Welcome to Exploring ESO: High Isle! For the first time in ESO, we travel to the Bretons’ never before seen idyllic ocean enclave. We get to explore, fight and blend in with the Bretons’ chivalric culture as we confront the forces of the Ascendant Lord.
In this Exploring ESO series, I’m going to dive into all the expansions, chapters, and goodies The Elder Scrolls Online has to offer. ESO is available on PS4, Xbox, Stadia, PC, and Mac and I played on PC via Steam. Thanks to Zenimax and Bethesda once again for the code that makes this series possible.
What is High Isles?
High Isles is the latest chapter to the long-running Elder Scrolls MMO. We get to set out on ESO’s year-long adventure, the Legacy of the Bretons and uncover an epic story told across three DLCs and the High Isle Chapter.
This is a tale of chivalric honor and political upheaval set within a stunning Archipelago. With about 30 plus hours of gameplay, there is no shortage of time to explore the 2 map areas, 8 public delves, 2 new companions, 1 group dungeon, 2 new player houses, and 6 world bosses. That doesn’t include the points of interest, wayshrines, caves, mine, ruins, card decks, and crypts that are available to discover as well.
In this new chapter, we get to see a part of Nirn that we have never seen before the ancient island home of the Breton elite. There are 2 new areas to explore High Isle itself and Amenos. In this chapter, you are tasked with uncovering the plots of a sinister order of knights that threaten the islands. At the head of this rogue group stands the Ascendant Lord, a mysterious force seeking to claim an ancient legacy. For the first time at least at the time of releasing this, there is no sign of deadric princes being at play here.
New Card Game
There is something about in-game card games like Gwent that just hook me in. With the drop of High Isles ESO finally has its own universe card game called Tales of Tribute. The game serves as not only hours of extra fun but the ability to collect cards as well. It can be played all over Tamriel in designated gaming halls. You can play against the locals of the Tamriel or battle against your fellow players.
If you wish to dive deep you can even take part in the ranked PvP card games to increase your league score and get some sweet rewards. Cards and decks can be gotten from world events, world bosses, and some quests.
The game is one of those that is kind of hard to explain but easy to play once you get the hang of it. I know that sounds crazy but it is definitely a hands-on type of game like most card games are. I can sit and explain Gwent to you until I’m blue in the face but until you get your hands on it you won’t truly get it. I’ve played dozens of games against NPCs and still can’t fully grasp everything. However, I am enjoying myself and make it a point to play a few games every day.
New in ESO?
Your achievements carry across all your characters now. Before you would have to go through every character and re-unlock achievements you already had now if you have a main character that you play on all the time those achievements will be unlocked for all your other ones. Even the achievements you may have got on those others will be on your main.
ESO is also now available in Spanish now as well. The game now features complete Spanish translations for all the text, subtitles, and everything.
With the collector’s edition of High isles, there is 1 new mount, 1 new pet, a memento, a few emotes, and a new outfit style. High isles also see the expansion of the companion roster with Ember and Isobel and 2 new houses so far at least.
What Was my experience with High Isle?
So there is a bit of a bug with them reworking the champion points in this chapter. At the time of getting these thoughts down, I still haven’t been able to figure it out and haven’t been able to assign points since High Isles came out. That means I have a lot of champions points that can’t be used until they eventually find a fix or I stumble upon something. Even the forum fixes didn’t work and I’m trying not to have to reassign all my 600+ points in the 3 trees.
It is still a chore to level companions and gain a good relationship with them. I know this is a new system being brought in in the Blackwood chapter but I still have yet to have a full relationship with either of those companions and now there are two more to worry about. I know romance options and all that is coming soon but I just need the time to level them fixed for right now. Or let us take 2 of them out at a time to make it feel like an actual team like Mass Effect or any other game where you can take companions.
For the first time in a long time of playing this expansion, I felt underwhelmed. I know all of the DLC aren’t out yet which is why I am willing to grant it a pass. However, this chapter just feels like it needs its DLC to finish the story. It is beautiful there is no doubt about that the archipelago is stunning and has amazing visuals. However, every other chapter I have played stands well on its own without having to get all the DLC of the year. High Isles is different. There are only 7 main missions so maybe that is the reason?
The story is interesting and makes me want to dive deep into it a discover the secrets. For once the deadric princes aren’t involved at least not yet. If I was someone new to the game I would be left scratching my head and wondering if this is worth all the hype they built for months.
Again thank you to Zenimax and Bethesda for being amazing every time and giving the code to make this series happen. Overall, if you are new or just getting back into ESO I would recommend you pick up the collector’s edition with all the expansions. ESO is a solid game that is very fun to play even if you don’t have the High Isles chapter. The area is beautiful and there are tons to explore but as of right now to me this is not a “need to play” chapter. Maybe with the full DLC coming this year, it will be.
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