At the game awards in December, The Elder Scrolls Online debuted a teaser trailer putting a pin in last year's adventures in Elsweyr and teasing this year's new excursion to Skyrim. Today Bethesda is showing off more of what to expect when we return to the Nord homeland. The snow and ice will have an extra bite, it turns out, because Western Skyrim has a vampire problem.
Despite The Elder Scrolls V permanently linking Skyrim with dragons in our minds, ESO just got done with those particular baddies in Elsweyr. The new areas of Skyrim coming to the MMO version of Tamriel are designed to tell darker, "gothic" stories. A vampire lord has amassed an army of other vampires, witches, and weres to terrorize the north. Lyris Titanborn, the nord with giant blood from ESO's original campaign story, will join players for the full year of the Skyrim arc.
The next year of ESO is officially called Dark Heart Of Skyrim, spread out over four updates throughout the year, starting with the Harrowstorm dungeon DLC. In February, all players will have access to the free prologue quest for Dark Heart of Skyrim and players who have bought or upgraded to the new expansion will continue on to the dungeon. On May 18th, the Greymoor chapter, which seems to be the meat of the story for the first half of the year, will continue the events from Harrowstorm.
The second half of the year will add another dungeon and story zone to ESO's map, both of which are so far unannounced. The year's updates will also bring new public dungeons, Harrowstorm group world events similar to the current Dark Anchors, and a 12-person trial called Kyne's Aegis.
As with Elsweyr, The Elder Scrolls Online: Greymoor is becoming the definitive edition of the game. New players who buy ESO for the first time will start their adventure in Western Skyrim at level one while getting ESO's past chapters packed in. Current players can upgrade to Greymoor which will also include ESO's other chapters: Morrowind, Summerset, and Elsweyr.
Correction: This story originally indicated that the Greymoor Chapter will be accessible with an ESO Plus subscription. That is not the case.