Arriving as part of the upcoming Blackwood Chapter (releasing June 8 on PS4 and PS5 alongside ESO’s next-gen optimized Console Enhanced upgrade, free for ESO players), the Companions System will allow you to recruit a new combat ally to take on Tamriel. For the development team, the goal of this new system was to provide a new way to experience ESO’s open world and its many dangers.
“With the Companions System, we wanted to provide our players with a new ally they can take on their adventures to provide companionship and combat support,” explains Rich Lambert, ESO’s Creative Director. “When adventuring with a Companion, we want our players to be more confident in experiencing everything Tamriel has to offer while also getting to know some unique and interesting characters.”
Mirri Elendis, a Dark Elf “Daedra Expert”
Blackwood will introduce two unique Companions at launch, Mirri Elendis and Bastian Hallix, each with their own personality and unique characteristics.
“Bastian has a strong sense of duty and honor, but he’s also a little socially awkward and values your friendship,” explains Lambert. “Mirri, on the other hand, is quick-witted and clever, but she can also be a bit headstrong and impatient, potentially leading her into trouble. The more you adventure with your Companions, the more you’ll discover what makes them special, including their very different backgrounds.”
Of course, Tamriel is a dangerous place, and whatever role you need filled, your new allies will be able to help you tackle that especially challenging world boss or quest.
“Companions are designed to be able to perform the game’s different combat roles, such as damage, healing, or tanking, and while they won’t be as powerful as regular players, they’ll still be effective combat allies in the heat of battle,” explains Lambert. “Players might discover that some enemies that challenged them solo in the past, can be defeated with the help of a trusted Companion.”
Just like your own ESO characters, you’ll be able to tailor many aspects of your Companions.
When designing the Companions System, it was important to us that we allow players to fully customize how their new allies fight and look,” explains Lambert. “They’ll be able to select what combat abilities their Companions utilize in combat, what gear they wear, and even tailor their appearance by applying costumes or outfit styles.”
Bastian Hallix, an Imperial Battlemage
In addition, as you gain experience and level up your characters, so too will your Companions, and as you quest and explore together, you’ll also have to manage your relationships with these new characters.
“As players earn experience battling monsters, their Companions will also earn their own experience and level up, improving their base stats and unlocking more combat abilities. In addition, as players and Companions adventure together, actions the player takes in the world of Tamriel will also impact their rapport with their active Companion. Rapport levels can go up and down, depending on the activities, and players should talk to their Companions to get an idea as to what kind of activities will be seen favorably or negatively by their new allies.”
Never Adventure Alone
For the team, the hope is that this new system will open the game up to more of its players and allow them to tackle challenges that might have seemed out of reach previously.
“We know that a lot of our players enjoy playing ESO solo, and that is a perfectly viable way to experience the game,” says Lambert. “However, there is a lot of content that solo players might not be able to experience that way, and the Companions System helps open those doors by giving players a trusted ally to explore more group-oriented content at their own pace.”
Converse with your Companion to learn more about them
Of course, how you choose to use your Companions is completely up to you, and the perilous region of Blackwood (and even more dangerous realms beyond Nirn) await with the upcoming Chapter. No matter how you play The Elder Scrolls Online, with the new Companions System, you’ll never have to adventure alone again!
The Elder Scrolls Online: Blackwood arrives for PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5 on June 8 and is now available for pre-order at PlayStation Store.