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General:Firesong Developer Preview—The Zone

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Originally published October 20, 2022. The original article can be found here.

Learn about Galen, the Firesong DLC's new zone, with this preview from ESO's development team.

Home of the DruidsEdit

Arriving November 1 for PC/Mac and November 15 for consoles, the upcoming Firesong DLC gives you the opportunity to venture into the wilds of Galen—one of the four islands of the Systres Archipelago.

When designing the new zone, the team was excited to dive deeper into druid culture while exploring their foundational aspects and maintaining their connection to the modern Bretons.

"When Firesong came around, we knew we needed to expand on the idea of a sophisticated culture that has embraced nature and simplicity, yet are not in any way primitive," explains CJ Grebb, ESO's Art Director. "In High Isle, their round huts in simple stacked stone and thatched wood felt simple yet not primitive, and we expanded on that idea in Galen with its hollowed-out sandstone cliff faces and volcanic lava tunnel shapes, reminding players of the druid's deep connection to Nirn and the volcanic origins of the island and its powers."

Galen concept art

More so than any other zone in ESO, you can dive deep into the lives, culture, and history of the druids of the Systres. When seeking inspiration for Galen's druidic elements, the team looked to real-world sources beyond what you might expect.

"Obviously Stonehenge and its connection to the actual druids of our world played into our development, but we also found inspiration from some of the amazing sculptures of the Mesoamerican Olmec and of course the Moai from Easter Island," says Grebb. "We already had explored the idea of the druids living inside the cliff faces before, so we sought even more reference from the real world and hit upon examples of structures carved into cliff faces in ancient Turkey and the surrounding regions, especially Göreme National Park and the Lycian tombs in Dalyan."

Many druidic ruins can be found deep within Galen

While Galen has much in common with the other isles of the Systres, the team also knew it was important to ensure the new zone felt distinct from what has come before.

"The dense jungle biome became an interesting visual lynchpin for Galen," explains Grebb. "In past years, we've obviously done lava rivers with volcanic environments, and we've done dense forests and jungles, but we've never had a chance to combine them and try to really take advantage of the inherent drama and storytelling possibilities it would afford us."

(Embedded here is a kuula Virtual Tour of the Galen)

Discover the wilds of Galen

Adventure in the WildsEdit

While Galen's untamed wilderness is perilous, it is also an island mired in savage conflict from both within and without.

"There are several forces playing out from the shadows of the island when the player arrives," explains Jason Barnes, Firesong's Zone Lead. "The Dreadsail Sea Elves are sieging the shorelines on all fronts, whilst the Firesong druids attempt to force the other druid tribes to reunite as one clan against their will."

With the city of Vastyr besieged by Sea Elves and the druids mired in civil war, if you are to bring peace to Galen, you must unravel the origins and motives behind these two conflicts, lest they engulf all of the Systres.

The city of Vastyr under assault

Beyond the main storyline, Galen is also home to no shortage of stand-alone adventures for you and your fellow explorers to discover, including new delves, roaming world bosses, side quests, and many opportunities to learn more about Breton druid culture.

"Players will be able to dive into the rich history and lore of the ancient druids of Galen when undertaking a number of side quests, exploring the vast ruins scattered about the island, and finding numerous lore books concerning Breton heritage," says Barnes. "In addition, dangerous new creatures of the forest roam about looking to challenge even the bravest of adventurers."

These new creatures include the monstrous manticore, a gigantic beast with the heads of a gryphon, lion, and wamasu, and event more sinister beasts, such as the evil Forest Wraith.

Beware Galen's native dangers

Despite these dangers, the team recommends venturing deep into Galen and braving the island's wilds.

"I highly suggest players go explore the dangerous jungles of Galen in the northeast of the island," recommends Barnes. "It's a spectacular thick-forested jungle filled with threats of all kinds, stunning views, and of course, monkeys swinging through the trees."

Soon, you and your allies can venture into primeval Galen, confront and (hopefully) survive its many perils, and put an end to a conflict that threatens to forever change the Systres Archipelago. Which aspect of the new zone are you excited to explore when Firesong launches in November? Tell us via Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook!

The Firesong DLC game pack and Update 36 base-game patch arrive November 1 for PC/Mac and November 15 for Xbox and PlayStation consoles.