After being announced earlier this year, The Elder Scrolls Online‘s 7th chapter has been properly detailed, with Necrom promising a darker and Lovecraft-inspired expansion of the MMO. In a media preview stream, the developers properly introduced the content of Necrom, which is a full chapter that fills in even more areas on the Tamriel map that nears ever-closer to completion.
Necrom begins in the Telvanni Peninsula before advancing to the Apocrypha zone, and is intended to provide over 30+ hours of new gameplay to The Elder Scrolls Online. The story is centered around a Daedric Prince obsessed with knowledge, and hording it all to himself, but who also holds a secret that if it gets out into the world will spell doom for all of Tamriel. Lemaril, an agent of Hermaeus Mora, drafts players into stopping a conspiracy against the Prince of Fate. A Telvanni mage, Master Shelreni, also assists your character for reasons unknown, as the conspirators look for a way to block Hermaeus Mora’s ‘sight’.
Necrom’s design is clearly inspired by cosmic horror, specifically Lovecraft, with Cthulhu-esque gods and monsters like the Seeker, Mind Terror and Lurker. However, there are some more original and striking designs, like the Hushed enemy designs (mortals who spent too long in Apocrypha and were transformed into feral forms) and the Tomeshells, which look like hermit crabs that have moved into books as their new homes.
There are two new companions – Azandar Al-Cybiades, a redguard Alchemist, and Sharp-As-Night, an Argonian Warden. The two are described as different as possible from one another, with Azandar likened to a loopy ‘mad scientist’, while Sharp-As-Night is a mercenary with amnesia in the vein of Jason Bourne.
There’s also a new class, the Arcanist, which has been designed to be integrated into the world of Necrom, with the same visual and thematic influences as the larger chapter. Feedback from players about previous classes being too similar has encouraged the developers to try to create more visual and gameplay differences to the Arcanist, which is now centred around ‘crux’ combo points, with certain abilities building or spending crux (for instance, a damage ability is more effective with more crux consumed). There are three skill lines, Herald of the Tome (damage), Soldier of Apocrypha (tanking) and Curative Runeforms (healing).
As a new chapter, Necrom also adds a new 12-player trial called ‘Sanity’s Edge’. Likened in terms of difficulty to Rockgrove, the trial was described as a ‘labour of love’ for the team, as it sees players enter the mind of a member of the Mages’ Guild, in a struggle between the mage’s own consciousness and an agent of Vaermina. Necrom will also bring new music, new quality of life improvements, performance improvements and bug fixes and plenty of new loot and achievements. And, as with other Elder Scrolls Online expansions, new players can jump in to play Necrom and any new content if it interests them more than previous chapters, without having to grind through all of the older stuff.
The Elder Scrolls Online: Necrom public test servers go live on 17 April 2023, with the chapter itself properly being released on 5 June on PC/Mac and Steam, and 20 June on Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PlayStation 5 and PlayStation 4.