The Elder Scrolls Online: Alliance War
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The Alliance War is the ongoing conflict between the Aldmeri Dominion, the Daggerfall Covenant, and the Ebonheart Pact to wrest control of the Ruby Throne from the Empire of Cyrodiil. Starting at Level 10, players will have the opportunity to join in the battle in Cyrodiil for their chosen alliance.
The Imperial Throne sits empty.
The Dragonfires cold; unlit.
And from every corner, darkness grows.
Now, ancient enemies band together.
Unlikely alliances are forged.
Old ambitions rekindled.
And as enemies rise faster than allies,
salvation cannot come from one hero alone,
but from many.
In 2E 430 the Second Empire was dealt a fatal blow and began to fall apart. Ever since then, the nine provinces of Tamriel have largely insulated themselves from outside interference. That changed in 2E 579, when a massive arcane explosion occurred in the Imperial City, sending shockwaves across Nirn. Emperor Varen Aquilerios of Cyrodiil vanished, leaving his wife Clivia Tharn and her father Abnur, Chancellor of the Elder Council, as the leaders of Cyrodiil. Increasing numbers of Daedra began to be seen around Tamriel, and the constellation of the Serpent grew and grew until it dominated the night sky.
When they discovered that this was the doing of Molag Bal, as he tried to steal Nirn, and that the answer to the problem was to relight the Dragonfires, the alliances turned their attention to Cyrodiil to try and wrest control of the Ruby Throne.
The Imperials have become more and more hostile to the other races during the course of the Interregnum, and stand alone in the war for the Ruby Throne. They are not destined to fill the position, but have aims of their own in creating a new empire. The line of Reachmen who previously occupied the Imperial City, the Longhouse Emperors, have recently been ousted by the armies of the Colovian Estates under Varen Aquilarios after legalizing Daedra worship. Following the disappearance of newly-crowned Emperor Aquilarios, the Imperial leaders joined forces with supporters of Molag Bal, ushering in a time of madness, murder, and decay.
The Aldmeri Dominion was formed in 2E 580 with the aim of restoring the rule of Tamriel to the elven races. It comprises the Altmer from the Summerset Isles, the Bosmer of Valenwood, and the Khajiit of Elsweyr.
The Altmer are the dominant race in attempting to complete the Dominion’s aims, having begun their work well before it became clear that the Ruby Throne was at stake. The Khajiit had recently faced devastation at the hands of the Knahaten Flu, and agreed to join the Dominion as payment for the debt they owed to Queen Ayrenn, who had helped them restore order after the plague. The Bosmer joined following a plea from the Altmer that their combined forces might prevent the younger races of Tamriel from bringing disaster to the world, as they had so many times in the past.
The Daggerfall Covenant was primarily a defensive agreement between the kingdoms of High Rock, which evolved into much more following a civil war within the province in 2E 566. It now comprises the Bretons of High Rock, the Orcs of Orsinium, and the Redguards of Hammerfell.
Led by High King Emeric, the Covenant aims to resurrect the Second Empire. While the Bretons and Redguards would benefit greatly if they won, it is the Orcs who stand to gain the most, if the “terms” of the Covenant are upheld. They have a longstanding aim of establishing their own province, to make a home for the Orcs that they have been denied time and time again. Historically, the Orcs were considered no better than goblins, and it is only recently that the other races have begun to acknowledge them as sentient, if not equals. The result of this attitude was the ransacking of Orsinium every time it was established, thus denying the Orcs a chance of creating a home.
The Ebonheart Pact is an alliance of necessity, born when the three provinces joined together to repel an Akaviri invasion in 2E 572. It comprises the Nords of Skyrim, the Dunmer of Morrowind, and the Argonians of Black Marsh.
Led by High King Jorunn, the pact was developed so the three provinces could hold their own against the other two alliances. The three races have a long history of antagonism and war between themselves, which hasn’t been completely forgotten after the formal alliance was concluded. Their aim is to preserve their independence, and to do this they aim to seize the throne for themselves, so that no empire can arise to take it away.
At the start of the game you will be assigned an alliance based on your race. At Level 10, you will be able to go to Cyrodiil and start participating in a Campaign. These are separate instances of Cyrodiil with their own groups of players, durations and rules. Each player must choose one campaign as their “Home Campaign”, which can be changed occasionally at a cost of Alliance Points. They may also select a campaign as their “Guest Campaign”, which allows players to enter a different instance of Cyrodiil and gain Alliance Points; however their progress in a Guest Campaign will not be recorded on the Alliance War Leaderboards.
All players will begin the Alliance War with the rank of Citizen, and by completing the tutorial quest Welcome to Cyrodiil, you will become enlisted as a Volunteer. As you gain Alliance Points, you will increase your Alliance War Rank further, as well as your level in the two PvP-oriented Skill Lines. Each rank gained will reward you with one skill point. Within your Home Campaign, your accumulated Alliance Points will also determine your position on the leaderboards.
The main objective within Cyrodiil is to capture Keeps, Resources and Outposts for your alliance, thus increasing your Alliance Points and your alliance’s position on the Campaign scoreboard. To capture a location, the attacking alliance must gain entry to its keep using Siege Weapons to destroy the walls or gates, and must then take control of the enemy flags. Keeps have two flags in the inner keep; resources have one flag, near the tower. By capturing all six of the keeps surrounding the Imperial City, your alliance will have the opportunity to crown a player as Emperor. The Emperor is chosen as the player with the most Alliance Points in the current Campaign. Each alliance general offers a range of repeatable quests designed to direct players through the motions of capturing a keep or resource. Other quests are available from the alliance generals as well, which include scouting out enemy-controlled areas of the map, killing enemy players, and retrieving Elder Scrolls for alliance-wide benefits.
Beyond the PvP content, Cyrodiil also includes a host of PvE challenges, including dungeon-delving, dark anchor dolmens, and a number of settlements offering repeatable quests. There are also materials to gather, Skyshards to find, and dozens of Ayleid ruins and other places of interest to explore. For more details on Cyrodiil’s PvE content, see Cyrodiil.
Travel around Cyrodiil is similar to travel around the alliance’s home territories, although due to the size of the zone, the use of a mount is recommended to cut travel times. Players are free to travel almost anywhere in the zone; exceptions include the Border Keeps of the opposing alliances, which are off-limits unless the nearby Artifact Gate is open. When those gates are open, enemy players can enter the Border Keep area as far as the associated Scroll Temple; however, attempting to reach the Border Gates themselves will result in players being teleported back to their own Border Gate. Cyrodiil also has a special fast-travel system, separate from the Wayshrines in the other zones; the only wayshrines in Cyrodiil serve to return you to the alliance home territories from the battlefield. Instead, fast-travel is handled by the Transitus Network, a supply-line system whose extent and range is determined by which keeps and outposts your alliance controls.
The following markers are used in an informative capacity on the wiki, and do not appear in-game.
- Areas that are under the full control of one alliance are indicated with a shield icon, and can either be Restricted areas, which enemies cannot enter, or Protected areas, which are usually safe from enemies except under special circumstances (eg, a Scroll Temple is not safe if an Artifact Gate is open).
- Certain areas have PvP disabled within them, while at the same time are still open to all alliances, and these are indicated with the Imperial icon. Neutral areas, such as group dungeons, are solely PvE areas. Sanctuary areas place players under a flag of truce, where they cannot attack other players, and cannot be attacked by other players.
- The rest of Cyrodiil is open for player combat, and these places are marked as Disputed.
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