During their E3 press conference yesterday, Bethesda announced a new update for The Elder Scrolls Online (ESO) called One Tamriel. One Tamriel is a major update for the world of ESO that will bring level scaling to every zone of Tamriel. This continues the trend of level scaling seen in Guild Wars 2 (levels scale down to match zone content) and Final Fantasy XIV (levels are synced for low level duties and can be optionally synced for FATEs). From the official announcement:
It will soon be easier than ever to jump into The Elder Scrolls Online and play with your friends, thanks to the newly announced One Tamriel. Maybe you haven’t had a chance to hop in and play at all, or maybe your friends are playing and you can’t join them on their journey because they’re at a higher level than you.
Starting this fall, all content barriers will be removed and you’ll be able to experience everything Tamriel has to offer, no matter what level you are, making it the perfect time to begin your journey (or maybe start fresh with a totally new character). Even if you’re a complete beginner, you can quest with your veteran friends and the world will adjust.
It’s also noted that players of any alliance can join each other and quest around Tamriel without restriction. The only exception is PvP areas, where Alliance restrictions are still in place.
This is absolutely wonderful news for ESO as it means that the barrier for entry is now that much lower for new players. Players seeking to join friends who are already established in the world of ESO will no longer have to grind up to be able to play with friends; everyone will be able to enjoy content that is relevant to each party member regardless of level.
The official ESO site breaks down the new features of the One Tamriel update:
- Characters will have their level scaled the same way that we currently scale players to the level of DLC zones (Imperial City, Orsinium, Thieves Guild, and Dark Brotherhood).
- You will be able to explore the entire world in any sequence you wish – just walk across the world and you will always find appropriately leveled content.
- You will be able to play and group with anyone in the game at any time (outside of PvP). No longer will you have to create a lower level character to play with a friend who has just joined the game. You will be able to group and adventure together from the moment your friend emerges from the tutorial.
- We are dropping all PvE Alliance restrictions. You will be free to explore of all Tamriel, including other Alliances. It is up to you how you want to role-play your character while doing this. “Silver” and “gold” versions of zones will be replaced by Cadwell quest storylines that you can do in any order you wish.
- Alliance restrictions will still be enforced in all PvP areas, of course. One Tamriel will not affect the PvP systems in Cyrodiil.
- In general, higher level players will be the same “level” as lower level players, but they will have far more tools in their arsenal: better gear, more abilities, and of course more Champion points.
- We will adjust gear rewards to scale appropriately to make sure that there is always a way to get more powerful via crafting, questing, PvP, and dungeon/trial boss loot drops.
- All Trials and Dungeons will continue with standard and Veteran difficulty modes, and you will have to be Veteran level to play veteran dungeon modes.
- The Coldharbour zone will be “roped off” from players who have not yet completed the quests that lead there. However, if you are invited to a group that is already there, or travel to a friend who is there, you can immediately access the zone.
Compared to Guild Wars 2’s level scaling, ESO’s appears to go both up and down (as opposed to Guild Wars 2’s scaling which just scales downward and Final Fantasy XIV’s which only scales in certain scenarios). It won’t matter if you’re a low level player going to a (previously) higher level zone or vice versa.
For anyone who has been on the fence about joining ESO due to the dread of the grind, it may be time to reconsider.