eso gold road

The Elder Scrolls Online: Gold Road Preview – Good Scribes

The Daedroth formally known as Prince.

It was clear after the Chapter’s big reveal during the January Xbox and Bethesda Developer Direct that Gold Road was set to be a pretty special occasion for both veterans of The Elder Scrolls Online as well as new and casual players.

This exciting new adventure in the hugely-popular MMO is inching closer to its launch on June 3rd for PC and June 18th for consoles, and will take players to the brand new zone of West Weald, situated between Cyrodiil and Gold Coast, to continue the storyline from the cliffhanger ending of the last big Chapter release, Necrom. We were lucky enough to be guided through what TESO players can expect from Gold Road by creative director, Rich Lambert, in a special preview session, so here’s what we know.


The Gold Road follows on from the huge reveal in the Necrom Chapter that there’s another Daedric Prince, Ithelia, with a power over reality and fate that was so feared it caused her to be locked away and all memory of her wiped from existence. Now, as players arrive in West Weald to find the zone in chaos with jungles seemingly springing up overnight and a displaced and amnesiac Ithelia wandering aimlessly while more incredible phenomena take place around her, they’ll have to work to find out more about this new Prince as well as deal with a splinter group of wood elves working to restore Ithelia’s powers.

Gold Road will offer up more than 30 hours of new story content within TESO, taking place within the new zone of West Weald and the new hub city of Skingrad. It kicks off with a prologue, where players attempt to locate the Forgotten Prince’s captive location only to discover that she’s already escaped and is now wandering West Weald, bereft of any recollection of who she is but drawn to powerful artifacts. This sets up the main quest, which will take players through more of Ithelia’s story as she herself unlocks it from the recesses of her mind through these artifacts, which feels like a neat way to give players this concurrent story as well as a way to understand the past.

It’ll also represent the resolution of this two-year arc, with Lambert telling us that finishing both the Necrom and Gold Road chapters will give players a series of “capper” quests that will ultimately add closure to this storyline. “It’s pretty cool and pretty awesome,” he says, adding, “I think it’s some of the best storytelling we’ve done.”

eso gold road

Along with the core quest content, players will also have access to a new 12-player Trial, Lucent Citadel, new world events, loot, cosmetics, achievements and a heap more. Probably the biggest new feature though is a completely new system called Scribing. Scribing gives players the tools to toy with the nature of magic itself in a psuedo-precursor to spellcrafting, and offers up the opportunity to collect and customise unique skills by editing their primary, secondary, and tertiary effect to truly tailor them to a build or playstyle. Players will even be able to style their abilities’ visual FX with things like new colours, with 22 styles coming at launch which can be earned in-game.

“Ultimately our goal with this system was to provide players with new avenues to customise their builds, and kind of roleplay and fill in any holes that they have in their builds,” Lambert explains. Scribing comes along with its own, in-depth questline that comes via a character named Adept Anard, who tells the player of a mysterious vault that the Mages Guild is looking into, and as you do your own digging you’ll eventually be able to make use of the once-hidden facilities to do some Scribing.

eso gold road

Scribing essentially lets players pick from a base “Grimoire” with a preset skill, like Shield Throw, and then build on it with unlocked Scripts to further augment its properties. In a relatively simple example, Rich adds a multi-target script to Shield Throw to have it bounce between enemies along with Damage Over Time and Off-Balance modifications. The more of these that are added – up to 3 – the more consumable “Inks” it costs to produce.

Even more interesting and complex skills can be Scribed this way, but the game will also intelligently lock off any modifications that won’t work or have any effect while you’re in the menu, which is a nice way to ensure players aren’t wasting their time and effort on Scribing something that isn’t going to help them. You can also update previously-scribed Skills, and only pay an Ink cost for things that are added or different. New Grimoires and Scripts along with Inks are found at vendors, in the world, in chests and other places so there’s a good amount of fun to be had just finding and scribing new things.

eso gold road

Aside from the new story content and Scribing, hardcore ESO fans will no doubt also be looking forward to Lucent Citadel, Gold Road’s new 12-player trial, which is said to be similar in scale and scope to the Sanity’s Edge trial. Lambert says this new trial is pushing things further than ever, including features that weren’t previously possible in the game before the team worked them into Lucent Citadel, meaning never-before-seen mechanics and encounters. Although we didn’t get to see it, it promises to be visually stunning and offer a compelling story for players to dig into.

The Elder Scrolls Online: Gold Road launches on June 3rd for PC and June 18th for consoles. You can learn more about Gold Road and The Elder Scrolls Online over at the official website.