The Elder Scrolls Online has released their newest chapter, ESO: Necrom, to the delight of fans that want more storylines featuring the almost Divine Daedric Princes. When The Elder Scrolls Online was announced back in 2014, the possibility of being able to explore Tamriel as the Daedra intended was too good to pass up. Jumping from one Providence in Cyrodiil to another at the drop of a hat was magical.
ESO: Necrom brought numerous upgrades to the table, a brand new Arcanist Class, a new region to explore, and extensions of some returning character stories, making this an expansion worth diving back in for.
The Necrom expansion brings travellers to the Telvanni Peninsula, located just east of Morrowind’s Vvardenfell, in an established Dunmer City and surrounding area conveniently placed in Morrowind. Fans of The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind will feel right at home here, as ESO hasn’t taken players back to the home of the Dark Elves since 2017’s Morrowind expansion.
As a core Dunmer player, I know I felt right at home. It’s worth noting that this is the first expansion in ESO’s Shadow Over Morrowind storyline, so players may often find themselves in this environment in future expansions. Players will encounter the Daedric Prince Hermaeus Mora and uncover secrets that threaten the very fabric of reality. Hermaeus Mora appears as he did in Skyrim, straight out of the annals of a cosmic horror story, all tentacles and eyeballs, basically Cthulu without the limbs. Wes Johnson reprises his role as the voice of the Daedric Prince, and does an excellent job of bringing the doom-sounding Mora to life.
“Players will encounter the Daedric Prince Hermaeus Mora and uncover secrets that threaten the very fabric of reality.”
Mora is also referred to in Elder Scrolls lore as the Demon of Knowledge, and the main questline in ESO: Necrom has the player take up arms for Hermaeus Mora to save Nirn from unravelling. Players familiar with Skyrim’s Dragonborn DLC, will feel right at home in the libraries of Apocrypha, as it bares an uncanny resemblance to that same library. As you advance the story and uncover the main plot, you can recruit new companions and meet new characters that have high stakes in Necrom, as well as see more of the dark sights of the region and, more importantly, Apocrypha itself.
One character (the quest giver for the entire Necrom chapter) is Leramil the Wise, a High Elf who seems more indifferent towards the Prince and more interested in preserving Apocrypha. Side characters play an important role in fleshing out the surrounding areas, and Necrom does a great job of this to make the surroundings feel alive.
The two companions you can recruit this expansion, are Azandar Al-Cybiades and Sharp-as-Night. Both characters have vastly different personalities, but I decided to roll with Sharp-As-Night considering I was also an Argonian, and the quest is basically handed to you immediately upon entering Necrom. Players can build their companions with complete freedom and can make them more potent by just doing basic tasks and questing.
I started Necrom by making a brand new Argonian character for the new Arcanist Class. Elder Scrolls Online hasn’t implemented a new class since 2019’s Necromancer, and fans have been clamouring for the option in the years since. The Arcanist allows the player to wield the strength and secrets of Apocrypha and brings a brand new playstyle to Necrom.
“My only gripe with Necrom is that it feels too like the Morrowind expansion. There’s a nagging feeling of ‘Didn’t I do this already?’ when adventuring.”
The class functions around a Crux system. The Arcanist can accumulate three Crux points that can be stored and spent at the player’s discretion. Using a Crux point for damage output will hit harder, using one for recovery will heal stamina and magicka as well as health, and tailoring your Arcanist to where the Crux points will be utilized can make a strategic feel to the class that feels like an accomplishment when it works well.
Having my Argonian wield two bows, with one bar dedicated to gaining Crux and buffs and the second bar focused on using damage skills and tearing through enemies with the new Fatecarver skill, felt powerful. After gaining three Crux, Fatecarver deals 100% more damage, and the beam feels like a green-tinted Kamehameha in terms of how destructive it is. The Arcanist also doesn’t discriminate on which bar a player chooses, the Arcanist’s skills scale with whichever stat between Stamina and Magicka is higher, making build management infinitely easier.
I chanced upon a doomed couple’s side quest in a dungeon off the beaten path, where I had an opportunity to convince a free woman to stay with her beloved (and his mom) or convince her to find another way to free him. The Elder Scrolls Online has always been masterful at crafting these dual-choice quests, and Necrom delivers with a practiced hand. Of course, I chose to let the woman lover free. Living in a basement stuck with your betrothed is a sentence for divorce, add an in law who is stuck with both parties, and you have a full melee.
Necrom also brings two new public dungeons for players to explore alone or with others. During my time in Necrom, these areas were loaded with players, and it was a cinch to snag the dropped skill point in each of these locations while also defeating the public mini-bosses. Power in numbers, indeed.
Without giving away too many spoilers, the strength of Necrom comes from its compelling storytelling and character interactions. Small instances of meeting a doomed couple on a side quest stick with the player long after the event is in the rearview mirror, and you can meet some familiar faces in Morrowind while questing, such as uncovering a plot while meeting up with the Morag Tong assassin Naryu Virian. Necrom brings the story, and it demands attention from the player.
My only gripe with Necrom is that it feels too like the Morrowind expansion. The landscape of Morrowind feels bleak, and the Telvanni Peninsula could have easily slotted into the Dunmer landscape with ease. There’s a nagging feeling of ‘Didn’t I do this already?’ when adventuring, and it may just be a me problem as a player of ESO since launch in 2014, but it just feels like more of the same ESO gameplay that has been out for nearly a decade.
“The ESO: Necrom expansion brings a wealth of new content to returning players and new players looking to dive into what Elder Scrolls Online offers.”
The ESO: Necrom expansion brings a wealth of new content to returning players and new players looking to dive into what Elder Scrolls Online offers. A new powerful class, the Arcanist, is enough to rouse veteran ESO players to re-install the game for another adventure through Tamriel with excellent gameplay and a satisfying gameplay loop.
Excellent voice acting and character representation are also present in Necrom, as a larger-than-life threat faces Tamriel, larger-than-life personalities lend a helping hand to the player while stopping the unravelling of Nirn. Seasoned adventurers may feel the fatigue of ‘just more ESO’ but Necrom tells a compelling enough story to stand on its own two legs as the beginning of the Shadow Over Morrowind storyline.