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Here's how crafting works in The Elder Scrolls Online

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Crafting and the people who can do it will play a key role in the world of The Elder Scrolls Online, as developer ZeniMax Online Studios explained in a gameplay walkthrough video today.

The upcoming massively multiplayer online role-playing game will include crafting stations in towns as usual, but ZeniMax Online is also using crafting as a way to encourage players to explore Tamriel. Anything players pick up will be useful in some way during crafting, and resources will be highlighted for players who are experienced in crafting. Those who look hard will come across special locations that allow them to craft setpiece items, like special armor with unique bonuses.

Items have characteristics known as traits, and in order to learn how to apply a particular attribute to an item, you have to research an item that already carries the trait — an effort that requires destroying the item in question and takes some time to complete. During the crafting process, players will have control over all aspects of the item they're making: its material, level, appearance and properties. An existing item can be improved by adding tempers, an undertaking that plays out as a gamble: Adding tempers increases the chance of a successful upgrade.

The goal, said ZeniMax Online, is to make crafting a prized talent — a real trade — in The Elder Scrolls Online. If a player doesn't possess the crafting expertise to make a particular item, they'll seek out a fellow player who does.

The Elder Scrolls Online will be released April 4 on Mac and Windows PC, and in June on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Check out our Overview video from earlier this month to see footage from the ongoing beta.