Having just finished all of the storylines for the 3 Alliances in the base game, I decided to list my thoughts on the storylines for each of them. This is more of my personal take on the regions, and I apologize if I ramble on some and give little details on others.
I started my game with this and found myself interested in the story after the first zone quests in Auridon. Becoming a spy of the queen was an interesting early choice to make, and the story in total followed pretty well and kept me interested throughout Auridon. Raj and Ayrenn were both really well written characters, and helped make the starting story fun throughout the spying and adventure. The story kept strong through Grahtwood and Greenshade, and made some really impactful moments for me, especially the Wilderking storyline, though I wish that had been the overarching plot for Greenshade instead of the lich problems.
But once it hit Malabal Tor…the story started getting less interesting and I didn't find myself as captivated by the story. I can't even tell you the ins and outs of that region because it was that forgettable outside of "Save the Silvenar and Green Lady". Reaper's March was about the same with the twins, and ended the alliance on a bit of a flat note. It's a shame that these two areas were so…lackluster compared to the first 3 zones.
I did this one next, and was bored for all of Stonefalls and Deshann. We're dealing with ancient golems that are uncontrollable and…that's about it for Stonefalls? Nothing about it was very interesting, but seemed more of a "Hey guys look, it's a Morrowind area!" Very little to care about here besides the enemies and scenery giving nostalgia. Deshaan was just dealing with an evil cult because a woman had issues dealing with her son's death, and the Tribunal because more Morrowind nostalgia. Like Stonefalls, it wasn't very engaging or interesting, and I was glad the areas were done with.
Then came Shadowfen…OH BABY SHADOWFEN. While the region itself was just a glorified swamp, the storyline was really interesting with the Aldmeri Dominion attempting genocide against the Argonians. I felt like there were actual stakes here, and was interested in this all the way through. Then came Eastmarch, and the stakes got higher, with the Skald King (who was rather well written I must say) himself almost dying due to his evil brother's machinations. This was another good area, and I enjoyed it thoroughly. Finally, The Rift ended the alliance on a high note with us dealing with the Worm Cult directly and engaging in an all out offensive against them with the Pact army.
My last alliance, and the one that started off similarly to the Aldmeri Dominion in that it got me interested off the bat and kept me interested throughout Glenumbra. Werewolves, an offensive on a city, and a final battle with your squad separated in a small labyrinth like dungeon. Like AD, several characters really shined here, like Darien, Gabrielle, and Stibbons (three cheers for our favorite servant). Then came Stormhaven, and the prospect of dealing with a daedric cult manipulating people through their dreams added some nice conspiracy and unease on who to trust in the zone. Quite a few quests ended with twists I didn't expect, and saving the High King from his own nightmares and unease was a fitting end for the zone. Rivenspire was next, and started off interesting with vampires, a civil war, and more than a few moral greyzones to really make you ponder things. While short zone quest wise, the quests were by far the most interesting out of the entire alliance.
Sadly, the Alik'r Desert was the next area to show up, and what a let down this one was. Like with AD, the zone is absolutely forgettable and can basically be summed up in "You have to kill these undead because our outdated tradition prevents us from killing them ourselves." A true joke of a zone IMO, and by far the weakest zone for the DC. Bangkorai attempted to bring it back up and managed to start off with my interest with preventing treason by the Duke, then lost it with the Reachman plot, then gained it again with the attack on the Garrison, then lost it for the rest of the zone. Speaking of the zone quests, it seems really odd to me that the zone quests in Hallin's Stand are the only ones in the game that are not directly linked to the previous zone quest. You go into the town, into a house to see some orders, and then it directs you to the final part of the zone instead of having you retake the town. Weird design choice there.
Overall, I enjoyed each alliance for different reasons, and my only complaint would be that each one of them had two zones that were just lackluster compared to the rest of the packages. Having completed them though, I look forward to heading to the Morrowind expansion areas (after completing Craglorn) and then to Summerset before Elsweyr hits early June.
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