The Elder Scrolls Online: Greymoor launches on Stadia soon and it marks a very exciting time in cloud gaming history. For the first time on Google’s cloud gaming platform, a massively multiplayer role playing game will be available and allow millions of people to play together in a persistent online fantasy world. There’s still plenty we don’t yet know about the game, but here is everything you’ll need to know to get started when it launches!
The Story and Setting
In Greymoor, you’ll stop a powerful Vampire Lord from enslaving Tamriel in the Dark Heart of Skyrim, a gothic tale of sinister secrets and deadly betrayals. The Elder Scrolls Online: Greymoor is the next stage in the epic story that begins with the Harrowstorm DLC and continues throughout the entire year.
Venture through an iconic land, almost 1000 years before the events of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. Traverse the frozen tundra and snowy mountains of the Nord homeland and delve into the perilous depths of long-forgotten Blackreach.
Terrible monsters, led by a Vampire Lord, rise from the depths of Blackreach, intent on devouring souls to fuel their fiendish plans. As darkness consumes the land, Skyrim needs heroes to restore the light.
Travel across Tamriel to recover lost artifacts with the new Antiquities System. Scry the location of ancient relics and excavate them to uncover Tamriel’s hidden history and become a world-renowned Archaeologist!
How is this possible on Stadia?
WCCFTech recently had a chance to sit down with Eric Buhlman, the Project Manager for Elder Scrolls Online for Stadia to discuss the game’s launch and architecture on Stadia. Eric states that Bethesda has been building ESO alongside Stadia’s creation, so the Stadia team helped them overcome challenges along the way. Getting an MMORPG on a cloud gaming service was a big and technical challenge which required lots of extra test playing, but not extra certification time was required compared to its PC or console counterparts. Additionally, extra eyes were present on both teams to make sure everything was able to run as smoothly as possible.
You see, Bethesda is used to integrating their games with many diverse platforms, so they weren’t too challenged by integrating with Stadia. They see benefits like portability of Stadia and ability to get in game quickly.
The game will launch on Stadia to mirror the medium to high settings of the PC version of the game, and no one is ready to comment on whether the game will run at 30 frames per second or 60, leading us to think it will run at 30.
Will there be lots of latency?
Eary reports of Greymoor seem to indicate that Bethesda needed to work out some issues with lag, specifically in PvP, but the game has already been out for a month and they’ve been looking to optimize the game for cloud streaming. They have no doubt taken the care to resolve some of these issues and to make it run smoother and the game has been out for a month already for PC players who have been playing it en masse. That being said, with such a grand undertaking as porting a full scale MMORPG to the cloud, I would expect some launch lag or issues. Keep your expectations in check and understand the value there is to be had. Oh, and don’t forget to have fun! Everything will be worked out in time, but we’re guessing things will be pretty smooth for the most part on launch for the Stadia edition of the game and Bethesda seems to think so as well.
What is the Install Size?
While normally taking up 85gb of your console storage or 125gb of your PC hard drive, Stadia requires a big fat zero gigs! That’s right, a massive, sprawling fantasy world with countless hours of content requires absolutely no install or storage space. Stadia is the premiere place to play The Elder Scrolls Online. Bethesda states in their interview above that they’ve always believed in player choice and one major reason they’re excited for Stadia is because it offers yet another way for players to quickly get into the game and another place they can choose to play.
What’s Included and how much does it cost?
The base game and Morrowind expansion will be included for free to all Stadia Pro subscribers as Bethesda believes it has a very well rounded and polished tutorial for new players, which is plenty to get started with. With Morrowind, you’ll get access to 23 zones on the island of Vardenfell, four classes and an additional Warden class at no extra cost. Stadia Pro subscribers do not get access to the other expansions – Summerset, Elsweyr, or Greymoor. You will either need to purchase the Greymoor Edition of the game from the Stadia store or you will need to subscribe to ESO Plus which costs $14.99 per month. Both methods give you access to all of the aforementioned expansions and you can purchase them individually as well.
If you are a Stadia Pro subscriber ($9.99/mo.) and you don’t pay individually for the expansions and instead choose to subscribe to ESO Plus ($14.99/mo.) you will be paying $25 per month to play The Elder Scrolls Online for Stadia. That’s not to say that’s not a good value, depending on who you are, but that’s the same it would cost you to play both Runescape and Final Fantasy XIV Online as a member combined. Of course that subscription fee is entirely optional, but does include a small 10% XP boost, a bag for unlimited crafting material storage, and access to all of the expansion packs and DLC updates as previously mentioned. We recommend new player stick with the base game and Morrowind expansion given to them for free with a Stadia Pro subscription and that seasoned players simply buy the Greymoor Edition outright.
And what exactly does the Greymoor expansion give me?
Greymoor gives you a new zone in Western Skyrim, new dungeons, quests and a gothic storyline. It also reworks some of the werewolf class and completely re…vamps the Vampire class which in and of itself is just a sort of sub-class so that you can play a vampire as any class. We’re currently unsure on the cost, but the Greymoor Standard Edition will probably cost $39.99 and the Collectors Edition, should it come to Stadia may cost $49.99 and give you exclusive outfits, mounts, pets and more.
Can I play with my PC friends?
If you previously played The Elder Scrolls Online for PC or Mac and want to try it on Stadia, you can jump into the game and play in guilds, do quests, dungeons, raids and more with your friends using your existing character via their new cross-progression system! Interestingly enough, if you want to go back to PC or Mac from Stadia or switch back and forth between the two at will, you can do this as well. This is bound to make a lot of people happy. Sadly though, Playstation 4 and XBOX players can not port their characters over to Stadia or vice versa at the time of launch and no word was given on whether or not this feature will exist in the future.
What if I already bought expansions?
To use the cross-progression system though, you’ll need to own the expansions on both Stadia and Mac or PC that you wish to play. In what I think is the best news regarding The Elder Scrolls Online for Stadia, there’s a new cross entitlement feature. Cross entitlement means that if you own the PC or Steam version of an expansion, you will own it on Stadia without needing to re-purchase it! The same is true of expansions purchased on Stadia. You will then own them on PC or Steam without needing to buy them again!
Awesome! But can I use add-ons?
Unfortunately, there will be o add-ons on Stadia like there are on PC. Add-ons include improvements from third parties like UI management tweaks, combat related timers and stats and more. While these do give you an extra edge in competitive play, Bethesda doesn’t see it being an issue with balancing in the Stadia version of the game. No detail was given as to why this is, but hopefully we’ll hear more down the line.
Can I use a keyboard and mouse or only a controller?
If you are playing the game on Stadia via the Chrome browser, you can use a mouse and a keyboard or even a controller. If you are playing on your TV via a Chromecast Ultra or even on your phone, you will be restricted to controller play only. So far, we have yet to hear word of keyboard and mouse capabilities with the Chromecast Ultra, but here’s to hoping it’s added or even possible in the future!
I’ve never played an MMORPG before. It sounds difficult
Don’t be intimidated by the MMORPG tag. Simply start with story mode and join in on other activities like player versus player (PvP) later if you wish. Being that the Elder Scrolls series is very story oriented, you could effectively pay attention to just the story as a casual player and feel like you’re playing a standard roleplaying game! As previously stated, the base game and Morrowind expansion given to Stadia Pro subscribers comes with a fantastic and well-rounded tutorial, so take your time and you’ll enjoy it!
What is the release date?
The Elder Scrolls Online for Stadia releases in just ten days on June 16th! Are you as excited for this game as we are? Let us know in the comments section below and as always, stick around Gaming Unboxed for all the latest mobile and cloud gaming news!