In a blog post released earlier today, Bethesda announced a number of changes coming to its controversial hack 'n' slash dungeon crawler, The Elder Scrolls: Blades. The game's next major update is set to arrive in early December, and it'll add the long-awaited PvP arena mode along with a major loot overhaul.
For me, the biggest news here is the complete removal of the dreaded chest timers which stunted progress and caused much frustration for me when I played Blades briefly earlier this year. After the update, you'll no longer have to sit around for a chest timer to tick down, which can surely only be a good thing. While Bethesda has reduced wait times considerably for chests since launch, the system itself still isn't ideal when the game depends so much on making you feel a constant sense of progression.
And in-game progression at large should also be improved thanks to the upcoming loot overhaul which is said to increase loot drops from enemies. Every job you take on will now have a boss to defeat that drops improved rewards. There will also be more breakables dotted around dungeons to seek out and gather resources from.
The long-awaited PvP arena will arrive in early December. All players at level 5 or above will be able to battle it out with online rivals in intense one-on-one combat for special loot. Matches are all best-of-three, and you have the option to mix up your equipment and skills between rounds to remain competitive. Winning matches will improve your leaderboard rank, so it's not just about that sweet loot.
On top of that, Blades is also adding a guild system which allows you to band together with friendly players to trade and visit other towns. Guilds are tied to the PvP mode, so taking part in the arena will also benefit your group's standing.
The only bad piece of news in the blog is that the Switch version has been delayed into early 2020. Interestingly, the Switch and mobile versions will be cross-platform, allowing you to battle against those using other systems in the arena.
It sounds like The Elder Scrolls: Blades is on its way to being a much more solid spinoff to the beloved RPG series. If you're yet to give it a go, you'll find Blades available for download from both the App Store and Google Play.Nominate your Game of the Year for the Pocket Gamer People's Choice Award 2020.