The Elder Scrolls Online is coming up on its 5th anniversary this year, and I’m just getting into the swing of things. As a newcomer to the Elder Scrolls franchise (I started out with Skyrim), the amount of content this franchise has to offer can sometimes be overwhelming. One great thing about The Elder Scrolls Online is that you can travel across all of the different environments from past Elder Scrolls games and learn about their lore.
From Morrowind to the Summerset Isles, Tamriel is packed from shore to shore with bits of lore, and Elder Scrolls Online gives you that freedom of exploration and rewards you for it. Here are some of my favorite settings in Tamriel!
Look, I like stealing stuff. I am 100% and Elder Scrolls klepto and I’m not ashamed. Hew’s Bane is located in the far, forgotten corner of Hammerfell, and is now home of the Thieves Guild. Aesthetically, this location gives me those Aladdin / Agrabah vibes, and the fact that you carry out a lot of Thieves Guild missions here really nails that comparison in nicely.
The area is always bustling with fellow ESO players, which is really nice if you’re looking for a quick duel or want to partner up for a more difficult mission.
I haven’t actually done a ton in Grahtwood, but I found myself there accidentally when trying to follow a random treasure map that I’d gotten from a dungeon. It’s hard to compare it to a real-world location, but it definitely gives me the Amazon Rainforest vibes. The architecture is so interesting– there are some houses and towns build up in giant trees!
Speaking of giant trees, Elden Root (the capital of the Aldmeri Dominion) is probably one of the coolest-looking areas in the entire game. The entire city is built in and around a giant tree, and the High Elves strategically founded it as a base in the battle to control Tamriel.
What kind of list would this be if I didn’t include a little bit of Skyrim in it? I’m not gonna lie, I was a little shocked to see how different East March is between Skyrim and ESO– I was really looking forward to another visit to the College of Winterhold and a couple of my favorite locations in Elder Scrolls V. However, ESO takes place at a different time, so I’ll forgive you, Bethesda (please bring it in future DLC).
I’m super basic and play as a Nord in my current playthrough, so I feel right at home in East March! This land presents a lot of opportunities to just full-out clobber through enemies (something Nords do best!), so I accidentally blew through all of the mainline quests here way faster than I wanted. I still love to go back and collect crafting supplies just because everything is so dang pretty to look at. What can I say? I’m a sucker for snowy terrain!
Maybe I’m a little biased, seeing as Summerset was my first introduction to Elder Scrolls Online, but who can deny just how beautiful the lush, green, tropical paradise is? It’s like the Hawaii of Tamriel! The High Elves really know how to live in style. Something about Summerset really sets the mood for exploration. I found myself not leaving the isles for the first few weeks of my ESO playthrough.
Alinor is truly a fantastic hub. Easily accessible daily missions and crafting writs, multiple housing options, guild stores, and crafting stations… Everything is there. I still fast travel back to Alinor every day I play to do all of my dailies just because it’s so accessible.
And let’s not forgot Artaeum! Though the Isle of the Psijic Order is technically no longer a part of Summerset (the Psijics relocated Artaeum to a pocket dimension so they can work in secrecy) Artaeum still plays a huge role in the Summerset Isles quest line. Learning about the Psijic Order and their clash against Nocturnal will probably always be my favorite story arch in Elder Scrolls.