Everything You Need To Prepare For The Blackwood Expansion in Elder Scrolls Online

To prepare for the Elder Scrolls Online: Blackwood chapter, players will want to visit the Deadlands, check out the DLC, and save Auridon.

To prepare for the Elder Scrolls Online: Blackwood, players can already spend some time getting used to the lore and mechanics before the new chapter launches. The Blackwood chapter for Elder Scrolls Online is set to release on June 1 for PC and June 8 for consoles. It will be a year-long storyline centered on Mehrunes Dagon, one of the Daedric Princes, and his agents. The new chapter is expected to launch with over 30 hours of new content, new features and locations to explore, and bug fixes and quality-of-life improvements overall. Players can already begin exploring, investigating, and sharpening their demon-fighting skills in Elder Scrolls Online ahead of the release of Blackwood.

Related: Elder Scrolls Online: Blackwood Preview - Mehrunes Dagon Beckons

Many of the activities players can do to prepare for Blackwood are free as part of the Elder Scrolls Online base game, and there are also a few options players can unlock or purchase in the Crown Store. Players can explore parts of the Deadlands, practice dealing with cultists, portals, and Daedra in the base game, meet and get to know the key NPCs who will join them on their journey, fight through a few new dungeons, and experience all the events leading right up to the new chapter with two Prologue quests. Here's everything players can do to prepare for the Blackwood chapter of Elder Scrolls Online.

The first and likely most important thing players can do to prepare for the Blackwood chapter of Elder Scrolls Online is unlock and complete the Prologue. This Prologue contains two quests that introduce players to the central conflict of Blackwood. In the Prologue, players will team up with Eveli Sharp-Arrow and Lyranth to investigate cult that worships Mehrunes Dagon. Though they are not officially companions to the player, both Eveli and Lyranth will be instrumental in the new chapter and will be with the player during key points in their journey, so getting to know them will be important. The end of the Prologue quests will lead directly into Blackwood.

Players can Prologue for free in Elder Scrolls Online as part of the base game. To access it, they will need to open the Crown Store and go to the Quest Starters tab. The quest is called A Mortal's Touch.

There are other things players can do, both in the base game and in DLC, to prepare for Elder Scrolls Online: Blackwood. If they want to get a little more information before teaming up with Eveli and Lyranth in the Prologue or new chapter, players can find them elsewhere in Tamriel. Lyranth is located in the Imperial City Prison dungeon if players have installed the free Imperial City DLC from the Crown Store. She is also found in the Shadowfen zone and the Coldharbour zone as part of the base game. Eveli is trickier to get, as players need to have purchased the Orsinium DLC to find her. Players can complete the questlines associated with these characters to learn more about them ahead of the new chapter.

Players can also work with Eveli and Lyranth in the Flames of Ambition DLC, the first new content that released in the Gates of Oblivion storyline. Flames of Ambition unlocks two new, optional dungeon experiences, The Cauldron and Black Drake Villa. Chronologically, these are meant to come before even the Blackwood Prologue. Completing the two dungeons will provide more lore and background information to set the stage for Blackwood. Players can purchase Flames of Ambition for 1500 Crowns in the Crown Store or access it with an ESO Plus subscription.

Much of Elder Scrolls Online: Blackwood deals with cultists loyal to Mehrunes Dagon, who serves as the antagonist of the year-long saga. Players can get some practice dealing with cultists and Daedra ahead of the new chapter. In the Auridon zone in the base game, players can help protect Firsthold and the rest of the city from the cultists and seal the portals they open to the Deadlands.

It is also possible to get more Deadlands and Daedra content by playing the City of Ash 1 and 2 dungeons. These experiences are found in Greenshade and see players fighting to push back a small army of invading Daedra. Particularly in City of Ash 2, players will physically enter the Deadlands to fight Daedra, which will be good practice for Blackwood.

Elder Scrolls Online: Blackwood takes place a few hundred years before The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, but many of the locations will be familiar to those who have played both games. Newcomers to the series or fans who want to brush up on their lore may also want to prepare for the Blackwood chapter with another run of Oblivion so they can see more clearly how all the pieces fit together.

Next: Elder Scrolls Online PS5 & Xbox Series X Upgrades Halve Load Times

Elder Scrolls Online: Blackwood launches June 1, 2021 for PC, Mac, Stadia, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.

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The 10 Funniest Things To Happen In The Metal Gear Solid Series

Metal Gear Solid may be most known for its drama and often confusing plot but it also delivered plenty of hilarious moments in its history.

Hideo Kojima's  franchise started out as a stealth action title, but it soon ballooned into a highly complex (some would say convoluted) story about a vast conspiracy that spans decades. Whatever the case, the games are known for their dark content and frightening political and social undertones.

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They're also known for jabbing players in the ribs with some hilarious moments to cut the tension. There are plenty of moments to laugh at cross the spectrum of every Metal Gear Solid title, whether it's a surprise party in the player's honor, the breaking of the fourth wall in unapologetic fashion, or low-brow toilet humor.

10 Mei Ling Loses It (Metal Gear Solid)

It's safe to say that Mei Ling is one of the cutest characters in the Metal Gear Solid series, and it seems incomprehensible that she'd fly off the handle at any given time. Still, everyone has their breaking point, and the player can trigger it in the first Metal Gear Solid with a bit of good old-fashioned trolling.

Calling Mei Ling repeatedly on the codec system while refusing to save the game will inevitably drive her bonkers. If the player keeps it up long enough, she'll eventually lose it and stick her tongue out at you. It's an adorable guilty pleasure.

