Waking Flame is the Elder Scrolls Online’s latest DLC. It brings you two brand new dungeons that can be mastered by four players and three bosses: The Dread Cellar, Red Petal Bastion, and The Dread Cellar. This is about the Knights of the Silver Rose tomb-dwellers, who used to protect Tamriel from Daedric threats. However, they have since deviated from their noble path. The Knights of the Silver Rose have been taking the treasures from nearby temples, and putting them in their stronghold. Problem is that those artifacts are leaking Daedric nastiness to the area, so the Red Petal Bastion warriors have fallen prey to corruption. It happens.
This is the group of glorified treasure hoarders I was able to fight in a demo with Mike Finnigan (lead encounter designer), Rich Lambert (creative director) and Shane Slama, dungeon team owner, before the DLC’s release. One surprise awaited me: my boss was so full of Daedric mischief that he made us into sweet, roll-scarfing goats.
You’d be surprised at how the dungeon begins. The dungeon’s beginning is as you would expect. A wronged owner of artifacts wants them back. Dremora Lyranth, the somewhat scary Dremora “Foolkiller” Lyranth, will assist but only if she can keep one relic. In the courtyards outside we battle enemies such as Silver Rose warriors and Silver Rose archers. One of these is torturing a doggo for stealing a leg of roast chicken. Finnigan said that she was “deserve[d] all of the death for that”. Quite right. She and her booty-stealing kind are beaten to the ground, y’know? For the Tamriel oppressed Mutts.
A Silver Rose Realmshaper, a monstrous man, is also encountered. He’s covered in tribal tattoos and is the cosmetic prize for defeating the dungeon. This makes it difficult as each boss has their own mode.
It doesn’t take too long for the dungeon to reach the best stuff. I’m utterly delighted when the boss fight is over. Rogerain, the Sly is seen in a courtyard. He has, just like other bosses of the dungeon, started to use those stolen relics creative methods. Finnigan teases me about this, and I wonder if it will help me to figure out the Daedric Prince’s artifacts. It’s quite easy to grasp.
One of my crewmates, once fearsome, is now whizzing about the yard in a tiny white billy-goat.
Rogerain begins to unleash his blistering area of effect attacks and mischievous, mischievous chatter as the fight progresses. In the heat of the fight, I am muttering to my Nord Dragonknight, throwing berserker strikes at him and whipping at him with lava whips. Finnigan flagged the “awesome moments” and then he jovially exclaimed, “He made somebody into a goat!” and broke into laughter. It’s also me: One of my once fearsome crewmates, a tiny white billy-goat, is zipping around in the yard – it’s absolutely, wonderfully bizarre.
The ‘chosen’ one – how else can I describe them? – of the group is given a single, apparently crucial, mission: ‘Gobble up those scrumptious sweet rolls!’ (all those stolen ones from Skyrim, I presume). My time arrives, when I notice the delicious, icing-topped sweet treats scattered around the square. I tear through the yard, racing between golden-hued pastries, one-minded in pursuit of Rogerain’s downfall, and one helluva stomach ache.
Although it doesn’t last very long (probably around 10 seconds per person), it is enough to give the boss a completely new and joyful experience. To really maximize the experience, you can even try a goaty jump, with brand new sound effects. This is unlike any TESO raid I have ever seen.
Red Petal Bastion has many fun new features that are well worth the effort
Nothing is more satisfying than consuming Tamriel’s most delicious treats and watching your fellow teammates soar above you while they hurl their might at the boss. To be clear, Rogerain is still in the show. Your team must only fight Rogerain with one opponent – ahem goat.
This whole thing was unsurprisingly inspired by Sheogorath, Daedric prince madness. (TES IV fans or TESO mages may remember him as the Chief antagonist in the Mages Guild questline). As we each take turns getting our G.O.A.T., I question Finnigan about the source of this encounter. I ask Finnigan about the inspiration for this encounter as we take turns to get our G.O.A.T.
This was also a difficult task for the TESO group to accomplish. Lambert told me that devs had to go through several iterations for the “goat boss”, such as “how you turn; your hotbar changes; and you lose your abilities”, pointing out that players will have a different experience than what they started. Finnigan says that TESO monsters are not able to move in a sideways or jump fashion, which meant that TESO had to visit their animation department to help bring this simple goat to life. Finnigan says, “There were a lot blood, sweat and tears involved in the goat fight.” And sweet rolls.
These boss fights will be more like TESO’s dungeon content. There are many new tricks that the bosses have up their sleeves, ready to take down you. Prior Thierric Sarazen and Eliam Merick can unleash some powerful stomping and AoE attacks as well as a variety of surprises thanks to their Daedric trinkets.
Sarazen conjuring magical doppelgangers to spin around in the room was one of my most frightening moments. Merick gets a buddy support mid-fight. You’ll need to decide strategically whether to remove Merick or keep dodging. You’ll also see these tactics in earlier fights. The big bad boss Sarazen is ready to throw anything and everything at your four-man band.
Red Petal Bastion, according to me, will set the stage for some of the stories in the next stage of TESO’s Gates of Oblivion Chapter. However it is more than worth a try just because of its zesty -and hilarious – new mechanics.
This game strikes the perfect balance of entertaining and tough. If The Dread Cellar is any indication, Waking Flame will be an excellent expansion that should keep fans going until Deadlands’ big finale later in the year. There are many secrets to be discovered, and I am constantly teased by hint-laden comments about my surroundings. Who has time for plundering when there is hoofs to be used to, sweet rolls to eat and horses to play with?
Today’s Waking Flame DLC will see the release of Red Petal Bastion. You can find more information about this game at our top-rated MMOs for PC or in our collection of Free MMOs. __S.54__
Publited at Mon, 23 August 2021 12:00:01 +0000