Zenimax Online Studios announced that the official name of the upcoming fifth chapter expansion will be Blackwood and it releases on PC and Stadia on June 1st, followed by Xbox One and PlayStation 4 on June 8th. You can join nearly 18 million players in discovering a new adventure in ESO’s upcoming chapter, The Elder Scrolls Online: Blackwood. The Elder Scrolls Online debuted in 2014 and has a dedicated following thanks to a steady release of content updates. ESO got rid of its subscription years ago, instead of making money by charging for big content drops like this Blackwood chapter.
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The Elder Scrolls Online’s 2021 major episode update, Blackwood, "will continue the adventures of Gates of Oblivion with over 30 hours of new story content, enabling you to explore the colorful place of Tamriel, where Argonians' multicultural encounters with empire ambition. This chapter brings you to brand new adventures and features, including:
- A new zone: Blackwood
- A fiendish main storyline that ties into the Gates of Oblivion adventure
- The new Companions system
- A new 12-player Trial: Rockgrove
- New world events: Oblivion Portals
- New delves, public dungeons, world bosses, and stand-alone quests
- Updates and quality-of-life improvements
According to Zenimax, the Blackwood expansion includes over 30-hours of new story content, a brand new zone including the Imperial City of Leyawiin (yes, the same one from The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion), the Niben Forest, wetlands of the Blackwood Bog, a new 12-player trial named Rockgrove, Oblivion portal world events, new delves, dungeons, and world bosses, and more. The press release also mentions “quality-of-life improvements” without giving details and reveals that a new NPC companion system is on the way.
Blackwood has four different editions up for sale (excluding the physical Collector’s Edition), and they can be separated into two categories: two for new players, and two for returning fans. There is a standard edition of Blackwood and a Collector’s Edition of each. In addition to the new zones and stories to explore and experience, Blackwood also introduces the Companions System, allowing you to team up with a unique NPC, equip them, discover their stories, and fight together. With these new allies, you’ll never have to adventure alone again.
The companion system is extremely exciting, especially for fans of single-player Bethesda games. NPC companions are a huge part of the single-player Skyrim and Fallout 4 games and were just introduced in Fallout 76. Once Blackwood releases, we’ll be able to travel with, fight alongside, and recruit NPC allies complete with their own character backgrounds and stories. They’re described as “unique warriors” so it’s unclear if these will be pre-written named NPCs or nameless hirelings. If it’s the former, hopefully, there are lots to choose from so everyone doesn’t have the exact same follower all over the place. Xbox Game Pass members can also prepare for the upcoming adventure in Blackwood with The Elder Scrolls Online base game plus Morrowind expansion available to play today with their subscription.