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The Elsweyr expansion for Bethesda's MMORPG The Elder Scrolls Online is set to go live in a couple of weeks, on June 4, 2019. And before that happens, you can check out this article on the game's website that covers Sunspire, Elsweyr's new 12-player Trial and the false dragon gods behind it. And then, you can read all about Elsweyr's take on dragons in general.
Here are a few sample paragraphs from the latter article and you take things from there:
DRAGONS IN TAMRIEL
While you may have experienced Dragons in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, for most people of Tamriel’s Second Era (the time of The Elder Scrolls Online), the existence of Dragons remains firmly within the realms of myths and legends.
“Dragons are incredibly rare in the Second Era,” says Leamon Tuttle, ESO’s Loremaster. “While evidence of their reign remains (particularly in Skyrim), most believe they are extinct, and the threat they posed to Tamriel has largely faded from memory. People still spin yarns about the Dragons, but they’re mostly just tall tales and legends.”
Just like the beasts you can experience in Skyrim, ESO’s Dragon share basic traits and characteristics, making them one of the series’ most dangerous foes.
“Dragons in The Elder Scrolls aren’t just winged lizards—they’re highly intelligent creatures with a language and a culture that many believe stretches back to the dawn of time,” explains Tuttle. “Their unique feature is probably their association with words and time. For Dragons, language and power are intimately linked. They don’t just breathe fire. They speak fire, willing it into existence. That kind of magical agency is really, really cool.”
Dragons are a threat unlike any other in The Elder Scrolls, and this is especially true in ESO. However, unlike the Nords of Skyrim during Tamriel’s Fourth Era, the people of Elsweyr in ESO don’t have a Dovahkiin to protect them.
For the team charged with building these giant new monsters, Dragons represented an unusual challenge, not least because they already played such a massive part in the Elder Scrolls series.
“The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim set a really high bar when it came to Dragons,” says Sean Wicks, the Design Lead in charge of the game’s monsters. “So we reached out to Bethesda Game Studios and received some great insight into the tech behind Dragons in Skyrim and what kinds of animations they needed to make them work.”
Many Dragons appear throughout the various Elder Scrolls games, so the team worked hard to make sure that ESO could support the creation of a different Dragon for every occasion while maintaining their distinctive style.
“Dragons need to look intelligent and exude power in everything they do and say,” explains Wicks. “We've crafted more custom stuff for them than any creature we've made before, building the models out of parts so we can mix and match different wings, horns, heads, and colors.”
When you encounter a Dragon during your adventures, whether it be in the overland events, the Trial, or the main story quest, you will face a beast tailor-made for that type of engagement. Even throughout the rest of the year beyond the Elsweyr Chapter, you’ll continue to encounter new Dragons!