The Alliance War gets even more tumultuous with the introduction of Artifact Weapons, coming with the free Update 22 base-game patch!
The Mad God Sheogorath wants to bring a little bit more volatility to the open-world PvP zone of Cyrodiil, by summoning powerful Artifact Weapons to the field of battle in the Alliance War. However, the Daedric Prince of Madness is fickle, and what he can give, he can also take away.
With this new Alliance War PvP system, the development team’s goal was straightforward.
“Chaos! We wanted to add chaos beyond what is already available in Cyrodiil,” explains Brian Wheeler, ESO’s Combat Lead. “At this point in the game, a lot of the Alliance War’s play patterns are fairly well ingrained. There isn’t a real mobile element that exists beyond capturing Elder Scrolls, and so we wanted another way to get more people moving around.”
With Update 22, between four and five times a day, the powerful Artifact Weapon known as Volendrung spawns into a random location in Cyrodiil. Should you locate this weapon (the game warns you when it has arrived, but doesn’t immediately tell you where it is), the power of the legendary “Hammer of Might” imbues you. Anybody can pick up an Artifact Weapon, so if you see it—go get it! The weapon can and will spawn almost anywhere on the map, including behind Scroll gates, so keep your eyes peeled.
After you’ve picked up the weapon, your base attributes are normalized and you gain access to a brand-new suite of abilities that can strike down large groups of people and allow you to do massive damage to fortifications–leave all of Cyrodiil crumbling in your wake!
Bring down the walls of enemy Keeps with Volendrung
A Hunger for Destruction
Because this “gift” comes courtesy of Sheogorath, there is a catch. Volendrung requires you to keep it fed by acquiring Alliance Points via capturing, defending, or killing your opponents. Note that resurrecting or healing your fellow players does NOT fill the weapon–it thirsts only for destruction.
Should you fail to feed the weapon a healthy diet of carnage and its meter drops to zero, Sheogorath’s mighty curse strikes you dead immediately and the legendary weapon drops at your feet. Just like that! Even better, if a wielder drops the weapon within the first 30 minutes of its initial pickup, anybody else can claim it for themselves!
This means that if somebody else beats you to the weapon, you have a choice: You can either run for dear life, or try to defeat the wielder and take the weapon for yourself. Be warned, though. If you give your enemy unchallenged access to the power of Volendrung, your keeps will soon be naught but rubble.
As outlined above, Volendrung is extremely powerful, but how powerful is it exactly?
“It’s OP. This’ll kill an Emperor. If you’re not paying attention and come across somebody with Volendrung, you’re going to die,” says Wheeler. “Of course, while it’s lethal to players, its true purpose is to be a destroyer of keeps. It’s going to have a major impact on the state of your campaign in how quickly and effortlessly it rips down walls.”
Wield the Hammer of Might
With the addition of Volendrung, the shape and flow of the Alliance War is forever changed. Seek out this powerful weapon and use it to bring ruin to all the pretenders to the Ruby Throne. Just remember to keep the weapon fed, as its appetite for destruction must be sated–lest you pay the price with your own life! Are you ready to bring a whole new level of carnage to Cyrodiil? Let us know on @TESOnline, Instagram, and Facebook!
Update 22 is now live in Early Access on PC/Mac and is coming to Xbox One and PlayStation®4 on June 4.