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As part of their three-year anniversary event, The Elder Scrolls Online will open its digital doors this week. The Free Play Week begins tomorrow, April 11, at 10 am Eastern/7 am Pacific on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC and Mac (Steam). It ends April 18 at the same time.
When the Free Play Week begins, you’ll be able to download The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited. The Free Play Week includes the base game, but not any of the DLC areas. When creating an account, you’ll receive 500 crowns to spend in the in-game Crown Store. You can purchase XP boosts, unique outfits, and other items.
Any character progress and Crown purchases you make will carry over if you decide to purchase the game after the Free Play Week. Likewise if you have participated in previous Free Play events, your characters will still be preserved and ready to play (assuming you use the same account).
The three-year old MMORPG’s anniversary event also grants some additional goodies. A unique cake vendor will spawn in Vulkhel Guard, Daggerfall, or Davon’s Watch depending on your faction. Completing his quest will reward you with the new 2nd Annual Jubilee Cake. Anyone in your group can eat a slice of cake to enjoy a two-hour 100% XP boost. Additionally all daily and weekly quests completed during the event grants an Anniversary Gift Box. These boxes contain the usual crafting materials, but also at least one rare item. The three-year anniversary event also ends on April 18.
The Elder Scrolls Online originally released on April 4, 2014 as a spin-off MMORPG to the popular single-player RPG series. It began with a subscription model and was met with mixed reactions. A year later in 2015, it dropped the sub model and was re-branded as The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited. Now it’s a one-time purchase, along with a real-money store for extra stuff and DLC that adds new areas and content.
The first major expansion for The Elder Scrolls Online is Morrowind, coming this June.
Bethesda is offering a Dishonored 2 free trial, available this Thursday, April 6. The free trial will be available for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. It offers the first three missions of the campaign, and you can choose between playing as Emily Kaldwin or Corvo Attano.
Dishonored 2 released last Fall. It is the sequel to stealth-action title Dishonored, released in 2012.
When the mad witch Delilah seizes the throne, the fate of your Empire is left hanging in the balance. As Emily or Corvo, travel beyond the legendary streets of Dunwall to Karnaca, the once-dazzling coastal city that holds the keys to restoring Emily to power. Armed with powerful supernatural abilities, weapons and gadgets, how far will you go to hunt down your enemies and take back what’s yours?
The series is set in a unique steampunk-whaling fantasy setting and gives the player choice between playing stealthily or action-packed or some combination in between. You can read our review here. Dishonored 2 won “Game of the Year” from PC Gamer, “PlayStation 4 Game of the Year” by IGN, and “Best Action-Adventure Game” at The Game Awards last year.
Emily and Corvo have different shadow powers you can unlock by finding runes. You can also reject the powers and go through the game with only weapons and wits. Missions are quite large and sprawling (other than the prologue/intro). The free trial’s first three missions could easily take five or six hours – twice that if you want to run through with both Emily and Corvo.
Dishonored 2 has also received significant post-launch updates that addressed some of the criticisms at launch. New features include mission select and restart and a New Game Plus mode.
If you decide to purchase Dishonored 2, you can continue the save game from the free trial.
Digital card game spin-off The Elder Scrolls: Legends officially steps out of beta and into final release today. If you’ve played in the beta since last year, you still keep all your cards and rewards. The 1.0 release is for Windows PC only, through Bethesda’s game launcher. It’s coming to iPad on March 23, Android tablets in April, Mac in May, and mobile phones in Early Summer.
“We’re pleased to announce that the PC version of Legends is now out of beta,” states the blog post. “Start the game today, play with friends, grow your collection, and begin your adventures across Tamriel. We wouldn’t be where we are today without our amazing fans and we want to thank them for helping us grow during our closed beta.”
With the release, Bethesda is also announcing their first expansion update, “The Fall of the Dark Brotherhood,” coming April 5. It will feature more than 20 solo PvE missions across three maps, and 40 new cards.
Bethesda plans on integrating rewards and incentives across The Elder Scrolls: Legends and The Elder Scrolls Online. Those who get “The Fall of the Dark Brotherhood” will also receive the Doom Wolf mount in The Elder Scrolls Online. This is comparable to how Blizzard often includes cross-promotional rewards and bonuses with their titles such as Overwatch, Hearthstone, and Heroes of the Storm.
Bethesda detailed more future post-launch plans with The Elder Scrolls: Legends. Another big expansion will come in early Summer; it will be announced during E3 in June. May will see many new features added, such as Spectator mode, Twitch integration, and a new Gauntlet mode. Gauntlets will be monthly in-game tournaments with varying conditions and prizes.
The Elder Scrolls: Legends uses the now familiar Hearthstone model of pricing. The digital card game is free-to-play and card packs can be earned in-game. You can also purchase card packs with real money. Presumably expansions will follow suit. Bethesda will release more information in the coming weeks.
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