Elder Scrolls Online: Firesong preview – Druids, political intrigue, & dog petting

ESO FiresongBethesda

The ESO Firesong expansion will be with us soon, so here are our first impressions after spending some time exploring the new region of Tamriel.

Tamriel continues to grow with the latest expansion and the Firesong DLC not only brings with it a new region to explore but also has its own unique flavor. Firesong concludes The Elder Scrolls Online’s Legacy of the Bretons saga and is the successor to the High Isle expansion from earlier in 2022.

Our brief stroll around the island of Galen taught us some interesting tidbits about the lore of Firesong as well as some exciting gameplay changes that could change the popular MMO as we know it.

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druids in ESO firesongBethesda
The Druids will play an important role in Firesong.

An expansion for everyone

What’s been nice about the Legacy of the Bretons expansions in ESO is that they’ve created stories that even brand-new players can jump into, and without needing to have played earlier content or have an encyclopedic knowledge of Tamrielic lore.

MMOs like The Elder Scrolls Online can be overwhelming to new players, and like High Isle, Firesong is an expansion that slots in nicely anywhere on your journey. Just sent Molag Bal back to Oblivion and looking for your next adventure? Jump in. Finished everything else ESO has to offer and looking for new content? Here you go.

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Or, perhaps you fancy a smaller-scale adventure, one filled with political intrigue and personal stakes before you tackle an odyssey that pits you against literal gods and monsters. This is what Firesong is aiming for, and in our time exploring the island of Galen, we feel like it achieves it.

Druid in firesongBethesda
Firesong will be a story laced with political intrigue.

Firesong petting zoo

As well as the usual exploration and fantasy questing, Firesong has made ESO feel a lot more interactive by turning your character into a much more tactile friend to the animal kingdom. You can now stop and pet animals such as dogs, horses, and even cows. This sounds like a small adjustment to the game but it adds a new sense of immersion.

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It makes animals feel less like scenery and something that actually exists in the world in a more meaningful sense. The devs told us that these quality-of-life adjustments won’t end here, and that animal petting is just one in a range of interactivity changes coming to ESO designed to make the world feel more alive and vibrant.

Firesong also lets those less interested in interacting with animals tailor the game to their liking by introducing the ability to turn off other players’ pets in town. It can be fun to see what critters are following other adventurers, but drowning in a sea of cosmetic creatures while you’re waiting to get near your favorite blacksmith can be admittedly frustrating.

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ESO firesong biomesBethesda
The biomes in Firesong reminded us of various other ESO regions but still managed to feel unique.

A Game of Scrolls

Galen itself is the historic home of the Druids, a secretive people who have been pulled into a wider conflict also involving pirates and even the Knights of the Ascendant Order. We won’t say too much about the lore here, but fans of Game of Thrones are likely to really dig it.

The Elder Scrolls is usually a fantasy game laced with political intrigue, whereas Firesong felt like a political drama laced with fantasy. It flips the script on the usual ESO style and tells a more nuanced story that reminds us of the Witcher at times. Good overcoming evil plays a part in Firesong, but not everything is black and white.

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Long-time ESO fans will be delighted to know that Galen is home to some incredible new boss and mini-boss enemies. We didn’t see much in the time we had, but the expansion will introduce chimeras, a monster that is part griffin, part lion, and part dragon, which is bound to make a fearsome foe.

We’re intrigued to see what other secrets await us on Galen, as well as witnessing the next evolution of The Elder Scrolls Online as an MMO.

The Elder Scrolls Online: Firesong will release on PC, Steam, and Mac on November 1 and will be coming to Xbox and PlayStation consoles on November 15.