This is a showcase of 25 unfinished artifacts found in The Elder Scrolls Online files.
First of all, keep in mind that there is currently no indication that any of these models will be released to players in the near future. In fact, at this point it seems that they might never get released at all, so do not get your hopes up to use any of these artifacts as outfit styles anytime soon.
Now, what exactly are these "unfinished artifacts"?
Artifacts in general are unique powerful items from previous Elder Scrolls games that grant their wielders various magic effects.
Artifacts showcased in this article are "unfinished" because they are technically not implemented as weapons in-game. Instead, they are implemented as static world objects similar to furnishings or weapon and armor props at crafting stations. This makes them different from other unused artifacts found in the game files such as Trueflame, Hopesfire, Auriel's Bow and Sanguine's Rose that are implemented as actual weapons and thus are much more likely to be released to players in the future.
The difference between weapon and world object models in ESO is that the latter have less polygons and their textures have a lower resolution. For example, the weapon version of Auriel's Bow has 1484 polygons while the also existing low poly world object version of it has 864 polygons so about 42% less. Same with textures—regular weapon textures in ESO have a resolution of 1024x512 while the resolution of these unfinished artifacts' textures is 256x128 so 4 times less.
Again, the artifacts showcased in this article only have world object models, not actual weapon models. This is why they are unlikely to be released as outfit styles anytime soon, and if any of them ever get released in the future at all, they will probably be redesigned anyway, similar to what happened to Chrysamere, which was released as an outfit style but also has an older, different looking unfinished artifact model showcased here.
We do not know when these unfinished artifacts were added to the game, but they have definitely been in the files for a long time, possibly since the original release of the base game in 2014.
We also do not know what ZOS planned to use these artifacts for, although one theory is that they were originally meant to be obtainable as dungeon rewards, similar to how monster masks are obtainable now. If so, then this plan was seemingly scrapped very early on since the artifacts were never implemented as actual in-game items.
You can find 4K renders of these artifacts here.
If you want to discuss this article with other players and stay up to date on latest data mining discoveries in ESO, be sure to join the ESO Model Viewer Discord server.
Keep in mind that these models were found in the game files, and these artifacts are not officially confirmed. As such, they might change significantly on release or might never be released at all.