The upcoming Skyrim expansion for The Elder Scrolls Online was announced during The Game Awards 2019, but now we have a deep look into the new mechanics and additions coming with the brand new story arc. Bethesda’s reveal, hosted by Pete Hines and Rich Lambert, opened up with a cinematic trailer that gave us a much deeper look at The Elder Scrolls Online: The Dark Heart of Skyrim. The Dark Heart of Skyrim story arc will be taking place over a year-long connected series of expansions, that will bring four major updates to the game: two smaller dungeon packs and two larger story expansions.
The year story will start off with a smaller free prologue quest and paid DLC dungeon pack called Harrowstorm, launching at an unannounced date in February. Harrowstorm will serve as the introduction to The Dark Heart of Skyrim by letting players explore a dungeon called the Unhallowed Grave.
The second much bigger expansion is called Greymoor, which will add 30 hours of new content when it launches for PC on May 18th, and consoles on June 2nd. The story will take place in the western part of Skyrim, an area not currently available in the game. There will be a focus on the supernatural—witches, vampires, and werewolves—with unexplainable storms ravaging the country. A new system called Antiquities has players exploring the world and collecting old treasures, some of which will be from eras other Elder Scrolls games haven’t covered yet. The vampire skill-tree will also be reworked.
Expansions three and four were not detailed, except to say that three is another smaller dungeon update and four will be a second major story expansion, closing out the year-long story arc.
Bethesda promised that The Dark Heart of Skyrim, while having some references and iconic locations from The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, will focus on being unique. A big portion of the expansion will actually take place in the underground vampire city of Blackreach, estimated to be 40% of the playable landmass in the expansion. While they didn’t want to spoil too much of the story, they did promise it would be vampire heavy.
It was noted that with the new expansion, players will have to re-download all of The Elder Scrolls Online due to optimizations being made to the game. The file size will end up being 30GB smaller, and optimizations will allow the patches to be smaller in the future. The game will also run better, including at a better framerate. The update will also include Russian localization, albeit text only.
The Elder Scrolls Online: Greymoor will launch with a physical collector’s edition. The collector’s edition will include a map, statue, four collectible coins, and a steelbook case. There will also be digital collector’s edition goodies and preorder bonuses, including pets, clothing styles, mounts, and emotes.
More details on the expansion, including the Q3 and Q4 DLC, will be revealed at E3 2020. So even though Sony may not be there this year, it looks like there will still be some things to look forward to.