The Elder Scrolls Online Will No Longer Have Annual Story Updates or Zone Based DLC

Elder Scrolls: Significant chapters, dungeon, and a zone DLC that wrap up the year’s overall story have been the standard for some years in The Elder Scrolls Online. Zenimax is “moving away from the ‘Year Long Adventure’ 12-month narratives” it has been undertaking since 2019 with the release of 2023’s The Elder Scrolls Online: High Isle and 2022’s The Elder Scrolls Online: Firesong.

This is not Zenimax dropping support for ESO in favor of another MMO or project, as the company explained in a blog post, but rather a change in how ESO will function. The first piece of dungeon-themed downloadable content (DLC) will arrive in the first quarter, with a new main story chapter following in the year’s second half.

Zenimax claims that this year’s “return to larger/better and more comprehensive chapters” is possible because the story will be told in one continuous piece rather than broken up over the year.

The Elder Scrolls Online
The Elder Scrolls Online

For the third quarter, we’ll focus on bug patches and quality-of-life updates, while for the fourth quarter, when zone DLC typically wraps out the story for the year, we’ll introduce a “new system” that is presently in the planning and concept stages.

We won’t know what it is until the Global Reveal Event early next year, and there are currently no hints as to what it could be. Player interest in ESO’s yearly story arcs has been relatively low. While the addition of Elsweyr’s Northern and Southern provinces in just one year was positively received, the addition of these regions to Skyrim was criticized as too tiny and missing.

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Though it included the Blackreach caverns beneath Greymoor, many players found the first expansion lacking compared to Morrowind, which also drew on a nostalgic tone. Although the High King is ultimately revealed to be a Vampire Lord, the story is not as compelling as it may be.

Some players feel the expansions are too formulaic and boring because they don’t introduce new features. While High Isle’s introduction of the card game Tales of Tribute has revitalized ESO, players have long clamored for access to different weapon varieties and class options.

The Elsweyr 2019 chapter introduced the Necromancer as the final new class. The Warden had previously been introduced in Morrowind in 2017. Some speculated that Greymoor would include a Bard class, while others thought High Isle would be where the spear was introduced.

However, each chapter did provide something that significantly altered ESO; for example, in Greymoor, players could become archaeologists and scavenge for treasure to sell for quick cash or flashy accessories, and in High Isle, players could participate in the Tales, as mentioned earlier of Tribute.

However, perhaps there will be more flexibility to meet these desires and more time to focus on these expansions, constructing a complete release rather than spreading it throughout the year. Zenimax made this statement regardless: “If you look at how ESO has changed since 2014, you’ll see that we’re not afraid to try new things or make adjustments when they’re not working.

So, we’ll see how the development team and the community react to the new release cycle. We’ll make further modifications if necessary.”

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