Elder Scrolls Online: Waking Flame DLC Impressions

August 27, 2021

The Gates of Oblivion year-long story is raging on in Elder Scrolls Online, with the third DLC Waking Flame now available on PC and launching on consoles in early September. Waking Flame, much like the Flames of Ambition DLC from earlier in the year, offers two brand new fiery dungeons to explore, providing players with the opportunity to earn powerful new item sets, collectables, achievements and more. The new DLC sets the stage for the epic conclusion of the Gates of Oblivion story which we believe will be another zone to explore called Deadlands.

Read Rocket Chainsaw’s review of this year’s Elder Scrolls Online story expansion Blackwood

Bethesda invited us to to an online session this week where we got to experience some of the new content with them while enjoying some flaming hot food which they also arranged for us through UberEATS. We jumped into The Dread Cellar and were soon taking on the new bosses throughout the mysterious torture chamber dungeon. The Dread Cellar seems to be the more canon dungeon of the two, continuing the story of Mehrunes Dagon 800 years before the events of The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. Throughout The Dread Cellar, there are secret bosses which need to be activated by timing the lighting of cauldrons with your party members. These bosses are entirely skippable however, and it’s a good idea to get the hang of the general layout of the dungeon before attempting them.

The other new dungeon, Red Petal Bastion, takes itself far less seriously. The Knights of the Silver Rose are hording Daedric gear in this new dungeon which also contains secret bosses that can easily be missed. We were lucky enough to join a couple of very experienced groups to fully clear each of the dungeons and earn the new achievements, but even on normal mode the Waking Flame DLC is quite challenging for any non-hardcore ESO player.

We weren’t really expecting to sink much time into this new DLC given it’s just the typical two dungeon release, but Zenimax Online Studios has clearly spent a lot of time planning out Red Petal Bastion and The Dread Cellar to provide players with many different ways to take on the new bosses and earn the new achievements. While we think these dungeons are practically impossible when relying on the new companions from the Blackwood story expansion, ESO now allows champion levels to reach a whopping 3,600 (up from 810), meaning the players that devote the most time to ESO will now be far more powerful.

The Waking Flame DLC can be purchased through the crown store for 1,500 crowns. There is also a collector’s edition which includes a new cat mount and pet for 3,000 crowns. Waking Flame is available now on Windows PC and will launch on consoles on September 8th. For more information, head to the official website.