|Twenty years after it appeared on PCs, Bethesda Softworks' acclaimed action RPG series achieves its massively multiplayer destiny in The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited. Set roughly 1,000 years before the events of Skyrim, the game drops players onto the continent of Tamriel during a time of great upheaval, with the Daedric Prince Molag Bal and the necromancer Mannimarco unleashing hordes of undead abominations on the land, and the Daggerfall Covenant, Aldmeri Dominion, and Ebonheart Pact battling one another for control of the Empire.
The Daggerfall Covenant controls the provinces of High Rock and Hammerfell, and includes the Breton, Redguard, and Orc races; the Aldmeri Dominion rules over Valenwood, Elsweyr, and the Summerset Isles, and consists of Wood Elves, High Elves, and Khajit; while Dark Elves, Nords, and Argonians comprise the Ebonheart Pact, which tenuously governs Skyrim, Morrowind, and the Black Marsh. The race players choose dictates their alliance, but they are free to develop their own unique battle style and can wear any armor, wield any weapon, and use any magic they please.
Classic Elder Scrolls action comes in PvE form, with gamers earning gold and treasure by accepting quests, exploring caves and dungeons, and battling an assortment of wild creatures, bandits, and monsters. Once players reach level ten, they can begin participating in massive PvP events, which may involve hundreds of gamers appearing on screen simultaneously. All three factions clash in the region known as Cyrodiil, where they battle for control of fortresses, farms, lumber mills, and other strategic resources and strongholds that will help them gain influence in the region, with the ultimate goal of winning the Ruby Throne in the Imperial City. Each faction controls a stronghold, within which lies an Elder Scroll that can be captured and taken to other strongholds to offer alliance-wide bonuses.
The Elder Scrolls Online makes use of "Megaserver" technology, which is designed to automatically connect gamers with friends, guild members, or likeminded strangers, and a battle-leveling system was put in place to ensure fairness by temporarily increasing the combat effectiveness of those clashing with players of a higher level. Earning points in PvP action lets gamers purchase siege weapons and bonuses that may help turn the tide of battle, and the highest-ranking players in an alliance can be crowned Emperor, earning special abilities in the process. In development for more than seven years, The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited is a free-to-play game that includes all previously released updates and additions, and features voiced dialogue from established actors John Cleese, Bill Nighy, Kate Beckinsale, and Alfred Molina.