Bethesda fully lifted the veil off of its next expansion for The Elder Scrolls Online today via a livestream that featured a mix of gameplay previews and developer commentary. The Gates of Oblivion will send players to some familiar places and explore others for the first time in modern memory. Or past memory, I suppose. This expansion is a prequel of sorts to The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion after all, as you will find out via the new main questline. Bethesda also revealed that the Gates of Oblivion will open for Elder Scrolls Online players on the release date of June 1 for PC.
As with every major MMO expansion, there are countless details about upcoming changes and new content. The main takeaways are that Blackwood and the Dead Lands (Oblivion) will become explorable zones in the game. Players should recognize the former location as part of the native region for Argonians, but Blackwood is really more of a melting pot between Imperials, Argonians, and Khajiit. The zone will reflect this, particularly in the city of Gideon. As for the Deadlands, players can expect the jagged brimstone and fiery atmosphere that defined Oblivion so long ago. There will of course be some new sights to take in as well though, such as Mehrunes Dagon himself. The Daedric Prince of Destruction towers over the landscape and actually moves about his realm as you explore. We’re not sure yet how he will react to intruders, but it adds an immersive dynamic to the plane of Oblivion.
Bethesda spent a deal of time talking about the culture and story of the expansion as well. It seems Mehrunes Dagon will meddle in the affairs of mortals yet again. This time, the Daedric Prince has created weapons of mass destruction for some particularly powerful individuals. It will be up to you to save the world, naturally. You can also look forward to the return of some fan-favorite characters.
Aside from the main reveal of the new regions, Bethesda also discussed the release plan for the content. The Gates of Oblivion narrative will progress throughout 2021 and feature several distinct phases. Only by the end will you truly be in the thick of things where Mehrunes Dagon reigns supreme. However, Blackwood sounds quite expansive in its own right. There should be much to enjoy.
Time to talk about your Septim purse
Bethesda didn’t hesitate to mention that some pre-purchase bonuses include instant access to the Nagahide Welwa Ravager mount and Nightmare Bear Cub pet. These are only available from now until March 17, so you have time to decide if you want to commit to another MMO expansion. Gates of Oblivion pre-purchases will also award the Dremora Kynreeve outfit plus the Deadlands Wamasu pet and more upon the release date of the expansion.
Purchase options vary, but new players can get the base game with all of the previous expansions plus Blackwood for $59.99 USD. Likewise, returning players can just snag the Blackwood upgrade for $39.99 USD. There are also additional collector editions.