- The Elder Scrolls Online: Necrom Expansion – PC Review - July 26, 2023
- The Elder Scrolls Online: High Isle – PC Review - July 24, 2023
- Frontier Hunter: Erza’s Wheel of Fortune – PC (P)review - January 11, 2023
Genre: Open-world MMORPG
Developer: ZeniMax Online Studios
Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
Release Date: June 5th, 2023
Edited by AlexKnight2005
With every year of The Elder Scrolls Online (ESO for short), a new chapter expansion comes out roughly every summer, and this year is no different. Necrom launched on the 5th of June 2023, sending us to the Telvani Peninsula in Morrowind, the land where the dark elves called home. With this expansion, we are given a few new things, including two new areas that are the Telvani Peninsula and the Apocrypha, two new companions named Sharp-As-Night and Azandar, a new pet and armor set for the achievement hunters, a new trial called Sanity’s Edge for all the guilds for their builds and sticker books, and my personal favorite feature, the new class the Arcanist! First, we will start with the two new areas we are given with this expansion. To the veterans of the game and the series, we know about Morrowind already, but only the long-time fans of TES know of the Daedric prince Hermaeus Mora, Lord of Fate, and Forbidden Knowledge and his lands of Apocrypha. To the ones that might be new to the TES lore or possibly skipped the lore of the series, Hermaeus Mora can be identified by his many eyeballs and inky tendrils surrounding him as it appears he rips space and reality. While the Telvani Peninsula is what we would expect in Morrowind with the bug-like creatures and giant mushrooms spread around, Apocrypha, in its design, feels like its straight out of a Lovecraftian novel with pitch-black lakes with an inky-like texture, barren wastelands with only the giant mushrooms we find in Morrowind but more twisted and that I can assume are giant wispstalks that are thin stemmed plants with a glowing bulb at the end while everywhere in the background is a mix between blacks and green hues giving off the eerie vibe. Within the only town in Apocrypha, the biggest distinctive design is the abundance of books everywhere, with what seems to be a tower of books as big as a building. As for the points of interest for the players, the standard delves and the public dungeon are present, but each land has a distinctive difference between them. The player can pick up a quest that is a daily to obtain five Daedric Ichor by killing wondering Herald’s Seekers that act like world bosses but with the exception that there are quite a few of them. They wander in both of the new areas. After obtaining the Ichor, there are points within the map called Bastion Nymics. There are three different ones you can jump into that you use the Ichor to go into a mini-dungeon; each area has a puzzle and an objective to get to the final boss of the area. This replaces the anchor points from the base game.
Now for our PvE guys that love to do trials, Sanity’s Edge can only be described from what I’ve experienced going into someone’s mind that is from Summerset that is besieged by daedric entities. If you’re familiar with the big city in Summerset, you can see that they seemed to have used the framework of the city but warped it. This Trial, to date and knowledge, is the only one that has mini-bosses that can be random in between the bosses called Spiral Decender that look like giant spider boss from the dungeon “The Dread Celler.” The first boss of the Trial as a Tank main can only be described as a test of your self-sustained healing. No matter how much life you have, you will have a lot of debuffs on your character in which you will have to heal yourself back up. As for the group as a whole, the DPS will have to stop the one-shot archers while the boss flings AOE fire bombs everywhere, and that’s just the TLDR of it. The most unique mechanic as a whole, in my perspective, was the last boss, where 4 DPS had to go through a maze to get to the other side to go into a portal so they could battle an aspect of the guy we were saving. The group has approximately 50 seconds to clear the maze and destroy the aspect; if these are not done, it can cause a complete wipe. As for the equipment, there is not much “meta” equipment from what I’ve heard from this Trial, but some cool niche things can be obtained that are fun to play around with and could work in a normal trial.
Now for things, you can get from the overworld in the two new areas focusing on the two new companions! Sharp-as-Night is an Argonian assassin that, at a glance, uses Warden’s skills and leans towards being a DPS companion overall. It’s not difficult to get your rapport up with him, either. If you repair your gear, it will increase it slightly, as with harvesting alchemy ingredients. Strangely enough, even fishing will increase his rapport, as having him with you while fishing will make fishing faster and increase the chance of getting rarer fish! Just make sure you don’t decon any items with him as he hates it. As for Azandar, he uses the new class of Arcanist and has no discernable lean toward any role; however, regardless if he’s not your cup of tea as a companion, you will want to get him as his passive perk is always active, even if you are not using him at the time as he gives a bonus when searching containers that you have a better chance to gain surveys, treasure maps, recipes, and the like which will be profitable to any player though keep in mind your rapport with him as he enjoys magical items like visiting mundus stones, antiquities, and doing any type of enchanting writs and hates going to Arteaum and playing Tales of Tribute, not much of a mushroom or coffee guy either.
Just as a slight touch on the story of Necrom with this review for those who enjoy it will not be as long as the last expansion as if you are concentrated on it can be done as little as a day or two if you listen to every conversation with the NPC’s coming in roughly half of what High Isle’s story. However, I do have to say the voice acting for Hermaeus Moria was top-notch.
Now for Coup de gras as we go over the new class, the Archanist! At launch, I started working on my Tank and stacking up with the other classes from personal experience and feedback from others that Archanist ranks one of the highest classes of Tank beside Necromancer and Dragon Knight. One of the Tanks abilities that players will see is the first ability that will STEAL armor from a creature and taunt him. This is huge as your gaining armor yourself (If you need it) and debuff the enemy simultaneously and taunting it as it can cut down on accidents pressing the wrong ability. The ultimate ability is nothing to scoff at as well with acting as a Barrier ability but with slight differences as Barrier can cover more people, but Gibbering Shelter protects the players for three times more than Barrier depending on your character’s health. For the DPS, I have found a lot of Archanists spamming their beam attack the fate-carver ability onto the enemies (Aka. Kameahamea beam). As for the Healer Arcanists, I’ve noticed they specialized in giving more shields and putting down a circle that offers a plethora of buffs to a group. All three classes use their own system called the Crux system, in which certain abilities give the player a green triangle that orbits the player. Only three can be obtained at a time and can be used on other abilities making the ability stronger, more duration, cheaper to use, and other uses depending on how many Crux the player has when casting the ability.
- A new class we can dive in, the Archanist!
- Mixing up the portal formula in the map.
- Fun mechanics in the Trial.
- The Eldrich inspiration of Necrom is on point.
Mileage may vary:
- The Vet Trial for this chapter is a bit of a push-over compared to the last chapter Trials that are on Vet.
- The story for the chapter is substantially shorter than the previous ones.
- Seems to lean heavily on Scrying for padding out additional content.
AlexKnight gives The Elder Scrolls Online: Necrom Chapter expansion a Drastik Measure of 8.7 out of 10.0 (87)
Even though the story of Necrom was short, it was an enjoyable experience using the new class. The last class that was added was the Necromancer back in 2019 (4 years of writing). I would love to see more added, but the amount of leads and scrying is overbearing at times, as there are so many of them that have been introduced in this chapter alone.