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The Abundance of Portals in ESO

Revyn
Revyn
Soul Shriven
I searched the forums for this and only found vaguely related threads, the most relevant thread was asking for portal magic to be added as a player ability.

Ever since starting ESO I've been a bit curious about how so many NPCs are able to create portals. It feels like around a quarter of all side quests have an NPC who can instantaneously create a portal to wherever the quest requires it. This makes sense with people like the Prophet, but not so much with the Guildmaster of the Fighters Guild, Sees-All-Colors, who to my knowledge and assumptions has little magical capabilities. Meanwhile the Vestige can't create portals, he/she can teleport, but can't create a portal that can be activated by others (AFAIK.) There are some side quests, like in Reclaiming the Elements, where the Vestige reclaims portal stones and makes portals. I don't see a purpose for players making interactive portals other than for RP, and for guilds who travel together, the guild leader could plop a portal down, and everyone enters, instead of everyone waiting for him/her to load in their new zone, and port to them.

I understand the use of them from a development and gameplay perspective, and I'm definitely not complaining about them, but it does beg the question at how so many people are attuned with this knowledge? Is there any lore explanation for this? I guess it could be explained that the founding of the Mages Guild spread this knowledge, and was largely lost over the eras for some reason. But even after completing the questline for the Mages Guild and becoming a "Master Wizard" we don't have any more insight on creating portals outside of Wayshrine magic. We do see portals in BGS's TES games, but nowhere near the extent that they're present in ESO.

TL;DR is there a lore explanation of the sudden influx of portal magic in the 2nd era, before its decline in the 3rd and 4th eras?
UID:Revynnn/PC/EU
  • notimetocare
    notimetocare
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    Keep in mind, wayshrines are a mechanic, not lore. Likely, portal prevalence is the same. Portals are normally extremely difficult. A good way to tell lore is balancing the difficulty and power of the caster. Just as much, we don't have fast travel the same way as traditional titles. The other option would have been forcing players to go to wayshrines or run. Not the best options for an MMORPG
  • Shadow_Akula
    Shadow_Akula
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    Possible 4th era explanation - Oblivion Crisis, the Oblivion gates were technically portals and so this could have lead to people being to afraid to use portals or perhaps portal magic being outlawed in some regions. - this is just my theory on why portal magic seems to have almost disappeared in the 4th era. Unfortunately can’t offer any explanation for the 3rd era decline
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  • Ajaxandriel
    Ajaxandriel
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    About old lore this is something that could be useful for the OP question

    http://en.uesp.net/wiki/Daggerfall:Travelers_League
    http://en.uesp.net/wiki/Daggerfall:Teleporter_Service

    So we can assume the Mages guild can be part of that ESO thing, knowing how the Mages just display portals almost each time they take action

    From my p.o.v. there's also something possible about the wardens and the spinning of "truth". One can "tell" he has been there or there so the reality bends to this. (Just my own guess and headcanon tho)
    But for instance one actual spell from then-implemented Warden is a kind of short-ranged portal (last skill in Winter line).
    Keep in mind, wayshrines are a mechanic, not lore.
    That's like to say that "facts are facts, not lore". Meh



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  • notimetocare
    notimetocare
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    LMar wrote: »
    About old lore this is something that could be useful for the OP question

    http://en.uesp.net/wiki/Daggerfall:Travelers_League
    http://en.uesp.net/wiki/Daggerfall:Teleporter_Service

    So we can assume the Mages guild can be part of that ESO thing, knowing how the Mages just display portals almost each time they take action

    From my p.o.v. there's also something possible about the wardens and the spinning of "truth". One can "tell" he has been there or there so the reality bends to this. (Just my own guess and headcanon tho)
    But for instance one actual spell from then-implemented Warden is a kind of short-ranged portal (last skill in Winter line).
    Keep in mind, wayshrines are a mechanic, not lore.
    That's like to say that "facts are facts, not lore". Meh



    Wayshrine travel is only possible for the vestige due to the vestige's soul being "unmoored" as explained in an in-game lorebook. Not an option for regular NPCs

    That is a fishy way of them trying to justify what is obviously a player assistance mechanic. It's an aspect of Mmorpgs that we can't avoid. Sometimes immersion and lore are pushed to the limit of reason.
  • Pendrillion
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    I even wonder why they dont abolish the damn wayshrines and give us portals... Not every char is a Vestige anymore...
  • Merlin13KAGL
    Merlin13KAGL
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    RebornV3x wrote: »
    its just one of those things in Elder Scrolls that's glossed over like no kids or bathrooms in ESO it works because it works or used in Ex Machina situations
    Makes me wonder if anyone's ever considered we don't see the kids, because they're always in the bathrooms?

