Tamriel: Old vs. New
As many of you know, TESO is taking place a few blue moons in the past. Tamriel’s changed quite a bit over the years, and ZeniMax Online has already given us sneak peaks to certain landmarks and areas they will be recreating. Not just a few bits here and there either – but many locations we’ve seen throughout Morrowind, Oblivion, and Skyrim. How much similarity is enough though? Should the returning areas be a near perfect recreation, or a simple nod, just enough for us to know what they had in mind?
Well before we get into that, let me say that this has nothing to do about graphics. I’m sure they’ll be pretty good in TESO, but they don’t really matter all too much when talking about world building.
With that said, how far is ZeniMax Online willing to go with the recreation? From the few pictures they have released so far, they seem to have a pretty good flow going on. In the City of Chorral (from Oblivion) they have kept one of the city’s landmarks, the Chapel of Stendarr, while changing the city itself around. In Riften (from Skyrim) they’ve kept the city on the edge of Lake Honrich, but scaled back just about everything – it is very evident this is not the bustling city it will be in the future.
There are other examples of pretty faithful adaptions as well, but I can’t help but wonder if things are a little too similar. The Tamriel in TESO is set so long in the past and has been through so many turbulent times, I feel like it is almost too familiar. Like places are basically the same, just younger. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing, just a different way to approach the lore.
Some things have also changed quite a bit. Morrowind (the place) is no longer brown and desolate, but full of greenery and flora. I think the folks over at ZeniMax Online have a pretty good thing going with their stylistic choices. There’s always another way to look at a situation though.
Whether they should make Tamriel drastically different or keep it as close as possible to the games is nothing but personal preference. Of course Tamriel is going to be a little bit different, but to what degree is left pretty open right now.
On top all that, we can’t really be sure what direction ZeniMax Online is going in. We can make assumptions from the screenshots and background they’ve given us. It looks like, in general, they’re making the cities younger, the pathways newer, and the desolate areas more vibrant. This is all just what’s been gathered though, nothing really conclusive. Tamriel is a giant region, and we don’t really know how ZeniMax Online is going to fill in the details.