The Elder Scrolls Online is both an attempt to further the Elder Scrolls formula into something more dynamic and living, and a game that often seems dependent on nostalgia for its continued existence. 2017’s Morrowind expansion took us back to Elder Scrolls’ finest hour, last year’s Summerset was our first return to a land not seen since Arena, the original Scrolls game, and next, here be dragons. Again. And also many, many cat-people.
Pictured above is a photo of my cat wearing a promotional Skyrim hat in 2012. On brand, yeah?
While Bethesda haven’t openly stated what the new expansion is just yet, they’ve been merrily hashtagging the phrase #seasonofthedragon for the past couple of days, along with a bit of lizardy boxart and, well, the whole thing got leaked by someone else anyway.
Dataminers dug up assorted references to and assets from an expansion called Elsweyr, which Scrollsgonks will recognise as the land of fan-favourite TES race, the feline Khajiit. Yep, we’re off to meet Top Cat and the gang.
Which is an enormous piece of fan service in its own right, but to really sweeten the deal, we’re getting dragons too. While The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim concerned the return of dragons to Tamriel after hundreds of years away, ESO has the advantage of being set a millennia before Skyrim. Thus, big scaly Bob’s your uncle.
Here’s the summary of the whole shebang, as dug up by datamining fans:
“Venture to the land of the Khajiit in The Elder Scrolls Online: Elsweyr, our newest chapter, an epic story in an all-new zone. Face dread creatures from the past—Dragons!—and discover the dark skills of a new character class, the Necromancer, as you join with new friends and old enemies to save Elsweyr from war and devastation.
“ESO reaches new heights of storytelling with a war against the Dragons that unfolds and builds over four quarterly releases to an unexpected climax.”
An unexpected climax is a good thing now?
Bethesda addressed the leak with the cheeky tweet “cat’s out of the bag“, and an announcement that all will be revealed in a livestream next Tuesday, January 15.
They’ve also pushed out a brief trailer for a trailer, confirming that the expansion will indeed be cat-centric:
Preview the upcoming cinematic trailer for ESO's next chapter. #SeasonOfTheDragon pic.twitter.com/SHQsaJT6Bs
— The Elder Scrolls Online (@TESOnline) January 9, 2019
Expect details and videos and whatnot next week, then.