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The Elder Scrolls Online: Elsweyr ventures into early access today

The latest Elder Scrolls Online expansion, Elsweyr, isn’t officially out until June 4th, but Bethesda are letting PC players brave the cat-and-dragon infested jungle expansion two weeks early, starting today, to discover any bugs before the console folks arrive. On top of the usual new places to see and dungeons to delve, Elsweyr gives players a chance to dig deep into the weird lore of the Khajiit cat-people, and tussle with a bunch of big angry dragons.  Below, a launch trailer that confirms that the name for a group of dragons is a ‘Rage’, apparently. You learn something every day.

The new DLC continues where recent smaller DLC chapters left off. Players got their first taste of dragon-slaying in the Wrathstone DLC, and now they’re following the big grumpy lizards to Elsweyr. It’s a big new zone with plenty to explore, a central story arc involving kicking out the dragons, and of course the usual swarm of optional side-content. As The Elder Scrolls Online is fully level-scaled now, there’s nothing stopping players from jumping in as soon as they feel ready. This expansion also makes Necromancers a playable class, for the edgelords among us.

As an on-and-off player, I’ve been very pleasantly surprised by The Elder Scrolls Online lately. It’s changed an enormous amount from its awkward early days, and now plays a lot more like a ‘proper’ Elder Scrolls game, minus some of the potential for complete sandbox chaos. Not that such antics are impossible – players are free to steal from NPCs, murder townsfolks and cause trouble for the guards – but you’re not going to be shattering its economy or rolling ten thousand cheese-wheels down any hills. Maybe that’ll come in a couple more expansion’s time?

You can check out the full, very long patch-notes for Update 22 and the Elsweyr expansion here, with full details on almost everything added to the game this update, both free and paid.

The Elder Scrolls Online: Elsweyr is out now on Steam, Humble and the Bethesda Store for £30/€40/$40 by itself, or £50/€60/$60 in a bundle including the base game, Morrowind and Summerset expansions. The game also has a swarm of smaller DLC packs, access to which are included as part of the (optional) monthly subscription.

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