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  • TelvanniWizard
    TelvanniWizard
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    RebornV3x wrote: »
    its just one of those things in Elder Scrolls that's glossed over like no kids or bathrooms in ESO it works because it works or used in Ex Machina situations
    Makes me wonder if anyone's ever considered we don't see the kids, because they're always in the bathrooms?

    It´s about time they come out. I also need to use the wc :p
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  • ghastley
    ghastley
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    Don't forget that everyone who owns a home has a portal at the entrance. Go there from anywhere at any time. Not a glowing one, because you're not trying to share it, and nobody else needs to see where it is.
  • Eporem
    Eporem
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    and portal stones seem to be in existence as well
  • adriant1978
    adriant1978
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    Eporem wrote: »
    and portal stones seem to be in existence as well

    Although nobody can quite agree whether they are little stones that fit in your pocket, or huge boulders in underground caverns.
  • Korah_Eaglecry
    Korah_Eaglecry
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    Its game mechanics over lore. Basically its more convenient to open a portal and whisk you back to whatever locale you started at rather than create a path back, which isnt always possible for the scenario, or demand you run back the way you came.
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  • starkerealm
    starkerealm
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    LMar wrote: »
    About old lore this is something that could be useful for the OP question

    http://en.uesp.net/wiki/Daggerfall:Travelers_League
    http://en.uesp.net/wiki/Daggerfall:Teleporter_Service

    So we can assume the Mages guild can be part of that ESO thing, knowing how the Mages just display portals almost each time they take action

    From my p.o.v. there's also something possible about the wardens and the spinning of "truth". One can "tell" he has been there or there so the reality bends to this. (Just my own guess and headcanon tho)
    But for instance one actual spell from then-implemented Warden is a kind of short-ranged portal (last skill in Winter line).
    Keep in mind, wayshrines are a mechanic, not lore.
    That's like to say that "facts are facts, not lore". Meh



    Wayshrine travel is only possible for the vestige due to the vestige's soul being "unmoored" as explained in an in-game lorebook. Not an option for regular NPCs

    That is a fishy way of them trying to justify what is obviously a player assistance mechanic. It's an aspect of Mmorpgs that we can't avoid. Sometimes immersion and lore are pushed to the limit of reason.

    While partially true, the player's status with their soul anchored to a Daedric plane of Oblivion, and the associated effects, like their ability to recover from death, are explicitly rooted in both lore and mechanics.

    The argument of, "no, I don't like it, therefore it must be lore-unfriendly, even though it's a mechanic," misses the point that, frequently in TES, established mechanics are intentionally baked into the more esoteric elements of the world's metaphysics.
    Co-Host of The Tenets: a podcast focused on bringing new players up to speed in ESO.
  • starkerealm
    starkerealm
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    I even wonder why they dont abolish the damn wayshrines and give us portals... Not every char is a Vestige anymore...

    Yet another reason why ZOS should have stuck with the original Coldharbor tutorial.

    Yeah. The "cheat" here is that every character will be the Vestage, which sounds kinda, odd.
    Co-Host of The Tenets: a podcast focused on bringing new players up to speed in ESO.
  • notimetocare
    notimetocare
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    LMar wrote: »
    About old lore this is something that could be useful for the OP question

    http://en.uesp.net/wiki/Daggerfall:Travelers_League
    http://en.uesp.net/wiki/Daggerfall:Teleporter_Service

    So we can assume the Mages guild can be part of that ESO thing, knowing how the Mages just display portals almost each time they take action

    From my p.o.v. there's also something possible about the wardens and the spinning of "truth". One can "tell" he has been there or there so the reality bends to this. (Just my own guess and headcanon tho)
    But for instance one actual spell from then-implemented Warden is a kind of short-ranged portal (last skill in Winter line).
    Keep in mind, wayshrines are a mechanic, not lore.
    That's like to say that "facts are facts, not lore". Meh



    Wayshrine travel is only possible for the vestige due to the vestige's soul being "unmoored" as explained in an in-game lorebook. Not an option for regular NPCs

    That is a fishy way of them trying to justify what is obviously a player assistance mechanic. It's an aspect of Mmorpgs that we can't avoid. Sometimes immersion and lore are pushed to the limit of reason.

    While partially true, the player's status with their soul anchored to a Daedric plane of Oblivion, and the associated effects, like their ability to recover from death, are explicitly rooted in both lore and mechanics.

    The argument of, "no, I don't like it, therefore it must be lore-unfriendly, even though it's a mechanic," misses the point that, frequently in TES, established mechanics are intentionally baked into the more esoteric elements of the world's metaphysics.

