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Creating ESO: The Dreugh

Today, we’re taking you behind-the-scenes for a first look at how we’ve created the dreugh—one of the formidable monsters you’ll face in The Elder Scrolls Online

Meet the dreugh, a creature that some of you may recognize from previous Elder Scrolls games, including Morrowind and Oblivion.  In The Elder Scrolls Online, members of the Ebonheart Pact will first encounter dreugh in Morrowind’s Stonefalls region.

The creation of monsters in The Elder Scrolls Online first begins with a combination of lore and concept art.  Here’s some of the lore and concept art we started out with for the dreugh.

The dreugh have two distinct morphologies: The Water Dreugh and the Land Dreugh.  Dreugh evolve into Land Dreugh at a period in their lifecycle called Karvinasim, where they grow legs and spend about a year on dry land.  Dreugh are primarily found in the eastern areas of Tamriel, but can likely also be found anywhere coastal.  Land Dreugh can be found as far inland as Cyrodiil.

Dreugh, according to legend, were once more intelligent and civilized than they are presently.  Mankar Camoran's Mythic Dawn Commentaries makes reference to Dreugh-Kings, but protracted conflict with the Dunmer (who harvest the dreugh for their hides and wax) has caused them to devolve further and further.  The dreugh were said to worship a creature known as the Ruddy Man, which is believed to be a manifestation of Molag Bal.

Next, we create the in-game character model, based on the lore, concept art, and in the case of the dreugh, previous incarnations.  Here’s what one of the dreugh in-game models looks like, for The Elder Scrolls Online.

After we created the dreugh’s in-game model, we designed its neutral and combat behavior and animations, and added its abilities, audio, and effects.  Here’s what one variation of the dreugh looks like now, in The Elder Scrolls Online.

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