Falkreath of the Elder Scrolls Online is under siege, and it soon will fall to the Minotaurs and their Reachmen allies. Falkreath Hold, one of the two new dungeons found in the Horns of the Reach DLC game pack, pits you and your team against the hordes of the Dreadhorn Clan in a desperate attempt to save the city. Want the inside scoop on this new four-player challenge (including information on the armor sets, monster mask, and other unique rewards)? Check out our preview below.
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DISCOVER A TOWN UNDER SIEGE
The mysterious forces that have been raiding the Jerall Mountains for months have finally attacked a major city. Falkreath's defenses are under assault by the Dreadhorn Clan, an unusual alliance between men and beasts, and without your assistance, the invaders threaten to burn the city to the ground.
The location of this newest dungeon is the same city of Falkreath that you might have explored in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, but with ESO set 1000 years earlier, you will find the southern Nord city at its prime!
As you make your way into the Falkreath, you might recognize some of the environment and structures from TESV, including the winding forest pathways, the tall mountains, and even Shriekwind Bastion looming over the city itself.
“When building Falkreath, we started with the actual height map and town layout from Skyrim," says the dungeon's Lead Designer Mike Finnigan. “We wanted it to feel like the city from the original game, but also feel like a Falkreath at its zenith of power, rather than the smaller township it was in Skyrim.
The Falkreath in TESO is much larger than you will recall, and it is well protected by giant stone walls.
When you arrive, you'll witness a city under siege. Of course, Falkreath is not without its protectors, as Jarl Skjoralmor's daughter, Eerika, has mounted a spirited defense, but the city's tall walls cannot hold back the invaders forever, and without help, it'll soon fall. It's this unique setting that has provided the team with new opportunities for unique gameplay elements.
“In Falkreath Hold, the siege element allowed us to leverage environmental effects to give the players new experiences," says Finnigan.
Indeed, as you travel through the city, you will have to avoid fire from the Dreadhorn Clan's relentless siege engines, and you will quickly find that the environment plays a special role as you repel the invaders.
“We want players to feel like they are actually part of a siege."
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FACE A FEARSOME ENEMY
When defending Falkreath, you'll encounter new, dangerous enemies made up of both barbaric Reachmen and fearsome Minotaurs. You might have previous experience in dealing with Minotaurs on the Gold Coast, but be warned; these ones are even more dangerous than those found within the Imperial province, and you might be surprised to find how hard they can hit!
Of course, no dungeon would be complete without taking on some challenging bosses, and Falkreath Hold certainly has its fair share. In Falkreath Hold, you'll encounter warlords and giant beasts, undead monstrosities, and of course, Domihaus the Bloody-Horned himself, a fearsome Minotaur chieftain.
“When building Falkreath Hold, we wanted to give players easy-to-discern mechanics that they haven't seen before," says Finnigan. “This way, when they approach a new boss, they can think back to what they have seen in the dungeon beforehand that might help them with the coming fight."
Much like the dungeon itself, when taking on Domihaus, the cramped, dangerous environment can be both your friend and foe. Without giving away too much, be sure to keep an eye on the ground, lest you find yourself taking a fiery bath, however, the battle's close confines can also work in your favor, so look for ways you can protect yourself from the monster's assaults.
When defending Falkreath Hold, how you navigate the city and its unique challenges will go a long way towards determining victory or defeat.
CLAIM YOUR REWARDS
For those bold enough to stand in defense of Falkreath, there is a host of new of rewards. Like other dungeons in The Elder Scrolls Online, Falkreath Hold will feature three unique armor sets, a monster mask set, furnishings, collectibles, and more.
The first three armor sets will drop from the dungeons' many bosses, and they include both light, medium, and heavy items such as the powerful Ironblood set. This heavy armor that has a chance to (temporarily) turn your blood into pure iron, granting you Major Protection when hit at a cost of your Movement Speed. This will allow you to take a lot of punishment in the middle of a fight, but it will also limit your mobility.
Are you a healer at heart? The Draugr's Rest light set creates a healing circle for you and your allies every time you deal damage with a heavy attack. This allows you to heal while simultaneously keeping up your resource pool!
Perhaps you're more interested in looting the Domihaus monster mask from the dungeon on Veteran difficulty? If you complete this challenge and are fortunate to find the Domihaus shoulders in an Undaunted chest, you'll have a chance to create either a ring of fire or molten earth around you for 10 seconds, dealing either Flame or Physical Damage over time. Even better, if you stand in the middle of this ring, you'll gain 200 Spell or Weapon Damage. Stand and fight!
As with all dungeons, you can unlock a unique mounted trophy if you complete it normal difficulty and a bust if you complete it on Veteran. In addition to this, by completing Falkreath Hold on Veteran difficulty, you'll also unlock the Dreadhorn Shaman Skin, a unique collectible skin that gives your character a pale Nirncrux-styled tattoos! This new skin is unique in that it can be combined with the unique hat reward found in Horns of the Reach's other dungeon, Bloodroot Forge, something players have been asking for.
“One of the issues we identified with Shadows of the Hist was that there is no way to show that you have completed both Dungeons. We wanted to rectify that with Horns of the Reach, so you can wear both rewards (the skin and the hat) at the same time!"
After completing both Falkreath Hold and Bloodroot Forge on Veteran difficulty, you'll unlock the ability to purchase the Hakkvild's High Hall home with gold. This new Nord-styled manor gives you a perfect view of the town you just saved. If you have not completed the dungeon, you can still purchase it with crowns in the in-game Crown Store.
You can take on this new dungeon and save Falkreath from the Dreadhorn Clan this August on PC/Mac, PlayStation®4, and Xbox One. The Horns of the Reach DLC game pack will be available to all ESO Plus members and available for purchase in the in-game Crown Store.
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