    Then, how after ww get back our soul does everything work the same? Even in post main quest story is it all the same? That is the contradiction that pushes it from lore to a fishy mechanic with barely justifiable lore
  • Cardthief
    Cardthief
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    LMar wrote: »
    About old lore this is something that could be useful for the OP question

    http://en.uesp.net/wiki/Daggerfall:Travelers_League
    http://en.uesp.net/wiki/Daggerfall:Teleporter_Service

    So we can assume the Mages guild can be part of that ESO thing, knowing how the Mages just display portals almost each time they take action

    From my p.o.v. there's also something possible about the wardens and the spinning of "truth". One can "tell" he has been there or there so the reality bends to this. (Just my own guess and headcanon tho)
    But for instance one actual spell from then-implemented Warden is a kind of short-ranged portal (last skill in Winter line).
    Keep in mind, wayshrines are a mechanic, not lore.
    That's like to say that "facts are facts, not lore". Meh



    Wayshrine travel is only possible for the vestige due to the vestige's soul being "unmoored" as explained in an in-game lorebook. Not an option for regular NPCs

    That is a fishy way of them trying to justify what is obviously a player assistance mechanic. It's an aspect of Mmorpgs that we can't avoid. Sometimes immersion and lore are pushed to the limit of reason.

    While partially true, the player's status with their soul anchored to a Daedric plane of Oblivion, and the associated effects, like their ability to recover from death, are explicitly rooted in both lore and mechanics.

    The argument of, "no, I don't like it, therefore it must be lore-unfriendly, even though it's a mechanic," misses the point that, frequently in TES, established mechanics are intentionally baked into the more esoteric elements of the world's metaphysics.

    Then, how after ww get back our soul does everything work the same? Even in post main quest story is it all the same? That is the contradiction that pushes it from lore to a fishy mechanic with barely justifiable lore

    It's not a contradiction, when you are sacrificed to Molag Bal and become Soul Shriven, a Vestige, your mortal body is dead, YOU are dead. You are in turn given a body made out of a substance known as Azure Plasm, this substance is what effectively makes you immortal like Daedra. Even when you reclaim your soul you still have a body made of Azure Plasm, your original mortal body is either decomposing somewhere on Tamriel or has been turned into an undead minion.

    http://en.uesp.net/wiki/Lore:Azure_Plasm

    "When a Daedra native to Coldharbour is slain or banished, its morphotype, or vestige, is sent back there. Within Coldharbour are secret grottoes where the process of plasm-accretion can be witnessed. It is here the Azure Plasm drains from pools adjacent to the grottoes and slowly coalesces around a vestige to eventually reform the Daedra. It is usually a terrifying and lengthy process for the Daedra involved, although it can be prevented through resurrection with the use of Soul Magic. The process is identical for mortals whose soul is under the protection of a Daedric Prince, such as Soul Shriven and Umaril the Unfeathered. The Azure Plasm coalesces around a vestige and forms a corporeal body with the semblance of the shape it wore in life. Should this individual die, the nature of the vestige is such that their body simply reforms upon death and the cycle repeats itself."

    Another thing to note, unlike traditional Lesser Daedra, even if the Vestige is slain in Coldharbour, or any other realm of Oblivion for that matter, they cannot be permanently killed.
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  • Asardes
    Asardes
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    [Creates portal to Chalman keep]
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  • LickingHistSap
    LickingHistSap
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    Portal magic is semi-explained in Wrothgar by Lady Clarisse Laurent, one of the characters Schick tends to use as a mouthpiece of lore exposition in and out of game.

    According to her, unmoored portal magic is extremely tricky, and can only be used to go to and from locations you have perfectly memorized. There's also a portal master in Grahtwood, who claims that it took years of practice to master. So in universe, its apparently very tricky to open portals, we just keep seeing them because we run into a bunch of powerful mages on these quests apparently.

    Out of universe, the portals are probably just prevalent because it's a game that takes place across the entire continent, and it's an easy out.
  • yvaN_ehT_nioJ
    yvaN_ehT_nioJ
    Soul Shriven
    I'm not sure I'd say it's a sudden influx, rather we're seeing the state of magic use in 2E Tamriel. The general trend from what I've seen others say, and in playing the games/reading in-game books is that things are slowly degrading over time. The Ayleids and their knowledge of magic is one that immediately comes to mind - I mean, having these little wells that store magicka, cystallizing magicka and aetherius itself. The Dwemer with their knowledge of tonal architecture. The Nords' knowledge of the thu'um. In Morrowind the old strongholds and their linked system of portals seems like a big deal to me too, in terms of what they used to be able to do, magic wise. That's all really wild stuff!

