multiple trials will be available to keep veteran PvE teams busy with plenty to do.

Well, that was certainly a lot of information. I, for one, absolutely cannot wait to get into Craglorn and it’s trials. What features excite you the most, what are you most concerned about? Do you think the things that ZeniMax is doing differently from traditional raid setups in other MMOs are a valuable way to differentiate their game, a pointless movement away from a working formula, somewhere in-between? What do you hope to see from future trials? What are you still most curious about in terms of the mechanics of how trials function? Let us know what you think in the comment section below!