The Elder Scrolls Online is set to release a new expansion called Blackwood, and a new announcement reveals that it will be introducing an NPC companion system similar to that of Skyrim. This will be a great help to all those players who enjoy going through the game and all its missions on their own.
Recently, The Elder Scrolls Online dropped an intense cinematic trailer for the next part in its Gates of Oblivion story arc. This next installment will take place 800 years before Elder Scrolls 4: Oblivion, and players are tasked to stop Daedric Prince Mehrunes Dagon, the ruler of Oblivion.
This newest chapter is set to launch some time this summer, and will add a new swampy region called Blackwood for players to explore. This area is supposed to border the Argonian Black Marsh. The story arc for Gates of Oblivion will mark the beginning of a year-long storyline revolving around the Mehrunes Dagon. The good news is, those players who opt to play solo will be able to bring along an NPC companion during their journey.
NPC companions isn’t a new concept when it comes to Bethesda Softworks. The studio’s single-player titles such as Fallout 4 and Skyrim implement this kind of follower system, which can sometimes lead to strong unbreakable friendships or even romantic relationships.
The Elder Scrolls Online is an MMORPG, which means that players usually need to rely on the help of other players in order to successfully complete a mission or quest. With the upcoming Blackwood expansion, though, players have more options and can choose not to follow this kind of mechanic.
Aside from the new NPC allies, The Elder Scrolls Online will also introduce new world events, 12-player trials, as well as over 30 hours of content. Although this addition may seem like it’s not much compared to the plethora of content that’s heading to the title with the arrival of Blackwood, many fans are still looking forward to the companion system being implemented.
While it’s true that The Elder Scrolls Online does have quest followers, these characters will only temporarily accompany players, and they don’t really get to form lasting and memorable bonds with them. Not only will this new NPC companion system allow players to have deep friendships, romantic relationships will be brought to the table too. This offers fans countless and more impactful possibilities than ever before.
Creative Director Rich Lambert said during an interview with Game Informer that each companion will be unique, so much so that they will each have their own likes and dislikes. Then, after reaching the maximum possible affinity, players will be able to unlock “something special.”
This is somewhat reminiscent to the companion mechanics of Fallout 4—the actions of the Sole Survivor can affect their relationship with different characters, and when relationship levels get maxed out, there’s usually a perk that comes with it.
Lambert also shared two companions whom players will encounter and get to know, namely Bastion and Mary—a Knight and a Dunmer thief, respectively. Before players get to experience Blackwood and everything it has to offer later this year, though, the Flames of Ambition DLC will first head to The Elder Scrolls Online some time in March.