Friday was a surprisingly calm day for us. We paid Gronkh a short visit at the social media stage, witnessed the glory that is the Blizzard Dance Contest and finally found the Cosplay Village tucked away in some obscure area of Hall 10.2. (We were looking for it on Thursday, but apparently we are capable of missing entire halls, so I’m not surprised we couldn’t find it right away.)
The best part was the ESO Tavern though. Lucky me noticed a tweet the night before saying you’d need to send them an e-mail in order to be put onto the guest list, otherwise our plans for that night probably would have found a surprising end. The Tavern was a private party, ladies and gents.
Their (aptly) chosen Location was the Gir Keller in the historic city centre of Cologne, a quaint looking wine tavern that lends itself nicely to serving as a meeting point for Elder Scrolls fans. What immediately stood out to me in comparison to the SWTOR Cantina last year were the seating accommodations and the buffet they prepared for the guests. The list of drinks was interesting too: water, juice, coffee, beer… vodka.
The event itself was very community-oriented in the sense that the present developers spent comparatively little time talking about their game and upcoming content and rather let members of the community have their say. Elisabeth, a cosplayer sporting a self-made costume of the unnamed Altmer heroine from the launch trailer, talked at length about what goes into making costumes and took her time answering the questions that arose. Two members of the German progress raiding guild Beyond Infinity then showcased Cradle of Shadows live and engaged in a discussion with the devs about raid content afterwards. Very interesting stuff for someone who never dipped a toe into PVE group content (but actually would love to play it).
It was really more like a tavern and less like the very thoroughly planned and regulated Cantina. Both approaches have their advantages and disadvantages and I enjoyed both a ton, although a little bit of lore talk would have been great at the Tavern. I did jot down some bits of info about One Tamriel and the like, but I’ll be lazy now and direct you to their official GC recap instead. Go take a look; if nothing else it’s just another testament to how ZOS keeps improving this already amazing game. So amped for housing too, even though that’s coming 2017 at the earliest… but I digress.
The Tavern also had a very tangible thing going for it: the ESO peeps downright showered us in loot without even asking the simplest of trivia questions. I am happy to have taken home a pet code, a CD with a couple of soundtracks on it, a poster of the amazing Shadows of the Hist artwork and an Ouroboros shirt. Madness!
We left a little early – around half past 10pm if I recall correctly, and the event apparently went on until 1am – but when you’re on your feet all day and barely ever stop to eat, even the most die-hard night owls start craving sleep before midnight. Poor us.