9 The Stereo/Mono Guilt Trip (Metal Gear Solid)

The first Metal Gear Solid was notorious for breaking the fourth wall every few minutes or so, to hilarious effect. One of the best, yet most obscure examples of this occurs if the player hasn't changed the game's audio output from mono to stereo.

When Snake prepares to battle Liquid in the Hind-D helicopter, Campbell contacts him over codec and advises him to use his ears to determine which direction the Hind is coming from. If the game is set to mono, Campbell, Naomi, and Mei Ling will display shock that the player isn't using a stereo TV. Ever dutiful and supportive, Campbell will patronize Snake by telling him that there's more to being a good person than having a stereo television.

8 The Pretty Girl Distraction (Metal Gear Solid 2)

The opening act of features Solid Snake infiltrating a large tanker housing the Metal Gear Ray, which is attacked by Colonel Gurlukovich and his men. Snake eventually makes his way into a large auditorium where military personnel are watching a briefing via projector screen.

Snake can either use this distraction to sneak his way past, or he can mess around with the projector for laughs. If the player keeps hitting the projector button, a pretty girl pops up on the opposite screen, immediately catching the attention of all the men in the auditorium. Eventually, both screens will fill up with the video of the girl, and the men won't know which way to turn. One more press and both screens fill up with the commanding officer, triggering an alert status.

7 Naked Raiden Flips (Metal Gear Solid 2)

The interrogation scene from Metal Gear Solid 2 was meant to elicit memories of the infamous Revolver Ocelot torture scene from the original game, but it went a step further. This particular entry in the franchise was big on deadpan humor, despite its rather ominous storyline.

RELATED: 10 Movies To Watch If You Like The Metal Gear Solid Games

When lead protagonist Raiden manages to escape from his confines, he's naked as a bear and clutching his privates. That doesn't stop the player from being able to flip all over the place, which looks utterly and patently ridiculous. Perhaps that was the point.

6 The Russian Glowcap Conversation (Metal Gear Solid 3)

One of the biggest changes to the Metal Gear Solid franchise came in the third chapter when the developers decided to add survival mechanics to the game. Snake could consume a variety of flora and fauna to restore his health while bestowing temporary secondary effects.

A hilarious conversation ensues when Snake devours a Russian Glowcap mushroom and tells Para-Medic that it has recharged his batteries. Confused, she steps away from the codec to have a conversation with Sigint where they poke fun at how gullible Snake really is, before returning to basically validate his ignorance.

5 Raiden's Time Paradox (Metal Gear Solid 3)

This one comes courtesy of the Secret Theater mode present on the 2nd disc of Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence. It's from a collection of hilarious parody videos that poke fun at the Metal Gear universe, and the best of the bunch is definitely "Snake Eraser," featuring none other than Raiden, himself.

The premise is simple: Raiden wants to be the lead character in the upcoming Metal Gear Solid 4, and in order to do so, he travels back through time, Terminator-style, to take out Big Boss, thereby preventing Solid Snake from being created. He bumbles his way from one hilarious scene to the next, each time being chastised by Roy Campbell for initiating a time paradox. It has to be seen to be believed, and YouTube is the place to go to check it out.

4 Akiba In The Barrel (Metal Gear Solid 4)

Johnny, otherwise known as Akiba, has been around since the early days of Metal Gear Solid. This gastric-challenged soldier was the butt (literally) of jokes across multiple games, acting as comic relief more than anything else.

In Metal Gear Solid 4, Akiba makes a series of appearances beginning with a bout of diarrhea while hiding inside a barrel. When an enemy soldier pulls the barrel off of him, Akiba runs off with his pants down, and a foot chase ensues. How this guy ever ended up marrying Meryl Silverburg is anyone's guess.

3 The Disc Swap Call (Metal Gear Solid 4)

The technological limitations of the fledgling 32-Bit era meant that Metal Gear Solid needed to be broken up on two PlayStation 1 discs in order to contain the massive story. Luckily, technology was about to break through into a new realm with the advent of Blu-Ray technology, which the PlayStation 3 helped secure as the dominant HD media platform.

Metal Gear Solid 4 plays on this when Snake returns to Shadow Moses island later on in the game. Otacon contacts him on codec and tells him to swap to Disc 2 to continue the story, before suddenly remembering that the game is packed onto a Blu-Ray disc, with massive storage capabilities. It's a funny breaking of the fourth wall, especially when Snake shows his annoyance.

2 Box Panic (Metal Gear Solid 5)

The Metal Gear Solid series is known for using boxes not just as a means of cover and camouflage, but also as an in-game joke. Metal Gear Solid 4 played this up to hilarious effect, but the fifth entry in the series takes it up a notch by giving the player the ability to freak soldiers out with it.

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If the player spooks an enemy, they may contact CP to ask permission to fire on the box. If the player manages to abandon the box without getting spotted, the soldier fires on it, examines it, and concludes that it was just a simple box. An audibly frustrated CP schedules a psych evaluation for the soldier.

1 The Birthday Party

One of the most overlooked gems of Metal Gear Solid 5 takes place after the player has input their date of birth before starting. Once that big day arrives, the game will recognize it and translate that into a surprise birthday celebration for Venom Snake when he returns to Mother Base.

Snake arrives, only to find everyone missing. Cautious, he draws his gun, only to get the surprise of his life when they all come out and sing a special happy birthday song for him, complete with a Diamond Dogs cake. He attempts to light a cigar on it, but is stopped and forced to blow the candles out, to everyone's delight.

NEXT: 10 Best Stealth Action Games If You Like Metal Gear Solid

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