It took the scenic route but it finally arrived: The Elder Scrolls Online’s very first adventure zone. Called Craglorn, the adventure zone is set between northeastern Hammerfell and Cyrodiil and is designed specifically for four Veteran Rank 10+ players along with Veteran 12-player Trials. The primary questline involves Molag Bal and revolves around the disappearance of constellations – the Warrior Celestials – from the sky with Delves being instanced to your group so that you will always encounter bosses and find a Skyshard. For the four-player groups, the quests and bosses they encounter are all tuned accordingly for Veteran Rank 10+ levels.
For the 12-player Trials, each team will have a limited number of resurrections [60 deaths from the Soul Reservoir] while facing a new set of enemies bearing powers not yet seen before by the Veteran Rank 10+ player. The Trials are timed, so the goal is to reach the final boss with the best time and by doing so, earn a place on the leaderboards and earn extra rewards. The Trials added for the 12-player quests are Hel Ra Citadel and Aetherian Archive.
Hel Ra Citadel was formerly a training base for the Yokudans when they invaded Tamriel while the Aetherian Archive was a research facility for renegade mages who wished to study Tamriel without limitations. The Trial for Hel Ra Citadel will focus on a Warrior Celestial and be grounded in nature while the Trial in the Aetherian Archive will be centered on a Mage Celestial and be extremely high magic.
In addition, mixed in with the usual array of monsters, each Trial will have their unique set of three “bannermen” who are essentially tasked with disrupting your Trial and generally making life difficult for you. They are easier to deal with singly but if they combine forces, the bannermen will be a significant force to be dealt with.
While the quests will be familiar to ESO players, the Trials with their 12 participants will be something new and will test the ability of the players to not only work together to deal with a difficult boss but also may require more intricate meshing of the various skills necessary to do the job, especially if they want to be on the leaderboard. Regular monsters encountered in the Trials will give you an idea of the abilities of the boss you will subsequently meet and try to avoid death [easier said than done] in Trials as staying alive is more productive than speed if you intend to make the leaderboard.
Another helpful tool will be the Death Recap Summary. Since the bosses are more difficult in the Trials, there are bound to be deaths but with the deaths comes information – via the Death Recap Summary – about what the last sources of damage your player took before he kicked the bucket, offer advice on how your player could have lasted longer and will be available outside of the Trials so you can use it as a guide before you dive into your next attempt.
There are no lockouts on the Trials but loot distribution is limited and the best loot is only available once per week and if you happen to be in the Top 100 in completion time on the leaderboard, you could be eligible for more loot.
The Elder Scrolls Online’s Craglorn adventure zone is expected to be launched this week on PC and Mac. Console players will have to wait quite a while longer. ESO was set to be available on Sony PlayStation 4 and Microsoft Xbox One in June, but that date was recently pushed back six months.