    And then, depending on your opinion, you could take the mechanics of spellcasting over the successive TES games as well. Spellmaking possibly isn't a thing, spell reflection, dispeling, water walking, etc are absent from TES 5, levitation possibly isn't a thing either by TES 5.

    And that's just magic! Nevermind all the ruins you see across the games.

    I would lean to things like portal knowledge being more prevalent the further back in time you go, lore-wise, but what's game-mechanic vs. what's "established" lore is a bit hazy. /ramblepost
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  • VaranisArano
    VaranisArano
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    Levitation is theoretically still possible, just outlawed (because Oblivion's cities were separate from the overland map, unlike in Morrowind).
  • lordrichter
    lordrichter
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    By TES 3 Morrowind, we have widespread use of the Mark, Recall and Intervention spells which are fairly similar in use.

    Lol. By TES 4 Oblivion, Mark and Recall were gone, and by TES 5 Skyrim, forgotten.
    I even wonder why they dont abolish the damn wayshrines and give us portals... Not every char is a Vestige anymore...

    Yet another reason why ZOS should have stuck with the original Coldharbor tutorial.

    Yes. Game > Lore, though. That has always been the case. Studio policy demands that each game start in the latest chapter owned by the player, so they can immediately use the new content they paid for.

    Personally, I would have fought to skip the new tutorial in each Chapter, use Wailing Prison for every chapter, and drop the character into the chapter zone instead of the starting islands. Then, I would have pushed to add an option to pick where the character was dropped.

    Each new chapter would take place in whatever order the character experienced them, but essentially all at the same time, with story, dialog and Lore written accordingly non-specific as to when things happen relative to each other. That would be the hard part. Maybe too hard.
    Levitation is theoretically still possible, just outlawed (because Oblivion's cities were separate from the overland map, unlike in Morrowind).

    Still available in Skyrim, although only the Giants know how to cast it on others. :smiley:

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  • VaranisArano
    VaranisArano
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    By TES 3 Morrowind, we have widespread use of the Mark, Recall and Intervention spells which are fairly similar in use.

    Lol. By TES 4 Oblivion, Mark and Recall were gone, and by TES 5 Skyrim, forgotten.
    I even wonder why they dont abolish the damn wayshrines and give us portals... Not every char is a Vestige anymore...

    Yet another reason why ZOS should have stuck with the original Coldharbor tutorial.

    Yes. Game > Lore, though. That has always been the case. Studio policy demands that each game start in the latest chapter owned by the player, so they can immediately use the new content they paid for.

    Personally, I would have fought to skip the new tutorial in each Chapter, use Wailing Prison for every chapter, and drop the character into the chapter zone instead of the starting islands. Then, I would have pushed to add an option to pick where the character was dropped.

    Each new chapter would take place in whatever order the character experienced them, but essentially all at the same time, with story, dialog and Lore written accordingly non-specific as to when things happen relative to each other. That would be the hard part. Maybe too hard.
    Levitation is theoretically still possible, just outlawed (because Oblivion's cities were separate from the overland map, unlike in Morrowind).

    Still available in Skyrim, although only the Giants know how to cast it on others. :smiley:

    Giants are magical geniuses, confirmed! :)

    Mark & Recall was replaced with fast travel, in game, so there wasn't as much of a need for it for gameplay purposes, just like gameplay,meant levitation needed to be removed from the player arsenal.

    So yeah, like you say, game > lore.
  • yvaN_ehT_nioJ
    yvaN_ehT_nioJ
    Soul Shriven
    Levitation is theoretically still possible, just outlawed (because Oblivion's cities were separate from the overland map, unlike in Morrowind).

    Still available in Skyrim, although only the Giants know how to cast it on others. :smiley:

    And then there's Neloth with his tower on Solstheim. Though not like he'll be sharing how he made a levitation pad any time soon.
    An outlander of little note.
  • Robo_Hobo
    Robo_Hobo
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    Yeah I've noticed this too. It's a bit funny sometimes how distance in ESO is so...abritary to the citizens of Tamriel in this time period. One quest could have an NPC nonchalantly ask you to go across the other side of Tamriel for some errand, and that's not even beginning to bring up why the Dark Brotherhood of the Gold Coast is giving you contracts to kill people in Elsweyr or Skyrim or Morrowind, when there are plenty of other Dark Brotherhood sanctuaries in a closer proximity.

    All in all, I feel this is something that's always going to have to be a gameplay thing. :P

    But, at least the Vestige's wayshrine teleportation magic has an explanation. In the Wayshrines of Tamriel book.
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